By Christine Tatum
Business Writer, The Denver Post
July 13, 2006
CHICAGO-GO-GO. You are sooo going to miss out if you don’t blow into the Windy City for the 2006 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, coming up Aug. 24-27. This is one shindig SPJ won’t soon forget.
First, the boring – but pertinent – details:
• The price of admission is darned reasonable. Look for it online. Please note: SPJ members who have graduated from school within the last two years may register for only $110. Non-member post-grads may join SPJ and register for only $146 – a super deal!
• Check out hotel and travel information, and let SPJ help you find a roommate to help cut your lodging bill.
• You may register online in a flash or download, print and snail-mail a registration form if you insist.
NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF. There are so many exciting things in the works that Leads can only hit some highlights this week. Make sure you check our site early and often for continual updates.
This year, participants will have the chance to:
• Hear from an array of industry experts,
including award-winning documentary host and producer, news anchor and multimedia company president, Bill Kurtis; Geoff Dankert, managing editor of Fox News Chicago; NBC News Correspondent Bob Dotson; Bill Gannon, managing editor/editorial director of Yahoo! News; Caroline Little, chief executive officer of Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive; Amanda Zamora, world editor of washingtonpost.com; and Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn.
• Get in-depth, hands-on instruction in half-day workshops focusing on business reporting, the use of technology and broadcasting.
• See Chicago as few visitors ever do. The Nitty-Gritty City Bus Tour, designed by journalists for journalists, will give riders a better understanding of urban journalism – and great story ideas they can take home. Convention-goers also will get a chance to tour Bloomberg News’ Chicago bureau, the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and ABC 7 Chicago.
• Honor the First! This unique celebration of the First Amendment aims to remind everyone that we must never take our cherished freedoms of expressions for granted – or allow them to be compromised. Several Chicago-area artists are generously donating their time to deliver rousing performances throughout the conference. We’ve lined up singers from the Lyric Opera of Chicago; stand-up comedians; the sketch-comedy acting team “Schadenfreude”; and The Chicago Poetry Showcase, featuring 15 of the city’s most talented performance poets.
• Get free career counseling from life coach – and longtime career coach to journalists – Carla Kimbrough-Robinson. She is associate editor of staff recruitment and development at The Denver Post and the founder and president of Inspire Higher International.
• Trek to the headquarters of Underwriters Laboratories for a free seminar offered only to convention-goers. Participants will learn what it takes to keep consumers safe in the increasingly tech-savvy 21st Century. They’ll also see some pretty darned interesting things (flaming toasters and mattresses, anyone?!) at UL, which tests more than 19,000 types of products and has developed more than 850 product standards.
•Laugh their fannies off for a great cause. A limited number of tickets to a Friday night show at The Second City Theater (the launching pad for the careers of Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, John Candy, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Walter Mathieu, Joan Rivers – and many, many more) – will be sold to benefit SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund. We’ll post details about advance ticket sales soon!
• Participate in the Fifth Annual Les Brownlee Journalism Series, honoring the memory of Lester H. Brownlee, the first African American inducted into SPJ.
Whew! That’s enough for now. Just wait until next week’s update…
ALL GRAFT/GREAT SCHLOCK WELCOME. The list of cool items to be auctioned off for SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund is growing – but we could use your help rounding up more. Please check out details about how you can aid journalists waging legal battles to protect the First Amendment.
NOT SURE WHERE TO START?The South Asian Journalists Association has posted a continuously updated series of resources to help journalists covering the Mumbai blasts. You’ll find the names of U.S.-based experts who can talk about various aspects of the story, the names of journalists in Mumbai who can assist you, and blogs covering the ongoing story.
GREAT FINISH! Bruce Plopper, a professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, sends a hearty thanks to the more than 200 SPJ members who completed surveys to support his research (Wow! Who knew so many people read “Leads?!”). Wanting to pitch in? There’s still time. You have until July 21 to complete this thought-provoking survey.
ON TO THE NEXT ONE. The Knight New Media Center seeks to provide multimedia training for journalists nationwide. As leaders prepare curriculum for the coming year, they’re wondering what the heck you want to learn. Weigh in by July 19 through an online survey.
IT’S A BIRD! IT’S A PLANE! IT’S … TOM HENDERSON?! Our intrepid Leads, um, “superhero,” is taking a break this week to bask in the glory of his appearance on NPR’s Web site. Listen to excerpts of his interview, and check out an article he wrote a few years back titled, “Everything I Need To Know About Journalism I Learned From Superman (And Other Comic Books).”
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