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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Time to update the Code of Ethics?

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SPJ Leads | 4/6/2011
Time to update the Code of Ethics?


By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department

ETHICS CODE UPDATE? The March/April issue of Quill is out and ready for your reading and learning pleasure.

On the cover: Should SPJ Update the Code of Ethics?

Steve Buttry says absolutely, 21st century journalism requires a 21st century code.

On the other hand, Irwin Gratz says the Code of Ethics is flexible enough to encompass contemporary digital journalism considerations.

But what do you say? Really, we want to know. Comment here on the Code Words blog or submit a letter to the editor by emailing Include a phone number for verification.

BOOK GIVEAWAY. On Tuesday, April 5, the "Bureau Chiefs" of @FakeAPStylebook fame released their phony yet astoundingly humorous writing guide, "Write More Good," making them another go-to source for satirizing journalism.

Quill recently featured an interview with @FakeAPStylebook founders Ken Lowery and Mark Hale. Read more on their inspirations, advice and what they have to say about Charlie Sheen coverage.

We want to get in on their action, too, so SPJ is offering you a chance to win a copy of "Write More Good." Just tell us about your journalism pet peeve (or #jpeeve on Twitter) for a chance to win. This is your moment to tell us what irks you most about the news.

Tell us about your jpeeve in one of three places:

1. Post your peeve in the comments section of the contest page

2. Reply to our contest post on Facebook

3. Write your jpeeve using the #jpeeve hashtag on Twitter

The deadline to submit is Thursday, April 7, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Read more about how to enter on the contest entry page.

SPJ MEMBERS INVITED TO ASNE CONVENTION. All SPJ members in the Southern California area are invited to attend the final day of the 2011 American Society of News Editors Convention in San Diego FOR FREE. The program is 8:45 to noon on Saturday, April 9, at the San Diego Marriott. It will feature a continental breakfast, a presentation by Daniel Pink — the best-selling author of four provocative bestselling books about the changing world of work — and panel discussions on news collaborations and best practices for mobile-news design.

To take advantage of this offer, SPJ members must register by 5 p.m. PT on Thursday, April 7. To register, email your name, job title and affiliation to, or sign up on the ASNE Facebook event page.

SOCIAL MEDIA CURATION WITH #SPJCHAT. Join us for this week's #SPJchat Twitter chatThursday, 8 p.m. ET on social media curation with Storify founder Burt Herman. SPJ DePaul University chapter adviser and Journalist's Toolbox editor Mike Reilley will moderate. For details on how to participate in the weekly chats and a schedule of upcoming topics, see

THE 1909 SOCIETY. By designating the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation as a beneficiary in your will, life insurance, retirement or other estate plans, you can provide a lasting legacy to provide for the future of journalism.

The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation gratefully acknowledges the 31 members who have included SDX in their wills and estate plans. Learn more about the program and how to become a member of the 1909 Society.

MOE WINNERS (SO FAR). Regional winners in the collegiate Mark of Excellence Awards contest are recognized at SPJ spring conferences around the country. First, second and third place winners are announced in a news release the Monday following a region's conference.

Conferences have taken place for regions 3, 4, 5 and 12.

MOE Results: Region 3; Region 4; Region 5; Region 12

Congratulations to all winners!

Conferences in regions 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 take place April 8-9. The Region 11 conference is April 29-30. See the spring conference page for more on the remaining events.

LATEST FROM THE TOOLBOX. The Journalist's Toolbox is a free site provided by SPJ that contains thousands of links helpful for reporters, editors, educators or anyone else doing research. Edited by former Los Angeles Times reporter and DePaul University instructor Mike Reilley, the site is organized by beats and industry topics such as Public Records, Crime, Legal Issues, Science, Environment, Journalism Jobs, Sports and more. Check out some of the latest resources added just yesterday:

Journalism Research Tool: Journalist's Resource is website dedicated to promoting knowledge-based reporting and is targeted to journalism educators. It's a project of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education.

Twitter Resources: We've added dozens of new resources to the Toolbox's Twitter Resources page.

Mobile Journalism: Will Sullivan, a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, created a handy Mobile Journalism Tools Guide.

Add Mobile Journalism: Mobile Apps is a handy list of what government agencies have mobile apps and mobile website.

Find more resources at the Journalist's Toolbox website.

WORKING PRESS INTERNSHIP DEADLINE SOON. SPJ is seeking 12 interns for The Working Press, a daily tabloid newspaper and online news site that will cover the Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference, Sept. 25-27 in New Orleans. Collegiate student reporters, editors, photographers and designers are invited to apply for these select positions. Please click here for complete details and application information. Applicants are due on April 18.

NARRATIVE WRITING IN MINN.. Join Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Tom Hallman Jr. on June 25 for a day filled with tips for creating excitement in news stories in "The North Star State." The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Doubletree Guest Suites Minneapolis. SPJ members can register for $45, which includes breakfast and lunch.

Learn more about the event and register.

SHOWCASING OUTSTANDING MEMBERS. Annually, we recognize students, advisers and professional members who play a vital role in the Society's fight to improve and protect journalism. April 15 is the postmark deadline!

Nominate a deserving member today for one of the following honors:

Wells Key: SPJ's highest honor, a member is judged each year to have served the Society in the most outstanding fashion during the preceding year or over a period of years. That individual is honored with a jeweled key.

Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award: The award salutes individual professional members who have made significant contributions to their SPJ chapter.

Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award: The award honors a graduating student in journalism who is outstanding in his or her class on the basis of character, service to the community, scholarship, proficiency in practical journalism and significant contributions to his or her SPJ chapter.

David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award: The award honors individuals who have done an outstanding job serving as SPJ campus adviser and who have contributed to their chapters and the national organization over an extended period of time.

Regional Director of the Year Award: Honors a regional director for outstanding service and contributions to their region and the Society during the preceding year.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. What dictator recently received a journalism award despite stifling press freedoms in his country? Hint: He is also a recipient of the Al-Gadhafi International Prize for Human Rights, an honor he shares with Fidel Castro. (Seriously, you can't make up this stuff.)

A. Hugo Chavez

And the winner is...

Marvelia Alpízar of Saluda, S.C. Congrats, Marvelia!

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. What organization's newest efforts are intended to be a resource for journalists who want to incorporate social media into their reporting? The project includes a journalists' meet-up program.

Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott

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