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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Ethics code revision update + SPJ in the news + SPJ is hiring

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SPJ Leads | 7/16/2014
Ethics code revision update + SPJ in the news + SPJ is hiring

By Taylor Carlier, SPJ Communications Department



As you've probably heard, the Ethics Committee is working on revising the SPJ Code of Ethics, last updated in 1996. A group of volunteers convened in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend to come up with the third draft revision of the code, which will now be presented to SPJ's board, membership and to the public, before being voted on at EIJ14. The meeting was live-streamedlive-tweeted and blogged about in two separate posts by Ethics Committee Chairman Kevin Smith and SPJ President David Cuillier. See the timeline of the revision process thus far, look over the guidelines to show you what is different from the original version, read feedback and give input.

Before the meeting, SPJ board member Bill McCloskey interviewed Smith about the Code revision process in a podcast for The National Press Club. Listen here.

Questions about the process or want to give more input? Comment online or email Ethics Committee Chairman Kevin Smith at


SPJ recently sent a letter to President Barack Obama with the signatures of 37 other journalism organizations (after the fact, more than 40) urging the administration to be more transparent with the media that are seeking public information. Read the press release, all of the news outlets that picked up the story and what SPJ President David Cuillier had to say about it.


Reserve your room at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center while rooms are still available. Learn more online about the accommodations if you haven't booked yet. Conference attendees receive discounted rates at the hotel.

Looking for a roommate to share hotel costs? Visit the roommate board to leave a comment and find others who are looking for a roommate.


With about three weeks left until the donation deadline of Aug. 1, we hope you will consider making a contribution to the Legal Defense Fund Auction. As a mental support system for journalists who find themselves in trouble while defending press freedoms, we want to keep you covered!

No donation is too large or too small. We ask that you send your items in by the deadline to SPJ Headquarters at 3909 N. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46208. When mailing your donation, please don't forget to include this donation form.


Interested in going to EIJ14, but want more of a concise schedule breakdown? We've got you covered. Take a look at our EIJ14 Prezifor a preview of the main highlights of the Sept. 4-6 conference in Nashville.


Want to work for the nation's largest most broad-based journalism organization? We're looking for a full-time Awards Coordinator to join our staff.

Your duties would include:

- Serve as primary contact for SPJ awards programs. These programs include: Mark of Excellence Awards (college student awards), Sigma Delta Chi Awards (professional awards), and other awards that are presented annually.
- Prepare and maintain a yearly schedule for the SPJ awards program.
- Develop timelines for each awards program.
- Ensure that each program remains on schedule, which includes the management of member volunteers.
- Work with IT firm to manage and enhance SPJ's proprietary online awards platform.
- Coordinate all site logistics for three awards banquets including developing scripts for each of these events. (Sigma Delta Chi Awards Banquet, Mark of Excellence Awards program and President's Banquet)
- Maintain a database for each awards programs to include judges, entries, and the tracking of awards submissions
- Secure judges for each contest.
- Manage all facets of an awards program, including logistics, promotions, marketing, communications, and planning. This will involve coordinating vendor and volunteer responsibilities.
- Prepare and monitor program budgets to ensure that each program remains within budget. Review all bills and expenditures.
- Serve as a resource for internal and external awards information inquiries.
- Provide assistance to local chapter leaders seeking information on local contests.
- Assist the programming department with program logistics such as processing registrations and preparing materials
- Oversee the annual Legal Defense Fund Auction (both live and silent) - includes securing items, preparing for sale and coordinating auction events.
- Other duties as assigned.

Sound fun? Visit our website for more information about the gig, as well as application details. The deadline is July 28. If you have questions, contact Executive Director Joe Skeel at


We're happy to announce the launch of the freelance community, a virtual chapter that meets online, linking SPJ members who are freelancers, no matter their locale. Currently it is in beta, software jargon for 'still in process,' because it needs more input from you.

We want this to be the most useful place for freelance journalists on the Web. To get there, we want your help. Form communities within the community - freelance editors and copy editors, freelance photographers and broadcast journalists, freelance social media journalists, freelance data journalists - whatever your specialty, it's easy now for you to connect through SPJ with people who do the work you do.

The community site offers many of the great features from the previous SPJ site, but it also has new features such as a calendar of events, a revamped jobs board and community forums.

We've done a lot of work, but we won't be done until we have your input. What do you like? What's missing? What haven't we thought of? Send your thoughts to Michael Fitzgerald at or comment on our freelance message board.


Does your chapter leadership need a refresher course on the SPJ nitty gritty? Interested in starting a chapter and need a crash course in all things SPJ? Then we have the webinar for you.

Chapter Coordinator Tara Puckey gave a short webinar last week to help chapters learn more about what they should be doing to stay on track. Missed it? It's OK, you can re-watch the webinar, Rapid Fire: SPJ Need to Know.


John Seigenthaler, a member of SPJ since 2002, died July 11. A member of the Middle Tennessee Pro Chapter, Seigenthaler was a legendary longtime Tennessean publisher and editor, intimate confidant to the Kennedy family and fierce advocate for racial equality.

"I think journalism was the most important thing I could have done with my life," Seigenthaler was quoted saying in his Tennessean obituary. "I just can't think of anything I could have done with my life that would have been more meaningful."

Read his full obituary from the Tennessean.


Elwood "Woody" Wardlow, a member of SPJ since 1948, died June 28. A member of the Mid-Florida Pro Chapter, Wardlow was a newspaper editor and journalism teacher for 41 years. Read his obituary here.


By designating the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, SPJ's supporting foundation, as a beneficiary in your will, life insurance, retirement or other estate plans, you can provide a lasting legacy for the future of journalism.

The Foundation returns thousands of dollars back to the journalism community in support of both SPJ and other journalism organizations that benefit SPJ members. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity and gifts are tax-deductible.

Georgiana Vines recently made this commitment to the SDX Foundation.

"The Society of Professional Journalists and Sigma Delta Chi Foundation have helped me expand my interests and skills in journalism in ways I never would have thought imaginable," said Vines, '92-'93 national president, former board member of the SDX Foundation and a Wells Key winner. "Journalists across the U.S., who also share SPJ's core missions of ethics, FOI, professional development and diversity, have become life-long friends."

For more information, visit the website or contact Chris Vachon at 317.927.8000 x 207.


How many journalism and open government organizations originally signed onto a letter urging President Barack Obama for more transparency with the media's access to public information?

Answer: 38

And the winner is ... Carolyn Cunningham of the Georgia Pro Chapter. Congratulations!


What major news organization lost $52 million last year?

Submit your answer to Taylor Carlier.

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