The Society of Professional Journalists – Arkansas Pro annual Membership Meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, July 17. During the meeting, we will elect the 2020 board of directors. We will also hear from local reporters about their experiences covering the protests against racial injustice in Little Rock. Our keynote speakers will be Alexis Wainright of KARK and Fox 16 and Paige Cushman and Shelby Rose of KATV.
Board candidates for the 2020-2021 term include Sarah DeClerk of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (president); Steven Listopad of Henderson State University (vice president); Rob Moritz of the University of Central Arkansas (treasurer); Lauren McCabe, who recently graduated from UCA (secretary); Jennifer Ellis of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Sonny Albarado, who recently retired from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Sarah Campbell-Miller of Arkansas Business; Andrew DeMillo of The Associated Press; Wendy Miller of The Trucker; Brittany Reese of KATV Channel 7; and Ronak Patel, a student journalist at UCA.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Email chapter president Sarah DeClerk at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the event.
Judges have chosen the finalists for the 2020 Diamond Journalism Awards, a regional competition sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering states.
Winners of the Diamond Journalist of the Year, the Outstanding New Journalist , and the Robert McCord FOI Award will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on June 30. More details coming soon.
Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Gavin Lesnick and Amanda Claire Curcio
Editorials (daily newspapers)
David Barham, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Editorials (non-daily newspapers)
Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, Richmond (MO) News
Johnny Carrol Sain and Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR
Columns (daily newspapers)
Kelly Brant, Rex Nelson, John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Columns (non-daily newspapers)
Anthony Mariani, Fort Worth (TX) Weekly, Rick Kron, The Leader, Jacksonville, AR; Donna Ladd, Jackson (MS) Free Press
Johnny Carrol Sain and Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR; Dustin Jayroe, Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock
News (daily newspapers)
Linda Satter, Clara Turnage, Hammersly, Eric Besson, Michael R. Wickline, Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
News (non-daily newspapers)
Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Arkansas Catholic; Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Ashton Pittman, Jackson (MS) Free Press
Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for SAVVYKids Magazine, Little Rock; Kimsey Crocker, The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City; Tyler Hale, Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock
Feature (daily newspapers)
Bill Bowden, Sarah DeClerk, Celia Storey, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Feature (non-daily newspapers)
Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for The Daily Record, Little Rock; Rick Kron, The Leader, Jacksonville, AR; Danny Wicentowski, Riverfront Times, St. Louis
Bret Schulte, Wilson Quarterly, Washington, D.C.; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for AY Magazine, Little Rock
Investigative Reporting (daily newspapers)
Amanda Claire Curcio, Eric Besson, Lisa Hammersly, Ginny Monk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Investigative Reporting (non-daily newspapers)
Scott Loftis, Carroll County Newspapers, Berryville, AR; Danny Wicentowski, Riverfront Times, St. Louis; Ashton Pittman, Jackson (MS) Free Press
Sports (daily newspapers)
Trenton Daeschner, Bob Holt, Tom Murphy, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Sports (non-daily newspapers)
Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Arkansas Catholic, Little Rock; Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Mark Carter, Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Do South Magazine, Fort Smith, AR; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for 501 Life Magazine, Conway, AR
Politics (daily newspapers)
Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press; Frank Lockwood, Hunter Field, John Moritz, Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Politics (non-daily newspapers)
Ashton Pittman, Jackson (MS) Free Press
Mark Carter, Arkansas Money & Politics; Staff, The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City; Nathan Poppe, The Curbside Chronicle
Arts & Culture (daily lnewspapers)
Eric Harrison, Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arts & Culture (non-daily newspapers)
Aliyah Veal, Jackson (MS) Free Press; Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arts & Culture (magazines)
Nathan Poppe, The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City; Johnny Carrol Sain, Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for Do South Magazine, Fort Smith, AR
Health (daily newspapers)
Sarah DeClerk, Cody Graves, Lisa Hammersly, Ginny Monk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Health (non-daily newspapers)
Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, Richmond (MO) News; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for The Daily Record, Little Rock; Ashton Pittman, Jackson (MS) Free Press
Dustin Jayroe, Lisa Fischer, AY Magazine, Little Rock; Dwain Hebda, YA!MULE WORDSMITHS for SAVVYKids Magazine, Little Rock
STEM (non-daily newspapers)
Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Tyler Hale, Arkansas Money & Politics, Little Rock
Chris Zimmerman, ABOUT the River Valley Magazine, Russellville, AR; Rebecca Robertson, AY Magazine, Little Rock
The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will hold its annual board election at its June membership mixer. Want to get involved? Consider running for a seat.
The Arkansas SPJ Board of Directors has 11 seats that are up for election each year, including executive officers: president, vice president, treasurer and secretary.
Check out the following duties and responsibilities of board members and consider running for the board or an officer position. Send a photo and a brief bio that tells why you want to serve as an SPJ leader, your history with SPJ and what you will bring to the group, including any ideas you have for the coming year, to Arkansas SPJ President Sarah DeClerk email@example.com by Friday, June 12.
A list of candidates and their bios will be posted 30 days prior to the election and emailed to our membership. Voting will take place at the annual meeting (time/date/location to be decided) and via email for those who can’t attend.
Don’t want to be a board member? Get involved in one of our committees.
ARKANSAS PRO CHAPTER BOARD Duties and Responsibilities To ensure the health of the Society of Professional Journalists Arkansas Pro Chapter, the members of the Board of Directors must be current on national dues and be accountable for the following duties and responsibilities:
Attendance The Board of Directors meets monthly, and sometimes calls special meetings via phone or email. Board members must attend a minimum of nine monthly meetings during their July-to-June term of office, but strive to make it to all meetings or phone in. Absence from three consecutive meetings, or four or more monthly meetings during their term, will result in the appointment of a new director to the position.
Participation Board members must actively participate in at least one of the following chapter committees: Freedom of Information Act, Programing, Contests, Membership and Marketing, or other special committee designated by the president. Active participation may include planning at least one event in a year, advancement of the FOIA through lobbying, contributions to the chapter’s website, newsletter or social media campaigns, or other efforts determined by the board.
Learn what it takes to make it in the freelance game from two pros whose livelihoods depend on it at 6 p.m. March 11 at Damgoode Pies in the River Market.
Erica Sweeney is a full-time freelance writer based in Little Rock. She previously worked in local media, but now solely writes for national media outlets, including The New York Times, HuffPost, Parade, Realtor.com, Fast Company and lots more. She doesn’t believe there’s one special recipe for a successful freelance career, but enjoys sharing what she’s learned along the way, including finding gigs, pitching stories, understanding rates and embodying traits that make the freelance lifestyle work.
Dwain Hebda is a freelance journalist, editor and president of Little Rock-based editorial services company Ya!Mule Wordsmiths. His work appears in approximately 35 local publications in three states, as well as a growing number of corporate clients including advertising firms, Main Street banks, University of Arkansas System eVersity and the Arkansas State Fair. Nebraskan by birth, Southern by the grace of God,
he and his wife shower their affection on their four grown children and three spoiled dogs.
Sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, the Diamond Journalism Awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals, including freelancers, and students regardless of format.
The Diamond Journalism Awards honor journalism excellence in Arkansas (the Diamond State) and bordering media markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee.
Eligible work must have been published or broadcast between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019. Entries may be submitted any time after February 18, 2020. Entry deadline is 11 PM CDT, March 20, 2020. Enter online via the Better BNC Media Awards platform, https://betternewspapercontest.com/
Attention professional and student journalists in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas:
The 2020 Diamond Journalism Awards entry period is underway.
Sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Diamond Journalism Awards is open to any professional or student journalist, including freelancers, working in Arkansas and bordering states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee).
Eligible work must have been published or broadcast between Jan. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2019.
Society of Professional Journalists — Arkansas Pro Chapter
Instructions for scholarship application
Application Deadline is April 1, 2020
Applications will be reviewed after all the necessary documents have been received. Only those applications and supporting materials emailed or postmarked by the April 1, 2020, deadline will be considered.
Besides the application, you must submit:
1. An essay about your career aspirations and any personal information deemed relevant
(500-word maximum) to demonstrate your writing ability.
2. Two letters of reference, one from a person familiar with your abilities.
3. A transcript of college grades through the Fall 2019 semester.
4. Three examples of your work and any other relevant information.
Please note: All application information will be held in strict confidence. Applications are destroyed after a decision is reached and announced.
Scholarships will be given only to a sophomore, junior, or senior attending
an Arkansas college or university during the 2020-21 school year. An applicant must be
majoring or minoring in a journalism, public relations, or an associated communications emphasis. Each scholarship will be awarded to a full-time student on the basis of need,
academic achievement, and distinguished ability in media-related fields.
Visit tinyurl.com/spjscholarship to submit your application online or email this Application and accompanying materials to firstname.lastname@example.org or send the materials by mail, no later than April 1, 2020, to:
School of Mass Communication
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
2801 South University Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72204