This week, our chapter won the most coveted team award in the society: Chapter of the Year. We have now won this award three times in eight years. No other chapter has ever done this.*
Not only are we now a three-time award-winning chapter, we are officially the only chapter in Florida. As two others in the state have become relatively stagnant over the years, national SPJ has decided to officially close their operations. But that doesn’t mean those members are left out in the cold (or hot, considering it’s Florida, you guys).
Thanks to past president Jason Parsley’s no journalist left behind initiative, Florida Pro covers any territory that is not covered by another chapter. In this case, it is the entire Sunshine State. Now, many under-represented journalists can have a chapter affiliation without any extra cost: Florida Pro doesn’t charge chapter dues.
If you’re currently an SPJ member in Florida and were either part of the now defunct Mid-Florida or North Florida chapters — or not even part of any chapter at all! — please contact our membership chair, Jason Parsley, to get added to our roster.
Over the coming weeks, you may hear from Jason himself, letting you know about the benefits of joining SPJ and what our chapter has done to help journalists from across the state, which has helped us win the coveted Chapter of the Year award three times in a decade. But really, I’d like to know: what can SPJ Florida do for you?
We didn’t win this award without the unequivocal hard work and dedication of officers, board members, and chapter members. Oftentimes, our award-winning programs and events come about because someone said, I want this and I think it’ll help other journalists be better. Do you have a strong need or desire for something to happen in your area? We want to help. We’ll give you cash and guidance to get your program off the ground. Florida is big, but that really won’t stop us.
There’s no limit to how much you can be involved in SPJ Florida. You can join the board, a chapter committee and even our Slack channel — I’ll invite anyone to our group that wants to join! Your voice matters. Help me help you. What can we do to make journalism better?
*I think, but no one will officially tell me, so I say yes until someone says no.