By Ashley Carnifax
The Working Press
Outgoing SPJ President Hagit Limor has some advice for her successor: Get ready for the most exciting year of your life.
“You will learn more about yourself in the upcoming year, and the lessons may be quite unexpected,” said Limor, whose tenure ends with the convention.
Limor said her year as president was the “best year of my life.”
She made 22 trips, visiting SPJ chapters across the U.S. and representing the organization in such countries as Japan and Qatar.
But she now looks forward to shorter workweeks and more time with family, specifically her husband, who she said picked up the slack at home while she traveled, and her son, who started first grade this year.
She’s also “thankful for the opportunity to have grown while leading.”
Despite the whirlwind pace, Limor said the experience gave her a glimpse into working lives and soon-to-be professionals.
Japan showed her there are similarities in journalism around the world.
“It was fascinating to see that many of the same issues we journalists face here are universally felt,” Limor said. “And it was great to spread the message of SPJ beyond our borders.”
During these trips, journalists were universally concerned about the state of the news industry and whether it is dying, when the opposite is true, Limor said.
“The news industry is exploding right now, just shifting in new directions, to new media,” she said. “People want information more than ever and faster than ever. News jobs will continue to exist. They’ll simply be different than the ones that existed till now.”
Similarly, SPJ as an organization is thriving despite a difficult economic climate for professional associations, Limor said.
Besides balancing this year’s $1.7 million budget, SPJ was able to put about $3,800 into its reserve account. Limor stressed that the organization managed to save while it increased training and other programming for members.
“The organization is strong and in position to lead and inform our industry,” she said.
She promised to remain an active SPJ member because she “will always hold an allegiance to this organization.”
Limor’s successor, John Ensslin, will be installed at a banquet Tuesday night.