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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Harper Memorial funds Convention scholarships

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SPJ Leads | 2/26/2010
Harper Memorial funds Convention scholarships


By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department

HARPER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP. This year, SPJ will award two convention scholarships in memory of Terry Harper, SPJ's executive director from 2002-2009. Terry died June 2, 2009 after a two-year battle with brain cancer. At the young age of 45, he left behind a loving wife, two teenage sons, and an SPJ family that loved and respected him. As executive director, one of Terry's highest priorities was the development of high-caliber training opportunities for SPJ members. In honor of Terry's lasting efforts to improve SPJ, and the entire journalism community, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation set up a memorial fund following his death. With a generous outpouring of support, SPJ can now proudly provide two scholarships to members to attend the annual convention. If you have any questions, please contact SDX Foundation Development Director Amy Posavac at 317-927-8000 x 213 or

AMENDMENT FOR OPEN GOVERNMENT. SPJ joined numerous signors of a letter to House Representative Jane Harman (D-Calif. 36) in support of the congresswoman's amendment to the Intel Authorization Bill that requires the fulfillment of a report on over-classification. Over-classification refers to the government's practice of classifying information that does not need to be closed and further inappropriately withholding documents from the public. Rep. Harman's amendment would strengthen open government and help to ensure information that should remain public and accessible does so. The letter was sent to Rep. Harman Feb. 23. Read the letter and view the other signors here.

REPORTERS INSTITUTE. The deadline to submit an application for the SPJ Reporters Institute is Monday, March 1. The training program, held at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., is a fantastic opportunity for journalists who have just graduated and are in the first three years of their career. The institute was created by industry professionals and young journalists who know and understand the issues young journalists face! There is one program each for print and broadcast journalists. Each program will focus on ethics, FOI, diversity and new media trends. We encourage all early career journalists to consider applying. Learn more here and contact Heather Porter if you have questions.

DISTINGUISHED AWARDS. Do you know someone who should be recognized for his or her outstanding contributions to the journalism industry? If so, please consider honoring him or her with one of the following awards. SPJ membership is NOT a requirement for eligibility. All honorees will be recognized at the SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in October. The submission deadline for all of these awards is March 18:

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 must be postmarked on or before March 18.

The HELEN THOMAS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD is presented annually to an individual or individuals for a lifetime of contribution to the journalism profession. Nominations must be postmarked on or before March 18.

The DISTINGUISHED TEACHING IN JOURNALISM AWARD honors a journalism educator and recognizes outstanding teaching ability, contributions to journalism, journalism education and contributions toward maintaining the highest standards of the profession. Anyone in teaching is eligible for this award. Nominations must be postmarked on or before March 18.

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

HIGH SCHOLARS APPLY. If you know high school students, encourage them to enter the High School Essay Contest and help us spread awareness about how important a free and independent press is to our lives. The first place national winner wins a $1,000 scholarship. All students in grades 9-12 in public, private and home schools are eligible. To enter, students submit a 300-500 word essay and an entry form to the participating SPJ chapter in their state (or to SPJ Headquarters if there is not a participating chapter in their state). All entries must be postmarked by March 5, so hurry and get your entry in today! Learn more about the contest by clicking here. If you have questions, please contact Lauren Rochester at (317) 927-8000 ext. 210.

SCRIPPS INSTITUTE. Chapter leaders: If you have not submitted an application for the 2010 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute, you don't know what you're missing! The institute helps tomorrow's leaders learn how to help their chapters be successful with sessions on interpersonal and organizational leadership skills, as well as sound chapter management practices. The program will be June 4-6 in Indianapolis, and the only cost to you is an investment of $100. We will provide all travel, lodging and meal costs. We can only accept 50 participants, so apply online today! The deadline to apply is March 16. Learn more here and contact Heather Porter if you have questions.

MEMBER MAKES HALL OF FAME. SPJ member Ron Dzwonkowski will be inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame April 18 along with four other distinguished journalists. Dzwonkowski is associate editor at the Detroit Free Press, where he also has been the editorial page editor, city desk editor and reporter. The induction will be held at the MSU Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. The Hall of Fame has honored journalists since 1985, recognizing individuals for advancing the legacy of a free and responsible press and for inspiring others with their contributions to the industry. Dzwonkowski will enter the Hall of Fame in the same year as MSU celebrates its 100th year of journalism education. For more information about the event, contact Margie Anderson at (517) 353-6430.

ART OF ACCESS. Charles Davis and David Cuillier, respectively the past and current leaders of the SPJ Freedom of Information Committee, released a new book this week that they co-authored for curious and driven journalists everywhere. The book, "The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records," is a how-to guide for people interested in using the law to gain access to public records. As Cuillier wrote, it's "a nuts-and-bolts handbook for journalists and secondary textbook for journalism reporting courses." Every journalist let alone every citizen should read this book. Learn more here.

ONLINE JOURNALISM & THE LAW. SPJ's Louisville Pro chapter is selling DVDs of a presentation by noted First Amendment attorney Jon L. Fleischaker, who spoke to the group recently on how to handle anonymous comments online and the evolving world of online media. SPJ members can buy a copy for $15. Non-members pay $25. Send payment through Paypal to DVDs will be mailed. For more information, e-mail Robyn Davis Sekula at

MORE NEED FOR SPEED IN MINN.. The Minnesota Pro chapter will hold an event on March 6 at 6 p.m. that gives freelancers face time with assigning editors from the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Minnesota Monthly and several specialty magazines. The event, called "Freelance Love," is modeled after speed dating. Light appetizers and a cash bar will be provided in addition to the chance to meet, greet and pitch your ideas. The cost is $20 for SPJ members and $30 for non-members and will be held at Bloomington's Park Plaza Hotel. Online registration is available here, and you can e-mail questions to

PARTNERING WITH POYNTER. Your SPJ membership just became more valuable! Now through March 31, SPJ members will receive a 50 percent discount on every webinar in Poynter's News University library ( Shop from a list of more than 50 replays, including "Building a Twitter Strategy for Your Newsroom," "Facebook for Journalists," and "Five Simple Ways to Write More Clearly." To view the webinars, simply register at News University and use the code P50NNUW10 (that's p five zero n n u w one zero). For more information, contact

APOCADOCS BOOK RELEASE. SPJ member Jim Poyser and Michael Jensen are the creators of, a Web site to "humor the horror of environmental collapse." And now they've written a book: "Converging Emergencies: 2010-2020." The book examines, through humor, what the authors see as the nearly inevitable confluence collapses occurring over the next decade. The book is available for free in various forms, including .epud eBook, .pdf eBook and HTML file. Learn more about the book and Poyser and Jensen here.

FINAL DAYS TO SUBMIT PROJECT TO WIN $10K. Project Report 2010, a partnership between YouTube and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, is an opportunity for aspiring journalists to get the word out about under told stories in their communities. There's still time to submit! Click here to learn more about the project and what makes a winning video.

Ten semi-finalists from Round 1 will receive technology prizes from Sony and Intel to help them produce their videos in Round 2. Five grand prize winners from Round 2 will be awarded $10,000 grants to produce international reporting projects with the Pulitzer Center. Visit the official YouTube channel to hear from last year's winners and to submit your entry. The deadline to submit is Sunday, Feb. 28. For more information or if you have questions, contact Maura Youngman.

LAST 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?

A. Ski Jumping

Congratulations to Barbara Alvarez from Las Cruces, N.M.! Barbara, we are happy to give you this week's prize: the second edition of the "Pulitzer Prize Editorials." The collection of outstanding editorials spans 76 years and reflects the times in which the journalists lived and wrote. Happy reading!

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Q. Apple's iTunes just hit a milestone Feb. 25: the 10 billionth track was sold at the iTunes online store. Name the 10 billionth song.

Submit your answer to Karen Grabowski for a chance to win a prize!

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