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SPJ Leads: Birthday celebration, New chapters starting, Free trips!

News and information for Members of the Society of Professional Journalists

By Christine Tatum
SPJ National Secretary-Treasurer
Business Writer, The Denver Post

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SPJ! Talk about some serious candles. SPJ's 96th birthday is coming up April 17. You can score a present by answering this week's trivia question. Correct responses received by noon Indianapolis time Friday will be entered in a drawing for an SPJ lapel pin. Send submissions to spj@spj.org. The answer - and winner's name - will be announced next week.

This week's question: What was the original name of the Society's Sigma Delta Chi Awards? The awards are among the most prestigious in journalism. Recipients of this year's awards will be announced later this month.

PROGRESS REPORT. The Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky helps journalists working in rural areas better interpret regional and national issues affecting the communities they serve - particularly those communities in Appalachia. SPJ's Sigma Delta Chi Foundation provided a seed grant of $25,000 to establish the institute in 2001. Significant grants from other foundations helped staff the institute last year. In its first six months of operation, the institute has organized or is planning five conferences covering topics such as health care in mid-Appalachia and journalism's role in community building.

See? Your gifts to the SDX Foundation matter. Please give today.

MAKING HISTORY. SPJ recently named KTLA in Los Angeles - the first commercially licensed television station in the United States - a Historic Site in Journalism.

What the heck is this award? Find out, and have fun scouting other locations of historic importance to American journalism.

GET WITH THE PROGRAM. Live in or near Augusta, Ga., or in the Ocala/Gainesville, Fla., area? Pro chapters are getting off the ground in both places. Hats off to Kevin Martin, staff photographer of The Augusta Chronicle, and Larry Savage, associate editor of Star-Banner weeklies, for heading these efforts. Join them by calling Kevin at (706)231-4059 or Larry at (352)732-8348.

"Getting an organization off the ground is a Herculean effort," writes Maryann Lazarski of her efforts to rebuild a student SPJ chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Find out how she and her students forged a partnership in the community to revive the student organization.

TAKE NOTES. The Mid-Florida Pro Chapter will host its popular Battle of the Media Bands fundraiser April 23 at Lotus, 1507 E. Seventh Ave., in Ybor.

FEMME BOOST. Women in journalism are invited to attend the second annual Leadership Institute for Women Journalists sponsored by the International Women's Media Foundation. The institute's goal is "to help women become not just managers, but visionaries, in their newsrooms," said Marcy McGinnis, senior vice president of news coverage at CBS. Participants will learn how to communicate more effectively on the job, build negotiation skills, become adept at team-building and coaching, advocate for themselves and strike a better live-work balance. Up to 30 women will be accepted into the program, to be held July 11-15 in Chicago. Tuition is $550 per person and covers training, housing and most meals. Application deadline: May 16.

BRILLIANT IDEA. Stony Brook University's student SPJ chapter has launched a new online publication that collaborates with area newspapers, radio and TV stations to deliver a fresh look at campus life and the surrounding community. Will pro and student chapters elsewhere tackle similar projects?

Students are invited to contact Christine Tatum, SPJ's latest Yoda of the Month, with questions about all things journalism. Her professional stops include The Denver Post, Chicago Tribune, (Arlington Heights, Ill.) Daily Herald and (Greensboro, N.C.) News & Record. She has worked in print, online and broadcast journalism. Drop her a line through the month of April at christinetatum@hotmail.com.

TAKE A BOW. St. Cloud State University is proud to announce its new officers for the 2005-06 academic year: President Heather Picquet, Past-President Drew Sandholm, Co-Vice Presidents Ryan Ruud and Michaela Gleason, Secretary Kristy Heltemes, Treasurer Nate Anderson and Newsletter Editor Amanda Keller. The chapter plans to host a schmooze session 6-10 p.m., April 14 at Granite City Food & Brewery, 3945 2nd St., St. Cloud.

SALUTE! The Chicago Headline Club is pleased to announce the winners of its 2004-05 High School Newspaper Contest. Best overall student newspaper: Oak Park-River Forest High School. Among the Chicago Public Schools, Northside College Prep claimed the title of top school paper for the second consecutive year. The contest is the largest such awards program in Illinois and one of the largest in the nation. Find out how your SPJ chapter could build a similar competition to award excellence in high school journalism by contacting contest chairman Arthur Menke at 312-923-2638.

BATTER UP. Brenda Selsag, a writer in Emerald, Wis., is updating a career guide for high school and college students titled "Newspaper Sports Reporter." As part of updating the material, she is required to have a person familiar with the occupation review some of the job description information for accuracy. Brenda is hoping an SPJ'er would be able to do so or could refer her to someone in the field. If you can help, please contact Brenda at btsyline@spacestar.net or (715) 263-3490.

TREK FOR TECH. Twenty-five professional journalists will be chosen to attend an expenses-paid seminar titled "Covering Entertainment in the Digital Age." The seminar will focus on the changing nature of entertainment - from its content production, to its delivery, to its consumption - and its social, psychological and economic impacts. Among the questions that will be tackled: How are media mergers changing the diversity of voices in the global marketplace? What are legal and ethical issues of multimedia in terms of privacy, intellectual property rights and the First Amendment? When: June 4-8. Where: The University of Southern California's Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism in Los Angeles. Who should apply: Reporters and assignment editors specializing in coverage of entertainment trends, entertainment business, media trends, technology and cultural issues for print, broadcast or online news organizations. Applications are due April 29 and can be found online at http://www.WKConline.org.

SEOUL SEARCHING. The East-West Center is accepting applications from American journalists wanting to participate in its new Korea-U.S. Journalists' Exchange. The program, co-sponsored by the Korea Press Foundation in Seoul, allows for six U.S. journalists to visit Korea and for six Korean journalists to visit the U.S. from July 20 to Aug. 3. All 12 journalists will meet at the East-West Center in Honolulu to discuss their experiences. Application deadline: April 15. Applications should be composed of a resume, cover letter outlining issues of interest you would like addressed, goals you expect to accomplish if invited to participate, names and contact information of three references. Fax applications to Marilyn Li at 808-944-7600. Questions: E-mail lim@eastwestcenter.org.

Improve your work by seeking greater diversity of opinion with help from SPJ's Rainbow Sourcebook

Thanks for reviewing “SPJ Leads.” Send items of 100 words or less by noon Colorado time every Monday to christinetatum@hotmail.com. SPJ Leads is looking for items pertaining to all things SPJ: program ideas, local chapter and member needs, job leads and chapter accomplishments.

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