Society of Professional Journalists
Improving and protecting journalism since 1909

Advertise with SPJ
— ADVERTISEMENT —
Advertise with SPJ
5

News and More
Click to Expand Instantly

SPJ News
Events and Deadlines
SPJ Blogs
Quill Online
SPJ on Tumblr
Journalist's Toolbox

Stay in Touch
Twitter Tumblr Facebook Google Plus
RSS Pinterest Pinterest Storify


SPJ Leads
– SPJ HQ is leaving for Music City!
– Last day to register for EIJ14 to save $100 + SPJ and SDX news
– SPJ White House news + Studio SPJ + EIJ14 hotel deadline Friday

Press Notes
– Washington Post Publisher Weymouth Stepping Down
– Pro-fracking newspaper ad banned by Advertising Standards Authority
– Blog: Back-to-back display killings of journalists unprecedented

Publications
SPJ Blogs
Quill
SPJ Leads
The EIJ News
Press Notes
SPJ News
Open Doors
Geneva Conventions
Annual FOI Reports

Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > SPJ speaks out, Gen J hangs out

Latest SPJ Leads | RSS

SPJ Leads | 11/9/2011
SPJ speaks out, Gen J hangs out

By Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Department

PRACTITIONER DATA BANK RESTORED. After advocacy and complaints from journalism groups, including SPJ, the Health Resources and Services Administration has restored a data file it previously removed from public view.

HRSA, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, removed the Public Use File of the National Practitioners Data Bank in September. The file was a resource for journalists and the public to gain information about medical practitioners, including doctors. Led by the Association of Health Care Journalists, a coalition of journalism organizations publicly objected to the removal.

But there is a heavy caveat to the data being brought back, a caveat not sitting well with AHCJ President Charles Ornstein. Users of the data set must agree not to repost or share the data on other websites, and cannot use it to identify an entity or individual (such as a doctor) by name.

"How can the government say data is public but then say it's only public with strings attached?" Ornstein said in a news release. "I am troubled that HRSA is overstepping its legal authority with these new rules and may be imposing unconstitutional prior restraints on reporters."

Read the full response from AHCJ.

SPJ and the other groups involved will watch the situation and continue to push for full, unrestricted access to this important public information.

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH. Congratulations to T.C. Cameron of the Maryland Pro chapter. Cameron, previously an SPJ member in Michigan, has been instrumental in helping revive the Maryland chapter.

"T.C. is exactly the kind of member I had in mind when we started this honor," SPJ President John Ensslin said. "He's one of those folks who work tirelessly on SPJ's behalf and without whom our Society could not thrive and flourish."

Among Cameron's recent SPJ activities, he has:

— helped lead a group of members in public opposition to a flawed public records bill
— recruited new chapter leaders and members
— spoken about journalism careers at Baltimore-area colleges
— promoted the SPJ High School Essay Contest

"He has done all that despite a recent job change, participating in the activities of his two little girls, and being a highly rated football official," said Region 2 Director Brian Eckert, who nominated Cameron for the honor.

Do you know of an SPJ volunteer who is deserving of this national honor? Email nominations to John Ensslin at spjprez@gmail.com.

SPJ SUPPORTS TEXAS OPEN MEETINGS ACT. SPJ has joined an amicus brief in support of upholding the Texas Open Meetings Act. The law is being challenged by several Texas city officials. They claim the law suppresses their free speech because the threat of being charged with criminal violations in connection with the issues discussed compels them not to speak out if meetings are open. But the law's only criminal provisions apply to officials who knowingly call, close, participate in or aid a closed meeting. It does not suppress content of public officials' speech, only the time, manner and place of that speech — restrictions that are widely used and constitutionally sound.

When open meetings laws have been challenged across the country, they have always been upheld. Learn more about this case. You can also read the amicus brief, written by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

GEN J HANGOUT. The Generation J Committee invites you to join its first Google+ Hangout Sunday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. ET. The vision is to use the space for a "therapeutic" experience. The topics will change each month, but this one will focus on bosses who micromanage.

In order to participate, you'll need a Google+ account, which you can use to engage with the Google+ SPJ Generation J profile (you need to be logged into Google to see the page). Committee member Mike Brannen will moderate the first Hangout.

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

— In Herman Cain story, being flip about journalism ethics is not an appropriate response by Kevin Smith, past SPJ national president and current Ethics Committee chairman
— Portfolio websites for journalists: Where to begin by Generation J Committee member Jennifer Nicole Sullivan
— SPJ committees at work: The year ahead by SPJ President John Ensslin
— Five tools to measure, maintain your influence on the web by Generation J Committee member Victoria Reitano
— Maybe Cain's "code of conduct," but not ours by Irwin Gratz, past SPJ national president and current Ethics Committee member
— Whyyourdomainnameisimportant.com by Generation J Committee member Claudia Amezcua
— Journalists doubling as grant writers by Theresa Sullivan Barger
— LinkedIn for freelance journalists by Freelance Committee member Michael Fitzgerald

PROGRAM IDEA OF THE WEEK. Need a chapter program? Consider this past one from the William O. Douglas Pro chapter:

"Technology and the Multi-Tasked Journalist": This one-hour session was offered as part of the Region 10 spring conference. To address the feeling that most journalists were doing more work than ever with less time to do it, the session was designed to show how journalists can use technology to get work done more effectively and efficiently. Speakers included Molly Kelleher of KEPR-TV and TJ Mullinax, Yakima Herald-Republic Web producer. Kelleher spoke about mobile apps and how she uses them in her daily reporting. Mullinax explained how to use electronic equipment for multiple purposes to produce content.

This program can easily be extended to a half-day workshop based on the speakers' backgrounds. As a distance-learning program, this session could be webcast, such as with Studio SPJ. Contact chapter president Paula Horton for more information at phorton@tricityherald.com.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. What major U.S. newspaper announced a name change this week, attributing it to growth in the paper's readership? (Give both names, old and new.)

Answer: The St. Petersburg Times will change its name to the Tampa Bay Times, effective Jan. 1, 2012. Read about it here.

And the winner is... Khalil Garriott, writer/editor for the NFL Players Association. Congratulations, Khalil. You beat out somewhere between 20 and 7 billion people in the SPJ Leads Quiz! We hope the fabulous prize you will soon receive sufficiently honors your achievement!

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. An article making the rounds this week in the journalism-watching world questioned the wisdom of those whom the author called "news gurus." What deceased journalist did the article open with to set the stage for his argument? For that matter, what is the article in question?

Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.

Copyright © 1996-2014 Society of Professional Journalists. All Rights Reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789

Contact SPJ Headquarters
Employment Opportunities
Advertise with SPJ