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HOTLANTA! Don't miss SPJ's 2008 Convention & National Journalism Conference, coming up Sept. 4-7 in Atlanta. Check out our lineup of stellar instructors and speakers, including McClatchy Cairo bureau chief Hannah Allam, who has covered the Middle East and Islamic world; Brett Blackledge, winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism; and former Atlanta Journal-Constitution managing editor Hank Klibanoff, whose book about the civil rights movement won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in history.
CONVENTION HOME. The Hyatt Regency has extended its deadline for the special SPJ room rate being offered exclusively to 2008 Convention attendees. But you don't have much longer to take advantage of this amazing deal! The offer is only good until Friday, Aug. 15. Head to the Convention hotel page to reserve your room now!
LES WAS MORE. The Chicago Headline Club will kick off its Les Brownlee Journalism Series with a media mixer where you'll have a ton of fun while also remembering the late Brownlee, SPJ's first African-American member. When: 2-8 p.m., Aug. 24. Where: 537 Judson St., Evanston, the home of Priscilla Ruth MacDougall, Brownlee's widow. Cost: A suggested donation of $10. Proceeds will benefit the Chicago Headline Club Foundation. For more information, visit the Chicago Headline Club Web site.
A NEW SOLICITOR.... ...of your generous donations, that is. SPJ member Geoff Dougherty, editor of the Chi-Town Daily News, reports this week that the organization has received tax-exempt status. "We're working hard to raise $250,000 this year to hire a small staff of reporters and expand our citizen journalism program," he wrote. "So please give today."
HOLDING STEADY. A recent survey, funded in part by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation and conducted by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, brought recent graduates some good news regarding the journalism job market. Nearly all of the 2007 bachelor's degree recipients who looked for work had at least one in-person job interview within six to eight months after graduation. Read more.
KEEPING THEM HONEST. SPJ member and veteran TV news editor Mervin Block of New York strikes again with another insightful take on what he considers an overused phrase uttered a lot around CNN these days.
KEEPING THEM HONEST, TAKE 2. The Center for Public Integrity has launched an investigative blog, "Paper Trail."
FOI BLING. You, too, could win big bucks for writing in defense of the Freedom of Information Act. The American Society of Newspaper Editors and Helium.com are co-sponsoring an essay contest open to writers of all experience levels. Monthly winners receive a certificate and qualify to compete for a grand prize to be presented during Sunshine Week 2009. Find more information online.
READY FOR A CHALLENGE? The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is giving away about $5 million next year to fund digital projects that transform the way communities interact and communicate. Applications will be accepted Sept. 2 Nov. 1. Find out how you could score a piece of this multimillion-dollar pie by visiting www.newschallenge.org.
NO COMMENT?! "I have no tolerance for those who say newspapers should abandon comments (online)," writes SPJ member Angela Connor, managing editor for user-generated content for WRAL's GoLo.com in North Carolina. She continued, "No, they shouldn't. They should manage them." Connor provides plenty of tips about comment-moderation. Do you agree with her? Chime in on SPJ's "Technolo-J" blog.
TWITTERIFIC. Random and recent Twitters from SPJ members:
"In Chicago @ a meeting of Knight Foundation grantees." SPJ Executive Director Terry Harper, Indianapolis
"Have you checked out www.criminalsearches.com? A reporter's dream." David Carlson, Florida
"Blogged a Millennium Park premiere." Stephen Rynkiewicz, Chicago
"Home from Africa and pretty sure life will never be the same." Julie Grimes, Alabama
"Chocolate chunk and walnut brownies in oven." Molly McDonough, Chicago
"OK, fellow iPhoneys having trouble w the touch keypad! U must see www.shapewriter.com." Christine Tatum, Denver