Friday, December 22, 2017

Cincinnati SPJ Quarterly Newsletter - Winter 2017 Edition

The Greater Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists
Newsletter, December 2017
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Improving and protecting journalism in Greater Cincinnati since 1967
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In this edition:

President’s Message: Plans for 2018 Are Underway

By Ginny McCabe

Happy holidays! We hope everyone is having a wonderful winter season. We’ve been busy wrapping up 2017 as we look forward to an exciting year ahead. As many of you know, we had another successful year! Being named “Chapter of the Year” at SPJ’s national conference, Excellence in Journalism 2017 in Anaheim was certainly a big highlight for us. Among other accolades, we applauded board member Hagit Limor, who was honored with the Howard S. Dubin award this year. Now, we have three Howard Dubin award recipients serving on the Cincinnati SPJ board – Emil Dansker, Tom McKee and Hagit Limor. We also welcomed a new SPJ national president, Rebecca Baker.

To ring in 2018, we are looking forward to a highly-anticipated 50th Anniversary Celebration on March 24, which will feature keynote speaker Gregory Korte, White House Correspondent for USA Today. Korte is a former Cincinnati Enquirer reporter and a protege of Emil Dansker.  The Greater Cincinnati SPJ Pro Chapter was founded in 1967 by Dansker and several other dedicated journalism professionals. More details will be announced soon, and we hope everyone can join us.

Another key event in March is Region 4 spring conference, which will be held at Point Park University in Pittsburgh on March 9 and 10.  

We are also proud of the partnerships we have formed over the past few years – like the relationships we have with PRSA, the Cincinnati Police Department, GCABJ and ONA Cincinnati, to name a few. We are looking forward to co-sponsoring Rochelle Riley’s session at the National Society of Newspaper Columnists conference, which is coming to Cincinnati on June 7-10 (

Further promoting SPJ’s national initiatives for freelancers, we partnered with Graydon on a new quarterly luncheon for freelancers. The next quarterly luncheon will be held on Thursday, January 25 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Graydon. Chris Cooper, Vice President, Media Liability Product Executive at QBE North America, will join us via Skype to talk about issues surrounding freelance insurance including an overview of the coverage, and the underwriting process.

Another partnership we value is with PRSA. For the past five years or so, we have joined forces to present programs that are not only a great way to spend a few hours, but they continue to bring the media community together in Cincinnati. Special thanks to PRSA and others like Vehr Communications, who have been instrumental in these efforts. We will continue to celebrate the New Year with a SPJ/PRSA joint program on February 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. We will let everyone know when the details are finalized, and when you can register on Eventbrite. Space is limited for these events, and they usually sell out.

Last week, we partnered with ONA Cincinnati and GCABJ for an inaugural Holiday Bash at Jefferson Social at The Banks. It was a tremendous success. There were more than 50 in attendance.

A few weeks ago, we announced several changes to the Cincinnati SPJ board. Tom McKee was recently named as SPJ’s Region 4 Director. McKee replaces Patti Newberry, who was elected SPJ secretary-treasurer at Excellence in Journalism 2017 in September. With those moves, I advanced from the chapter’s secretary to the president’s role. Corinne Minard, who has served on the board for a year enthusiastically stepped up to fill the secretary position. In addition to myself and Corinne, Jenny Wohlfarth serves as vice president of the chapter and Hagit Limor acts as treasurer. Tom will also continue to actively serve on the Cincinnati SPJ board.

We anticipate the year ahead to be equally as strong as it has been over the last several years, and we encourage everyone to participate in the programs and networking events we offer. We also welcome your ideas, and we would love to hear from you. You can keep in touch us by emailing me at, or by connecting with us on social media. Our website is, or at @cincyspj on Facebook and Twitter.

We continue to be motivated to lead and encourage all journalists from students and those starting their careers to experienced veterans in the journalism field. Here’s to a great year ahead!
Ginny McCabe

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SPJ Holiday Bash

SPJ recently joined ONA Cincinnati and GCABJ for an inaugural Holiday Bash on Dec. 14 at Jefferson Social at The Banks. More than 50 guests attended and everyone had a great time hanging out with journalists from all over the city. 
Photos courtesy of Cara Owsley

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Greater Cincinnati SPJ Pro Chapter 50th Anniversary Celebration to Feature USA Today White House Reporter

Did you know that the Greater Cincinnati SPJ Pro Chapter was founded in 1967 by Emil Dansker and other dedicated journalism professionals? To mark five decades of fighting for freedom of the press and mentoring the next generation of journalists, a 50th Anniversary Celebration is being planned.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 24, 2018. The keynote speaker will be USA Today White House Correspondent Gregory Korte. He's a former Cincinnati Enquirerreporter and a protege of Emil Dansker.

Details are still being finalized, but don't miss this opportunity to celebrate and see where the profession has been and where it's headed in the future.

Gregory Korte is a White House correspondent for USA TODAY, focusing on executive power and national security in the Trump presidency. He previously covered the Obama White House, Congress, politics, and a half-dozen city halls. He is a native of Cincinnati and graduated from Ohio University. He is a recipient of the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency.

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SPJ Internship Interview Day

Our annual SPJ Internship Interview Day in early November brought more than 45 college journalism students from area universities to the University of Cincinnati campus to interview for spring and summer internships for next year. All of the interview spots were filled by the time the interviews started at 9 a.m.

The media partners for the event were: The Cincinnati EnquirerCincinnati Magazine,Cincy Magazine, Fox19, WCPO, CityBeatCincinnati Refined MagazineStreetvibes, 4CAD (a local nonprofit organization), and the UC College of Arts & Sciences Marketing Department.

Our SPJ chapter covers the cost for food at this event, and our chapter's Vice President Jenny Wohlfarth, a journalism faculty member at UC, organizes the event with help from her UC colleague, Bob Johnson, a chapter member who is the internship coordinator for the UC Department of Journalism. The executive officers of the UC student chapter of SPJ assists with registration, set up and clean up on the day of the event.

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Cincinnati SPJ Recognized

Cincinnati SPJ made the "SPJ in 2017: The Year in Review"! Click here to read the full article
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EIJ18 Call for Programs and Ideas

The Excellence in Journalism Conference — a collaboration between RTDNA and SPJ — is ramping up planning — and we need your help to make it happen. The Call for Programs and Ideas is open and taking your thoughtful input on what you want to see at the conference.

But hurry, because the Call for Programs closes on January 18, 2018. That’s right, the conference is September 27-29 in Baltimore, but the window to submit programming proposals closes in January.

Why is that? With so many ideas and so much to plan, it takes a lot of time and energy from hard-working volunteers (and staff) at RTDNA and SPJ to make it happen.

So get your ideas and program proposals ready — and get all the information below about how to submit your programming idea.

Call for Program Proposals If you have an idea for a conference session and are interested in taking part in the convention, please submit your proposal. Use this form to submit specific program proposals with topic, content, and suggested speaker (even if yourself).

Call for Conference Ideas Don't have a specific program to propose? No problem. Use this form to submit general conference topics and speakers you'd like to see without specific program titles or descriptions. The conference programming committee will use this feedback to develop specific programs.

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Save the Date: NSNC18

The National Association of Newspaper Columnists will be in Cincinnati on June 7-10, 2018. For details and to register, go to 
SPJ members can register for the NSNC conference at a reduced rate of $315, which is the NSNC member rate. (Typically, the non-member rate is $399). Plus, when you register, you'll receive a free one-year membership to NSNC. 

Here's the link to register:
. SPJ members can  select the member rate when registering and then click that they are an SPJ member when it asks for membership information on the registration form.
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Dessert With Discussion: Three Cincinnati Icons Come Together for NSNC Conference

By Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

The Cincinnati ZooGraeter's Ice Cream, and Cincinnati Public Radio come together for a special afternoon on Friday, June 8th, during the NSNC annual conference.

Attendees will enjoy "Sundae Service" courtesy of historic Graeter's Ice Cream at the Treetops Facility in the Cincinnati Zoo while Cincinnati Public Radio columnist Howard Wilkinson talks about what 44 years of interviewing top names in politics has taught him about the art of interviewing. How do you get beyond the sound bites and pat answers we've all heard from intimidating public figures who've practiced their lines?

In addition to covering politics for WVXU, Wilkinson uses his new "Tales From the Trail" column  to write the stories he couldn't when covering politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer.

"Tales From the Trail" takes readers behind the scenes to what it's like to be a writer on the road. Wilkinson writes about compensating for missing keyboard keys after his laptop was attacked by a bomb-sniffing dog. And about getting stranded on the side of the road when a campaign bus driver with an outstanding warrant gets pulled over for speeding.

Howard Wilkinson's tips from his years of interviewing experience help our process. His behind-the-scenes stories from the trail remind us we're all in this together. You might say that's the cherry on top.

Registration is open. Read more about our presenters and register now.

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is NSNC Communications Director and an award-winning blogger and features contributor for Cincinnati Family Magazine.

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Connie Schultz to Receive the 2018 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists is proud to announce that our 2018 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is…Connie Schultz!
Ms. Schultz – the much-admired, widely read 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary – will receive the award during the NSNC’s June 7-10, 2018, conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.
When asked for her reaction, Connie said: “The timing of this award is so meaningful to me, as it comes in my tenth year of syndication. For the last six of these years, I have been untethered, belonging to no one news organization. My commitment to the work has never wavered. With this award, you are telling me that it still matters.”
Creators Syndicate distributes the columns of Ms. Schultz, who was formerly based at The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.
Connie added: “Many years ago, a reader familiar with my work sent me a first-edition copy of Ernie Pyle’s book ‘Brave Men’ and Lee G. Miller’s biography ‘The Story of Ernie Pyle.’ The reader, who identified himself as an elderly man, asked that I never stop writing about the ‘regular men and women who make up this great country.’
“Both books continue to hold a place of honor in my personal library, but since learning of this award, they feel like whispers from the grave of a great journalist who died before I was born. Ernie Pyle knew there is no such thing as an ordinary person, and it has been my privilege to illustrate that singular truth for nearly forty years, one story at a time. I hope to do so as long as I draw a breath.”
When Ms. Schultz won the Pulitzer in 2005, the judges praised her columns for providing “a voice for the underdog and the underprivileged.” The day of that win was when I first spoke with Connie, and I – like many others – was highly impressed not only with her writing but with her friendliness.
Two years earlier, Ms. Schultz was a Pulitzer finalist in feature writing for her series “The Burden of Innocence,” which chronicled the ordeal of Michael Green, who was imprisoned for 13 years for a rape he did not commit. The week after the series ran, the real rapist turned himself in after reading Connie’s stories.
In addition to writing her syndicated column, Ms. Schultz is Professional in Residence at Kent State University’s journalism school.
Her work has also appeared in publications such as The New York TimesThe Washington PostPoliticoParadeThe AtlanticESPN The Magazine, and Democracy Journal. And she is the author of “Life Happens – And Other Unavoidable Truths,” a collection of essays; plus “…and His Lovely Wife,” a memoir about her husband Sherrod Brown’s successful 2006 race for the U.S. Senate. Her first novel, “Erietown,” about a working-class family in small-town Ohio, will be published by Random House.

Ms. Schultz – a keynote speaker at the 2014 NSNC conference in Washington, D.C. – has won numerous other prizes besides the Pulitzer and upcoming Pyle honor. They include the Scripps Howard National Journalism Award for Commentary, the National Headliner Award for Commentary, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Social Justice Reporting, the Batten Medal (honoring “a body of journalistic work that reflects compassion, courage, humanity, and a deep concern for the underdog”), and journalism awards from Harvard and Columbia universities. She has received seven honorary degrees, and twice served as a Pulitzer juror.
Also, Connie is a fellow with the Vietnam Reporting Project. Her 2011 series “Unfinished Business” – which explored the long-term impact of Agent Orange in the U.S. and Vietnam – won the Associated Press Managing Editors Journalism Excellence Award in International Perspective.
Ms. Schultz and her husband have four grown children and five grandchildren. They live in Cleveland with their rescue dog Franklin.
Previous winners of the 1993-launched Pyle prize have included Dave Barry, David Broder, Art Buchwald, Gail Collins, Roger Ebert, Ellen Goodman, Molly Ivins, Steve Lopez, Judith “Miss Manners” Martin, Mary McGrory, Clarence Page, Leonard Pitts Jr., and Andy Rooney, among others.

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SPJ "Lunch with Pros" at the University of Cincinnati

Our chapter sponsors several outreach programs in partnership with local universities throughout the year, including our monthly "Lunch with the Pros" events that bring professional journalists to local campuses to speak with students. In November, UC's "Lunch with the Pros" event was embedded in the UC Journalism Department's introductory course for journalism majors, Principles of American Journalism, which has 75 students enrolled.

The event was set up like a press conference, with the students working in news teams to report, photograph and tweet live at the event. The panelists were UC Journalism alumni who returned to campus to share their career advice and insights with the college journalists. They were: SPJ Board Member Carly Hagedon, managing editor of VMSDmagazine, Meghan Wesley, digital editor with WCPO; and, from The Cincinnati Enquirer, reporter Keith BieryGolick and photojournalist Sam Greene.

The press conference discussion played out in live time on Twitter, as students in the class tweeted out quotes and photos from the discussion. Our SPJ chapter covers the cost of the pizza for these "Lunch with Pros" events, and SPJ Vice President Jenny Wohlfarth, a journalism professor at UC, organizes and coordinates these monthly events on UC's campus.

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Save the Date: SPJ and PRSA Event This February 

Save the date for SPJ's annual joint event with PRSA!

We will host a panel discussion over lunch on Wednesday, February 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p .m. Seating is limited and we usually sell out.

Look for more details about the event after the first of the year.  
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Attention Freelancers: Upcoming Quarterly Luncheon 

The next quarterly luncheon for freelancers will be held on Thursday, January 25 from 11:45 to 1 p.m. at Graydon.

Chris Cooper, Vice President, Media Liability Product Executive at QBE North America, will join us via Skype to talk about issues surrounding freelance insurance including an overview of the coverage, and the underwriting process.

Watch for more details soon. 

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SPJ's Newly Elected Freelance Officers

Congratulations to SPJ's Newly Elected Freelance Community Officers!

SPJ's Freelance Community

SPJ's Freelance Community is a virtual chapter that meets online, linking SPJ members who are freelancers, no matter their locale. Learn more at, and visit the community's online portal at

Freelance Community Chair

Hilary Niles

Stacie Overton Johnson, vice chair

Freelance Community Officers

Jennifer Karchmer, Secretary

Ginny McCabe, Membership/Outreach Coordinator

Stephenie Overman, Events Coordinator

Hazel Becker, Resources Coordinator

Kathy Rosenhammer, At-Large Officer

Susan Valot, At-Large Officer

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Call for EIJ Contest Entries Coming in January

It's that time of year again — time to enter your best work in the Greater Cincinnati SPJ Pro Chapter's Excellence In Journalism Contest. The Call for Entries will be out in mid-January with the deadline in mid-March.

If you have ideas for categories that haven't been featured in the past years, send your suggestions to Tom McKee at  

You're going to be entering numerous contests — AP, Emmys, Ohio SPJ and others. Why not add Greater Cincinnati SPJ EIJ to the list? The fees are reasonable and a little competition is great for bragging rights.

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Mark of Excellence Entry Deadline Approaching

Each year, SPJ presents the Mark of Excellence Awards honoring the best in student journalism. The awards offer categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism.  But, the deadline to enter is fast approaching. They must be received by January 11, 2018. Entries are first judged at the regional level. First place regional winners advance to the national competition.

Entries are first judged at the regional level. First place regional winners advance to the national competition.

A best in show (MOEy) award will be given for the overall best entry among all national winners. Winners in the following categories are eligible for a MOEy only if they cover a single topic:
  • Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper
  • Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper
  • Best Student Magazine
  • Best All-Around Radio Newscast
  • Best All-Around Television Newscast
  • Best Affiliated Website
  • Best Independent Online Student Publication
  • Best Independent Digital-Only Student Publication

Check out entry details at

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Save the Date: 2018 National Convention, Baltimore

Work is already underway to plan the SPJ/RTDNA Excellence In Journalism Conference in Baltimore September 27-29, 2018. Mark your calendars. Save the dates.

If you have programming ideas, the deadline for submitting them is January 18, 2018. Why is that? With so many ideas and so much to plan, it takes a lot of time and energy from hard-working volunteers (and staff) at RTDNA and SPJ to make it happen.

Go to to submit your suggestions.
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Judges Needed for Chapter Swap Contests

Each year, the national SPJ board pairs chapters to judge their journalism contests. For example, last year The Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter's contest entries were judged by the Long Island Press Club and our chapter judged their entries. It's a great way to see excellent work done in other markets.

Please contact either Ginny McCabe ( or Tom McKee ( to let them know if you will be able to help.

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Save the Date: Region 4 Spring Conference in Pittsburgh

Mark your calendars. Save the dates. The Region 4 Spring Conference is on the horizon.It's being held at Point Park University in Pittsburgh March 9 and 10.  

Planning by the conference committee is well underway for programming and logistics. Information on conference rates, suggested hotels and other details will be available after the first of the year. Don't miss this chance to stay in touch with SPJ programs in this very challenging climate for journalists. A highlight will be a Super Session panel discussion on the issue of sexual harassment in the work place.

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Update: The Search for a New SPJ Executive Director Continues

As you know, Joe Skeel stepped down as SPJ Executive Director December 1 and a national search is now underway for a replacement. Tara Puckey is serving as the Interim Executive Director while the process moves forward.  

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Nominees Sought for the "New" SPJ Board

You've likely read that the SPJ delegates approved a new structure for the national board during its EIJ Conference in Anaheim. Instead of the current 23 member board, the new group will consist of nine members. The evolution will take place over two years.
  • Three officers, including a president, president-elect and secretary-treasurer each to be elected for one year 
  • Four ar-large directors, each to be elected for two years with staggered terms
  • Two appointed directors, each to be selected by the board to serve one-year terms
“These changes will help SPJ better execute its mission and serve its members,” said Lynn Walsh, who ended her year-long term as SPJ board president at EIJ17. “A smaller board will be best suited to produce shared short- and long-term strategies for SPJ’s vitality and viability into the future. This is just a first step toward those goals, but it is an important one.”

A nominating committee is being formed at the present time to identify candidates for election to the board. If you know of someone who should be considered as a board member, submit their name to Walsh at

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Chapter Membership Reminder

The chapter's membership list on file with the SPJ National Office lists a number that is down significantly from prior years.
One reason may be that when new members are signing up they forget to designate GREATER CINCINNATI PRO as their local chapter.
That's important because membership determines the number of votes the chapter has at the SPJ national convention.
So, if you've recently become an SPJ member, thank you very much. If you haven't designed GREATER CINCINNATI PRO as the chapter, a quick trip to can take care of it.
Join Society of Professional Journalists
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Job Listings

Cincinnati Public Radio
Digital Media, Full-time
WVXU is looking for a person to take its news content to the next level across digital platforms. The Digital Editor will be responsible for executing the newsroom's digital strategy. This is a brand-new position that you'll have a chance to develop. We're eager to hear your ideas for making one of the best news websites in the city and to make our social media platforms informative and engaging. The digital editor will work closely with the news director and vice president of content to create the digital plan for the website, social media and other platforms. Submit cover letter and resume to

Investigative Special Projects Producer
Full Time
WKRC-TV/Local 12
WKRC-TV/Local 12 seeks an enterprising and aggressive Investigative/Special Projects Producer Into join our Local 12 investigative unit. We are looking for someone with a clear understanding of how to dig for a story, research it, write it with an edge and use strong storytelling and TV production to make it powerful and memorable. Knowledge of the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) process, computer-assisted reporting, and data-driven reporting is required along with familiarity of legal issues related to investigative and consumer news reporting. Strong writing skills and knowledge of current events is essential. Dynamic storytelling skills are a must. Source: for more details.

Associate Editor
ST Media Group International
Business-to-business magazine targeting retail design professionals seeks an Associate Editor with a journalism or communications degree; print, website and social media skills; and a minimum of two to three years’ experience writing and reporting. An interest in retail, design, architecture is a plus. Source: for more details.

News Producer
WCPO-TV, the Scripps flagship ABC affiliate in Cincinnati, OH, is seeking an experienced, dynamic producer for our television newscasts. If you are a newsroom leader looking for a challenging opportunity and a path to grow into management, then this is the place for you. Source: The E.W. Scripps Company,

Full Time
WKRC-TV/Local 12
WKRC-TV/Local 12 is looking for a Meteorologist. As a Meteorologist, you will be responsible for the content of the weather cast on-air and on our digital platforms. You will issue warnings and alerts, produce graphics and maps, and report live during weather events. You must be able to utilize social media during severe weather, as well as write weather stories. Duties include forecasting, producing and presenting clear and concise weather casts, which tell a story and connect with viewers, developing content and graphics for on-air, web and social media, making public appearances on behalf of the station, working with producers to determine relevant weather content in breaking and everyday situations. You will also do live shots and report from community events and in breaking news situations. The Meteorologist will work with the News Director to determine the format of various weather graphics and segments. Source: for more details.

Join SPJ

Here's a challenge for every SPJ member — active or retired. Make it a point to recruit a new member this year. Doing that will double the size of the chapter. The board continues to work on presenting unique and interesting programs that make SPJ membership extremely valuable.
The national membership fee is $75.00 which can be paid online in one lump sum or in monthly deductions.
Check it out at
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Newsletter Staff

Managing Editors
Ginny McCabe, Carly Hagedon
Assistant Editors
Tom McKee

Cincinnati Pro Chapter SPJ Board Members
Ginny McCabe, President; Jenny Wohlfarth, Vice President; Hagit Limor, Treasurer; Corinne Minard, Secretary; Tom McKee; Jo-Ann Albers; Emil Dansker; Tom Demeropolis; Monica Dias; Carly Hagedon; Cara Owsley; Maija Zummo; Tony Mastriani, Board Member Emeritus
Copyright © 2017, Greater Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
SPJ Greater Cincinnati
C/O Tom McKee, WCPO
1720 Gilbert Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45202