East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists

September 17, 2008

Thanks for a great year

Filed under: 1 — etspj @ 2:43 pm

My one-year term as
ETSPJ president ended
July 31, and I want to
thank everybody for
a great year. I have
developed friendships
with many of you, and I
appreciate your support
and encouragement. I
have been honored to serve you.
I am confident we will have another great
year this year. The ETSPJ board has some
incredibly hard-working volunteers, and
I think they will continue to help to make
our chapter the most active in the region.
Our new president, Mia Rhodarmer, has
already shown that she is a dedicated,
well-organized leader. And the ETSPJ
board has some new members who, I am
certain, will bring a lot of new ideas and
enthusiasm.
In the meantime, I will continue to serve
on the ETSPJ board, and I have also been
asked to lead the national SPJ Membership
Committee. I’ll try to let you know
how that goes.
Looking back, here’s a quick recap of
what the East Tennessee SPJ chapter did
last year:
•Continued to grow, recruiting new
members and maintaining a roughly 50
percent increase in our membership,
compared to two years ago;
•Promoted SPJ’s national high school
essay contest and judged local entries;
•Offered a freedom of information workshop
at the University of Tennessee and
Here’s to a great new year
an FOI panel at the regional conference
in New Orleans;
•Held a joint ethics panel with public
relations professionals and organized
workshops on newsroom leadership and
shooting videos for the Web;
•Chatted with legislators during our annual
legislative luncheon and talked online
with former SPJ president Christine Tatum
during our Welcome Back Picnic at UT;
•Recognized outstanding journalism at
the Golden Press Cards awards ceremony,
which featured current SPJ President Clint
Brewer;
•Sold 375 tickets to the Front Page Follies,
our big annual scholarship fund-raiser,
and brought in more than $18,000 in the
auctions; and
•Set up a new Web site and enjoyed a
winter holiday party.
I have written up this information in the
annual report I submitted to the national
SPJ staff in May, and I will be happy to
forward you a copy if you would like to
read it. Just let me know.
Please also feel free to tell the ETSPJ
board if you have ideas for programs or
other events that you would like us to offer.
I think I speak for the board when I say that
we would like to make our programming
as practical as possible.
Finally, I encourage you to attend at least
some of our events. Doing so will make
your investment in SPJ even more valuable
because you will have the opportunity
to learn more about your craft as well as
have the chance to meet or “hang out” with
your peers in the region. With your help,
the East Tennessee SPJ chapter can have
another great year.
John Huotari is the city hall reporter at
The Oak Ridger. One can reach him by
phone at (865) 220-5533 or by e-mail, john.huotari@oakridger.com.

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