By Karen Grabowski
July 30, 2009
SPJ Communications Department
MEET THIS DEADLINE. The 2009 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference is next month! Save $100 by registering by Aug. 2. You can't afford NOT to attend. Don't miss the three days of top-notch educational programs, the uplifting environment and networking opportunities the Convention offers.
BECAUSE OF YOU. Thank you to all of the sponsors for their support to this year's Convention. The 2009 sponsors include: The Pulliam Family, Gannett Foundation, Demand Studios, Indianapolis Business Journal, MCT News Service, Eli Lilly, Scripps Howard Foundation, The Dart Society and Geico. Our Centennial Patron Sponsors deserve a round of applause, too! Thank you, Fred Brown Jr., Howard Dubin, Steve Geimann, Benjamin Hamm, Bill McCloskey, Bob McCord, Molly McDonough, Tom Phillips, Frank Schurz and BNA.
STAY WITH US FOR LESS. Book your hotel room in Indianapolis' Westin Hotel by Aug. 5 and receive the SPJ discounted rate. Hurry, the rate will only last until next week OR until the block of rooms fills. Staying at the Westin places you in the middle of Convention action and in the center of downtown Indianapolis, a beautiful and vibrant city.
LDF JAIL-N-BAIL. Raising money for this year's Legal Defense Fund just got a little more fun. File "charges" against other Convention attendees and watch them sit in "jail" while they try to raise their "bail." The 1st Annual LDF Jail-n-Bail takes place at the Convention. Let's raise some money and enjoy ourselves as we do it!
EXPERIENCE JOURNALISM EXPO. Take part in the Career Center activities and visit face-to-face with exhibitors from C-SPAN, Getty Images, The Dart Society, the Scripps Howard Foundation and more at the Journalism Expo. The Expo will be open for all Convention attendees. Designed to provide you with resources, ideas and information for your career, the Journalism Expo is your one-stop shop for personal and professional development. The Career Center events include exclusive tips on freelancing; expert advice from Career Coach Isha Cogburn; writing tips from Bob Knight; résumé and tape critiques; and the BookMart where several of the Convention speakers will hold book signings.
A LETTER FROM PRESIDENT DAVE AEIKENS. This week, SPJ President Dave Aeikens wrote a letter to chapter leaders that further explains why this year we will use the auction that has annually raised money for the Legal Defense Fund to support the Terry Harper Memorial Fund. Please click here to read the letter.
LET THE BIDDING BEGIN. Items from across the country are rolling in for the Harper Memorial Fund Auction. Check our site often to see the outstanding items you can bid on and take home. Both the live and silent auctions will be held during the Opening Night Reception on Thursday night. Here are some items that just arrived at SPJ headquarters and will be displayed on the auction site soon — watch for them and more in the coming weeks:
— Colbert Tickets: Two VIP tickets to a live taping of Comedy Central's "Colbert Report" with comedian Stephen Colbert
— Louisville Pro Chapter Basket: Includes one bottle of Maker's Mark bourbon, a signed 2009 Kentucky Derby poster of Mine That Bird and Jockey Calvin Borel, a book on the Louisville Slugger and baseball, and more!
TRAINING DAY. Start Sunday morning, Aug. 30, with a Half-Day Training Workshop. Space is limited, so choose from four exciting options and register soon! If you are unable to attend the entire Convention, keep these low-priced ($25) workshops in mind:
Homesteading in Cyberspace will get your blog off the ground and running. Learn to use social media to effectively market "Brand Me." Trainer: Barb Iverson, new media instructor, Columbia College Chicago
Search Engine Optimization and Web Analytics will show you how to connect better with your audience and ensure that your work reaches more people than ever before. Trainers: Brent Payne, SEO director, The Chicago Tribune; Charlie Meyerson, senior Web producer, The Chicago Tribune
Beyond the Spreadsheet will test your knowledge of Excel and introduce you to how to use data analysis to enhance and support your reporting and the overall story package. Trainer: Mark Nichols, database expert, The Indianapolis Star
Basic Web Video will give you hands-on opportunities to learn the basics of video storytelling and how to shoot a solid video story to post on your Web site. Trainer: Deb Wenger, trainer, SPJ Newsroom Training Program
YOUR OWN PRO SHOP. Choose from over 50 professional development programs. There's something for everyone at Convention, whether you love to tweet and want to stay up with new media, want to learn how to bulletproof your career or if you need to revitalize your writing, you will find it all in these programs.
SUPER SESSIONS. Three Super Sessions will be held Convention weekend and you will not want to miss any of them!
On Friday, CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan and ABC News correspondent John Berman will discuss international reporting in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and other global hot spots. Coming to you straight from the frontlines, these journalists will discuss the challenges they face and the present and future of reporting news from abroad.
Saturday features two Super Sessions:
Journalism entrepreneur Rafat Ali will dispense invaluable advice on what you can do in the future to produce journalism and deliver it to an increasingly more diverse and finicky audience. Learn from his journey, which took him over hurdles and on to launch the successful Paidcontent.org during the dotcom bust.
Award-winning journalist Michael Quintanilla gets down with his bad self in his one-man show about writing, "Confessions of a Former Disco Maniac." Using music, images and even a disco ball, Quintanilla reminds you why you became a journalist and why now, more than ever, is the time to stick with it and enjoy the ride.
EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY. At Convention, meals and receptions are not only times to enjoy good food and company, they are also opportunities to applaud fellow journalists. Consider purchasing tickets to the following:
On Thursday, join hundreds of journalists for drinks, cuisine and conversation at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis for the Opening Night Reception. A short walk from the Westin Hotel, the museum celebrates the land, people and architecture of the American Southwest, providing a beautiful venue to kick off the Convention.
Award-winning students will be honored Friday at the Mark of Excellence Awards Luncheon for their outstanding dedication and contributions to journalism. CBS News chief of foreign correspondent Lara Logan will speak with the group that represents the next generation of journalists. Later in the evening, the Sigma Delta Chi Awards Reception will recognize the best in professional journalism in over 50 categories.
The President's Installation Banquet on Saturday closes the Convention with a dinner that bids farewell to one SPJ president as a new president begins. The most prestigious honors bestowed by the Society will also be presented to journalists and chapters for journalistic excellence within their respective communities.
TO OUR ESTEEMED LEADERS. The strength of SPJ is made by the men and women who volunteer their time as leaders who support and educate our members and journalists in their regions. Business meetings, committee meetings and a session for chapter leaders will be held during the Convention.
On Friday, the Opening Business Session begins 8:30 a.m. and Regional Meetings will take place from 4:45-5:30 p.m. The Closing Business Session is Saturday at 4:15 p.m. To see the list of Committee Meetings, click here.
The session for chapter leaders, "You Want to Do What? Session for SPJ Leaders and Leaders-To-Be," will be Friday 9:30 — 11:30 a.m. Fun, creative programs, like teaching journalism ethics through gambling; promoting the First Amendment with free food; starting a state debate commission; or hosting authors during book tours, will be discussed and new programming ideas will be brainstormed. Chapters should try to have at least one representative attend. Campus chapter advisors are also encouraged to attend.
MORE FUN AND GAMES. Even though there will be countless events happening inside the Westin. There are several things you can do to get out and about:
Newsroom Tours — Check out the inner workings of The Indianapolis Star's newsroom, the WTHR-TV Channel 13 station or the WISH-TV Channel 8 station.
Eli Lilly Tour — Explore one of Indianapolis' largest and oldest companies with a historical tour of Eli Lilly and Company.
And don't forget that Friday has a variety of choices for nighttime fun including the SDX Awards Reception, Ethics Hold 'em and BoMB — the Battle of the Media Bands. On Friday night, applaud prestigious award-winners, put on your poker face and dancing shoes, and enjoy!
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Last week, we tested your weatherman knowledge and got quite a few responses. Either you are like me and watch The Weather Channel religiously, or we all enjoy a good Today Show segment early in the morning. Here, again, is last week's question:
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?
The answers are Al Roker and "Wake Up with Al," both of which were sent to us in truly record time by Rebecca Tallent, Ed.D., Assistant Professor at University of Idaho's School of Journalism and Mass Media. Congrats, Rebecca!
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. This SPJ Leads proves that you can't afford to miss this year's convention in Indianapolis. Can you name five other cities in which SPJ Conventions were held as well as the year the convention was held in each city? Let us know if you attended any of the Conventions you submit, too!
Submit answers to Karen Grabowski.
OUR APOLOGIES. Correction: The SPJ Leads disseminated July 23, 2009 included an error. In the blurb about the Harper Memorial Fund Auction, we misstated that up for auction are two registrations to the "RTNDA @ NAP 2010." This information is incorrect. The selection should have read, "Two full complimentary registrations to the RTNDA @ NAB 2010, April 11, 2010 at the Las Vegas Hilton." The NAB is the National Association of Broadcasters.