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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Presidential editorial, new program ideas

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SPJ Leads | 12/7/2011
Presidential editorial, new program ideas


By Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Department

SPJ FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Many people will give gifts to loved ones and friends in the coming weeks. Here at HQ, we think one very meaningful present is the gift of an SPJ membership. That means an entire year of professional development programs, access to online training resources, special networking opportunities, and the chance to get involved with the largest journalism organization in the country.

Consider giving an SPJ membership to that special journalist in your life, or add it to your own wish list. Plus, if you renew or sign up for membership by December 31, you can save a bit of cash before the dues increase (from $72 to $75 for pro; $36 to $37.50 for students).

Click here to renew your membership. If you're signing up a new member, click here to join online. If you want to talk to someone about the gift membership, contact Linda Hall at 317-927-8000 ext. 203 or

PRESIDENTIAL EDITORIAL. For over a month, SPJ has been tracking and speaking out against arrests of journalists covering various "Occupy" protests. A Nov. 15 statement called on mayors across the country, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to drop any charges against these journalists and encourage police to exercise greater caution. Read the statement.

Last week, SPJ President John Ensslin followed the statement by penning an editorial reiterating why this trend is so alarming and must stop. The editorial was published by several outlets and is open for publication by anyone who would like to use it. Read the editorial.

PROGRAM OF THE WEEK. Fall Membership Week: Minnesota Pro chapter

This is an intense week full of SPJ programming for all types of journalists. Events are held at different times of the day and different days of the week to make sure all members have the chance to come. The target audience should be different for each event as well: students, young journalists, Web journalists, political journalists, etc. To keep costs down, hold the events at free venues and find speakers who will present free of charge. Send invitations to current and lapsed members, as well as to key journalists from the area who are not currently SPJ members. For more information, contact Sarah Bauer at

WHAT IT MEANS TO WIN AN SPJ AWARD. As you reflect on your work from 2011, we hope you will consider submitting an entry to the Sigma Delta Chi or Mark of Excellence awards. Still not sure it's worth the time? See what these SPJ members have to say about their SDX awards:

"It's a huge honor to be selected for an SDX award from among the hundreds of entries received. Being a reporter is often a hard and thankless job, but it's a job I love to do and can't imagine doing anything else. Still, it is nice and humbling to have my work recognized by distinguished, veteran journalists."

- Paula Horton, Tri-City Herald reporter, member of the William O. Douglas Pro chapter in Washington and winner of the 2010 SDX Award for non-deadline reporting at a small-circulation daily. Read her winning story, "Domestic violence in the Tri-Cities".

"I consider it a great honor as does my publisher, Kevin Crosbie. We are a small independent daily that has been in business for 134 years. Crosbie said that this is the first award of such stature that the paper has received."

- Al Malpa, photographer for The Chronicle in Connecticut, member of the Conn. Pro chapter and winner of the 2010 SDX Award for breaking news photography at a small-circulation newspaper or regional magazine. See his winning photo, "Extrication".

The professional SDX Awards and collegiate Mark of Excellence Awards honor outstanding journalism in all media, including online, print, radio, television and research.

For more information on all SPJ awards, visit Entries for the MOE awards are due Jan. 25, 2012; SDX entries are due Feb. 9. Click here to enter online.

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

Facebook: A cure for mosh-pit commenting? by President John Ensslin
Musican turned nonprofiteer delivers the SPJ dish by SPJ Communications Coordinator Abby Henkel
Feature on the Fifth, an interview with member Steven Wyble on the Generation J Committee blog
Conference attendance brings many benefits for freelancers by veteran freelancer Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
FOI updates from Abby Henkel

REGION 1 SPRING CONFERENCE MOBILE APP. Now you can access the SPJ Region 1 Spring Conference schedule on your phone. There are two ways: Get the downloadable app via Guidebook
through any app store, or go straight to and save the page on your phone or computer's Web browser.

At, you can:

Explore events & speakers: This year's schedule will allow you to explore the detailed agenda using multiple visual formats and filters, create a personalized itinerary and discover other attendees, speakers, & exhibitors.
Start with one click: Getting started is easy. Connect your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account and we'll show your friends & contacts also attending. Or create a private account to keep your plans to yourself.
Get your schedule on the go: Print out your plans to keep them handy or get the most up-to-date data by using your mobile device or subscribing to the schedule and synchronizing with Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar.

EIJ PROGRAMS PROPOSALS. Spread the word: There's less than one month left to submit program proposals for Excellence in Journalism 2012, a national conference co-presented by SPJ and RTDNA! Tap into everything you've learned as a journalist and a member of SPJ to help us create the best journalism conference yet.

Learn more about program guidelines. Proposals are due by Jan. 2, 2012.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Name the third most-shared news article on Facebook in 2011 (so far).

Answer: "No, your zodiac sign hasn't changed" from CNN. See the top 40 articles shared on Facebook in 2011.

And the winner is... Christine Jessel Grider, reporter/producer for WUOT-FM. Congratulations, Christine! Clearly the stars have planned great success and joy in your future, starting with the official SPJ Leads Quiz Prize you will receive shortly.

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. A corporate/non-profit news partnership was announced this week. Name the major news organization that will be partnering with these non-profit news outlets.

Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.

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