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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Regional Review, Inhaling Helium, Believing in Public Radio

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SPJ Leads | 4/30/2009
Regional Review, Inhaling Helium, Believing in Public Radio


By Scott Leadingham
SPJ Communications Department

THAT'S ALL SHE WROTE. It's hard to believe, but another spring conference season has come and gone. Since March, 12 regional conferences from Montana to Florida have offered stellar professional development for journalists all over the country. And all conferences honored the best in student journalism with the regional Mark of Excellence Awards. With the first place winners in all regions now announced, national judging can move forward. Winners in each of the 39 categories will be announced in mid-May. The national MOE Awards will be presented at the SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, August 27-30 in Indianapolis. If you have any questions about MOE Awards (or any other national honors), contact Lauren Rochester at 317-927-8000 ext 210 or

Click on each region number below for a list of MOE recipients. Don't know your region? Find it here.

Region 1; Region 2; Region 3; Region 4; Region 5; Region 6; Region 7; Region 8; Region 9; Region 10; Region 11; Region 12

WON'T FIND THESE ON NETFLIX. More than 100 dedicated past and present SPJ'ers were on hand for the April 17 Centennial Celebration. The day included a panel discussion on the future of journalism, mock SPJ induction ceremony and a keynote address from 30-year member Jane Pauley. If you couldn't attend or watch the live Webcast (or even if you did and you want to watch again), use these links to view:
- Panel discussion
- Induction ceremony
- Speech from President Dave Aeikens
- Jane Pauley keynote

If your chapter held an event to commemorate SPJ's 100th anniversary, let headquarters know by submitting chapter news briefs and photos to Scott Leadingham.

SOARING PARTNERSHIP. On the list of SPJ member benefits are great professional development, a stellar magazine, networking and even discounts on car rentals. Now add one more to the list: access to Helium and not the kind you inhale from balloons. This week SPJ announced a partnership with, the world's largest writing community. Helium's citizen journalists will learn from SPJ's seasoned members about how to fairly and ethically cover their local communities. In return, current SPJ members will automatically have access to Helium's premium content and services, normally reserved for established site writers. See the benefits for SPJ members at the Helium Web site. Perhaps most importantly, use your established and learned journalism background to teach others...and make some cash! All SPJ members are eligible to join Helium's "Fundamentals of Journalism Writing Contest." Get the details here. These money-making contests will be ongoing under the partnership, and only open to SPJ members and other highly ranked Helium writers.

GETTIN' BY. Knowing that many journalists are victims of budget cutbacks and a changing industry, SPJ is now offering relief for laid-off members. Current members who have been laid-off can now receive a six-month membership extension at no charge. As members are the lifeblood of SPJ, your continued involvement and input is our priority. Quill will be sent digitally to members who apply for this option, and SPJ asks for five hours of volunteer service in exchange. Current members requesting the benefit must fill out and submit this form.

LAST CHANCE. If you're recently graduated (or will graduate soon) and interested in writing, communications, marketing and public policy work, SPJ has a job for you. Applications are being accepted until Friday, May 1 for the Post-Graduate Communications Internship at SPJ Headquarters. The full-time, year-long position includes competitive pay, excellent benefits and paid vacation. See the SPJ Web site for application instructions and a full position description. The approximate term of employment is Aug. 1, 2009 July 31, 2010. And don't forget to tell your friends and colleagues outside of SPJ. The position is open to any qualified candidate.

BROADCASTING SUCCESS. SPJ is accepting applications for the 2009 Broadcast Reporters Institute, an exciting training program for young broadcast journalists who have graduated and are in their first three years in the profession. It's a crash course in the characteristics of outstanding broadcast journalism.

The program, open to 36 young broadcast journalists, will be July 19-22 at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. If your application is accepted, you (or your company) will be responsible for a $300 registration fee and your travel expenses to and from St. Petersburg. SPJ will provide lodging and most meals. The application process is competitive, and the deadline to apply is May 13. All the information is at the SPJ Web site. If you're a manager wondering if it's a worthwhile expense (or would like to nominate a reporter), read this. Contact Heather Porter at 317-927-8000 ext. 204 or with questions.

HAT TRICK, DAVIS STYLE. Veteran broadcaster Paul Davis may be out of the newsroom these days, but the newsman with over 50 years in the business is not slowing down. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recently inducted him into the prestigious Silver Circle for contributions to television broadcasting in the Chicago area. That's a great honor, but it's certainly not his only one. Aside from decades as a working journalist, he's given countless years of service to the profession, notably as former president of SPJ and the Radio Television News Directors Association. Congrats, Paul!

I BELIEVE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO... ..."The Bob Edwards Show" starting May 1 to catch snippets of the original essay series "This I Believe." National Public Radio junkies will remember the contemporary series, which recently ended its on-air run, as a compelling review of the beliefs of Americans from many walks of life. What you may not know is that the series originated with broadcaster Edward R. Murrow's "This I Believe" series from the 1950s. The essays have not been heard in their entirety since they aired decades ago. The resurrected segments will air Fridays on "The Bob Edwards Show" on Sirius XM satellite radio, and will be repeated on his "Bob Edwards Weekend" show on public radio stations nationwide. In 2004, Edwards published a short biography of Murrow titled "Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism."

WHAT'S IN A NAME? While we're on the subject of fascinations with public radio that border on obsessive, have you ever pondered your "stage" radio name? If you were to, say, host "All Things Considered" or correspond for NPR from Laos, would you want a kitschy on-air name for your signoff?

Two ambitious bloggers (perhaps with a little too much imagination) waydevised a to figure out your NPR name. It's simple, really: Put your middle initial anywhere in your first name. Replace your last name with the smallest town you've ever visited. For example, your humble Leads author is "Ascott Wauconda." Submit your NPR name and the hard-working SPJ staff will pick their favorite. The winner will receive a glorious prize: the satisfaction of knowing SPJ staffers would rather laugh over your name than do actual work. And maybe the winner will be featured in a future edition of Leads. What more incentive do you need?

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