By Abby Henkel, SPJ Communications Department
AWARDS DEADLINES APPROACHING. Deadlines for SPJ's Sigma Delta Chi, Mark of Excellence and New America awards are almost upon us. Take some time to reflect on your accomplishments from 2011, including the best stories you wrote or produced. We hope you will enter your work for national recognition by SPJ!
Below is a quick breakdown of the rules and categories; for more information, see spj.org/awards.asp. If you're ready to submit an entry, create your account and enter online here.
Sigma Delta Chi Awards: due Feb. 9
Among the premiere prizes awarded to professional journalists, the SDX Awards recognize the best in U.S. professional journalism from print, online, art/graphics, newsletters, television, radio and journalism research. See last year's winning entries. All entries must be submitted online (awards.spj.org), with a few exceptions. The fee per entry for SPJ members is $60; non-members may enter for $100. Read the contest rules. Winners will be honored at a banquet in July.
Mark of Excellence Awards: due Jan. 25
The MOE Awards honor collegiate journalism in categories covering print, radio, television and online. Entries must be published in a media outlet, not for a college course. Entries are first judged on the regional level; first-place regional winners advance to the national level and are recognized at SPJ spring conferences. National winners are showcased on spj.org — see last year's winners. Entries must be submitted online (awards.spj.org), with some exceptions. Read the contest rules. The entry fee for SPJ student members is $9 per entry; non-members may enter for $18.
New America Award: due Feb. 9
The New America award honors public service journalism that explores and exposes an issue of importance to immigrant or ethnic communities living in the United States. Read about last year's winners at Minnesota Public Radio News. Each entry must include a cover letter explaining the significance of the issue, any obstacles encountered and benefits gained. The letter can also provide background about the nominees and talk about the effects of the journalism produced. Entries may be in any language, but English translations must be supplied for entries that are not in English. There is no fee to enter the New America contest. For full rules and a mail-in entry form, visit spj.org/a-newamerica.asp.
ELECTION 2012 RESOURCES. With 2012 comes increased attention on elections, and many reporters will be looking for information on politics and campaigns. The Journalist's Toolbox, a free resource brought to you by SPJ and DePaul University professor Mike Reilley (@journtoolbox), has more than 100 links to politics resources, with information on everything from poll tracking and political commentary to voting advice and election watchdogs. Visit the Elections/Politics page. For resources in dozens of other categories, see journaliststoolbox.org.
MEET MARYLAND HOUSE SPEAKER. The Maryland Pro Chapter is excited to present an event with Mike Bush, Speaker of the Maryland House. The talk will be held Jan. 17 at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Annapolis. Bush will informally discuss working relationships between politicians and journalists, the pressure to make increasing amounts of public information private, and other daily issues in the coverage of government. Seating is limited to the first 30 SPJ members who reserve with chapter president T.C. Cameron. Email him at email@example.com.
PROGRAM IDEA OF THE WEEK. Daylong politics training session: Madison Pro
Because politics and elections are expected to generate a good deal of coverage this year, journalists in your area might appreciate a training session on issues in politics and journalism. Invite experts on politics, opinion polling, campaign finance, election law and the use of social media in campaigns to help reporters plan their coverage. Speakers can be professors, working journalists and professionals working in politics. Offering the session free to members could encourage people to join your chapter. For more details on the Madison Pro chapter's event last November, click here.
STUDENTS: PAID INTERNSHIPS WITH SPJ. Looking for a meaningful way to spend your summer? If you are interested in freedom of information issues, advocacy efforts, journalism-related legislation and other SPJ initiatives, apply for a Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information Internship with SPJ. One intern works at SPJ headquarters in Indianapolis while the second works with SPJ's First Amendment legal counsel in Washington, D.C. These paid internships offer hands-on experience and are sure to boost your resume. Apply now!
The application deadline is Jan. 16, 2012. If you know students who should apply, let them know! SPJ membership and experience is helpful but not required.If you have questions, email Scott Leadingham.
SPJ BLOGS UPDATE. Check out some of the latest updates to the SPJ blogs network:
— Caught on hidden camera: Ethical or not? You decide. by Generation J Committee member Victoria Reitano (@giornalista515)
— I hereby resolve...Tips for freelance journalists by freelancer Eric Francis
— Local TV news: A broken toy? by Generation J Committee Member Jacqueline Ingles
HELENA PRESS CLUB. You're invited to a gathering hosted by the Helena Press Club, Jan 18, 5-7 p.m. Appetizers will be provided by SPJ Montana and the Montana Newspaper Association. The gathering will be a chance to chat and have a drink with other journalists, share thoughts and ideas, and discuss with chapter leaders what SPJ can do for journalists in Montana. For more information, click here or contact Ian Marquand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CORRECTION. In the Dec. 28 issue of SPJ Leads, the city for the Region 11 Spring Conference should have been listed as Universal City, Calif., not University City.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. In November, a U.S. university launched a lab to "research the ethical, legal and regulatory issues involved in using pilotless aircraft to do journalism," according to the About page of the lab's website. What's the name of the lab, and what professor at what university established it?
Answer: Professor Matthew Waite of the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska — Lincoln.
And the winner is... Amanda Schumaker, a member of the student chapter at Miami University of Ohio. Congratulations, Amanda! One of the most prestigious prizes in journalism newsletter quiz history is on its way to your dorm.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. A certain news outlet experienced an embarrassing email fiasco last week. What outlet, and what was the incident? (Just for fun: Were you one of the select recipients?)
Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.