SPJ-PRSA Mixer: Tour Capital University’s Convergent Media Center – March 7


Please join  us!

The Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists invites its members to join our friends and colleagues at the Central Ohio Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for a joint member mixer and reception.

The SPJ-PRSA event is free to members and will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 (Please note this corrected date.) at Capital University’s recently opened Convergent Media Center, 590 College Ave.

A tour of the new facility will be featured.

To learn more about the Convergent Media Center, please visit: http://www.capital.edu/cmc/

Posted in Chapter News, Events

Join us! An evening of mystery with authors Marilyn Greenwald and Julie Rubini, Thurs., Feb. 2, 7 p.m.

Please join the Thurber House, Central Ohio SPJ members and friends for an evening with The Hardy Boys and SPJ member and former Central Ohio SPJ board member and president, Marilyn Greenwald. Greenwald, a former newspaper journalist, is a journalism professor at Ohio University and biographer, who will discuss her latest book, The Secret of The Hardy Boys, Leslie McFarlane and the Stratemeyer Syndicate, Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Columbus Museum of Art.

She will be joined by Maumee author Julie Rubini, who has written a book about journalist Millie Benson, ghost writer of the Nancy Drew series, called Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Journalist.

Tickets are $15 in advance and at the door. To order in advance, call 614.464.1032, Ext. 11, or visit www.thurberhouse.org.






(Left to right: Marilyn Greenwald, Julie Rubini)

To purchase and learn more about the book, click here:   http://www.ohioswallow.com/book/The++Secret+of+the+Hardy+Boys


Posted in Chapter News

Supreme Court hands down major Open Records ruling

Open Records

Columbus Dispatch photo

Columbus Division of Police Headquarters, 120 Marconi Blvd.

In a major Open Records decision, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, Dec. 28, that Columbus Division of Police must release its files on closed criminal cases.

Columbus officials had argued the records could not be released as long as defendants still had potential appeals, The Columbus Dispatch reported. In the lawsuit filed by the Ohio Innocence Project, proponents said that practice rendered the police records secret until defendants died or were freed from prison.

Senior Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul E. Pfefier wrote in the majority opinion.

“A defendant or member of the public can access potentially exonerating material concerning a defendant only after the defendant is dead. How did we get to this point?” he wrote. “We also should be concerned about the interests of justice.”

Read the full Columbus Dispatch article at this link:


Columbus attorney Fred Gittes argued on behalf of the Ohio Innocence Project in the suit.

Gittes is a past winner of the Central Ohio SPJ’s First Amendment Award (2006).

“The court made Ohio’s justice system better today. Ohioans owe a debt to the Ohio Innocence Project …”

Gittes represented Donald Caster, an Ohio Innocence Project lawyer who said that police illegally refused to release records in the case of Adam Saleh, who was convicted of the 2005 murder of Julie Popovich, 20, of Reynoldsburg.

“The court’s decision will help prevent innocent people from spending years in jail and get the actual criminals off the street and into prison where they belong,” Gittes said in the Dispatch article. “The court made Ohio’s justice system better today. Ohioans owe a debt to the Ohio Innocence Project …”


Posted in Chapter News Tagged with: , ,

Post-Election Happy Hour

You survived Election Day! Now you deserve a drink.

Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 5:30 p.m.

Join fellow journalists to celebrate the end of the 2016 election at Land Grant Brewing Company! Located at 424 W. Town St., just west of COSI.

Enjoy the first round on US. We’re meeting after work in Land Grant’s Kickstarter Room – the brewery’s one and only side room to the left of the bar. And if you get hungry, the OH! Burgers food truck will be present.

Come share your favorite election story!

Photo credit to Land Grant Brewing. 

Posted in Chapter News, Events

Free Press Museum celebration


Spencer Hunt (left), faculty adviser of The Lantern, The Ohio State University; and Paul Kostyu, chairman of the Department of Journalism at Ohio Wesleyan University, were moderator and panelests at  the Free Press Museum presentation Thursday, Sept. 8, about high school and college journalism.

“College and High School Journalism Today” was the topic of the annual celebration of local journalism held Thursday, Sept. 8 at the program at Main Street Free Press Museum in Fredericktown, Ohio. The Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists sponsors the late-summer event each year, which is held during Fredericktown’s Tomato Festival. It celebrates the Main Street Free Press Museum in Fredericktown, which is directed by chapter member John C. Long, journalism professor at St. John’s and Hofstra universities in New York.


Antique letterpress equipment on display at the Main Street Free Press Museum, 42 N. Main St. in Fredericktown.

Panelists at the 2016 event included Central Ohio SPJ Board of Directors member Spencer Hunt, director of student media for The Lantern at Ohio State University’s School of Communications, and Paul Kostyu, chairman of the Department of Journalism at Ohio Wesleyan University, and past president of the Central Ohio SPJ.

The free discussion about the state of college journalism today, including challenges and opportunities in the wake of a changing profession, was held at the First Baptist Church in Fredericktown, 22 E. Sandusky St., adjacent to the museum located at Second and Main streets in Fredericktown, 42 N. Main St.

Long moderated the event.

The museum was founded in 2000 by Rarick W. Long, who was a member of the Central Ohio SPJ chapter for 48 years, until his death in 2001, and by his sons and daughter, John Long, Rebecca Long Leakey of Pittsburgh and Harlan B. Long of Indianapolis.


Central Ohio SPJ members John Long, director of the Main Street Free Press Museum in Fredericktown.


Long (left) introduces the panel and thee topic for this year’s event Thursday, Sept. 8 at the First Baptist Church in Fredericktown, 22 E. Sandusky St.

The museum structure, the Lyman Wright Building, dates to 1836 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building formerly housed the Knox County Citizen, Fredericktown’s weekly newspaper, which Rarick Long published for 35 years, and Rarick Long’s letterpress print shop.

The museum’s objectives, which have been endorsed by both the Central Ohio and New York City SPJ chapters, are fourfold:

  • To foster freedom of the press under the First Amendment at the grass-roots level.
  • To celebrate the institution of the small-town newspaper.
  • To demonstrate the craft of letterpress printing.
  • To restore and preserve the museum’s historic building and antique letterpress equipment.



Posted in Chapter News, Events

Cbus hosts 2016 SPJ Awards fete

  • Anne Evans, co-founder of ColumbusUnderground.com and TheMetropreneur.com collects Digital Media division first place awards for the local online media outlets, from contest committee member Tony Kozlowski, in the Best Medical/Science Story (Jesse Bethea) and Best Photography (Lillian Dent) categories.

Nearly 100 of Ohio’s top journalists attended the 2016 SPJ Awards/Ohio’s Best Journalism luncheon Saturday, Aug. 27 at The Boat House restaurant in Columbus.

The Ohio’s Best Journalism contest is staged annually by the state’s three Society of Professional Journalists chapters — of Central Ohio, Cincinnati and Cleveland. The SPJ Awards banquet rotates among the three cities, with Columbus hosting this year’s event and Cleveland set to host in 2017.

A total of 652 entries were submitted in the 20th annual staging of the contest. Top work  for the 2015 calendar year was recognized in several divisions: College, Digital Media, Print (more than 75,000 circulation and less than 75,000 circulation classes) Freelance Print, Freelance Digital, Radio, Television, and Trade Publications.

Additional Digital and Freelance categories were added this year to reflect the changing journalism profession.

A total 312 winners were chosen across all divisions and categories. Special thanks to this year’s contest judges, members of the Long Island Press Club.

From the Central Ohio SPJ Board of Directors, congratulations to all the 2016 winners!

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of images from the awards banquet, Check out the full winners list at OhioSPJAwards.org.


Posted in Awards, Chapter News, Events, Ohio SPJ Awards

Ohio SPJ Awards reception Aug. 27

Ohio SPJ Awards; 2016; Columbus skyline

View of the downtown Columbus skyline from The Boat House restaurant. SOURCE: The Boat House

Come celebrate winners in the Ohio’s Best Journalism contest with the Society of Professional Journalists chapters of Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus.

The 2016 Ohio SPJ Awards celebration will take place in Columbus at noon, Saturday, Aug. 27, at The Boat House at Confluence Park, 679 W. Spring St., on the Scioto River.

The state’s three SPJ chapters stage the Ohio SPJ Awards contest annually, and the awards celebration rotates between Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus each year. For the 2016 contest, more than 650 entries were received and 331 winners will be honored in Columbus Aug. 27.

Categories of work recognized include large circulation print (75,000 or greater), small circulation print (fewer than 75,000), radio, television, digital media, trade organizations, freelance and college.

New this year were several free-lance and additional digital media categories to recognize the changing journalism profession. Best of Show distinctions are awarded in all categories except college. Entries were for work done in 2015.

Journalists who work for newspaper, magazines, radio, television, trade, online and college media in Ohio and adjacent states that have significant reach into Ohio, were eligible to submit entries, as well as freelance journalists, who are Ohio residents, regardless of where their work is published, broadcast or webcast. Entrants did not need to be members of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Ohio’s Best Journalism is the only Ohio competition that honors journalists who fulfill the SPJ mission: defense of the First Amendment, support of literacy, resistance to censorship, advocacy for openness of public records and meetings, media self-criticism and community service.

Click here to for links to register for the awards luncheon through EventBrite.

Spend the night in Columbus

Award winners and their guests are invited to spend Saturday night in Columbus and join the Central Ohio Pro Chapter of SPJ for a night at Huntington Park (voted best new baseball park nationwide when it opened in 2009), to watch the Columbus Clippers play the Louisville Bats at 7 p.m.

Email contact@ohiospjawards.org if interested in purchasing tickets.


Nearby hotel accommodations are available at:
DoubleTree by Hilton
Hilton Columbus Downtown
Courtyard Marriott
Hampton Inn & Suites Columbus-Downtown Hyatt Place
SpringHill Suites

Check out what everyone is talking about

Columbus was recently voted the No. 3 city for millennials nationwide and featured in National Geographic as a city to watch and visit.




Posted in Awards, Chapter News, Ohio SPJ Awards Tagged with:

In memory of John F. Wolfe, former Dispatch publisher

John F. Wolfe (Photo: The Dispatch Printing Co.)

John F. Wolfe
(Photo: The Dispatch Printing Co.)

John F. Wolfe, the former publisher, of The Dispatch passed away Friday, June 24, 2016 at the James Cancer Hospital at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He was 72.

Wolfe, was the last family member to serve as publsher of the Columbus newspaper along with other media businesses owned by his family since 1905. He assumed the position of publisher in 1975. In June 2015, the family sold the newspaper and its magazines to Media Investment Group/GateHouse Media. The Wolfe family still owns WBNS-10TV and WTHR-TV along with other radio  stations among other businesses.

Wolfe is being remembered throughout the decades for his unwavering economic and cultural dedication to the advancement of the Columbus community, generous philanthophic support, and effective leadership.

Throughout the decades, Wolfe offered support to the Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists by encouraging staff to become members and board members of the chapter, to participate in professional development offered by the society, and with sponsorship encouraging the hosting of journalistic workshops, conferences and training events.

In his letter to Dispatch readers, Wolfe wrote “For 110 years, it has been our family’s great privilege to own and operate a daily newspaper that grew to become central Ohio’s leading provider of news and information.”

Wolfe is survived by his wife, Ann Isaly Wolfe, and daughters, Sara Wolfe Perrini, Rita Wolfe and Katie Wolfe Lloyd, sons-in-law Michael Perrini and Clark Lloyd, and five grandchildren.

Visitation: The family will receive friends on Wednesday June 29, 2016 from 5 – 8 PM at the Columbus Club, 181 E Broad St.

Celebration of Life: There will be a celebration of his life on Thursday June 30, 2016 at 6 PM at the Southern Theatre, 21 E Main St. There will be a private interment.

Charitable Contributions: Arrangements entrusted to SCHOEDINGER MIDTOWN CHAPEL, 229 E State St. Columbus, OH 43215 In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions may be sent to Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 16810, Columbus, Ohio 43216-6810, or The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, 660 Ackerman Rd., 6th Floor, P.O. Box 183112, Columbus, Ohio 43218-3112.

To leave an online message for his family, please visit: http://www.schoedinger.com/obituaries/John-Wolfe-8/#!/Obituary

Source: The Dispatch
Photo: The Dispatch Printing Company

For additional information, please visit: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/06/24/john-wolfe-obituary.html

Posted in Chapter News

Please Join Us! SPJ After Deadline Happy Hour Tues., June 21, 5-8 p.m.

87 76Come hang out with your fellow journalists for a relaxed evening of fun and networking while enjoying the incredible views of downtown Columbus from the patio of the Boat House at Confluence Park.

SPJ chapters across the country are hosting happy hours on Tuesday, June 21st, to give journalists the chance to get to know others working in the profession and we’re hoping you’ll join us and take advantage of this chance to unwind after deadline.

See you at the Boat House patio!

Posted in Chapter News Tagged with:

May 16 2016 board meeting minutes

Society of Professional Journalists, Central Ohio Pro Chapter

May 16, 2016 Board of Directors Meeting

At Barley’s Smokehouse


PRESENT:  Sarah Mills Bacha, Thomas Bradley, Doug Buchanan, Mary Ann Edwards, Spencer Hunt, Julanne Hohbach, Joe Meyer, Kevin Smith


CALL TO ORDER:  President Doug Buchanan called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m.


MINUTES:  The minutes of the April 18, 2016 meeting were approved as amended, with a number of minor changes, were approved. The March minutes were again tabled, because we couldn’t recall why they were tabled in April.


FINANCIAL REPORT: President Doug’s last Treasurer’s Report from 2015-16 year (when he was Treasurer) presented the financial report with current account balances. We moved $4,000 from our Vanguard to our checking account to pay for our two annual scholaraships, but as of May 16, just one of the two was cashed. A Founders Day analysis, with nearly full accounting, showed about a $700 loss on the event on costs vs. ticket revenue and donations


DISCUSSION followed on a Founders’ Day recap: Board members mentioned how the loss should be considered in tandem with the money we make from the Ohio SPJ Awards contest – because the contest was part of Founders’ Day until Central Ohio joined the SPJ pro chapters in Cleveland and Cincinnati to stage the statewide Ohio SPJ. Thomas Bradley mentioned he received comments at the banquet about the lack of a silent auction this year, a money-maker in years past; Julanne Hohbach noted she would be incurring some additional event-related expense, for document frames, etc., for our scholarship winners.


MOTION to approve paying submitted Founders’ Day expenses was made by Kevin Smith, seconded by Sarah Mills Bacha and approved unanimously.


MEMBERSHIP: Extensive conversation took place regarding how to upgrade our current membership retention and recruitment. Thomas suggested sticking with the two-tiered event pricing for members and nonmembers, to make a recruitment event out of every program; Kevin mentioned board members all working to bring potential recruits to all chapter events; Meyer suggesting starting a letter from the chapter to all renewing members as a standard matter of course, to thank them for renewing and solicit their active involvement. Kevin reviewed current and past efforts by National in this area.


SOCIAL/WEB: President Doug inquired about which board members are handling which duties for our website, Facebook page, Mailchimp email blasts, etc. Thomas reviewed some of the current by-committee contributions and suggested starting a monthly e-newsletter; President Doug said he will pursue.


PROGRAMMING: Sarah again recapped the Founders’ Day event and discussed events schedule for the upcoming year.



Sarah reviewed possibilities for this year’s Ohio SPJ Awards banquet. It is our turn to host it in Columbus. The Hollywood Casino was suggested as an additional venue to consider. Sarah mentioned several others and the board discussed pros/cons of them.

Sarah said judging of the Ohio SPJ Awards by the Long Island Press Club (a new partner chapter in judging this year) was only about one-third done, which is causing some concern. Whether they get it done on time will affect whether we can host the banquet as hoped in September.

ANNUAL REPORT: Thomas and Kevin agreed to the required Audit Committee for the Chapter’s 2015-16 Annual Report, being compiled by past president Joe Meyer. Arrangements were made for passing off bank statements and the checkbook for inspection.


MOTION to adjourn by Thomas, seconded by Spencer, was approved at approximately 1:20 p.m.


Submitted by Joe Meyer

Posted in Board Meeting Minutes