Fleischaker Greene Scholars program wins SPJ Mark of Excellence, heads to national competition

Kim Greene

Jon Fleischaker

Jon Fleischaker and Kim Greene received notice last week from Loup Langton at Western Kentucky University that a project they helped create and fund was honored at the Region 5 Society for Professional Journalists Conference in Chicago.

It was entered in the SPJ Mark of Excellence competition and won, and now is headed to the national competition.

The Fleischaker Greene Scholars course was created and funded by Jon and Kim about 10 years ago. The course was created in general to promote freedom of speech and freedom of information. It has grown to include students from every part of the School of Journalism & Broadcasting and entry to the class is now competitive. The course is offered once a year in the fall semester. The course topic changes every year but stays within the intent of Jon and Kim. Jon, Kim Leslie Watkins and I have lunch every year, and I propose the course topic to them. The course is co-taught each year with Amanda Crawford from the Journalism sequence assuming the lead role and a second faculty member from some other area of the university joining her in a complementary role that is appropriate to that year’s course topic. The fall 2017 course was titled, “The White House and the Press,” co-taught by the Provost, David Lee.

Jon, of course, is author of Kentucky’s Open Meetings and Open Records laws, originally from the mid 1970s and then was key in the rewrite of both laws in 1990 to 1992. He is KPA general counsel. His wife, Kim, was instrumental in getting the KPA Freedom of Information Hotline started in the mid-1980s and also served as KPA General Counsel.

Here are the five Mark of Excellence honors Western received at the SPJ Region 5 conference that will go on to national competition:

  • Fleischaker Green Scholars, Best Independent Online Student Publication
  • Nicole Ares, Best In-Depth Reporting
  • Abby Potter (2), General News Photography and Best Use of Multimedia
  • Kelsea Hobbs, Sports Photograph

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *