By Beth King
Communications Manager, SPJ
THE COURT HAS SPOKEN. In August, SPJ joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Hoosier State Press Association in an amicus brief to the Seventh U.S. Court of Appeals in Hammer v. Ashcroft, which challenged a Bureau of Prisons' policy banning face-to-face interviews with federal death-row inmates. On Tuesday, SPJ received word that the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a district court's ruling that banned face-to-face interviews with federal death-row inmates. Read SPJ's reaction .
MAKING ROOM. In response to a joint letter that was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in October from SPJ, the Newspaper Association of America and the American Society of Newspaper Editors, additional space in the Capitol Visitors Center will be designated for print reporters. The new space, which does not take away from any space already allocated to broadcast or multimedia journalists, will seat about 37-40 reporters.
SPREAD A LITTLE SUNSHINE. New online and print ads for the Sunshine Campaign open government initiative are now available in English and Spanish on the Sunshine Week Web site. Use them to let your audience know about the event and why it's important to them. They may be used free of charge by any participant. The Sunshine Campaign is designed to spur campaign conversation - and commitment - to open government during this election year. Journalists, and anyone else with the opportunity, are encouraged to ask all political candidates - local or national - to explain his or her position on open government and Freedom of Information issues.
LOSING A CHILD. Each year, close to a million parents suffer a miscarriage, still birth or infant death, leaving a painful, silent epidemic. News Gems blogger and SPJ member Jon Marshall pays tribute to Oregonian reporter Julie Sullivan for bringing this issue to the forefront in a special report
MLK MEMORIES. Tuesday marked the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life was cut short by a man who didn't recognize the dream of equality for everyone. SPJ National Diversity Committee member Curtis Lawrence writes about his memories of King and ways he and others recognize King today on Who's News.
RECOMMENDED READING. Region 7 Director Ron Sylvester offers up a great book to help journalists better understand and cope in the multimedia world. Check out his suggestion and feel free to comment on what's helped you.
WHAT'S HAPPENING? SPJ Region 1 Director Carolyn James has been busy. Learn why. Got exciting chapter news? Share it with your Regional Director so they may share it with the rest of us.
SPRING TRAINING. SPJ's Spring Conferences are just around the corner. The day-long professional development sessions bring area journalists, students and journalism educators together to hear from industry experts on topics ranging from improving writing to leveraging technology in today's new media climate. Get information on a conference near you.
BOOM BABY! "Reporting on the Longevity Boom" is a panel sponsored by the Journalists Exchange on Aging and the Association of Health Care Journalists' Northern California Chapter. It's scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The speakers will be Laura L. Carstensen, director of the new Stanford Center on Longevity, and Martin Lynch, CEO of Lifelong Medical Care in Berkeley. Moderating will be JEoA leader Paul Kleyman, editor of Aging Today. The event, cosponsored by SPJ NorCal, will be at the London Wine Bar, 415 Sansome Street, in San Francisco's Financial District. Admission is free. For more info contact Kleyman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS. The East Tennessee Pro chapter will host a luncheon with state legislators where their guests will provide enlightenment on the state's legislative session, focusing on proposed changes to the state's Open Records and Open Meetings laws. In addition to state senators and representatives from Knox, Blount and Anderson Counties, the guest list features Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R- Blountville). RSVP to email@example.com.
HELP WANTED. Looking for a chance to get involved in raising membership numbers for SPJ? The SPJ Membership Committee has two volunteer positions available. Writer/Researcher/Communicator for the SPJ Garden Center: This person will be responsible for sending a weekly e-mail to a network of SPJ membership activists. They also will write occasional pieces for the Garden Center blog and conduct short research projects at the direction of the SPJ membership committee. Organizers also are needed for Project Appleseed. This is a pilot project in which a handful of pro chapters will attempt to grow membership by organizing half-day seminars for young journalists in which the entry fee is pegged to the price of an annual membership. To participate, you must obtain approval from your local chapter board. More information: Contact Membership Chairman John Ensslin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STUDENT HONORS. The deadline is approaching for the annual Mark of Excellence Awards. The contest will honor works published or broadcast in 2007. Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 23. Visit the SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards page for complete details or contact programs coordinator Heather Porter at email@example.com.
CASH FOR STUDENTS. Each year, the Detroit Pro chapter awards a $2,500 Larry Laurain journalism grant to a Southeast Michigan area resident who is or will be a sophomore, junior or senior at a four-year college in Michigan. Laurain was a former Detroit Pro chapter president and the city editor at the Oakland Press. Applications are due Feb. 22. Contact David Sachs at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
INDY RECOGNITION. The deadline to enter the 29th annual Indiana SPJ contest is Jan. 31! Each year, the contest showcases the best in Indiana journalism, funds SPJ scholarship programs, and allows your name to be heralded at the awards banquet, which will be Friday, April 25 at the Indianapolis Marriott North. New categories this year include the "Indiana Journalist of the Year Award" and the "Indiana Student Journalist of the Year Award." The coveted "Indiana Journalism Courage Award" celebrates its 16th year. Contest information is available on the Indiana Pro chapter Web site or by calling Contest Director Julie Slaymaker at (317) 255-5554.
NEW JERSEY AWARDS SWAP. The New Jersey Pro Chapter is looking to swap TV/Radio entries for their annual contest. If your chapter is interested, please contact chapter president Michelle Maskaly at email@example.com or call her (732) 713-6716.
STUDENTS! SPJ NEEDS YOU! The application deadline for SPJ's summer internships in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., has been extended to Feb. 1. Two students will be selected for the Pulliam-Kilgore Freedom of Information internships. One intern - with a legal background - will be stationed in Washington, D.C., and the other - with a strong reporting background - will spend 10 weeks in Indianapolis. Both interns will research and write about access issues. Or, how about trying your hand at communications and public relations work for SPJ? A third student will be selected for SPJ's Archibald Communications internship. Complete details and applications: Visit SPJ's Web site.