By Beth King
Communications Manager, SPJ
JAILED JOURNOS. The number of journalists jailed worldwide for their work increased for the second consecutive year, and one in three is now an Internet blogger, online editor, or Web-based reporter, according to a new analysis by the Committee to Protect Journalists. CPJ's annual worldwide census found 134 journalists imprisoned on December 1, an increase of nine from the 2005 tally. China, Cuba, Eritrea and Ethiopia are the top four jailers among the 24 nations who imprison journalists. Read the full report on CPJ’s Web site.
WHY WE NEED PROTECTION: The number of jailed reporters underscores the need for a federal shield law. More work must be done to secure passage of this important legislation. Learn what you can do by visiting National President Christine Tatum’s blog.
BLUE RIBBON AWARD. SPJ Chapter Doctor and At-Large Director Molly McDonough has organized an online listing of chapter programs to help SPJ’s chapter leaders serve journalists of all experience levels and specialties each year. Take a look at these outstanding programs — and consider repeating them (or adding your own special twists to them) in your area. If you have questions about a program, visit SPJ’s chapter locater and contact the sponsoring chapter’s leaders. Have a great idea to add? E-mail Molly at email@example.com.
THEY ROCK. SPJ Chapter Doctors Molly McDonough and Sally Lehrman can help revive your chapter with programming ideas. Membership manager Wendy Hoke has profound thoughts to help build the numbers. Contact McDonough at firstname.lastname@example.org and Lehrman at email@example.com. E-mail Hoke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW? Get the skinny about activities in your area by reading your Regional Director’s report. And if you’re not informing your director about your chapter’s news and events, start today.
READ QUILL TODAY. The December issue of Quill is now online with a treasure trove of cool stories to help enhance your professional career. As you read, don’t miss National President Christine Tatum’s column that discusses how you can have a say in SPJ’s future. After reading her column, visit her blog and leave comments.
HELP US HELP YOU. SPJ is accepting program proposals for the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference to be held in Washington, D.C. Don’t wait! Get with the program! Your brilliant ideas are due Dec. 11.
NEVER TOO EARLY. SPJ hopes to increase high school students’ knowledge and understanding of the importance of the Free Media to our lives through the annual High School Essay Contest. Winners will receive scholarship awards — first place $1000; second place $500; and third place $300. Students in public, private and home schools in grades 9-12 are eligible and must submit original work, along with a signed note from their teacher. Essays should be 300-500 words and must include an entry form. Deadline: March 1, 2007. More information: Contact Programs Coordinator Heather Porter, (317) 927-8000, ext. 204 or email@example.com.
TOGETHER WE ACHIEVE MORE. SPJ’s New America Award honors collaborative public service efforts by ethnic and mainstream media working to explore and expose an issue of importance to immigrant or ethnic communities in the United States. The award winner will be announced in the spring of 2007 and honored in July at the annual Sigma Delta Chi Awards banquet in Washington, D.C. The competition is open to any ethnic media organization, media outlet, journalist, advocacy group or others concerned with ethnic and immigrant issues. Deadline: March 1, 2007. More information: Contact Programs Coordinator Heather Porter, (317) 927-8000, ext. 204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIRRORED REPORTING. Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications has established the Mirror Awards to recognize excellence in media industry reporting. The call for entries for the 2007 Mirror Awards is now under way. The deadline for entries is midnight on Jan. 15, 2007. Complete information is available on the Mirror Awards Web site.
FREE MONEY. Who will create community through new media? The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation believes this question is worth exploring. That’s why they’re giving away $5 million. The News Challenge seeks ideas for using new media combined with the best news values to bind and build communities. Anybody, anywhere around the world can enter. The requirement? An innovative idea that uses the digital world to connect people in the real world. Deadline is December 31.
EAST MEETS WEST. The East-West Center is accepting applications for the Spring 2007 Jefferson Fellowships for Journalists running April 28-May 26, 2007. Twelve fellowships will be awarded to working print and broadcast journalists with minimum five years experience. Fellows will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, and San Jose, Calif.; Beijing and Shanghai, China; and Bangalore, India, to explore each country’s challenges in global innovation networks, talk to winners and losers of innovation, offshoring, and examine policy implications. Deadline: Wednesday, Dec. 20. Program summary, applications and contacts: See The East-West Center Web site or call (808) 944-7619.
FAR FROM A KROC: National Public Radio is accepting applications for the Kroc Fellowship, which was established to identify and develop a new generation of extraordinary journalists for the public radio system. Candidates must be just completing college or graduate school or be out of school for one year or less as of Dec. 31, 2006. A strong interest in national and or international news, as well as a strong interest in reporting, editing, producing and the Web is encouraged. The one-year program will begin on August 20, 2007. Deadline: Dec. 31, 2006. More information and an application: Visit NPR’s Web site.
MIDWEST FELLOWS. The Knight-Wallace Fellows program at the University of Michigan is accepting applications for the 2007-08 academic year. The fellowship includes a $6,875 monthly stipend plus all tuition and fees. Full-time journalists in any media with five years' experience may apply. Deadline: Feb. 1, 2007. More information: Contact Charles R. Eisendrath, (734) 998-7666 or email@example.com.
AN IVY LEAGUE PRIZE. The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University is accepting submissions for the Taylor Award, an honor bestowed to those who encourage fairness in news coverage. Award recipients receive a $10,000 prize. Nominate someone today by sending five copies of the work with a letter explaining why the entry is an exemplary example of fairness in newspapers. In evaluating work, submitters should consider all aspects of the journalistic process: reporting, writing, editing, headlines, photographs and illustrations and presentation. Deadline: Jan. 20, 2007. More information: Visit the Nieman Foundation Web site or contact Melinda Patterson Grenier, (617) 495-2342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET A JOB. SPJ’s online job bank is constantly being updated with new gigs. If you’re in the market for a change, the University of Southern California is searching for a new Dean. The Florida-based Forum Publishing Group is seeking an art director. KOAT in Albuquerque, N.M., is searching for a stellar news reporter. Log on today with your SPJ user name and password and get on your way to a better tomorrow. Have an opening in your organization? List it today.
COLLEGE FIGHT SONGS? Standing up for the rights of collegiate journalists, several college newspapers throughout the country were not belting out school spirit. Instead, they ran an editorial yesterday criticizing the University of Southern California for refusing to reinstate the editor of the student newspaper, the Daily Trojan. An administrator at the university recently denied the reappointment of Zach Fox as editor of the daily newspaper, despite newspaper staff supporting Fox. Read Campus Adviser At-Large Neil Ralston’s take on the matter in LDF Shield, the blog maintained by SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund committee.
CHARTING THE GLOBE. Take a trip through Asia, and make a stop in Berlin with National Diversity Committee member Pueng Vongs on Who’s News, the blog maintained by SPJ’s National Diversity Committee.
For the past four years, SPJ and Korean journalists have built a cultural and professional exchange. The latest step in the exchange took place from Nov. 24 to 30, as SPJ members Todd Gillman, Robert Leger, Neil Ralston, Kevin Smith and Vongs attended the third Asia Journalist Association Forum in South Korea. Take the journey with them, and learn more about this exchange.
A GEM OF A STORY. Jon Marshall’s brilliant blog continues to highlight the very best in American journalism. We like to think of it as a daily Pulitzer Prize! This week, Jon lauds Gwendolyn Driscoll of The Orange County Register, who has been reporting about religion with uncompromising depth. Read Driscoll’s 20-part Sunday series online.
'TIS THE SEASON. The holidays are fast approaching. Do you have a special newsie on your gift list? Find great ideas on National President Christine Tatum’s blog. There’s something for everyone at all price ranges, and new ideas are being added all the time. Have a great gift idea? Send it to Tatum at email@example.com. She’s hoping to keep the list updated with ideas for birthdays, graduations and other special events.