SPJ Marks Centennial, Names New President

By: E&P Staff The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has installed Kevin Z. Smith as its new president. Smith was officially sworn in as president Saturday at the organization's centennial celebration in Indianapolis.

Smith is assistant professor of journalism and director of student publications at Fairmont (W.Va.) State University. As president he succeeds Dave Aeikens of the St. Cloud (Minn.) Times, and will serve a one-year term, which will expire at the SPJ's 2010 convention, held Oct. 3-6 in Las Vegas.

"I know the importance of this office to you and to the thousands of members who are not here tonight, and also to the journalists who know our place in the arena of journalism and of our democracy," Smith said in his inaugural address.

Smith has spent much of his journalism career working at papers around West Virginia. He has worked as a sportswriter at the Grafton Mountain Statesman; a reporter for the Parkersburg Sentinel; and a sportswriter, news reporter and eventually managing editor of the Times West Virginian in Fairmont. He also served in a variety of positions, including city editor at the Morgantown Dominion Post, and worked as a reporter for Bloomberg Financial News in Washington D.C.

Smith was inducted into SPJ in 1978 while still a student at West Virginia University. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from West Virginia University and a master's degree in mass communications from Miami University. He joined the organization's ethics committee in 1988 and served as its chairman from 1994-1996. Smith also served on the society's national board in 1997 as a campus adviser at-large.


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