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SPJ history book waits to be written

By eijnews

By Mary C. Barczak
The Working Press
The Sigma Delta Chi board of directors decided Monday to put off a decision on whether to hire a Texas author to write the history of the Society of Professional Journalists.

From left, SDX Foundation treasurer Howard Dubin, secretary Irwin Gratz, president Steve Geimann and vice president Robert Leger led the SDX Foundation Board of Director's meeting Monday. Kevin Zansler/The Working Press

The board attempted to have the history book ready for SPJ’s 100th anniversary in 2009 but ran out of time and did a magazine instead, said board Chairman Steve Geimann.
So far, only author Patrick Cox has made SDX an offer to write the book. His proposal requests payment of $36,000 for 18 months of work.
Some board members expressed concern at Monday’s meeting that the proposal might be too pricey. They agreed to send the proposal back to the Grants and Awards Committee for further research.
The board also suggested that Robert Leger, the committee’s chairman, explore other candidates for the job.

Joe Skeel, executive director of the SDX Foundation, discusses budget and finance issues. Kevin Zansler/The Working Press

Among other items discussed during the meeting:
• The board said the convention has been a success. Outgoing President Hagit Limor said partnering with the Radio Television Digital News Association has sparked a lot of “buzz.” “Other organizations are watching us and could try to come aboard next year,” she said.
• Convention registration topped 1,300 and half are SPJ members, said Chris Vachon, SPJ’s associate executive director. Workshops have been overflowing and the staff has had to come up with creative ways to accommodate everyone. For example, student members were redirected from Sunday’s opening night reception sponsored by CNN to a presidential suite on the top floor.