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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Deadlines, mountain men & the sneak-peek you can't miss!

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SPJ Leads | 9/8/2010
Deadlines, mountain men & the sneak-peek you can't miss!


By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department

Today, Sept. 8, is your final chance to register early for the 2010 SPJ Convention in Las Vegas Oct. 3-5. Register by the end of today for the best available prices and savings at what looks to be the journalism-industry event of the year!

Sign up now! We hope to see you in Vegas.

MORE POWERFUL THAN A LOCOMOTIVE. "Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the SPJ Convention Super Session featuring New Media pioneer Rob Curley!"

Curley has been talking about and creating the "future of news" for years. Now, as the leader of the online arm of the company that owns the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Weekly, Curley is creating a unique "hyper-local" approach to covering the news.

During his session "Re-imagining News: A Conversation with Rob Curley," hear what he and his Web team have learned from their work on newspaper sites in Kansas and Naples, Fla., as well as at The Washington Post. This session will get you thinking about what's possible for a free press in an ever-changing digital democracy."Stay tuned" and don't miss this exciting session on Oct. 5 during the SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas!

ON THE AIRWAVES: YOUR MEMBERSHIP. SPJ's new radio venture, hosted by Membership Committee Chairwoman Holly Fisher, will provide tips on getting the most out of your membership in the nation's largest journalism organization. If you are new to SPJ, or have always had a question you wanted answered, now is your chance to log in, listen and participate! Visit this page or use the embedded player on the homepage to listen in.

First Episode: This Thursday, September 9, 1 p.m. EST
Call-in Number: (347) 857-2441

CHAPTER GRANTS: WHERE PROGRAMS CAN HAPPEN. Have a great program idea for your SPJ chapter?

SPJ will invest $5,000 to fund local chapter programs during 2010-11, and your chapter could receive up to $500 for your program or activity. The deadline for proposals is Wednesday, Sept. 15!

SPJ encourages unique and diverse programming. Past programs addressed ethics, technology issues, campus crime coverage, freelancing, covering disasters, copy editing, job hunting, writing techniques, diversity, skills building, and more. Use your imagination, and meet your members' needs.

All fully chartered SPJ chapters in good standing with the national organization are eligible to submit a grant proposal. Your chapter must have filed a 2009-10 annual report by the stated deadline to be eligible.Chapters have until Sept. 15 to apply. Read more HERE for complete details on eligibility and the easy three-step application process.

BE THE FUTURE. If you haven't been by the SPJ website this week, you've been missing out on our sneak peek at the Society's latest innovation in improving journalism.

Check it out for yourself at

MR. MOUNTAIN MAN. SPJ President Kevin Z. Smith was honored this month by his home state when the governor named him a Distinguished Mountaineer, the highest citizen honor for a West Virginian.

Smith is the first Society president from West Virginia and has spent much of his journalism career in that state. A journalism graduate of West Virginia University, he started his career as a sportswriter in Grafton, W.Va. and most recently was an assistant professor of journalism at Fairmont State University.

In giving the award, Gov. Joe Manchin III noted Smith's long commendable journalism career and his dedication to creating quality journalism and now teaching quality journalism. He complimented Smith on his highest ethical standards and called him a life-long advocate for press rights. He noted Smith as president of the largest journalism organization in the country and praised his work on an international scale by helping SPJ get its first international chapter and for his diplomatic trips to Korea and Taiwan.

A presentation ceremony is planned for later this fall.

Smith was nominated by family members, colleagues and former students. He joins many notable West Virginians such as Chuck Yeager, Mary Lou Retton, Don Knotts, Jerry West, Bob Denver, Hodding Carter and Kathy Matea as Distinguished Mountaineers.

Congrats, Kevin!

SPECTACULAR BIDDINGS. Items from across the country are rolling in for the Legal Defense Fund Auction held during the 2010 SPJ Convention in Las Vegas. The live and silent auction will be held during the Opening Night Reception on Sunday, Oct. 3.

Here is a sneak peek at some of the incredible items that have already arrived at SPJ Headquarters:

* Fiveday sailing trip to Martha's Vineyard, Mass. Donated by Bill Ketter
* Original & autographed cartoon by Walt Handelsman,
* Newsday's Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist. Donated by Bill Bleyer."Aloha" Basket — A basket full of Hawaiian candies and other sweets. Donated by the Hawaii Pro chapter

EXTENDED DEADLINE: DONATIONS NEEDED. With the extended deadline, we hope you will consider contributing an item to the Legal Defense Fund Auction. As a legal and mental support system for journalists who find themselves in trouble while defending press freedoms, we want to keep you covered!

No donation is too large or too small. We ask that you send your items in by Sept. 15 to SPJ Headquarters. Donations should be mailed to:

SPJ Legal Defense Fund Auction
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208

Please contact Awards Coordinator Lauren Rochester with any questions at 317-927-8000 ext. 210. Your individual contribution to the Legal Defense Fund will make a huge difference in the lives of journalists across the nation.

PAY TO READ ONLINE? SPJ member Chas Hartman, a Ph.D. candidate in communication at the University of Kentucky, is conducting an online survey as part of his dissertation to determine how willing news consumers are to pay for news on the Web.

"Paying to Read Newspaper Stories Online" will take 5-10 minutes to complete. The survey ends on Sept. 22. Participants can also contact Hartman with questions.

TAIPEI TRAVEL. If you're an SPJ member and travel, lifestyle or floriculture writer, you may be interested in the Taipei International Flora Exposition, happening Nov. 6, 2010 to April 11, 2011. The Exposition organizers are specifically inviting such journalists and SPJ members to attend Nov. 4-10. Click here for more on the Exposition. If interested in attending, e-mail SPJ President Kevin Smith.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. In 1993, plans to beautify the Strip in Las Vegas included removing the world-famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada" sign from its place south of Mandalay Bay. Those who opposed the idea won, and the sign is still in its original location. (A replica was recently placed on Boulder Highway, just north of Harmon St.) Who designed the original sign and in what year?

A. The sign was designed by Betty Willis in 1959. You can learn more about her incredible story in The New York Times exposé interview with Willis HERE.

And the winner is...

Beth Lipoff, a freelance writer currently on the move to London (England) next week. She even knew that Willis refrained from copyrighting her work. Congrats, Beth!

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. To keep the fun "rolling" with our 2010 Convention Las Vegas trivia...

In 1996, what Vegas entertainers celebrated their 25,000th performance and 15,000th performance?

Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott.

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