SPJ Communications Department
JOIN THE FIGHT. SPJ leaders are asking all Society members to help in a final push for a federal shield law. Contact your local senator and express your support such a law. But don't delay, SPJ expects the Senate to vote as early as Monday, July 28.
To voice your support for a federal shield law, contact your local Senator.
But don't stop there, produce stories and editorials so your readers, viewers and listeners all understand how important this legislation is to them.
To learn more about SPJ's efforts to pass a federal shield law, please visit SPJ's federal shield law page.
HOT TOPIC. SPJ leaders who ventured to Capitol Hill earlier this month are still getting press in the area! Check out the latest news on the federal shield law in this Politico article.
And if you missed the last round of publicity, make sure to read Politico's first article about our leaders' lobbying trip or the summarized brief from The Hill.
LAST CHANCE. Early Registration for the 2008 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference ends in just a few days! Discounted rates run through Monday, July 28 and are only $185 for professional members and $135 for students, advisers and retirees. Room rates at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta are $160 through Aug. 6 or until the room block fills. The convention is scheduled for Sept. 4-7 in Atlanta. Surf over to SPJ's Convention page to register or get information about programming, hotel and travel, a roommate request and other conference details. While you're there, you can also check out some of the A-list attractions Atlanta has to offer on the local attractions page. Hurry up and register today!
SPEAKING OF CONVENTION... Have you checked the newest updates to the convention Web site? Several additions have been made to the Professional Development Programs agenda. Also, the bios for the 2008 campaign candidates are now up. The Web site is updated frequently, so make it a daily stop to ensure you stay as up-to-date on this year's convention happenings as possible!
AIRLINE AID. If you've noticed the rapid economic decline of the airline industry lately, you're not alone. Rising fuel costs, economic slowdown and difficulty raising capital for operations have all led to a reduction in services in some areas, abandonment of services in others and industry — wide layoffs at major airlines. And as a result, consumers are suffering with higher costs and fewer options. Due to this trend, The Foundation for American Communications (FACS) and SPJ decided to present a tele-seminar on airline industry issues Thursday, Aug. 7, at 2 p.m. EST. Featured speakers will include Daniel M. Kasper and Darin N. Lee, both of LECG, LLC, a company that provides expert analytical and advisory services to corporations and governments. Participation is free for working journalists, but advance registration is required. For further details or to register, visit the FACS Web site. To register, click on "Seminars," and then select "Registration" on the dropdown.
ANOTHER FACS FREEBIE. The Foundation for American Communications will present a free professional development seminar for journalists on understanding local government budgets and financial reports July 26 at the University of Illinois campus in Springfield, Ill. "Making Sense of City and School Budgets," a half-day seminar, will provide "dummy" budget sheets for municipalities and schools. The seminar's faculty will walk participants through the important points of these budgets, sharing insights on how to best report on financial documents. The seminar includes a continental breakfast. There is no cost for working journalists, but participants must register in advance. For further details or to register, go to the FACS Web site.
WHAT'S NEW IN THE NEWS? The headlines about the newspaper business have been unrelenting — cutbacks in staffing, declining revenues and more. At the same time, technological advances are breeding new opportunities. As newspapers cut back while also adding online features, what categories of content are disappearing from newspapers and what are being added? The latest Project for Excellence in Journalism report from the Pew Research Center, based on a survey of editors and personal interviews from across the country, offers answers.
NO INTERNET THREAT. If you believe the Internet will be the medium to replace the declining print industry, Truthdig's Chris Hedges would like to change your mind. Hedges says the "decline of newspapers is about the rise of corporate state, the loss of civic and public responsibility on the part of much of our entrepreneurial class and the intellectual poverty of our post-literate world, a world where information is conveyed primarily through rapidly moving images rather than print."
Still not convinced? Read more about Hedges' reasoning in the full article.
DITCH THE DIVIDENDS! All you can read about lately on media industry news Web sites is the drastic loss of revenues at this newspaper and that magazine. But never fear! The Columbia Journalism Review has a way to pull these publications out of their economic pit — stop paying dividends! Read how and why the CJR thinks its suggestion would be of great help to the industry as a whole here.
PRODUCT PLACEMENT... AND NOW THE NEWS. Have you ever noticed the strategically-placed Coca-Cola cups in front of the American Idol judges? Many people accept that blatant product endorsement on entertainment shows, but should that manner of product placement be acceptable on news programs? In recent weeks, anchors at the Las Vegas Fox affiliate KVVU have reported the day's headlines with large cups of McDonald's iced coffee placed within an arm's reach. The news director of KVVU said the advertising deal with McDonald's will not alter the content of the news and he would not allow the cups to be incorporated into the so-called straight news portion of the morning show — the cups are only part of the set during the news-and-lifestyle portion of the morning show.
But does this practice pose potential conflicts between the intended message and news content? SPJ's resident ethics man Andy Schotz has already voiced his thoughts about this practice on the SPJ Ethics Committee Blog. Read the entire New York Times article and share your thoughts!
A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. Do you ever look at a picture below the morning headline and wonder what the photographer experienced to capture the image? In this Poynter Online article, Washington Post photographer Jahi Chikwendiu talked about photographs he took on his first trip to Darfur in 2004, where he experienced his first sandstorm and began to realize that pictures can tell a story just as well as words.
CALL FOR RESIDENT PROFESSIONAL. The Knight Center for International Media, established in February 2007 to build bridges of effective communication across national borders, is now accepting applications for its fourth Resident Professional. The Resident Professional program is designed to provide opportunities for international journalists and media producers interested in using communication to address the most pressing global issues defined by the UN Millennium Development Goals, including health, poverty, primary education and the environment. Applicants can be from any communication-related profession. Applicants should submit a project proposal, including a personal statement of purpose, a short description of the project, its mission and goals and a résumé to Sanjeev Chatterjee, Executive Director, Knight Center for International Media, School of Communication, P.O. Box 248127, Coral Gables, FL 22134-2030, U.S.A. Please visit the center's Web site to learn more about the program.
LIKE A BOY SCOUT, BE PREPARED. Worried you'll be on the next buyout/layoff list at your publication? That concern seems to be in the back of every journalist's mind these days. To ease your worry, the South Florida Pro Chapter will conduct a free panel discussion Aug. 7 to address the crippling affects of these buyouts and layoffs in the journalism industry. Topics to be addressed include: freelancing, employment law, financial planning and life after journalism. Please visit the South Florida Pro Web site or call Julie Kay at (954) 303-3384 for more information.