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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Campus controversy, annual report deadline

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SPJ Leads | 5/9/2012
Campus controversy, annual report deadline

By Abby Henkel, SPJ Communications Department


CONTROVERSY AS OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN. In a letter to Bridgewater State University President Dana Mohler-Faria, SPJ President John Ensslin voiced concern over the possible removal of student media adviser Dave Copeland after student editors of The Comment printed the name of a sexual assault victim who spoke publicly on campus.

Ensslin noted that SPJ will continue to monitor the situation, but that the controversy could be a potential learning experience. "While I would not have made the same decision the student made," Ensslin wrote, "I'm mindful that these are student journalists who are learning the hard way about the consequences of the choices they make."

Read the full letter here.

A NOD TO HISTORY. President John Ensslin traveled 2,000 miles last weekend to celebrate SPJ honoring The Silverton Standard & The Miner, a Colorado newspaper, as the 2011 Historic Site in Journalism. Ensslin chronicled the trip in his latest Freedom of the Prez blog post, highlighting video clips of interviews and the Silverton Brass Band.

"What was really heart-warming about this story is that we were honoring not just a historic newspaper office but the unbreakable bond that has developed between that paper and the community it has served since 1875," Ensslin wrote.

IT'S HERE: ANNUAL REPORT DEADLINE. Pro chapters: Make sure HQ knows the great things your chapter has been up to this year! Hurry, because you only have until May 15 to file. The pro chapter report form is here. Linda Hall is prepared to answer your questions: or 317-927-8000 ext. 200.

DIGITAL TRAINING WITH ONA. Registration for the SPJ-ONA JournCamp in Phoenix closes May 14. At only $20 for members, you don't want to miss out on loads of training and tools in key areas of digital journalism. Click here to register online.

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.

The program, part of SPJ's Training Place program, is made possible by a grant from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

FOI ON BLOG TALK RADIO. Don't miss the Membership Committee's monthly Blog Talk Radio program, Your SPJ Membership, this Thursday at 1 p.m. ET.

Holly Fisher, guest host, will chat with FOI Committee Chairwoman Linda Petersen about "winners" of this year's Black Hole Awards, as well as a quick recap of what the FOI Committee is planning for the year ahead.

Listen here or give them a call during the show: 347-857-2441

VICTORY FOR FREE PRESS. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh District handed down a resounding victory for the American Civil Liberties Union in ACLU v. Alvarez, ruling the Illinois Eavesdropping Act unconstitutional. SPJ joined the amicus brief last year in support of ACLU's defense of citizens' and journalists' right to gather information in the public domain. The Chicago Tribune has more on the ruling.

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH. Ian Marquand, president of the Montana Pro chapter, is our Volunteer of the Month for May. A former broadcaster, Marquand went to work last year for Montana's Department of Labor.

The Missoula Editor once described Ian as "one of the true champions of open government and freedom of information in Montana."

Region 10 Director Dana Neuts, who nominated Ian for this award, had this to say:

"Ian continues to support SPJ, despite taking a job last fall that is not in our industry," Dana wrote. "He has single-handedly saved the Montana Pro chapter, assists at the regional level whenever asked and serves as a valuable member of the FOI committee. He makes SPJ a priority, supporting us in his deeds and words every day."

President John Ensslin said "Ian is the sort of member who makes me proud to be associated with SPJ."

"He's a bit like a wilderness area," Ensslin added. "I may not get to visit him more than once or twice a year, but it gives me comfort to know that he's out there."

Do you know of someone deserving of this honor? If so, please contact John Ensslin to nominate a candidate by email at

MEMBER AND BROADCASTER SIGNS OFF. Award-winning reporter, journalism professor and longtime SPJ member Ben Silver died from complications of Parkinson's disease May 2 at his home in St. Louis Park, Minn.

As a CBS national correspondent during the 1960s, Silver covered the Cuban missile crisis, school integration, race rioting and two national political conventions. He landed exclusive interviews with Johnny Carson and J. Edgar Hoover. In 1960, he won a Peabody Award for his coverage of Latin America.

Silver, a member of the Minnesota Pro chapter, joined SPJ in 1955. He was an alumnus of the University of Iowa and was named professor emeritus when he retired after 18 years at Arizona State University. Read more about Silver's life here.

SPJ BLOGS NETWORK. Latest updates from the SPJ blogs network:

Al Jazeera English forced to leave China by International Journalism Committee member Butler Cain
My excellent SPJ weekend in Colorado by SPJ President John Ensslin
7 ways to deal with the isolation of freelancing by Freelance Committee member Carol Cole-Frowe
French journalist held by Colombian guerrillas by International Journalism Committee member Ronnie Lovler

WRITING WORKSHOP. The Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes (CSPO) at Arizona State University was recently awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct the second iteration the workshop "To Think, To Write, To Publish," founded on these very ideas.

Writers of all kinds as well as science, innovation and policy scholars are invited to apply to the competitive program where they will learn literary techniques and publish their work in a collection of creative nonfiction essays.

The workshop is an all-expenses-paid, two-part event, offering participants an honorarium upon completion of the program. The first part of the workshop will take place in Washington, D.C. in early October 2012 and the second in Arizona mid-May 2013.

Deadline to applyis June 15, 2012. More information is here.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Who owns the copyright on the now-famous falling-bear photo?

Answer: Andy Duann, the University of Colorado student who took the photo, owns the copyright. The controversy arose when the photo went viral and was picked up by the Associated Press, leading to confusion over contracts and copyrights. Read more here.

And the winner is...Steve Garrison, a student member at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Congratulations, Steve! Soon you'll own something even more tangible than a copyright: an SPJ Leads Quiz Prize.

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Two journalists from a small-town paper watched their investigative story revealing a corrupt sheriff propel to the big-time, appearing on NPR's "On the Media," and "60 Minutes." Name the small-town newspaper.

Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.

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