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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Shield law, Helen Thomas speaks and the perfect gift

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SPJ Leads | 11/19/2009
Shield law, Helen Thomas speaks and the perfect gift


By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department

SHIELD LAW HELD OVER AGAIN. A vote to send S. 448, the Free Flow of Information Act, to the full Senate was once again held over by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Today the senators discussed the new shield law legislation that has the support of the Obama administration, but were unable to take an up or down vote. Senators Specter (D-Pa.) and Schumer (D-N.Y.), co-sponsors of the bill, pushed the members of the committee to discuss and vote on proposed amendments. Their efforts were slowed by Senators Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Sessions (R-Ala.), who led prolonged debate. Committee chairman Sen. Leahy (D-Vt.) ended the meeting by asking that the senators from the two opposing sides work together and present a limited number of amendments to S. 448 at the next meeting. SPJ Headquarters tweeted in real time throughout the meeting read the coverage here. And a special thanks to Columbia Journalism Review and Clint Hendler, who catalogued SPJ's live coverage on the CJR Web site.

SDX AND HELEN THOMAS. Earlier today, you should have received an e-mail message from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation and Helen Thomas asking you to consider giving to the organization that has helped and rewarded excellence in journalism. The SDX Foundation supports the educational programs of SPJ and serves the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism. We encourage you to view the video that highlights the Foundation's legacy and its plans for future contributions to journalists and the profession. Please click here to view the message.

SUBMIT WORK ONLINE. Annually, SPJ recognizes outstanding work by student and professional journalists. Submissions for the Sigma Delta Chi and the collegiate Mark of Excellence Awards are now being accepted and, for the first time, entrants can submit work online. The new online submission format is easy and efficient, allowing you to create a profile and submit your work at your convenience at any time before the deadline.

Read more about the Sigma Delta Chi Awards and the Mark of Excellence Awards on the SPJ Web site. Get national recognition for your hard work, enter here.

If you have questions, please contact Awards Coordinator Lauren Rochester at 317-927-8000 ext. 210.

Don't forget the contest deadlines:
Mark of Excellence: Jan. 27, 2010
Sigma Delta Chi: Feb. 12, 2010

FREELANCE: A SUCCESS STORY. We love a happy ending. This one comes to you with the help of the SPJ Freelancer Directory. Jeff Cutler shares his story:

Thanks to SPJ and the Freelance listings, I got my first NY Post byline this week. They needed a warm body in Cambridge, MA for the Eliot Spitzer ethics talk at Harvard and they called me.

Cutler also shared some tried and true advice for all you freelancers out there. Check it out on the SPJ Works blog.

FACEBOOK FUNDAMENTALS. At Headquarters, we are always trying to figure out how to best serve you, the members. When we turned a more focused eye on Facebook, we hoped to create another social venue for our members to share and learn ideas from one another and SPJ. We thank those members who have joined in the conversations and particularly wish to thank longtime member Arthur Wall. Arthur posted this on the SPJ Facebook wall:

After 49 years, 9 months and 2 weeks of membership I note that SPJ has never been more lively than it is today. My thanks to all who make it hum.

Our thanks to you, Arthur, for your words and your loyal membership. Become a fan today and join the conversation.
And if you are in Detroit, be sure to check out the new SPJ Detroit Facebook Group. The newly launched site encourages journalists in the area to join and start to connect on the local scene.

SPJ REMEMBERS JORGENSEN. Publisher C. Peter Jorgensen of Tunbridge, Vt., died of cancer on Sept. 25 at age 68. He and his wife Kathryn, a Boston University journalism master's program classmate, bought The Arlington (Mass.) Advocate in 1969. When they sold Century Publications in 1986 when he went on to found Historical Publications with his wife the suburban Boston chain included the Winchester Star, Belmont Citizen, Belmont Herald, Watertown Sun and Newton Villager. Jorgensen received the Golden Quill Editorial Award from the International Conference of Weekly Newspaper Editors for the best editorial of 1972 and a variety of New England and national awards for editorial writing and photography. A longtime member of SPJ, he was a former director of the National Newspaper Association, New England Press Association, Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association and the Massachusetts Press Association and served on the Massachusetts Bar Association Bar, Bench, Press Committee.

MILWAUKEE HIGHLIGHTS PHOTOGRAPHER. The Milwaukee Pro chapter co-hosted appearances of noted LIFE magazine photographer John Dominis, who visited Milwaukee in October to promote his new book on the late actor Steve McQueen and his LIFE collection of photos. The chapter assisted in arranging his lectures at the Milwaukee Area Technical College, Cardinal Stritch University and Alverno College. Dominis' work is on display at the VIP Gallery of Fine Photography in Milwaukee. "LIFE photographer John Dominis was a marvelous hit during his recent visit to Milwaukee, not only for showcasing his array of iconic news photos, but also for his good humor, on-going professionalism and insights on journalism," SPJ Milwaukee chapter board member Mart Hintz said. "Even at age 88, Dominis never slowed down, despite a rigorous schedule of receptions and lectures. Audiences loved him wherever he appeared."

FLORIDA CHAPTER SERVES COMMUNITY. "Will Work for Food" was the unconventional name given to one of the most successful elements of the SPJ Region 3 Convention last April. A group of 50 convention attendees took control of the Homeless Voice newspaper. With the help of SPJ board member Michael Koretzky, they wrote, edited, shot and designed a special issue of the paper, which is published in Broward County, Florida.

This innovative conference activity is profiled in the November issue of One+ magazine, the official publication of Meeting Professionals International, a global organization with more than 24,000 members.

THE GIFT OF GIVING. The holiday season is in full swing. This year, give a gift that we can guarantee will give back: an SPJ membership. To surprise your favorite journalist with this priceless present, contact Linda Hall at 317-927-8000 ext. 203. You can also download a membership application to complete for the recipient and mail it to SPJ Headquarters. If funds are tight in your house, don't be shy about telling your family and friends that a perfect gift for you is another year's membership in the best journalism association around.

JOURNALISM AND HIGHER EDUCATION. The Chronicle of Higher Education published a special issue this week on journalism in crisis. The issue focuses on the nexus between journalism and higher education. Articles available to the public here explore subjects such as university-based reporting and how journalism's changing nature affects academics.

APPLY FOR KOREA. The East-West Center is now accepting applications for the 2010 Korea-US Journalists Exchange program. The Korea-United States Journalists Exchange offers opportunities for six to eight U.S. journalists to visit Korea. This is the sixth year of the program and it will take place March 17-April 1, 2010. American participants will visit Seoul, Ulsan, Busan and Deajeon in South Korea and a tentative trip to Kaesong or Kumgang Mountain in North Korea. Following these study tours, journalists will meet at the East-West Center in Honolulu to report on their experiences and to exchange opinions with Korean journalists who complete a similar program in the U.S. on how coverage of each country may be improved in the other. For more information and applications, visit the Web site or e-mail The deadline to apply is Dec. 15.

CLOSING UP SHOP. Don't worry when you do not receive SPJ Leads next week. Our office will be closed for Thanksgiving and the next day (Nov. 27), so we will also be taking a week hiatus from the newsletter. We hope that, if it is in your plans, you will enjoy your holiday with all the fall trimmings. Headquarters will be back up and running on Monday, Nov. 30, and you can expect SPJ Leads to be back in your Inbox Dec. 5.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. We send a big "Thank You" to our members who shared with us why they joined and have stayed with SPJ.

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. We return to trivia today, so let's see if you were paying attention to the news this past week. Answer this question correctly and you will be placed into a drawing for a fantastic prize!

What boxed food can you expect to see less of in the frozen food aisle of your local grocery store?

Please submit your answer to Karen Grabowski.

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