SPJ/ONA to Present DePaul Free Speech Wall at SPJ Conference

SPJ/ONA DePaul, the College's Society of Professional Journalists and Online News Association, will present at the SPJ Excellence in Journalism 2014 conference in Nashville on Sept. 5.

SPJ/ONA DePaul's student executive board members will present the SPJ DePaul Free Speech Wall, a program the organization founded on Constitution Day (Sept. 17) last year. The program sends students out in community with blank cardboard "walls" and markers to encourage people to exercise their First Amendment rights by writing on the walls.

"The students compiled the statements people wrote into categories and analyzed them," faculty adviser Mike Reilley said. "They turned the findings into data visualizations and will share them with other student organizations in hopes of recruiting them and take the program to a national level. This program has a lot of potential."

The students previously presented the program at the SPJ Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky) conference in April. They recruited several other student chapters to brainstorm ideas and join them to organize free speech walls in the region.

SPJ/ONA DePaul, the two-time SPJ National Campus Chapter of the Year, is the only student organization presenting at the Excellence in Journalism conference this year.