By Abby Henkel, SPJ Communications Department
MOE WINNERS. Winners of the regional Mark of Excellence Awards are posted online after each region's awards luncheon during spring conferences. So far, we've posted winners for regions 1, 3, 4 and 8. Congratulate these talented students, and stay tuned as we post more winners in remaining regions.
SPRING CONFERENCE UPDATE. The first four regional spring conferences took place last weekend. Congratulations on all your hard work organizing the conferences! We hope everyone was pleased with the events.
If you haven't done so already, register for your region's conference to secure your spot at these professional-development weekends. Find your conference here.
See these tips for plugging SPJ membership from Membership Committee Chairwoman Holly Edgell.
If your conference doesn't already have a Twitter hashtag, be sure to create one. It's a great way to keep attendees connected throughout the conference, facilitating discussions and networking. Send your hashtag to Abby Henkel firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post it on SPJ.org.
SPJ HISTORY ON FACEBOOK. We're embracing the Facebook Timeline and updating it with old photos and Quill articles to map out SPJ's 103-year history. We hope you'll take a moment to explore SPJ's Timeline and learn a bit about the nation's oldest and largest journalism organization. More to come as we dig deeper into the archives.
VIRGINIA CHAPTER HELPS. After photojournalist Ian Graham was arrested while covering an Occupy Richmond protest, the Virginia Pro chapter, among other groups, stepped in to advocate for him and for free press rights. The trespassing charges brought against Graham will likely be dismissed in exchange for 50 hours of community service.
Style Weekly, which covers the Richmond area, quoted Virginia chapter president Paul Fletcher saying, "Ian was arrested for trespassing in a public way, which is almost an oxymoron. We continue to urge all journalists in the state to assert their right to cover news events, especially those in public places."
PRAISE FOR JOURNALIST'S TOOLBOX. We were pleased to hear that the Journalist's Toolbox, a website of free resources and tools brought to you by SPJ and DePaul University professor Mike Reilley, was named by USA Today College as one of nine Twitter accounts every journalism student should follow. Thanks to Mike for his hard work making the Journalist's Toolbox an invaluable resource!
You can explore the Journalist's Toolbox for yourself at journaliststoolbox.org or keep up on Twitter @journtoolbox.
FUN: ANNUAL REPORT REMINDER. This is a friendly reminder to make sure your chapter's annual report is submitted before the deadline: April 30 for campus chapters and May 15 for pro chapters. Start working on it now to make sure you have all the information you need. Contact Linda Hall with questions at email@example.com.
FREE FOI TRAINING. SPJ freedom of information experts are bringing training to newsrooms across the country this summer, and we want to come to you! Access Across America, funded by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation and The Associated Press, will train professional journalists in accessing public records, including great ideas for record-based stories, effective requests, and how to use tactical strategies to overcome denials and exorbitant copy fees.
Contact Dave Cuillier this week to get a training session for your chapter or newsroom.
SPJ BLOGS NETWORK. Latest updates to the SPJ blogs network:
— Jeff Cutler's top three SPJ membership benefits for freelancers by Freelance Committee member Jeff Cutler
— Be sensitive when conducting interviews by Freelance Committee member David Sheets
— Plugging for membership: 6 opportunities for SPJ spring conferences by Membership Committee Chairwoman Holly Edgell
— Spreading the message about SPJ benefits to student journalists by Gen J Committee Chairwoman Lynn Walsh
— Got award season? by Gen J Committee member Claudia Amezcua
— Journalism profs are figuring out ways to use Pinterest in the classroom by Digital Media Committee Chairman Gil Asakawa
ETHICS HOTLINE. Struggling with a dilemma on deadline, or just want to talk about a tough call you've had to make? The SPJ Ethics Hotline is there to connect journalists facing an ethical dilemma with ethics experts who can lend their advice.
Simply call 317-927-8000 ext. 208 and leave a message or email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. An ethics expert will soon be in touch.
FUNDING FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM. April 30 is the deadline to submit applications for support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
Over three decades, FIJ has awarded more than $1.5 million to freelance reporters, authors and small publications. More than 700 stories and broadcasts and some 50 books have received FIJ support. One example: In its first year, FIJ gave a small grant of $250 to Seymour Hersh to start his investigation into the U.S. Army massacre at the Vietnamese village of My Lai. A subsequent FIJ grant of $2,000 allowed Hersh to finish reporting the story.
Consider FIJ as you look for ways to kick-start the next great investigative project.
Please visit fij.org for information on submitting an application.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Identify the recent federal government decision that will affect local community radio.
Answer: The Federal Communications Commission announced it will open airwaves to community radio. More from Prometheus Radio.
And the winner is... Doug Schlatter, Managing Editor at Princeton Lawcast and a member of the Greater Philadelphia Pro chapter. Congratulations, Doug! You've been a frequent star participant in the SPJ Leads Quiz!
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. A recent study and analysis of shared news links found that certain news outlets are popular in certain regions of the country. Identify the study and some of its findings.
Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.