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Local Connection
SPJ Chapter Grants:
2011-12 Recipients

The following chapters received Chapter Grants to fund programs that will take place in 2011-2012.

Student Chapters

Northern Kentucky University Chapter: Preparing for the Future of Journalism
Steve Buttry, director of community engagement and social media for all newsrooms and on all platforms of the Journal Register Co., will travel to Northern Kentucky University to lead a day of workshops and training for professionals and students.
Contact: Michele Day

St. Cloud State University Chapter: Ramped-up journalism: Computer-Assisted Reporting for a New Generation
The chapter’s First Amendment Forum (FAF) will seek to accomplish specific practical training with modern ethical and constitutional principles. It is aimed at a target audience of student journalists, mass communications major, educators and community journalists.
Contact: Michael Vadnie

University of Oklahoma Chapter: First Amendment Food Fair
The event is designed to emphasize the importance of the First Amendment in our society. As soon as students come into the roped-off area, and before they get food, members from our university chapter of SPJ will have the students sign away their First Amendment rights. Once students have signed away their rights, they are allowed to get food. While they are eating, a "goon squad" of sorts will go to the people eating and harass them. The goon squad will keep them from talking or assembling because they signed away the right to do so.
Contact: Carmen Forman

Professional Chapters

Connecticut Pro Chapter: Citizen-Journalism Academy
The Citizen-Journalism Academy will bring together professional journalists and citizens who strive to be active in the journalism industry. Journalism is changing to allow for much more citizen contribution. The Citizen-Journalism program will address the changes. We'll talk about best practices for professional journalists who use citizen contributions, and best practices for citizens looking to participate in the news production.
Contact: Jodie Mozdzer

Detroit Pro Chapter: Law School for Journalists
Largely organized with the Michigan Supreme Court Office of Public Information, the program provides both students and pros with an informative overview of the court system. Journalists learn about court procedure and access to records, get tips for covering the courts and have a chance to meet interesting panelists.
Contact: Ann Zaniewski

Fort Worth Pro Chapter: Conflict Zone
The chapter will bring the photo exhibit called "Conflict Zone" to Fort Worth. The exhibit is inspired by Joao Silva, the New York Times combat photographer who lost both his legs to a landmine; dedicated to photojournalist Chris Hondros who died earlier this year in Libya; and brings together the work of some of the best combat photographers in the world.
Contact: Gayle Reaves-King

Greater Charlotte Pro Chapter: Should Journalists Work For Free? Or Is It OK To Get Paid In Bylines?
The issue of whether journalists, especially those just starting out in their careers, should do work in order to gain exposure and clippings is a hot one these days. The program will address the topic with a moderated pro-and-con debate involving Charlotte-area panelists/journalists with experiences and strong opinions on both sides.
Contact: Frank Barrows

Minnesota Pro Chapter: Freelance Love
"Freelance Love" is a program that will help freelance writers in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota/western Wisconsin connect with editors who are hiring freelancers. The goal is to help both groups make multiple connections in a relaxed, friendly setting. The event will be set up as a "speed-dating" style networking event, where freelancers will get up to 5 minutes to have an interview with an editor. During that time, the freelancer can make pitches to the editor, or the editor can describe their publication to the freelancers and the two can decide if they're the right fit for each other.
Contact: Amanda Theisen

Rio Grande Pro Chapter: Building Bridges: Sharing skills, languages and sources to broaden our coverage areas
The program is designed to create a strong partnership between the English and Spanish media in New Mexico and Southwestern Texas. With Building Bridges, SPJ Rio Grande will focus on establishing the contacts necessary to make stories happen. The main goal of the program is for reporters to socialize, network, learn about each others' beats, and eventually work on stories together.
Contact: Sandra Baltazar Martinez

Snake River Pro Chapter: Silent Encroachments: The Power of Public Protest
This two-day program is intended to promote citizens’ understanding and participation in governance through access to public records and public meetings. The panel will feature members of the University of Idaho College of Law faculty. In addition, the program includes a lecture by award-winning journalist [The Spokesman Review] and open-government advocate Betsy Z. Russell; and the debut of a documentary film [Silent Encroachments: The Power of Public Protest] by students in the University of Idaho’s School of Journalism & Mass Media.
Contact: Dinah Zeifer

Valley of the Sun Pro Chapter : From Journalist to Author: Turning Your Beat into a Book
Many Arizona journalists are facing reduced hours, unpaid “furcations” and the possibility of even more layoffs at their place of business. It’s not bad time to start thinking of ways to supplement your income. Why not take some of those hundreds of hours spent on investigating notable issues and incidents (which got you only 20 column inches total) and turn it into a non-fiction bestseller? The chapter will present three former Arizona Press Club Journalists of the Year who have done just that, with great success. Here how they were inspired, how they got started and what they learned from the process.
Contact: Teri Carnicelli

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