September 6, 2014 • 2014: Nashville
Kevin Smith Awarded Wells Memorial Key Award
By Brittini Ray
“Kevin has been involved with the SPJ for decades,” said Dana Neuts, SPJ’s President-Elect. “He has a passion for ethics and has gone above and beyond in all that he does. He’s a well-deserving candidate.”
The award, named after Chester C. Wells, the second president of Sigma Delta Chi, is presented to a member who is believed to have served the organization in an outstanding fashion.
The award is the highest honor a Society of Professional Journalists member can receive for service. The recipient is nominated anonymously and is selected by executive members of the SPJ board.
SPJ President David Cuillier cited Smith’s dedication to the organization’s ethics code as a key factor in his award nomination.
“Kevin has done amazing things, not only for SPJ, but for journalism in general,” Cuillier said. “He was involved in the 1996 revision and has spent a lot of time in this year’s revision process.”
Smith joined the SPJ Ethics Committee in 1988 and served as committee chairman from 1994-1996. During his first term as chairman, Smith lead the 1996 ethics code revision and contributed to two editions of the SPJ ethics book, “Doing Ethics in Journalism.” Smith also served as SPJ’s Sunshine Chair, a spokesperson for local Freedom of Information issues, for five years. This will be Smith’s last year serving as committee chairman.
“Kevin has been involved in the SPJ Code of Ethics revision process multiple times,” Neuts said. “It’s an intensive and complex process, but he’s done a great job. It seemed like a nice exiting award.”