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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Deadlines, FOI, helping journalists in need

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SPJ Leads | 6/8/2011
Deadlines, FOI, helping journalists in need


By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department

CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIPS DEADLINE SOON. 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 Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award is given each year to a student SPJ member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the First Amendment through the field of journalism. The award assists a student with his/her attendance to SPJ's annual convention. Click here for more information and to apply.

Apply today! The application deadline for all three opportunities is June 13.

BE A LEADER. Voting chapter delegates will elect members of the national board of directors during the Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference, Sept. 25-27 in New Orleans.

Due to 2010-11 President-elect Darcie Lunsford stepping down and not continuing on to the presidency, there will be a special election for the 2011-12 president. Delegates will also select a president-elect who will assume the presidency at the 2012 convention, per the normal procedure under SPJ's bylaws.

All open positions are:
President (special election)
President-elect (elected every year)
Secretary-Treasurer (elected every year)
Vice President for Campus Chapter Affairs (two-year position)
At-Large Director (two-year position)
Campus Adviser At-Large (two-year position)
Student Representative (two positions, elected every year)
Directors for Regions 2, 3, 6, 10, 11 and 12 (two-year position)

Learn more about board qualifications and how to declare candidacy.

FREELANCER SURVEY. The Newspaper Guild is conducting a survey to get a feel of how freelancers are faring today. Does it suck? Not so bad? Doing terrific, thank you very much? The Guild is seeking important feedback from people about ways organized labor could help improve the state of freelancing, whether it is print, video, blogging or photography. The Guild hopes to use the results to build a support system for those who remain committed to acts of journalism without the assurance of a steady paycheck.

Participate in the survey by following this link.

SPECIAL 'YOUR SPJ MEMBERSHIP' ON DISASTERS. Tune in for a special episode of SPJ's monthly podcast, "Your SPJ Membership: Helping in Times of Disaster," at 1 p.m. ET Thursday, June 9, on how local chapters can help provide aid to other journalists who have been affected by natural disasters in their region. The program will specifically talk about the Madison Pro chapter's efforts to raise money for local journalists in Joplin, Mo.

Special Guests:

Steve Geimann, Sigma Delta Chi Foundation president
Mark Pitsch, Madison Pro chapter president

This month's program will feature guest host, Sarah Bauer. Listen in at for a 30-minute program. Have a question? Call in during the show to contribute to the conversation. Call 347-857-2441.

If you can't listen live, review archived shows here.

GETTING YOUR DAILY DOSE OF FOI? Have you been keeping up with the latest trends in freedom of information and public access issues? If not, then we've got what you need. SPJ's Indianapolis Pulliam/Kilgore FOI intern, Morgan Watkins, has been pumping up the FOI FYI blog with all kinds of weekly tips, trends and the latest new developments. Here's a look at some recent posts:

FOI DAILY DOSE: "Sticking up for Drake, Nigeria FOI law to keep industry transparent"
National Security Administration whistleblower Thomas Drake goes to court next week, but he isn't without public support for his actions. Drake is facing charges of violating the Espionage Act of 1917. According to prosecutors, he willfully retained classified documents that... (Read more)

Transparency Triumph of the Week: "Vermont strengthens public records law"
This week's triumph goes to the Vermont government, which recently approved a law that strengthens freedom of information in the state and opens the door to further improvements. (Read more)

FOI Fail of the Week: "Unclassified docs kept secret during Drake trial"
Classified information is obviously meant to remain secret. But apparently, unclassified documents should stay secret too. At least, the prosecution in the Thomas Drake whistleblower court case thinks so. (Read more)

FOI Tip of the Week: "FOI Center resources varied and helpful"
Need to beef up your FOI knowledge? Swing by the website for the FOI Center, a reference and research library at the Missouri School of Journalismand headquarters for the National Freedom of Information Coalition. (Read more)

SPJ DEMANDS INVESTIGATION OF PAKISTANI REPORTER'S DEATH. In response to the murder of Asia Times Bureau Chief Sayed Saleem Shahzad, SPJ President Hagit Limor and the International Journalism Committee mailed a letter to Pakistan Ambassador Husain Haggani on Friday, demanding an official investigation into the death of Shahzad.

Read the letter.

TED SCRIPPS GRADUATES CELEBRATE SPJ. Last weekend, 44 pro and student SPJ members graduated from the annual Ted Scripps Leadership Institute, a three-day program full of leadership and chapter-building sessions. The participants learned more about themselves as leaders, participated in a fun duckpin bowling competition and left prepared with great ideas for their chapters. Check out highlights from the 2011 institute on the Leadership Institute page. Congratulations again to our all graduates!

The program is made possible by a generous grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation.

SPJ/ONA SEATTLE MEETUP. The Seattle-area chapters of SPJ and the Online News Association will chat with Rand Fishkin, the CEO of Seattle's SEOmoz, about the art of SEO search engine optimization and why it matters for your next story. The event is part of the next ONA-SPJ Seattle Meetup, Thursday, June 23 at 7 p.m. If you're in the area, bring your questions about white-hat SEO, social media, SEO tactics and more to Jillian's on Westlake.

Read more about the event.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. We want to take a moment this week and ask you to share what makes your membership in SPJ important. We encourage you to take a moment to write in and tell us how SPJ is a part of your life and what it means to you! We'll showcase member's responses in next week's edition of SPJ Leads.

Here is what Jane R. Primerano of the New Jersey Pro chapter had to say:

"SPJ fights for issues I believe in: freedom of information, open government, ethics in journalism and others, while also providing helpful training workshops at regional conferences and plenty of opportunities to network with others in the profession."

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Scott Pelley took over this week as anchor of the "CBS Evening News." What part of his background does he share with two past anchors in the same position? Who are the anchors?

Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott

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