A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

Geimann takes Wells Key

By Quill

The Society of Professional Journalists honored Steve Geimann with its highest honor, the Wells Memorial Key. Geimann, telecom and media policy editor at Bloomberg News in Washington, D.C., accepted the award at the 2001 President’s Installation Banquet. The Wells Memorial Key recognizes meritorious service to the Society and the journalism profession. “Steve Geimann is simply one of the most dedicated SPJ members I’ve had the privilege of being associated with,” said outgoing SPJ President Ray Marcano, an assistant managing editor at the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News. “He’s always willing to do what he can for the causes that matter so much to us. His generosity at LDF banquets is legendary. His overall service has been exemplary, and I’m proud to be able to give to one of my contemporaries the Society’s highest honor.” Geimann is a member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation board of directors, a past SPJ national president (1996-97) and former chairman of the national SPJ Ethics Committee. He serves as SPJ’s representative on the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, which reviews

and evaluates journalism and public relations curriculum at more than 100 universities. While serving on the SPJ board of directors, Geimann used his spare time to create SPJ PressNotes – a daily e-mail compilation of journalism headlines from around the world. The report has since become institutionalized through a funded internship, and it is a popular service provided by the Society. Geimann also led a three-year task force created by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication to consider changes in technology and the effect on journalism and other communications professions. The New York City native and Syracuse University graduate has been a reporter, editor, manager and news executive for more than 25 years, working in newspapers, broadcasting, a trade publication and two wire services. His career includes 11 years at United Press International, five years as senior editor at Communications Daily, eight years as a reporter at Gannett Co., Inc.’s newspapers in Binghamton, N.Y., and work for several radio stations in Binghamton and Syracuse. Carol Sandler, Geimann’s wife, and Lucy Dalglish, 1995 Wells Key recipient and former chair of SPJ’s Freedom of Information Committee, shared stories of Geimann’s early journalism experiences. They said that as a child, Geimann was anxious to get into broadcasting. In fact, he was known to take a paper towel holder and pretend it was a microphone as he practiced reading the news. And his neighbors said they trusted his weather forecasts more than anyone else’s. In college, Geimann roomed with another aspiring journalist – sportscaster Bob Costas. SPJ members praised Geimann’s volunteer spirit. “When you need 100 percent commitment to an SPJ task, Steve will always give 150 percent,” said Reginald Stuart, past SPJ national president and the 1992 Wells Memorial Key recipient. “His plate is always filled with volunteer work to do on behalf of fellow journalists, whether the task is small and behind the scenes or large and front and center.”