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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Raise a glass for Convention, the future and our Terry Harper

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SPJ Leads | 6/4/2009
Raise a glass for Convention, the future and our Terry Harper


By Karen Grabowski
June 4, 2009
SPJ Communications Department

REMEMBERING TERRY HARPER. It is with a heavy heart that we inform you Executive Director Terry Harper passed away at 1:21 p.m. EST Tuesday.

As many of you know, Terry had been battling brain cancer for the past two years. He deserves a great deal of credit for the strong position SPJ is in as the nation's largest and leading journalism organization. He served as executive director for seven years.

Terry was not only steady, energetic and a decisive leader, he was our friend. Terry and his family are in our thoughts and prayers.

We have posted information about Terry's remembrance and party on our Web site, both of which are occurring this weekend, Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7. All are welcome to attend. We have also included details on how you may help the family and where to send your wishes.

For now, we encourage you to share your comments and stories about Terry. Thank you for your condolences and your memories.

ALL A-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 Convention. 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. And you'd better hurry if you want your candidate information included in the August issue of Quill. There is a June 18 copy deadline.

THE COUNTDOWN CONTINUES. The NBA isn't the only one with a shot clock to watch. Our very own "shot clock" is ticking down the seconds to the 2009 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, Aug. 27-30 in Indianapolis.

But don't just watch the time slip away get involved. SPJ is looking for volunteers, exhibitors and recruiters, and convention delegates. The benefits of attending and getting involved at the Convention are limitless. Take advantage of this incredible event and register online today.

EVERY VOICE COUNTS. Current SPJ members are encouraged to offer comments on the members and professionals nominated for honors such as the Sunshine Award, Ethics in Journalism Award and Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards will be presented during the President's Installation Banquet at the Convention. Log on to to see the nominees and offer your thoughts. (Note: Requires username and password. For your security, SPJ staff does not have access to forgotten passwords.)

TRAUMA, VIOLENCE AND A FELLOWSHIP TO HELP US DEAL. Reporting responsibly and credibly on violence and traumatic events on street crime and family violence, natural disasters and accidents, war and genocide is a great challenge. Apply to be a Dart Center Ochberg Fellow for a unique experience available to mid-career journalists. The Center seeks applicants who want to broaden their knowledge and understanding of emotional trauma and want to improve coverage of violence, conflict and tragedy. The deadline to submit is July 24, 2009. The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism selects six to 10 fellows annually. The fellows attend a week-long seminar program led by journalism experts in the trauma field and participate in the annual conference of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Click here for more information and to apply.

NOMINATE A FRIEND OR YOURSELF FOR A $10K AWARD. The Founding Fathers viewed the basic freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment not as a luxury, but as a necessity. That is why the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation funds the Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award for efforts of a group or an individual. The award honors those who have fought to protect and defend the First Amendment and all its components. Please nominate your colleagues, or feel free to nominate yourself. With a prize of $10,000, the recognition is truly a prestigious honor and will be presented during the 2009 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.

ATTENTION RESPONSIBLE MINNESOTANS. Support your Twin Cities-area citizen journalists and spread the word about the Citizen Journalism Academy. The program seeks to help everyone wanting to practice journalism do so accurately, ethically and fairly. Along with SPJ national, the University of St. Thomas and its student SPJ chapter are sponsoring the event June 13 at the University of St. Thomas. Participants will explore a variety of topics including journalism ethics, media law, and access to public records and meetings. The $40 registration fee includes lunch and all course materials. Register soon! The deadline is June 8 and seating is limited. For more information or to register, please visit E-mail Heather Porter for more information or call 317-927-8000 ext. 204.

FINDING COMMON GROUND. Five-time Emmy Award-winning reporter Mark Joyella will cover the coaching beat for the Coaching Commons, a project of The Harnisch Foundation that offers an independent, online gathering place for anyone interested in professional coaching. Joyella will write and report on coaching as well as create multimedia content for Commons participants. The Harnisch Foundation President Ruth Ann Harnisch is ecstatic to have Joyella as Coaching Commons' first Community Supported Journalist, saying in a statement, "I believe great coaches and great journalists have much in common: they're endlessly curious, willing to ask provocative questions, they refuse to be stonewalled, and they are not intimidated by powerful personalities."

LOOK INTO THE BLOOK, TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE. While some in newspaperdom may be off seeking a crystal ball or a psychic, OurBlook tapped into the minds of professionals and educators in an attempt to foresee what will happen to the newspaper industry in the years to come. More than 25 journalists and media professionals were interviewed for the publication of "The Future of Journalism," a book thataddresses newspapers' present and future. Their insight is available online as a virtual book or Blook that a reader can flip through with the click of a mouse. A variety of professionals weighed in, including Christian Science Monitor editor John Yemma, Texas A&M journalism professor Douglass Starr and head of Next Newsroom Project Chris O'Brien. All the raw interviews are available in addition to the Blook. For more information on this collaborative project, e-mail Sandra Ordonez.

FERPA ABUSE IS NOT TOLERATED. College and university misuse of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is under scrutiny by the author himself former U.S. Sen. James L. Buckley. Buckley told The Columbus Dispatch that schools are abusing the 1974 federal privacy law in "ridiculous" and "wild" ways. The senator is referring to the Dispatch's discovery of college athletic departments' use of FERPA to justify not disclosing certain documents, like parking tickets and flight manifests. The Student Press Law Center hopes the articles reported by the Dispatch's Jill Riepenhoff and Todd Jones will spur Congress to fix the law. Buckley and various college administrators agree.

DISSENT AMONGST THE RANKS, BUT WE STILL HAVE A WINNER. Last week's question: While celebrating the 100th anniversary of SPJ during the Convention, you can also mark the centennial year of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But auto racing isn't the only sport that takes place there. The speedway is also a notable venue for what sport?

Thanks to your impressive knowledge of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a few SPJ staffers bantered back and forth about what second sport is played among the racing lanes and kissable bricks was it the hot air balloon festival, motorcycle racing, bicycling? After a few laps around our reasoning for choosing the correct sport, we stuck with our original answer: Golf.

Congratulations to Al Leeds, president and editorial director of the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service, who is this week's winner! Not only do you have a great last name, Mr. Leeds, but you also have a quick mind and an even quicker mouse-clicking finger. Al answered correctly in, appropriately, record time. We do want to note that Al's seat on the SDX board gave him no upper hand chalk it up to his incredible speed and acumen. If you want to beat Al's time and earn the highest SPJ Leads honor as "This Week's Winner," start your engines...

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. In honor of our dearly missed Terry Harper, this week's quiz is dedicated to Terry's drink of choice.

Known for its iconic glass bottle with a red wax seal that drips artfully down its sides, Maker's Mark got off to a slow start in 1933 before being available for market in 1959. It was, however, the thorough and steady perfectionism of the distiller that gave the world what is arguably the best bourbon around. When people talk about bourbon, they discuss the original distiller and never the company. So when you hear someone say Maker's Mark, who, besides Terry, is the person you should think of immediately?

But think especially of Terry.

Submit your answer to Karen Grabowski

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