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SPJ FOI Chair Cuillier urges public to contact senators as FOIA bill hits home stretch

The Society of Professional Journalists urges the U.S. Senate to pass the FOIA Improvement Act to help journalists and other citizens better access their government.

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bipartisan legislation that strengthens the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation’s premier open government law. Now that the House has approved a similar bill, finality resides with a Senate vote.

Congress doesn’t approve FOIA fixes very often, so getting these amendments through would be a big win for transparency. We think these updates will help journalists and the public have an easier time getting the information they are entitled to see.

SPJ encourages journalists to write editorials to spread the word, and urges everyone to contact their U.S. senators. Read the complete press release

Related: Contact your senator today to pass FOIA fixes! [FOI FYI]

SPJ FOI Chair Cuillier urges public to contact senators as FOIA bill hits home stretch

The Society of Professional Journalists urges the U.S. Senate to pass the FOIA Improvement Act to help journalists and other citizens better access their government.

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bipartisan legislation that strengthens the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation’s premier open government law. Now that the House has approved a similar bill, finality resides with a Senate vote.

Congress doesn’t approve FOIA fixes very often, so getting these amendments through would be a big win for transparency. We think these updates will help journalists and the public have an easier time getting the information they are entitled to see.

SPJ encourages journalists to write editorials to spread the word, and urges everyone to contact their U.S. senators. Read the complete press release

Related: Contact your senator today to pass FOIA fixes! [FOI FYI]


FOI FYI Blog:

Ask an expert: How to appeal a FOIA rejection

Over and over again, I hear journalists complain about being rejected by government agencies when making Freedom of Information Act requests and how difficult it is to successfully file an appeal. So I’ve decided to consult with an expert. Meet Michael Morisy, co-founder of the MuckRock, a collaborative news site that works with its users in filing Freedom of Information Requests and reports on the results. Since it was founded in 2010, MuckRock has filed almost 12,000 FOIA requests and published over 430,000 pages of government documents. >Continue reading Ask an expert: How to appeal a FOIA rejection

FOI FYI Blog: Latest Entry

Ask an expert: How to appeal a FOIA rejection

Over and over again, I hear journalists complain about being rejected by government agencies when making Freedom of Information Act requests and how difficult it is to successfully file an appeal. So I’ve decided to consult with an expert. Meet Michael Morisy, co-founder of the MuckRock, a collaborative news site that works with its users in filing Freedom of Information Requests and reports on the results. Since it was founded in 2010, MuckRock has filed almost 12,000 FOIA requests and published over 430,000 pages of government documents. >Continue reading Ask an expert: How to appeal a FOIA rejection

More from FOI FYI:
– Ask an expert: How to appeal a FOIA rejection
– Contact your senator today to pass FOIA fixes!
– Must read FOI stories – 7/25/14
– Must read FOI stories – 7/18/14
– FOIA should be proactive, not reactive


SPJ Member Spotlight Blog:

Congratulations to Pashtana Usufzy, SPJ’s November Volunteer of the Month

Pashtana Usufzy is a breaking news reporter for the Las Vegas Sun. She studied journalism at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is now pursuing a biology degree. She has been an SPJ member since 2009. Prior to joining the board of the Las Vegas professional chapter as a student representative, she led the campus chapter for three years. Pashtana was nominated for Volunteer of the Month by Gregan Wingert, President of Las Vegas Pro Chapter, who has more to say about Pashtana than the nominee herself. >Continue reading Congratulations to Pashtana Usufzy, SPJ’s November Volunteer of the Month

SPJ Member Spotlight Blog: Latest Entry

Congratulations to Pashtana Usufzy, SPJ’s November Volunteer of the Month

Pashtana Usufzy is a breaking news reporter for the Las Vegas Sun. She studied journalism at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is now pursuing a biology degree. She has been an SPJ member since 2009. Prior to joining the board of the Las Vegas professional chapter as a student representative, she led the campus chapter for three years. Pashtana was nominated for Volunteer of the Month by Gregan Wingert, President of Las Vegas Pro Chapter, who has more to say about Pashtana than the nominee herself. >Continue reading Congratulations to Pashtana Usufzy, SPJ’s November Volunteer of the Month

More from SPJ Member Spotlight:
– Congratulations to Pashtana Usufzy, SPJ’s November Volunteer of the Month
– Lee Anne Peck of Colorado is our October Volunteer of the Month
– Whose job is it to engage members?
– Victor Hernandez: September Volunteer of the Month
– Congratulations to Sharon Dunten, our August volunteer of the month!


Freedom of the Prez Blog:

Highlights thru Nov. 18

It’s been about a month since I wrote my last “highlights” post. There is so much going on within SPJ, but also in the news industry that it is hard to keep up with it all…and to remember to keep you up to date. Here are some of the latest developments in our world, in no particular order: – Today the national SPJ board approved a $32,000 expenditure (to be paid from surplus from the last fiscal year) for a much needed tech upgrade. >Continue reading Highlights thru Nov. 18

Freedom of the Prez Blog: Latest Entry

Highlights thru Nov. 18

It’s been about a month since I wrote my last “highlights” post. There is so much going on within SPJ, but also in the news industry that it is hard to keep up with it all…and to remember to keep you up to date. Here are some of the latest developments in our world, in no particular order: – Today the national SPJ board approved a $32,000 expenditure (to be paid from surplus from the last fiscal year) for a much needed tech upgrade. >Continue reading Highlights thru Nov. 18

More from Freedom of the Prez:
– Highlights thru Nov. 18
– Scott Cooper Sentencing: Justice Served, Lessons Learned
– Gen J to become a community!
– Highlights thru Oct. 22
– Highlights thru Oct. 1


Free Webinar, November 25 at 1 ET
Beyond Twitter and Facebook: Digital Tools for All Journalists

Yeah, we get it: Twitter, Facebook and other social media have dramatically changed news gathering and sharing. But there's so much more out there for journalists.

Join us Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT for a free (that's right, FREE!) webinar that digs deeper into social media tools and the many ways they can enhance your reporting.

Learn to leverage free digital tools, mobile applications and emerging technologies to help you be a more connected, engaged and well-rounded multiplatform reporter. You'll learn how to take advantage of tools like Google Advanced Search, Storify and Google+ hangouts to strengthen your reporting. You'll also get a sense of how Vine and other free/cheap mobile apps can make you a better, more well-rounded digital journalist, no matter what your primary media platform or where you work.

Kim Bui (@kimbui) — digital journalist and co-founder of weekly #WJCHAT on Twitter (Wednesdays, 8 p.m. ET) on digital journalism topics — will lead the program.

Registration is free, but space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

Free Webinar: November 25, 1 p.m. EST
Beyond Twitter and Facebook: Digital Tools for All Journalists

Yeah, we get it: Twitter, Facebook and other social media have dramatically changed news gathering and sharing. But there's so much more out there for journalists.

Join us Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT for a free (that's right, FREE!) webinar that digs deeper into social media tools and the many ways they can enhance your reporting.

Learn to leverage free digital tools, mobile applications and emerging technologies to help you be a more connected, engaged and well-rounded multiplatform reporter. You'll learn how to take advantage of tools like Google Advanced Search, Storify and Google+ hangouts to strengthen your reporting. You'll also get a sense of how Vine and other free/cheap mobile apps can make you a better, more well-rounded digital journalist, no matter what your primary media platform or where you work.

Kim Bui (@kimbui) — digital journalist and co-founder of weekly #WJCHAT on Twitter (Wednesdays, 8 p.m. ET) on digital journalism topics — will lead the program.

Registration is free, but space is limited, so reserve your spot today!


Nominations open for SPJ's
national awards

Sigma Delta Chi Awards: The Sigma Delta Chi Awards are among the premiere prizes in the profession and recognize achievement in all forms of journalism. Entries due Feb. 6, 2015.

Mark of Excellence Awards: The Mark of Excellence Awards honors the best in collegiate journalism. The annual competition offers categories in newspapers, magazines, photography, radio, television and online journalism. Entries due Jan. 23, 2015.

New America Award: SPJ's New America Award honors public service journalism that explores and exposes an issue of importance to immigrant or ethnic communities in the United States. Entries due Feb. 13, 2015.

National High School Essay Contest: SPJ wants to increase high school students’ knowledge and understanding of the importance of independent media to our lives. The top three national winners receive scholarship awards. Postmark deadline: Feb. 28, 2015.

Want to learn more about SPJ's awards? See a complete list here.


Net Worked:

Twitter just became a better tool for journalists

Do you remember your initial tweet? How about the 20 or 40 tweets that followed? The first question may be easy to answer. The second, not so much. But Twitter just announced a way to change that. The 284-million member microblogging platform now has full indexing as well as a search service that can sift for any public tweet ever posted. So now you can easily dig up the first-ever tweets by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey in 2006, the tweets from the hundreds of people who launched a social media maelstrom this summer in Ferguson, Mo., and about half a trillion other tweets from around the globe. >Continue reading Twitter just became a better tool for journalists

Net Worked: Latest Entry

Twitter just became a better tool for journalists

Do you remember your initial tweet? How about the 20 or 40 tweets that followed? The first question may be easy to answer. The second, not so much. But Twitter just announced a way to change that. The 284-million member microblogging platform now has full indexing as well as a search service that can sift for any public tweet ever posted. So now you can easily dig up the first-ever tweets by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey in 2006, the tweets from the hundreds of people who launched a social media maelstrom this summer in Ferguson, Mo., and about half a trillion other tweets from around the globe. >Continue reading Twitter just became a better tool for journalists

More from Net Worked:
– Twitter just became a better tool for journalists
– Deleting your tweeting is cheating
– iPhones, iPads under attack from China?
– Wi-Fi can be hazardous to your health
– Cautionary tale evident in latest Snapchat snafu


Free Webinar: Digital Approach to Enterprise Stories

Journalists traditionally think of enterprise as a long Sunday story in the newspaper or a special report for TV (particularly during sweeps). Increasingly, we need to think digital-first in our planning of enterprise stories: What are the right tools and the right time for telling your big stories? All reporters, editors, managers, news directors and everything in between will benefit from hearing how to shape thinking toward a digital-first approach.

Free Webinar on Demand

Digital Approach to Enterprise Stories

Journalists traditionally think of enterprise as a long Sunday story in the newspaper or a special report for TV (particularly during sweeps). Increasingly, we need to think digital-first in our planning of enterprise stories: What are the right tools and the right time for telling your big stories? All reporters, editors, managers, news directors and everything in between will benefit from hearing how to shape thinking toward a digital-first approach.

Watch now: Flash | HTML5

This webinar is available to all SPJ members at any time and is included, along with our collection of On Demand training sessions, as part of your SPJ membership.

(Not a member? Why not? Become one here!)


Explore SPJ's History

Founded in 1909, the Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

It also has a rich history, which you can explore in detail with this pair of interactive timelines compiled by SPJ member Jennifer Peebles.

Historic Moments: A timeline of SPJ’s development
SPJ Presidents: An interactive timeline
Chester C. Wells: His True Life Story

Explore SPJ's History

Founded in 1909, the Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

It also has a rich history, which you can explore in detail with this pair of interactive timelines compiled by SPJ member Jennifer Peebles.

Historic Moments: A timeline of SPJ’s development
SPJ Presidents: An interactive timeline
Chester C. Wells: His True Life Story


The Journalist's Toolbox

This free site from the Society of Professional Journalists contains thousands of links helpful for reporters, editors, educators or anyone else doing research.

Edited by former Los Angeles Times reporter and DePaul instructor Mike Reilley, the site is organized by beats and industry topics such as Public Records, Crime, Legal Issues, Science, Environment, Journalism Jobs, Sports and more.

The Toolbox is updated twice weekly and several times a day during prominent global breaking news events.


SPJ's new Code of Ethics: Now fit to print

The newest revision of the SPJ Code of Ethics — approved at EIJ14 at 4:49 p.m. on September 6 — is now available to download as a flyer, poster and two-sided bookmark.

SPJ's new Code of Ethics:
Now fit to print

The SPJ Code of Ethics is a statement of abiding principles supported by additional explanations and position papers that address changing journalistic practices. It is not a set of rules, rather a guide that encourages all who engage in journalism to take responsibility for the information they provide, regardless of medium. The code should be read as a whole; individual principles should not be taken out of context. It is not, nor can it be under the First Amendment, legally enforceable.

The newest revision of the SPJ Code of Ethics — approved at EIJ14 at 4:49 p.m. on September 6 — is now available to download as a flyer, poster and two-sided bookmark.

Related:
Revised Ethics Code: Complete text
In review: The Ethics Code Revision Project


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Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
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Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789

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