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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Information on SPJ elections + Sunshine Week panel in D.C.

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SPJ Leads | 3/12/2014
Information on SPJ elections + Sunshine Week panel in D.C.

By Ellen Kobe, SPJ Communications Department



Lead the nation's largest, most broad-based journalism organization by running for a position on SPJ's Board of Directors.

SPJ is defined by its members, and the Society seeks board candidates who are passionate about its mission and reflect the diversity of the journalism industry. Each member will vote electronically during Excellence in Journalism 2014 (EIJ14) in August, but elections start now:

Declare your candidacy for one of the following positions by emailing Nominations Committee Chairman Sonny Albarado at and Executive Director Joe Skeel at

- President-elect (elected every year)
- Secretary-Treasurer (elected every year)
- At-Large Director (two-year position)
- Campus Adviser At-Large (two-year position)
- Student Representative (two positions, elected every year)
- Directors for Regions 1, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 (two-year position)

There is no formal deadline to declare candidacy, but candidates wanting to run a profile in Quill ahead of the convention must make a May 5 copy deadline. Direct any election-related questions to Chapter Coordinator Tara Puckey via email or call 317.920.4784.


On March 19 at 1:30 p.m., a National Press Club panel will discuss the first ever national surveys that document reporters' perceptions about whether government press offices interfere with reporting. Register online for the event, which will be held at the National Press Club's Zenger Room in Washington D.C.

The forum will occur during Sunshine Week, which is an annual series of events in mid-March that spotlights the importance of transparency, especially government openness. SPJ sponsored one national survey of political and general assignment reporters working at the state and local level and joined with the Education Writers Association to sponsor a separate survey of the nation's education reporters.
The surveys were led by Dr. Carolyn S. Carlson, a communication professor from Kennesaw State University. In the last two years, surveys by Carlson have stirred discussion about the widespread movement in recent times in which government agencies and other entities bar employees from speaking to reporters unless they go through public affairs offices. Her work has also shined a light on delays and other barriers that sometimes ensue after reporters contact public affairs staff.

Speakers at the event will include Carlson; moderator Kathryn Foxhall, a member of the National Press Club Freedom of the Press Committee, SPJ member and a freelance reporter; David Cuillier, SPJ president and director of the University of Arizona School of Journalism; Emily Richman, public editor for Education Writers Association.

NPC and SPJ have also posted an op-ed for use by news outlets during Sunshine Week saying that agencies at all levels are controlling the information the public receives, threatening the very foundation of democracy.

Is your chapter hosting a program for Sunshine Week? Let us know about it! Email with information.


Hey Region 11 members, looking for some leadership training? We're bringing the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute to San Diego from May 16 to 18. Join us for a weekend of SPJ bootcamp -- you'll identify your leadership skills and learn how to work better with those around you. Our most recent graduates of the program left with great ideas and a new outlook on leadership after our event in Kansas City, Mo. Check out our website to see a detailed schedule of events, plus information on how to apply.

P.S. -- We're adding a double dose of SPJ fun for you this weekend. Before Scripps starts the evening of May 16, you can spend the day at JournCamp, a workshop that will give you practical, skills-based professional development to help you to become a better journalist. You can register now, and an updated schedule will be posted on our website soon.

Go to JournCamp. Go to Scripps. Or even better, go to both! We're excited to see you in San Diego.


Nominations for the public SPJ Honors are due in about one week. If you know someone or an organization that should be honored for their service to journalism, either through education, press freedoms advocacy, dedication to freedom of information or historical significance to the media, make sure you give them a chance to be recognized.

Visit the Society's website to read more about the six national honors SPJ awards to the public each year. Email with any questions.


In an age of shrinking newsrooms, philanthropic support has become increasingly vital to investigative reporting -- and that includes freelance reporting. But few initiatives have adequately explored the landscape of these freelancers. So Project Word, a nonprofit organization that facilitates freelance stories for media outlets, is conducting a national survey on freelance investigative reporting.

The survey aims to inform efforts to support freelancers. Project Word is sharing a summary of survey results with almost a dozen participating journalistic institutions, including SPJ.

The survey explores three components:

- the potential of freelance investigative reporters to serve the public interest today

- the challenges and needs they face in fulfilling that potential

- creative ways to address those challenges

Actually, Project Word is distributing two separate on-line surveys:

For freelancers (includes reporters, writers, broadcast producers, or photojournalists who have done freelance investigative reporting in any medium, to any degree-regardless of the extent to which their current freelance load includes investigative reporting):

For non-freelancers (includes anyone who isn't currently freelancing but engages somehow in investigative reporting in the public interest-from staff reporters and editors to funders and journalism professors):

Both versions are strictly anonymous and confidential. All data from the survey will be shared in aggregate only. The deadline is Friday, March 28. For more information, please contact Laird Townsend at 413.528.6592 or


High schoolers can join the American Asian Journalists Association for JCamp, a six-day intensive journalism training program. Students learn from professional journalists and get hands-on training in writing, photography, television broadcasting, online media and reporting. Sessions and workshops are led by experienced journalists from top media companies. JCamp is an all-expenses-paid program with travel, meals and lodging covered by AAJA's partners.

This year, JCamp will be hosted by Emerson College in Boston, Mass. Applicants of all races and ethnicities are encouraged to apply. JCamp is open to high school students currently in their freshman, sophomore or junior year. Applications are due March 16, 2014. For more information and to apply online, click here.


Media professionals who have covered at least one crisis during the past year, such as organizational crises or natural disasters, are sought as participants in telephone interviews as part of a study funded through the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication. Interviews will inform how social and traditional media produce and distribute crisis information, with emphasis on ethical standards, expectations, and practices. Participants will be offered a $25 monetary incentive and will be entered into a drawing for a larger monetary incentive. Interested participants should email or call 804.380.7078 to learn more.


Russell Clanahan, a member of SPJ since 1948, passed away on Feb. 17. A member of the Washington D.C. Pro chapter, Clanahan was a retired public information specialist and speechwriter for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. You can read his obituary in the Washington Post.


What longtime, popular NPR newscaster is retiring this spring?

Answer: Carl Kassel

And the winner is ... Ed Joyce! Joyce is a multimedia reporter at KPCC and a member of the Los Angeles Pro chapter. Congrats!


The New York Times recently hired a new top fashion critic. Where did this person work previously?

Submit your answer to Ellen Kobe.

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