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Merrill College Knight Chair Dana Priest Honored as SPJ Fellow of the Society

The Society of Professional Journalists recognized Dana Priest, the Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, as one of this year’s Fellows of the Society. This is the highest professional honor awarded by SPJ for extraordinary contribution to the profession of journalism.

Dana PriestPriest was joined in this year’s class of fellows by Richard Drew, Marvin Kalb, Soledad O’Brien and Lesley Visser.

“SPJ is proud to welcome these five luminaries as Fellows of the Society,” SPJ National President Claire Regan said in the organization’s announcement. “We are inspired by their passion and professionalism, and look forward to celebrating their outstanding work and many accomplishments at SPJ23.”

In addition to her work at Merrill College, Priest is a reporter for The Washington Post. She covers and teaches intelligence and national security reporting. Priest has won two Pulitzer Prizes for her work uncovering secret CIA interrogation sites and the mistreatment of wounded veterans at Walter Reed Hospital.

Priest is the author of “Top Secret America,” which details the national security buildup in the United States following the Sept. 11 attacks, and “The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military.” She and students at Merrill College also founded Press Uncuffed, a campaign to help free imprisoned journalists.

Fellows will be honored at the SPJ23 annual convention, Sept. 28-30 in Las Vegas, and will participate in a keynote discussion on Sept. 30. The fall issue of Quill Magazine will also focus on this year’s Fellows.

SPJ launched the Fellows of the Society program in 1948 and has named three or more Fellows every year since.

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