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SPJ Convention Sessions to Focus on Media Coverage of Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday Oct. 1, 2001
News editors, Business editors, Feature editors,
Photo editors, Assignment desks
Al Cross, SPJ President-Elect, 502/648-8433 or firstname.lastname@example.org
James L. Gray, SPJ and SDX Foundation Executive Director, 317/927-8000 or email@example.com
INDIANAPOLIS – Seven sessions at the Oct. 4-6 SPJ National Convention will discuss the practical and ethical issues surrounding media coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington,D.C.
In the wake of these tragic events, the Society restructured several of the convention’s professional development sessions to discuss responsible and compassionate media coverage.
“The biggest story of our time is posing special challenges for journalists, and we need to discuss how we are facing those challenges,” said SPJ President-Elect Al Cross, political columnist for The Courier-Journal in Louisville. Cross will become SPJ president Oct. 6.
Session topics on the tragedy will focus on the use of still and motion photography, intimate storytelling and freedom of information.
“SPJ’s annual convention is one of our most important teaching and learning environments,” said SPJ Executive Director Jim Gray. “Because our programming is flexible, we can provide working journalists with the tools they need to do their jobs better.”
In addition, journalists covering events at the World Trade Center and the nation’s capital on Tuesday, Sept. 11, will share first-hand accounts of how their experiences changed their professional and personal lives. The session will also include discussion of the possible effect of anti-terrorism actions on newsgathering.
Jim Plante, a past national SPJ president and chief of the Public Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, was among those at Ground Zero in New York on Sept. 11. He will participate in the Saturday, Oct. 6, panel discussion, “How Trauma Changes the Story – and the Journalist.”
“I didn’t even have to process my thoughts; I just knew it was a terrorist attack. This was no accident,” Plante wrote in an account of his experience at Ground Zero on Sept. 11. “I wondered how the hell they had gotten something that big all the way to New York undetected. … It happened so suddenly.”
SPJ convention sessions that will feature discussions on the tragic events of Sept. 11 are as follows: