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By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department
PITTSBURGH WORKSHOP DEADLINE MONDAY. We're inviting Pennsylvania/Ohio-area reporters and editors to step out of the inverted pyramid and into the art of storytelling at the Narrative Writing Workshop, Nov. 13 at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Place.
Click here to learn more and sign up before the Nov. 1 deadline. Hurry, space is limited!
Through SPJ's Narrative Writing Workshops, participants will learn options for reinvigorating the writing craft. Join Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Hallman Jr., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a day filled with tips for creating excitement in news stories.
Have a special project in the works? Share it! Participants can send Hallman a sample of their work in advance of the workshop. Tom will critique the work and discuss it with the rest of the class.
Workshop pricing includes breakfast and lunch!
Click here for more on the workshop and Hallman. If you have any questions, e-mail Heather Porter at email@example.com.
RELEVANCE IN THE DIGITAL AGE. After a recent study, the SPJ Digital Media Committee's published a new strategic report, "Will SPJ Remain Relevant in the Digital Age?" The committee, appointed by SPJ's president, interviewed more than a dozen media experts to advise SPJ on how to stand out among more than 90 national journalism organizations.
The committee concluded that SPJ should become the journalism industry's premier source of information on the latest technology, newsgathering approaches and business models. And SPJ should unite new media start-ups in a national network to foster communication and innovation.
To achieve these goals, the report included a list of 10 objectives.
Besides the DMC's work advising SPJ, the committee published a two-part "Digital Media Handbook" filled with training tips on new media. Part I is here. Part II is here.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: DIGITAL QUILL. Fall is here, which means school is back in full swing, football season is heating up (or cooling down, as it were), and baseball will soon put another year in the history books. Autumn weather also signals the annual freedom of information issue of Quill magazine, available in print, online at the SPJ site or in digital e-magazine format.
Click here for the fully functional e-magazine version.
In this issue:
— President Obama came into office promising greater transparency efforts. Has the administration turned its back? Read the story.
— Open records requests are a mainstay of journalism. But a lack of education and resources leaves crucial public information untouched. Read the story.
— The 2010 Census is over, at least the data collection. Now the real work begins: using the data to report relevant and important stories. Read the story.
— Freedom of Information Committee Chairman David Cuillier reviews his 45-day, 14,000-mile journey to train as many journalists as possible on the importance of public records. Read the story.
TOOLS FOR EVERY JOURNALIST. The Journalist's Toolbox has several new resources for you, including ones about the always-important topic of journalism ethics and tools to help with statistics. Find them all at journaliststoolbox.org. And be sure to follow the toolbox on Twitter.
Here is a quick glance at some of the updates added this month:
Copy Editing Resources: It's not the fanciest site on the Web, but DrGrammar.org has a great quick-reference page. Another helpful tool: Thsrs, the shorter thesaurus, which produces shorter synonyms for any word you type in. It's a very helpful tool for writing short, tight headlines.
Twitter Resources: We've added dozens of new resources, including Twitter guides for journalists, backgrounds, URL shorteners and other tools on the Toolbox's Twitter Resources page.
Mobile Journalism Resources: The Toolbox has launched a Mobile Journalism page that features links to app-making tools, readings on mobile media strategy and a list of recommended apps for journalists to use on their smart phones.
Politics:Poligraft is a Sunlight Foundation site that adds political context to news stories by scanning news articles you enter for the names of donors, corporations, lobbyists and politicians and shows how they are connected by contributions. It's a free site and a very helpful tool for doing research.
FOI Resources: A recent issue of Quill magazine listed some helpful sites for developing FOI-related story ideas. You can find those sites and more in the Toolbox's Public Records and Investigative sections.
ECAMPUS: WE'RE ALL A 'TWITTER'. Two weeks ago, we unleashed SPJ's latest resource in professional development training: eCampus. These online training videos provide SPJ members with insight for today's fast-paced, multi-platform journalism.
Several of the training sessions focus on tools you'll need to connect and communicate with social media audiences, manage your time efficiently and find new information for stories.
In our series of videos "Connect & Communicate," with social media trainer Jeff Cutler, you'll learn how using these tools correctly will save time in your busy day and supply a deeper understanding on realizing social media limits.
eCampus is just another great perk to your membership with the nation's most broad-based journalism organization. Improve your skills today!
Click here to learn more about the place "where journalists go to know!"
THE BOOK IS BACK!! Have you heard? SPJ has released the fourth edition of "Journalism Ethics: A Casebook of Professional Conduct for News Media." Closely organized around the SPJ Code of Ethics — the news industry's widely accepted "gold standard" of journalism principles — this updated edition uses 47 real-life case studies to demonstrate how journalism students and professionals can identify and reason through ethical dilemmas.
Shipping begins February 2011. Order today. SPJ members receive 20 percent off retail price!Act soon because the discount offer ends January 15, 2011
Click here to order the book online from Marion Street Press.
WHO ARE THE STORYTELLERS? It's not out of the ordinary to hear from journalists when asked why they got into the profession: "I want to tell stories about people and communities" (or something along those lines).
With that in mind, Scott Leadingham asks in an SPJ Works blog post: "What's the point of storytelling, anyway?" In journalism, when people say they want to "tell stories," what exactly does that mean? And who, for that matter, does it well? Leave a comment or suggestion here.
WOODWARD RECEIVES CRONKITE AWARD. The Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission and The Connecticut Foundation for Open Government will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act on Nov. 18. During the event, Bob Woodward will receive the Walter Cronkite Freedom of Information Award.
Woodward is regarded as one of America's preeminent investigative reporters and non-fiction authors. He has worked for The Washington Post since 1971 as a reporter and is currently an associate editor.
The dinner and presentation are open to the public and tickets are $100 per person. For more information about the event and reservations, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov. 11.
CUILLIER RECEIVES AWARD. The Arizona Newspapers Association and the Arizona Associated Press Managing Editors have teamed up to recognize individuals for their dedication to freedom of information and the public's right to know.
Among this year's honorees, University of Arizona Professor David Cuillier received the Non-Media Freedom of Information Award.
Cuillier is chairman of the SPJ Freedom of Information Committee and testified before Congress in spring 2010 about government information issues. He traveled the country by car April 27-June 10 to provide information-access training for SPJ chapters, news organizations and open government coalitions as part of his Access Across America tour.
The 2010 ANA awards were presented at a luncheon as part of the ANA 2010 Convention at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix.
USC OFFERS FELLOWSHIPS. The USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism is now accepting applications for the Knight Luce Fellowship for Reporting on Global Religion.
The stipend is $5,000 — $25,000 to allow American journalists to report and write stories illuminating how religion crosses geographic, temporal and ideological borders.
Successful applicants are required to do at least three stories for multiple delivery platforms: print, radio, TV, online. All work is to be completed within six months of getting the award and must be finished by December 31, 2011.
Several fellows will be invited to spend three days in residence at the University of Southern California once all the projects are done. Those invited to USC will conduct master classes for journalism students, present their work in seminars, and deliver public lectures for the USC community.
Freelancers or self-employed journalists who regularly publish, post and/or broadcast online, in print or over the air and online are eligible. No advanced degree or specialized training in religion is required.
Click here to contact the USC Annenberg office for more information.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. The first "people's" or "penny" paper was sold on the streets of New York for just one cent in 1833. What was the name of the paper?
A. The name of the publication was the New York Sun, published by Benjamin Day. This quiz was definitely a tough one. Some of the answers for the quiz included the Morning Post as the first "penny" paper. The Post actually started its short publication run as a two-cent paper before reducing its price to one cent and fizzling out a few weeks later.
And the winner is...
David Gordon of the UW-Eau Claire campus chapter. Congrats, David!
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. What is the significance of Robert Outcault in journalism? For extra credit, in what newspaper did his work originate?
Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott.