Photos: SPJ/LA’s Annual Holiday Party

Fun was had by all Wednesday night at SPJ/LA’s annual Holiday Party at El Floridita in Hollywood.


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 soon.

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.

Because only SPJ/LA chapter members may vote, if you joined SPJ national but haven’t yet joined the L.A. chapter, please log onto the national website’s membership page or SPJ/LA’s membership page and join today. Annual 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. 10 to be included. The online election will be open from Dec. 17 to Dec. 19.

If you need to renew your membership soon, why not do it now? Get that professional business expense deduction onto your 2018 tax returns!

For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Tom Bray via email at

SPJ/LA Past President Navid Nonahal honored Richard “Dick” Hendrickson During Acceptance Speech for SPJ Award

Navid Nonahal, board member and past president of the Society of Professional Journalists/Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter, accepts the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award from SPJ for her outstanding contributions to her chapter and the organization, Saturday, Sept. 29 at SPJ’s annual banquet, part of the 2018 Excellence In Journalism convention in Baltimore.

Nonahal also delivered a touching tribute to Richard D. “Dick” Hendrickson — a beloved journalism educator, former editor and reporter and SPJ/LA board member — who passed away July 29 at age 77. Hendrickson was a past winner of the award.

Contributions in Hendrickson’s memory can be made to a scholarship fund that will be established in his name, to be given out next year. Contributions can be sent to SPJ/LA, P.O. Box 572632, Tarzana, CA 91357 or made via PayPal here.

SPJ/LA Board Member Receives National Recognition

Navid Nonahal, immediate past president of the Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, has been selected to receive SPJ’s Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award for her outstanding contributions to the local chapter.

The award, given every year to two SPJ members, is named in honor of Howard Dubin, longtime member of SPJ’s Chicago Headline Club.

Described as a driving force behind the Los Angeles chapter, Nonahal has been on the SPJ/LA Board of Directors since 2010. Besides serving three consecutive terms as chapter president, she has had pivotal roles in chapter events, membership drives, insurance research, financial stewardship and more. As immediate past president, she continues to lend her institutional knowledge, unique expertise and optimistic voice to the chapter’s work.

As a freelance journalist, Nonahal has contributed to Tehran International Weekly Magazine, reporting on international and national news pertaining to Iran. At the magazine, Nonahal maintained a weekly column titled “Dear President Ahmadinejad,” which addressed pressing events in Iran and the then-president’s ensuing positions and policies. Nonahal graduated from California State University, Northridge, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Two SPJ members are selected each year for the Dubin award – one from a chapter of 75 or more members and one from a chapter with less than 75 members. Nonahal was selected as the larger chapter honoree. Jennifer Ellis of the Arkansas Pro Chapter was named in the small chapter category. They will be recognized at the Excellence in Journalism 2018 conference in Baltimore, Sept. 27 to 29.

Nonahal was nominated by board members Roberta Wax, former Dubin Award honoree, and the late Dr. Richard Hendrickson.

“If there is a job to be done, a crisis to be fixed, or a hand to be held, Navid will do it, and do it with grace and charm,” Wax said in her nomination letter. “While good at delegating and motivating, Navid will also get her hands dirty doing the work others might shirk, whether grabbing a hand truck and moving file boxes into our new offices or staffing a ticket table at an event, leaving others free to mingle and celebrate.”

Nonahal said she is “honored and humbled” to be receiving the award.

“I joined SPJ because I believe in, and am inspired by, its mission to support the First Amendment and promote accuracy and credibility within today’s ever-changing world of journalism,” she said. “Being of Iranian heritage, I am uniquely aware of the vital role a free press plays in a just society, and how much our individual freedom suffers in its absence. Being a part of SPJ and serving on the board of SPJ/LA has given me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to foster that role by promoting ethical journalism and a healthy and vibrant free press.

“In addition, SPJ has given me life-long friendships and introduced me to a group of people whom I call my second family. For that, I am forever grateful.”

The Los Angeles chapter has had four other Dubin award winners: Dan Bolton; Wax, a freelance writer; Claudia Peschiutta, a reporter at KNX 1070 Newsradio; and Lauren Bartlett, a former three-time L.A. chapter board president and current SPJ Director At-Large.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

SPJ/LA Mourns the Passing of Richard “Dick” Hendrickson, 77

Richard D. “Dick” Hendrickson, a much-beloved journalism educator, former editor and reporter and board member of the Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, passed away on July 29 at the age of 77, following a brief hospitalization due to heart disease.

In recent years, Hendrickson had served as treasurer and was actively involved in planning the chapter’s monthly programs. Prior to relocating to Los Angeles nearly a decade ago, he worked for more than 30 years at the Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio in a variety of capacities as reporter, bureau chief and editor, including eight years as editorial page editor. He was also active in his local SPJ chapter there, where he had served as chapter president.

Hendrickson began his journalism career in 1961, after a two-year hitch in the Navy, when he became a reporter for his hometown paper, the Syracuse Post-Standard. His work caught the attention of the Associated Press, which soon hired him for its bureau in Buffalo, New York. In 1966, he moved to Ohio to open a new bureau for the Morning Journal, where he remained for the next 35 years.

Hendrickson retired from daily newspaper journalism in 2001 to become a full-time journalism educator at John Carrol University, a Jesuit college outside Cleveland. Even before he started teaching, he was fondly known by young reporters as “Professor,” both for his willingness to mentor and coach upcoming students, and for his dedication to furthering his own higher education. He held a bachelor’s degree in journalism, a master’s in political science, and at the age of 59, earned a doctorate in media studies, all from Bowling Green University.

At the time of his death, Hendrickson was a journalism instructor in reporting and media ethics with UCLA Extension, and had also taught journalism part-time at California State University, Northridge. He also continued to teach online for John Carroll University.

In 2010, SPJ honored Hendrickson with its annual Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award, recognizing collegiate journalism educators who have made a significant contribution to journalism education and to the profession. Just three months ago, Hendrickson received his 50-year membership pin at the SPJ Regional 11 conference, which he helped to organize.

He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Carol; eight children, Cheryl (Kevin) Randleman of New London, Ohio; Judith (Len) Sennish of Cleveland; Amy (Noel) Bouchard of Bellbrook, Ohio; William (Jennifer) Hendrickson of Batavia, Ohio; Christine Hendrickson of Norwalk, Ohio; Laura Owens (Sohrab Mohebbi) of Los Angeles; Lisa Owens of Austin and Lincoln (Erin) Owens of New Orleans; 10 grandsons, eight granddaughters and one great-granddaughter.

A celebration of life service in Cleveland, Ohio, is being planned, with a possible memorial service later in Los Angeles, although details have not been determined. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

Contributions in Hendrickson’s memory can be made to a scholarship fund that will be established in his name, to be given out next year. Contributions can be sent to SPJ/LA, P.O. Box 572632, Tarzana, CA 91357.