SPJ Florida board representatives receive the Chapter of the Year award at EIJ17 in Anaheim, California with SPJ National Past President Lynn Walsh, far right.

The Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists won the coveted “Chapter of the Year” award for the second year in a row and for the fourth time in eight years.

“I love this award because it shows how amazing this board is at creating and continuing effective programs and events to educate journalists, both old and new,” said Dori Zinn, who served two terms as president during the time that the chapter won back-to-back awards. “Thanks to the hardworking leaders for making journalism better.”

The national award highlighted the last year’s standout programs, including Muslimedia and the Fake News Game Show. Muslimedia — an interactive panel with Islamic leaders and journalists — aimed to educate journalists about the Muslim community so they can better cover it. The chapter also gave away five $200 micro grants to chapters across the country to host their own versions of Muslimedia.

The Fake News Game Show — a trivia-style game where teams of two to four people tried to decipher fake news — was a game that not only educated journalists, but the public at large. The first game show had teams of non-journalists participate, too.

Zinn, who has served on the board all four times the chapter has won the award, praised the members throughout the years for setting the standards of great journalism programs.

“Because of the amazing job that past boards have done, I have really high standards,” she said. “I’m happy that we were able to achieve great things that were recognized nationally two years in a row and four times in eight years.”

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