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By Scott Leadingham
May 14, 2009
SPJ Communications Department
YOU CAN BANK ON IT
Yes, banks aren't the most stable institutions at the moment — at least not the kind with monetary deposits. But SPJ's bank — the Job Bank, to be specific — is more stable than ever. And now it's expanding to give members an even greater benefit. Currently, only members may view postings, and that will remain. However, SPJ is partnering with an outside company, Boxwood Technology, to improve the Job Bank offerings. Now all members can post résumés and career profiles. Registered employers can search your profiles. Even if you're not "currently" looking for a job, it never hurts to have your information on hand. The new job bank will officially launch next week, but for now you're encouraged to add information and résumés, if you so choose. Click here to get started.
(Note that as of now there are no jobs posted in the new Job Bank. The active jobs are in the "old" bank, https://www.spj.org/jobbank.asp, which will remain active through the next week.)
IT'S MOE (BUT NOT LARRY OR CURLY)
There are certainly no stooges in this year's batch of Mark of Excellence Awards winners and finalists. The judges — after weeks of careful listening, meticulous reading and occasional eye poking — announced results this week. Read the news release here. With more than 3,600 entries in 39 categories, the task of judging the exceptional work of college journalists was no easy feat.
SPJ thanks all the dedicated volunteers who helped judge the national and regional contests. National winners and two finalists in each category will be recognized at the 2009 SPJ Convention during the MOE luncheon. If you're coming to the Convention, consider attending this special recognition event. The keynote speaker will be Lara Logan of CBS News.
DEAR JOHN (OR IS IT JOE? MAYBE JAMES?)
Who says letter writing is a lost art? Apparently OpentheGovernment.org and the Center for Democracy and Technology didn't get the message. They've sent a letter to the Senate Rules Committee advocating passage of S.R. 118. The resolution, introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman, would mandate public access via the Internet to non-confidential Congressional Research Service reports. Not all reports are available to the public, especially not online. As a fellow open government advocacy organization, SPJ has joined the effort. Invoking James Madison — still highly respected in many circles — the letter quotes: "A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both."
Read the letter (PDF).
OUT IN THE WEST TEXAS TOWN OF EL PASO (AND OTHER PLACES
Narrative Writing Workshops are under way and coming to a city near you (well, maybe). The successful program with Pulitzer-winner Tom Hallman is a fantastic experience for anyone interested in strengthening his or her storytelling skills. There are four programs remaining: El Paso, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Lowell, Mass.; and Boise, Idaho. If you're anywhere near these areas, consider attending. The recent program in Chicago was a great success. Hurry — the dates, especially for El Paso, are rapidly approaching. See the program Web site for more details and registration.
The 2009 Spring Conferences may be gone, but they're not forgotten, especially not in Region 2. Perhaps guided by a long-standing tradition of Washington, D.C. journalists to record every conversation, or maybe due to pure benevolence, Region 2 conference organizers taped certain sessions from the March 28 event. Whether or not you're in Region 2, take a look — or listen, as it were.
If you have audio or video from a regional conference or chapter event, and it's posted to the Web, let us know and we'll help tell the world where to find it. E-mail Scott Leadingham.
SPEAKING OF ARCHIVED CONTENT
Don't forget — selected video from the April 17 Centennial Celebration is archived on the SPJ Web site. If you missed the events, or just want to relive the day, see them here. Jane Pauley, Bob Edwards, President Dave Aeikens, a mock induction ceremony — all are there for your viewing pleasure. But don't procrastinate too long — the content will only be available online until July 20.
And remember, if your chapter held an event to commemorate the Centennial, submit any pictures for possible inclusion in Quill or use at the Convention.
ATLANTIC INTERNS, PACIFIC FELLOWS
Whether you're a student still looking for a summer internship, or an experienced journalist looking for a mid-career "study break," consider these opportunities:
Where Magazine, a monthly guidebook-style publication, is seeking an intern for its Miami office. Although unpaid, the intern will work directly with the editor to write and produce bylined stories. E-mail résumé and several clips, if available, to editor Irene Moore.
The East-West Center, based in Hawaii, is sponsoring three upcoming fellowships for U.S. and Asian journalists.
— Japan-U.S. Journalists Exchange, June 21 — July 3 for the program "New Leadership and the Global Economic Crisis." Application deadline is May 17. More information.
— Hong Kong Journalism Fellowship, July 28 — Aug. 12 for the program "Facing Economic Crisis and Environmental Sustainability." Application deadline is May 20. More information.
— Jefferson Fellowship, Oct. 25 — Nov. 14, for the program "The Right Climate for Confronting Climate Change." Application deadline is June 17. More information.
INTERNS NEED HELP, TOO. The South Asian Journalists Association is launching a new program to help college students get newsroom experience. SAJA will offer stipends to help students bridge the financial gap as they accept partially paid or unpaid internships. The group will award three need-based grants for $5,000 total: Each award will be for a minimum of $1,000, and final amounts will be decided by the judges. Hurry — the deadline is May 30. For more information or to apply, see the SAJA Web site.
WAIT A MINUTE... OR 60. CBS News' "60 Minutes" is one of the most recognized, respected and awarded television news magazines. Among its competitors — "Dateline," "20/20," "Frontline" — are other highly regarded programs. Perhaps itching to try its hand in investigative reporting, Chevron has emerged as a new "60 Minutes" competitor — kind of. The New York Times reported this week on Chevron's attempt to counter a "60 Minutes" report about environmental degradation in Ecuador with its own "newsy" report. While corporate responses to news reports are common, perhaps not-so-common is hiring a former journalist to lead an investigative effort. Chevron tapped former CNN correspondent Gene Randall to present its side of the story. Using the voiceover tagline "Gene Randall reporting," the Chevron piece mirrors "60 Minutes" in one other way — both reports are nearly identical in length. The Chevron video is here. The "60 Minutes" video is here.
WE HAVE A WINNER. Last week's question: Quint, the gruff fisherman in "Jaws," survived the sinking of what real U.S. Navy vessel?
Answer: U.S.S. Indianapolis — the location of this year's SPJ Convention! (Yes, it was a shameless plug.)
Apparently numerous people have extra time to kill. But the one with the most time was Guy Baehr, whose correct answer was randomly selected from at least one correct answer. It's important to note that his winning entry — for which he will receive absolutely nothing — was not influenced by the fact that he's a former regional director. Nor was it influenced by the shiny Mustang convertible he recently bequeathed to SPJ's Legal Defense Fund.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. If notable country music legend Marty Robbins were to attend one of the Narrative Writing Workshops, which one would it be? And what, or who, might distract him?
Submit your answers to Scott Leadingham. The winner will be highlighted in next week's Leads and win a very lucrative prize: the satisfaction of knowing you're not the only geek who knows Marty Robbins' songs.