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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Amicus brief, High School essay contest

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SPJ Leads | 10/26/2011
Amicus brief, High School essay contest

By Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Department

SPJ JOINS AMICUS BRIEF FOR PROJECT VOTE. SPJ is supporting Project Vote/Voting for America, Inc. in advocating openness of voter registration applications. An amicus brief authored by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and joined by SPJ seeks to uphold the right to access public information in Virginia, where the State has withheld voter registration information from the public simply because the state included a promise of privacy on the applications. Read more about the case.

HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY CONTEST. If you've ever wondered or worried about the next generation of journalists, here is a chance to help ignite a passion in young First Amendment advocates. SPJ's annual High School Essay Contest is a collective effort of chapters to promote the contest and judge student essays on a local level. Not only does the contest get youth thinking and writing about journalism, but the top three national winners receive scholarships.

If you'd like your chapter to participate, talk to your chapter leader soon. We need a full list of participating chapters by Friday, Nov. 18. Questions? Please contact Awards Coordinator Lauren Rochester at 317-927-8000 ext. 210 or lrochester@spj.org.

SPJ BLOGS NETWORK. Check out these latest posts on the SPJ blogs network:

Abandoning objectivity to occupy the op-ed pages by Generation J Committee member David Brandt
A great cover letter beats a great résumé by Generation J Committee member Mike Brannen
Remembering Edward R. Murrow by SPJ President John Ensslin
One-page resumes — 12 edits to make everything fit by Generation J Committee member Jennifer Nicole Sullivan
Encountering racism in viewer comments by Generation J committee member Jackie Ingles
Why journalists (and everyone) should click the link before they tweet by Quill Editor Scott Leadingham
Blame the coach, not the young players by Generation J Committee member Ryan Broussard

UPDATED BYLAWS ONLINE. The updated SPJ bylaws, amended by delegates during the Sept. 25-27 national convention, are online. Access them on the SPJ website, or download the PDF.

CONGRATULATIONS, MEMBERS. We're happy to hear that the Journalism and Women Symposium is welcoming three SPJ members to its board, along with two SPJ members who already sit on the board. Congratulations to Mary Curtis, Gwyneth Doland, Sandra Fish, Sarah Pollock and E.J. Graff.

We also offer our hearty congratulations to longtime member and past national president Irwin Gratz for his recent journalism award. Gratz, a local host of NPR's Morning Edition in Maine, was one of four recipients of this year's Yankee Quill Award, an award from the New England Journalists Association that honors career contributions to the betterment of journalism in the region. Read the press release from the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

ANNOUNCING HISTORIC SITE IN JOURNALISM. The Silverton Standard & the Miner is this year's national Historic Site in Journalism. The newspaper, recognized in 1969 as a Historic Site by the Colorado chapter, is the oldest Colorado newspaper west of the Continental Divide.

The Standard is the result of a 1922 merger between two Silverton newspapers, La Planta Miner (founded 1875) and the Silverton Standard (1889). The papers have covered remarkable stories, including the shooting of a town marshal in 1881, the brutal 1902 ethnic cleansing of Chinese residents, and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19, which killed 10 percent of Silverton's population. Read the news release here.

SPJ's Historic Sites in Journalism program honors the people and places that have played important roles in U.S. journalism history. Learn more about SPJ Historic Sites in Journalism and view a list of previous sites.

JOURNALIST'S TOOLBOX UPDATES. The Journalist's Toolbox, brought to you by SPJ and DePaul University professor Mike Reilly, is a free resource providing links and tips for journalists on dozens of topics. Browse resources by category, or use the search function to find a specific article or topic.

Recent updates include online journalism, genetically engineered food, and covering people with disabilities. Visit journaliststoolbox.org for many more resources. Interact with @journtoolbox on Twitter to get all the relevant updates.

JOURNALISM INTERACTIVE CONFERENCE ONLINE. The first Journalism Interactive Conference is sold out, but the J/i website will feature live streaming of sessions. You can also engage @Jiconf on Twitter and join the conversation with #jiconf. The conference will be Oct. 28-29 at the University of Maryland.

SPJ is sponsoring a session with newsroom trainer Jeff Cutler, who will lead a session on how to teach social media. Professional Development Committee Chairwoman Deb Wenger will moderate a session on how journalism schools should adjust curricula to better prepare students for the profession today.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. A recent study compared the positive and negative media coverage that each presidential candidate has received in this election cycle. According to that study, what candidate has received the most negative coverage?

Answer: We got a different response from almost every person who submitted an entry, which seems revealing in its own way. Nevertheless, according to results released from a new study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, President Barack Obama has received the worst overall media coverage in the past five months when comparing positive, neutral and negative coverage.

However, it is also true that while President Obama fared the worst overall, Newt Gingrich actually had the most negative coverage, with his 35 percent trumping the president's 34 percent. Because of the way the results were interpreted by Pew and others, we will accept either answer. Read the full research report here.

And the winner is... Sylvia Gurinsky, a freelance journalist and member of the South Florida Pro chapter. Congratulations, Sylvia! An SPJ Leads Quiz prize (which, by the way, has never received negative media coverage) is making its way to your front door.

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. According to one reliable source (a letter he wrote to some second-graders in Minnesota in 1986), how did the recently deceased former Libyan leader spell his name in English?

Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.

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