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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Conference speakers, FOI news

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SPJ Leads | 7/20/2011
Conference speakers, FOI news


By Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Department

GREAT LINE-UP OF CONFERENCE SPEAKERS. We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

Hear from the best of the best at Excellence in Journalism 2011, the SPJ-RTDNA joint conference Sept. 25-27 in New Orleans. A few of the excellent speakers you'll hear and meet:

The Poynter Institute's Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty for Broadcasting and Online, and Jill Geisler, Senior Faculty for Leadership and Management
Pulitzer prize-winners Lane Degregory, features writer for the St. Petersburg Times, and Dr. Sheri Fink, reporter on health, medicine and science
CNN's Victor Hernandez, Director of Domestic Newsgathering
Vadim Lavrusik, Journalist Program Manager for Facebook and Adjunct Professor for Social Media at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Mark Briggs, author of "Journalism Next," "Journalism 2.0" and "Entrepreneurial Journalism: How to Build What's Next for News"'
NPR's Keith Woods, Vice President for Diversity in News and Operations

To learn more about this exciting joint effort between SPJ and RTDNA, and to register online before the Early Bird rates expire, click here. See you in September!

EIJ 11 ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER. Stay up-to-date on conference happenings with the EIJ 2011 Facebook page. And discuss/share/engage the conference buzz on Twitter with the official hashtag #EIJ11.

DONATE TO THE LDF AUCTION. Annually, SPJ's Legal Defense Fund Auction raises money to offset legal fees of journalists and news outlets who are faced with subpoenas that hinder their rights. Of course, any auction requires items on which to bid, so we need your help!

The auction will be held during the Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference in New Orleans.

If you, your chapter or other organizations in your area can help, we hope you'll consider donating to the LDF Auction by sending items to SPJ Headquarters. When doing so, please include the donation form, which you can download here.


This year, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation has granted nearly $300,000 for journalist training, education and professional development. As the fiscal year comes to a close on July 31, we invite you to join us in supporting journalistic excellence through a tax-deductible gift. Click here to learn more about the SDX Foundation and donate today!

WHAT'S NEW ON SPJ BLOGS. Keep up with the SPJ blog network to get the latest information on Freedom of Information wins and failures. Some recent highlights:

FOI DAILY DOSE: Army whistleblower hits gov with FOIA lawsuit, Rumsfeld releases new docs revealing secrecy views
FOI DAILY DOSE: N.J. phone records made more public, Kundra unveiled .gov task force, ACLU asked to return classified doc
FOI Fail of the Week: Pentagon works to extend information safeguards, not rein them in

BID ADIEU TO MORGAN WATKINS. This summer SPJ members have been privy to FOI information and news thanks to the efforts of our summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern, Morgan Watkins. Now we bid farewell to Morgan, who is returning to the University of Florida for her senior year of college.

Look for Morgan's work in the upcoming September/October issue of Quill, which focuses on freedom of information topics, and on Thanks for your contributions, Morgan! Find her on Twitter: @morganwatkins26.

WELCOME! From Scott Leadingham:

Welcome to SPJ's newest staff member: Abby Henkel. Abby joins SPJ as the new communications coordinator. And, she's Indiana raised and educated (Earlham College and Indiana University). So we know she's not afraid of the oppressive heat and humidity currently engulfing Indianapolis. Join us in welcoming Abby to SPJ (and meet her in person in New Orleans). To reach her, email or call 317-927-8000 ext. 215.

GET IN THE KNOW. SPJ is always looking for ways to strengthen the training resources offered to members and all journalists. One way is through on-demand, video-based training open to all members. Last year, SPJ unveiled "eCampus: Where Journalists Go To Know." In offering the resource, we hope to address the needs of our diverse membership while recognizing that not everyone has hours or days at a time available for continuing education.

The videos are online and currently only open to active SPJ members. You must have a username and password for the SPJ site to watch. (Get one here.) We hope to add more videos and similar on-demand training resources to the website in the coming months and years.

If you have questions, comments or feedback on SPJ training resources, email Chris Vachon.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. How did a Columbia Journalism Review blog post encapsulate -- in a headline -- the media coverage of a recent lunch stop by First Lady Michelle Obama?

A. The CJR headline read: "Dumbest News Story Ever Written in Human History"

And the winner is ... Elizabeth Donald of the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat. Congratulations, Elizabeth. You've won possibly "the best prize ever awarded in human history." Watch your mailbox.

(Last week on the SPJ Facebook page, your fellow journalists and members discussed the "newsworthiness" of the First Lady lunch story. Offer your feedback.)

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Is the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation responsible for awarding and/or administering the Sigma Delta Chi Awards? Explain your reasoning.

Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.

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