By Beth King
Communications Manager, SPJ
Stephanie M. Kanowitz
Web Editor, Federal Computer Week Magazine
AND JUSTICE FOR JOSH ... FINALLY. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup signed an order releasing independent journalist Josh Wolf from a federal prison. Wolf was incarcerated for 226 days for refusing to comply with a federal subpoena that would have forced him to turn over unedited footage from a G-8 Summit protest he filmed July 8, 2005, in San Francisco’s Mission District. In a statement eleased yesterday, SPJ President Christine Tatum said she was delighted Wolf was on his way home. Read More about this case and watch the unedited footage Josh refused to hand over to prosecutors.
THE BATTLE RAGES ON. Months after an op-ed piece calling for more tolerance of gays and lesbians ran in the Woodlan (Ind.) Junior-Senior High School newspaper, Amy Sorrell, the journalism teacher in the center of the First-Amendment fight, was served with a termination notice. The local school board will vote May 1 whether or not to terminate her employment. Several groups, including the Indy Pro Chapter have come to Sorrell’s aid. Read about their efforts and then get a good overview of the situation from the American Press Institute.
TOUCHDOWN! One year ago, SPJ urged the National Football League to reverse a policy that banned some local television crews from filming the games. Looks like the league finally wised up and listened! Effective for the 2007 season, the NFL says it will allow more local television cameras to cover games from the sidelines, enabling more local game-day coverage. And who says SPJ can’t make a difference???
FLYING FRIENDLY, SMART? If you’re asking SPJ President Christine Tatum, the answer is a resounding, “No!” Read about her recent flying experience to Texas and why she feels American Airlines isn’t making the grade.
SHARE YOUR STORIES. In celebration of Ethics in Journalism Week (April 23-27) and to drive discussion about responsible journalism, SPJ wants to hear from you about your experiences making tough decisions. Tell us – and your colleagues – about difficult stories and how they touched you and the people and communities you cover. We’re focusing this year how to minimize harm while pursuing the truth. What are your experiences? E-mail your 200-300 word reflections to Julie Grimes at email@example.com.
ENCOURAGE ETHICS EVERY DAY. Keep ethics alive in your newsroom with the following suggestions:
• Host brown-bag ethics discussions in your newsroom.
• Write and produce stories about responsible journalism and invite community feedback.
• Volunteer to speak about journalism ethics and SPJ to civic groups and other media outlets.
• Mentor students and help them understand journalism ethics and its importance in their future.
• Volunteer to translate the SPJ Code of Ethics into other languages.
APRIL QUILL: The April edition of Quill magazine will be arriving soon to your mailbox, if it hasn’t already. But, if you absolutely can’t wait, read the online version. This month’s features include: How New Orleans journalists faced the challenge of remaining unbiased in the wake of disaster; advice for developing sources without becoming chummy; and a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winner Rick Bragg.
PROMOTE YOURSELF. SPJ’s new Freelancer Directory will officially launch next week. This database allows freelancers to enter contact information, provide details about their professional specialties and link hiring editors to examples of their work. The cost to showcase your work? Nada. Zilch. Nothing. It’s FREE! And it’s open to all SPJ members. If you haven’t uploaded your information, what are you waiting for? Get busy!
A COOL GIG…ON CAPITOL HILL. The Society will select 12 students to be part of The Working Press, a daily newspaper that will cover the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference from Oct. 4-7 in Washington, D.C. Interns receive a complementary convention registration, some paid meals and a hotel room. Deadline: April 19. More Information: Contact Joe Skeel at (317) 927-8000, ext. 214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET A JOB. SPJ’s online job bank is constantly being updated with new gigs. If you’re in the market for a change, there are reporting and production openings in Florida. In California, there’s a copy desk vacancy. Log on today with your SPJ user name and password and get on your way to a better tomorrow. Have an opening in your organization? List it today.
COVERING RAPE, MINIMIZING HARM. The Poynter Institute and the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault will present Uncovering Rape in New York City: Standards and Practices. Experts and seasoned journalists, including Helen Benedict, the author of Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes;Alison Gendar, Police Bureau Chief for theDaily News; and Linnell Smith, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun and a Fellow of the DART Center for Journalism and Trauma, will guide the discussions. When: 9:30 a.m., April 12. Where: Women’s Media Center, Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Avenue, 9th Floor. RSVP: By April 10 to Rebekah Spicuglia, email@example.com or (212) 563-0680.
GOT NARRATION? SPJ will host a Narrative Writing Workshop on June 9 in San Diego. SPJ members may register for $35 and non-members for $50. The daylong program will help participants learn options for reinvigorating the writing craft. Questions? Contact Heather Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 927-8000, ext. 204.
NEW ENGLAND NEWS FORUM. Researcher Warren Watson of Ball State University will discuss preliminary findings from a just-completed survey of 100 principals during the New England News Forum at Wannalancit Mills in Lowell, Mass. Keynote luncheon speaker for the daylong event is Vermont Gov. James Douglas. He will discuss his state’s efforts to guarantee broadband Internet access to all its citizens by 2010 and his role as chairman of the New England Governors’ Conference. When: April 7. Cost: $28, which includes lunch. More information: Visit The Media Giraffe Web site.
HONORED IN L.A.? Broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, the “Spanish voice of the Dodgers” for nearly 50 years, will present the keynote address at SPJ’s 31st Annual Distinguished Journalist Awards banquet May 17 in Los Angeles. The Greater Los Angeles Pro chapter will honor four local journalists at this year’s banquet: Larry Altman of The Daily Breeze, Dave Bryan of CBS 2-KCAL 9, Eric Leonard of KFI-AM (640) and George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times. Tickets are $80 for SPJ members; $90 for non-members; tables of 10 are $800. For reservations, please call Roberta Wax at (818) 718-8184.
MORE JOLLY GOOD FELLOWS. Meredith Corp., KPHO CBS 5 and Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication are accepting applications for their second annual nationwide fellowship program for minority broadcast journalism students. Participants will spend Jan. 6-12, 2008, working with instructors from the Cronkite School and KPHO reporters, producers, editors and videographers. At week’s end, students will produce a 30-minute newscast. Potential participants in the program must be full-time minority students majoring in broadcast journalism at a U.S. college or university and be within 12 months of graduation. Applications are due Oct. 1. Fellows will receive a stipend.
INTERNATIONAL CHARITY. The Sumedang Student Association for Communications and Media Studies is seeking donations of new and gently used books to build a small library. They’re interested in receiving books on the topics of communication theory, mass communication, mass media, advertising, journalism and public relations. Want to donate? Send your books to: Sumedang Student Association For Communications and Media Studies, PMII Warung Kalde Belakang Toko Eiger Kecamatan. Jatinangor Kabupaten, Sumedang 45363 Indonesia.