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SPJ Leads | 4/27/2011
Conference scholarships, ACLU, FOI Summit and a sneak preview!


By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department

SPJ SUPPORTS ACLU APPEAL. Believe it or not, laws like one in Illinois that limit recording of police conduct while on a public street actually exist. Under the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, a citizen or journalist using a cell phone or video camera to record police conduct, even if on a public street, could be subject to criminal prosecution.

This week, SPJ joined an amicus brief authored by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Presssupporting the ACLU's court challenge of the law.

Read the news release announcing SPJ's support of the ACLU's case.

FOI SUMMIT IN PROVIDENCE. The National Freedom of Information Coalition and the New England First Amendment Coalition will present the 2011 FOI Summit, May 20-21, from the Providence Biltmore Hotel in Rhode Island.

For $95 the summit includes informative panels with FOI experts, breakfast, lunch with keynote address and Open Government Hall of Fame induction, as well as cash-bar receptions both Friday and Saturday evenings. Travel scholarships are available to SPJ members.

While you can register at any time, including on-site the day of the summit, rooms at the Providence Biltmore are going fast. Visit the NFOIC site for registration information.

HARPER CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIPS. SPJ annually awards up to five conference scholarships in memory of Terry Harper, SPJ's executive director from 2002 to 2009. Terry passed away on June 2, 2009 after a two-year battle with brain cancer. In honor of Terry's lasting efforts to improve SPJ and the entire journalism community, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation set up a memorial fund. With a generous outpouring of support, the Society proudly provides scholarships to SPJ members to attend the upcoming joint Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference with the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Specifically, the scholarships provide the following:

— A convention registration
— Three nights stay at the conference hotel, Sheraton New Orleans
— Airfare to New Orleans
— Tickets to the conference's three ticketed meal events (Opening Night Reception, RTDNA Paul White Award Reception, SPJ President's Installation Banquet)

Learn more about the scholarship and apply. The application deadline is June 13.

DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIPS. The goal of the Diversity Leadership Fellows program is to increase the diversity participation of SPJ members within national committees and on the national board of directors. As part of the program, we bring SPJ members of color and of other underrepresented groups to the national conference to begin a yearlong immersion and education program. Fellows are also involved in many aspects of the conference.

Fellows receive the following:

— A convention registration
— Three nights stay at the conference hotel
— Airfare to New Orleans (Up to $275)
— Tickets to the conference's three ticketed meal events (Opening Night Reception, RTDNA Paul White Award Reception, SPJ President's Installation Banquet)

Learn more about the Diversity Fellows program and apply. The application deadline is June 13.

FOUR REMINDERS FOR JOINING 1909 SOCIETY. Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Director of Development Amy Posavac recently wrote about four things to keep in mind when including SDX in your will or other estate documents. SPJ members who include SDX in their wills are included in the Foundation's 1909 Society. Funding from the 1909 Society has already contributed to the Foundation's educational efforts.

Read her post on the SPJ headquarters blog.

APPS DUE FOR POST-GRAD INTERNSHIP. Time is running out to apply for SPJ's yearlong, paid position: the Communications Post-Graduate Internship. The ideal candidate for this position should be a recent college graduate with prior internship experience in communications, public relations or journalism. Also, a strong commitment to social media engagement is essential. Click here for application instructions. The application deadline is 5 p.m. Eastern, April 29.

IS IT TIME? In the cover story of the March/April issue of Quill we asked, Should SPJ Update the Code of Ethics? The article showcased two different viewpoints for and against revising the Code. But what is your stance? We want to know. Tell us by participating in our Facebook poll.

You can also comment here on the Code Words blog or submit a letter to the editor by emailing quill@spj.org. Include a phone number for verification.

ECAMPUS PREVIEW. Last fall, SPJ unveiled its eCampus: On Demand video training program, providing easily accessible online professional development and tips for members. As we prepare to release our latest series of tutorials on open records access and freelancing, we would like to know your thoughts on how the training program has helped you thus far. Please tell us by taking this brief survey.

As an added bonus, those who participate in the survey will get a sneak peek at one of SPJ's latest On Demand videos before we officially release them on the site later in May. Hurry, because this survey is only available until Friday, April 29.

Access the survey by following this link.

這個星期是新聞道德周!. In case you did not know, the above headline is Chinese for "It's Journalism Ethics Week!" Currently, the SPJ Code of Ethics is available to journalists in 13 languages. In celebration of Journalism Ethics Week we are sharing each of those translations through Facebook and Twitter by posting them in their individual languages. Here is a look at the entire Chinese post:

Chinese: 這個星期是新聞道德周!讓我們分享專業記者協會中文版的道德準則來慶祝吧!http://bit.ly/aERl2V

English: It's Journalism Ethics Week! Celebrate by sharing the SPJ Code of Ethics in Chinese: http://bit.ly/aERl2V

We've also shared the French, Arabic and Spanish translations. Stay connected with SPJ through Facebook and Twitter and find out what other SPJ Code of Ethics translations we'll share this week.

PULLIAM FIRST AMENDMENT AWARD. Now is the perfect time to apply for the Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award, offered by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

The award honors a person or persons who have fought to protect and preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. The recipient wins $10,000 and is presented an engraved crystal at the Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference in New Orleans. The honoree receives transportation to and lodging at the event. Learn more about the award and how to apply here.

The postmark deadline is July 1, so make sure to visit the links, download your entry form and send us your materials soon. For more information, contact Awards Coordinator Lauren Rochester at 317-927-8000 ext. 210.

NEED ADVICE? CHECK SPJ's MENTOR MATCH-UP. Have a question about the industry? Maybe you would like advice on how to deal with a boss or colleague. Join SPJ and the Generation J Committee's new SPJ Mentor Match-up program!

The program is for members who have graduated from college. Early career journalists are encouraged to join the program and receive feedback from experienced journalists.

Learn more about the program.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. What non-profit organization celebrated its birthday on Sunday, April 17? How many candles were on the figurative cake?

A. April 17 was the 102nd birthday of the Society of Professional Journalist. The founding of the then-fraternity was on Saturday, April 17, 1909 at DePauw University — the day the organization gained a name, Sigma Delta Chi.

And the winner is...

Michael Drudge of San Antonio, Texas. Congrats, Michael!

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. What university recently received a national journalism honor for its work, "The Roads of Broken Dreams: Can a New Delta Arise from the Rot of the Old South," and what was the award program? (Hints: SPJ's communications coordinator is an alumnus of the university. One of the other award recipients won last year's SPJ First Amendment Award.)

Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott

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