By Abby Henkel, SPJ Communications Department
SPRING CONFERENCES. Deadlines for regional spring conference registration are approaching. There's a conference in all 12 SPJ regions, so you're never far from training and networking events with other talented journalists. Find more information on your region's conference here:
Region 1: March 23-24 in Stony Brook, N.Y. Website | Email
Region 2: March 30-31 in Elon, N.C. Website | Email
Region 3: March 23-24 in Gainesville, Fla. Website | Email
Region 4: March 23-24 in Lansing, Mich. Website | Email
Region 5: April 13-14 in Indianapolis, Ind. Website | Email
Region 6: March 30-31 in Bloomington, Minn. Website | Email
Region 7: March 30-31 in Ames, Iowa. Website | Email
Region 8: March 23-24 in Fort Worth, Texas. Website | Email
Region 9: April 13-14 in Denver, Colo. Website | Email
Region 10: March 30-31 in Tacoma, Wash. Website | Email
Region 11: March 30-31 in Universal City, Calif. Website | Email
Region 12: March 30-31 in Lafayette, La. Website | Email
For the in-depth scoop on SPJ spring conferences, don't miss this:
SPJ Blog Talk Radio: March 8
This week, tune in to the March episode of "Your SPJ Membership," when the focus will be regional spring conferences. Join National Membership Committee Member and Your SPJ Membership Host Sarah Bauer, as she chats with Regional Directors Dana Neuts and Amanda Theisen.
They'll take a look at what's happening at SPJ regional conferences around the country, and how you can get involved. They'll also chat about Membership Month, and how members can get involved in efforts to recruit and retain other members.
Join the conversation Thursday, March 8 at 1 p.m. ET. Listen here and call 347-857-2441 with questions.
EIJ PRICING & SCHEDULE. Two big things have been added to the Excellence in Journalism conference website: registration prices and the Schedule at a Glance. These will help you plan your trip to one of the biggest journalism events of 2012.
Last year's conference welcomed more than 1,200 attendees to New Orleans. Join us in Ft. Lauderdale this year, Sept. 20-22, at the luxurious Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. At EIJ12 you can attend professional development sessions, network with fellow journalists, tour local newsrooms, have your résumé or writing sample critiqued, and much more.
Two ways to save money: keep up your SPJ membership and register early. For more information, visit excellenceinjournalism.org. It's not too early to chat up the conference on Twitter with hashtag #EIJ12.
EIJ12 SCHOLARSHIPS. These scholarships from SPJ and the SDX Foundation help recipients attend the Excellence in Journalism 2012 conference. Applications are due June 11.
— Terry Harper Memorial Scholarships: Terry Harper passed away in 2009 after a two-year battle with brain cancer. In honor of Terry's efforts to improve SPJ and the entire journalism community, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation set up a memorial fund following his death. With a generous outpouring of support, the Society can now proudly provide up to five scholarships to SPJ members to attend its annual convention.
— Diversity Leadership Fellows Program: As we face the many challenges of an evolving industry, strengthening SPJ's diversity efforts is more important than ever. The goal of the Diversity Leadership Fellows program is to increase the diversity participation of SPJ members within national committees and on the national board of directors. As part of the program, we bring fellowship recipients to the convention to begin a yearlong immersion and education program.
— Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award: From the generosity of the Lewis family, the award is given each year to a student SPJ member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the First Amendment through the field of journalism. The award assists a student with his/her attendance to SPJ's annual convention.
HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY CONTEST: MARCH 8. Thursday, March 8, is the deadline for SPJ's High School Essay Contest. Please encourage the high school students you know to enter an essay answering this question: "Why is it important that we have news media that are independent of the government?" The top three winners receive scholarships! More information at spj.org/a-hs.asp.
DEADLINES: SCRIPPS, REPORTERS INSTITUTE. The deadline for applications to both the Scripps Leadership Institute and the Reporters Institute is Thursday, March 15. For more information on the Scripps Leadership Institute for SPJ chapter presidents (June 1-3 in Indianapolis), click here. For more information on the Reporters Institute for early-career journalists (June 10-13 in St. Petersburg, Fla.), visit spj.org/ri.asp.
STUDIO SPJ: MARCH 10. Tune in Saturday, March 10 at noon Eastern when Boston Globe journalist Emily Sweeney will be our guest on the next episode of "Studio SPJ." Sweeney, president of the New England chapter, will talk about her new book, "Boston Organized Crime," which takes a richly illustrated look at the history of Beantown's seamier side.
Sweeney is an award-winning reporter and native of the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. She wrote "Greatest Hits — A Mob Tour of Boston" for the Globe, where she has been a staff writer since 2001. To read more about the book, see bostonorganizedcrime.com.
This program is sponsored by the New England chapter. SPJ President John Ensslin will moderate.
Click here to listen to the live broadcast or to hear a podcast later. Call 347-857-2441 with questions during the live program.
UPDATES FROM A PULLIAM FELLOW. Mark Woods received the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation's Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship for Editorial Writing in 2011, and has been using the award money to take a year off from reporting at the Florida Times-Union to explore and write about U.S. national parks. Read his updates from the parks. Yes, we're jealous, too.
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH: RYAN BROUSSARD
Ryan Broussard of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette chapter is SPJ's volunteer of the month for January. Broussard won the honor by stepping up to a major role to help assemble this year's Region 12 spring conference in Lafayette on March 30-31.
"Every spring our volunteers put in countless hours organizing our regional conference," said SPJ President John Ensslin. "So I know how valuable it can be to have someone like Ryan who is willing to take on a large share of the work."
Ryan was nominated by Region 12 Director Kelly Kissel, who explained: "The chapter came to hosting relatively late, being 'volunteered' in September by other chapters in the region. By December, Ryan was leading telephone calls laying out an agenda while sponsor Robert Buckman was negotiating with hotels. By the end of January, all I had to do was sign off."
Ryan has been an SPJ member since 2007 and the ULL chapter president since 2009. He is a three-time Mark of Excellence winner.
After getting his mass communication degree with a concentration in journalism in 2009, Ryan returned to pursue his master's degree. Ryan serves as a graduate assistant by teaching public speaking and audio production classes. He is also a freelance sports writer for The Opelousas Daily World and The Daily Advertiser, where he covers high school sports.
In his spare time, Ryan enjoys working on his thesis — a content analysis on the various ways newspapers covered the BP oil spill — and collecting comic books.
WORK FOR SPJ: COMMUNICATIONS INTERNSHIP. SPJ is seeking a candidate to fill its yearlong Communications Post-Graduate Internship for media, writing, marketing and public relations efforts. The ideal candidate should be a recent graduate (bachelor's or master's) with prior internship or student media experience in communications and/or journalism. We're looking for someone to help put SPJ in the media spotlight and assist in growing the organization and serving Society members.
The full-time position, based in Indianapolis, includes competitive salary, excellent benefits and paid leave. Anticipated start date is June 4 and will last one year.
Read the job description and please spread the word. Application deadline is 5 p.m. ET, April 2, 2012. Contact Abby Henkel with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUNSHINE WEEK: MARCH 11-17. Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, non-profits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know.
SPJ is a Sunshine Week partner. See the SPJ Sunshine Week page of resources here.
You can participate in Sunshine Week — the only requirement is that you do something to engage in a discussion about the importance of open government. It could be a large public forum or a classroom discussion, an article or series of articles about access to important information, or an editorial. Learn more at sunshineweek.org.
NEW MEMBER PROFILE: NICHOLAS CROW. Please welcome Nicholas Crow, one of SPJ's newest members. Crow is a reporter at the Journal-Standard in Freeport, Ill. His favorite news source is The New York Times, his favorite journalist is Tony Kornheiser, and his favorite journalism movie is "This is Spinal Tap." The last book Crow read was "The Given Day" by Dennis Lehane. Crow joined SPJ because he "thought it would be good to have support and guidance now that I am writing and reporting full-time."
SPJ is pleased to welcome all new members!
MOLLY NATIONAL JOURNALISM PRIZE. The MOLLY National Journalism Prize, sponsored by The Texas Observer, recognizes superior journalism in the tradition of Molly Ivins. Through March 16, 2012, journalists or their publishers may submit an article or series of related articles/columns published in 2011 in a U.S. print or online journal telling the stories that need telling, challenging conventional wisdom, focusing on civil liberties and/or social justice, and embodying the intelligence, deep thinking and/or passionate wit that marked Ivins' work.
Complete guidelines for The MOLLY National Journalism Prize ($5,000 for winner; $1,000 for two honorable mentions) are at texasobserver.org/mollyawardsubmissions
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. What young British singer received a hefty amount of cash this week from the publishers of News of the World, News International?
Answer: Charlotte Church settled with the NotW publisher for £600,000. Read more here.
And the winner is... Betty Pleasant, Contributing Editor for Wave Newspapers and a member of the LA Pro chapter. Congratulations, Betty! We wish we could offer you a prize that substantial, but the SPJ Leads Quiz Prize ™ is still pretty great (we like to think).
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. It pays to criticize for one blogger who pointed out copy errors at a newspaper and was hired by the paper as associate copy editor. What's the newspaper, and who is the blogger turned copy editor?
Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.