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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Russian safety, Libby trial implications, great opportunities!

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SPJ Leads | 3/29/2007
Russian safety, Libby trial implications, great opportunities!


By Stephanie M. Kanowitz
Web Editor, Federal Computer Week Magazine

HELP MAKE RUSSIA SAFER FOR JOURNALISTS. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Russia is the third deadliest country for journalists, exceeded by Iraq and Algeria. Forty-six journalists have been murdered in former Soviet states in the past 15 years; 90 percent of those cases remain unsolved. To address those dangers, Miami University will host “Russian Journalism Under Fire” April 2-3 at its campus in Oxford, Ohio. It is free and open to all. Speakers include journalists and advocacy experts from Moscow and the United States. Interested? Contact Patricia Gallagher Newberry at or (513) 529-5893, visit the Miami University Web site or blog.

WHAT THE LIBBY TRIAL MEANS FOR JOURNALITS.The trial may be over but the issues are still reverberating. The Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter will host a dinner and panel discussion titled “After Scooter: Confidential Sources — Are They an Endangered Species or Already Extinct?” When: April 25 at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza in Los Angeles. Jim Newton, L.A. City/County bureau chief at the Los Angeles Times, will moderate the discussion on the risks and benefits of using anonymous sources. Tickets are $39 for SPJ members and $45 for nonmembers. RSVP: Call (323) 259-3350 by April 20.

NO RAIN ON THIS PARADE. The National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Washington Coalition for Open Government will conduct the Seattle Sunshine: 2007 FOI Summit May 11-12. James Neff, investigations editor at the Seattle Times will give the keynote address. Other summit highlights include a showing of “The U.S. v. John Lennon,” a rock documentary chronicling the FBI’s secret campaign against the outspoken Beatle, and panels on “Sports Secrecy,” “Election Transparency” and “Bridging the Red-Blue Divide.” More information: Visit The NFOIC Web site.

WINNER’S CIRCLE. Paul K. McMasters, a long-time advocate for the First Amendment and freedom of information, won March 16 the American Library Association's James Madison Award, named for the author of the First Amendment. The award, given annually, goes to people who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public's right to know. McMasters, who recently retired as ombudsman at the Freedom Forum, is a former SPJ national president and freedom of information chairman.

KUDOS! Congratulations to Indy Pro Chapter's Gerry Lanosga, who produced an investigative series for WTHR-TV which is sweeping national journalism awards. Gerry's NBC team in Indianapolis broadcast a series that highlighted the failure of tornado siren warning systems in Indiana — a story that media outlets across the state continue to cover. The series has been recognized as best in investigative reporting in the National Headliner Awards, recognized with the $10,000 Jack R. Howard award given by Scripps Howard and was just granted a certificate from Investigative Reporters & Editors. Lanosga’s computer-assisted reporting skills were put to best use with sophisticated mapping software in finding flaws that even emergency management officials were not tracking. He is a former chapter president and also a board member of the Indiana Coalition for Open Government.

DOWNIE SPEAKS UP.The Washington Post’s Leonard Downie Jr. will be the keynote speaker at the second annual Timothy Sumner Robinson Speakers Forum as part of the Post lecture at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. Downie, executive editor for the Post, will give an address titled “Future of News Media.” When: 7 p.m., April 12 in the Jane Hollock Brock Recital Hall on the Samford campus. The lecture is free and open to the public. More information: Visit The Stamford University Web site.

PAPER PUSHER. The Arab-U.S. Association for Communication Educators is calling on educators, students and media professionals to submit research papers and panel proposals for its 12th international conference, hosted by Zayed University’s College of Communication and Media Sciences and the university’s Media Center in the United Arab Emirates. This year’s theme is “Communication at the Crossroad of Globalization.” Topics include “English as a Global Language of Communication,” “In the Danger Zone: Women Reporters on the Beat,” and “Creating Grass Roots Media: Podcasts, Blogs and Beyond the New Frontier.” Submissions are due May 30. More Information: Check out the association’s Web page.

SHOW YOUR ‘CHARACTER.’ Want to be a winner? In Character, the journal of everyday virtues, calls for entries to its second annual journalism prize for editorial and opinion writing. In June, the editors of In Character will announce the winners of one $10,000 and two $5,000 journalism prizes. Deadline: May 1. More Information: Visit the In Character Web site or e-mail

SWAP SHOP. The Louisville chapter of SPJ has its award entries all boxed ready to be shipped and judged. The entries just need a new home. If you're looking for an award swap, contact Kathy Francis at or call (502) 379-7918.

ROA(RE)D TRIP.Take a trip to Detroit for some fun and — this is what you can emphasize to your boss — great training opportunities. Registration is open for the SPJ Region 4 Conference, to be held April 13-14 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. Registration rates start at $35 for students and $60 for professionals and include workshops, an opening night reception, panel discussions and the annual <>Mark of Excellence Awards luncheon. Go online for details. The event is organized by the Detroit and Mid-Michigan chapters of SPJ.

MORE SPRING TRAINING. Can’t make the Region 4 Spring Conference? Consider attending another one. See a full list of upcoming Spring Conferences and better yourself today.

AND SPEAKING OF MOE’S. Judges are still needed to critique the national television and radio categories. Interested? Contact Heather Porter at (317) 927-8000, ext. 204 or

JOURNALISM AND THE WORLD. SPJ’s International Journalism Committee started a new blog March 24 for SPJ members who are foreign correspondents or who are interested in issues related to international journalism. Check it out today.

SUMMER BROADCASTING GIG. Lyndon State College in Vermont is looking for a few good journalists to help extend its student-produced local news coverage into the summer with a new Summer Institute. Refine skills while keeping 9,000 households in 14 northeastern Vermont towns informed through a live local newscast five nights a week. Students can earn six credits at the institute, which runs from June 27 to Aug. 2. Room, board and tuition: Under $4,300. Deadline: April 30. More information: Contact SPJ member and institute director Tim Lewis at

TASTE OF EUROPE. Want to conduct on-site research and interviews in Germany and/or other EU27 countries? Apply to be a McCloy Fellow. The American Council on Germany is seeking applications from American print, broadcast and new-media journalists in the early stages of their careers. The fellowship provides a stipend of $150 per day for up to 28 days abroad; transatlantic airfare and approved inter-city travel are also covered. Journalists attached to media organizations and freelancers are encouraged to apply. Applications must be postmarked by April 6. Questions? Visit The American Council on Germany Web site or contact Ted Mathys at (212) 826-3636 or

AN EDUCATION ON EDUCATION. The Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media is offering fellowships for six journalists to study higher education issues this fall in New York City. The program, “Covering America, Covering Community Colleges,” includes a weeklong residency on Columbia University’s Teachers College campus and a chance to learn from the country’s top community college experts. The program pays a $7,500 stipend and is open to U.S.-based newspaper, magazine, online, broadcast or freelance journalists. Deadline: April 30. Moreinformation and an applications: Visit the Hechinger Institute’s Web site under "Fellowships."

BE KING OF THE JOURNALISM JUNGLE. Michigan State University's School of Journalism is offering three graduate-level courses this spring in media management at the Macomb University Center in Clinton Township. The classes are an effort by the J-School to help journalists learn skills to assume management positions and publishers' seats. Read more about the classes, to be taught by The Detroit News' Sue Burzynski and Garry Gilbert, formerly of The Daily Oakland Press. Classes can be taken as part of a graduate-level program or as part of MSU's lifelong learning program.

DEFEND FOI! SPJ is accepting applications for summer internships in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. Two students will be selected for the Pulliam-Kilgore Freedom of Information internships. The application deadline has been extended to April 1. Complete details and applications are available by visiting SPJ’s Web site.

CALLING ALL STUDENTS. SPJ will select 12 students to be a part of The Working Press, a daily newspaper to be published during the 2007 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference from Oct. 4-7 in Washington, D.C. Interns will receive free convention registration, most meals and hotel stay. The deadline to apply is April 17. Please contact Joe Skeel at (317) 927-8000, ext. 214, or with questions.

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