By Scott Leadingham
May 7, 2009
SPJ Communications Department
THINK ABOUT IT. With the April 17 Centennial Celebration in the past, it's time to think about the future. Consider the next 100 years of SPJ. Contemplate the changing nature of news consumption. Ruminate over your career and the skills you need to stay up-to-date in the industry. Finally, reflect on the value of spending a few hundred dollars to get a lifetime of benefits. After all that laborious thinking, you've no doubt decided to attend the SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference, Aug. 27-30 in Indianapolis. RegistrationRegistration is open for what will be an industry event to remember. With nearly 50 professional development programs, every journalist student and professional in all media will get tremendous benefits. And while you're perusing the programs, consider the special half-day training workshops on Aug. 30, designed specifically to sharpen your Web, database and video skills. In short, the Convention is the biggest event of the year one you can't afford to miss.
TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE. If you've been laid off, you know the uncertainty of a future job and the current economic climate are a volatile combination. SPJ has already come to your aid by offering a free six-month membership extension for laid-off members. To activate the benefit, download and submit this form.
But wait ... that's not all! Now there's even more help to get you back on track. The friendly folks at Coaching United for Success are offering free three-month career coaching for any unemployed professionals searching for a job. See the program Web site for more details and an application. Contact Lisa Kleitz at 617-721-7216 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
FIRST THINGS FIRST. There's a reason the First Amendment comes, well, first in the Bill of Rights and it's not because of a lucky game of rock-paper-scissors. As defenders of a free and independent press, SPJ and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation believe it's important to recognize substantial efforts on behalf of the First Amendment. That's why the Foundation funds the Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award for efforts of a group or individual. With a prize of $10,000, the recognition is truly a prestigious honor and will be presented during the 2009 SPJ Convention. Transportation and lodging is provided for the winners. Submit nominations by July 1. See the SPJ Web site for complete details and an application.
YOU WON'T BE BORED WITH THIS BOARD. What better way to serve your profession than by serving the association that improves and protects journalism? SPJ encourages all eligible members to consider running for one of 13 open seats, ranging from student representative to president-elect. The president-elect automatically becomes president at the conclusion of his or her one-year term. All open positions are elected at the 2009 SPJ Convention, Aug. 27-30 in Indianapolis. The term of office begins Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009, following the installation banquet. See all the details about the positions and declaring candidacy at the SPJ Web site.
BROADCASTING SUCCESS. If you want to experience a top-notch training program for young broadcasters, do so by applying for the 2009 Broadcast Reporters Institute. The workshop is an exciting 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. Oh, and you need to apply by May 13.
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. Get the scoop on the program 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 email@example.com with questions.
FROM TRAGEDY COMES SUCCESS. When Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey began investigating a Bay-area black Muslim empowerment group, he likely didn't imagine the lasting impact his enterprising efforts would have. Bailey's 2007 murder sparked fervent reaction in the Oakland community and claims of a police department cover-up. Seeking to continue Bailey's work, a group of dedicated investigative journalists initiated the Chauncey Bailey Project. Funded by multiple journalism groups including $20,000 from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation the project has revealed layers of information surrounding his suspicious death. Now the coalition of media groups and freelancers is being recognized with Columbia University's Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award for reporting on racial discrimination and intolerance.
DART-ED AWARD. Though reporters and writers may have a love-hate relationship with their superiors, everyone knows that behind great stories are thoughtful editors. Consider nominating a distinguished editor for the 2009 Mimi Award from the Dart Society. The award, which carries a $1,000 cash prize, is named for Mimi Burkhardt, an editor for The Providence Journal who died in 2004. Nominations are due June 1. The award presentation will take place Aug. 28 at the Dart Society Reunion and Symposium in Indianapolis, held in conjunction with the SPJ Convention. Get the award criteria and nomination forms at the Dart Society Web site.
NEEDING A BIGGER... ROOM? Hopefully the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) will need big rooms for its "I Can Do It!" multimedia training sessions, May 30 at Stanford University and June 6 in Washington, D.C. Participants will sharpen their skills in video shooting and editing; audio recording and editing; appearing on camera; building graphics; and using social networking sites to produce and promote good journalism. The workshops will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The cost is $50 for JAWS members and $75 for non-members, less than the market rate for a bucket of chum (hopefully you've picked up on the shark references by now). Hurry registration after May 16 is $100, if space allows. Register at the JAWS Web site.
AND THE WINNER IS... Last week's Leads carried an arduous and procrastination-inducing task: submit your NPR broadcasting name. It was quite simple. Insert your middle initial somewhere in your first name and replace your last name with the smallest town you've ever visited. After sorting through thousands upon thousands of submissions, the SPJ staff clearly overworked picked their favorite.
And the winner is: "Jemanne Ihlabela," the alias of Jeanne Power.
Honorable mention to "Arimel Forks," the alias of Ariel Hansen. (Note: Honorable mention means your humble Leads author has actually been to Forks, Wash., and is bias toward anything in his home state.)
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Get out your movie trivia hats, here comes yet another time-wasting contest.
Q: The blurb headlined "Needing a bigger...Room?" makes generous (and nauseating) reference to the 1975 movie "Jaws." Robert Shaw's character, Quint, is a gruff and grizzled fisherman on whose boat the epic battle takes place. Quint is no stranger to the open ocean, having survived the sinking of what U.S. Navy vessel? (Hint: it's a real ship that actually sank). Submit your answer to Scott Leadingham (and no using the Internet). The winner chosen at random from among the one person bored enough to respond will be highlighted in next week's Leads.