Announcing the 2017 Sunshine Award, Plus Our Window and Wall Winners

Please join SPJ in celebrating the Sunshine Award winner, as well as the Window and Wall awardees, on Wednesday, May 17, at 57 Degrees. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.

The San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is proud to announce Brooke Binkowski is the winner of our annual Sunshine Award, which honors efforts to make government more transparent and hold elected leaders accountable. As managing editor of the fact-checking website, Binkowski and her team of journalists have become instrumental in sorting out truth from fiction in this new era of “fake news” and “alternative facts” and providing important context to help readers better understand complex issues.

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Winners of San Diego SPJ’s 2016 Contest


Congratulations to all the winners at Thursday’s 2016 SPJ San Diego Area Journalism Awards Contest.

The full list of winners can be found here.

Journalists from news outlets throughout the region came to celebrate at the annual awards banquet. They recognized each other’s work and lauded the 2016 San Diego Journalist of the Year, Voice of San Diego’s Mario Koran.

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SPJ San Diego’s Statement on SDUSD PIO

Public information officers play an important role in connecting the government with the media, and by extension, the public, so these workers must be held to the highest standards of responsibility and respect. That a San Diego school district public information officer recently made, and repeated, a joke about a reporter’s dead body is unacceptable.

Regardless of the context of the school spokesman’s comments, the San Diego Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists finds it irresponsible and reprehensible that a government employee who deals with the media on a regular basis would say if a reporter isn’t careful, her body might wash up on shore. Yet that’s what top Voice of San Diego editors Scott Lewis and Sara Libby say Andrew Sharp, the chief public information officer of the San Diego Unified School District, said to reporter Mario Koran about colleague Ashly McGlone.

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SPJ San Diego on a threat to open records

The state’s open records law is under threat by new legislation that would allow state government agencies to claim they have copyright ownership of “intellectual property developed by (government) employees or with state funding.” The San Diego Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists believes strongly that this bill amounts to a giant step backward in terms of free press and public access to the government’s business.

AB2880 would authorize the California Department of General Services to develop a database for “intellectual property” that should be “protected,” yet this work is done on behalf of the public, paid for by the public and used by the public. One recent example of how such legislative protection could be abused involves an attempt by the city of Inglewood to claim copyright protection over city-created video records of council meetings.

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