Excellence in Journalism starts today!

Greetings from San Antonio! The joint conference of the Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and RTDNA begins in earnest today (there were some workshops on Wednesday, but the conference truly begins today).

If you’re interested in today’s discussions, you can follow the Twitter hashtag #EIJ19, and/or follow along my experiences at @edonaldmedia.

Now for your part! Yes, you, even if you aren’t here in San Antonio. If you are a dues-paying member of the Society of Professional Journalists, you will receive a ballot by the end of the day that gives you the opportunity to vote on SPJ leadership.

But Madam President, I don’t know anything about SPJ’s issues! you cry. Never fear. The SPJ national board is meeting this morning, which is being recorded and livestreamed here. The opening business session will take place later today as well, and likewise will be recorded and livestreamed at the link.

It’s been a tumultuous year for the organization, with the unexpected departure of the executive director after less than a year, controversy among the leadership, and an ongoing disagreement between SPJ and NAHJ on accepting Fox News as a co-sponsor of the conference. There will be votes at the final business session on Saturday that reflect some of these controversies, and I will be voting on your behalf as your delegate. Somehow we are supposed to advise how we want SPJ to move forward, and I want to properly represent your thoughts and concerns. So please feel free to contact me directly via social media or elizabethdonald@aol.com, and offer your opinions.

And please, vote in the election. But wait, didn’t you say you’ll be voting as our delegate? Indeed. At SPJ, the resolutions and decisions are voted by the delegates… but SPJ leadership is determined by general vote of the membership. You pick the president and board of directors; we vote on the rest.

The candidates will give their stump speeches at today’s opening session, so click this link to hear them speak. By 6:30 p.m. you should receive an email with a link to your specific ballot. The winners will be announced on Saturday. Questions? Problems? Here is Election Central, and there is a hotline for problems.

Warning! If you are a member of St. Louis Pro, but you live and/or work on the Illinois side, you may receive the wrong ballot. Illinois is in Region 5; Missouri is in Region 7, but we are grandfathered in to St. Louis Pro because it doesn’t make sense to be members of the Chicago Headline Club if you live in the metro-east. If you receive a Region 5 ballot, you need to contact the hotline right away to get it corrected in time to vote appropriately.

Historically, turnout has been utterly abysmal. Let’s show them that St. Louis Pro cares! Watch this space and Twitter for more updates as the conference continues. And thanks for being part of SPJ!

— St. Louis Pro president Elizabeth Donald

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