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Wednesday, December 2, 2009
People & Places

News about SPJ members

Submit items for People & Places to editor Scott Leadingham at sleadingham@spj.org.

Committee chairwoman completes NYC Marathon

Hilary Fosdal knows many words as a journalist. But perhaps the most engrained in her psyche are “left foot, right foot.” The SPJ member and Digital Media Committee chairwoman completed the New York City Marathon on Nov. 1, finishing in 4 hours, 36 minutes. Training for 21 weeks — running three to four days per week with additional days of strength training — it was her first marathon, though she calls herself a casual runner for 13 years. “The experience of running through the streets of New York City will be with me forever,” she said.

Veteran print reporter becomes multimedia guru

SPJ member Ron Sylvester began using Twitter long before the new “lists” feature. In fact, he was using the free service before a lot of other journalists. His use of Twitter to cover federal criminal trials in Kansas attracted attention from the American Bar Association and judicial system followers. And his backpack and multimedia journalist appeal is known well outside the Midwest, where he’s a legal affairs reporter for the Wichita Eagle. The 30-year reporting veteran was recently featured online by Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab. Read the article here. Sylvester contributed an article to the March 2008 Quill titled “How one old reporting dog learned new multimedia tricks.” Read it here.

SPJ member honored for contribution to research

The Special Libraries Association awarded SPJ member Anne Mintz its Professional Achievement Award for her body of work and contributions to the information and newsgathering professions. Her book, “Web of Deception: Misinformation on the Internet,” remains an important and valuable tool for her librarian colleagues and anyone who conducts research online, including journalists. The recognition yielded Mintz a cash award of $1,000. Mintz is a freelance editor and researcher who works on book research, editing, teaching and adjunct reference work.

Aukofer reflects on distinguished career

Just as the days of baseball players staying with one team their entire career are past, it’s similarly rare for a reporter to begin and end his career with the same outlet. But Frank Aukofer, who joined SPJ in 1958, did just that. In his 2009 book, “Never a Slow Day,” Aukofer reflects on 40 years with The Milwaukee Journal (now the Journal Sentinel). A graduate of Marquette University, he spent the majority of his career in the paper’s Washington, D.C., bureau, covering impeachment proceedings against Presidents Nixon and Clinton, among other historic events. In the book, he writes of his informal induction into Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ’s predecessor, when it was still a professional fraternity: “We had to write a song and then sing it in the darkened upstairs room … As I sang, someone set the piece of paper on fire with a candle and, as it burned in my hands, someone else doused it with beer. Then I was told by a voice in the room that because I was going to become a journalist, I had to come up with an original thought in five seconds or suffer the consequences.”

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