By Pierce Presley
TRAINING FOR CITIZEN JOURNALISTS. SPJ thinks the world benefits from more news coverage, and to help ensure citizen journalists are practicing their craft with accuracy, ethics and fairness, SPJ is offing a Citizen Journalism Academy on May 17 at DePaul University's Lincoln Park campus in Chicago. The workshop will explore ethics, media law, access to public meetings and records, best practices, smart writing and using technology. Cost is $25, which includes lunch and course materials. Visit SPJ's Citizen Journalism Academy page for more info and to register. Deadline is May 3.
Can't make Chicago? Consider coming to Greensboro, N.C. on June 7 or Los Angeles on June 28.
TELL IT LIKE IT IS. SPJ will host a Narrative Writing Workshop, Sat., May 24, at Drake University's Olmsted Center, 2507 University Ave., Des Moines, Iowa. Workshops are led by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Hallman Jr. of The Oregonian and are designed to improve writing in the nation's newspapers. Register today. To find a Narrative Writing program in your part of the country, visit our Web site.
GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER. The Committee to Protect Journalists has created an Impunity Index to rate the worst countries at protecting journalists from deadly reprisals. Among CPJ's findings:
— Most countries on the Impunity Index are democratic, are not at war, and have functioning law enforcement institutions, yet journalists are regularly targeted for murder and no one is held accountable.
— Journalists in South Asia are particularly vulnerable. Countries from that region make up almost half of the index. They include Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.
— Even in countries in conflict, such as Iraq, the vast majority of journalist deaths are homicides, not products of crossfire.
— Local reporters covering their home countries are most vulnerable. Most of the murders ranked in the Impunity Index were local journalists in their home countries.
GO EAST, YOUNG (OR OLD) JOURNALIST. The East-West Center and the Better Hong Kong Foundation are offering a fellowship for journalists with at least five years' experience to travel to Honolulu, Beijing, Kunming, Shangri-La, Lijiang and Hong Kong, Sept. 11-27. Fellowships cover airfare, lodging, other transportation and meals. Seven are available. Deadline is May 23. Contact Marilyn Li for more info.
HIT THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. The East-West Center is offering a fellowship for the 2008 presidential election that will include travel to Honolulu, Phoenix, Erie, Cleveland and Washington, D.C. The fellowships pay for airfare, lodging, per diem and most other expenses through a grant from The Freeman Foundation. Deadline is June 4. Contact Ann Hartman at (808) 944-7619 for more info or to apply.
DESPERATELY SEEKING JUDGES. Region 10 director Scott Maben is in a spot: he's got 86 news Web sites that need judging for the region's annual journalism contest, no more than seven per category. Interested in helping out? Contact Scott with your name, e-mail and phone number by May 9.
FLORIDA CELEBRATES ITS FINEST JOURNALISM. SPJ's South Florida Pro Chapter presents the 2008 Sunshine State Awards on May 31. Keynote speakers are San Francisco Chronicle investigative team Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru Wada, breakers of the BALCO steroid scandal. WLRN/Miami Herald News' Phil Latzman will serve as emcee. Cash bar opens at 6:45 p.m., dinner at 7:30. Individual tickets are $40, students are $20. RSVP to Tim Dodson by May 26 for tickets or more info.
AN FOI HERO AMONG US. SPJ member Bill F. Chamberlin has done it again. In September, he won a Sunshine Award from SPJ for his contributions to open government. Last week, the Joseph L. Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication at the University of Florida and Director of the Marion Brechner Citizen Access Project, was selected by the National Freedom of Information Coalition and SPJ for the joint "Heroes of the 50 States: The Open Government Hall of Fame" award for 2008. Read all about the honor. Congratulations, Bill!
LA MIXER FEATURES RON KAYE. He's been described as an "accidental anarchist," a "passionate populist" and the "Patrick Henry of the San Fernando Valley." He's a former LA Daily News editor who has recently launched the blog RonKayeLA.com. Ron Kaye will be the guest of honor at the SPJ-LA-California Chicano News Media Association Mixer at Casey's Bar & Grill at 6:30 p.m., May 6. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NORTH CAROLINA SPJ
After you've filed your last story, consider unwinding with complementary munchies and a cash bar at the Wild Wing Café, 7900 Brier Creek Parkway, Brier Creek shopping area right off Hwy. 70 and Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh, N.C. SPJ members will be on hand to socialize and discuss the future of SPJ in North Carolina. When: Thursday, May 22, 5:30-7:30 p.m. More info: Contact Lisa Towle at (919) 481-3943. RSVPs aren't required. However, for food planning purposes it would be helpful to know if you think you'll be there.
STAMP OF APPROVAL. The U.S. Postal Service has released the images for an upcoming series of stamps celebrating American Journalists. The stamps honor Martha Gellhorn, John Hersey, George Polk, Ruben Salazar and Eric Sevareid. Other journalists who have been commemorated on stamps include: Edward R. Murrow, Ernie Pyle, Walter Lippman, Henry Luce, Nellie Bly, Ida M. Tarbell, Ethel L. Payne, Margueritte Higgins and publisher Adolph S. Ochs.