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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Next year's BIG conference, Fellowships

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SPJ Leads | 9/29/2010
Next year's BIG conference, Fellowships


By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department

ON VACATION. SPJ Leads, your favorite membership e-newsletter, will be on a vacation hiatus next week during the 2010 SPJ Convention in Las Vegas. But it's a working vacation.

Don't despair. You can always follow the SPJ action at the convention (even if you can't attend) by visiting the homepage Oct. 3-5. Convention news, written by The Working Press interns, will be posted during that time. And we're all a "Twitter" about following the convention buzz by using hashtag #SPJ10.

2011: THE MEGA-JOURNALISM CONFERENCE IS COMING. On September 25-28, 2011, the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and SPJ join forces to present the "Excellence in Journalism: 2011" conference in New Orleans.

The goal in establishing this conference is more than just creating a partnership between two of the premier organizations in the journalism world. It is to create the largest, most important national journalism conference of the year.

Held in one of the most dynamic locations in the United States — New Orleans, La. — the "Excellence in Journalism: 2011" conference will host more than 1,000 electronic and print journalists looking to add online and visual tools to their storytelling arsenals.

"This collaboration between SPJ and RTDNA is unparalleled in the journalism community and it makes perfect sense," said SPJ President Kevin Z. Smith. "We are excited at the prospects of what this means for our members and where this can lead both organizations. Sharing our resources and creating the ultimate conference means attendees will enjoy the best training, networking and social opportunities of the year."

The conference will feature dozens of workshops, from extended leadership training for newsroom leaders to hands-on advanced media sessions, taught by the best in our business. Additionally, our expanded exhibit floor offers attendees, vendors and guests a chance to interact at one of the best networking opportunities of the year.

"Almost every electronic journalist we've spoken to about the 2011 conference is thrilled for two reasons," said RTDNA Chairman Mark Kraham. "First, that RTDNA and SPJ are teaming up and second, that we're moving our annual conference from city to city again."

For more information on the "Excellence in Journalism: 2011" conference, including hotel and sponsorship details, please visits the conference website at

SCRIPPS FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITIES. Scripps newspapers are embarking on a program that will offer up to 40 people the chance to gain journalistic experience through the Scripps Fellowship Program.

The full-time positions will last either six or 12 months. Recent college graduates or other individuals with relevant journalism or Web experience can apply for the positions. In October and November, Scripps will hire promising talent in the fields of multimedia reporting, online production, Web development, Web design, user-experience analysis, copy editing and page design.

To apply for the Scripps Fellowship Program, visit the Careers section on and search keyword, "fellowship."

INVESTIGATIVE FREELANCE AWARD. The American Society of Journalists and Authors has opened The Donald Robinson Memorial Award for Investigative Journalism to the public, marking a change from ASJA's long-time policy of these awards going exclusively to members.

The award is funded by a bequest from Donald Robinson, third president of ASJA. This monetary award goes to a freelance-written article representing exceptional achievement in investigative journalism or exposé writing. Entries for the 2011 award must have been published in 2010.

ASJA encourages freelancers-members and non-members alike-to submit their work for consideration if they feel it meets the criteria for one of the awards.

For complete details and submission instructions, follow this link. Submission deadline is Jan. 7, 2011.

WHERE JOURNALISTS GO TO KNOW. If you haven't been by the SPJ website in a while, you've been missing out on our sneak peek at the Society's latest innovation in improving journalism.

Check it out for yourself by following this link!

Even better, if you're one of this year's 2010 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference attendees, you can catch the first glimpse of this online product's capabilities while at the convention's Internet café.

It's just one more reason why the professional development skills learned in Vegas WON'T stay in Vegas!

SHAPING THE INTERNET. The Internet has had a profound impact on the journalism industry. More information is available at the touch of a button than ever before, but this has brought the challenge of distinguishing trustworthy sources from rumor mills. Soon the Internet will undergo a significant change to its structure.

The letters to the right of the dot in a Web address (e.g. ".com") will offer new choices for Internet users, spanning a wide variety of topics, brands, and geographies. The following survey asks your opinion on a new region of the Internet that would be designed specifically for the reporting of news and information.

As a member of the nation's largest and most broad-based journalism organization, you are asked to help shape this future. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and have your voice heard.

Access the survey here.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT SEO. Want to learn more about search engine optimization? Well, you're in luck. The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will present "Think Like Google: What You Need To Know About SEO," a free webinar for reporters and editors who want to reach a wider audience online, on Oct 19.

The one-hour session features Robin J. Phillips,web managing editor at the Reynolds Center,and Chad Graham, the social media editor at The Arizona Republic. They'll explain why journalists should care about SEO and provide tips for writing good headline and leads for the web. The webinar will air at 12 noon and 4 p.m. (EST)

Click here to learn more about the webinar and register.

ON THE AIRWAVES: YOUR MEMBERSHIP. SPJ's new radio venture, hosted by Membership Committee Chairwoman Holly Fisher, will soon air its second podcast on providing tips for 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, this is your chance to log in, listen and participate!

Visit this page where you can listen to the recap of the first episode.

Next Episode: Thursday, Oct. 14, 1 p.m. EST
Call-in Number: (347) 857-2441

SUPPORTING OUR CARTOONISTS. In support of Molly Norris, the Seattle Weekly cartoonist threatened and now in hiding, and the free speech rights of cartoonists, Signe Wilkinson and Ann Telnase organized a petition expressing support for these rights and all cartoonists who have been threatened. If you want to help in their cause, the online petition can be found by following this link.

EMBED REPORTERS' RIGHTS. Embedded freelance reporter Wayne Anderson was removed from Afghanistan after reporting on the July 20 shootings near Camp Mike Spann. NATO officials said an "identifiable" image of a wounded soldier was published, in violation of the Media Ground Rules. The Washington Times and Anderson, an SPJ member, deny the claim. The case is under appeal. Military officials said they are willing to consider including a section on reporters' rights in the Rules. For suggestions and information on forming these rights, e-mail Wayne Anderson at

(Note: SPJ has not taken a position on or spoken out about Anderson's expulsion or his appeal. This announcement is provided in case other journalists and SPJ members are interested in the broader issue of updating the military's Media Ground Rules.)

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. As far as saving money to attend the SPJ Convention in Las Vegas, did you know Nevada is one of seven states in the U.S. that does not have state income tax? What are the other six?

A. The others are Alaska, Florida, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. New Hampshire and Tennessee, tax only dividend and interest income.

And the winner is...

Rebecca J. Tallent, a professor at the University of Idaho. Congrats, Rebecca!

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Our Final Vegas Convention Quiz: In Chinese culture, the number four is considered bad luck. Business and recreational travelers from China are important to the gambling industry in Las Vegas. With this in mind, what two Vegas resorts have no tower floors that start with four? The elevators count 38, 39, 50, 51 etc.

Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott.

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