National SPJ leaders chose the Minnesota Pro Chapter as the top chapter in the country for First Amendment and FOI contributions. Minnesota is one of five chapters the national journalist’s organization recognized in separate categories. In announcing the award, the committee made specific note of the state chapter’s efforts to educate and encourage local ethnic media outlets to improve their coverage of public officials through focused document research. A statement issued by the national group said such events “underscored the importance of journalists using FOI initiatives to strengthen the validity of published articles.”
“This is a great honor,” said Minnesota Pro Chapter President Nicole Garrison-Sprenger. “We put a lot of effort into reaching diverse populations to promote SPJ’s mission. We don’t do that for the awards but it’s gratifying to be recognized.” The award is one of several the Minnesota chapter has garnered in recent years, including the 2007 National Chapter of the Year.
The national Society salutes five chapters for their work each year in areas such as chapter communications, professional development and campus outreach.