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By Andrew M. Scott
November 24, 2010
LA SPJ CALLS FOR TRANSPARENCY. The Los Angeles SPJ chapter released a statement last week calling for an investigation into the firing of Allan Parachini, a local superior courts spokesman.
"Public information officers for any organization, private or public, are challenged to walk a line between serving the expectations of their employers and answering the questions of the media. When the PIO works for a government agency, public access laws are also a factor in the relationship.
"The PIO must obey the law as well as the will of his or her employers, but the employers are also subject to the law, which, among other provisions, requires court records and proceedings to be reasonably made available or open to the public, including the news media.
"While we cannot verify the assertions on either side of the dispute, the board of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is gravely concerned about the suggestion that at its root was Parachini's vigorous advocacy of access for journalists.
"We strongly affirm that the court is subject to California access laws, and we firmly reject the idea that those laws might be subject to political considerations or the convenience of the judges, administrators or other officers of the court. Anything else would set a dangerous precedent."
To read the entire statement, see the Los Angeles Pro website here.
ALL KINDS OF TRAINING FROM SPJ
TRAINING AT YOUR DOOR. Does your newsroom need better writers, more ethics training and staff expertise in FOI? Then we have an offer for you! SPJ is offering a traveling newsroom training program that combines high ideals with hands-on application.
Visit the SPJ website to learn more about the training available.
We hope you'll be interested in bringing this training program to your newsroom. For more information contact Associate Executive Director Chris Vachon at 317-927-8000 ext. 207 or email@example.com.
Last month, SPJ announced the latest resource in our mission of improving journalism! eCampus is on-demand training that is readily accessible online and offers the latest inside tips in professional development.
TRAINING ON YOUR COMPUTER. The training provided through eCampus is geared toward teaching techniques for today's fast-paced, multi-platform journalism. These videos are the first in an expanding library and are part of our ongoing efforts to provide quality services and benefits to SPJ members.
If you haven't accessed this great new resource yet, then you're missing out. Don't lose another second. Click here learn more and start your learning now!
HONOLULU DIGITAL TRAINING. The Online News Association, in partnership with the Hawaii chapters of the Asian American Journalists Association and SPJ, will host two days of free digital journalism training and workshops at The East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, Jan. 21-22, 2011.
To learn more, follow this link. ONA members and non-members are welcome.
CONNECTING NEW JOURNOS. Still feel new to journalism? Don't worry, you're not alone! Whether you are still getting your feet wet in the industry, trying to establish yourself as a journalist or just starting your career, the SPJ Generation J Committee is here to help.
The Gen J Committee can help provide tips on getting a job, share personal newsroom experiences, provide training opportunities and get answers to your questions from industry experts.
Check out the Gen J blog, First Draft, for news tips, personal journalism experiences, links to upcoming training events and much more. Also, share your thoughts and comments with the committee directly on the YouTube channel or on Twitter @SPJGenerationJ.
Have a question about surviving in this ever-changing world of news? Upload to the YouTube channel, send it over Twitter or contact committee chairwoman Lynn Walsh at Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com or on Twitter @LWalsh.
WEB 2.0 TRAINING. The Knight Digital Media Center at UC-Berkeley is providing a Web 2.0 Training program for journalists that provides participants with hands-on, newsroom-focused training on innovative publishing tools and technologies.
This training is Feb. 14-18, 2011 and takes participants through the progression of reporting news for multiple digital platforms, starting with quick text posts and moving through photos and video and finally ending with a full multimedia presentation. The workshop provides hands-on training using Twitter and Facebook for reporting and driving Web traffic, creating data-driven map mashups, dynamically updating a blog for breaking news, publishing photo galleries and audio slideshows, producing videos and editing videos using Final Cut Pro. Participants will leave with new tools for reporting and with new insights on how to serve new and emerging audiences.
Completed applications for the February 2011 Web 2.0 training must be received by December 10, 2010 at 11: 59 p.m. PST. Applications for the June 2011 Web 2.0 training must be received by April 15, 2011.
Follow this link to learn more and apply.
CALL FOR ROBINSON AWARD. Do you know a great copy editor? You can encourage great copy editing by nominating someone — including yourself — for the Robinson Prize. Each year the American Copy Editors Society honors one copy editor whose work demonstrates exceptional effectiveness.
The contest is open to all copy editors working for English-language publications, including those published only online. Nominees will be evaluated on a combination of elements, which can include editing, design, mentoring and training, fostering a sense of teamwork and pride among colleagues, and anything else that furthers the craft of professional editing. Work considered for nomination should be current but need not be tied to a specific calendar year. Read more about the award here.
The winner, whose name will be announced on March 18, 2011, at ACES' national conference in Phoenix, will receive $3,000 and a plaque.
ANNUAL NATURE WRITING CONTEST. The Southern Environmental Law Center is now accepting submissions for the Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment. The award seeks to enhance public awareness of the value and vulnerability of the region's natural heritage by giving special recognition to writers who most effectively tell stories about the South's environment.
The award has two categories: Book and Journalism, for newspaper and magazine writing, and online writing published by a recognized institution such as a newspaper, university or non-profit organization and is journalistic in nature. Prizes of $1,000 are awarded in each category.
All submissions must have been published during calendar year 2010 and be received by Jan. 10, 2011.
For more information, visit SouthernEnvironment.org.
GULF COAST AREA WRITING WORKSHOP. SPJ invites Gulf Coast-area journalists to step out of the inverted pyramid and into the art of storytelling at the upcoming Narrative Writing Workshop.
The workshop will take place Feb. 19, 2011, at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
Through SPJ's Narrative Writing Workshops, participants will learn options for reinvigorating the writing craft. Join Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and reporter Tom Hallman Jr., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a day filled with tips for creating excitement in news stories. Click here for registration information.
Have a special project in the works? Share it! Participants can send Hallman a sample of their work in advance of the workshop. Hallman will critique the work and discuss it with the rest of the class. Registration for the workshop ends February 4.
To learn more about the program and Hallman, click here. If you have any questions, e-mail Heather Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. What news veteran recently spoke out about "Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news"? Excerpt: "While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic."
A. Ted Koppel
And the winner is...
Tim Sullivan of McAllen, Texas. Congrats, Tim!
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. What is the relevance of Mark Kellogg in journalism history?
Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott.
Happy Thanksgiving, SPJ members!