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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Young journalists unite; building a better journalist

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SPJ Leads | 9/6/2007
Young journalists unite; building a better journalist


By Tom Henderson
Editorial writer and columnist, Lewiston Tribune (Idaho)

Young Journalists Unite. SPJ is looking for young professionals in their first three years as full-time journalists for the first-ever Reporters Institute, happening Nov. 11-14 at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. This brand new program is a three-day crash course in the characteristics of outstanding journalism and the techniques used by exceptional journalists. It will bring journalists together with their peers, SPJ members, industry leaders and faculty for an intense learning experience. Learn more about the program, and apply today. The application deadline is Sept. 21. Space is limited to 35 participants.

Building A Better Journalist. Join student and professional journalists Oct. 6-7 for a weekend of workshops, networking and improving your skills at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. The event will be hosted by the Oregon Pro and Southwest Washington Pro SPJ chapters and the University of Oregon SPJ Student chapter. Visit the Oregon Pro Web site to check out the schedule and sign up today.

Rocky Mountain Cubs. The Colorado Pro SPJ Chapter will host a seminar for young journalists from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Penrose Library in Colorado Springs. Max Potter of 5280 Magazine, Armando Arietta and Larissa Bachelor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Ellen Sweets and Erin Emery of The Denver Post are scheduled to speak. More information: Contact Leticia Steffen at

Ethically Speaking. Becky Tallent of the Snake River SPJ chapter will discuss journalistic ethics when the Idaho Press Club conducts its fall conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22, at the University of Idaho Commons in Moscow. The keynote speaker is Peter Kovacs, managing editor of New Orleans Times-Picayune. There will be sessions on the future of journalism and a workshop for students on what employers want. More information: Visit the Idaho Press Club Web site.

The Libby Impact. Chicago Sun Times Columnist Robert Novak and former Time, Inc., editor in chief Norman Pearlstine will be on hand during the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference to discuss the ethical questions of journalists as central players in a criminal prosecution and scandal. As part of the discussion, titled "Watching the Watchdogs: Ethical Implications of the Entangled Roles of Journalists in the Scooter Libby Case," Novak and Pearlstein will explain how they handled the dual roles as witnesses and journalists and the lessons they learned. Don't miss this opportunity! Register today.

Sold!. Take a sneak peek at some of the items that will be up for bid at this year's live and silent Legal Defense Fund Auctions! The auctions will be held during the Opening Night Reception of the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference on Oct. 4. The event, which will be hosted by guest auctioneers Bob Schieffer of CBS News and Radio Hall of Famer Jim Bohannon, takes place at The National Music Center, located on the grounds of the Historic Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C.

Students Freed. Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the College Campus Press Act on Friday. The act makes any student media outlet at an Illinois public college "a public forum." The new law prohibits college and university administrators from exercising prior review. It was passed by the state legislature in June. The law also protects media advisers from punishment for refusing to curtail student speech, and it provides the public schools immunity from being sued over material disseminated by the student media. Want to push for changes on your campus? SPJ can help. Read about SPJ's Campus Media Statement program.

Blog On!. launched two new blogs this week. In the first installment of, Dale Denwalt II explains to fellow journalism students that those who embrace a converged curriculum will be able to bank on it later. In technolo-j, fellow journalists teach all of us how to get in touch with our techy side.

Lafayette, We Are Here. Throughout 2007, the city of Lafayette, La., has been celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Marquis de La Fayette, for which the town is named. Similar celebrations are happening across the United States and in France. Why should journalists care? Because the Marquis was a staunch defender of a free press and twice refused to re-take his seat in the Chamber of Deputies during and after the French Revolution. He declined because the national body refused to guarantee no laws would be passed against a free and unfettered press. Today marks La Fayette's birthday. No matter where you live, there's probably a city or county or landmark named in honor of this hero. Why not remind your readers of his legacy to free Americans and free Frenchmen? More information: Contact Judy Johnson, special projects editor for the Independent in Lafayette, La., (337) 288- 3004 or

Man Bites Dog. "Judge Not Convinced Murder Victim is Alive" - Baltimore Sun

Comic Book Quote Of The Week. It's back, at least this week. Guess the identity behind the quote and win a free Brenda Starr poster from Snake River SPJ.

Who said it? "How times do I have to learn: Never trust a publisher."

Send your answers to Tom Henderson at

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