The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists meets monthly for programs and networking in central Arkansas. Membership is available to all professional journalists in good standing with the national Society of Professional Journalists.
From 1975-1976, chapter member Robert “Bob” McCord served as the national president of SPJ following tours as executive editor of the Arkansas Democrat and associate editor of the Arkansas Gazette. From 2012-2013, board member Sonny Albarado served as SPJ’s national president.
The Arkansas Pro chapter is a member of SPJ’s Region 12. Previous regional directors from the chapter include Meredith Oakley of the Arkansas Democrat (1987-1991), Keith Inman of Mountain View Broadcasting in Batesville (1995-1997), and Sonny Albarado of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (2006-2010).
According to the SPJ publication “100,” the chapter received Outstanding Professional Chapter recognition for a small chapter (i.e. less than 75 members) in 2002. The Northwest Arkansas chapter received similar recognition in 2006. The publication “100″ also notes SPJ marked Little Rock as a National Historic Site in 1966 for John N. Heiskell and the Arkansas Gazette, what was the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi until its demise in 1991.