Support SPJ/LA’s Distinguished Journalists Banquet

It’s never been more important to support the work of journalists. You can help by sponsoring the Distinguished Journalists banquet hosted by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in January. The Distinguished Journalist honorees are longtime regional journalists practicing in print, radio, television and digital media. They are: Hector Becerra, editor with the Los Angeles Times; R. Scott Moxley, investigative reporter for the OC Weekly; Greg Habell, editor for KNX 1070; Adrienne Alpert, general assignment reporter for ABC7 Eyewitness News; and Ken Bensinger, Jeremy Singer-Vine and Jessica Garrison of BuzzFeed News. unnamed-1  unnamed-2 unnamed-3unnamed

Our keynote speaker is Brooke Binkowski, managing editor of

Three sponsorships levels are available: Platinum ($5,000):  Acknowledgement in the banquet program, event signage, logo included on banquet website and in emails, one complimentary table at the event. Gold ($2,500):  Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on banquet website and in emails, five complimentary tickets to the event. Silver ($1,000):  Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on banquet website and in emails, two complimentary tickets to the event. You can also support SPJ/LA by purchasing an ad in the banquet program:

  • Full page ad on back of program: $500
  • Full page inside program: $350
  • Half-page ad inside program: $250
  • Quarter-page ad inside program: $150

If you can’t make it to the banquet, please consider sponsoring a student. For $80, your donation will cover a journalism student’s attendance at the event. The awards banquet will be held Jan. 26, 2017 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets for the event are:

  • $100 for SPJ/LA members
  • $140 for non-members
  • $80 for students
  • Tables of 10 are available for $1,000

A no-host cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. For details on sponsorship or to make a reservation, please contact Alice Walton at or (310) 595-5612.

Meeting Minutes: November 14, 2016

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Monday, November 14, 2016

7 p.m.

Louise’s Trattoria

10645 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Christina Cocca, Michael Fleeman, Sarah Favot, Richard Hendrickson, Elizabeth Marcellino, Frank Mottek, Richard Saxton, Julia Seifert, Lori Streifler, Alice Walton, Roberta Wax, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser

I.               Approval of minutes from Oct. 10 board meeting

a.     Wax moved, Walton seconded to approve the minutes. Cocca, Zahniser, Hendrickson and Fleeman abstained. The motion carried.

II.             President’s report – Marcellino for Nonahal

a.     SPJ/LA is reviewing the national board structure and has issued a call for feedback and volunteers for online focus-group discussions. Marcellino encouraged the group to participate if interested.

b.     Christina Cocca has been invited to attend SPJ’s Scripps Leadership Program in Las Vegas in December. The board voted to cover her expenses and registration fee totaling $527. Bellman moved and Wax seconded to cover the cost. The motion carried.

III.           Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson (via email)

a.     The LGBT group’s mega mixer fee finally sent their check and will deposit by the time of the December report. All the scholarships winners have cashed their checks.

b.     Windsor moved to receive the treasurer’s report and Walton seconded. The motion carried.

IV.            Standing Committees –

a.     Awards – Marcellino

i.     The board reviewed the nominees for the 2016 Distinguished Journalist Awards, which were sent out via email to the board prior to the meeting. The board went into closed session for the vote.

ii.     The results are: R. Scott Moxley, Investigative Reporter for OC Weekly, for print under 90,000 circulation; Hector Becerra, California Editor, Los Angeles  Times, for print 90,000 or more circulation; Adrienne Alpert, Reporter, Producer and Host, Newsmakers, ABC7, for television; and Greg Habell, Editor KNX, for radio. The digital category was postponed pending an online vote. No FOI award will be given this year.

1.     UPDATE: The board voted via email to award the digital category to Jeremy Singer-Vine, Ken Bensinger, and Jessica Garrison from BuzzFeed News.

b.     Banquet – Walton

i.     No report

c.      Courts – Marcellino

i.     No report

d.     Diversity – Nonahal

i.     No report

e.     Ethics – Bluestein/Hendrickson

f.      Wax said a photo curator at the LA Public Library shared historical photos highlighting changes in journalistic ethics over time. She gave the example of rape victims’ names and addresses being routinely disclosed in news stories. Wax will review to see if photos could be the basis for an SPJ/LA ethics panel.

g.     FOI –Zahniser

i.     No report

h.     Generation J – Bluestein

i.     Bluestein said the event on Oct. 22 had about 200 high school students in attendance, some from as far as San Diego.

i.       Membership – Saxton

i.     Saxton just renewed his membership and said that renewal was easy online – if you fill out all the information in the form, you can renew chapter dues at the same time. Previously the local chapter did not pop up for him as an option. However, Saxton said, it is still possible to pay a membership fee without being prompted to consider a local chapter, because the completion of the form is not required. Saxton agreed to follow up with national to see if this could be changed.

j.       Nominations – Bellman

i.     Bellman said we have six seats up for nomination this year. Four people are running for reelection. Bellman encouraged the board to suggest candidates within two weeks.

k.     Scholarships – Audi

i.     No report

V.              Old Business

a.     Nov. 2 storytelling mixer at the Redwood – Peschiutta

i.     Mixer was fun!

VI.            New Business

a.     SPJ/LA Holiday Party – Dec. 7 – Mottek

i.     The holiday party will be at the Shanghai Grill on Dec. 7.

VII.          Next board meeting: Dec. 12 at Louise’s, 7 p.m.

VIII.          Adjournment

a.     Windsor moved to adjourn, Zahniser seconded. The motion carried and the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Christina Cocca




SPJ/LA Announces 2017 Officers and Newly Elected Board Members

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has elected its 2017 officers. 

Stephanie Bluestein, a journalism professor at California State University, Northridge, will serve as the chapter’s president beginning on Jan. 1, 2017

Christina Cocca, lead editor of news curation at BuzzFeed, will serve as vice president. Sarah Favot, a writer with LA School Report, will be the chapter’s secretary, while Richard Hendrickson, a journalism professor at California State University, Northridge, John Carroll University in Cleveland and UCLA Extension, will continue to serve as treasurer.

SPJ/LA also elected five candidates to serve three-year terms on the group’s 15-member board. 

The incumbent board members who were re-elected are: Hendrickson; Elizabeth Marcellino, a reporter with City News Service; and former L.A. Times reporter Alice Walton. The newly elected board members are America Arias, a producer with ABC 7, and Irene Moore, a digital desk producer for NBC4 Southern California.

Automotive multimedia journalist Richard Saxton was re-elected to fill the remaining year of an open three-year term. 

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to promoting high standards of ethical behavior and encouraging the free practice of journalism. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. The Greater Los Angeles professional chapter was chartered 25 years later in 1934. 

SPJ/LA Will Conduct Board Elections Online Voting Will Take Place Dec. 19 – 21

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will host an online election for its Board of Directors.
Voting will take place beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 19. Members may vote until 5 p.m.on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Results will be announced within a week after the online election closes.
New board members will begin their three-year terms on Jan. 1, 2017.
For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Navid Nonahal, SPJ/LA president, via email at or telephone at (818) 317-2234.

Be Eligible To Vote For Your SPJ/LA Board Members

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will host an online election for its Board of Directors next week.
National members who are also a part of the local Los Angeles chapter are eligible to vote in the election. Don’t miss your chance to be counted! Log onto SPJ’s website to make sure your information is correct.
Only SPJ/LA chapter members may vote so if you joined SPJ national but haven’t yet joined the L.A. chapter, please log onto the national website’s membership page and join today. Dues for the Greater Los Angeles Pro chapter are $20.
Like everything in journalism, there’s a deadline: please update your contact information before Dec. 16 to be included. The online election will be open from Dec. 19 to Dec. 21.
If you need to renew your membership soon, why not do it now? Get that professional business expense deduction onto your 2016 returns!
For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Navid Nonahal, SPJ/LA president, via email at or telephone at (818) 317-2234.