2009-2010 GFW PRSA board members celebrated the holidays at the home of David and Andra Bennett House. All from left, above: Cindy Vasquez; Laura Van Hoosier, APR; Lauren Burkett and Cacy Barnard. Below: Margaret Ritsch and Allyson Cross; Dr. Doug Newsom, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Andra Bennett, APR. Bottom: Joan Hunter; Tom Burke, APR, and Carol Murray, APR; Megan Murphey and Richie Escovedo.
Outgoing GFW PRSA president Andra Bennett House, APR, celebrates a $500 Oncor gift honoring George Hedrick with the man himself, left, and Chris Schein. Hedrick received the chapter’s Team Spirit Award at the last meeting of the year, Dec. 9. Hedrick is retired from the former TXU and is an adviser to Oncor. Right picture, from left: Rand LaVonn, Chris Schein, Joan Hunter, George Hedrick, Debbie Moore, Carol Peters.
PRSA local update V: Standing reminder. The DFW Communicators Job Bank lists full-time, part-time and internship positions in PR, media affairs, advertising/sales, event planning, graphic design, marketing, and corporate and employee communications throughout North Texas. Employers who are members of the participating organizations may post a job listing for $50; the cost for nonmembers is $75. Nonprofits get a 50 percent discount. Each posting runs three weeks. Greater Fort Worth PRSA receives a portion of the proceeds when a member marks his or her membership status on the submission form. More from Jerrod Resweber at jresweber@webershandwick.com.

Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas update: Following the lead of 26 states, Congress is considering an anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute entitled the Citizen Participation Act of 2009. The measure would provide protection for people who are sued for exercising their First Amendment rights of petition and speech. More on H.R. 4364 here and here. FOIFT will spearhead the effort to get similar legislation passed in Texas during the 82nd legislative session in 2011. FOIFT was instrumental in helping pass the Free Flow of Information Act, H.B. 670, during the last legislative session. The FOIFT advances the rights and responsibilities of citizens to access their government.

SPJ national update: The federal shield law bill, S. 448, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Dec. 10 and now goes for consideration to the full Senate, where it is likely to win approval; it will then have to be reconciled with a version approved by the House. The vote represents a major victory for news organizations. Almost every state already offers such protection. SPJ leaders celebrated the news. “This moment has been five years in the making,” SPJ president Kevin Smith said. “While we understand this is a work in progress and it must win a floor vote, we are confident that the merits of this legislation will carry it.” ... Citizen journalism gaining steam, filling in blanks left by mainstream media.