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2006 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference to be hosted in Chicago, Keynote Address by Bill Kurtis

For Immediate Release:

Beth King, Communications Manager, (317) 927-8000, ext. 211, bking@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – Journalists from across the nation will convene at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr., Aug. 24-27 for the Society of Professional Journalists’ largest annual event, the 2006 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference.

Sponsored by Reuters, MarketWire, the Chicago Sun-Times, CMP United Business Media, Northwest News Group, the McCormick Tribune Foundation and the Chicago Tribune Foundation, the convention promises something for everyone.

“Prepare to be blown away by SPJ. This year, attendees will find in-depth instruction on business and enterprise reporting, the use of technology and the economics of the news industry so that they're prepared to roll with the news business' drastically changing dynamics,” said Christine Tatum, SPJ’s president-elect. “Our instructors are some of the biggest names in American journalism. We've also planned educational field trips that will take conference participants into various Chicago newsrooms and into the city itself. This year, we'll make sure no one leaves without a deeper appreciation for the freedoms of expression we all cherish.”

To drive the message forward, renowned broadcast journalist Bill Kurtis will deliver the keynote address at 9 a.m., Friday, Aug. 25. During the powerful address, Kurtis will mark the beginning of his 40-year anniversary celebration in the journalism industry by addressing the changing state of the news business and the importance of the First Amendment.

In a time when trusted faces of news can rarely be found on nightly television, Kurtis continues to stand out from the pack. He was the first to make the successful transition from network news to long-form documentaries and he has led the way for others while reaching new success with his work. Kurtis is the executive producer and host of The A&E Television Network’s highly rated and Emmy-nominated Cold Case Files and Investigative Reports. Additionally, he is the host of American Justice on the same network and the author of Death Penalty on Trial: Crisis in American Justice (PublicAffairs).

During his career as a network newsman, Kurtis covered such notable stories as the Richard Speck murders and the Charles Manson trial. He is also credited with breaking the Agent Orange story, and the story of Amerasian Children in Vietnam.

In addition to numerous opportunities for journalists to receive advanced training, SPJ has devised a lively celebration of the First Amendment featuring stand-up comedians, sketch-comedy artists, musicians and some of the city's top performance poets.

To register and to receive further information about the 2006 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, visit www.spj.org/convention.asp. To schedule an interview with Kurtis, please contact Beth King, communications manager at (317) 927-8000, ext. 211 or bking@spj.org.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.


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