It appears the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) will not be changing its name to Society for Professional Journalism.
Some at SPJ wanted to change the focus of the organization to upholding and advocating the principles of professional journalism rather than the people performing it, but the SPJ Name Change Task Force found that most SPJ members “didn’t see an urgent need to change the name,” says SPJ president David Cuillier.
The full SPJ board will discuss the 10-member task force’s findings in April.
“I can’t predict the actions of the board or delegates,” Cuillier writes in an email, “but if I were to place a bet, I suspect the name will stay the same: Society of Professional Journalists.”
What excites me the most about this is that the task force has asked to continue its work, except to figure out how SPJ can be more relevant to younger journalists. They are gathering a group of under-30 journalists to determine what SPJ can do to better serve them and the future of journalism. They plan to provide some specific, achievable recommendations by this summer.
They call themselves the Future of SPJ Task Force. It’s really about the future of journalism. And really, this is what the whole name-change discussion has been about. It’s about what we can all do to strengthen journalism for generations to come.
* Read the Name Change Task Force’s report, which starts on page 18 (spj.org)
* “Someday SPJ will change its name and widen its reach” (spjnetwork.org)
* Earlier: Society of Professional Journalists considers changing its name to Society for Professional Journalism (jimromenesko.com)
* Earlier: SPJ president says “we are the society for journalism” (spj.org)