Arkansas Pro Chapter wins SPJ Circle of Excellence Award


The Arkansas Pro Chapter has been named a Circle of Excellence Award winner for a small chapter with fewer than 75 members in the area of diversity, the Society of Professional Journalists announced Monday.

Circle of Excellence Awards recognize chapters that perform outstanding work in the areas of campus relations, professional development, diversity, chapter communications and First Amendment/Freedom of Information Act.

In September 2016, our chapter was a partner in presenting a #BlackLivesMatter in the Media panel featuring local and regional activists such as Rae Nelson, Ashley Yates and Shaun King. This panel created a dialogue on #BlackLivesMatter news coverage and steps to better approach reporting on the movement.

In March 2017, during Women’s History Month, the chapter held a Women in the Media panel exploring the experiences of female Arkansan journalists who have print, radio and broadcast backgrounds. Panelists included Gwen Mortiz, Raven Richard, Jill Bleed and Ibby Captuo.

The Arkansas Pro Chapter also worked in partnership with the Islamic Center of Little Rock to hold a Journalism & Islam: Halal Food for Thought discussion, which featured an honest exchange of questions, ideas and thoughts on how Muslims are portrayed in the media.

Candidates for Circle of Excellence Awards are chosen based on their annual reports. Check out our 2016-2017 report of what we’ve accomplished here.

Large Circle of Excellence Awards are given to chapters with more than 75 members, and Small Circle of Excellence Award winners have fewer than 75 members. The Arkansas Pro Chapter is one of eight chapters to be awarded this year.

For more information on this year’s Circle of Excellence Awards, visit here.

Panel Discussion: The FOI and the 2013 General Assembly

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the SPJ, the Arkansas Press Women, and the Arkansas Press Association will host a panel discussion from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, March 15, on the Freedom of Information Act and how it is being impacted by legislation in the 2013 General Assembly, which is currently underway.

Panelists are state Sen. Eddie Joe Williams of Cabot, state Sen. David Johnson of Little Rock, APA Executive Director Tom Larimer, and Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities President and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Rex Nelson. The moderator will be Eric Francis, president of the Arkansas Pro chapter.

The discussion will focus on:
HB 1300 — Public Water System Security and its Sunshine Clause (Rep. Collins)
HB 1327 — School Safety (Rep. Wright)
SB 131 — Concealed Weapons (Sen. Holland)
SB 225 — Minors involved in vehicle accidents (Sen. Williams)

The discussion will be held in the conference room of the Arkansas Press Association and lunch will be provided. Please join us for this important panel about a topic that impacts not only journalists, but all Arkansans.

Please RSVP to organizer Sarah Morris if you are coming so we know how many lunches to order.

Sarah Morris
(870) 673-8533
(870) 926-7127