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By Scott Leadingham
SPJ Communications Department
IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER. The event list for SPJ's April 17 Centennial Celebration at DePauw University keeps getting bigger and better. Just added to an already stellar program is a presentation by Richard Tofel, author of "Restless Genius: Barney Kilgore, the Wall Street Journal, and the Invention of Modern Journalism." Tofel will kick-off the day at 2 p.m. in Meharry Hall, the site of SPJ's 1909 founding. Then a panel of journalism greats will discuss the future of the industry with moderator and distinguished professor Bob Steele. A commemorative ceremony will round out the afternoon before everyone breaks for an anniversary dinner. The evening will conclude with a scheduled keynote from veteran broadcaster Jane Pauley, made possible by DePauw University's Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture Series. RSVP your spot and buy a dinner ticket here. Read more background from the DePauw press office here. All events are free except dinner.
SPRING MEANS MORE THAN ALLERGIES. True, seasonal allergies from dandelions, ragweed and other pesky sources are a vernal tradition. And there's no better way to beat the sneezing and itchy-throat blues than by attending a decidedly less irritating spring mainstay: a regional conference. Between the end of March and April, SPJ's 12 spring conferences will offer outstanding professional development and networking opportunities. Students and professionals, members and nonmembers, journalists in all forms of media are welcome to attend. See the spring conference Web page to find the location nearest you.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO SCRIPPS. If you're a chapter leader — for a professional or student chapter — then don't miss your opportunity to attend the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute The Institute is an innovative and dynamic SPJ program that offers student and professional chapter leaders sessions focused on interpersonal and organizational leadership skills, as well as sound chapter management practices. Those who will be serving as a chapter president during 2009-10 are encouraged to apply. The all-expenses paid weekend retreat takes place in Indianapolis June 5-7. Applications are due March 16. Questions? E-mail Heather Porter or call 317-927-8000 ext. 204. The Ted Scripps Leadership Training Institute is funded by a generous grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation.
EXECUTIVELY SPEAKING. The SPJ Executive Committee met Friday, Feb. 20, to finalize the early January meeting in Milwaukee. On the agenda was:
The board heard a report from President Dave Aeikens about a plan to conduct a joint convention with the Radio-Television News Directors Association. RTNDA has decided it is not ready to move forward with 2010 but is willing to discuss 2011. Aeikens will meet with his RTNDA counterpart in Minneapolis in March at the Region 6 spring conference to talk about 2011. The SPJ board will receive a recommendation on a location for the 2010 conference at its April 18 meeting in Greencastle, Ind. The hope is to be ready to select a venue and make a decision on 2011 by the June executive committee meeting in Minneapolis.
The board voted to have staff continue to negotiate a partnership with Helium.com, a Web site that caters to aspiring writers and journalists. The board has asked for a one-year trial and that trial SPJ memberships that Helium members would be eligible for not cost less than $36 a year.
Austin chapter bank account
The board was asked to close the account of the defunct Austin, Texas, Pro chapter. It did so and moved the approximately $7,000 in the account into SPJ's general operating fund as is allowed by the organization's bylaws.
The board decided to discontinue efforts to publish a centennial book. Instead, it instructed staff to develop a print and online product that will continue to trace the 100-year history of SPJ. It shall update all the officers, vice presidents, regional directors, executive directors, board members, Quill editors, Wells Key winners, fellows, award winners (chapter and individual), national convention sites with key speakers and votes, historic sites in journalism, and committee chairs. The lists should be accessible in some way for the attendees at the 2009 national convention. Staff and the board talked about using Quill magazine, or something similar, as a vehicle for the printed information that can be distributed at the convention and mailed to members.
WILL WORK FOR CONVENTION INTERNSHIP. Student journalists — now's your chance to get an incredible internship and real press experience by covering the SPJ Convention, Aug. 27-29. Twelve positions are available for hard-working student journalists to staff The Working Press, a daily tabloid newspaper that covers the convention activities. Writers, photographers and designers are invited to apply for these select positions. By completing the internship, students will get a convention registration and free lodging at the convention hotel, the Indianapolis Westin. Click here for more information and application instructions. E-mail Heather Porter with questions.
OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA. The National Press Foundation is sponsoring a four-day seminar and funding fellowships for journalists attending the program "Understand Retirement Issues," May 31- June 2 in Washington, D.C. Business, consumer, and lifestyle writers and editors, as well as editorial writers, will gain a number of story ideas, sources and methods. Attendees will have on-the-record access to experts from the federal government, AARP, the Brookings Institution and other reputable think tanks, and will visit appropriate Washington venues. To be considered for funding, submit an application form, cover letter explaining interest in the program, brief bio, three clips and one letter of recommendation from a supervisor. The application deadline is April 6. See the program Web site for more information and an application form. Contact Maha Masud at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-663-7285.
SKYROCKETS IN FLIGHT. The Apollo 11 mission to the moon was certainly the feel-good story of the decade, a pinnacle of American ingenuity and human achievement. But the story of the people who covered the story — the press — is similarly fascinating. For example, the press grandstand, from which journalists watched the Apollo 11 launch, is an official historic site in journalism. The problem is, the actual grandstand no longer exists and few photos or other documentation remain. That makes the job of documentary filmmaker Kevin Stirling difficult. He's making a film about the Apollo era and the journalists who covered it. He's seeking the help of SPJ members who may have knowledge of any photos or video showing the press stands used during the launch. If you have a lead, e-mail Kevin or call 610-256-2428.