Georgia freelance journalist Haisten Willis runs for SPJ’s national board

Staff Report |

Haisten Wilis

Haisten Willis, past president for the Society of Professional Journalists Georgia Pro Chapter and professional freelance journalist based out of Atlanta, Ga., has decided to run for a national slot on the SPJ board of directors in September 2019 as a director at large.

The SPJ board elections will occur during the 2019 Excellence in Journalism Conference in San Antonio, Texas. SPJ members can cast their vote at the national convention or online.

Willis notes his reasons for running for the national position in article he wrote in a article, “I’m running for SPJ’s national board. Here’s why.”

Within the article Willis’ shares his four SPJ missions if elected to the SPJ national board. It includes:

  1. Continue to protect freedom of information. As a member of SPJ’s Freedom of Information Committee, I am committed to ensuring that government doings take place in full view of the public.
  2. Strengthen relationships between levels of SPJ from national to regional, local and hyperlocal. This includes representing at-large members not belonging to a local chapter, one of the primary tasks for directors at large.
  3. Commit to telling stories — including our own. At a time when outsiders attempt to define our work and profession, we must define it ourselves and convey that message to the public.
  4. Grow membership by confidently showcasing the great work we do and the values we espouse, including journalism ethics and professional development.

A campaign Facebook page has also been set up for more information about what Willis is passionate about in posts on the site. Go to to connect.

How to vote online for SPJ National board candidates for September election

All SPJ member can vote in SPJ National elections. Members can view candidate in the Meet the Candidates section.

SPJ Members and member emails

Because the SPJ election system requires electronic voting, SPJ needs to make sure their members via email. SPJ is asking members to: Make sure your email address is current by logging on or by contacting Matthew Kent.


Voting will take place electronically during the Excellence in Journalism 2019 conference, Sept. 5-7. Additional instructions will arrive to SPJ members via email. Call the Election Hotline, 317-920-4788, or

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