SPJ Pro Chapter board meets in Lafayette

The three-year-old Louisiana Pro Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists made some history Saturday, the first time the five board members have actually met as a group instead of by conference call. The chapter president, Sergy Odiduro, came 250 miles from Ruston to Lafayette, picking up board member Gregg Trusty in Shreveport along the way. Tracy Standley, a journalism professor at McNeese, came from Lake Charles, and Freda Yarbrough Dunne, retired (voluntarily!) from The Advocate and now an adjunct at LSU, came from Baton Rouge to meet at the home of the vice president, Robert Buckman..

Board 3.jpg
Clockwise from near left, Garrett Ohlmeyer, Holly Duchmann, Annie Ourso Landry, Robert Buckman, Jim Lovel, Sergy Odiduro, Melissa Buckman; opposite side from back, Tracy Standley, Gregg Trusty, Freda Dunne, Lanie Lee Cook, Dan Boudreaux and Melissa Watson.

The regular board meeting in Buckman’s dining room was observed by several other chapter members (transparency!), to discuss future plans for the chapter. The group then retired to nearby BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse for a fundraising lunch. BJ’s remitted 20 percent of their non-alcohol tab to the chapter.

Having lunch in support of the fundraiser were three former employees of The Courier in Houma, La.: Dan Boudreaux, now a freelancer for The Advocate and a videographer for KADN/KLYF-TV, the NBC and Fox affiliates in Lafayette; Holly Duchmann, now with the Baton Rouge Business Report; and Garrett Ohlmeyer, now a math teacher; all three are UL Lafayette alumni. Also attending were two other UL Lafayette journalism alumnae, Annie Ourso Landry, also with the Baton Rouge Business Report, and Lanie Lee Cook, a producer at KATC, the ABC affiliate in Lafayette; Jim Lovel, a journalism instructor at UL Lafayette; Melissa Watson, a junior at UL Lafayette and VP of the student SPJ chapter; and Buckman’s daughter, Melissa.

It was like the good old days of green eyeshades journalism on slack days; lunch stretched from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Our thanks to those willing to come so far to make this event a success and to help us raise a few bucks, and to BJ’s manager Daniel Fickle for obtaining a corporate dispensation to allow the fundraiser to be held on a Saturday.

The plan is for this to become an annual event, but probably in late August, after vacations are over, to increase turnout.

“There are three estates in Parliament, but in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder there sits a Fourth Estate more important by far than they all. It is not a figure of speech or witty saying, it is a literal fact, very momentous to us in these times.”

—Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Irish-British author, essayist, philosopher and statesman

“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”

—Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

American author, philosopher and statesman

“The only authors whom I acknowledge as American are the journalists. They, indeed, are not great writers, but they speak the language of their countrymen, and make themselves heard by them.”

—Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

French essayist, historian, philosopher, diplomat and author of “Democracy in America”

“Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you are at it.”

—Horace Greeley (1811-1872)

American newspaper editor, founder of New York Tribune, author and statesman

“A veteran journalist has never had the time to think twice before he writes.”

—George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Nobel Laureate Irish-British playwright, author, essayist, critic and pundit



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