By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department
EVERLASTING GIFT. For those who knew former executive director Terry Harper, you know he never met a stranger. And even though he died nearly a year ago, Terry's work lives on. Just last week, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation received a donation of $65,000 from the estate of SPJ member Alexander S. Bodi, who died in November. As we searched our files for information about Mr. Bodi, we found letters of correspondence between him and Terry. It turns out Mr. Bodi and his wife hosted Terry for dinner while Terry was traveling in Utah. The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation board decided on April 18 that the best way to honor Mr. Bodi's generous gift was to earmark that money for the Terry Harper Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships for SPJ members to attend SPJ professional development events. This brings the fund total to $100,000, which will provide about $5,000 in scholarships each year. With Terry's birthday being Friday, we can't help but wonder: Is this his way of making sure we remember who the real "boss of the applesauce" still is?
ETHICAL DILEMMA. The SPJ Ethics Committee released a statement Tuesday expressing its dismay that some New Jersey newspapers let a sports team cover itself. The Asbury Park Press and other Gannett papers in the Garden State allowed a Devils employee to cover the New Jersey Devils, a clear conflict of interest that the committee does not approve of despite the newspapers disclosing the conflict. Ethics Committee Chairman Andy Schotz said, "The public expects journalists to be ethical — including fair and impartial — and holds us accountable when we fail." Read the entire statement here.
FROM OUR FEARLESS LEADER. SPJ President Kevin Smith writes, "it's a great time to be in SPJ." And don't we all know it?! The SPJ board members who met in Indianapolis April 16-18 know it well, too. Read Smith's latest blog post about the recent board meeting and the issues members discussed.
SPJ BOARD NOMINATIONS. Have you considered serving on the SPJ board? SPJ's board of directors provides direction for how the organization carries out its mission to improve and protect journalism through initiatives such as First Amendment advocacy, educational training, and the promotion of the highest standards of ethical reporting.
While there is no deadline to declare, you must submit materials by June 18 if you want your candidacy announced in Quill magazine. All individuals seeking a national board position will be asked to download and complete this declaration form [PDF, 234 KB], submit a photo and complete a board questionnaire that will be distributed to all voting delegates.
Several members have already declared their candidacy. See who they are here.
Interested candidates should contact Dave Aeikens, Nominations Committee chairman, as soon as possible. Please be sure to copy Executive Director Joe Skeel as well.
SEE DAVE ON TOUR. Dave Cuillier, FOI Committee chairman and open government superstar, takes to the road this week on his Access Across America Tour. At every stop, Dave will conduct one-to-three-hour training sessions on FOI and open government issues that are tailored to your state. His goal is to reach as many journalists as possible, particularly those at smaller organizations. Check out the map of his tour stops to see when you can attend a session. Prices vary and many are FREE! Contact your local SPJ chapter for more information.
TOOLS TO LIVE BY. SPJ's Mike Reilley continues to bring you fantastic resources to make your reporting lives easier. Check out the latest posts on the Journalists' Toolbox. And keep checking it out! Reilley updates the website and tweets from @journtoolbox often.
Latest topics include: weather resources, global issues, medical/health, social media guidelines, gas prices and more!
WEST COAST WRITING WORKSHOP. Want to break away from the same old news-writing styles? Editors and reporters looking to reinvigorate their writing craft should check out the SPJ Narrative Writing Workshop Saturday, May 8, in Santa Clara, Calif. The event is led by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tom Hallman Jr., who will provide attendees with a variety of tips for creating exciting news stories. Learn more about the workshop and how to register online here.
CONGRATS ARE IN ORDER. SPJ member Bob Ruggles will be honored with the Barrow Award for Achievement in Diversity Research and Education at the 2010 AEJMC Conference in Denver. The award recognizes outstanding individual accomplishment and leadership in diversity efforts within the journalism and mass communication discipline. Ruggles is currently Professor Emeritus at Florida A&M University, and he was the founding dean of the university's School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. He led the creation of the journalism degree program, and his efforts achieved the program national accreditation in 1982, making FAMU the first historically black university to receive ACEJMC accreditation. Phillip Jeter, professor and chairman at Winston-Salem State University, nominated Ruggles, writing, "he was a visionary, a builder, a fierce advocate of journalism and mass communications education for college students, especially racial minorities." Congratulations, Bob!
HIGH SCHOLARS. From the flood of journalism essays SPJ received for its 2010 High School Essay Contest, we would strongly argue that the future of journalism is in good hands. SPJ received over 600 entries from young students all over the nation who wrote on the topic "Why are Free and Independent News Media Important?" Entrants were judged locally and then nationally before three winners were chosen. First place, and a $1,000 scholarship, went to Erin McDonough of Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington, Va. Second place, and a $500 scholarship, went to Shaj Mathew of Huntingtown High School in Huntingtown, Md. Third place, and a $300 scholarship, went to Xiaonan "April" Hu of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va. Congratulations to all three award winners! Read the awards press release here.
FREE EVENT AT NEWSEUM. On Tuesday, May 11, the non-profit organization Free Press will bring together policymakers, academics, community leaders, journalists and innovators under one roof to explore critical issues shaping the Internet, journalism and public media. Speakers include FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, the BBC's John Tate, journalists Farai Chideya and Jose Antonio Vargas, Jehmu Greene of the Women's Media Center, Susan DeSanti of the FTC, NPR's Andy Carvin, Jessica Clark, David Fanning of Frontline, Alberto Ibarguen of the Knight Foundation and more. Here are the details:
What: Free Press Summit: Ideas to Action
When: Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 10:00 a.m. -- 5:00 p.m.
Where: Newseum, Washington, D.C.
Register Now to Save Your Seat: http://summit.freepress.net
NEW ETHICS REPORT & CONFERENCE. A non-profit journalism ethics report was released Monday by three journalism centers: the Center for Journalism Ethics at UW-Madison's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and the Knight Chair in Investigative & Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois. Additional support was provided by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation of Oklahoma City. The report recommends best practices for non-profit investigative journalism. Read the entire report and the corresponding press release here.
The report will be discussed at a journalism ethics conference staged by the Center for Journalism Ethics on April 30 at UW-Madison. "New Journalism — New Ethics?" is the second annual ethics conference at the center. Learn more information online. And if you can't go but wish you could, you can watch a live stream of the conference at journalismethics.info on April 30. Questions and comments are also welcomed. Instructions on how to send yours to the conference's social media moderators will be available on the website by Thursday, April 29.
MASHABLE AND CNN JOIN FORCES. New and social media seem to make us all move at a hare's pace, so we guess it's appropriate that you have to move fast to get a ticket to the 2010 Mashable Media Summit. The first joint one-day conference Mashable and CNN are holding is Tuesday, June 8, in New York City. It features leaders in the fields of Location, Branding, Online Video, Music, Hospitality and Sports. As of Tuesday at 3:34 p.m., 220 tickets remained. Claim yours today.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Q. Airlines and travelers aren't the only ones getting trouble from the erupting volcano in Iceland. Journalists are also struggling with the volcano, but they're struggling with its name. As funny-man Jon Stewart recently noted on the Daily Show, only Al Roker has been able to say the name correctly (skip to 1:35). Now in all fairness, Eyjafjallajökull is a mouthful. But two NPR newscasters created a rap to help journalists with the pronunciation. Name those newscasters.
A. The NPR newscasters are Korva Coleman and Renita Jablonski.
And our winner is: Judy Goldman! Congratulations, Judy! We'll be sending you a pack of SPJ-must-haves soon.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. We're going to make you do a little bit of work this week, as we've been hearing complaints about the quiz being too easy. Ask and you shall receive:
Q. In this video from Abilene Christian University is a shot of a particular magazine with which SPJ is very familiar (okay, it's OUR magazine). In that issue is a reference to a particular journalist/author who is now deceased. That journalist was notable for writing about a particular sporting event, happening in May. Who is the journalist, what is the event, and what's the title of the piece ABOUT the event? (Hint: The reference comes between pages 5 and 30.)