Features editors group changes name to Society for Features Journalism

Romenesko Misc.
The American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors is changing its name to the Society for Features Journalism. The board also rewrote its mission statement to reflect its support for all features journalists, rather than just editors.

Press release

The American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, for more than 60 years the forum for forward-thinking newspaper feature editors, is changing its name to the Society for Features Journalism. Go to its new Web site — http://featuresjournalism.org/ — for updated information about this year’s writing contest, annual conference and diversity fellowships.

At its recent winter meeting at the University of Maryland, the board also rewrote its mission statement to reflect its support for all features journalists, rather than just editors:

Formerly the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, the Society for Features Journalism promotes the craft of writing and innovation in lifestyle, arts and entertainment journalism. To that end, we:

* Uphold the highest ethical standards in all our crafts.
* Celebrate excellence in features journalism.
* Serve as contemporary cultural historians.
* Educate journalists on a continuing basis.
* Mentor student journalists.
* Champion diversity through outreach programs.
* Engage and inform our communities about topics that affect quality of life

Now in partnership with Maryland’s Merrill College of Journalism, AASFE started at the American Press Institute, then located at Columbia University. In 1947, 17 Sunday editors at newspapers ranging from the Williamsport (Pa.) Grit to The New York Times had just finished a two-week seminar. Enjoying their give-and-take, they agreed to meet at API a year later, and the association was born.

In recent years the association has opened its membership to writers, freelancers and online journalists with a special interest in features journalism.

SFJ holds annual writing and best section contests, and an annual conference. It also awards fellowships to young journalists of color to attend its conference. Its Hall of Fame inductees include such luminaries as include Roger Ebert (2010), Arthur Gelb (2005) and Eppie Lederer and Pauline Phillips (2001).

This year’s conference will take place in Tucson, Ariz., from Aug. 24-27.

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