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By Willie Shatz
President, The Schatz Group
Immediate Past President, Washington, D.C. Pro Chapter
In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no SPJ Leads on Thursday, Nov. 22. SPJ Leads will return on Thursday, Nov. 29.
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?. Organizations grow from the bottom up. With that in mind and in hopes of hosting a national conversation about growing SPJ membership, SPJ's National Membership Chairman and Colorado Pro chapter President John Ensslin has developed and launched the SPJ Garden Center. It's a blog for chapter leaders and members to share best practices and ways to retain and recruit members. Got an idea for John? Send it to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (303) 954-5291.
ONWARD AND UPWARD. You've never seen a year-end report like this one before. Immediate Past-President Christine Tatum of The Denver Post prepared an insightful video that outlines important changes, creative initiatives and future plans that will help SPJ improve and protect journalism for another 100 years. Log on with your username and password to see the video.
SUMMER IN THE CITIES. 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. One will be stationed in Washington, D.C. and the other will spend 10 weeks in Indianapolis. Both interns will research and write about access issues. Or, how about trying your hand and communications and public relations work for SPJ? A third student will be selected for SPJ's Archibald Communications internship. Applications for all three internship opportunities are due Jan. 5. Complete details and applications: Visit SPJ's Web site.
YOU BE THE JUDGE. SPJ is seeking judges for the Sigma Delta Chi Awards. Judging will take place in March 2008. Potential judges should e-mail Programs Coordinator Heather Porter with their area of interest (print, art/graphics, radio, TV or online) and their professional bio. Judges should have at least 10 years of professional journalism experience in their area of interest. Response to this item does not guarantee a judging assignment.
STEPPING BACKWARDS?. This week on "Al-Sahafiyeen," SPJ Member and NAAJA President Ray Hanania explains why he feels the Jakarta Islamic Journalism Conference is distorting the meaning a free press and why the organization's charter is hindering diversity efforts.
WHITE HOUSE BLOW. National Freedom of Information Chairman Dave Cuillier blogs on FOI FYI about the Bush Administration's FOI loss. A federal judge on Monday ordered the White House to preserve all of its e-mails. The ruling was a result of a lawsuit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive, which alleged the disappearance of 5 million White House e-mails.
ADOPTION RIGHTS. Also on FOI FYI, Cuillier blogs about the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, which issued a report this week arguing that birth records should be open to adopted children. Eight states already allow that, and the institute says all states should open up the records.
GAS PAINS AND GAINS. Higher gas prices aren't just hurting our pocketbooks, they're also creating economic woes around the world. Read how on Jon Marshall's News Gems blog. Got a great story or know of one worthy of a mention? E-mail Jon at email@example.com.
GO FOR GOLD. LA Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold will share some of his "Counter Intelligence" at the LA SPJ chapter's fall mixer TONIGHT in downtown Los Angeles. Gold has described himself as the "chubby guy with long red hair." But, most of LA knows him as the first food critic to win a Pulitzer Prize. TIME: 6:30 p.m. in the back room at the Redwood Bar and Grill, 316 W. 2nd Street in downtown L.A. Street and lot parking is available in the area. The bar is close to the Civic Center Red Line Metro stop. The fun is free, but the drinks aren't. Those going should say so by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A NEW ODD COUPLE?. Okay, the Internet and the New Hampshire primary may not be that...yet. But the former is affecting the latter big-time. How big? Find out on Dec. 6 at "The Unpress: New Gatekeepers of the New Hampshire Primary." The public forum goes from 7-8:30 p.m. at Southern New Hampshire University's Robert Frost Hall in Manchester. Panelists include James Pindell, New Hampshire political correspondent and blogger for The Boston Globe/Boston.com, Arnie Arnesen, founder of PoliticalChowder.org, and Dr. Kristen Nevious, director of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce University. To reserve space for the forum or the reception preceding it, surf to The New England News Forum Web site.
MONEY AND POLITICS: CAN'T HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER. Investigative Reporters and Editors on Dec. 2 is offering a workshop, "Money and Politics: Follow the money trail in 2008 elections" at The Columbus Dispatch, second-floor conference room, 34 South Third St. The workshop, made possible in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York, will emphasize money in local and state elections on the horizon, including the impact of "527 organizations," tax-exempt political groups that do fundraising and advocacy related to political issues or voting at those levels. This workshop will be limited to the first 100 people who register. Original computer-assisted reporting training will be offered the second half-day. There are only 14 spaces for CAR training, available on the first-come, first-served basis. Workshop fees, including a six-month IRE membership, are $40 for professionals and $20 for students.
NO DEBATE ABOUT THESE DEBATES. On Nov. 7, a coalition of media and citizen groups announced the formation of the Indiana Debate Commission, a non-partisan group dedicated to sponsoring and producing political debates that are open, unbiased and transparent for Hoosier voters. A diverse group of individuals, including members of the SPJ Indiana Pro chapter, have been meeting since February to develop widely accessible and uniform standards for political candidates in debate forums. The group has been hosted by the Indiana Coalition for Open Government, which was founded in 1995 with the input of both citizens and journalists.
SCORE ONE FOR THE FIRST. After the University of Southern Indiana SPJ chapter challenged an antiquated university policy concerning outside speakers, University of Southern Indiana Provost Linda Bennett told the faculty senate that university lawyers have proposed using the "incitement standard" rather than "prior restraint" to determine whether outside speakers should be barred from campus under the school's "Outside Speakers Policy Statement." The situation arose in April after invited speaker Gary Yourofsky, founder of Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT), picked out the phrase from the policy to prod the university to use its own policy to deny the animal rights activist a forum.
SHARP WORK, MR. SHARPE. SPJ member Ed Sharpe of CouryGraph Productions / Glendale Daily Planet / KKAT-IPTV in Glendale, Ariz., was awarded a 2007 Rocky Mountain Emmy(R) Award for the production of "The Laura Graff Hit and Run Accident — Search For The Driver." The National Television Academy Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter awarded the statuette on Oct. 6. The chapter covers Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and parts of California and Wyoming. The Emmy® Statuettes represent the television industry's highest honor. Sharpe was first on the scene after 24-year-old Laura Graff was severely injured by a hit-and-run driver. Glendale Police Chief Steven Conrad called Sharpe's video "a great example of a great police-media relationship."
HOLIDAY SHOPPING. It's not too early to begin thinking about the newsie on your holiday gift list. When figuring out what to buy them, look no further than SPJ's online store. Or, check out the store yourself. You'll look great as you improve and protect journalism.