By Christine Tatum
Executive Editor, Infoition News Services, Inc.
Immediate Past National President, SPJ
TAKE NOTE! Long before the Pulitzers were announced this week, Jon Marshall awarded News Gems to many of the winners. Track the best of American journalism daily — and improve your chances of winning next year's office pool. Jon also welcomes your News Gem nominations. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BECAUSE YOU'LL DO ANYTHING FOR COFFEE. SPJ's National Membership Committee is brainstorming ideas — really cool ideas — to recruit and retain members. Check out the list they've brewed so far, and add to it. The person who submits the best idea will win a $25 Starbucks gift card.
WORK FOR US. SPJ is searching the globe for 12 bright, motivated and hard-working undergraduate student journalists to staff The Working Press, a daily tabloid newspaper that will cover the 2008 National Convention and Journalism Conference, Sept. 4-6, in Atlanta. We select only the best student writers, photographers and designers for these positions. SPJ members will get top consideration.
To apply, please provide the following: cover letter, resume, list of references and three samples of your work (which will not be returned, by the way). We will accept this information via e-mail and postal service. If you choose the post, please send two sets of the requested documents.
Send applications via e-mail to email@example.com, or mail them to the Society of Professional Journalists, Attn: The Working Press, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208. Application deadline: April 19.
BE LIKE HOWARD. Stalwart SPJ member Howard Dubin has been so generous and faithful to SPJ that we give an award in his name to outstanding volunteers. The deadline to nominate someone is coming right up. It takes only a few minutes to nominate a member who deserves a heap of praise. Nominations must be made by an SPJ chapter officer.
EDIT GOOD, ER, WELL. The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is offering eight full fellowships to journalists from small and midsize newspapers who want to attend the rigorous, six-week Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education's copyediting seminar. The $6,000 fellowships cover tuition, lodging and meals. A travel stipend also is awarded. Fellowships will be awarded to print and online journalists who work at papers with circulation at or below 50,000. The program will be held at the University of Nevada at Reno June 1-July 12. The deadline to apply is April 21 — and some extensions of that deadline will be considered upon request. Applications are posted at The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Web site. For more information, contact Evelyn Hsu at (703) 620-0241 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVERING COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN AMERICA. The Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Columbia University is offering a fellowship, with a $7,500 stipend for reporters wishing to attend a week-long intensive residency in New York. During the residency, fellows will conduct in-depth interviews with education experts and receive personal mentoring from a veteran journalist. Following the residency, fellows will produce a significant piece of reporting on a community college issue. The application and 1,000-word proposal is due April 30.
WHAT HAPPENED TO 2.0? Veteran editor Michele McLellan and the Knight Digital Media Center have launched "News Leadership 3.0,"an interesting blog aimed at providing a place where newsroom leaders discuss the challenges and opportunities of transforming their news organizations ... into adaptive, multi-platform engines of journalism and information."
OH, HERE IT IS! Newspaper Next 2.0, a seminar developed by The American Press Institute, is designed to give "practical guidance to help the industry make the leap beyond 'newspaper companies.' The next seminar will be held May 9 at Michigan State University. Tuition is $195. Register online by May 2.
COMMUNICATING TO COMMUNITIES OF COLOR ONLINE. What do AOL Latino, Univision.com, BlackPlanet.com and The Washington Post's TheRoot.com know that many others don't? Find out at SPJ and Marketwire's upcoming Journalism Education Series programs in Washington, D.C. and New York. When: April 22 at The Washington Post and April 24 at The Associated Press in New York. Cost: $10. To register, visit SPJ's Journalism Education Series page.
CREATING DOCUMENT-DRIVEN NEWSROOMS. SPJ continues its ethnic media training programs April 25 in Sacramento, Calif., and April 29 in St. Paul, Minn., where the topics will include Freedom of Information and political reporting. The program will focus on the ins and outs of Freedom of Information laws and how to use them in daily reporting. The session will include a primer on the FOI laws related specifically to California and Minnesota, as well as guidelines for successful use of the federal FOI law. Participants will see how these laws can be used to create quality journalism, and get some great ideas for producing document-driven stories. Cost: $8, with lunch included. More info and to register: Visit SPJ's Ethnic Media Training Page.
ACHTUNG! The University of South Carolina's Newsplex Program has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to provide a one-day, expenses-paid training seminar about the AMBER Alert to journalists. There's much more to this alert system than meets the eye. Travel, lodging, food and workshop materials are covered. Choose from the following dates: April 24, May 28, May 30, June 5, Sept. 9, Sept. 11, Sept. 16, Sept. 18 and Sept. 23. To register online, visit the AMBER Alert Web site. For more details, contact Terri Moorer at (803) 348-0445 or email@example.com.
GET OUTTA HERE. Transitions Online, which specializes in coverage of nearly 30 post-communist countries, is offering several journalism courses to be held in July in Prague. The organization's lineup includes instruction in online media, travel writing and the ins and outs of working as a foreign correspondent. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
THAT'S RIGHT, SCRAM! Want to experience another culture, conduct research or teach university/college courses? The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers several awards specifically for working journalists (sorry, students are ineligible). The competition for 2009-10 grants is now open. Application deadline: Aug. 1. Check out a list of countries offering awards in journalism. If you're particularly interested in heading to Asia, contact Mamiko Hada at 202-686-7873 or MHada@iie.org.
ROCK STARS TO TAKE STAGE. Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, the San Francisco Chronicle investigative team that exposed the explosive BALCO steroid scandal, are scheduled to speak May 31 at the 14th Annual Sunshine State Awards, sponsored by SPJ's South Florida chapter. For more information about the event, or to reserve a seat, contact Julie Kay at (954) 303-3384.
GET ME REWRITE! The term "Freedom of Information" needs an overhaul, writes David Chartrand, a member of SPJ's national FOI Committee. Instead of "FOI," he proposes "FFIBS." Find out what that sands for in one of his witty columns, posted in SPJ.org's online Reading Room.