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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Shield law + internship opportunity + interactive training

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SPJ Leads | 2/12/2014
Shield law + internship opportunity + interactive training

By Ellen Kobe, SPJ Communications Department



We expect the federal shield bill, also known as the Free Flow of Information Act (S. 987), to be brought to the Senate floor very soon. But before it can be brought to the floor, we need to be sure that the bipartisan bill has more than 60 votes in order to overcome any potential filibuster.

We're asking all SPJ members to contact their senators to find out if they support S. 987, as well as to encourage them to vote YES on S. 987. 

Contact your senators by phone: Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to be connected to the offices of the senators from your state. Or, look up your senators' contact information online. If the senator is unavailable, ask to speak with his or her chief of staff or press secretary.
Ask whether your senator supports the bill: Find out if the senator supports the bill by asking these questions in this online form and we will use this information to track individual senators' level of support.
Don't know what else to say?: Check out these key talking points.
Spread the word: Here is a great list of social media posts you can use to encourage others to contact their senators.

Please help us in our efforts to pass a federal shield law. After all, this protects your right to exercise journalism in a free democracy.


College students: Want to attend the Excellence in Journalism conference, Sept. 4-6, and gain valuable experience at the same time? We've got just the thing for you.

SPJ is accepting applications for 12 interns for The EIJ News. Selected interns will cover the conference in Nashville in a variety of ways including video, audio, photos and written stories. You'll have a chance to network, produce great work and have a fabulous time. Check out all the information and apply online. Questions? Contact Director of Events Heather Dunn at 317.927.8000, ext. 204.


The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) together with the law firm of Holland & Knight is pleased to announce the launch of a new study on the use of remotely controlled aircraft or drones in newsgathering. Everyone with an interest in the application of this evolving technology is invited to participate in this survey.

The paper will explore proposed FAA policies regarding use of drones for newsgathering purposes and how such use may be safely accomplished while also addressing privacy concerns. The data gathered from the survey will be used to guide the next steps in effectively understanding and participating in federal and state legislation and rulemaking.

Click here to take the survey and provide useful data. Questions? Contact NPPA General Counsel Mickey H. Osterreicher at or 716.983.7800.


Attention SPJ educators: Looking for training and great tools for teaching? Attend Journalism Interactive April 4-5 in College Park, Md. All SPJ members can take a $25 discount off the early bird registration rate through Feb. 15. Just visit the J/i registration page and enter code "spj2014" on the first screen of the registration form. (Look for the tiny link at the bottom, just above Eventbrite's green "ORDER NOW" button. It will say "enter promotional discount.")

Your registration includes lunch on both days of the conference, a Friday night banquet and Saturday night reception. Don't miss a chance to hear from tech trend expert Amy Webb, New York Times data expert Derek Willis or SPJ's Carl Corry. It's a two-day whirlwind of multimedia know-how for educators.


Great news! We have a few more spots for the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute in Kansas City, Mo., March 7-9. Scripps is an awesome SPJ program that teaches you how to be an effective leader!

All you have to do is fill out this online form and cover travel expenses - we take care of the rest! Come to Kansas City, Mo., for a fun and enlightening weekend. Visit the Scripps program site for more details and check out our recaps from the 2013 programs.


The Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting invites journalists to submit story proposals for consideration for funding by the Institute and subsequent publication in In These Times.

Pitches should be sent by February 15, 2014 to In These Times Assistant Editor Nyki Salinas-Duda at with the subject line "Submission."

Please include:

- A detailed story pitch, including background on the extent to which the story has already been covered in the press, and the story's relevance to In These Times' mission

- A plan for research and interviews

- A proposed timeline for your reporting

- An outline of any anticipated reporting expenses

- A resume and 3-5 clips or links to your previous work

Please visit for more information. Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter at @inthesetimesmag, and follow the hash tag #IIR14 for all the latest on the Institute.


The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is giving up to $35,000 each to about 30 non-profit news and public media organizations as part of the launch of the $1 million INNovation Fund.

A partnership between the Knight Foundation and the Investigative News Network (INN), a non-profit collaborative organization made up of more than 90 non-profit investigative journalism outlets, the fund is to encourage news non-profits to pursue innovation and experimentation toward a more sustainable future.

Applications, available here will be accepted until March 1. The Investigative News Network will select the recipients and manage the program. For more information about the fund, take a look at the press release and blog post, as well as a Q&A.


Loyola Law School, Los Angeles is accepting applications until Friday, March 7, 2014 for its ninth-annual Journalist Law School fellowship, a four-day crash course on the law. Law professors, judges and attorneys teach classes on constitutional, civil and criminal law, as well as breakout sessions on hot legal topics.

Accepted fellows have the opportunity to request sessions in their areas of interest. Fellowships are competitively awarded to 35 journalists and will cover instruction, lodging, meals and one-half of travel expenses for the May 28-31, 2014 fellowship. About 300 reporters, editors and producers have completed the program since 2006. Learn more or apply at Questions? Contact Brian Costello, assistant director of communications, at or 213.736.1444.


Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of what social media network?

Answer: Facebook

And the winner is ... Gerry Harrington from New York. Congrats! Your prize will arrive soon!


What successful actress recently shared that she always wanted to be a journalist, confessing that acting was originally just a way to pay for journalism school in New York?

Submit your answer to Ellen Kobe.

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