By Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Department
"It's a huge responsibility to be trusted to tell someone's story," - Kristen Cook, in her resignation letter to the Arizona Daily Star.
Underreporting in rural areas is a nationwide phenomenon. SPJ member Al Cross says this is a problem because rural reporting is rarely seen as the most critical mission. 20 percent of the nation's population lives in rural areas, so not having anyone to cover government meetings or hold officials accountable can cause bigger problems.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma really showed the power of local journalists as the eyes and ears of the community. That's why Google News announced a new focus on hyperlocal and community news with a feature called Community Updates.
Report for America aims to place 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms in the next five years. This program is similar to organizations like Teach for America. Report for America doesn't get government funding, but it is being treated as a national service project.
A recent survey, conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, shows that 37 percent of those surveyed can't name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment.
SPJ Ethics Chairman Andrew Seaman writes about terrifying terms in the latest edition of Quill. "The inconsistency of their uses, their vagueness and their divisiveness should make journalists and news organizations question their use of the words 'terrorism' and 'terrorist."' Seaman says the purpose of journalism is to provide people with accurate, reliable, truthful information, but there is a problem if people spend most of their time debating words, or misuse of words, in that reporting. Read more here.
GET A GIG
SPJ is looking for a candidate to serve as Development Manager. Apply for this full-time gig, based in Indianapolis, by 5 p.m. ET Friday. More info here.
The Editorial Projects in Education announced its Education Week Gregory M. Chronister Journalism Fellowship this month. The fellowship provides financial support of $10,000 for a deeply reported investigative or enterprise package or series of stories spotlighting a pre-K-12 topic. Apply by Nov. 15.
LEARN SOME STUFF
First Draft News and the Public Data Lab have launched A Field Guide to Fake News that is a must-read for journalists.
Check out the latest tools and cool journalism things from The Journalist's Toolbox.
GIVE A LITTLE
We can't do what we do without the help of our amazing volunteers like you! Check out the numerous ways you can pitch in and get involved on Volunteer Square.
The Victoria Advocate, a locally- and family-owned newspaper whose journalists reported on Hurricane Harvey before, during and after the storm, created a GoFundMe to help raise funds for their employees in need. Any money raised will go into newspaper's Helping Hands fund to be distributed to employees in the most need.
SPJ QUICK FIX
Here's a look at the nine resolutions passed at EIJ 2017.
By fall of 2019, SPJ's national board will shrink from 23 members to nine - thanks to Society delegates passing bylaws amendments during EIJ17. The streamlined board will consist of three officers, four at-large directors and two appointed directors. Information about the restructure process and a transition timeline can be found online.
Rochelle Riley of the Detroit Free Press receives $75,000 Pulliam Fellowship for editorial writing. Riley plans to spend the next year studying the effect of trauma and a toxic environment on children's learning. Read more about her work here.
Bonnie Angelo, one of the first 10 women to join SPJ in 1969-1970, died on Sunday. She was known for covering the White House, chronicling the rise of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and writing a well-received book about the impact of presidential mothers on their sons.
Meet September's member of the month, Keem Muhammad! Do you know an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate that person for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan S. Stevens, Membership Committee member.