If you have any questions or comments, please contact MU SPJ.
Founded in 1909 as Sigma
Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists is the
nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization.
SPJ is a not-for-profit organization of 13,500 journalists
dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism;
stimulating high standards of ethical behavior; and
perpetuating a free press.
The Society of
Professional Journalists is dedicated to the perpetuation of a
free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty.
To ensure that
the concept of self-government outlined by the U.S.
Constitution remains a reality into future centuries, the
American people must be well informed in order to make
decisions regarding their lives, and their local and national
It is the role of
journalists to provide this information in an accurate,
comprehensive, timely and understandable manner.
It is the mission
of the Society of Professional Journalists:
- To promote this flow of
- To maintain constant
vigilance in protection of the First Amendment guarantees of
freedom of speech and of the press.
- To stimulate high standards
and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism.
- To foster excellence among
- To inspire successive
generations of talented individuals to become dedicated
- To encourage diversity in
- To be the pre-eminent,
broad-based membership organization for journalists.
- To encourage a climate in
which journalism can be practiced freely
Reasons to join:
- When you read Quill
Magazine, the Society of Professional Journalists’ national
magazine, you have your finger on the pulse of American
journalism — its challenges, opportunities and
responsibilities. For more than 80 years, Quill has been a
respected and sought-after resource for journalists,
industry leaders, students and educators on issues central
- Professional development
has been a long-time cornerstone of the Society's mission.
SPJ programs the SPJ National Convention, specialized
workshops, regional conferences, local chapter meetings and
the Broadcasting Taishoff Seminar provide members with an
opportunity to improve their professional skills and to
facilitate career development.
- The national Sigma Delta
Chi Awards have honored the best in journalism for more than
80 years. The prestigious bronze medallions are presented
annually at the Society’s national convention.
- The Society’s Foundation
annually presents the $40,000 Pulliam Fellowship for
Editorial Writers. The fellowship allows writers to increase
their understanding of a particular subject so they can
better serve the public.
- The Society’s Mark of
Excellence Awards recognize outstanding college journalists
at the regional and national levels. The national winners
are honored at the Society’s National Convention.
- The Pulliam/Kilgore First
Amendment and Freedom of Information Internships are paid
internships that offer students the opportunity to study,
research and write about Freedom of Information issues.
- The Society’s Freedom of
Information Committee coordinates all areas encompassed by
our Freedom of Information initiatives, including SPJ’s
Legal Defense Fund efforts, the FOI Alert, Project Sunshine
and working closely with our legal counsel in the nation’s
capital. The committee led the fight to ensure that the
Iran/Contra report was made public. Without SPJ’s efforts,
the results of seven years and $35 million in taxpayer money
still would be secret. Testimony before Congress and amicus
briefs work to keep the press unfettered in a world of
technological change. It’s no wonder reporters, editors and
news directors turn to the Society for advice, assistance
- SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund
wages court battles across the country to secure First
Amendment rights. The fund also supports state Freedom of
Information hotlines, computer bulletin boards and
organizations that resolve First Amendment conflicts before
they require costly litigation. When a reporter or news
organization is faced with a legal battle, SPJ’s Legal
Defense Fund is ready to help. The First Amendment
guarantees Freedom of the Press — SPJ is making sure that
our leaders live up to that legacy.
- Project Sunshine is the
Society’s grass-roots campaign to improve the ability of
journalists and the public to obtain access to government
records and proceedings and to brighten the forecast for
open government in the years ahead. The program surveys and
monitors newsrooms across the country, publishes guidelines
and legal advice for sunshine legislation and provides
educational workshops and seminars.