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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Wiki-winners, reporter protection

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SPJ Leads | 3/6/2008
Wiki-winners, reporter protection


By Julie Kay
Florida Bureau Chief, National Law Journal
President, South Florida Pro Chapter; Legal Defense Fund Committee Member

WIKILEAKS VICTORY. Leaders of the Society of Professional Journalists are pleased with a district court's decision to dissolve a permanent injunction against Wikileaks host Dynadot, and to deny a motion for a preliminary injunction against Wikileaks — a Web site that invites people to post leaked material to discourage unethical behavior by corporations and governments. Last week, SPJ joined several media organizations in an amicus brief in support of Wikileaks. The case, which many experts believed was a major test to First Amendment rights in the Internet era, was brought to the federal court in San Francisco by Julius Baier Bank and Trust. The bank moved to withdraw its suit against the site after the court's ruling. Read what SPJ had to say.

THE NEED FOR A SHIELD LAW. The Washington Post ran an editorial March 3 calling for a federal shield law. The article focused on the case of USA Today reporter Toni Locy, who was found in contempt of court by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Feb. 19 for refusing to name her sources for stories about Steven J. Hatfill. The Army scientist was named by then-Attorney John Ashcroft as a "person of interest" in the 2001 anthrax case that killed five people. Hatfill brought a civil lawsuit against Ashcroft, the Justice Department and the FBI claiming that they violated his privacy rights. Read what SPJ said about the case.

YOU BE THE JUDGE. SPJ Headquarters is looking for a few good TV pros to help judge the Sigma Delta Chi Awards. Those interested in judging should have at least 10 years of professional television experience. Please contact Heather Porter at for complete details.

SPJ SPRING CONFERENCES. ARIZONA: The University of Arizona chapter will host the Region 11 Spring Conference on April 11 and 12 in Tucson, Ariz. The theme of the conference, "Pushing Borders," refers not only to the U.S.-Mexico border, but also the disappearing border between platforms. The conference will feature practical sessions about topics such as environmental journalism, incorporating multimedia, racial profiling, elections coverage, faith, access and specialty reporting. An optional multimedia boot camp will be offered on Friday, April 11 and Sunday, April 13. To register, visit SPJ's University of Arizona Web site.

PENNSYLVANIA: There's still time to be a part of Digital Democracy, Region 4's Spring Conference on March 14-15 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. Join journalists from across Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, western Pennsylvania and beyond to explore how the digital revolution — including blogs, online video, Web sites and social media — is changing traditional news media coverage and citizens' access to the political process. Hear speakers from The New York Times, Hearst-Argyle Television, J-Lab, NewsBusters, Media Matters, The Media Bloggers Association and more. Get full details online.


DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR POLL CONTEST. Entries for the 2007 Iowa Gallup Award for Excellent Journalism Using Polls will be accepted through March 15. Stories must be original and broadcast or published in print or online between Jan. 1, 2007 and Dec. 31, 2007. News organizations and professional pollsters are invited to nominate stories. The Iowa Gallup Award recognizes the importance of the news media's use of polls in understanding public opinion and shaping discourse on social and political issues. The annual award is co-sponsored by The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication and The Gallup Organization. Complete details of the judging criteria and an entry form can be found at the award Web site.

COOL CONVENTION GIGS. The Society will soon select 12 students to be part of The Working Press, a daily newspaper that will cover the 2008 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference from Sept. 4-6 in Atlanta. Interns receive a complementary convention registration, some paid meals and a hotel room. Deadline: April 4. Visit The Working Press Web site for more information.

ARCHIBALD COMMUNICATIONS INTERNSHIP. SPJ is currently accepting applications for the Archibald Communications internship. The selected student will work in Indianapolis for 10 weeks this summer. Application deadline is March 21. COMPLETE DETAILS AND APPLICATIONS: Visit SPJ's Web site. Questions? Contact Beth King at (317) 927-8000, ext. 211 or

FOI TALK. Join the new Collaboration on Government Secrecy for a full day of FOI talk at American University's Washington College of Law in Washington D.C., on March 17. Speakers will include Robert Vaughn, of Vaughn-index fame; William Kammer, the chief FOI officer for DOD; Meredith Fuchs, the general counsel for the National Security Archive; and Capitol Hill staffers who have worked on FOIA legislation. Free lunch (and if you're an attorney, free CLE's). More information and registration: Visit The American University Web site.

FREE TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION. Journalists can receive complete funding to attend the 18th annual Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference — "CFP: Technology Policy '08," May 20-23 at Yale University. The program will begin with a full day of tutorials and programming specifically geared toward journalists writing about information technology and policy, followed by a networking reception for journalists and other participants. Journalists writing on privacy, intellectual property, telecommunications and cyberlaw are encouraged to apply for conference funding, which includes travel, hotel, meals and registration fees. To apply, send a cover letter explaining your interest in the program, along with your résumé and three writing samples (by e-mail and hard copy) to Tracey Parr (, Yale Law School, P.O. Box 208215, New Haven, CT 06520-8215. Deadline is March 31.

ETHNIC MEDIA CONVENING ON ELDER ISSUES. Native American media are invited to a conference on elder issues among ethnic communities. The conference will be at the San Francisco office of New America Media, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 20. All expenses are covered, plus a small honorarium for each of the participants. For more information, go to the Web site or contact Julian Do at

HOT TOPICS IN MEDIA LAW. Journalists and attorneys are invited to attend the 2008 Media Law Conference on April 4 at Stetson University College of Law's Tampa Law Center. The conference, titled "Hot topics in Media Law," will take an in-depth look at the false light doctrine and invasion of privacy claims, electronic access and privacy issues, open government and open records, college and professional sports credentialing and using civilian journalists and the legal issues that arise. Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice R. Fred Lewis will present a luncheon talk. Download the agenda and registration form from The Florida Bar Web site. Key words: Media Resources.

APPLICANTS WANTED. The Freedom Forum is calling for applications for the American Indian Journalism Institute. AIJI, which takes place June 1-20 at the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota, is a multimedia journalism training program that provides both basic and advanced skills, and prepares students for six-week paid internships at newspapers around the country. Students receive free room, board and tuition for the college-credit classes. After successful completion of the program, students receive a travel allowance and a $500 stipend if they enroll full-time in college for the Fall 2008 semester. Go to The Freedom Forum Web site for application forms. Contact Chuck Baldwin, Journalist in Residence, Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota, (605) 677-5802 or with questions.

GET THAT DEGREE. Thanks in part to feedback from SPJ members surveyed last summer, the University of Minnesota's Health Journalism master's program has proposed some changes to its curriculum and is now accepting applications for fall 2008. For journalists, the revised program now offers new courses on computer-assisted health news reporting and creating content for the Web, and a new focus on developing advanced reporting skills, concepts and content. For a detailed look at the proposed changes, please look on the Health Journalism Web site.

NEW PRESIDENT, BOARD IN SUNSHINE STATE. Julie Kay, a member of SPJ's Legal Defense Fund, has been elected president of the South Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Kay is an award-winning South Florida journalist who covers the southeast United States for the National Law Journal. She previously worked for the Daily Business Review for seven years, where she authored a weekly column titled "Justice Watch." Kay is also the Florida consultant for C-SPAN and freelances for People Magazine, the New York Post and Closer Magazine. Other officers elected include Sergy Tabuteau as vice president of programs, Bill Hirschman as treasurer and Jaime George as secretary. Darcie Lunsford is immediate past president. The South Florida chapter of SPJ covers Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and is one of the largest chapters in the country.

KUDOS! SPJ member William P. Bleakley will be honored April 4 during the 38th annual induction ceremonies of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of Central Oklahoma. Bleakley is the publisher of Oklahoma Gazette.

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