By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department
BUILDING A STRONGER MEMBERSHIP. A generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous recently offered up to 100 free memberships in SPJ and the Chicago Headline Club the night of the annual Peter Lisagor Awards banquet. A total of 47 individuals took advantage of the offer.
"I cannot thank our benefactor enough for not only this gift of memberships," said Susan S. Stevens, CHC president. "He contributes far more than money to the organization."
The donor, a long-time SPJ and CHC activist, hopes that the new members will find out that SPJ and CHC are vastly more than the annual awards competition. He also hopes this will encourage those new members to continue paying dues next year.
Tribune Editor Gerould Kern, in his keynote speech, emphasized that the role of journalists is to investigate. "Investigative reporting is the most valuable service we can provide," Kern said. "The future of journalism will be discovering inequity and seeking to correct it. The future lies in our public service mission."
DETAINED JOURNALIST SET FREE. Journalist Dorothy Parvaz, who was detained in Syria in late April and sent to Iran, is free. The Al Jazeera reporter holds U.S., Canadian and Iranian citizenship and was going to Syria to cover civil uprisings and protests. She previously worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
On May 5, SPJ published a press release expressing concern for Parvaz and calling for her release.
MILITARY COVERAGE WORKSHOP IN KANSAS. The University of Kansas will host a weeklong workshop Sept. 25-30 for journalists who want to learn more about covering the military. Funded by the McCormick Foundation, the program allows journalists to embed for a week with officers at the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
The McCormick Foundation pays all expenses including round-trip air to Kansas City, ground transportation, lodging and meals. The workshop provides opportunities for daily stories as well as features.
To apply for the workshop, send a current resume and a letter of interest to Barbara Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OUR SUMMER INTERNS. Two new people will join our SPJ family for summer 2011. Congratulations to Clarissa Pintado and Morgan Watkins, our Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information interns! Pintado is an American University law student and will work in Washington, D.C., at the law offices of Baker Hostetler, SPJ's legal counsel. Watkins, a University of Florida journalism student, started this week at SPJ Headquarters working on FOI issues for Quill, the SPJ website and the FOI FYI blog.
COVERING MUSIC ON #SPJCHAT. Join us for this week's special #SPJchat Twitter chat Thursday, 8 p.m. ET, as moderator Mike Reilley live-tweets from the DePaul University chapter's special panel discussion on music journalism, ethics and social media. If you can't make the event in-person, you can participate by submitting questions on Twitter.
Read more about the event and the discussion panelists. For details on how to participate in the weekly chats and a schedule of upcoming topics, see spjdepaul.com.
AND WE'LL HAVE FUN, FUN, FUN AT SPJ'S SUMMER NIGHTS! The journalism industry is constantly changing, and journalists need to learn new skills to remain relevant in the field. In the coming weeks, we will be offering SPJ's Summer Nights continuing education 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.
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.
NEED HELP GETTING TO THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE? Do you plan on attending the joint SPJ-RTDNA national conference, Excellence in Journalism 2011, Sept. 25-27 in New Orleans? Want to save on your expenses? SPJ has two professional scholarships that are available for members.
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.
The application deadline for both opportunities is June 13.
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:
FOI FYI: "FOI daily dose: FOIA summit and executive order opposition outrage"
While a summit today in Washington, D.C. trained government employees to handle fee-related FOIA issues, House Republicans opposed a potential executive order from President Obama that would increase political transparency among... (Read more)
Journalism and the World: "U.S. to fund anti-censorship programs"
The U.S. government announced it will set aside US$30 million to fight Internet censorship. Michael Posner, assistant Secretary of State for human rights, is quoted in the Guardian that the projects will include "slingshot" technology that will identify... (Read more)
The Independent Journalist: "A one-stop shop for social media knowledge"
The search for social media wisdom can be long and arduous, with trails and tips leading off in every direction. A frustrating day spent plumbing for facts can lead freelancers to believe they're courting fiction. (Read more)
Net Worked: "Tablet or laptop? For some of us, the choice is obvious"
Yeah, sure, we've seen those smart and sexy tablet computers crop up as quick as dandelions across the technology landscape and wondered: Wouldn't it be cool, neat, sweet whatever the current lingo to have one? (Read more)
See the full blog network list here.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. What well-known sports cartoonist and columnist passed away Tuesday, May 10?
A. Bill Gallo. Gallo, who was 88, spent seven decades working at the Daily News in New York. Read more about Gallo and his legacy.
And the winner is...
Dean W. Hockney of Kokomo, Ind. Congrats, Dean!
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Identify the early 20th century journalist who said the following:
"What makes a good newspaperman? The answer is easy. He knows everything. He is aware not only of what goes on in the world today, but his brain is a repository of the accumulated wisdom of the ages. He is not only handsome, but he has the physical strength which enables him to perform great feats of energy. He can go for nights on end without sleep. He dresses well and talks with charm. Men admire him; women adore him; tycoons and statesmen are willing to share their secrets with him. He hates lies and meanness and sham, but he keeps his temper..."
Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott