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Welcome to a new year with SPJWash!

An introduction from Caley Cook, president, SPJ Western Washington PRO chapter:

It turns out that journalism can be a lonely place. We casually know this, of course, but you can also Google “journalism + loneliness” and quotes from dozens of famous reporters will pop up. And that’s just the easy-to-find ones. It must be all those solitary moments at the keyboard. The greatest thing about my job this year as president of SPJ Western Washington is that I get the chance to combat that isolation by working to bring journalists together. It’s a chance to create community, celebrate, learn and champion our work.

SPJ Western Washington is a volunteer-led organization that serves journalists from Bellingham to Tacoma, a diverse and vibrant media region doing phenomenal journalism each day. Our board’s theme this year is “Advocacy and Education,” which I hope will serve exactly that vibrancy of Western Washington. This theme will guide this year’s programming and events, as well as our communication with you. I think the best thing we can do is share our region’s members’ expertise, use our power to advocate for the less-powerful, and spread the word to the community at large about how journalism is changing our world for the better.

We’ll be starting our programming season off this fall with a continuation of one of last year’s most popular events, #journalismsowhite. This time, we’ve moved the event to the larger Town Hall Seattle so more of you can join in the conversation about how we can make journalism better, more representative, and more compelling. If it’s anything like the last one, you won’t want to miss this.

Another part of this year’s “Advocacy and Education” theme is going to lead us to a new project to document the state of the Western Washington news media. Our hope is to create a short report for both members and the public that outlines where our region’s media organizations have been, where they are now, and where they are heading. It will be part of our efforts to advocate for the great things our journalists are doing in this region and to find ways to better meet working journalists’ needs.

More than anything, though, we want to hear from you. How can we advocate for you? What amazing programs can we set up for you to learn something new? Let’s combat the loneliness of journalism together, to create the community we want to see. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at one of our upcoming events.


(L-R): Karen Ducey, Ana Sofia Knauf and Genna Martin.

(L-R): Karen Ducey, Ana Sofia Knauf and Genna Martin.

Before our gala in June, we held elections for our chapter board. It was a close race, but three new board members emerged from those elections!

A big welcome to Karen Ducey, Ana Sofia Knauf and Genna Martin — our newest additions to the board!

Ashley Stewart continues her role as the chapter’s treasurer, and is also now the vice president. Marcus Green, who has already served on the board for a year, is now secretary.

Lauren Foster and Sara Lerner have also been elected for another term on the board.

Congrats to all! Find out more about them and the rest of the board.

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