Tucson journalists move to reactivate Southern Arizona SPJ chapter

Tucson journalists agreed June 13 to begin reactivating the Southern Arizona SPJ chapter, which faded several years ago. Dylan Smith, editor and publisher of the online news outlet Tucson Sentinel, agreed to head up the effort and is to be in contact with Society officials in Indianapolis to start the process.

Journalists interested in the chapter and what SPJ can offer media people in the southern part of the state may contact Smith at dylansmith@tucsonsentienel.com. They may also sign up for a Facebook group called “Tucson Media Pros,” through which information about the rebuilding chapter will be made available until a chapter website, www.tucsonspj.org, is fully up and running. Smith will begin contacting area journalists who attended events in January and April put on by Valley of the Sun SPJ and the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona, of which SPJ is a member.

The Southern Arizona chapter, originally chartered in the 1960s, disbanded in 1992 when several of its officers simultaneously either moved out the area or left the profession. A group of Tucson journalists from the morning Arizona Daily Star and the afternoon Tucson Citizen briefly resurrected the chapter in 2006, but it, too, went dormant after less than two years.