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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Post-Convention report and an Executive Director update

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SPJ Leads | 9/3/2009
Post-Convention report and an Executive Director update

By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department

THE SEARCH NARROWS

The search committee has narrowed down a field of 180 candidates who applied to succeed Terry Harper as the SPJ's next executive director. The committee selected and notified the finalists in mid-August and is now in the final review and selection process. The board hopes to make a decision by the end of October at the latest.

DRUMROLL PLEASE... The total number of attendees at the 2009 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference was 649! SPJ thanks you for your participation and hopes you had a fantastic experience in the home state of SPJ/SDX. We certainly enjoyed hosting you and the incredible presenters and trainers. You all made the 100th year a monumental occasion.

HEAR IT HERE FIRST (OR AGAIN). If you couldn't attend the 2009 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference OR you just can't get enough of the incredible programs and sessions held last weekend in Indianapolis, you are in luck! A collection of streaming media is available to all SPJ members for FREE on our Web site. New media is uploaded every day, so check back all this week and next. Log in today and listen to Roxana Saberi address a room full of student journalists, to experienced journalists and coaches discuss how to handle losing your job or to Professor Gary Schwitzer explain "How to be a healthy skeptic covering health news."

BAILED OUT. The jailbirds in the Legal Defense Fund Jail-N-Bail were incarcerated for a great cause. Three days of jailing and bailing raised an incredible $4,300, mostly cash, for the fund! Arrested for incorrectly inverting a pyramid, misappropriating quotes or — as one prisoner found herself taken in for — over tweeting, all of the convention attendees placed behind bars raised money to support the fund that assists journalists in their fight to protect the freedom of speech, the press and the First Amendment. Thank you to all the participants and donors! If you, your friends or others you know pledged money (i.e. didn't give cash, check or credit card on the spot), the staff will be calling soon to collect. You can send checks to:

SPJ Legal Defense Fund
3909 N. Meridian
Indianapolis, IN 46208

Please indicate in the memo line "Jain-n-bail" and to whom the money was pledged.

THESE HANDOUTS ARE FREE. You probably found the program handouts at the various programs and sessions very helpful. Several attendees expressed their wish to take them home as cheat sheets on how to better serve their newsrooms and audiences. Because of this feedback, we can still provide convention handouts. If the speaker or presenter submitted handouts to us, they are available on the SPJ Web site.

SUPER SIZED. Among the more than 60 some-odd sessions and programs, three "Super Sessions" held at the convention provided valuable insight, probing questions and a little entertainment. The sessions included "Reporting from the Frontlines," "Creating Stability in an Age of Uncertainty," and "Confessions of a Former Disco Maniac: The Write Moves." All three were popular items on the weekend's schedule and crowds filed into the large ballroom to hear Kim Dozier and James Janega recount their experiences as embedded journalists; to learn how to be as successful and versatile as Rafat Ali; or to boogey down with the motivating Michael Quintanilla.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art provided a beautiful backdrop for all the items available at the Terry Harper Memorial Auction. The event raised money for the Terry Harper Memorial Fund, a living tribute to former Executive Director Terry Harper who passed away in June from brain cancer. The live and silent auctions raised approximately $13,000, which was graciously matched by Ruth Ann Harnisch of the Harnisch Foundation. Another $874 was donated to the fund by convention attendees during the course of the event.

The fund creates scholarships that will enable SPJ members to attend SPJ professional development programs. Terry was a strong advocate for creating professional development programs that would enrich SPJ members' careers. Opening the live auction, President Dave Aeikens said, "We will now be able to give back to our members who otherwise may not be able to take advantage of those opportunities."

WE PRESS THE ISSUE BUT... The students who reported, designed and did the layout for The Working Press deserve a big round of applause. The staff worked under strenuous deadlines so that every convention attendee would have an issue of The Working Press in the morning. For the paper's complete coverage of the convention, visit http://www.spj.org/wp.asp.

SABERI INSPIRES AND ADVISES. Roxana Saberi, the freelance journalist imprisoned in Iran from Jan. 31 to May 11, gave an inspiring speech to award-winning students on Friday, Aug. 28. The Mark of Excellence Awards Luncheon featured Saberi as the keynote speaker. Touching on her personal journey toward a career in journalism, Saberi encouraged students to follow their dreams and to treat interviewees decently and like humans. As mentioned above, media streaming of Saberi's speech is available on the SPJ Web site.

MEET THE NEW TEAM. The annual convention also means that new board members begin work for SPJ and for you, the members!

Here are your SPJ Board Members for 2009-2010:

President: Kevin Z. Smith; President-Elect: Hagit Limor; Secretary-Treasurer: Darcie Lunsford; Immediate Past President: Dave Aeikens; Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs: Neil Alan Ralston; Directors At-Large: Bill McCloskey; Michael Koretzky; Student Representatives: Tara Puckey; Andrew Seaman;Campus Advisers At-Large: Sue Kopen Katcef; George Daniels; Region 1 Director: Luther Turmelle; Region 2 Director: Brian Eckert; Region 3 Director: Jenn Rowell; Region 4 Director: Jeremy Steele; Region 5 Director: Liz Hansen; Region 6 Director: Amanda Theisen; Region 7 Director: Holly Edgell; Region 8 Director: Scott Cooper; Region 9 Director: John Ensslin; Region 10 Director: Dana Neuts; Region 11 Director: Jodi Cleesattle; Region 12 Director: Sonny Albarado

LAST (LAST) WEEK'S QUIZ. It has been two weeks, I hope you have not forgotten if you submitted an answer or not... several members weighed in. Here is last week's question:

This year, Nelson Poynter was named a Fellow of the Society, one of the highest honors SPJ bestows upon a journalist. Awarded alongside him for extraordinary contributions to the profession were two other prestigious journalists. All three will be recognized during the President's Installation Banquet on Saturday, Aug. 29. Can you name them?

Congratulations are in order for David Drimer, Associate Publisher of The Forward, who answered the above question correctly. David wrote, "Stanley Hubbard & Austin Kiplinger."

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. For this week's quiz, we won't test your knowledge. Instead, we would love to know what your favorite part of Convention was — the most original/entertaining/wackiest will win and be published in next week's SPJ Leads.

To those of you who were unable to attend convention, you aren't out of the running! Compete against the convention attendees by telling us what part of convention you wish you had been at and why.

Have fun with this one and share your memories or opinions. Submit all answers to Karen Grabowski.

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