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By Christine Tatum
Assistant Business Editor, The Denver Post
National President, SPJ
Tom Henderson, Editorial Writer & Columnist, The Lewiston (Idaho) Morning Tribune
WHAT DO YOU CARE? Do you agree that the average American journalist doesn’t know much — or seem to care — about global press freedom? Why might that be — or not be — the case? Check out Christine Tatum’s blog this week to spout off with your opinion. What should SPJ do to promote greater awareness of global press issues and encourage Americans to consider working and/or studying abroad?
SHINY, PRETTY, SHINY. This week, Jon Marshall praises PBS, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Time Magazine in his blog, News Gems. Has your good work been mentioned? Please take the time to give kudos to a colleague by sending the great journalism you spot to Jon for review.
BLOGS, BLOGS, EVERY WHERE BLOGS. A slew of members want you to know about their blogs. Ira Allen of the Washington, D.C. Pro chapter operates HealthBehaviorBlog. The blog comments on the latest news on research and government policy regarding evidence-based health care and occasionally on how the news media covers health. Anthony Buccino from the New Jersey Pro chapter has a Garrison Keillor-inspired blog containing original essays by Buccino. Kay Day from the South Florida Pro chapter runs Bookbeat. All the columns on her blog include a book motif, but the central subject matter varies wildly.
What about you? Do you blog? We’ll drive traffic your way! Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATTACK OF THE KILLER BLOG. In the spirit of Halloween, and inspired by the 1950s sci fi-horror movie “The Blob,” the South Florida Pro chapter will host a discussion on the legalities, controversies and popularity of blogging. To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the chapter will offer one-night-only discounts of $10 off annual dues. Donations of new and used books on all subjects will be accepted and donated to the Salvation Army of Broward County. When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19. Where:The Sun Sentinel, Deerfield Beach office, 333 SW 12 Ave. Cost: Free and open to the public. A Halloween-themed buffet will be served. More information: E-mail Beth Feinstein-Bartl at email@example.com or visit the chapter’s Web site.
OUT OF AFRICA. Pia K. Hansen, features editor at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., and president of the Inland Northwest Pro chapter of SPJ, is currently in the South African nation of Lesotho, volunteering at a weekly newspaper called The Public Eye. Hansen is serving as a mentor and editor, working on story development and writing styles with reporters and editors at the paper — which is published in English. Hopefully, her month-long stay will be the beginning of an exchange program between South African nations and the United States. She returns to Spokane on Oct. 7. But you can catch up with her at The Spokesman –Review.
Want to get involved internationally? Consider joining SPJ’s international journalism committee. This year, the group is particularly interested in generating information and resources that would help Americans identify professional opportunities abroad. Contact Chairman Dan Kubiske at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE EQUALITY STATE! Wyoming is rebuilding a professional chapter, and SPJ leaders were there Saturday to help. National FOI Committee Chairman Joel Campbell delivered great instruction about Wyoming’s, um, “challenging” open meetings laws (they’ve got more reasons to close public sessions than just about any other state) and its nonexistent state shield laws. The group of about 40 journalists in attendance brainstormed some great ideas and sources for generating FOI-based stories.
SPEAKING OF FOI. Check out FOIFYI, SPJ’s new blog about all matters concerning the free flow of public information. This week, you’ll find information specific to Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. The blog also explains how California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently vetoed a prison access bill with a twist. Alert the national committee early and often to FOI issues in your neck of the woods by contacting Joel: Joel_Campbell@byu.edu.
NOT EVEN HOUDINI COULD ESCAPE HER: White House Press Corps legend Helen Thomas was among the inaugural 12 inductees to the recently established Michigan Walk of Fame. On Monday, Lansing officials unveiled plaques cemented in the city’s downtown sidewalks honoring the Michiganders. Other honorees include former Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell, singer Stevie Wonder and former President Gerald Ford. Not bad company for a reporter.
IS THERE REALLY A CRISIS? The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, working in collaboration with The New York Times Company Family Foundation Institutes for Journalists and The Carter Center, will sponsor a workshop titled, “The Status of Boys: Crisis or Not?” The featured speaker: former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. Instructors from Investigative Reporters and Editors will explain how to examine the validity of various studies, and an array of mental health experts will speak. Applications to attend are due Oct. 18. Costs for this trip are partially covered. Find more information online.
FOLLOW THE MONEY. Rich Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, will help journalists track down the millions of dollars being spent this election season in Michigan. When: Noon, Tuesday, Oct. 17. Where: Tripper’s in the Frandor Shopping Center in Lansing. Cost: $10 for members and students, $12 for nonmembers. More Information: Contact Jeremy Steele, at email@example.com.
SHRINKING ECONOMY 101. The Foundation for American Communications, in collaboration with SPJ, will conduct the seminar “Growth in a Shrinking Economy.” The daylong session, geared toward Michigan and Ohio journalists, will feature an overview of population and economic trends, government issues and natural resources. When: Oct. 11. Where: The Detroit Free-Press, 600 W. Fort St. Cost: Free, but registration is required. More information: Available online.
BACK TO SCHOOL. Looking for professional development opportunities? This fall, some of the best and brightest journalists in Seattle have agreed to teach everything from journalism basics to multimedia presentation. When: Every Monday, Oct. 9 – Dec. 15; no class the week of Thanksgiving. Where: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 101 Elliot Ave. West on the first floor. Cost: Free for members; $7 per class for nonmembers. Topics, schedule and more information: Available online.
ON THE CASE. A Congressman’s past. A Web site called Perverted-Justice.com. The BTK Killer and the Witchita (Kan.) Eagle. See how ethical decision making played a role in these and other case studies compiled by SPJ’s National Ethics Committee.
OUT IN THE COUNTRY. The Greater Oregon Pro chapter is eager to connect with journalists in rural parts of the state. The chapter needs journalists in outlying areas to serve on the board and to help build connections between urban and rural newsrooms.
Interested? Contact Wendy Culverwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her: (503) 219-3415.
MEETING AND GREETING. Join your fellow ink- and pixel-stained wretches at Western Washington Pro chapter’s regular First Friday Press Club social for all full-time, part-time and freelance journalists. When: Friday, Oct. 6, Where: Fremont, at Dad Watson’s on the corner of Fremont Avenue N. and N. 36th Street. Attendees are encouraged to eat dinner at 7:30 (it’s how the chapter gets joints to have them again). RSVP: Contact Alex Johnson at email@example.com or Dale Steinke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HAPPY HOUR: The Mid Michigan Pro chapter invites journalists to its popular “After Deadline” mixer, complete with drink specials. When: 6 p.m., Oct. 18. Where: Moriarty’s Pub, 802 E. Michigan Ave. in Lansing. RSVP: Suggested, email@example.com.
SAVE THE DATE: After the success of their first happy hour/round table event, which drew New Jersey and New York journalists to Hoboken, the New Jersey Pro chapter will host another event in New Brunswick, N.J. Come to watch the baseball playoffs or just mingle. When: 7 p.m., Oct. 13, Where: Tumulty’s Pub, 361 George St. More information: Contact Michelle Maskaly at (732) 713-6716 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Ralph Ortega at (973) 951-3816.
POP CULTURE QUOTE OF THE WEEK. Detroit Pro chapter member Kate Baldwin suggests that it might be time to get away from the comic book quotes and expand into general quotes about journalism from pop culture.
So be it.
Anyone care to win a Paula Peril poster from Snake River SPJ? Then wrap your brains around this: What move is the following quote from?
“I don’t want any more economists, sages or oracles bombinating over our cables! I want a reporter! Someone who doesn’t know the difference between an ism and a kangaroo! A good, honest crime reporter! That’s what the Globe needs! That’s what Europe needs! There’s a crime hatching on that bedeviled continent.”
Send your answers to email@example.com.