SPJ Fort Worth Board members express appreciation and condolences to long-time member John Dycus

The board would like to express our love and our appreciation for all that our long-time member John Dycus has done and  continues to do to support us, journalists and journalism.

We are saddened by the death of John’s mother, Jennie, who died earlier this week, and we would like to extend our condolences and support to him during this time of grief.

Without John Dycus’ dedication to the Fort Worth Chapter of SPJ, this chapter would not be the strong, active chapter that makes a difference to professionals and students today.

His gracious and talented mother Jennie supported him in all his endeavors, and she was admired and loved closeup and from a far by many of John’s colleagues, their family and friends.  She will be missed by so many, especially her son, John, who treasured her greatly.

With love and admiration,

President Yamil Berard

Vice President for Awards & Recognition  Kim Pewitt-Jones

Vice President for Finance/Immediate Past President Britney Tabor Johnson

Vice President for Membership  Rebecca Aguilar

Vice President for Programs/President-Elect Beth Francesco

Vice President for Scholarships Tom Williams

Directors:  Sarah Angle, Max Baker, Joy Donovan Brandon, Jean Marie Brown, Gayle Reaves-King and Juan Antonio Ramos

Secretary/Treasurer Kay Pirtle



Register to attend the SPJ Region 8 Conference

Join us for the SPJ Region 8 Conference March 18-19 at the Historic Hilton Hotel in downtown Fort Worth. This year’s event will feature Jim Angle, former FOX, CNN, ABC and NPR news broadcaster, and Frank LoMonte, Student Press Law Center executive director.

Sessions will explore the business of freelancing, diversity, social media, investigative reporting, data gathering and press rights.
Read more

SPJFW President predicts great year for chapter

On behalf of the SPJFW Pro Chapter Board of Directors, I welcome you to a “New Year” of journalistic adventure and excellence. Y2016 is expected to be chocked-full of opportunities for students and media professionals to learn, teach and engage with one another about the changing face of our profession.

Check out our working calendar:
— On Feb. 6, SPJFW Pro is expected to host the annual Mass Media Career Conference. The event is an opportunity for students and young professionals to receive one-on-one training and advice from seasoned media practitioners. More information will be available soon!

Read more

FW SPJ scholarship applications and First Amendment Award entries are being accepted


The Fort Worth Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is accepting scholarships applications and entries for its First Amendment Award.

The First Amendment Awards recognize work that defends First Amendment freedoms and furthers the public’s right to know how governments and businesses affect their lives.  SPJ membership not required to enter.

Winners will be recognized April 22, 2016, during The First Amendment Awards and Scholarship Dinner at Cacharel Restaurant in Arlington, Texas.


College students studying journalism at Texas colleges or universities or students studying out-of-state who are from Texas are encouraged to apply for a Texas Gridiron Scholarship, which range from $500 to $3,000. Applications must be received no later than Jan. 31. Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.25.

SPJ President Paul Fletcher on First Amendment Rights

Only response to free-speech bullies: some muscle

In the cold, clear light of a second-day story, the words are still chilling:

“Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here!”

As most journalists in America now know, the woman who made that statement was Melissa Click, a communications professor at the University of Missouri, caught on a video that went viral.

Read more

SPJ encourages members to stop S. 754

Dear SPJ Member,

SPJ joins the American Society of News Editors in asking its members to contact their senators – namely U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) — and ask them to vote “No” on S.754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. We are concerned the impact this legislation will have on transparency.

Below is an explanation of the bill, and its impact on FOIA and transparency, from the ASNE blog.

“CISA will add a new FOIA exemption (the first exemption since the bill was originally enacted). All ‘information shared with or provided to the Federal Government pursuant to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015’ is exempt from disclosure under FOIA. This is true regardless of whether the information actually relates to a cybersecurity threat. It’s a loophole that will allow the federal government to withhold just about any and all information it receives from private sector topics on any subject, especially because private companies enjoy broad immunity when sharing this information with the government. This creates a particular concern for news media in that a private company could share information it has regarding a reporter (such as email or phone contacts or even contents of communications) without fear of immunity and with the reporter and/or his or her employer having no knowledge that the information was shared. The public would not have any oversight role in these ‘cybersecurity’ efforts, either.” Read more

SPJ is against McKinney, Texas charging $79,000 for public record

INDIANAPOLIS— The Society of Professional Journalists is appalled that the city of McKinney, Texas, would charge more than $79,000 for public records requested by Gawker. SPJ stands with Gawker in its appeal, and encourages the city of McKinney to provide the information free of charge, or at least at a reasonable rate.
The request stems from a June 6 incident in which McKinney Police Officer Eric Casebolt pulled his gun on two unarmed teenagers at a neighborhood pool. Gawker reported on Monday that a few days after the incident, it submitted a public information request to the city asking to see Casebolt’s records and “any emails about his conduct sent or received by McKinney Police Department employees.”

Read more