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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > What journalists need to know about fair use

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SPJ Leads | 10/24/2012
What journalists need to know about fair use

By Christine DiGangi, SPJ Communications Department



If you have ever struggled to wrap your mind around the concept of fair use, make sure you listen to the next episode of "Studio SPJ."

The online radio show airs Saturday, Nov. 10 at 3:30 p.m. EST and features Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, American University professors who wrote "Reclaiming Fair Use -- How to Put Balance Back in Copyright."

Understanding fair use -- a doctrine under which courts have permitted copyrighted material to be used without permission or payment under certain circumstances -- is vital to journalists working in the digital age. This 30-minute episode gives you the chance to ask questions and improve your understanding of fair use, and if you can't make the live show, you can listen to the podcast at a later time.


For only $35, you will receive a full day of journalism training (plus breakfast and lunch) at SPJ's JournCamp. Head to Chicago's Navy Pier on Nov. 9 to absorb the knowledge provided on entrepreneurial journalism, social media development and engagement, personal branding and data use in journalism.

Read about the trainers and sessions on SPJ's website, and register online before Nov. 2.


The Society of Professional Journalists Milwaukee-Pro chapter will bring top-notch digital media talent to Milwaukee to discuss the latest social media tools available for journalists. Join the conversation Nov. 13 at the Wisconsin Club, and enjoy learning from the talented company, including Amy Guth (WGN/Chicago Tribune), Mary Spicuzza (Wisconsin State Journal), Charles Schelle (Patch), and Abby Callard, Claire Hanan and Howie Magner (Milwaukee Magazine).

The event costs $10 for SPJ members, $20 for others, and includes appetizers and parking. Email chapter president Steve Schuster by Nov. 5 to reserve your seat, and visit the chapter's Facebook page for more details.


Show us what fuels your journalism-filled day: Black coffee? Energy drinks? Water? Instagram your #journojuice of choice (use that hashtag) and you could win a prize from SPJ Headquarters!

Today is the last day to post, so show us what you're drinking or the mug you love to use as your fuel vessel.

See what others have posted by searching #journojuice on Instagram, and like your favorites while you're there.


If you need a break from election-focused reading material, the SPJ Blog Network provides thought-provoking posts for you to peruse. Here are some highlights from recent days:

FBI fined for withholding documents on FOI FYI by Donald W. Meyers

Sometimes it takes an epiphany to get you to think "Digital First" on net worked by Gil Asakawa

To opine or not to opine on SPJ Garden Center by Holly Edgell


Attention students and journalism educators: As you surely know, it's internship-application season! Here are three great opportunities with approaching deadlines:

Pulliam Journalism Fellowship with the Indianapolis Star, Arizona Republic and Gannett Co. newspapers.

Denver Post internship

Washington Post internship


A journalist in Nigeria recently won a landmark case after being beaten while reporting. The victory is the largest award for any journalist since the country's independence and sets a clear precedent. What was the name of the journalist and what was he covering?

Answer: Desmond Utomwen was covering a peaceful protest outside Guarantee Trust Bank. Read about his case.

And the winner is ... Eric Balkman, a post-grad member of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Chapter! Your prize is on its way.


A judge ordered the FBI to pay journalist Seth Rosenfeld about $470,000 for withholding records he requested through the Freedom of Information Act. When did Rosenfeld first file FOIA requests related to this case, and what was the subject of the records?

Submit your answer to Christine DiGangi.

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