A new era

I’ve covered many political campaigns, but never run one as a candidate. And SPJ has held many national elections, but none in which every SPJ member gets to vote. So, this year, we break new ground at the same time.

Until now, elections for SPJ national board seats and officer positions have been carried out through the delegate system. Last year, delegates agreed to switch to One Member, One Vote. (More on that in at least one future post, maybe more)

One of the strong objections to OMOV – a small, outspoken group of opponents raised many – was that it would be a financial burden on future candidates as they tried to reach thousands of potential voters across the country instead of dozens in a convention conference room.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I just looked at the list of candidates running for national or regional offices so far and see that each has an easy, no-cost way to get out their messages or to be reached (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

I planned to use only a Facebook page (Schotz2012), but I’m also going to try keeping this WordPress blog. I’ll see how it goes.

Yes, we all can campaign, effectively, for free.

If any candidate feels driven to buy campaign buttons or giveaway knick-knacks, take a moment and let the impulse pass. Instead, I encourage you to direct your money to a most worthy SPJ cause: the Legal Defense Fund. Spend your money at this year’s LDF auction at the national convention (Sept. 20 to 22 in Fort Lauderdale). Full disclosure: I am part of the committee that was asked to help round up auction items this year. Please donate! (by Aug. 17)

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