Communications faculty recognized by Society of Professional Journalists
For their efforts organizing the SPJ Region 2 conference, Associate Professor Anthony Hatcher and Director of Student Media Colin Donohue were named the organization's Members of the Month.
Anthony Hatcher, associate professor of communications, and Colin Donohue, director of student media and instructor in communications, were named the Society of Professional Journalists’ Members of the Month for April and May.
The two were honored in large part because they co-organized the SPJ Region 2 conference, which was held April 7-8 at Elon University. The gathering featured professional journalists, students, faculty and staff from throughout the region, which comprises North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. This year marked the second time Elon has hosted the regional event.
“Organizing the regional conference has twice been a joy because of the educational opportunities we’ve been able to provide to people throughout our region,” Donohue said. “Hosting the conference also strengthens our chapter. We’re able to raise funds and generate excitement about SPJ, which allows us to offer more networking, programming and travel opportunities to our students. We’re in for an exciting next couple of years.”
The mix of offerings at the conference included sessions on social media, mobile reporting apps, Western media’s representation of Muslims, women multimedia journalists and more. Additionally, an opening panel discussed the proliferation of fake news, which Hatcher moderated.
“Elon’s SPJ chapter was fortunate to have strong student leadership in 2016-2017,” said Hatcher, who has advised Elon’s chapter since 2003. “Despite their intense involvement with student media, or perhaps because of it, some of our top students became SPJ leaders this year.”
SPJ Region 2 Director Andy Schotz nominated Hatcher and Donohue for the award and in his letter noted the difficulty of attracting people to a conference in the region’s southernmost state.
“With just a few tips and guidelines, they dove in and put together a superb conference,” Schotz wrote. “I don't remember us having four choices of sessions in certain time slots, but this year's conference did, and all were excellent. There was a great balance of SPJ core priorities of FOI, diversity and ethics.
“Throughout the year, Colin and Anthony advise a strong Elon University SPJ chapter, helping SPJ flourish in North Carolina.”