Note: John Ensslin was the 2011-12 national SPJ president. His term ended during the 2012 Excellence in Journalism conference, Sept. 20-22. Dear Fellow SPJ Members, I want to tell you what an honor and a privilege it has been to serve as your president.
I’ve been a journalist for 34 years, and the learning curve in the past five years has been just as steep as it was for the first five. I’ve learned to tweet, blog and use social media to advance my writing and reporting.
We live in difficult times. Not a month goes by without fresh news of colleagues who have either lost their jobs or are left to deal with the harsh reality of a smaller newsroom operating on diminished resources. It’s distressing to read about copy editors being laid off.
A journalist friend who also is commissioner in a fantasy baseball league to which I belong recently sent an email to all the team owners who also are journalists. Does playing in a league that features modest fees and prize money constitute a form of sports betting?
Our SPJ colleagues in Colorado have produced a video that I’d like to bring to your attention. It’s a 60-second valentine to the power of journalism called “This I Know.” The video was born out of the frustration many of us felt after coming so tantalizing close to passage of a national shield law for journalists in late 2010.
The unsung heroes of our Society are the volunteers who log countless hours working on various national committees. As your new president, I’ve been blessed to inherit a very strong set of committees. I’ve added people and created some new ad-hoc committees, but for the most part, a fair number of folks agreed to continue on this year.