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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Convention deadlines are arriving quickly! Register today!

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SPJ Leads | 7/23/2009
Convention deadlines are arriving quickly! Register today!


By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department

SPJ & RTNDA JOIN FORCES IN 2011. SPJ and the Radio-Television News Directors Association announced last week that we plan to hold a joint convention in 2011. The organizations are in the early stages of planning the event. SPJ President Dave Aeikens stressed that the goal of the partnership is to "put on the best professional development programs in the country while maintaining the traditions of both organizations." For more information, read our press release.

In 2009 and 2010 SPJ will hold its own national convention. The 2009 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference is Aug. 27-30 in Indianapolis. If you are still deciding on whether or not you should invest in this year's Convention, we suggest you do! The annual event boasts invaluable training sessions and professional development programs as well as noted journalism speakers. You can't afford to miss this ... register NOW! Early registration ends Aug. 2 sign up today and save $100.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE HILL. SPJ leaders recently visited key lawmakers and their staffs in Washington, D.C. in an effort to continue our fight for a federal shield law. That experience is shared through the eyes, words and camera lens of George Daniels. Daniels posted his thoughts and photos on his blog. A journalism educator with a background in television news production, Daniels writes, "Later this year when the U.S. Senate passes the Free Flow of Information Act, I'd like to think it was, in part, because the efforts of 12 people, including myself, from the Society of Professional Journalists." Keep reading here. Thank you for sharing, George!

A LIFETIME OF ACHIEVEMENTS. SPJ is pleased to honor pioneering Tennessee journalist Robert Churchwell with the Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement. Churchwell, who died Feb. 1, 2009, was the first black journalist to work as a full-time reporter for a Southern general interest newspaper. In 1965, he became the first black member of Sigma Delta Chi's (now SPJ) Middle Tennessee Professional Chapter, and he served as chapter vice president in 1969. A recipient of numerous awards, Churchwell was inducted into the regional hall of fame of the National Association of Black Journalists in 1994. This SPJ award commends Churchwell on his lifetime of contribution and service to the journalism profession. To learn more about Churchwell and the Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement, please read the press release.

GET PINNED AT CONVENTION. You've seen the Convention logo designed especially for SPJ's 100th year, but did you know it means more than a celebratory symbol? It is a symbol of the past 100 years of defending and improving journalism. The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation plays a large part in this mission. SDX supports the educational programs of the Society and serves the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism. The best part is that YOU can help! When you donate $100 to the SDX Foundation, you will receive a limited-edition lapel pin commemorating our Centennial. Your donation will help the SDX Foundation grant funds to SPJ for educational and training programs.

For more information, contact Amy Posavac at 317-927-8000 ext. 213 or at

PLACE YOUR BIDS. The auction benefiting the Terry Harper Memorial Fund at the 2009 SPJ Convention has a myriad of treasures and YOU can bid to own one! Or two or three! See the SPJ Web site for a list of what is available. And check back often as new items are added regularly. Here are a few examples of what you will see at the auction:

A signed copy of Quill by Jane Pauley
Collectable Indianapolis Star front page: Framed copy of the front page of the Indianapolis Star from the day after the Indianapolis 500. Signed by winner Helio Castroneves.
RTNDA Convention Registration: Two full complimentary registrations to the RTNDA @ NAP 2010, April 11, 2010 at the Las Vegas Hilton.

ONE FOR YOUR FUNNY BONE. Political cartoonists can make us laugh as well as they can make us think, analyze and question the world around us. At the 2009 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference, the program Editorial Cartoons: A Link Between Print and Online Media will explore the value of editorial cartoons, the future of cartoons in new media and their appeal to the next generation of journalists and readers. Ted Rall, the president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, will hold this session, so whether you're a writer or a reader, you can't miss it!

REPORTING BACK SUCCESS. Another successful Reporters Institute wrapped up July 22 in St. Petersburg, Fla., where 34 energetic, committed early-career journalists received a crash course in all things broadcast. Twenty-seven TV journalists and seven radio journalists embarked on a three-day boot camp to cover topics such as freedom of information laws, ethics, new media and diversity.

Trainers at the Institute were Mark Douglas, investigative reporter for WFLA News Channel 8; Joe Adams, editorial writer at The Florida Times-Union; Rhori Johnston, co-anchor for CBS affiliate in Nashville, WTVF-TV; Sally Lehrman, Santa Clara University's Knight Ridder-San Jose Mercury News Endowed Chair in Journalism and the Public Interest; Kelly McBride, Ethics group Leader and Co-leader of Poynter Ethics Fellows; Deborah Potter, founder and executive director of NewsLab; and Deb Halpern Wenger, assistant professor at the University of Mississippi. Click here for a link to the schedule.

The Institute, which is the only one of its kind in the nation, is funded in part by the SDX Foundation. SPJ received 80 applications for the 36 slots. Thanks to the Foundation, the program will continue next year with programs for both broadcast and print journalists. Stay tuned and be one of the first to sign up in 2010!

STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS FROM RTNDA. Tied with free food, what do students love the most? Free money, of course! And there is nothing better spent than the money you put toward your education. RTNDA has multiple scholarships available for hard-working undergraduate students who have a focus in electronic journalism.

All scholarships are open to enrolled students (freshmen excluded) who are pursuing careers in radio and television news. Candidates must be full-time college students with at least one full year of college remaining, and they must be in good standing. To learn more about the scholarships and to apply, visit the RTNDA Web site.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. We've been sticking with an Indiana vibe for our quizzes, and why not? Our national Convention is in its heart. Only a few of our members took a shot at the Letterman trivia, and for that we thank you for playing! Here, again, is the question:

President Obama has been the subject (repeatedly) of one Hoosier's late night show in New York. Whether it is passing around Obama's "new slogan: 'Yes we can... or maybe not, it's hard to say,"' or poking fun at the Obama family's dog search, "Once the Obamas choose a dog, he must then be confirmed by the Senate," Indianapolis-native David Letterman works hard for his laughs in his CBS studio. For this week's quiz, tell us this: At which store did Letterman work as a young man in Indianapolis, and for major bonus points in what trendy Indianapolis neighborhood was the store located? Hint: A Fresh Market stands there now.

After headquarters staff submitted answers immediately, I received the correct answer from E. Jean Myers from Georgia State University: Atlas Supermarket on College Avenue, which is located in the Meridian-Kessler/Broad Ripple area in Indianapolis. Originally a Texan, I will let my Indianapolis natives discuss whether or not Meridian-Kessler or Broad Ripple is more appropriate...

Okay, readers Take another shot!

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. David Letterman attended Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis, Ind. where he was allegedly voted the "Class Smart Alec." If you Google David Letterman, you will probably come up with several alleged comments and "facts" that may or may not be true, but those posters and Letterman have something in common. Apparently, Letterman worked as a weatherman in Indianapolis at what is now WTHR where he sometimes created fake city names while reporting the weather, often joking un-predictably on the air. Another weatherman likes to joke, but he gets his laughs on NBC. What morning show weatherman signs off his weather report with, "here's what's happening in your neck of the woods"? And what is his new show that debuted July 20, 6 a.m. with Stephanie Abrams on The Weather Channel?

Submit answers to Karen Grabowski.

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