Greetings to all of our fabulous SCJ chapters!
It’s our hope that all of you are safe, healthy, and keeping busy during this exceedingly strange time in history. In many ways, there has never been a better time to be a journalist, because there are so many important stories demanding to be told.
Under normal circumstances, we would be writing all of you to announce some of the exciting programming and plans we’ve made to welcome you all to the SCJ Biennium in October. As most of you know, that meeting welcomes chapter members and advisers one day early to the ACP/CMA conference (this year originally scheduled for Atlanta, GA), for a full day of discussion, planning, voting, and networking. Because the meeting happens only every other year, we really look forward to it.
But as we all know, these are anything but normal circumstances. As the pandemic continues to shake-up travel and even mundane, day-to-day routines, we’ve had to think long and hard about our own plans.
The SCJ Executive Council has decided that your safety and health are of prime importance; thus, we have chosen to postpone our biennium until Fall 2021. It is our hope that by putting off the meeting for a year, we will have discovered and widely distributed a vaccine that should ensure our safety to again meet face-to-face.
In the meantime, please be looking for an announcement for a Special Coverage category added to our annual contest that will allow you to showcase your best reporting on the historic issues of this year: COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. We know there has been some fantastic student journalism happening focused on and localizing these issues, and we look forward to seeing, hearing and reading what you are doing.
As ever, we will continue to serve you in as timely a fashion as we can from the Executive Office in Iowa, and we appreciate your patience as we have had to adjust protocols here. We wish you a fantastic and productive start to your new academic year.
Andrea Frantz, Ph.D., is professor of digital media at Buena Vista University, Iowa. Frantz is Executive Director of the Society for Collegiate Journalists and a passionate advocate of the First Amendment.
Lindsey Wotanis, Ph.D., is an associate professor of communication arts at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa. Wotanis is President of the Society for Collegiate Journalists and adviser to The Wood Word, Marywood’s student-run online news outlet.