By Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Department
"If we don't save local journalism, we'll have levels of corruption in this country that we never would have imagined." -- Bob Schieffer, at the Knight Foundation's Annual Media Forum.
SPJ announced Monday the hiring of its 20th executive director: Alison Bethel McKenzie! A veteran journalist with international press freedom advocacy experience, Bethel McKenzie is the first African-American and second woman to serve in this position. Learn more about her experience and why we're so excited for her to start March 19.
Last week, SPJ announced a training partnership with the Facebook Journalism Project. This free training will equip journalists with products and tools to enhance newsgathering and storytelling on Facebook and Instagram. Some of the early training sessions will take place at select SPJ Regional Conferences this spring. Request a training for your newsroom or organization.
Washington state lawmakers have passed Senate Bill 6617, which attempts to permanently ban access to lawmakers' past emails, text messages and calendars, as well as past disciplinary proceedings and complaints about lawmakers' conduct -- basically an attempt to exempt themselves from the Freedom of Information Act. SPJ has spoken out against this issue on multiple platforms: SPJ National President Rebecca Baker made a statement this morning, FOI Committee Member Donald Meyers wrote a blog post about the issue and SPJ Western Washington Pro Chapter spoke out against it last Thursday.
A House panel in Utah voted to ban reporters from the House floor five minutes before lawmakers meet there for floor sessions. McKenzie Romero, SPJ Utah Headliners chapter president, said: " When access is restricted to lawmakers, that is essentially restricting the public from having access to the people who have been elected to represent them."
SPJ Ethics Chairman Andrew Seaman spoke with Rachel Zamzow about conflicts of interests for freelance journalists who take on non-journalism projects on the side. The key to avoiding entanglements in COIs, Seaman says, is establishing and maintaining boundaries between topics covered and sources used for each type of work.
GET A GIG
Reuters is hiring an experienced news reporter in Chicago. Learn more about the position and apply here.
New York Times Magazine is looking for an audience engagement editor to manage and create content for @NYTMag's Twitter and Instagram accounts. This position is a first-of-its-kind job at NYT, so applicants should be creative and enthusiastic. Apply now!
LEARN SOME STUFF
2016 Pulliam Editorial Writing Fellow Tim Swarens' 10-part series on child sex-trafficking comes to a close this week. If you haven't already, take some time to read his columns -- they shine a light on an important issue that doesn't get as much coverage as it should. While you're at it, go back and read some of the other projects made possible by Pulliam Fellowships of years past.
GIVE A LITTLE
Make your voice heard! Participate in the International Women's Media Foundation and TrollBusters' survey and provide valuable feedback on key issues facing journalists in today's media landscape. Your participation and responses to this survey will be invaluable and are anonymous. Please follow this link to complete the survey.
SPJ QUICK FIX
Keep an eye out for the newest edition of Quill in your mailboxes. The Spring 2018 issue will be the first to show off Quill's new style and new editorial direction. It will ship from our printer in the next few days.
Calling all New York City + area journalists! Join SPJ for JournCamp March 9. This daylong workshop will give you practical, skills-based professional development to help you become a better journalist. Register by Friday.
Join SPJ for #SunshineWeek March 11-17! We need your help to promote the importance of open government. You can participate by writing a column or guest blog for Sunshine Week that furthers the dialogue of government transparency or creating an editorial cartoon that supports Freedom of Information. Send those submissions to Communications Coordinator Anna Gutierrez to be featured.
Nominations for the Historic Sites in Journalism award, recognizing a place of national historic journalism interest, are due March 19. Have a favorite building or area that's significant to the history of journalism? Submit your nomination today! Contact email@example.com with questions.
Know a collegiate journalism educator who's making outstanding contributions to journalism education? Nominate them for the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award by March 19! Nominations may be submitted by students, former students, colleagues, department heads and colleagues in the field and must be accompanied by a CV and letters of recommendation. Find all eligibility and submission details here and contact Program Coordinator Christine Cordial with questions.