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William Paterson University to host
New Jersey Journalism Hall of Fame

originally published: 03/18/2019

William Paterson University to host New Jersey Journalism Hall of Fame(WAYNE, NJ) -- The William Paterson College of the Arts and Communication and the New Jersey chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists announced on March 18, 2019 that William Paterson University will become the home of the New Jersey Journalism Hall of Fame. The inaugural induction will take place during the William Paterson chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists Awards Ceremony. The ceremony take place on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 6:30pm in Hobart Hall, which houses the William Paterson University Communication Department. Tickets for this inaugural event are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Proceeds will benefit both WPSPJ and NJSPJ. Tickets are available for purchase online.

The first class to be inducted into the New Jersey Journalism Hall of Fame includes Jonathan Alter, Anna Quindlen, John McPhee, Gabe Pressman, and Edith Schapiro.

Jonathan Alter, an author and former columnist for Newsweek, who recently co-directed the HBO documentary “Breslin and Hamill – Deadline Artists.” Mr. Alter lives in Montclair.

Anna Quindlen, an author and former columnist for the New York Times who has a new book coming out titled “Nanaville – Adventures in Grandparenting.” Quindlen is a South Brunswick native. Quindlen will take part via a video greeting.

John McPhee, an author and writer for The New Yorker, whose most recent book is a collection of non-fiction stories titled “The Patch.” McPhee lives in Princeton and teaches journalism at Princeton University. McPhee will be honored in absentia.



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The late Gabe Pressman, a legendary television news journalist for more than 60 years at WNBC-TV in New York City, who got his start in journalism working for the Newark Evening News. His widow Vera will accept the honor.

The late Edith Schapiro worked on the first broadcasts of the CBS Evening News, then went on to become the first woman editor at the Newark Evening News, then N.J.’s leading newspaper. In later years she founded a national Sunday supplement that featured the work of high school journalists and produced public service commercials for “Project Search” of the Red Cross, which re-unites families separated by war and disaster. After she was refused membership in the Society of Professional Journalists, when women were not allowed to join, she served as the longtime president of New Jersey Press Women.

The inductees were nominated by a panel of former New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists presidents and approved by the N.J. Society of Professional Journalists board.

The emcees for the evening will be Miriam Ascarelli, vice president of NJSPJ, and Dr. Nicholas Hirshon, a journalism professor at WPU and the founder and adviser for the William Paterson student chapter Society of Professional Journalists, also known as WPSPJ.

"New Jersey has a rich legacy of great journalism,” said NJSPJ president John Ensslin, a multimedia journalist and former SPJ national president. “With our Hall of Fame at William Paterson University, we hope to honor those journalists who got their start here and went on to great careers elsewhere or those who made their mark in the Garden State."

“I’m honored that our university will become the home for the New Jersey Journalism Hall of Fame,” said Hirshon, “This cements William Paterson’s status as a premiere journalism program in the metropolitan area.”

The WPSPJ Awards Ceremony will start with soft drinks and light appetizers in the lobby of Hobart Hall.

The program will begin at 7:00pm in the Martini Room. WPSPJ will honor three journalists as Friends of WPSPJ for their contributions to the chapter over the past year. The inaugural Friends of WPSPJ include Ensslin, who taught a podcast workshop on the WPU campus; Denis Gorman, a freelance sports reporter who arranged for WPU journalism students to shadow him from the press box at a New Jersey Devils game; and Ruth Ross, a theater critic who invited the students to shadow her as she reviewed a stage performance in West Orange.

The ceremony will include the unveiling of a plaque with the names of the New Jersey Journalism Hall of Fame inductees. The plaque will be displayed year-round in Hobart Hall.




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