By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department
HOMECOMING. SPJ was pleased with the pardon and release of journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling by the North Korean government. The Society actively called for their release starting in April and closely followed the events. Upon the release of the two journalists, SPJ President Dave Aeikens released this statement: "This is great news that these two American journalists have been released. We are sorry it took so long for North Korea to do the right thing and we are grateful to former President Clinton for his involvement."
SPJ is working to contact Lee and Ling to invite them to the 2009 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference. If you know of any way to reach them, please send an email to Chris Vachon.
To read SPJ's statements on the incident, click here.
SPJ OPPOSES ACTS AGAINST MEDIA. SPJ leaders oppose acts made by the Venezuelan government that limit the country's freedom of press. SPJ spoke out in a release yesterday against the government's proposed Special Law Against Media Crimes, which regulates the media's freedom of expression, and the shutdown of nearly 34 private radio stations. It joins the National Association of Hispanic Journalists' efforts. SPJ called for the government to cease its acts and for the U.S. government to support the freedom of press in the country.
To learn more about the events, read the SPJ release.
LDF MAKES HEADLINES. We are pleased that the great works by the Legal Defense Fund are receiving recognition. Several media outlets picked up our press release on the grant the Legal Defense Fund gave to Virginia Tech's student newspaper, The Collegiate Times. The Roanoke Times ran an article Aug. 4. Additionally, the paper's adviser, Kelly Furnas, was contacted by the local NPR affiliate and Dave Aeikens was interviewed by a Roanoke radio station. Read the release here.
THERE'S STILL TIME. Don't fret if you missed the early bird convention registration deadlines! There are still discounts available if you pre-register by Aug. 16. Register today!
And don't forget to keep checking back for new auction items. More goodies are added every week.
GET PINNED AT CONVENTION. You've seen the Convention logo designed especially for SPJ's 100th year, but did you know it means more than a celebratory symbol? It is also a symbol of the past 100 years of improving and protecting journalism. And the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation plays an essential role in this mission. The SDX Foundation supports the educational programs of SPJ and serves the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism. The best part is that YOU can help! When you donate $100 to the SDX Foundation, you will receive a limited-edition lapel pin commemorating our Centennial. For more information, contact Amy Posavac at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONVENTION GOES VIRAL. Can't take your fingers off your keyboard when it comes to Twitter? Good! In your next tweet about the SPJ Convention, use #SPJ100. Using this specific hash tag will help others interested in Convention to follow your Convention tweets. Help us get this started now so come Convention weekend, all attendees will be able to follow each other as they rock out to the media bands Friday night or try to outbid a fellow journalist for two VIP tickets to the Colbert Report. Take #SPJ100 and run with it — we want to see your tweets!
TOOLBOX TWEETS. And speaking of Twitter, join the hundreds of people tweeting with SPJ's Journalist's Toolbox. Nearly 500 people are taking advantage of the Twitter feed that gives resources to journalists for almost any story. Most recent tweets include resources for covering the federal government, journalists to follow, resources for covering the economic crisis and more. Follow the SPJ Journalist's Toolbox here and start tweeting!
LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE TEACHERS. California State University-Northridge's Linda Bowen won second place in the 2009 Innovative Outreach to Scholastic Journalism competition and was honored Aug. 5 at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Convention in Boston. An SPJ member, Bowen was recognized for her support of high school journalism. She developed "Media Mentors: High School Journalism Community Engagement Project," a mentoring program that matches senior journalism majors with area high school and middle school media programs. Bowen was a reporter and editor, specializing in community news, for about 25 years and was drawn to her efforts in scholastic journalism due to her own high school journalism experiences. Congratulations!
SPJ MEMBERS SHINE IN WRITING CONTEST. Two SPJ members won first place in the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors Excellence-in-Feature-Writing contest. Tracey O'Shaughnessy of the Republican-American in Waterbury, Conn., garnered first place for General Feature and The Roanoke (Va.) Times' Beth Macy won first place for Feature Specialty Reporting. Congratulations!
SURVEYING THE EFFECT. While we are all hopeful that times are changing, it was a rough year for 2008 journalism and mass communication grads. The Annual Survey of Mass Communication Graduates reported that nearly 40 percent of graduates from undergraduate programs in journalism and mass communication in 2008 had trouble finding full-time employment. That number represents an increase in 10 percentage points from last year's survey. The University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced these findings yesterday, Aug. 5. Conducted by the college's Cox Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, the survey collects data from graduates of mass communication and journalism programs. The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is a 2008 project sponsor for the survey. Read the complete 2008 report here. A summary with graphics is also available from Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism. To learn more, see the brief article in SPJ News.
A HEALTHY OPTION. Interested in the news surrounding health care reform? So is everyone else. To assist the media in informing the public about how changes could affect their communities, the National Health Policy Training Alliance for Communities of Color is hosting a day-and-a-half long training for journalists. The session will focus on health policy issues that affect communities of color in the U.S and provide journalists with related tools, resources and information. The training will take place on Oct. 8-9 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. To learn more and to register, see the program Web site.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Convention is 21 days away! But last week, we asked you to think about past events. Were you able to tell us where five conventions were held and in which year? Rebecca Neal, a reporter for the Federal Times, not only named five conventions, but she also attended all of them! Congratulations, Rebecca, and thank you for attending the annual events! We hope to see you and ALL of our SPJ members at Convention this year, Aug. 27-30.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. SPJ President Dave Aeikens' term will come to an end when he hands over the gavel to Kevin Smith during the President's Installation Banquet in Indianapolis. Can you name the last SPJ president who handed over his/her gavel in the Circle City?
Submit answers to Karen Grabowski.