SPJ Florida Wins Chapter of the Year in a Three-Way Tie at Excellence in Journalism 2019
For the fifth time in a decade, SPJ Florida was awarded Large Chapter of the Year at the Excellence in Journalism national convention.
The chapter shared the honor with the Chicago Headline Club and the Press Club of Long Island. According to national, the board took the “unusual” step of awarding three chapters because “all had an excellent year and were worth recognizing for their effective and innovative programming.”
“The Florida Pro Chapter stood out for its creativity and understanding of how to meaningfully connect with people,” said outgoing SPJ National President Alex Tarquinio. “It took to the road with its Fake News Game Show, teaching non-journalists how news is gathered and presented. Another clever activity was the chapter’s version of speed Scrabble, F***k Words With Friends, showing what it’s like to think on a tight deadline.”
The chapter was also recognized for its strong relationships with student journalists and organizations, the Sunshine Seminars with the Florida First Amendment Foundation, and a mock press conference with MBA students at the University of Miami.
The winners were announced on Thursday, Sept. 5 in San Antonio, Texas. The national board reviews each SPJ chapter’s end-of-the-year report to choose both small and large chapters of the year, based on the size of their membership.
Immediate Past President Christiana Lilly was present to accept the award on behalf of the chapter. Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Dorian skirting the coast of Florida, President Emily Bloch and Vice President Cassidy Alexander were unable to attend.