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By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department
CATCH THE AUDIO ACTION. Of the many perks to SPJ membership, access to great professional development resources is certainly at the top of the list. If you missed the 2009 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, or would like to review programs you attended, see the SPJ Web site for a collection of audio from sessions and speeches. SPJ members can access the streaming media, including Roxana Saberi's keynote speech and a session on running a profitable freelance business. And anyone can read articles from The Working Press, the daily newspaper that follows convention news.
FROM THE RESOLUTE DELEGATES. SPJ Delegates passed four resolutions when they met at the convention. All four resolutions honored or thanked an individual or group. The first resolution is "Honoring Efforts by Indigenous Staff in War"; the second is "Thanks to President David Aeikens"; the third is "Thanks to SPJ Headquarters staff"; and the fourth is "Thanks to the Indiana Pro Chapter." Read the text of each resolution here.
DON'T TAKE THIS FOR GRANTED. SPJ will invest $5,000 to fund local chapter programs during 2009-10, and your chapter could receive up to $500 for a program or activity. All fully chartered SPJ chapters in good standing with the national organization are eligible to submit a grant proposal. To be eligible, a chapter must have filed a 2008-2009 annual report with the national office by the posted annual report deadline. Professional and campus chapters compete on the same level for funds. for complete details and a link to the online application form. Questions? Contact Heather Porter at firstname.lastname@example.orgClick here.
SWEET TWEETS. During the 2009 Convention, hashtag #SPJ100 was a very successful tool for keeping in touch and sharing information over Twitter. Hundreds of attendees connected to one another, sharing their thoughts, opinions and plans throughout the weekend. SPJ would like to thank all the tweeters who embraced the centennial hashtag, thereby adding so much more to the event.
And speaking of Twitter, we hope you are continuing to follow the Journalists' Toolbox (@journtoolbox)! Toolbox tweets in August included very poignant and, of course, timely issues such as the H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu), journalism job searches and the economy. Stay up-to-date with the most useful journalism resources on Twitter or on the Toolbox Web site.
MEET MORE OF THE TEAM. It is SPJ's pleasure to welcome the new and returning SPJ Committee Chairmen and Chairwomen. They are:
Ethics Committee Chairman: Andy Schotz; Ethics Committee Vice Chairman: Fred Brown; Membership Committee Chairwoman: Holly Fisher; Freelance Committee Chairwoman: Amy Green; Freelance Committee Vice Chairman: Michael Fitzgerald; Professional Development Committee Chairwoman: Deb Wenger; Professional Development Committee Chairwoman: Kara Sassone; FOI Committee Chairman: Dave Cuillier; FOI Committee Vice Chairman: Joe Adams; Digital Media Committee Chairwoman: Hilary Fosdal; Legal Defense Fund Chairman: Clint Brewer; Government Relations Chairman: Steve Taylor; Government Relations Vice Chairwoman: Julie Kay; International Journalism Committee Chairman: Ronnie Lovler; International Journalism Committee Vice Chairman: Ricardo Sandoval; Journalism Education Committee Chairman: Jeff South; Resolutions Committee Chairman: Mac McKerral; Bylaws Committee Chairman: Bob Becker; Awards Committee Chairwoman: Ginny Frizzi; Awards Committee Vice Chairman: Bruce Cadwallader; Diversity Committee Chairwoman: Pueng Vongs; Gen J Committee Chairwoman: Aeisha Little; Gen J Committee Vice Chairwoman: Brittany Davenport; Public Outreach Committee Chairwoman: Lauren Bartlett; Public Outreach Committee Vice Chairman: Mark Scarp
CONGRATULATIONS! SPJ member Jennifer Peebles of Texas WatchDog.org received the Capitolbeat 2009 John Aubuchon Freedom of Information Award for pursuing ethics disclosures from state legislators and then posting them online with an interactive map. Capitolbeat celebrated its 10th anniversary this year as the nation's only professional association devoted to state government journalism. Congratulations, Jennifer!
INTERACT IN D.C.. The winners of the 2009 Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism will hold a morning symposium and lunch Sept. 17 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism is hosting the Knight-Batten Symposium where presenters from The New York Times, Patchwork Nation, Apture, ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity and more will speak on interactive journalism. To learn more, visit the J-Lab Web site. And you'd better register quickly. The program will fill soon!
WHITE HOUSE VISITOR LOGS NOW PUBLIC. The White House recently enacted a policy to disclose visitor logs, an action that, while still limited, is a move toward more openness in government. Responding to the policy, National Press Club President Donna Leinwand released a statement Aug. 4, saying: "The National Press Club applauds President Obama's decision to give the public greater access to White House visitor logs." SPJ supports and advocates for greater transparency in government, believing that the openness fosters the accurate, ethical and fair practice of journalism required for a well-informed citizenry to exist. Visit the SPJ Web site to learn more about the Society's Freedom of Information efforts. And remember to look for the forthcoming October issue of Quill, the annual Freedom of Information issue.
TAKE A SURVEY, WIN AN iPod. The Society for New Communications Research seeks journalists to participate in its research study. Journalists complete a survey that is designed to examine the effects of new media and communications developments on journalists and journalism. The purpose of the survey is to determine how and why journalists use new media and communications tools and technologies; determine the frequency of use of and preferences for new media and communications tools and technologies; asses the perceived impact of the tools on the way journalists work; and assess the attitudes of journalists toward the impact and value of the tools and trends on journalism. The results will be highlighted in the Society's Journal of New Communications Research. All journalists who complete the survey will be entered to win an iPod Touch. Take the survey by following this link.
WATCHDOGS CUT IVY SCHOOL'S PRESS BAN. Harvard University Medical School attempted to control public perception by banning student interaction with the media. The practice was halted almost immediately. In a communications ban adopted Feb. 2 and released last week, the school wrote: "All interactions between students and the media should be coordinated with the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of Public Affairs. This applies to situations in which students are contacted by the media as well as instances in which students may be seeking publicity about a student-related project or program." Medical students expressed that they believed the ban was enacted to silence their protests of drug companies' alleged influence on the medical school's curriculum. While Dean of Students Nancy E. Oriol, said that "the wording is problematic and it doesn't really capture our intent ...," the school temporarily pulled the policy from the online student handbook.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Last week, we asked you to send in your memories and opinions of the 2009 SPJ Convention. Here's a convention moment from The Herald-Mail's (Md.) Andy Schotz:
I went with some D.C. Pro folks to the Battle of the Media Bands, which was excellent. An MC tossed a few trivia questions out to the crowd — Indiana questions for the hometown crowd, other questions for out-of-town visitors like us. One question started out something like, "This Kentucky bourbon is made up of ..."
Without listening for the rest of the question, I quickly raised my hand, and was called upon. Sure enough, Maker's Mark, which I only knew because of Terry Harper's affinity for it, was the answer and earned me a free T-shirt. The coincidence was neat.
Andy, all of us at HQ send sincere thanks for sharing your experience. It's moments like these that made convention a special time to learn, reflect and build memories.
If you did not get a chance to send us your convention moments, you can still e-mail them to Karen Grabowski. We'll keep sharing them in Leads until you stop sending them!
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee discussed the shield law bill in their executive business meeting. Senators Arlen Specter, D-Pa.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are original co-sponsors of the bill as well as Judiciary Committee members. To be next week's star winner, name this bill.
Submit all answers to Karen Grabowski.