Skeel begins duties after long process of selecting SPJ’s top executive

It’s exciting to see the process of selecting the next executive director of the Society of Professional Journalists come to an end as Joe Skeel assumes his duties this week.hq-skeel

As the person in charge of the day-to-day operations of the nation’s largest, most broad-based group of journalists, the executive director is the key to making SPJ run on a daily basis.

As a member of the SPJ National Board of Directors and a member of the search committee, I had a role in selecting our new executive director.

The Process

The process of going through dozens of applications and narrowing it to a smaller group of candidates for interviews was daunting, to say the least.

But, in the end, we selected the BEST person for the job.   So, on Monday when I and my fellows SPJ Board members voted to hire Joe Skeel, it was with a collective sigh of relief.  We knew SPJ would be going in the right direction.

The Press

Already, some Web sites have picked up on the news:

SPJ Interim Executive Director Skeel Gets the Job Permanently
Editor & Publisher’s article was linked to the Web site of another professional organization to which I belong, the Radio-Television News Directors association.   By the way, RTNDA next month becomes RTDNA, the Radio-Television Digital News Association.

Joe Skeel named executive director of SPJ
Media bistro also picked up on the story and ran a short item on our decision, just two days ago.

The Pain of Loss

The decision tProxy-Connection: keep-alive
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hire a new executive director came with mixed emotions.  Many of us are still saddened the man who held this position for nearly a decade is no longer with us.

SPJ executive director Terry Harper passes away after battle with cancer
This news came this summer right when many SPJ leaders were preparing to come to Indianapolis, where our national headquarters is located, for a leadership retreat.

Thumping My Melon
Terry always kept an upbeat tone through his fight against cancer.  He even prepared a final posting that his wife, LeAnn, posted on the blog on the day of his death.  I get emotional every time I go to his Web site.

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Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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