2018 David Stolberg Meritorious Service Award Winner

© Maggie Thompson

Volunteers are the lifeblood of SEJ. Member-volunteers organize tours and panels for the conference, implement the awards program, contribute to the SEJournal, serve as mentors, and sit on any number of committees. Absent our member-volunteers, SEJ could not achieve the results it does.

If you’ve been to a lot of SEJ conferences in the past, this year’s Stolberg recipient could be seen organizing panels. At the 2018 Flint conference, she participated in three different conference sessions. She has been a mentor in SEJ’s mentor program, and was involved in SEJ’s Parallel Partners program.

In addition to that, this year’s recipient was among the dedicated volunteers who sifted through more than 200 resumes and conducted candidate interviews as part of the SEJ Executive Director search committee.

We're pleased to honor Meera Subramanian as the 2018 Stolberg Award winner.


This annual award honors exceptional volunteer work by an SEJ member. It was created by the SEJ board in 1998 and named in honor of SEJ founder David Stolberg. Nominees may not be a board member or anyone who is paid by SEJ.

Much of SEJ's best work is accomplished by member-volunteers: tour and panel organizers for the conference, awards program leaders, contributors to SEJournal, SEJ-talk and www.sej.org, freedom-of-information watchdogs, mentors, and leaders in diversity outreach. Volunteers define the heart and soul of SEJ, and they expand the group's reach and significance in ways that are not easily measured.

David Stolberg had a 38-year career with Scripps Howard that included duties for the Scripps Howard Foundation's annual Meeman Awards for excellence in environmental reporting. Stolberg always believed in "the value of networking, of the subliminal training that comes from an association with one's peers." In the 1980s, when Stolberg was assistant general editorial manager of Scripps Howard, he came up with the SEJ idea and kept suggesting it to Meeman winners until he found one who was willing to put in the volunteer time to organize with other journalists and make something happen. That person was SEJ's founding president, Jim Detjen.

Stolberg died May 24, 2011 at age 83.