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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > SPJ President starts #FreePressFriday; University offers free fake news course

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SPJ Leads | 10/11/2017
SPJ President starts #FreePressFriday; University offers free fake news course

By Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Department

"But if I were still here I would tell you that I wish I had done more work as a news reporter. Written better stories. Made more and better contacts. Skipped some of the easier pieces and done more in-depth stories. Spent more time on foreign stories. Been a better editor." - Mark Mooney, who died Oct. 6, wrote in his last byline


"No algorithm of reporting is more enduring and productive than the Fives W's: Who, What, Where, When and Why. None of those is harder to answer than the Why." Roy Peter Clark writes about journalists' struggle to answer the hardest question, especially when reporting on mass shootings.

Newsrooms around the world aren't as digital-first minded as they'd like to be, according to a new International Center for Journalists report. There's disconnect between training opportunities organizations offer versus what journalists say they want, and people with digital-focused titles make up only 18 percent of newsrooms.

Some journalism schools are adding social media, curation and analytics to editing classes. Experts say these assignments expand traditional editing skills and help students recognize the importance of understanding audiences and delivery platforms.

What is the pivot to video costing the journalism industry? Are too many publishers chasing shiny objects instead of creating cohesive video strategies? CJR takes a look at four reasons the pivot to video has failed.


SPJ Ethics Committee member Alex Veeneman writes about the role of video footage when covering mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas last week. "On one hand, the footage underscores the gravity of the situation and emphasizes the scale of what happened Sunday night. On the other hand, the repetition of such videos can be seen as sensationalism - a way to utilize drama and to encourage viewers to stay tuned to the broadcast." Veeneman says striking the right balance between the necessary and the excess is tricky.


SPJ is searching for an Executive Director to lead the Society and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. You can find more information about the position here. Deadline to apply is 5 p.m. EDT Oct. 31.

The Kiplinger Fellowship in Digital and Social Media is looking for its next class of journalists. The fellowship is April 16-20 and brings 20 journalists to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University for one week of top-rated digital media training. Must have at least five years of professional experience. Apply by Nov. 19.


The University of Michigan offers a free course -- yes free, for anyone -- to help people learn how to recognize fake news, facts and alternative facts. We all know someone who could benefit from a class like this. Encourage your favorite person who could improve their media literacy to enroll!


We couldn'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 via  Volunteer Square.

We want you to take over! Our Snapchat, that is. We're looking for energetic, fun people to share with SPJ's Snapchat followers a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life as a professional journalist. This can be in the form of a regular work day or an event your chapter is hosting. Interested in hosting a takeover? Apply here.


We're highlighting the importance of a free press by sharing quotes every week with #FreePressFriday. SPJ President Rebecca Baker says " it's more important than ever to remind the public about the connection between good journalism and a healthy democracy." Get involved by using #FreePressFriday every Friday on your social channels to share your favorite quotes about free press and news stories that have made an impact in your community.

This week's #PressFreedomMatters post on the SPJ International Community blog is by Danielle Villasana, who writes about why staying emotionally and mentally strong as a photojournalist is important, and why you should take breaks when you need them.

Do you know an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate that person for Volunteer of the Month by contacting  Susan S. Stevens, of the SPJ Membership Committee .

A win for the Press! Well, the Press team at the 2017 National Press Club Spelling Bee. Todd Gillman, Dallas Morning News bureau chief and SPJ member, is this year's champion. Did you miss the bee? Read more about it here.

Muhammad Ittefaq shares his reflections on the SPJ International Community blog as a first-time attendee of the Excellence in Journalism conference. Ittefaq, graduate fellow at the Institute of Media and Communication Science, Technical University, Ilmenau in Germany, says one of the top benefits of attending EIJ is the ability to make connections with other journalists and students.

SPJ Leads
– SDX Foundation changes its name
– Sign up for a Regional Conference near you
– Sign up for SPJ's Regional Conferences

Press Notes
– Breast Cancer Awareness: Learning From Jackie Collins' Death
– Blog: CPJ joins call to oppose draft surveillance law in France
– Baboon raid temporarily forced Zimbabwe radio station off air

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