Help Phoenix SPJ congratulate Robert Leger on the Wells Memorial Key

For his devotion to its principles and mission, Robert Leger was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists with its highest honor: the Wells Memorial Key!

The Valley of the Sun chapter of SPJ invites members to quaff a few cold brews in Robert’s honor at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 (that’s tonight!), at Angels Trumpet Ale House, 810 N. Second St. in downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row Art District.

The place, completely remodeled inside with a nice patio, just opened Sept. 15 and already is becoming a downtown “in” spot. It serves beer from 31 different taps! It has a cool, different, tasty menu. I’ve been there already and loved it. Check it out at or call 602-252-2630.

See you there!

Freedom of Information Awards Winners Announced

The Valley of the Sun Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) pays tribute to working journalists and others at its annual Arizona Freedom of Information Awards Reception, 12:00 p.m. Saturday, April 21 in the Monte Vista Room of the Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., in Phoenix. The keynote speaker will be Valley TV and radio icon, Pat McMahon.

Those being honored include:

  • First Amendment Award — Elvina Nawagun-Clemente, Cronkite News Service; Staff, The Arizona Republic; Matthew Casey, The Tombstone Epitaph; Hillary Davis, Arizona Daily Sun; Lauren Gambino, Tia Casañeda and Heather Billings, Cronkite News Service; Joe Ferguson, Arizona Daily Sun; Cyndy Cole, Arizona Daily Sun
  • Sunshine Award — Todd Feltus & Greg Collins, Kercsmar & Feltus PLLC, on behalf of Judicial Watch; Teri Hayt, Arizona Daily Star
  • The Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism — Tom Arviso Jr., Navajo Times
  • The Order of the Silver Key Society — Al Macias, KJZZ; Ken Western, The Arizona Republic; and Bill Heywood (posthumous).

Tickets are $45 for SPJ members, $50 for non-members, and $40 for students. Tickets can be purchased online via Paypal. Otherwise, mail checks to the P.O. Box address listed below by no later than Monday, April 16. Checks or cash will be accepted at the door, but RSVPs are required via e-mail by April 16. Tickets include the reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres, iced tea, coffee and dessert, and a memorable time honoring outstanding examples of the use of the First Amendment in shining a light on important public issues.

Phoenix SPJ Seeks Nominations for Freedom of Information Awards

Arizona media professionals who produced informative news items for the public by making use of public records requests are invited to submit their stories for consideration in the 2012 Freedom of Information Awards contest, presented by the Valley of the Sun Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Categories include:

  • First Amendment Awards – honoring published or broadcast work in 2011 that involved significant reliance on public records and open meetings
  • Sunshine Awards – honoring Arizonans (both journalists and non-journalists) whose actions helped foster greater openness in government in 2011 through improved access to public records or open meetings
  • Order of the Silver Key Society – paying tribute to journalists from any medium with at least 25 years of experience in the state of Arizona (consecutive or cumulative) whose careers exemplify high standards and consistent, top-quality journalism
  • The Lloyd Clark “How it Made Print” Award – honoring print journalists (all circulations) responsible for a published story, photograph or graphic design whose own story of how it became reality is exceptional. Unusually difficult circumstances, or unusual tenacity in pursing the story, will be the hallmark of the subject of the winning entry. Entries need not have been published in 2011.

There is no cost to enter the contest. Nominations can be from employers/supervisors as well as self-nominations. The deadline to enter is March 19, 2012. For more information, download the 2012 Freedom of Information Awards brochure.

Entry Forms

AZ Press Club Seeks Entries For Journalism Contest

There may be fewer newspapers in Arizona, but the competition among journalists remains keen, and journalists are working harder than ever. Showcase your best work by entering the Arizona Press Club’s 2010 Best Journalism in Arizona contest.

The Arizona Press Club has dropped the fees this year, and everyone gets one free entry with their paid membership fee — $10 for Non-Metro and Spanish-language publications and $20 for Metro publications. (Note: Free entry does not apply to any of the Big Four categories: Community Journalist of the Year, Virg Hill Journalist of the Year, Designer of the Year or Photojournalist of the Year.)

Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 21, 2011, unless special arrangements are made with Arizona Press Club contest chair Monica Alonzo at or 623-262-2459 or photo contest chair Rob Schumacher at

Visit for detailed contest rules and entry forms.

Sharpe wins Media Diversity Award

Glendale Daily Planet's Ed Sharpe wins the AABJ Media Diversity Award for the second time.

Glendale Daily Planet's Ed Sharpe wins the AABJ Media Diversity Award for the second time.

The Arizona Association of Black Journalists has announced Ed Sharpe of the Glendale Daily Planet as the winner for the third-annual Arizona Media Diversity Awards program. This is Sharpe’s second year to win this award.

The program aims to recognize Arizona journalists and media members committed to sharing diverse stories reflective of Arizona’s minority communities. Weldon B. Johnson, president of the Arizona Association of Black Journalists, explained the award as one that “highlights the rich diversity of the community [local journalists] serve.” He adds that, “We’d like to salute Ed Sharpe and the Daily Planet for not only the quality but volume of his submissions. Ed has demonstrated a commitment to showcasing the diversity of experiences of Glendale’s residents. He has also exhibited a great enthusiasm for concept of community journalism and telling the stories of all of the people of Glendale.”

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