By Abby Henkel, SPJ Communications Department
HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY CONTEST. Today SPJ announced the winners of the 2012 High School Essay Contest. Nearly 1,000 public, private and home-schooled students in grades 9-12 submitted essays on the topic "Why is it important that we have news media that are independent of the government?" Winners are:
First Place, $1,000 Scholarship: Hwasung (Daniel) Yoo of the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies in Richmond, Va.
Second Place, $500 Scholarship: Niisackey Mills of South Plainfield High School in South Plainfield, N.J.
Third Place, $300 Scholarship: Dustin Chandler of East Burke High School in Connelly Springs, N.C.
DIGITAL QUILL: IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. The annual ethics issue of Quill is out (and has been for a few weeks) for your general reading pleasure and indulgence. If you missed receiving the e-magazine Digital Quill version, get it here.
In this issue:
— It's an understatement to say Haiti has endured a lot of bad news in the last several years — heck, the last several decades. In a country known for bad luck, struggling civic institutions and governmental ineffectiveness, what proper role does the press play? How can journalists be expected to act ethically when they need to take jobs and money from politicians to make ends meet? A U.S. journalist reviews her time teaching journalism ethics in the hemisphere's poorest country. Read the story.
— The SPJ Code of Ethics is a mainstay, sometimes called the "gold standard," in journalism ethics. It's used in many newsrooms as a guiding resource to help light the sometimes curvy and dark road down which all journalists travel. But sometimes it's not enough. That's why the SPJ Ethics Committee is releasing position papers this year to expand on certain topics covered by the Code. See the first three papers released so far. Read the story.
— "Ten" Q&A with Jim Asendio, whose ethical stance led him to resign as news director from Washington, D.C. public radio station WAMU. Read the interview.
— Special for this issue: The Columbia University SPJ chapter, known for making music videos of meeting minutes, puts the Code of Ethics in song and dance in their video "You've Got a Great Big Responsibility." Watch and share the video.
Quill is also available on the Web, where SPJ members have access to the full archive and online only content.
FUN IN FT. LAUDERDALE. While you soak up all that great journalism knowledge (and sun) at the Excellence in Journalism conference this September in Ft. Lauderdale, make it a vacation by checking out some of these local events in late September.
By the way: Registration for the conference is open! Sign up now and save money with the early-bird rates.
ANNUAL REPORT DEADLINE LOOMS. While campus chapters' annual reports were due April 30, pro chapters have until May 15. Time will fly, so please work to complete your report as soon as possible! The pro chapter report form is here. Linda Hall is prepared to answer all your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-927-8000 ext. 200.
SPJ-ONA JOURNCAMP. With new workshops and trainers added to the schedule for the May 18 SPJ-ONA JournCamp in Phoenix, we wanted to remind you that registration ends May 14. Registration is only $20 for members.
Click here to register online. Registration will be limited to 120 people, so don't delay! You'll find training and tools in several key areas of digital journalism.
When: Friday, May 18
Where: Walter Cronkite School of Journalism
Cost: $20 for SPJ or ONA members, $40 for non-members. Fee includes breakfast and lunch.
Registration deadline: May 14
The program, part of SPJ's Training Place program, is made possible by a grant from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.
KENTUCKY CHAPTER GIVES BACK. Members of the Eastern Kentucky University chapter raised money for the Licking Valley Courier's building, which was damaged in the March 2 tornado in West Liberty, Ky. They raised $180, which was donated through the Kentucky Journalism Foundation.
The students had originally planned to use the money raised to offset the cost of attending the Region 5 Spring Conference in Indianapolis.
HISTORIC JOURNALISM SITE RECOGNIZED. The Silverton Standard & The Miner, a Colorado newspaper, was named by SPJ as the 2011 Historic Site in Journalism. The newspaper, recognized by the SPJ Colorado chapter as a Historic Site in Journalism in 1969, is the oldest Colorado newspaper west of the Continental Divide. There will be a dedication at the site on May 5, 2012. Read more about the paper's history.
SPJ BLOGS NETWORK. Latest updates from the SPJ blogs network:
— What's SoLoMo, and what does Banjo have to do with journalism? by Digital Media Committee member Gil Asakawa
— Focus on membership: Highlights of April board of directors meeting by SPJ President John Ensslin
— Assignment promises to change freelancing by Freelance Committee member David Sheets
— Should SPJ broaden international memberships? by SPJ President John Ensslin
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. A study released this week found some heartening statistics on journalism graduates' job rates compared with those of other majors. What did the researchers find about journalism grads?
Answer: A Georgetown University study found that recent journalism graduates have a lower unemployment rate than the average recent graduate: 7.7 percent compared with 8.9 percent overall. Read more of the findings.
And the winner is... Geoff Carr, an instructor at North Idaho College and a member of the Inland Northwest Pro chapter. Congratulations, Geoff! We hope you'll spread the good news to your students...but you can keep the fabulous SPJ Leads Quiz prize to yourself.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Who owns the copyright on the now-famous falling-bear photo?
Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.