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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Let the Sunshine In!

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SPJ Leads | 3/17/2010
Let the Sunshine In!

By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department

DON'T MISS THESE CONFERENCES. If you are in Region 2 or Region 5, we hope you will join your fellow journalists at the SPJ Spring Conference in your area! Here's what you can look forward to March 26-27:

Region 2: University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
March 26-27

There's something for everyone at this SPJ spring conference. You won't want to miss sessions on:
— Mobile News Reporting — mobile consumers want news! Master this and get going.
— Developing and Protecting Sources — explore the best way to use confidential sources to cover stories.
— Where is the Industry Headed — discuss what's next with industry leaders.

STUDENTS: A new addition to this year's conference is the Resume Clinic. Experts will be available at the Career Development Center to review your resumes, clips and tapes and to offer helpful suggestions about how to improve them. Read more here.

Invest in yourself. Invest in your career. Register today.

Region 5: Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
March 26-27

If you are in the Midwest, take advantage of this spring conference that brings fellow journalists from broadcast, print and online together in one place: downtown Chicago.

The outstanding sessions available include:
— RedEye — the editor of the newspaper RedEye will expound on its non-traditional news philosophy and approach that has helped it succeed.
— News Applications 101 — learn from SPJ Digital Media Committee's Hilary Fosdal what is required for journalists to thrive in the age of digital reporting.
— Is Radio Dead — discuss what the changing media landscape means for the future of audio journalism.

AND Speakers, speakers and more speakers! Ben Bradley, Gina Barton, Steve Edwards to name a few. If there was ever a conference to attend, this is it. This conference is for YOU. Take advantage of this opportunity and register today.

FREE SPJ DIGITAL MEDIA HANDBOOK. The SPJ Digital Media Committee released an invaluable resource online this week: The SPJ Digital Media Handbook Part I. The handbook is a collection of training tips and techniques for journalists looking to improve their skills in digital media. Part II is scheduled for release just before the 2010 SPJ Convention. Download Part I today!

AWARD NOMINATION DEADLINE. Thursday, March 18, is the postmark deadline to nominate fellow journalists, or yourself, for distinguished SPJ awards given annually:

Fellows of the Society: The Fellows of the Society honor is presented to journalists
for extraordinary contributions to the profession.

Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award: The recognition honors individuals for a lifetime of service to the journalism profession

Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award: Honors an outstanding journalism educator who has made a significant contribution to the profession and/or journalism education and to maintaining the highest standards of the profession.

First Amendment Award: The Award recognizes extraordinarily strong efforts to preserve and strengthen the First Amendment.

Sunshine Award: The Sunshine Award recognizes those making important contributions in the area of open government.

Ethics in Journalism Award: The Ethics in Journalism Award honors journalists or news organizations that perform in an outstanding ethical manner demonstrating the ideals of the SPJ Code of Ethics. It also honors especially notable efforts to educate the public on principles embodied in the code or hold journalists ethically accountable for their behavior.

LET THE SUN SHINE. It's Sunshine Week! National attention focuses on the importance of open government and freedom of information this week, and the SPJ D.C. chapter assisted with the proposal of new legislation that aims to increase transparency in government. SPJ member Bob Becker was especially active in the project. On Monday, March 15, Ward 4 Councilmember Murial Bowser joined open government advocates in announcing legislation, and on March 16, Bowser introduced the "Open Government is Good Government Act of 2010."

SPJ is your source for Sunshine Week. Click here to learn more information, including the 2010 Reporter's Guide to FERPA, state-by-state resources and Sunshine Week Programs. It's your right to know!

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS PARTNERSHIP. If you haven't already, please consider taking advantage of our NEW partnership with Knowledgewebb, an online resource that offers hands-on training, self-directed courses, ongoing webinars and more for media professionals and students. SPJ members have access to all the training at a discounted price! Instead of paying the full price to access all training for 12 months — originally $129 — SPJ members will receive all the training they desire for just $89! Just use the discount code SPJ2010 (all caps) in your cart. SPJ tudents can also benefit through a student membership of $75, which can be accessed with the coupon code ACADEMICSPJ. Visit Knowledgewebb for more information about the resource. And sign up today!

STUDENTS: INTERN AT SPJ CONVENTION. Student journalists: It's never too early to consider the incredible internship and real press experience you'll receive by covering the SPJ Convention, Oct. 3-5 in Las Vegas. 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 deadline to apply is April 16.

By completing the internship, students will get a convention registration and free lodging at the conference hotel, the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino. Click here for more details and how to apply. Please contact Heather Porter if you have questions.

CONVENTION CENTRAL. Don't forget to keep checking our Convention Web site for updates on the 2010 event in Las Vegas. Remember, our national gathering is October 3-5. We hope to see you there!

ARE YOU IN... ...our SPJ Freelancer Directory? Register an account for FREE in this directory that will link you with editors all around the country. OR, if you're an editor, you can be sure to find talented freelancers here.

SCRIPPS HOWARD FOUNDATION WINNERS. The Scripps Howard Foundation announced its National Journalism Awards winners March 12. The awards recognize the best work in the journalism/communications industry and journalism education in 2009. Click here to read the press release and to learn more about the 2009 winners.

DOCS THAT ROCK. Each summer, the Media Institute for Social Change hosts a dozen college students and teaches them how to produce engaging and effective radio and film documentaries. This summer, there are two programs: Summer Documentary Program in Portland, Ore. and Radio Summer in St. Paul, Minn. Each program is limited to 12 students. The deadline to apply is April 2.

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Last week's quiz presented quite an interesting dilemma. Here was last week's question:

Fact checking, copy editing and proofreading are very important, even at the Oscars. Who was left out of the memorial montage during the 82nd Academy Awards on March 7 that gave tribute to all the actors and actresses who died in the past year?

We realize this was a bit of a trick question as several of the actors and actresses who passed away in 2009 were not included in the 82nd Academy Awards tribute. And, upon further research, we discovered that this year was like other years — everyone is not included. But why?

We first must applaud several of our members for doing their research and naming actors and actresses who were not included in the montage, including Farrah Fawcett, Bea Arthur, Henry Gibson and Gene Barry. We must also thank you for asking us to do more research, asking why some artists were excluded while others were not.

SPJ member Bonnie Jefferis wrote that the Academy has its own rules that are applied to who is included and who is excluded from the remembrance montage. For example, those included must have been in an Oscar-nominated film, like Michael Jackson was in "The Wiz" and Dom Deluise was in "Blazing Saddles." Indeed, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Executive Director Bruce Davis said he thought it was more appropriate that Fawcett had been honored for her "remarkable television work" by the Emmys. However, Davis apologized for the omission of Fawcett and others, saying, according to the Associated Press, "the academy committee debated about including Fawcett and Gene Barry... in the memorial segment but ultimately omitted both." The LA Times further raises evidence of the Academy's inconsistency by pointing out that in 2002, Oscar nominees Dorothy McGuire ("Gentleman's Agreement") and Peggy Lee ("Pete Kelly's Blues") were not included in the tribute but R&B singer Aaliyah, from the non-Oscar-nominated film "Romeo Must Die," was included.

In light of the above information, a winner was not chosen this week. But we will award a prize to one of the people who can answer this week's quiz correctly! Please read the quiz below and submit your answer to Karen. Thank you all for doing your research and for encouraging us to do ours!

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Sunshine Week is a nonpartisan initiative that has been celebrated every March since 2005. But the idea began in 2002 with "Sunshine Sunday," which was a group's response to efforts by their state legislators to create new exemptions to the state's public records law. In what state did "Sunshine Sunday" occur eight years ago?

Submit your answer to Karen Grabowski for a chance to win a prize. Happy Sunshine Week!

SPJ Leads
– Prez Tarquinio does media interviews
– Sharpen your skills with the Journalist's Toolbox
– New student chapter and new Region 11 Director

Press Notes
– Breast Cancer Awareness: Learning From Jackie Collins' Death
– Blog: CPJ joins call to oppose draft surveillance law in France
– Baboon raid temporarily forced Zimbabwe radio station off air

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