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Society of Professional Journalists, Virginia Pro Chapter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 14, 2014

Contact: Chapter VP Robyn Sidersky, 954-296-4407, or robyn.sidersky@gmail.com

BROWN TO RECEIVE 2013 GEORGE MASON AWARD

Richmond Times-Dispatch photojournalist Bob Brown has been selected as recipient of the 2014 George Mason Award, given by the Society of Professional Journalists, Virginia Pro Chapter.

The Mason award, established in 1964, is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions to Virginia journalism. It is named for the principal author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the forerunner of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.

Brown is known, among other things, as the dean of photographers covering the General Assembly, starting in 1970. He joined the Times-Dispatch in 1968, and except for a brief stint in Charlotte from 1979-80, has been at the newspaper ever since. He was named senior photographer in 1992.

He was voted Virginia Press Photographer of the Year three times, and he has won numerous national, regional and state first-place awards. In 2005, he was the first photojournalist inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame.

Brown is the author of two books, “Capitol Comics, a Humorous Look at the Virginia Legislature” (1984), and “Back Roads: People, Places, and Pie from Around Virginia” (2014), which he coauthored with Times-Dispatch columnist Bill Lohmann.

SPJVA will present the Mason award to Brown at its 51st George Mason Banquet on Sept.16 at the Capital Ale House in Richmond. The chapter and its Virginia SPJ,SDX Educational Foundation will also present two scholarships to Virginia college journalists. Tickets are $50 a person, which includes two drink tickets. There will be a silent auction benefiting the scholarship foundation.

For reservations and information, contact Robyn Sidersky at 954-296-4407 or robyn.sidersky@gmail.com.

 

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Thanks for your support this weekend as we hosted the Region 2 Spring Conference concurrently with the Virginia Press Association’s annual meeting in Norfolk. We had nearly 100 student and pro members in attendance and about 20 volunteer panelists, moderators and presenters. Students learned their places in the Mark of Excellence Awards contest, and everyone heard from Tumblr’s Media Evangelist, Mark Coatney.
 
On the heels of this major event, we have two upcoming programs to announce.
This Wednesday, April 24, learn how the SPJ Code of Ethics can be used as a weapon against you. SPJ Virginia President Paul Fletcher will discuss how misguided public officials, public relations officers and others are twisting the ethics code against working journalists. This program, co-hosted with the Virginia Commonwealth University student chapter, will begin at 7 p.m. in Temple Hall room 2219 at VCU’s School of Mass Communications in Richmond.

This Thursday, April 25, we’ll discuss diversity in today’s newsrooms with Irv Harrell, urban team leader for The Virginian-Pilot. This program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Pilot, 150 W. Brambleton Ave. in Norfolk. We hope to see you at these upcoming events!

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140 characters at a time, journalists are finding sources, uncovering story leads and breaking news. The Society of Professional Journalists, Virginia Pro Chapter is offering a free Twitter for Journalists workshop Thursday, Feb. 28 in Richmond.
Learn the ins and outs of using Twitter in your day-to-day reporting from Robyn Sidersky, city hall reporter(@fxbgcitybeat) for The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg. Bring your smartphone, laptop or tablet for hands-on help!
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Eighth and Main Building on Main Street in Richmond. Pizza will be provided by the chapter. Please RSVP to virginiaprospj@gmail.com or Tweet @SPJVA. See you there!

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The Virginia Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the Region 2 Spring Conference April 19-20 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott in Norfolk, Va. Registration with special early-bird pricing for pros and students is now open at http://2013spjregion2.eventbrite.com .

We will kick off the weekend with a cash bar reception just down the street from the hotel in on Friday night.

Saturday, plan on an event packed with compelling speakers, panels, workshops and networking opportunities. During sessions, panelists and presenters will address the pressing issues of journalism, including social media, data journalism, how to navigate jobs in the tough market and more. We will close out the day with a set of small-group workshops on topics such as mobile phone photography, coding for journalists and more.

We will recognize regional winners of the collegiate Mark of Excellence Awards during an included luncheon. Luncheon-only tickets for parents and supporters will be released closer to the event. Registrants of the Region 2 conference are also welcome to attend all non-meal events during the Virginia Press Association’s News Conference at the hotel Saturday.

If you or your organization are interested in taking part in a panel or workshop, learning about sponsorship opportunities or have other questions please contact Conference Co-Chairs Pat Kane and Robyn Sidersky by phone at (804) 986-6804 or e-mail at virginiaprospj at gmail.com

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Left to right, Julie Asher, Paul Fletcher, Caroline Cardwell and Brian Eckert read during a wreath-laying ceremony at the George Mason Memorial Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011.

The Society of Professional Journalists, Virginia Pro chapter, will hold its annual tribute to George Mason, founder and the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the model for the Bill of Rights, Dec. 16.

Honoring Mason around his birthday (Dec. 11) has become a tradition at SPJVA, and this year’s program has two parts:

WREATH-LAYING. At 11 a.m. we will hold a wreath-laying ceremony, including a public reading of the Virginia Declaration, at the beautiful George Mason Memorial in West Potomac Park, Washington, D.C. There is plenty of parking, and the walkway to the memorial is well-marked. Information about the memorial, including directions, can be found at http://www.nps.gov/gemm/index.htm

NPR COUNSEL’S TALK. At 2 p.m., Ashley Messenger, associate general counsel of National Public Radio and 1st Amendment expert, will speak at Gunston Hall, Mason’s historic plantation, 10709 Gunston Rd., Mason’s Neck, Va. (near Lorton). Gunston Hall information and directions can be found at http://www.gunstonhall.org.

In addition to the program, SPJ members may tour the preserved plantation house and grounds and shop for holiday gifts at Gunston Hall’s outstanding museum store. Admission will not be charged to SPJ members, although a $10 donation is recommended.

In between the wreath-laying in D.C. and the program at Gunston Hall, SPJVA members and guests will stop for lunch in the Lorton area, just off I-95.

Transportation from Richmond will be by carpool from (???), leaving at 8:30 a.m. sharp and returning around 6 p.m. All SPJ members and friends are invited to meet up with the Richmond group at the Mason Memorial.

Mason is sometimes called the “forgotten founder,” because he refused to vote for or sign the Constitution because it lacked a Bill of Rights. Mason’s call for abolishing slavery under the Constitution left him an outcast among Southern political leaders. The Virginia Pro chapter gives an annual award named for Mason to someone who has made a lasting contribution to journalism in the commonwealth.

For more information, please contact SPJVA President Paul Fletcher at paul.fletcher@valawyersmedia.com or 804-783-0770, x 14016.

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