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By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department
SERVE ON THE BOARD. The work SPJ accomplishes is made possible by its incredible volunteers who step up as leaders. You can be one of those leaders. We are seeking qualified individuals to serve as officers and directors for 2010-2011. To run for the national board, candidates must be national SPJ members in good standing, have demonstrated commitment to SPJ, and provide proof of employer support for SPJ activities. Please review the nomination and candidacy information on the SPJ Web site.
At the SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, Oct. 3-6 in Las Vegas, elections will be held for the following positions:
Adviser at Large
Director at Large
Student Representative (two positions open)
Regional Director in Region 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9
Read more about the available positions and how to nominate a colleague or yourself. While there is no deadline to declare, any candidate wishing to have his/her candidacy announced in Quill magazine must meet a June 18 copy deadline. Contact Nominations Committee Chair Dave Aeikens and Executive Director Joe Skeel as soon as possible if you are interested. Good luck!
REWARDING WORK. The 2009 awards contest deadlines are swiftly approaching. If you're waiting for the right time to submit your best work from 2009 to the Mark of Excellence Awards or the Sigma Delta Chi Awards, now is that time! We strongly encourage you to enter as soon as possible. The closer we get to the deadline, the busier our computer servers will become with entrants' activities. We've done our best to prepare for this, but don't let a computer glitch ruin your chance to enter. Our online submission process makes it easy and efficient. Please contact Lauren Rochester at (317) 927-8000 ext. 210 if you have questions or need any help. Good luck!
Other SPJ awards and honors to consider are:
New America Award. This award honors public service journalism that explores and exposes an issue of importance to immigrant or ethnic communities in the United States.
High School Essay Contest. Honors high school students' knowledge and understanding of the importance of the Free Media to our lives.
Helen Thomas Award. The recognition honors individuals for a lifetime of service to the journalism profession.
Julie Galvan Outstanding Campus Member Award. Honors a graduating student in journalism who is outstanding in his or her class on the basis of character, service to the community, scholarship, proficiency in practical journalism and significant contributions to their SPJ chapter.
Wells Memorial Key. The highest honor SPJ bestows upon a member for outstanding service to the Society over a period of years.
WIN MONEY, GO TO VEGAS. Are you a student interested in attending the 2010 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference in Las Vegas? Go for — essentially — free! The Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award is given annually by SPJ and the Lewis family to a student member for his or her outstanding service to the First Amendment through the field of journalism. The winner is awarded $500 cash to be used to attend the conference. Convention registration and a ticket to the Mark of Excellence Awards Luncheon are also awarded to the honoree. If you or someone you know has shown exceptional dedication to the First Amendment, please read more about this honor and how to apply. The application deadline is June 9.
PAID INTERNSHIPS ARE THE BEST KIND. SPJ's Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information Internships are incredible ways to spend your summer. One intern works at SPJ headquarters in Indianapolis while the second works with SPJ's First Amendment legal counsel in Washington, D.C. The internships expose students to freedom of information issues, advocacy efforts, journalism legislation and a variety of other SPJ programs and initiatives. Get hands-on experience that is sure to boost your resume. Apply soon! The deadline is Jan. 14, 2010.
The Student Press Law Center also offers summer internships. With SPLC, students get the chance to improve their reporting and news writing skills; research, write and help edit the Center's magazine and Web site copy; cover legislation and important press freedom and FOI cases, and more! Interns work for the summer in Washington, D.C., and are paid a living expense stipend. Learn more about the opportunity and how to apply here. Applications are due Feb. 5, 2010.
INSTITUTIONAL THOUGHT. Attention fresh journos! If you are new to the profession, then we have a program for you. The SPJ Reporters Institute was created by industry trainers and young journalists who know exactly what you're going through — the challenges, the questions — and who want to help you grow. Through the institute, you'll receive hands-on training on new media; sessions on industry trends; and programs about SPJ's missions of ethics, FOI and diversity. The program is divided for print and broadcast journalists. Both programs are three days and will be held at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. Check it out today and apply! The deadline to apply is March 1. Contact Heather Porter at (317) 927-8000 ext. 204 with questions. (Note that although the sessions are held at Poynter, it is an SPJ training program.)
POST UP. In this ever-changing industry, it's important to be prepared. Make it part of your New Year's resolutions to post your resume to the SPJ Job Bank. By the way, if you're a freelancer, we strongly encourage you to make a profile in the Freelancer Directory. Both databases are wonderful benefits that are available just to you, our members.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION. SPJ bloggers' fingers have been flying across the keyboards this year — and it's only Day 7! Get in on the following conversations and more — we only have 13 blogs, after all:
Holly Edgell's most recent post on Who's News?, the SPJ Diversity blog, promises a unique look at journalism in the West Indies. It also boasts beautiful photos of the tropics. Edgell will be blogging from Belize for the next few weeks where, we're sure, she'll enjoy her time with family in the sun and meet with two faculty members at the University of the West Indies where she may return to run a journalism seminar in the future.
The Campus Copy featured the Arizona State University chapter whose members reported the stories of 16 homeless people in less than 24 hours.
The FOI FYI blog shares information about the $2 million fund the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided to fund FOIA lawsuits.
Dan Kubiske continues to bring international issues into your backyard on the SPJ International Journalism Committee blog, Journalism and the World. And for more on Kubiske, keep an eye out for the forthcoming January/February issue of Quill magazine.
DON'T BE A STRANGER. If you haven't already, 2010 is the year you should to get on Facebook and Twitter. Check out the SPJ Facebook page and the SPJ Twitter feed. Conversations about industry news, the latest SPJ programs, awards contests and benefits that YOU can take advantage of are at your fingertips.
BROADER TARGET. The Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma are now open to all North American news media. Previously awarded only to daily newspapers and radio, North American television, online-only news publications, Web-based productions, independent productions, magazines and magazine Web sites are now eligible for a $5,000 prize. The Dart Awards continue to recognize exemplary journalism on the impact of violence, crime, disaster and other traumatic events on individuals, families or communities. Read more about the Dart Center and how to submit for an award. The deadline is Jan. 29. Contact Kate Black with questions.
A CONFERENCE ON LIMITS. The New School in New York will hold a social research conference Feb. 24-26 called ""Limiting Knowledge in a Democracy. At the conference, journalists, educators and policy makers will examine how the U.S. government and other political and cultural institutions affect the flow of information. The keynote speaker is Seymour Hersh. Students can attend for free, and ticket information is available here.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! The entire staff in Indianapolis wishes you and yours a very happy 2010! Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to working with you in the New Year.
Make it your best year yet!
LAST YEAR'S QUIZ. In the last SPJ Leads of 2009, we asked you to name your Person of the Year. We want to thank Laura Tabor for her insightful answer. Here is what Laura wrote:
I would submit that the person of the year 2009 was Jimmy Wales, creator of Wikipedia. I feel that to have a non-profit, online encyclopedia that receives 340 million visits per month is a huge asset to journalists, even as the site is not considered reputable. Most people see it as a go-to source, which can give background information and link to reputable sources of information; the influence it has is enormous, and it remains volunteer-edited and advertisement free. The impact, while not only this year, is enormous, and fits right in with the convergence of media into online venues.
Laura, as the final winner of the SPJ Leads Quiz of 2009, we would like to present to you Doris O'Donnell's memoir "Front-Page Girl." A barrier-breaking journalist in pre-WWII newsrooms, O'Donnell shares exciting stories from her 58-year career as a female news reporter. We hope you'll enjoy her story.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Inspired by the upcoming issue of Quill magazine (out Feb. 1), which has an international flair, and one of my favorite pastimes (taking msnbc.com's weekly quiz), answer this question correctly for a chance to win a prize:
Last month, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was attacked at a political rally in Milan. What item was thrown in his face, breaking his nose and two teeth?
Submit your answer to Karen Grabowski.