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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Convention deadline, freelance fellowships, our pals at Poynter

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SPJ Leads | 8/21/2008
Convention deadline, freelance fellowships, our pals at Poynter

Scott Leadingham
SPJ Communications Department

JUST A REMINDER.... The deadline to pre-register for the 2008 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference is TOMORROW! If you're planning to attend, but haven't registered, get on it!

Still not decided? Here are just two reasons you should attend:

— Professional Development Sessions: With more than 50 workshops from which to choose, this year's Convention is full of opportunities to hone your writing, sharpen your ability to request public records and learn the essential new media skills required for today's journalists. See a full list of the sessions by clicking here.

— Super Sessions: These sessions will give you the opportunity to learn from giants in the media industry. Joining us in Atlanta will be NPR foreign correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault, NBC News correspondent Martin Fletcher, E.W. Scripps Company CEO Rich Boehne and Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Julia Wallace. Before you go, don't forget to read the bios of these super presenters.

QUERYING YOUR QUERY INTEREST. If you're a freelancer (or interested in such work) and attending the upcoming SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference read on! The life of a freelancer is tough, there's no doubt about that. The Query Clinic (Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. — 4 p.m.) can help your queries avoid the dreaded slush pile. Sharpen your freelancing skills and increase your chances of getting paid by taking advantage of this service. Please contact organizer Sally Lehrman to tell her you're interested in meeting with someone in the Query Clinic.

HAIL TO OUR (FORMER) CHIEF. David Carlson, who served as SPJ president from 2005-2006, was recently named director of the University of Florida's Center for Media Innovation and Research. Carlson is a longtime supporter of new media and the advancement of technology in journalism. He's even been called the "father of the modern interactive newspaper." Certainly everyone in SPJ can be proud of the many accomplishments of our past leader.

FUN WITH FACS IN FLORIDA. The Foundation for American Communications (FACS) is teaming up with SPJ in the Sunshine State to put on a seminar for journalists called "Reporting on Health Care and Health Insurance: The Florida Story." The free event will take place Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the Orlando Sentinel. It's free, but please register ahead of time.

FREE MONEY! SPJ will invest $5,000 to fund local chapter programs during 2008-2009, and your chapter could receive up to $500. All fully chartered SPJ chapters in good standing with the national organization (meaning we must have an annual report on file) are eligible to submit a grant proposal. Contact Professional Development Coordinator Heather Porter for more information.

LEGALLY SPEAKING. Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications is awarding four $3,000 fellowships to support freelance journalists reporting on legal affairs. This is a perfect opportunity for freelancers looking for monetary help with their next project, even if it's not yet been picked up by a media outlet. Best of all, each fellowship comes with a student research assistant. You sure can't beat that!

SPEAKING OF AWARDS. The California First Amendment Coalition is seeking nominations for its Accolades to Champions of the First Amendment and Freedom of Information awards, as well as the aptly named Darkness Award for First Amendment/FOI foes. The accolade category consists of the Bill Farr Award for long-term FA/FOI success and the Beacon Award for recent achievements. The Farr Award is named for the late Los Angeles reporter who was jailed for refusing to identify a source while covering the Charles Manson trial. Nominations are due Sept. 1. See the CFAC Web site for details.

POIGNANT POYNTER. When the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, published a 6,500-word narrative on the plight of a neglected 7-year-old girl, readers were shocked to hear about the horrible conditions in which she was forced to live. But the story also raised interesting questions about a journalist's duty and provided a unique look at how much work goes into covering such in-depth personal pieces. Poynter's Steve Myers sat down with the reporter and photographer responsible for the inspiring story. Read the transcript or download the audio here.

HOW ABOUT A JOB. . .IN INDIA? Everyone is readily aware of the tough times journalists are currently facing. In an age of newsroom layoffs and contract buyouts, job security sure isn't what it used to be. That is, if you're looking in the United States. A recent Salon.com article reveals that the journalism industry is nearly booming in India. And American journalists might have a future over there, if they're willing to travel, of course. It's worth a read.

BUT HERE'S A JOB IN THE U.S.. SPJ is hiring. We're looking for a bookkeeper. Reporting to the Controller and Executive Director, the bookkeeper is responsible for daily administrative and accounting functions. Mastery of QuickBooks is required. The successful candidate must have experience in all facets of bookkeeping, including A/P and A/R, payroll processing, bank reconciliations as well as proficiency with the Microsoft Office suite of programs. Experience with database management, especially iMIS, is a plus. For more information, go to our Careerbuilder.com posting.

SPJ offers competitive compensation and a generous benefits package. E-mail your cover letter, résumé, three professional references and salary requirements to Executive Director Terry Harper.

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