By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department
SHIELD LAW ANTICIPATION. With the White House backing Senate Bill 448, the Free Flow of Information Act, SPJ anxiously awaits Thurs., Nov. 19, the day the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the bill. This is the first time in years we've been this close to the creation of a federal shield law that would provide much needed protections for journalists and, consequently, the American public. But we can't just wait for Nov. 19 SPJ encourages you to call or e-mail the Senate Judiciary Committee members before the meeting and tell them you want S. 448 to become law. President Kevin Smith personally asked all members to reach out to their representatives in his latest blog post, and we reiterate his request today. Strike while the iron is hot and contact the Committee members, your senators and your representatives. Read the most recent SPJ news release on the shield law here.
AWARDS GALORE. It's that time of year again prepare your best work for recognition in SPJ's awards contests.
And no matter your place in the industry student or professional SPJ likely has a contest and category for you, such as:
Mark of Excellence Awards:
This competition honors student journalism in print, radio, television and online categories. New this year is the easy-to-use online submission format.
All work must have been published or broadcast in 2009. And, with an entry fee of $9 for SPJ members, getting your work recognized won't necessitate another loan.
See all the categories, rules and information on the submission process at the MOE Awards page. And don't forget to mark the deadline for entries: Jan. 27, 2010.
Sigma Delta Chi Awards:
Dating back to 1932, the Sigma Delta Chi Awards honor professional journalism excellence in all media: print, art/graphics, radio, television, online, newsletters and research. New this year are categories for non-daily publications and specialty news Web sites, among others. And, the streamlined online submission process will save you time and money.
All work must have been published or broadcast in 2009. Winners will be honored at the 2010 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, Oct. 3-6 in Las Vegas.
See all the categories, rules and information on the submission process at the SDX Awards page. The entry deadline is Feb. 12, 2010.
New America Award:
This special award honors public service journalism in all media that explores an issue of importance to ethnic populations in the United States. Nominations are not restricted to traditional media outlets. SPJ encourages entries from all outlets, community or issue advocacy groups and others concerned with ethnic issues. Although not required, collaboration with ethnic media is encouraged and taken into account.
All work must have been published or broadcast in 2009.
See entry rules and more information at the New America Award page. The entry deadline is Feb. 12, 2010.
Please consider entering your work in one of these competitions, and encourage your journalism friends and colleagues to do the same. For questions on any SPJ awards, contact Lauren Rochester at 317-927-8000 ext. 210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTERNSHIPS NEED WE SAY MORE? It's never too early to think about summer, especially internship plans. Annually, SPJ sponsors two internships for undergraduate, recently graduated or current graduate students. The Pulliam/Kilgore Internship program selects two dynamic young journalists and FOI advocates to write about and research freedom of information issues one of SPJ's cornerstones. One intern will work at SPJ Headquarters in Indianapolis and the other in Washington, D.C., at the office of SPJ's legal counsel. Oh, and did we mention it's paid? Yup, $400/week for 10 weeks in the summer. Applications are due Jan. 14, 2010. See the SPJ Web site for full details.
CALLING ALL PROGRAMS. Do you have an outstanding journalism program you can't wait to share? Then submit it for the 2010 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, Oct. 3-6 in Las Vegas. SPJ released a call for programs and we want YOUR ideas. Help make the 2010 convention educational and inspiring. Send your proposal today. Submissions will be accepted until Jan. 3, 2010.
SPJ SPRING FEVER. Spring brings feelings of rejuvenation and what better way to put more life into your journalism career than by attending one of 12 SPJ regional spring conferences? Save the date NOW for the SPJ spring conference in your area!
The conferences are daylong professional development meetings that bring area journalists, students and journalism educators together in one place to learn from industry experts. Begin 2010 by building strong career relationships and enhancing your journalism skills. Click here for dates and locations.
JOIN THE TRAIN GANG. Don't get frustrated get trained. As journalists, the need to constantly be at the top of your game is apparent and necessary. From the latest digital trends to updates in freedom of information law, professional development and continuing education are crucial to journalists in all media. SPJ manages a valuable resource, JournalismTraining.org, just for this purpose. An initiative of the National Council of Journalism Organizations, the Web site is a one-stop source of information to find journalism training in your area. Search by state, topic, month or training type and find resources you never knew existed.
REMINDER: WRITING WORKSHOP SPOTS OPEN. If you're in the great Northwest, don't forget about the SPJ Narrative Writing Workshop Dec. 12 in Portland, Ore. The newly reduced price ($40 for members; $60 for non-members) is a steal for all the program offers. Join Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Hallman Jr. to learn the benefits narrative writing can bring to your reporting and newsroom. Register online and learn more about the workshop here. E-mail Heather Porter with questions or call 317-927-8000 ext. 204.
SPJ FANDOM. Don't forget about the SPJ Facebook Fan Page. Become a Fan and stay in touch with SPJ all day on your newsfeed. Join and you will have all the up-to-date information straight from headquarters. Whether it's a new professional development program, breaking news about shield law or the newest industry job opening, see it all on the fan page. Become a fan today and, of course, SPREAD THE WORD!
EDUCATION AND SPJ ARE AT THE TOP. The Web site JournalismDegree.org believes journalism and writing skills are valued in all professions and offers information on available online journalism degrees. The site is a great resource for journalism education information, in addition to other related topics like citizen journalism and we appreciate them because SPJ made their Top 50 Journalism Blogs! Check out the site and its blog, Journalism Journeyman.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. When we asked "Why are you a member?" in last week's quiz, the entire staff was moved by the thoughtful and impassioned responses. Here is a selection from journalists who were kind enough to share:
I belong to SPJ to support its twin missions of upholding the highest ethical standards in our profession and defending our First Amendment rights. I regard SPJ membership as a civic responsibility for all journalists. Michael Drudge
As I like to tell everyone, I'm a member because "the First Amendment is my favorite amendment!" Paula Pant
Answering this week's question is easy...and a joy. I've been an SPJ member for 59 years without a break. Why? you may ask. Simply because the organization has given me strength, guidance and fellowship. It meshes with my ideals of honesty and freedom in this great country. Who could ask for a better partner in professional life? Arnold Ismach
We sincerely appreciated every single response we received this past week.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. We received so many inspirational answers to last week's quiz that we would again like to send this question out to our readers: Why do you love SPJ? Why are you a member?
Submit your answers to Karen Grabowski. Keep them coming!