The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) selected Ohio University as the Outstanding Campus Chapter for the fourth year in a row at its annual Excellence in Journalism Conference. The award honors chapters for their commitment to SPJ’s mission and to the journalism profession.
“Our students — year in and year out — demonstrate a commitment to SPJ that makes the school a great place to develop as a young journalist,” said Robert Stewart, director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
The OU SPJ chapter excelled in both quality and number of programs, continuing popular programs such as Grammar Smackdown, and introducing valuable new ones like a self-care workshop to help students cope with stress (including a therapy dog), a reverse press conference in which journalists and Public Relations practitioners traded roles and a program featuring two Native American journalists who work for Indian Country Today.
The chapter also looked in-depth at how current journalists handled ethics while covering the USA Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal and participated in a workshop on filing public records requests.
“It’s been amazing to watch the creativity and passion of our executive board and members,” said Maggie Campbell, president of the chapter during the 2018-19 academic year, for which the award was given. “I’m proud that we are able to bring this honor back to them and the journalism school.”
Ohio has won the award five of the past six years and nine years total. It is the most awarded campus chapter in SPJ’s history.
Founded in 1909, SPJ is the nation’s oldest and largest journalism organization. Its hallmarks are protecting the public’s right to an open government and training journalists to act ethically and respect diversity in the communities they cover.