SPJ members from around the country celebrated the victory of a small-town Georgia newspaper publisher against a judge who didn’t appreciate his journalism.
Delegates also commended the SPJ Georgia chapter for its tireless efforts to help push the judge to drop her specious charges.
Mark Thomason, the publisher of the Fannin Focus, received a proclamation from the delegates that commended “his relentless pursuit of the public’s right to know” in a freedom of information battle involving the actions of Superior Court Chief Judge Brenda Weaver.
The resolution also calls on Weaver to resign and commended SPJ’s Georgia chapter for leading a fight to assist Thomason and challenge Weaver.
Dr. Carolyn Carlson, and Georgia FOI board member and former SPJ president, said Thomason’s speech was well received.
“Mark Thomason was an inspiration to everyone he met and told his story to at the SPJ national convention,” she said. “He attended the Region 3 meeting, the Freedom of Information Committee meeting and the delegates’ business meeting.
Carlson said Thomason gave appreciation to the members.
“At each stop (he) thanked SPJ Georgia for its vigilance in seeing that the charges were dropped against him,” she said “At the business session, the delegates gave him a standing ovation when he was introduced and again when he finished speaking.”
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(Photo above, Fannin Focus publisher Mark Thomason addresses delegates at the Society of Professional Journalists’ closing business session of the organization’s national conference in New Orleans as outgoing SPJ National President Paul Fletcher looks on September 20.)
(PHOTO CREDIT by Curt Yeomans / Society of Professional Journalists Georgia board member)
Here’s the resolution adopted in honor of Mark Thomason: