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By Scott Leadingham
SPJ Communications Department
LIFTOFF. After months of preparation, the SPJ crew is ready for its mission to deliver a most important payload: the Centennial Celebration. Have you made your plans yet to watch the proceedings? If not, do so now. Most of the events will be available through live Webcast, which you can access by clicking here or from the home page of SPJ.org.
The Webcast will be available during these times:
3-4:30 p.m. panel discussion, moderated by Bob Steele
4:45-5:30 p.m. anniversary ceremony
5:45-6:05 p.m. remarks from President Dave Aeikens
7:30 p.m. Jane Pauley keynote address
Important note on accessing Webcast: When you click on the link (or paste it into the address bar of a Web browser) it will automatically try to open your default media player, like Windows Media or Quick Time. You can click on it before the Webcast goes live, but nothing will come up on the screen other than the SPJ Centennial logo. When the Webcast is live (during one of those times), you'll hear and see the full audio and video.
As if that's not enough, you can catch all the Webcasted events later if you're unavailable to watch live. The Webcast will be available next week in archived (downloadable) format for later viewing and will be accessible for 90 days. That will require a separate link, which will be provided next week.
Finally, for those social media junkies out there, follow the day's events on TwitterTwitter (@spj_tweets).
BELIEVE IT OR NOT. If you're in Greencastle for the Centennial, or watching the Webcast, you'll see SPJ member and veteran radio host Bob Edwards. Starting May 1, the popular public radio series "This I Believe" will partner with Bob Edwards to present broadcasts of essays from Edward R. Murrow's "This I Believe" series from the 1950s. The essays have not been heard in their entirety since they aired decades ago. These segments will air Fridays on The Bob Edwards Show on Sirius XM satellite radio, and will be repeated on his Bob Edwards Weekend show on public radio stations nationwide. In 2004, Edwards published a short biography of Murrow titled "Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism."
Edwards is available for interviews to talk about the new project either by phone or in person at the Centennial. To schedule an interview, e-mail producer Andy Danyo.
CENTENNIAL BENCHMARKING. The same day journalism greats like Bob Edwards and Jane Pauley help mark SPJ's 100th anniversary, student members at the University of Mississippi will remember another significant occasion — the death of a reporter covering civil rights riots at the school. French reporter Paul Guihard was killed during the riots that surrounded the enrollment of James Meredith, the first black student admitted to UM. The student chapter will dedicate a campus bench in memory of Guihard. Journalist Hank Kilbanoff, co-author of "The Race Beat" and speaker at the 2008 SPJ Convention, will speak at the dedication ceremony.
JUST IN CASE YOU'RE INTERESTED. The SPJ Board of Directors will hold its annual spring meeting in Greencastle, Ind., on April 18, the day after the Centennial. If interested in the agenda and meeting items, download here.
And if you're interesting in seeing what board meetings are like in person — rather than just reviewing the minutes — consider running for one of 13 open seats, ranging from students representative to president-elect. The president-elect automatically becomes president at the conclusion of his or her one-year term. All open positions are elected at the 2009 SPJ Convention, Aug. 27-30 in Indianapolis. The term of office begins on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009, following the installation banquet. See all the details about the positions and declaring candidacy at the SPJ Web site.
WELL, ISN'T THAT SPECIAL? Yes, it is special that SPJ recently honored the best in journalism with the Sigma Delta Chi Awards. This year SPJ received more than 900 entries in 53 categories for the contest that recognizes truly exceptional print, broadcast and online journalism. The awards will be presented during the SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference, Aug. 27-30 in Indianapolis. See a list of all the winners here.
It's worth mentioning that two SDX Awards winners — staff at National Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times — also won National Journalism Awards from the Scripps Howard Foundation for the their respective entries "Dirty Money" and "Mexico Under Siege."
LAST CHANCE. Student journalists — now's your last chance to get an incredible internship and real press experience by covering the SPJ Convention, Aug. 27-30. Twelve positions are available for hard-working student journalists to staff The Working Press, a daily tabloid newspaper that covers the convention activities. Writers, photographers and designers are invited to apply for these select positions. The application deadline is Friday, April 17. By completing the internship, students will get a convention registration and free lodging at the convention hotel, the Indianapolis Westin. See the SPJ Web site for more information and application instructions. E-mail Heather Porter with questions.
JOB FOR GRADS. It's mid-April and that means panic time for any soon-to-graduate college student still unsure of what to do after school. Plus, with almost daily news about industry layoffs, the stress levels journalism students are understandably high. If you're interested in writing, communications, marketing and even a little public policy work, SPJ has a job for you. Applications are now being accepted for the Post-Graduate Communications Internship at SPJ Headquarters. The full-time, year-long position includes competitive pay, excellent benefits and paid vacation. See the SPJ Web site for application instructions and a full position description. The approximate term of employment is Aug. 1, 2009 — July 31, 2010. Hurry — the application deadline is May 1.
ETHICAL PROGRAMMING. In celebration of Ethics Week, April 26 — May 2, SPJ headquarters is teaming up with chapters around the country to present town hall meetings on journalism ethics. The goal of the programs is to engage local communities in dialogue about the press and the vital role it plays in democracy. All are welcome encouraged to participate — citizens and journalists alike. Dates and locations are listed on the SPJ Web site. Help spread the word to the members of your community about these important programs. And help restore media credibility.
GLOBULAR DONATION. Dedicated former staffers of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which ceased printing on March 18, are asking for help and tax-deductible donations to sustain a new Web-based, nonprofit news site — the Seattle PostGlobe. The PostGlobe is using the community-funded reporting model popular with public broadcasting stations and newer start-ups such as Spot.us. In fact, the PostGlobe is partnering with KCTS public television in Seattle for financial and operational support. If interested in helping or learning about the experiences of the staff in starting the venture, e-mail Kery Murakami.