By Tara Lynn Johnson
Freelance writer, member of Greater Philadelphia Pro Chapter
170 AND COUNTING. SPJ continues its ardent defense of California freelance journalist Josh Wolf, who has been imprisoned on contempt charges longer than any journalist in American history. Wolf, 24, has served 170 days in jail for refusing to give up video footage he took in 2005 of a protest during a G8 economic summit. Protesters are suspected of vandalizing a city police car and injuring a San Francisco police officer. Wolf rightly refuses to surrender unaired video footage because, he insists, journalists should never become arms of law enforcement. Supporters of Wolf gathered Tuesday on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall for a rally where Pueng Vongs, vice president of SPJ’s Northern California chapter, issued a statement on behalf of SPJ.
SUPPORT A SHIELD. The First Amendment battles faced byJosh Wolf highlight the need for a federal shield law to protect all journalists. Contact your state senators and representatives to explain why a federal shield law is necessary to maintaining a free and unfettered press.
HELP CHART THE COURSE. SPJ’s leadership has crafted six broad stretch goals to work toward over the next three to five years and we want to know what you think about them. Visit SurveyMonkey.com to read the goals and take a short survey giving your reactions. We especially want to hear your ideas about how SPJ should go about achieving the goals. Tell us about that great idea that you’ve had percolating. The survey will remain open through February. If you missed the story about this in the January/February issue of Quill, read it online.
LET THE SUN SHINE IN. Sunshine Week, a national initiative to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and Freedom of Information, will be observed from March 11-17. Visit the Sunshine Week Web site for event information and ways your SPJ chapter can get involved.
SPOTLIGHT ON SMOKING? SPJ member Alan Blum, MD, has organized “Cartoonists Take Up Smoking” at the Washington D.C-based National Museum of Health and Medicine. The exhibition tells the story of the widely publicized controversies surrounding tobacco over the past century, as seen through the eyes of the nation’s newspaper editorial cartoonists. It runs through March and features 55 original cartoons by more than 50 nationally known American editorial cartoonists. More information: Read the museum’s news release.
CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH. Why not use this month as a reason to pick up a book that might add to your knowledge of African-American history? A richer understanding will surely deepen your writing with texture and context, and may even supply story ideas. Find books and other resources to guide you, courtesy of The Whole Story, an online resource guide produced by SPJ’s National Diversity Committee.
What do you think about months dedicated to a particular group’s history? What’s the best way to highlight these in coverage? Share your thoughts.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS. The Stanley Foundation will provide assistance for print or broadcast journalists interested in reporting on examples of U.S.-led multilateral efforts to strengthen global security and how those efforts have succeeded or failed. Subjects may include, but are not limited to: nuclear nonproliferation; the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center; U.S. cooperation/leadership on counterterrorism efforts with global institutions such as the United Nations and NATO; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s fight against global disease and pandemics; American philanthropy; and the role of American NGOs operating worldwide. Small stipends and specific expenses will be paid. A total of $25,000 in awards is available during the spring 2007 round; individual awards may vary based on the scope of selected projects. To be eligible, journalists must be U.S. citizens and/or work for a U.S.-accredited news organization. Deadline: March 1. More information and full application instructions: Contact Loren Keller, Program Officer, Communication and Outreach, The Stanley Foundation, 209 Iowa Ave., Muscatine, IA 52761, (563) 264-1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS, PART DEUX. The Minorities in Broadcasting Training Program, which aims to provide training opportunities to minority college graduates in radio/TV news reporting and news management, is accepting applications for news reporter trainee slots through Feb. 15. Selected applicants are placed in television and radio stations across the country. This training program is for individuals who have done everything possible to secure a position as a television or radio news reporter, without success. Details and online application: Visit the Minorities in Broadcasting Training Program Web site.
JAZZY MEET AND GREET. Want to meet media employers looking for interns, freelancers, part-timers and full-timers? Go to the Second Annual Short-and-Sweet Media Job Fair from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 24. Sponsored in part by the SPJ South Florida chapter, the event will be at the Jazziz Bistro, inside the Seminole Hard Rock Casino’s Paradise Plaza, Hollywood, Fla. Cost: free, with free appetizers, discounted drinks, and a free brand-new jazz, blues, R&B or world music CD of your choice. Questions? Contact Michael Koretzky at email@example.com or visit the event Web site.
PUT YOURSELF IN THE LEAD. Do you think fast on your feet? Do you enjoy writing clever, eye-catching copy that gets to the heart of all journalists? If you answered yes, the SPJ Leads team wants to hear from you. We’re in need of a writer who can spare a couple hours a month to join the team. Commitments include gathering information, and writing copy to be distributed Thursdays. Interested? Contact SPJ President Christine Tatum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET YOUR PASSPORTS READY. The 2007 Travel Classics Writers Conference in Europe will be May 17-20 at the g Hotel in Galway, Ireland. Attending assigning editors include Keith Bellows, editor in chief, National Geographic Traveler; Brad Wieners, executive editor, Men’s Journal; Paul Rogers, senior editor, Travel + Leisure Golf; John Rasmus, editor in chief, National Geographic Adventure and more. The three-day conference, limited to 38 qualified writers, will include presentations and one-on-one consultations with the speakers. More info and registration: Visit the Travel Classics Web site or call (914) 591-4503.
SAVE THE DATE. The 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference will take place Oct. 4-7 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. This year’s convention will feature programs focusing on Campaign 2008 and Washington-related topics. Mark your calendars and make plans now to attend.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO... The National Academies are accepting nominations for the 2007 National Academies Communication Awards for excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering and medicine to the public during 2006. Three $20,000 prizes will be awarded in three categories: book author; newspaper, magazine or online journalist; and TV/radio producer or reporter. Nominations must be completed online no later than April 5. The winners will be honored at the National Academies’ Beckman Center in Irvine, Calif., during the Keck Futures Conference to be held Nov. 15-18. More Info: Visit the National Academies Web site.
SPIDERMAN NEED NOT APPLY. GoErie.com is looking for a Web-savvy intern to share breaking local news with readers in a variety of ways (posts to the Web site, e-mail alerts, text alerts) and to create online-only content (audio interviews, video reports, photo galleries). E-mail cover letter, resume and work samples to Liz Allen, administrative editor, at email@example.com. If you want to learn more about Erie and its environs, e-mail Jason Bugg, online reporter, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATTENTION UPPERCLASSMEN. Apply today for the fall 2007 Scripps Howard Foundation Semester in Washington program. Six interns, including one international student, will be selected to work as reporters for the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire in downtown Washington, D.C. and stories will be published on the Scripps Howard Wire. Some stories may even go out on the Scripps Howard News Service to its 400 client newspapers. The program is open to college juniors and seniors who are studying print or online journalism. Applications must be postmarked by March 1. Program details and applications: Visit the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire Web site.
FOR AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENTS. The Freedom Forum is accepting applications until March 31 for the seventh American Indian Journalism Institute, the premier journalism training and summer internship program for Native American college students, June 3-22, 2007. Students attend AIJI for free and receive other financial assistance. Applications are welcome from any Native American college student hoping to become a journalist. Information and applications: Contact Janine Harris at email@example.com or (605) 677-5424.
CALLING ALL LOIS LANES. The Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship provides an opportunity for women working in print, broadcast or Internet media to spend an academic year in a tailored program that combines access to MIT’s Center for International Studies and other Boston-area universities and two media companies, The Boston Globe and The New York Times. The fellowship will run from September through May. Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship Web site.
FIT TO BE TIED. In an obituary printed in the Olathe (Ks.) News, it was written that Jane Eloise Roberts who passed away on June 18, 2006, was “untied” in marriage to her husband of 70 years, Lloyd F. Roberts, on May 12, 1936.