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For more than 100 years the Society of Professional Journalists has been dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism and perpetuating a free press.
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Since its founding in 1961, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation has promoted excellence and ethics in journalism. The SDX Foundation is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization that supports the educational programs of the Society of Professional Journalists and serves the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism.
Excellence in Journalism is the national journalism conference of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association. Join us in September in Nashville for training, networking, workshops and more!
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By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department
CHAPTER GRANTS ENCOURAGE BENEFICIAL DISCOURSE ABOUT ETHICS. SPJ and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation will award chapter grants for a grassroots series of interactive public forums that bring together news consumers and journalists in a meaningful dialogue. The goals of the series are to allow journalists and citizens to come together and discuss the role journalism plays in our democracy; to address the public's concerns about perceived loss of credible, reliable journalism; and to hopefully provide the public with tools to understand how to discern between commentary and credible news. Help inspire and create this discourse by organizing an event that can be part of the series. Proposals for the grants are due by midnight, Eastern, on Monday, April 12. Click here to learn more. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. For more information, please contact Andy Schotz.
ATTENTION CAMPUS CHAPTERS! Please do not forget that the SPJ Chapter Annual Reports are due April 26. All chapter annual reports should be submitted online. Click here to find the appropriate submission forms and to submit your report. If you have questions about the report, contact Linda Hall via e-mail or at 317/927-8000 ext. 203, or contact your regional director.
FERPA FRIENDLY. FERPA, the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, has been scrutinized, criticized and has left many journalists ostracized after being denied information. But now SPJ offers the Reporter's Guide to FERPA to help you navigate the act that has been used to seal off information from the media and public. The SPJ Freedom of Information Committee produced this guide for national Sunshine Week. The committee hopes the resource will help reporters and citizens acquire school records they are legally entitled to while still protecting student privacy. Big props go out to former national SPJ president Carolyn Carlson, who spearheaded the project, and contributors Charles Davis, David Chartrand, Sonny Albarado and Jodi Cleesattle. Learn more information and access the guide here.
GET CAUGHT UP IN THE WEBB. The SPJ board of directors recently approved a partnership between SPJ and Knowledgewebb, an online resource that offers hands-on training, self-directed courses, ongoing webinars and more for media professionals. Knowledgewebb was created for people working in all areas of media who are trying to reinvent themselves and either reinvigorate — or save, as the case has become — their careers. Now, SPJ members will receive all Knowledgewebb has to offer at a discounted price. Instead of paying the full price to access all training for 12 months — originally $129 — SPJ members will receive all the training they desire for just $89! Just use the discount code SPJ2010 (all caps) in your cart. Students can also benefit; Knoweldgewebb is offering a student membership of $75 for SPJ students, which can be accessed with the coupon code ACADEMICSPJ. Visit Knowledgewebb for more information about the site. More information about the partnership will be available on our Web site soon.
LAST CALL: TED SCRIPPS. The final day to apply to attend the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute is Tuesday, March 16. Not only does SPJ pay for participants' meals, travel and lodging in Indianapolis, but the we provide an exciting weekend of sessions focused on skills to be an effective chapter leader. All 2010-11 chapter presidents are encouraged to apply. If you haven't applied yet, please consider doing so. You will not want to miss the chance to meet and work with fellow SPJ pro and student leaders. . Contact Heather PorterLearn more and apply here with any questions.
WRITING WORKSHOPS IN THE EAST AND WEST. Two Narrative Writing Workshops are available — one in the D.C. area and the other in Santa Clara, Calif. The workshop gives traditional news writers a new take on storytelling. If you're in one of the two areas, spend a Saturday with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Hallman Jr. He is filled with tips for creating excitement in news stories. Learn more information about both workshops and how to register here. And read on for more specific, individual information:
Washington, DC area:
The Marriott Inn & Conference Center
University of Maryland, University College
3501 University Blvd., East
Hyattsville, Maryland 20783
Please register by March 30, 2010
Santa Clara, Calif.: May 8
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Room 206, Daly Science Building
Santa Clara, CA 95053
Please register by May 4, 2010
"SURVIVE THE STORM" IN NEW YORK. Meet media headhunters, get career advice, have your resume critiqued and improve your skills at the SPJ Region 1 Spring Conference, called "Surviving the Storm." The event is April 9-10 at the City University of New York and is open to SPJ members and nonmembers in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and eastern and central Pennsylvania. The conference includes a layoff survival guide, freelancing tips, social media instruction, a Pulitzer Prize-winning keynote speaker, and much more. Registration is now open! To see a full list of programs and to register, go to http://spjregion1.org.
SPEAKING OF NEW YORK... START SPREADING THE NEWS. SPJ is leaving today ... well, a couple members are leaving soon for the city that never sleeps. SPJ student representatives Tara Puckey and Andrew Seaman and SPJ leaders Michael Koretzky and Michele Boyet will be in New York this weekend, March 14-16, for the College Media Advisors convention. The group will hold SPJ events (including an Ethics Hold'em game where one lucky student could win a free SPJ membership) and will represent SPJ at the event. If you are attending the event, please stop by their table at the exhibit hall. If you can't be there, Tara and Andrew will be tweeting from @campuscopy, so be sure to follow them throughout the weekend. Read more on the Campus Copy blog.
ANOTHER QUESTION FROM GEN-J. SPJ Generation J released its third question this week in its series of Questions for the Next Generation. Gen-J member Colleen Kiphart wants to know, "How do you make yourself stand out in an entry-level position?" Professionals may submit their answers on Twitter, via e-mail or in the comment section of the YouTube video. Young journalists are encouraged to submit their questions via Twitter, e-mail or in a video response on YouTube.
AWARD-WINNING WORK FROM SPJ MEMBER. SPJ member Randy Gener won two awards for writing excellence in travel media. He was honored with the awards by the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). Gener won in the leisure activity category and in the personality/profile category. One award-winning essay was about events in the Netherlands while the other featured African-American playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. Gener, along with the other NATJA award winners, will be recognized at the annual NATJA conference May 11-14 in Reno, Nev. NATJA Awards recognize excellence in travel writing, photojournalism, multimedia platforms, advertising, marketing and public relations for the travel and tourism industry.
NEW JOURNALISM, NEW ETHICS? The Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will hold its 2nd Annual Ethics Conference Friday, April 30. The conference is called "New Journalism — New Ethics?" and will be held at the Fluno Center on UW-Madison's campus. The event will focus on how the new models of journalism will affect the practice of journalism and journalism ethics. Presenters include Charles Lewis, founding executive editor of the Center for Public Integrity and founder of the Investigative Reporting Workshop; John Sawyer, Executive Director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting; and a variety of panelists from news organizations and newspapers. The regular registration fee is $25, and students may attend for free. Please contact Wendy Swanberg for more information. Click here for a full program and registration information.
FRESH FACES WANTED FOR KDMC INSTITUTE. Twenty fellows will receive tailored training and intensive coaching at the 2010 Knight-McCormick Leadership Institute at the Knight Digital Media Center. The Center is looking to fill those spots with the best and brightest leaders in the emerging news ecosystem. Want to be one of the 20? Learn how to apply here. The deadline to apply or to nominate a candidate is Wednesday, March 31. The Institute is a new program by KDMC and aims to offer training, coaching and collaboration to assist the new faces and leaders of the industry to be successful. Read more here.
WHAT'S COOKIN AT PROPUBLICA. ProPublica shares its recipe for reporting stories. It explains why here. On March 4, the non-profit investigative news organization published its "journalistic insights and techniques" that influenced its reporting on a particular story. The reason? ProPublica believes that sharing information is just another way to inspire change through journalism.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Q. CNN reported that more aftershocks continued to ripple through parts of Chile early Thursday. These aftershocks are in addition to the more than 120 aftershocks of 5.0 magnitude or greater that have hit Chile since the 8.8-magnitude earthquake of Feb. 27, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Chilean earthquake originated on a hot spot where one plate of Earth's crust is submerging under another plate. Name the geologic term for what the two plates are doing.
A. Subduction/ Subduction zone (both answers were accepted)
Congratulations to Tracy Berry from Eugene, Ore.! Tracy, your name was randomly chosen from the group of members who answered correctly — and there were quite a few of you! Thank you to everyone who played the quiz last week. We found out we have quite a few science buffs among our journalists. Tracy, we will be sending you an SPJ gift in the mail soon!
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Q. Fact checking, copy editing and proofreading are very important, even at the Oscars. Who was left out of the memorial montage during the 82nd Academy Awards on March 7 that gave tribute to all the actors and actresses who died in the past year?
Submit your answer to Karen Grabowski for a chance to win a prize.