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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > National conference, bin Laden coverage and summer programs!

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SPJ Leads | 5/4/2011
National conference, bin Laden coverage and summer programs!


By Andrew M. Scott
May 4, 2011

REGISTER FOR EXCELLENCE TODAY. Big News is coming to the Big Easy!

Registration is now open for the joint SPJ-RTDNA national conference, Excellence in Journalism 2011, Sept. 25-27 in New Orleans. Register today to take advantage of early registration prices. With exciting topicsand high-caliber trainers, SPJ and RTDNA are stir'n up some journalism gumbo in N'awlins! Don't forget to make your hotel reservation at the Sheraton New Orleans while you are on the conference site.

Save even more!

SPJ offers three opportunities for financial assistance to attend Excellence in Journalism 2011. APPLICATION DEADLINE: JUNE 13.

This year, SPJ will continue to award up to five conference scholarships in memory of Terry Harper, SPJ's executive director from 2002-09. The Terry Harper Memorial Scholarships include a conference registration, three nights at the Sheraton hotel, airfare to New Orleans and tickets to three ticketed meal events. Click here for more information and to apply.

The Diversity Leadership Fellows Program supports SPJ's efforts to encourage diverse journalists to be involved with the organization in leadership roles. The program provides fellows with a conference registration, three nights at the Sheraton hotel, airfare to New Orleans and tickets to three meal events. Click here for more information and to apply.

BIN LADEN PHOTOS: TO SHOW OR NOT? Since news of Osama bin Laden's death came Sunday, news outlets have had to consider how to handle possible images disseminating from the U.S. military operation in Pakistan.

Until today, there was much speculation about whether the White House would release photos of bin Laden. If the photos were released, how should news outlets handle them from an ethical perspective?

Ethics Committee Chairman Kevin Smith gave advice on the Code Words blogCode Words blog on how to approach such decisions.

News broke only a few minutes after the post was published that President Obama has decided not to release photos of bin Laden's body. But it's good advice nonetheless.

SPECIAL #SPJCHAT ON BIN LADEN COVERAGE. Join us for this week's special #SPJchat Twitter chat Thursday, 8 p.m. ET, focusing on social media, accuracy and coverage of Osama bin Laden.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

MEMBER IS EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR. Bonnie Newman Davis, an associate professor of journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Mass Communications, was recently selected as Journalism Educator of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Bonnie is the immediate past Secretary for the College of Humanities & Sciences Faculty Council, and is faculty adviser for the VCU student chapter of SPJ. She also serves as an informal adviser to VCU's student chapter of NABJ, and is a co-founder of the former Richmond Association of Black Journalists.

Congratulations, Bonnie! Read more about her recognition here.

ON THE BLOGS. The SPJ Blogs Network features trends and advice to help today's journalists. From freelancing tips, industry news from around the world, digital media help and more written by SPJ committee members and staff, the network has you covered. Here is a look at some recent posts:

The Independent Journalist: "7 tips on how to spot a freelancing scam"
As print publications retrench and online publications expand, both are trying to figure out what to do about generating fresh content at minimal expense. And with staffing costs rising, it makes sense for both to hire freelancers. (Read more)

Journalism and the World: "The cost of foreign affairs, it's not as much as you think"
Despite what most Americans think and obviously some members of Congress as well non-military foreign affairs does not take up a quarter of the federal budget. (Read more)

SPJ Works: "It's a Small World After All: A special Journalism Ethics Week project"
The Code is voluntarily embraced by thousands of reporters, editors and other news professionals across America and the world. To date, the Code is available to journalists in... (Read more)

First Draft: "Get Off Your Phone"
I might be biased in saying journalists are the only people who can justify having a cell phone or smartphone out in the open, or carried in the hand, at all times. With the nature of... (Read more)

See the full blog network list here.

SPJ MAKES FOR THE PERFECT GIFT. May graduation is almost here for many college students! Help them celebrate in style by purchasing some "swag" from SPJ's online merchandise store for their graduation presents. The store has everything from travel mugs, bracelets, fleece jackets, polos and t-shirts.

Visit the online store by following this link.

ANNUAL REPORTS DUE. The deadline for professional chapters to submit Annual Chapter Reports is approaching quickly. The due date is Wednesday, June 1. All reports should be submitted online. Click here to find the appropriate forms and to submit your report. If you have questions, please email Linda Hall or call 317-927-8000 ext. 203 or contact your regional director.

THOSE SPJ SUMMER NIGHTS! TELL ME MORE, TELL ME MORE! The journalism industry is constantly changing, and journalists need to learn new skills to remain relevant in the field. This summer, SPJ will offer a series of workshops at national headquarters in Indianapolis aimed at helping journalists improve their social media reporting skills. In total, SPJ will present four sessions, each one building on the other.

Tuesday, June 21: New Media Ethics
Tuesday, June 27: Writing that Works Online
Tuesday, July 12: Connect & Communicate
Tuesday, July 19: Video for the Web

Click here to see a schedule, read about each session and find out how you can participate.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. What university recently received a national journalism honor for its work, "The Roads of Broken Dreams: Can a New Delta Arise from the Rot of the Old South," and what was the award program? (Hints: SPJ's communications coordinator is an alumnus of the university. One of the other award recipients won last year's SPJ First Amendment Award.)

A.The University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media won the 43rd Annual Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in the college print category. The awards are sponsored by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.

And the winner is...

Molly Baumgardner of Overland Park, Kans. Congrats, Molly!

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. What is the most recent accomplishment of University of Texas journalism graduate Bill McRaven?

Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott

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