Former WOUB Public Media student and Ohio University graduate Taylor Mirfendereski has been appointed to the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Board of Directors. Mirfendereski, who graduated from the Honor’s Tutorial College with a journalism degree, is now an investigative/special projects reporter at KING 5 News in Seattle, Washington. She specializes in multimedia reporting and in-depth digital projects.
“I am honored to join the SPJ Board of Directors because this organization plays a critical role in helping journalists fight for access to information under the First Amendment. In today’s political climate, SPJ has more responsibility than ever to educate the public on the essential work that journalists do to hold powerful people accountable and create change in our society,” said Mirfendereski. “It was a no-brainer to accept the appointment because this organization has helped me so much in my career, and I really believe in the mission.”
SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. When Mirfendereski was a student at Ohio University, she served two terms as a student representative on the national SPJ board and led the Ohio University chapter. She currently serves as a board member for SPJ’s Western Washington Pro Chapter.
“I want to use this platform to offer SPJ members more tangible tools and resources that will make them better journalists in the field,” Mirfendereski said.
Mirfendereski’s reporting has exposed many wrongs, including the waste of taxpayer dollars, the mistreatment of wounded soldiers, the sex trafficking of American women and children and the violation of special education laws. Her work has garnered some of the country’s top journalism awards, including a Peabody award, two National Edward R. Murrow awards, two Emmy awards and a National Mark of Excellence award. The Investigative Reporters and Editors recognized Taylor’s reporting as a finalist in the 2019 awards. In 2018, Taylor was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Livingston Award, a national honor bestowed on journalists under 35. She was also named a Kiplinger Fellow in 2018.
“When I was in college at Ohio University and working at WOUB, there were endless opportunities to be in leadership roles,” said Mirfendereski. “Being involved so early in those kinds of roles propelled me into this situation. Ohio University gave me the opportunity to find out about these journalism groups and be involved.”