Matthew T. Hall | SPJ Secretary-Treasurer

Hey SPJ. I'm Matthew T. Hall, editorial and opinion director of The San Diego Union-Tribune. I've been a national SPJ board member since 2014, and a San Diego Pro board member since 2011. I was president of San Diego Pro when it won national chapter of the year in 2015.

Now I'm running to be national secretary-treasurer, and I would really appreciate your vote.

Read on for my background and a broad, diverse group of endorsements, but first let me tell you why I'm running and what I want to see more of at SPJ.

1. Newsroom diversity

2. Media literacy 

3. Journalism advocacy

 
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Why run for secretary-treasurer?

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I'l give you five reasons.

First, I love SPJ. I have served on the board of directors of the San Diego Pro chapter since 2011 and been its secretary, its vice president and a two-term president. I've also served on the national SPJ board since 2014, elected by members three times to advocate for journalists in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Micronesia in Region 11, one of SPJ's largest regions. I currently serve on the national SPJ bylaws, finance and executive committees.

I haven't done enough.

Second, I love journalism. All sorts. I have awards for investigations, breaking news, feature stories, criticism, blogging, social media personality and column, editorial and humor writing. Just this week, the San Diego Press Club honored me with the prestigious 2018 Jim Reiman Enlightened Management Award for Outstanding Media Management. I stay on top of industry trends and have shared them with countless journalism students in classrooms in California, New Hampshire and Ohio over the years. Importantly, when it comes to guiding large organizations, I have management experience as the director of the Ideas & Opinion team and a member of the executive team at The San Diego Union-Tribune.

I haven't done enough.

Third, I love/hate social media. I'm on it at all hours of the day and have a deep appreciation for what it offers, good and bad. I managed it for the Union-Tribune for years, and still moderate our subscribers Facebook group. I'm addicted to Twitter, as my wife and daughters might tell you, and I tweet too much, as my 10,000 followers might tell you. I was named Social Media Personality of the year at the 2018 San Diego Pro SPJ awards banquet in July. I see and share a lot of SPJ news on social media, and do a lot to advocate for journalists there.

I haven't done enough.

Fourth, I want journalism to thrive. I support young journalists, heck all journalists, and I'm trying harder than ever to help the public understand the value of journalism at a time that is both tumultuous and, as we were reminded in June in Annapolis, Maryland, dangerous. I've given numerous talks, I've taken part in or moderated many journalism panels, and, most recently, I've helped prepare a "Fake News, Real Problem" presentation for use in local schools and libraries that's very popular in San Diego. It's time for greater advocacy and more media literacy training from practicing journalists.

I haven't done enough.

Fifth, I want SPJ to remain vital and relevant by emphasizing ethics, inclusion, education and advocacy. I have three goals that will make SPJ stronger: I want to increase diversity in newsrooms, bring more journalists into schools and public discussions to help people truly understand our crucial role, and defend the integrity and rights of all journalists trying to do good work. We can do better.

We haven't done enough.

 
 

A vote for Hall is a vote for all.

I'm a veteran journalist, an experienced manager, a social media expert, a passionate mentor and a champion for the free press. I will listen. I will lead. I will support you. I will involve more voices in SPJ conversations and make prompt, public financial reporting a priority. Let's make SPJ a diverse, fiscally sound, bolder organization. Together.

 
 

Endorsements

SPJ San Diego Pro Chapter is proud to endorse longtime board member and current SPJ Region 11 director Matthew T. Hall for secretary-treasurer of the national Society of Professional Journalists board.
— The San Diego Pro Chapter's board of directors
You are golden with us. You are smart, friendly, hard-working and everything else we treasure in a (secretary-) treasurer. You have the full backing of the board. The only thing is we will miss you at the Region 11 level.
— The Hawaii Professional Chapter of SPJ's board of directors
Good luck!!! We’re rooting for you.
— The Las Vegas SPJ Chapter's board of directors
What can I say about Matt Hall and SPJ? It’s that Matt Hall is SPJ. A proven leader with the passion and ambition that it takes to carry on SPJ’s message into the future.
— Claudia Amezcua, Digital Content Producer at KGW in Portland, Oregon, former Gen J Committee Chair, SPJ Digital Committee member.
Matt is not just passionate about SPJ, he delivers. When my chapter was in the early stages of planning the Region 11 conference this year, he provided sage advice that, no doubt, helped make it a success. Whenever I have a question about anything SPJ-related, from the important to the mundane, Matt always has a helpful answer or he knows who to contact. And he gets back to me quickly, which is always appreciated! His work ethic and enthusiasm is exceptional. He is simply outstanding.
— Stephanie Bluestein, Ed.D., president of the Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter, associate professor at California State University, Northridge
Matt Hall has been a great advocate for journalism and journalists during his time on the SPJ board. He is a strong and proven leader and he will make an outstanding secretary-treasurer. He deserves your support.
— Dave Aeikens, 2008-2009 SPJ national president
As a former leader in SPJ it’s hard to take your eye off the Society’s future. You want it in good hands well past your time of contributions. Matt has the leadership experience, the knowledge and the determination needed to secure a bright and meaningful future for SPJ. I don’t worry about our future when people like him are stepping up and assuming leadership positions.
— Kevin Z. Smith, 2009-10 SPJ national president, former SPJ Ethics Committee chair, president of SPJ's Central Ohio chapter, 2014 Wells Memorial Key winner
I had the privilege of working with Matt on the national SPJ board and seeing him in a leadership role at the local, regional and national level. Matt brought a fresh perspective to the board, and while we didn’t always agree, I always respected his thoughtful approach to issues. He asked questions and truly listened before forming an opinion. Matt’s talent as a journalist, his unique perspective and his leadership style make him a great fit for the SPJ board.
— Dana Neuts, 2014-15 SPJ national president
Matt has been a dedicated leader in SPJ, both locally and nationally. He’s the kind of journalist I want setting the agenda for our organization. His passion for what he does is contagious and we need more like him within our ranks.
— Robyn Weiner, president of the Virginia Pro Chapter, journalist at The Virginian-Pilot
Matt Hall’s talents, temperament and accomplishments are exactly what SPJ needs in this challenging time. He is always about the mission and never about himself. He’s communicative and responsive, routinely seeking input on decisions that affect journalism and SPJ. He understands the profession’s future success demands transparency, creativity and, most of all, diversity. He has been a committed and outspoken advocate for those elements for years. Matt’s also the first to roll up his sleeves to do the heavy lifting – all while being patient and funny. Knowing that Matt will be ‘in the room where it happens’ makes me even more optimistic that SPJ will evolve exactly as it must in order to fulfill our mission.
— Tim Eigo, president of the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix) Pro Chapter, Editor at Arizona Attorney Magazine
Volunteering for SPJ can be challenging while trying to hold down a full-time journalism job — especially at a company like Tronc, where Matt and I both worked until recently. Matt kept advocating for journalists even as the corporate ground shifted beneath him at The San Diego Union-Tribune this past year.
— Ben Meyerson, Chicago Headline Club past president and Chicago Tribune editor
Matthew Hall is a leader … period. He has been involved at many major moments of my SPJ experience. This includes being a fantastic regional director when I was on the Las Vegas chapter of SPJ. He was also part of the original SPJ Training program to teach Google tools to journalists. And he was there when I participated in the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute. He’s knowledgeable about all the major issues within the organization, both nationally and regionally. I can always count on Matt for answers, encouragement and support!
— Sandra Gonzalez, longtime journalist, member of the SPJ Training Program, secretary of the Houston SPJ chapter
I’ve known Matt for the better part of a decade, first becoming familiar with him via his impeccable news reporting. His early adoption and integration of digital tools to support his journalistic efforts stood out then — in what has become the new normal today. He’s forward-thinking through and through. Matt’s zest for learning and sharing with others is only surpassed by his overall commitment to improving the craft of journalism. His enthusiasm for growing our industry, the people who make it up, and the community we work to inform is genuine and virtuous. Matt seems to epitomize many of the qualities that make SPJ so great and impactful. I could not be more confident or honored to share my humble endorsement for Matt Hall for SPJ national secretary-treasurer.
— Victor Hernandez, SPJ member, news innovation leader based in Las Vegas
Matthew T. Hall gets what it means to be a leader in the Society of Professional Journalists. We met at a Scripps Leadership seminar a number of years ago and I have followed and admired his work from across the country. Many times I found myself pushing our chapter on Long Island to do things that Matt and his chapter achieved in California. He is hungry, passionate, thoughtful, and compassionate. I believe in his ability to lead and generate enthusiasm from the membership base, while forcing impactful change. I endorse Matthew T. Hall for SPJ national secretary-treasurer.
— Chris R. Vaccaro, immediate past president of the Press Club of Long Island, associate director of SPJ Region 1, chair of the SPJ Region 1 Mark of Excellence Awards, and campus advisor of the SPJ chapter at Hofstra University on Long Island
I served on the national board with Matt for two years. His passion for journalism and SPJ was evident at every meeting. He listened and spoke up when he had something valuable to add to the conversation. Matt is an excellent leader of and advocate for SPJ. I support his campaign for secretary-treasurer.
— Amanda Womac, board member, East Tennessee Pro chapter, former national SPJ board member, communications director at the College of Arts and Sciences at University of Tennessee, Knoxville
I’ve known Matt for more than a decade, and what I see in him is that he’s a fierce believer and defender of the First Amendment and journalism. What’s also great about Matt is that he’s inspiring, dedicated and passionate. In my close to 30 years in journalism, I don’t recall meeting someone who lives and breathes the principles of truth and storytelling like he does. Matt is also supportive of diversity in newsrooms. I know as the founder and former president of the San Diego Association of Black Journalists that Matt has supported our mission and has partnered with us and other minority groups of color in the San Diego region. It takes a true leader who recognizes that diverse newsrooms help paint a colorful portrait of the fabric of America. I’m hopeful SPJ voters will make the right choice and choose Matt Hall.
— Jerry McCormick, founding president of the San Diego Association of Black Journalists and former National Association of Black Journalists board member
When Matt says a vote for Hall is a vote for all, he seriously means that. He cares deeply about SPJ as a cause and the people associated with it. The fact that he reached out to members to ask for their thoughts about SPJ and what it should be like for the future is a testament to SPJ’s roots — an organization helping journalists by journalists — and a philosophy I know he will carry for as long as he is involved in this organization. It is especially reassuring for early career SPJ members like myself who face angst and uncertainty as journalism tries to navigate its future. Journalism needs to champion each other, and the same applies for SPJ. Matt is an example of that and will allow this to help us as an industry be at its best. I am delighted therefore to give him my endorsement.
— Alex Veeneman, Freelance journalist in Minnesota, SPJ Ethics Committee member
I worked with Matt during my San Diego years and was always impressed with his journalism and his professionalism. Now, as treasurer of our New Mexico chapter of SPJ (and advisor to our college chapter at UNM where I teach journalism), I’d like to see Matt become national SPJ Secretary-Treasurer to serve us with his passion for our club and for our calling ... and his priorities sound right to me!
— Michael Marcotte, professor of practice in the Communication & Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico and treasurer of SPJ's Rio Grande chapter
Matt Hall has been a consistent and encouraging mentor to student journalists in the San Diego region, speaking each year to numerous classes and groups from high schools, community colleges, and universities in the area. I appreciate that Matt not only shares his perspective and experience with students, but also models civil engagement and respectful discourse with his readers and social media followers. We live in challenging times for journalism; holding ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism is critical to retain public support for a continued free press, without which our democracy is gravely threatened. I am proud to endorse Matt Hall in his continued efforts to strengthen SPJ toward the on-going fulfillment of our organizational mission.
— Bey-Ling Sha, Ph.D., APR, professor and director, School of Journalism & Media Studies, San Diego State University, and secretary, San Diego Pro chapter
First off, I must sadly say, I have no REAL relation to the Hall running to be SPJ’s next Secretary-Treasurer. However he is my SPJ cousin for sure and I say that because the moment someone meets Matt, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve known him forever. He truly cares about people, especially people who believe good journalism is worth fighting for. I had the privilege of serving on the SPJ board of directors with Matt several years back when I was a senior in college. He always wanted to hear my take on an issue because he believes we can’t work towards a better journalism without listening to future journalists. I hope you join me in voting for Matt Hall for SPJ Secretary-Treasurer.
— Brett Hall, TV reporter in Virginia, former national SPJ board campus representative
Why does Matt have my vote for SPJ secretary/treasurer? He gets things done, cares about journalism, the First Amendment and SPJ. He has worked tirelessly as a board member and regional director to improve our organization. He’s smart, easy to work with and a hell of a journalist who understands the changes going on in our industry. I see Matt all the time and he’s always upbeat, full of ideas and willing to help. That’s the kind of leadership we need in SPJ.

And there is one more reason: Who can’t vote for a guy who dresses sharp in a red libel suit?
— Mike Reilley, journalism professor at University of Illinois-Chicago and Journalist's Toolbox editor

C.V.

A former longtime reporter and columnist, I now manage the Ideas & Opinion team at The San Diego Union-Tribune, writing and editing editorials, and overseeing community letters and op-eds, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoon, social media, and a blog and podcast called “The Conversation,” which shares news of the day in novel ways. I'm just getting started.

 

Professional Experience

Reporter, Derry (N.H.) News, Concord (N.H.) Monitor, The (San Diego) Daily Transcript, The San Diego Union-Tribune
1994 to 2012

Columnist, The San Diego Union-Tribune
2012 to 2014

Public engagement director, The San Diego Union-Tribune
2014 to 2016

Editorial and opinion director, The San Diego Union-Tribune
2016 to present

 

SPJ Experience

SPJ San Diego Pro board member
2011 to present

SPJ regional director/national board member
2014 to present

Ted Scripps Leadership Institute graduate
2014

SPJ/Google News Lab trainer
2015

Ted Scripps Leadership Institute mentor
2016

Bylaws committee member
2017 to present

Finance committee member
2017 to present

Executive committee member
2017 to present

 

Education

B.A. English/Journalism
University of New Hampshire
1994

Schools reporting seminar graduate
Poynter Institute
1997

Western Knight Center Fellow
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
2005

Donald M. Murray Visiting Journalist
University of New Hampshire
2017

Kiplinger Fellow
Ohio University
2018

 

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