August message from the SPJ Detroit President

Dear SPJ Detroit members,

These have been chaotic and trying times for all our members and we hope you are staying healthy and safe. Please know SPJ Detroit is continuing to protect and promote the rights of our local journalists. We have rescheduled our annual awards banquet for May 2021 and will be honoring our Lifetime Achievement award winners at that time. Stay tuned for exact dates and location.

Earlier this year SPJ Detroit participated with an amicus brief – – Bisio v The City of the Village of Clarkston. This decision was a major victory for access to public records under Michigan’s FOIA. SPJ- Detroit was proud to support this effort which ensures local government accountability and accessibility to journalists and citizens. SPJ Detroit joined the efforts of many press and media organizations. Our congratulations to Robin Luce-Herrmann who crusaded this fight.

In July, SPJ Detroit elected its new board of directors and welcomed four new members. They are:

Rob Davidek- News Director WWJ-AM,

Vincent Duffy-News Director Michigan Public Radio,

Ashley Woods Branch-Founder and CEO DETOUR Detroit.

Don Wyatt, VP News, Digital First Media and, Executive Editor Oakland Press.

We are very fortunate to have an incredible board representing print, broadcast and multimedia including board members from the Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press. See our website for the names of all our board members and their affiliations.

Our board is in the process of revamping our programming and membership committees and invite all our members to submit their ideas and input. If you want to participate with our committees, you can contact me directly or our committee chairs.

SPJ Detroit continues to award scholarships to student journalists and grants to many of our colleagues who have been furloughed or laid off.  For inquiries on our scholarships and grants please contact Marcia Hart at


One important note:  SPJ National is virtually conducting the “Excellence in Journalism Conference” on September 12th and 13th. They have planned a great line up of panels and speakers.

Registration is cheap- $45.00 for members. This is a great way to connect with all the current and pertinent nuisances of our industry, especially in these challenging times. Go to to register.


In closing, we miss seeing you. We regret we could not celebrate the very best of local journalism with our annual awards banquet. But we are still here, and we are planning many virtual programs to address and assist our local journalism community. On behalf of the board, we wish you safety and good health. Mostly, we thank you for the incredible work each of you have given to readers, listeners and viewers.

All the best,

Beth Konrad

President- SPJ Detroit

312-520-9876 c

313-600-2534 o

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