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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > It's almost March! See what's going on in the SPJ world.

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SPJ Leads | 2/27/2013
It's almost March! See what's going on in the SPJ world.

By Christine DiGangi, SPJ Communications Department



The deadline for the next cycle of chapter grant applications is March 6. That's next week.

February went fast, but there's plenty of time to submit a program proposal and receive up to $500 for your chapter's event. Tell us about your idea, why it's the best and why SPJ should help pay for it.

Apply online by midnight EST Wednesday, March 6. Questions? Tara Puckey can answer them. Email or call her at 317.927.8000 ext. 215.


It's a 500-word essay, and it could produce $1,000. That's a pretty sweet deal.

Next Thursday, March 7, is the deadline for SPJ's High School Essay Contest. All students have to do is write about the importance of independent news media, have a teacher sign the entry form and mail everything to SPJ HQ. You can find all these and more details online.

If you have questions, email Lauren Rochester at


It's nearly springtime. You're itching to get out and about. So take a little trip to your SPJ Regional Conference.

In March, April and May, journalists are meeting up in their regions to take advantage of intensive workshops, sessions and conversations about emerging journalism trends and crucial developments in the industry's practices.

Again, those conferences start in March, so check the schedule, find the date of your Spring Conference and register to go. You'll be glad you did.


You can buy pretty much any item you may want on the SPJ J-Mart. What's better than a tote bag, ornament, golf ball or hoodie emblazoned with the SPJ logo?

Answer: Even more SPJ merchandise. You can now buy Code of Ethics posters and items with new logos! There are SPJ Superman-branded calendars and posters, in addition to the new We Love SPJ line.

Take a look at


Each spring, SPJ celebrates the work of leaders in ethics, freedom of information, journalism education and overall contributions to SPJ and the industry. These national acknowledgements are called the SPJ Honors.

Many of the awards are open to the public, and a few are for members only. SPJ gives these honors because great journalism can happen anywhere, and it's important to recognize these contributions to our democracy. They serve as a reminder of the good work journalists do and encourage future generations to follow their examples.

The information on the 11 awards is available online, but if you have any questions, please email Lauren Rochester at or call 317.927.8000.


What is "drone journalism"? Perhaps some definitions would mean the tawdry practice of stenography or re-running press releases you've received.

But there's another definition that's more relevant now: Using drone devices for journalistic information gathering. Yeah, it's a thing. And there's a lot of discussion about how journalists (not to mention police departments and the military) will use such technology in the future. There are, of course, many legal and ethical considerations. Quill magazine will cover this in a future issue, and if you're interested in writing about the topic, contact editor Scott Leadingham at We even pay (as in money exchanged for your work).


You're no doubt aware that data visualization is a huge trend and in-demand skill in the journalism field. New to the whole data-viz thing? No problem.

It's not just a skill for "the digital folks" or designers. All journalists can benefit from telling visual stories with data.

Mark your calendar: SPJ will host a free webinar on the topic March 12. Details are forthcoming, but we wanted to give you a heads up. Check and keep up with our Facebook and Twitter accounts to stay up-to-date on programs like this.


Region 2 Director Brian Eckert has some news about the chapter developments in The First State:

Journalists from The News Journal/DelawareOnline and 1150 AM WDEL hosted an inaugural SPJ Delaware happy hour in early February to generate interest in recruiting new SPJ members and launching a chapter. Some 32 journalists from a variety of media organizations turned out.

The group's next program is "A Conversation with State Attorney General Beau Biden" on open government and Delaware's Freedom of Information Act on March 5, 6 p.m., at the University and Whist Club, 805 N. Broom St., Wilmington. Sponsored by Wilmington University, the program is free, and all interested journalists, students, SPJ members and guests are cordially invited. Free appetizers and a cash bar will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, contact Amy Cherry, 1150 AM WDEL assistant news director ( or Ashley Barnas, DelawareOnline lead video producer (

Great news and a great program. Thanks, Brian!


Virginia Pro president Paul Fletcher appeared before committees in the Virginia House and Senate three times to testify against bills that would hinder the public's right to know. The state requires public notices for a variety of government activities to be published in newspapers, and six bills in the 2013 session would have repealed the requirement.

The chapter also coordinated three email campaigns against the bills. Several of the bills died in committee. For more information about the bills, see the scorecard maintained by the Virginia Press Association.


There's a new blog out there dedicated to journalists who struggle with troublesome public information officers. Have a story to tell? Interested in others' experiences? Visit


Borderzine, a Web community for Latino student journalists, is accepting scholarship applications for its Multimedia Training Academy.

The program is supported by the Dow Jones News Fund, which provides full scholarships for 12 journalism professors at Hispanic serving colleges to attend the academy. The workshop runs May 31 through June 6 at University of Texas at El Paso, and seasoned trainers teach technology skills needed for digital storytelling.

Learn more on the program's Facebook page, and read about the program on Borderzine's website.


EIJ13 will be the third Excellence in Journalism conference, but SPJ has been putting on conferences for much longer. When and where was the first national SPJ convention?

Answer: 1912, Greencastle, Ind. (If for some reason you didn't know, SPJ was founded in 1909 at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. More SPJ history is online.)

And the winner is ... Helen Okobokekeimei! She's a student member at the University of Maryland. Congrats!


The International Herald Tribune will be renamed The International New York Times, the company announced this week. Which publication is older the New York Times or the IHT? Submit your answer to Christine DiGangi.

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