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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > SPJ leader meetings, a fellowship and more Convention!

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SPJ Leads | 8/13/2009
SPJ leader meetings, a fellowship and more Convention!


By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department

SPJ LEADERS SUPPORT JOURNALISM INSTRUCTOR. SPJ leaders are concerned that Southwestern College journalism instructor Max Branscomb, the 2009 recipient of SPJ's Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award, was denied reassigned time to advise the college's student newspaper, The Sun. The college insists that the removal of reassigned time is due to state budget problems. But the timing of the move is suspect due to the paper's recent coverage of controversial college president Raj Chopra. SPJ leaders sent a letter to President Chopra and five members of the Southwestern Community College District Governing Board speaking out against the removal of Branscomb's reassigned advising time. The letter, mailed on Aug. 11, is available here.

PULLIAM JOURNALISM FELLOWSHIP. The Indianapolis Star and The Arizona Republic, Gannett Co. newspapers, are seeking college students and new graduates with a talent for reporting, news design and graphics, or photojournalism for an exciting and demanding fellowship program. The program pays $650/week for 10 weeks in 2010. Current college juniors, seniors or graduate program students are invited to schedule an interview for Friday, Aug. 28 in the Journalism Expo area during SPJ's Convention. Please e-mail Heather Porter to schedule an interview with a Pulliam Journalism Fellowship representative.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. Quill magazine is a wonderful resource for all journalists — student, professional or educator. Included in an SPJ membership is a subscription to Quill and access to archived online content. Aside from a print resource, Quill is also available to all members as a fully functional "e-magazine." Digital Quill, as it's called, is an exact replica, with embedded Internet links, of the print version. In case you missed the e-mail from earlier this week, access the August issue of Digital Quill here.

As a reminder, you can also see Web-based content at the Quill Web site. There you can download PDF copies of the current issue and access archived Quill content (if you're a current SPJ member). In line with the August cover story about student news bureaus, the Quill Web site features a Web-only story from Virginia Commonwealth University's Capital News Service. The authors are students who explored the trend of public notices disappearing from newspapers. Read their story here.

IT'S NOT TOO LATE. If you haven't registered for the 2009 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, you still have time to sign up and save money! Pre-register by Sunday, Aug. 16, and you can still save on an already-fantastic deal. You can't afford to miss this year's Convention, where SPJ continues to celebrate 100 years of improving and protecting journalism by bringing incredible programs, sessions and speakers to you!

A GOOD CAREER MOVE. SPJ never forgets the tough economic times journalists face, which is why the Career Center is a Convention highlight about which we're all excited. Whether you are a student just starting out or a veteran watchdog, you'll want to add this event to your weekend schedule. 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 Convention speakers will hold book signings.

IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE... It's actually TWO convention Super Sessions with two phenomenal speakers you won't want to miss on Saturday, Aug. 29.

First, at 9:45 a.m., Rafat Ali will share his success story on how he became a journalism entrepreneur and advice on how you can not only keep up with the changing times but remake the industry. Creator and owner of, Ali faced the industry obstacles set before him — and persevered.

Later, at 1:30 p.m., put on your dancing shoes and get ready to party with award-winning journalist Michael Quintanilla for his "Confessions of a Former Disco Maniac." Quintanilla's entertaining approach will remind you why you became a journalist. With the help of music and a disco ball, he will tell you how he redefined himself as a journalist — something everyone can benefit from as we blog, tweet and continue to create alternative forms of storytelling. You won't just walk away from this super session feeling empowered, you'll dance.

FRIDAY NIGHT FUN. Go all-in as SPJ goes all-out to make the 2009 Convention the best one yet! Try your hand at Ethics Hold 'Em, one of our exciting evening activities that is sure to entertain. Eat and drink for free as you play our fun twist on the traditional poker game. We raise the ante in our version of Hold 'Em, because as you compete in the tournament, you also learn about the SPJ Code of Ethics.

And don't forget Battle of the Media Bands (BoMB), presented by SPJ's Indiana Pro chapter. In BoMB, journalists put down their pens, pick up their guitars and rock out to raise money for college journalism scholarships. The event will take place at Radio Radio, one of Indy's top-notch live music venues. This musical blowout only happens once a year, so you don't want to skip! For more details, visit the Convention Web site.

MEET AND GREET. Convention exhibitors are looking forward to meeting journalists at the Journalism Expo. Come mingle with exhibitors from C-SPAN, Columbia University Journalism School, The Dart Society and more. For a full list of exhibitors and recruiters, please visit the Convention Web site.

BREAKING NEWS, BREAKING DOWN. Prepare to be moved during a screening of the pivotal documentary "Breaking News, Breaking Down," which will be shown during the Convention on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 3-5 p.m.

Created by broadcast journalist Mike Walter, the 36-minute documentary explores how journalists' lives are touched by news and trauma. The film brings to light the realities of covering chilling, horrific, but always important, news. It's a must-see for all journalists — and a film best viewed with others in the industry. Join us in Indy for this inspiring documentary.

LDF JAIL-N-BAIL. Raising money at the Convention for the SPJ Legal Defense Fund just got a little more interesting. Watch other Convention attendees sit in "jail" after you file "charges" against them during the Jail-N-Bail. Their job is to try to raise "bail" and leave jail, all while supporting one of the most important funds for journalists. The LDF aids journalists in defending the freedom of speech and the press. Start thinking now about what Convention-goers you want to send to jail!

UP FOR THE COUNT. SPJ is thrilled to report that the number of attendees to this year's Convention is up! We have more Convention attendees at this time in 2009 than we did at the same time last year. We are excited to see each and every one of you and look forward to continuing to welcome future attendees. Don't forget about the next discount deadline: Aug. 16. But you can register up until the first day, Aug. 27, on-site.

GET ON BOARD. The SPJ Board of Directors will conduct its regular fall meetings Aug. 27 and 30 while in Indianapolis for the convention. All SPJ members are encouraged to view the agenda and packet materials that are available on the Web. Please contact Interim Co-Executive Director Joe Skeel with any questions.

MOVING PICTURES. The work of more than a dozen award-winning international photojournalists will be featured in Indianapolis on Aug. 27 at the Dart Society's photojournalism exhibition, "Trauma in Three Acts." The exhibit is at the LCi Gallery, and coincides with the Dart Society's celebration of 10 years of the Ochoberg Fellowship, which all the exhibited photographers were honored with. The Dart Society is a co-sponsor of the 2009 SPJ Convention. Striking but poignant images are part of the show that strives to impress upon its viewers that trauma affects the victims and the photojournalists who tell the stories.

THIS JUST IN. A radio and Web-based educational series about the role of the press in our democracy will debut Aug. 23. The series, "This Just In!" is produced by the George Washington University Global Media Institute in association with the Newseum. Programs will air on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and Federal News Radio in Washington. George Washington students provide the research and assist in production for the shows, which for one hour each week will illuminate our news and those working to get it to the public. To learn more about the series, read the press release.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Last week's quiz must have been a tough one — only one dedicated SPJ member submitted an answer. And he was, of course, correct. If you've forgotten, here is last week's question: SPJ President Dave Aeikens' term will come to an end when he hands over the gavel to Kevin Smith during the President's Installation Banquet in Indianapolis. Can you name the last SPJ president who handed over his/her gavel in the Circle City?

Congratulations to ROBERT LEGER for his answer: Wendy Myers to Kyle Niederpruem.

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Who was the last person honored with the title, "National Honorary President," and in what year was that person recognized as such by the Society of Professional Journalists, then known as Sigma Delta Chi?

Submit answers to Karen Grabowski.

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