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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Deadlines and making the best of the worst

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SPJ Leads | 12/22/2010
Deadlines and making the best of the worst


By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! We're remembering all of our members, other journalists and fellow First Amendment advocates who help us improve and protect journalism on a daily basis. Thank you, everyone, for all you do for SPJ, the profession and the public interest. Have a happy and safe holiday season, from us to you.

Wishing you the best,
SPJ Headquarters

FACEBOOK: MAKING THE BEST OF THE WORST. For journalists and their news mediums, few things are as gratifying as positive feedback from community members. However, unedited commentary from viewers can be both the greatest gift social media has to offer and a journalist's worst nightmare.

This piece from Kim Wilson at Journalistics gives a helpful perspective on battling those Facebook (and news site) commenters who find pleasure in being argumentative, disruptive, disagreeable and otherwise as negative as possible.

DEADLINE SOON: CALL FOR PROGRAMS! Share your professional wisdom and build on your personal brand! Submit a program idea for the SPJ/RTDNA Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference, Sept. 25-28 in New Orleans. The Call for Programs is almost over, and we want YOUR ideas. Help make the joint 2011 conference with the Radio Television Digital News Association educational and inspiring. Submit your proposal today.

We are seeking proposals that:

contain leading-edge information
emphasize training, learning and performance
are "how to" and hands-on
focus on skill-building
provide personal development strategies
comprise no more than two presenters

Hurry because the deadline is in less than two weeks! Proposals will be accepted until Jan. 2, 2011.

MEANINGFUL, PAID INTERNSHIPS. SPJ is accepting applications for summer internships in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. Two students will be selected for the Pulliam-Kilgore Freedom of Information internships. One intern will be stationed in Washington, D.C. and the other will work at SPJ National Headquarters in Indianapolis.

Both interns will research and write about public records and access issues. Other opportunities in communications work for SPJ are also available. Dive into FOI and more with this invaluable experience and get paid! The deadline to apply is Jan. 14, 2011.

THE MIRROR AWARDS. Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications is now accepting entries for the fifth annual Mirror Awards. The awards, established by the Newhouse School in 2006, honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public's benefit.

Honorees are recognized for news judgment and command of craft in reporting, analysis and commentary on developments in the media industry and its role in our economy, culture and democracy.

This year's awards categories include:
Best Single Article, Traditional Media
Best Single Article, Digital Media
Best Profile, Traditional Media
Best Profile, Digital Media
Best Commentary, Traditional Media
Best Commentary, Digital Media (including blogs)
Best In-Depth Piece, Traditional Media

All entries must have been published or broadcast between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010. The application deadline is Feb. 10, 2011.

For more information about the Mirror Awards competition, follow this link or contact Jean Brooks at (315) 443-5711 or

REPORTERS INSTITUTE. Are you a young professional looking to boost your career? If so, apply now to attend SPJ's Reporters Institute! Graciously funded by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the Reporters Institute brings 36 reporters together for three days of training, networking and camaraderie.

SPJ will hold two Reporters Institute programs during summer 2011. The June 12-15 program is geared toward video/broadcast journalists, and the July 10-13 program is for journalists who primarily write. Follow this link for details and contact Heather Porter at with questions.

QUALITY INSURANCE WITH MARSH. Marsh Affinity Group Services offers a variety of quality insurance programs available through SPJ membership. We encourage you to review any of the following plans: major medical, catastrophe major medical, term life, disability income, accidental death and dismemberment, group hospital indemnity program and short term medical. To learn more about Marsh Affinity Group Services, call 800-503-9230 or visit the Marsh website.

Read more about our diverse selection of membership affinity programs that help your career and personal life.

TIME TO REFLECT: ENTER THE SDX. As December comes to an end, this time of year often brings moments of reflection. Throughout 2010, you've been a part of telling meaningful stories that have helped impact and shape your community. We want to recognize that work.

The Sigma Delta Chi Awards program, which dates back to 1932, recognizes excellence in print, radio, television, newsletters, photography, online and research. With numerous categories your work could be nationally recognized.

Entrants can submit work through our online format, which allows you to submit easily and efficiently. To be eligible, work must have been published or broadcast during the 2010 calendar year. SPJ members may enter for $60. Contest rules and categories are here.

The deadline is Feb. 9, 2011. Visit the SPJ Awards site for more information and to enter. If you have any questions, contact Awards Coordinator Lauren Rochester at (317) 927-8000 ext. 210 or

STUDENTS: MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR WINTER BREAK. No matter where you are, the winter break and holiday season is HERE! While you're on break from school, why not take a few moments to submit your work for the chance to be nationally recognized?

The annual Mark of Excellence Awards recognizes the best and offers categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism.

Enter your work online. Our latest format allows you to submit entries easily and efficiently. The contest is open to anyone enrolled in a college or university in the U.S. studying for an academic degree in 2010. SPJ members may enter for $9. Contest rules and categories are here.

The entry deadline is Jan. 26, 2011. Visit the SPJ Awards site for more information and to enter.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. What 2-year-old journalism start-up will, as of Jan. 1, start paying the writers who have helped turn the site into a culture and media must-read with half a million monthly visitors?

A. The Awl! Read more about it here.

And the winners are...

Cindy Cafferty, Beth Lipoff and Doug Schlatter. Congrats! With only three to guess this one correctly, it was definitely a tough question last week.

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. What holiday Christmas TV special celebrates its 45th anniversary this year?

Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott.

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