By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department
CHECK OUT THE NEW CAMPUS ACCESS CENTER. SPJ is excited to offer the latest online resource in FOI:
the Campus Access Center. The resource focuses on offering students advice, training and up-to-date information on important freedom of information decisions.
The page includes various easy-to-access FOI tutorials, links and contacts to help campus chapters get involved. This is the second installment in a series of updates to the
FOI section of SPJ's website, including our redesigned federal shield law page.
For more on the federal shield law, a letter from SPJ President Kevin Smith and SPJ's efforts to have the bill enacted, click here.
GET TECH SAVVY AT THE NATIONAL CONVENTION. With the SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference (#SPJ10 on Twitter) just over two months away, consider leaving tech and new media savvy after your time in Las Vegas. Planners have prepared dozens of different professional development programs to give you the leading edge. A sampling:
Using Internet and Social Media Tools to Diversify your Sources and Audience: Although media outlets across the country are scaling back on staff, cutting coverage of ethnic and other minority communities, this discussion will give you insight into exciting new trends in online media making it easier to explore and contact diverse sources and audiences.
New Gear to Get the Job Done: Kerry Northrup, former director of publications for World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, demonstrates and evaluates newsgathering equipment, sharing his recommendations for the best and most practical gear to help journalists do their jobs efficiently and effectively.
Site Roulette: 60 Sites in 60 Minutes: A fresh look at the technology landscape and the tools that are being used by journalists all over the world.
Social Media: The Safe Way: Give your next blog or tweet a second thought before publishing. The risks of slander, libel and other media law issues for journalists abound on the Web. Where do you draw the line and how do you protect yourself?
Networked Journalism: Can daily newspapers and television stations collaborate with other media makers in their communities and deal with a "blogvertorial"? This session examines lessons learned from J-Lab's pilot projects with partnered mainstream news organizations teamed with five hyperlocal sites in their communities that share content and eventually revenue streams.
Mining Facebook, Twitter, etc.: The Ethical Side of It: Explore practical ways to use this new generation of tools and outlets as a journalist without compromising objectivity and ethical balance.
How to Use Liveblogging and Webcasts to Enhance Your Reporting: Mark Luckie, 10,000Words.net blogger and author of "The Digital Journalist's Handbook," teaches the tools you need to create live online content that adds another dimension to your coverage and engages your audience.
Smashing the Silos!: As traditional news organizations struggle to thrive online, structures that reinforce silos make even less sense. How newsrooms organize themselves will play a role in how well they adapt. Break down those suppressive silos with Victor Hernandez, director of domestic newsgathering, CNN/US, and Mike Toppo, senior director of news operations & production, CNN.com.
How to Grow Audience Organically: This session presents a review of techniques to grow your audience without spending marketing dollars with various designs. As a part of the session, Salon.com will share data relating to search, social media and audience growth since launching a newly designed and expanded website.
Google 101 for Journalists: Taught by Google staff members, this session demonstrates ways to work more efficiently and effectively on the Web to keep better tabs on your beat, see what's hot and what's not, add a visual edge to your online content and use Google on the go when you're reporting in the field.
Love these programs? That's not all the convention has to offer. Check the entire program listing HERE to see what other "cards" SPJ has up its sleeves to make your time in Vegas worthwhile.
Remember, the skills you learn in Vegas WON'T stay in Vegas.
CATCHING THE STORY. In a recent column, Poynter's Adam Hochberg questions whether nearly extinct "beat" reporters at the USDA could have seen early inconsistencies in the Shirley Sherrod story. The article raises concerns in the missing value of an established beat reporter that could have caught key, past-dated material in the story that blogger Andrew Britbart had posted on his website last week.
Hochberg goes on to cite James Webster, past farm reporter and USDA official, on the many foul-ups during the coverage, to include the Obama administration's embarrassing odyssey of first demanding Sherrod's resignation, then repeatedly apologizing and asking her to return to USDA once they knew the context of her remarks. Many veteran agriculture journalists, including Cindy Zimmerman, a former farm broadcaster who now publishes AgWired, are concerned that the entire industry of agriculture is ignored by the uncontrolled 'drive by' media, unless it is bad news.
Click here for the full column.
GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE, SOLD FOR THE LDF! The economy is tough enough without having to worry about the court fees from subpoenas threatening your free press rights. That's why the
Legal Defense Fund is one of many resources SPJ maintains to help journalists and news outlets in need. It's integral to the Society's mission of "improving and protecting journalism," and we want you covered.
To raise money for the fund, SPJ will hold the Legal Defense Fund Auction during the 2010 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Las Vegas. Of course, an auction requires items to auction off. Now is your chance to help fellow journalists (or yourself) by donating an item or service to the auction, which has silent and live components. Be sure to fill out and submit this form when sending items to SPJ Headquarters.
The deadline to submit is Sept. 1. E-mail Lauren Rochester or call 317-927-8000 ext. 210 with questions.
Thank you in advance for helping SPJ protect journalists like you!
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. One popular industry story this week (at least on Twitter) focused on newsroom burnout beginning earlier in journalists' careers. A New York Times article on the subject mentioned two news outlets that pay writers partially on the number of clicks their online articles receive. What are those two outlets?
A. Gawker Media and Bloomberg News
And the winner is...
Elizabeth Shell, a Carnegie-Knight Fellow from Phoenix, Ariz. Congrats, Elizabeth.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. After 60 years in journalism, veteran broadcaster Daniel Schorr, who broke stories from the Cold War era to Watergate for CBS News before a second career as a news analyst for NPR, died Friday at the age of 93. How many Emmy awards did Schorr receive during his career and whose "enemies list" for? What was his rank on the list?
Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott. (Andrew, by the way, is SPJ's new communications coordinator. Welcome! Reach him at 317-927-8000 ext. 215.)