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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Code of Ethics draft released + elections approaching

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SPJ Leads | 3/27/2014
Code of Ethics draft released + elections approaching

By Ellen Kobe, SPJ Communications Department



As you've probably heard by now, the ethics committee is working on revising the Code of Ethics. We've released a draft online, and we'd like your input. Read the changes, and let us know what you think should be added, deleted, changed, questioned, debated, etc. Place comments below the blog post or email Ethics Committee Chairman Kevin Smith at Ethical journalism is vital to our society - let's hold all journalists to high standards.


It's the moment you've all been waiting for -- time to secure your spot at Excellence in Journalism 2014 in Nashville, Tenn. You can now register online for the conference, as well as reserve tickets to special events. Our easy form lets you register up to 10 people at once, so invite your newsroom colleagues or student journalism crew.

Don't forget, our early bird rates are available until July 23. Also, SPJ members receive a discount. If you're a student, registration is even cheaper. Don't miss this chance to invest in your professional development.

Check out everything there is to offer at EIJ, including the hotel and travel information, schedule at a glance and things to do in Music City. Questions? Contact Director of Events Heather Dunn at 317.920.4782 or


Lead the nation's largest, most broad-based journalism organization by running for a position on SPJ's Board of Directors.

SPJ is defined by its members, and the Society seeks board candidates who are passionate about its mission and reflect the diversity of the journalism industry. Each member will vote electronically during Excellence in Journalism 2014 (EIJ14) in August, but elections start now.

Declare your candidacy for one of the following positions by emailing Nominations Committee Chairman Sonny Albarado at and Executive Director Joe Skeel at

- President-elect (elected every year)
- Secretary-Treasurer (elected every year)
- At-Large Director (two-year position)
- Campus Adviser At-Large (two-year position)
- Student Representative (two positions, elected every year)
- Directors for Regions 1, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 (two-year position)

There is no formal deadline to declare candidacy, but candidates wanting to run a profile in Quill ahead of the convention must make a May 5 copy deadline. Direct any election-related questions to Chapter Coordinator Tara Puckey via email or call 317.920.4784.


Check out the updates made to Journalist's Toolbox in March! The online site provided by SPJ gives journalists the resources they need to produce great work. This month, you'll find tips for reporting on current issues, such as the Sunshine Week, as well as updates to the online journalism, reporting tools and public records sections. Head on over to the site and gain a variety of skills today.


As part of national Sunshine Week, March 16 to 22, members of the Madison student and professional chapters fanned out across the capital city, handing out fortune cookies. They dropped a handful in the offices of the elected officials, from Madison School Board to Gov. Scott Walker, as well as some unelected boards like the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.

Each cookie contained a wise and honorable message:

- "You will be open and transparent when conducting public business."
- "You will uphold the letter and the spirit of the Wisconsin open records and open meetings laws."
- "A year of good fortune showers those who revere open government."

The fortune cookies and their messages serve as a reminder to those elected or appointed to do the public's business that they work for you -- the voting and taxpaying public. To see some examples of why these Sunshine Week reminders, no matter how gimmicky, are needed, visit SPJ Madison's website.

Let's hope the people who received fortune cookies take them not only to stomach but also to heart.


The State of the News Media 2014, which examines the state of American journalism, was released yesterday. The research is the 11th edition of an annual report by the Pew Research Center's Journalism Project. This year's report includes information about the revenue picture for news, the growth in digital reporting, the role of acquisitions and content sharing in local news and developments around digital video. It also provides the latest audience, economic, news investment and ownership trends for key sectors of news media, including a new, searchable Media & News Indicators database. You can read the overview online. For external commentary, visit the Poynter Institute's coverage here, here and here.


The Online News Association (ONA) is looking for sessions and speakers for ONA14, their annual conference for digital journalists. Submit your ideas to the ONA14 Suggestion Box by April 18, and they could be a part of the program. Selected speakers receive a comped registration to the conference. ONA is especially interested in sessions that don't fit the traditional panel format and highlight interactivity and creative thinking. The conference is Sept. 25 to 27 in Chicago. Submit now:


What university's student newspaper is being criticized by Hindu groups for publishing a column that attacked yoga because of its connection to Hinduism?

Answer: John Brown University

And the winner is ... Zoe Sagalow! Sagalow is a student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Congrats!


An AP Stylebook change was announced last week, and it caused quite a bit of controversy. What was this change?

Submit your answer to Ellen Kobe.

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