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Student Journalist Organization Named Best in Four-State Region

The University of Memphis Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) was named the Outstanding Campus Chapter for its region at the SPJ’s annual Excellence in Journalism conference last month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Journalism Department Chairman David Arant accepted the award on behalf of the U of M chapter.

“We were honored to receive the award. I think it is recognition of the outstanding work by the journalism students at the U of M,” said Tom Hrach, faculty adviser for the chapter. “I would expect this is only the start of great things from our chapter.”

The four-state region includes 14 campus chapters in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Recognized for its work during the 2011-12 academic year, Chelsea Boozer Fall ’12 Bachelor of Art in Journalism graduate served as chapter president until December 2011. The current chapter president is Christopher Whitten, and the vice president is Shelia Guerrero.

During the past academic year, the chapter sponsored events that focused on career training, First Amendment principals, community service and the need for freedom of information. Highlights included the annual Freedom of Information Congress in March, which featured New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter, and a “Helmsman Through the Years” event in April, which highlighted the history of The Daily Helmsman.

The chapter also sponsored the Freedom of the Press panel discussion in November 2011, along with a career-training event featuring Kevin Slimp of the Newspaper Technology Institute in October 2011.

The Society of Professional Journalists is a nationwide organization dedicated to supporting the journalistic principals of free speech, ethics and public information.

For more information, contact Hrach at 901.678.4779.

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Last Updated: 3/11/13