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By Karen Grabowski
SPJ Communications Department
A GENEROUS GIFT FROM FLORIDA. David Carlson, past national SPJ president and SDX Foundation board member, and the North Central Florida Pro Chapter gave the beautiful gift of a mural (pictured left) to SPJ headquarters. The mural was installed last week and portrays several journalists' tools: a TV camera, laptop, microphone and even a quill. The SPJ and SDX logos are also prominently displayed. SPJ sends its sincere thanks to the entire North Central Florida Pro chapter for its generous and kind gift.
NATIONAL PROJECT WITH SPJ NAMES. Two SPJ members, who are and have been very dedicated to SPJ and its mission, have embarked on a new journalism adventure that aims to identify and promote excellent, ethically balanced journalism. SPJ members Paul Steinle, SDX Foundation Board president 1995-2000, and Georgiana Vines, SPJ President 1992-1993, joined four other industry professionals and educators to form the non-profit organization Valid Sources. The organization's initial project is called "Who Needs Newspapers?" and is a report to gauge the business health and reporting focus of a sampling of local newspapers across the U.S. The findings will be presented at whoneedsnewspapers.org in September 2010. Steinle is retiring associate provost at Southern Oregon University and former president of UPI. Vines is retired associate editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel.
SPJ WAIVER: WE DUE IT FOR YOU. SPJ continues to offer its six-month dues waiver to current members who have been laid-off as a result of the economy and dramatic industry changes. To see if you qualify for the waiver, and to submit a request, please download this form and return it to SPJ headquarters:
Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46280
We hope you will consider this opportunity if applicable. We are so appreciative of your support, and we will continue to do all we can to support you.
STILL FREE FOR YOU. One of the fantastic perks about being an SPJ member is that you can post your profile in the Freelancer Directory for editors and news directors nationwide to peruse. The directory is a very useful resource, so we hope all you freelancers out there are taking advantage of it! Remember, while only members can post profiles, anyone seeking a freelancer can peruse the database. FYI: Just this week, several editors thanked us for the resource and said they would bookmark the site.
WILL WRITE FOR FOOD. SPJ and the Florida College Press Association are looking for 20 adventurous college journalists to publish an issue of the Homeless Voice, the nation's second-largest homeless newspaper. Spend Labor Day weekend near the beach and in the sun where the event will pay for your hotel, meals and travel, and you will get to work on a publication that gives voice to those who usually have none. Visit the website for more information and e-mail Rachel Joyner if you have any questions.
SEEING RED. The student SPJ chapter at University of Cincinnati is turning red in a university-wide initiative to increase awareness of distracted driving, which pertains to talking, texting, e-mailing or browsing the Internet. The initiative, Turn UC Red, was started by Jathan Fink, president of the university's SPJ chapter. Fink was inspired to take action after a local college student died in a car accident caused by texting while driving and Oprah Winfrey's current anti-texting-while-driving campaign. Just fewer than 60 students, faculty and staff (as of May 17) have pledged not to use their phones while driving. Fink told The News Record that Ohio does not currently have a law that bans using hand-held devices while driving, and he hopes that this campaign will help make a change. "Sometimes all it takes to save someone's life is to speak up and share some knowledge," Fink said.
COAST TO COAST. SPJ FOI Committee Chairman Dave Cuillier started his Access Across America tour on the West Coast, but now he's going east. First to the Southeast (Florida) and then to the Northeast (New England). If you are in Georgia, Florida, Virginia, D.C., West Virginia or New York, we hope you'll take a closer look at the schedule for this upcoming week. Make sure you don't miss him!
Thursday, May 20 (Florida)
— 7-8:30 p.m. South Florida SPJ pro chapter, Boca Raton, Fla. See website for more information.
Friday, May 21 (North Carolina)
— To be determined
Saturday, May 22 (Virginia)
— 2-4 p.m. Virginia Coalition for Open Government, Richmond, Va. Admission is $10 per person. See website for more information.
Monday, May 24 (Washington, D.C.)
— 6-8 p.m. Washington, D.C., SPJ pro chapter, Washington, D.C., National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, $10 for NPC/SPJ members and $25 for non-members. See Press Club site to RSVP.
Tuesday, May 25 (West Virginia)
— To be determined
Wednesday, May 26 (New York)
— 7-9 p.m. New York City Deadline Club SPJ chapter, New York, N.Y. At Associated Press headquarters, 430 W. 33rd St. Free for SPJ members and $10 for non-members. See Deadline Club site for more information.
ONA TRAINING EVENTS. ONADC, the Washington, D.C. group of the Online News Association, will host four monthly training sessions open to area journalists using the expertise and facilities of USA TODAY in McLean, Va., thanks to a $9,800 grant from the Gannett Foundation. The first full-day event will be Thursday, June 10, from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and will focus on video and production values, including editing, camera choices and production/hosting solutions. Because of the hands-on nature of the workshops, registration is limited to 40 attendees. Cost for one session is $20 for ONA members, $35 for non-ONA members. Register here.
The second session is in July and will hone in on the different uses of using real-time Web and interacting with those in it. The third session is in August and looks at emerging business models. The fourth and final session is in September and focuses on using the Web in investigative reporting. To learn more, visit Journalists.org. If you have questions regarding the ONADC Summer School Series, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
200 MOMENTS (NOT 525,600 MINUTES). The Poynter Institute released the 200 moments that transformed journalism from 2000-2009. The project, which is grant-funded by the Carnegie Corporation, supports the work of transforming journalism. The four areas scrutinized are business, technology, news and social media. See the list here.
APPLY FOR REDISTRICTING TRAINING. The Illinois Press Association, Citizen Advocacy Center, and Midwest Democracy Network invite journalists to apply to participate in a redistricting workshop that will take place at the University Center, Chicago, Illinois, on June 17 and June 18. Participants will be provided with training in understanding the complex topic of redistricting. Successful applicants will be reimbursed for travel and lodging. For more information on how to apply, visit the Illinois Press Association website.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. The nation's attention (and news media) is still focused on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but only the AP got exclusive coverage on the barge, the Joe Griffin, which carried a containment vessel that everyone hoped could contain a majority of the leak. An attempt to lower the vessel over the leak began Friday, May 7, but was thwarted the following day. But it was the AP that brought those efforts to you first. Name the AP reporter who achieved the exclusivity and who AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll called "incredibly persistent."
A. Harry Weber
This week's winner is Renee Sloan from North Carolina! Congratulations, Renee! Your prize is in the mail.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Thanks in part to a particular Facebook group, a Pakistani court ordered authorities to block the entire social networking site until May 31. The Facebook group states that it "...believe(s) in and want(s) to defend freedom of speech and the foundation of democracy where it is threatened in the world." It also asked Facebook users to submit specific items for a contest, a contest that led to the ban in Pakistan. What are the requested items?
Submit your answer to Karen Grabowski.