By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department
SDX AWARDS DEADLINE EXTENDED. If you missed the chance to submit your best 2009 work for the Sigma Delta Chi Awards, you've been granted a last-minute reprieve. SPJ has extended the submission deadline to Monday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. Eastern. Entries must be submitted online by this time. If you're trying to submit, please carefully read all contest rules and category information before doing so. Also please note the FAQ page and an instructional video about the submission process. Reviewing these items will answer many of the questions you may have. If you have a need to contact us, please e-mail Lauren Rochester or call 317-927-8000 ext. 210.
SPEED PITCH GIVES SPEEDY RESPONSE. SPJ Generation J Committee Chairwoman Aiesha Little organized the Greater Cincinnati chapter speed pitching event held Feb. 3. The event gave graduating college students and mid-level journalists the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the hiring managers from local media outlets. Aiesha is working hard to encourage all SPJ local chapters to consider holding a speed pitching event, and perhaps after reading this success story they will:
Kristyn Wellesley attended the Feb. 3 event and was offered a staff position at the Cincinnati Enquirer. Writing to Aiesha, Kristyn said, "Thanks so much for putting this event on; I wouldn't have met Tom Callinan (the person who hired her) otherwise."
Want to hold a speed pitching event? Contact Aiesha Little at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHICAGO HEADLINE CLUB STANDS FIRM WITH FORMER STUDENTS. SPJ's Chicago Headline Club members were present at the Feb. 10 hearing for the former Northwestern University journalism students who were subpoenaed for materials and work from their Medill Innocence Project. As detailed in the article on the club's Web site, the Cook County state attorney's office refuses to drop the subpoena. The next court hearing is set for March 10. The Chicago Headline Club has been following the hearings since October and will continue to support the former students and their professor.
WKU STUDENT FIGHTS FOR STUDENT PRESS. Western Kentucky University SPJ President Josh Moore is a strong advocate for the student press. Moore is currently fighting for the passage of HB 367, the Kentucky Student Press Bill, by the Kentucky state legislature. If passed, the bill would protect the First Amendment rights of high school journalists in the state, restoring those rights for the first time since 1988 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the freedom of the press does not apply to high school journalists. Seven other states have passed bills similar to HB 367, and Moore is battling to have his state be the eighth. The bill has been referred to the House education committee. Moore is working with other supporters to make the committee aware of how important this issue is through media coverage and letters. The SPJ WKU chapter plans to write letters to the committee and is encouraging high school students to do the same. Read more about the bill and the efforts to pass it here.
SPRING INTO ACTION... ...And check out the SPJ spring conferences! There are 12 spring conferences coming up, and you can be sure there's one in your region. Students, if you submitted an entry for the Mark of Excellence Awards, the spring conference is where regional winners will be honored. Professionals, these conferences offer ample opportunity to network, learn in professional development sessions, and join conversations about new media and the future of journalism. Visit the spring conference Web site for more information.
AWARDS GALORE. SPJ is proud to give several awards and honors annually. Nominations for some of these honors are due in March. This week, we highlight two of those honors: the SPJ National High School Essay Contest and the Fellows of the Society. If you know high school students interested in journalism, please let them know about the contest and where they can learn more information online. And please pass along the word about the open nominations for the Fellows of the Society, a prestigious honor that will be presented at the SPJ National Convention and Journalism Conference in October.
The SPJ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY CONTEST aims to increase high school students' knowledge and understanding of the importance of the Free Media to our lives. The deadline to submit is March 5.
The FELLOWS OF THE SOCIETY honor is presented to journalists for extraordinary contributions to the profession. Last year's winners included Stanley E. Hubbard, Austin Kiplinger and Nelson Poynter. Nominations are due on or before March 18.
Click here for more awards...
SERVE ON THE BOARD. This is another reminder that we are currently accepting applications from candidates who wish to serve as officers and directors for 2010-11.
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. All individuals seeking a national board position must complete a declaration form, submit a photo and complete a board questionnaire that will be distributed to all voting delegates. The declaration form is a new component to the candidacy requirements, so please carefully 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!
STRUGGLING? WE'LL HELP. SPJ continues to offer its six-month dues waiver to current members who have been laid-off as a result of the economy and dramatic industry changes. To see if you qualify for the waiver, and to submit a request, please download this form and mail it to SPJ headquarters. We hope you will consider this opportunity if applicable. We are very appreciative of your support, and we will continue to do all we can to support you.
STUDENTS: GAIN EXPERIENCE IN VEGAS. Student journalists: It's never too early to consider the incredible internship and real press experience you'll receive by covering the SPJ Convention, Oct. 3-6 in Las Vegas. Twelve positions are available for hard-working student journalists to staff The Working Press, a daily tabloid newspaper that covers the convention activities. Writers, photographers and designers are invited to apply for these select positions. Learn more about the internship and how to apply here. The application deadline is April 16.
FUTUREWEB CONFERENCE. Join leading Internet visionaries in Raleigh, N.C. April 28-30 for the FutureWeb conference. Google's vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist Vinton G. Cerf will lead the speakers, who will discuss their expectations, hopes, and fears for the evolution of the Web and what it will mean for the social, political and economic future. Learn more here and register online.
SHARE STORIES, WIN MONEY. The YouTube Project Report invites students and aspiring journalists ("non-professional, aspiring reporters") to share their stories and compete for a $10,000 grant and other exciting prizes. The first deadline to submit is Sunday, Feb. 28. The competition is a partnership between YouTube and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Learn more information online.
STUDY IN PRAGUE. Transitions Online, a non-profit media development organization based in Prague, is holding a number of journalism courses this summer. Open courses include the topics of investigative journalism, photojournalism, new media for NGOs and foreign correspondent training. A limited number of scholarships are available. Learn more about the courses online.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Q. Google released a new product that industry analysts say is meant to compete with Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and other similar social networking sites. Shortly after its release, journalists were blogging and tweeting about how the product could help them in the newsroom and on the scene of breaking news. Name this new offering from Google.
Congratulations are in order for Donald W. Meyers from The Salt Lake Tribune. Donald, your correct answer was drawn at random and we are pleased to present you with "War of Words: Memoir of a South African Journalist" by Benjamin Pogrund. Happy reading!
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Q. The world is watching (mostly on NBC) the 2010 Winter Olympics and all the competition, upset, national pride and, unfortunately, tragedy that come with them. Of course, there's no lack of controversy and scrutiny being reported about organizers, athletes and venues. One winter sport in particular is drawing ire, and the attention of a Sports Illustrated writer, for its present and past culture of encouraging participants to maintain unhealthily low body weights. What's the sport?
Submit your answer to Karen Grabowki for a chance to win a prize!