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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Resources for protecting the First Amendment

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SPJ Leads | 8/1/2012
Resources for protecting the First Amendment

By Christine DiGangi, SPJ Communications Department



The Access Across America (Part II) tour has touched on FOI importance all over the nation, and this summer's adventure will conclude this month in the Northwest. If you missed a chance to engage with the FOI experts, explore the Access Across America blog and dozens of access tips posted online.

The events, co-sponsored by The Associated Press, have touched 19 cities thus far, and the final stops are the Idaho Falls Post Register on Aug. 9 and Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (Wash.) on Aug. 17.


The auction at September's Excellence in Journalism 2012 conference is a crucial support pipeline for the Legal Defense Fund. All funds raised by the auction support journalists fighting unconstitutional lawsuits, and for years the LDF has been a legal and mental support system for journalists in these situations.

In order to maintain this important fund, SPJ needs items and services to auction at the convention. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 17, and items should be sent, along with the donation form, to:

Society of Professional Journalists
Attn: Legal Defense Fund Auction
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208

Contact Christine DiGangi, or 317-927-8000 ext. 205, if you're interested in donating, or visit the LDF auction website for ideas of what to contribute.


We really enjoyed last week's Instagram contest, and it was great to see your #spjdesklove photos. Thanks to everyone who showed us their organized, quirky, messy or coffee-mug-covered desks. Caroline Taylor, a student member at the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, won by showing off her neat, well-decorated work space (see the picture).

Browse the #spjdesklove tag on Instagram to see other contenders, and connect with us at @spj_pics so you can interact with us through future photography endeavors!


We have two exciting development opportunities you'll want to seize, and you only have two weeks left to take advantage of the offerings.

We're hosting a breakfast at the 2012 AEJMC Conference in Chicago just for SPJ advisers from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Chicago Marriott. Come with an empty stomach and questions about fundraising, leadership and navigating campus rules. You will return with valuable answers and a doggie bag of resources for your chapter. Email Tara Puckey to RSVP today.

Also, the first proposal deadline for our 10-cycle chapter grants is approaching! SPJ will award grants of up to $500 for chapter programming or events from August until May 2013. Because strong chapters serve as the backbone of SPJ, we're eager to hear your ideas for chapter programming and help you out, so submit your proposal by Aug. 8. Get the full details online, see how chapters have used grants in the past and direct all questions to Tara Puckey via email or at 317-927-8000 ext. 215.


The SPJ eCampus has expanded with five training videos on smartphone journalism and four videos on personal branding. The online training sessions, featuring expert SPJ members, are available to members at any time and are included in their membership.

In addition to the new crop, you can find sessions on freedom of information, freelancing and social media. Each video offers valuable lessons, so check them out when you have a few moments.


In the coming days, you'll hear from more of the candidates running for slots on the national board. Be sure to learn about these potential leaders by visiting SPJ Election Central, where you can read candidate bios, hear interviews and connect with candidates online.


Not only is Excellence in Journalism 2012 a great way for seasoned journalists to interact and enhance their skills, it is an ideal opportunity to tap resources for developing your budding journalism career. The conference, co-hosted by SPJ and the Radio Television Digital News Association, runs from Sept. 20 to 22 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and features an Early Career Training Track.

Read the details of our training sessions on job hunts, cover letters and timeless journalism tips.

Register now if you haven't yet, and you can still get the Early Bird discount.


In the last week, SPJ President John Ensslin wrote two blog posts, one on the Aurora, Colo., shootings and one on covering party conventions. Keep your eyes on the Generation J blog, which started a "Why I Love My Job" series that is sure to provide smiles and inspiration.


What fast food company brought out the PR response this week in defense of accusations it had created fake Facebook accounts solely to defend itself from online criticism?

Answer: Chick-fil-A. Read all about it.

And the winner is ... Cassandra Brown! Cassandra is the editor-in-chief of Veritas, the student-run news outlet at Bridgewater College. Congrats!


Which Olympic event result did NBC spoil by running a gold-medal-interview promo before the event was shown in prime time?

Submit your answer to Christine DiGangi.

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Indianapolis, IN 46208
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