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Excellence in Journalism is the national journalism conference of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association. Join us in September in Nashville for training, networking, workshops and more!
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By Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Department
MOURNING LOSS OF JEAN OTTO. Jean Otto, the first female president of SPJ, died Thursday, Sept. 15. She was 86. Otto served as SPJ president from 1979-80. Read about her life and many contributions to SPJ.
ON VACATION -- OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. The SPJ staff will be in New Orleans Sept. 22-29, and the office will be closed Friday, Sept. 30. There will be no "official" SPJ Leads next week, Sept. 28, as we'll be packing up and shipping everything back to Indianapolis. However, at the conclusion of the conference, we'll email all members to inform you of the happenings — election results, bylaws, resolutions, etc. — if you can't join us in The Big Easy.
EIJ11 DRAWS NEAR. We are thrilled that 1,255 people have registered for Excellence in Journalism 2011! With less than one week until the conference, the SPJ office is busy with final preparations. If you have last-minute questions, or if you aren't going to the conference but need to get a hold of us, please do so before we leave Thursday afternoon. Call the SPJ office at 317-927-8000.
Whether you come to New Orleans, you can keep up with EIJ before and during the conference by monitoring the Twitter hashtag #EIJ11. We welcome you to join in the conversation!
And follow all the news from the conference with The Working Press. The daily newspaper and website is staffed by dedicated student journalists and professional advisers. They'll be on-site soon updating the website with all the need-to-know information.
ELEVEN WAYS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF EIJ11. RTDNA blogger and SPJ Generation-J Committee Chairwoman Lynn Walsh offers excellent advice on preparing for a great experience at Excellence in Journalism. Read her tips here.
SPJ DEFENDS PUBLIC RECORDS ACCESS. The National Practitioner Data Bank contains valuable information regarding state medical boards and hospital disciplinary systems. After the Health Resources and Services Administration announced last week that it would be taking down the Public Use File of the NPDB following a reporter's alleged violation of access, SPJ joined the Association of Health Care Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors in a letter protesting the HRSA's move away from open government records.
Read more here, including the letter sent by the organizations to the HRSA. Read the HRSA's letter to reporter Alan Bavley (PDF), in which the department claims that all information on the NPDB is confidential.
NLGJA JOINS UNITY COALITION. The board of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association recently voted to join the minority journalism coalition UNITY: Journalists of Color. Read more about the new partnership from NLGJA and UNITY. Congratulations to both organizations!
SPJ CHAT THIS WEEK -- JOIN US! The first SPJ chat of the new season was a smashing success. Join us on Twitter at 8 p.m. ET Thursday, Sept. 22, for more great discussions. This week's chat will be a free-for-all discussion on what to expect at Excellence in Journalism 2011, 9/11 anniversary coverage and unsigned comments on stories.
Get more info on the chat and how to participate here. #SPJchat is moderated by Journalist's Toolbox editor and DePaul University SPJ chapter adviser Mike Reilley.
SPJ BLOGS NETWORK. Check out some of the latest posts on the SPJ blogs network:
— Airing raw video of air show crash insensitive. By Mike Brannen
— Digital Media Tools: One click away. By Rebecca Aguilar
— Irene was not overhyped. By Mike Brannen
SURVEY RESULTS: FUTURE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has released results of a new survey on high school students and the First Amendment, the fourth such survey in a series that began in 2004. Findings of particular note:
— Classroom instruction on the First Amendment is down 8 percent since 2006.
— The more students use social networking sites, the more they agree "people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions."
— In the 2011 survey, 65 percent of students report getting news and information from the Internet, compared with 31 percent in 2006.
— In 2006, 45 percent of student respondents believed the First Amendment went too far in protecting rights; that number declined to 24 percent in 2011. Among teachers, the number dropped from 33 percent to 25.
— The 2011 study found that 61 percent of students, but only 35 percent of teachers, agree that "high school students should be allowed to report controversial issues in their student newspapers without the approval of school authorities."
Read full results of the survey. (PDF)
SCRIPPS HOWARD FOUNDATION SEMESTER IN WASHINGTON. Students studying print, online, broadcast and photo journalism are eligible to apply for the Scripps Howard Foundation Semester in Washington program.
Interns report for the Web-based Scripps Howard Foundation Wire and may also report for campus or hometown news organizations. Interns work with an experienced Washington editor to choose, report and edit stories. Tours of Washington journalism and government institutions and guest speakers are part of the program.
Interns earn a stipend of $2,520 for the 14-week spring term and $1,800 for the 10-week summer term. The program provides free housing in furnished apartments.
The deadline to apply for both terms is Nov. 1, 2011. For more information, contact Jody Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit shfwire.com. To apply, click here.
MEREDITH-CRONKITE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM. The Cronkite School of Journalism and the Meredith Corporation and its Phoenix station KPHO-TV are offering a program that is open to top minority broadcast journalism students within 12 months of graduating.
Students spend a week in January working in the CBS 5 newsroom with KPHO reporters, producers, editors and videographers, and with instructors from the Cronkite School, getting hands-on experience creating news packages on deadline while learning about newsroom ethics and leadership.
Students will also receive a stipend of $2,000 to cover expenses. Cronkite students receive a $500 stipend. Ten students will be selected. The application process is open now. For more information, email Sue Green or see the program page here.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Who were the NPR journalists who found themselves in the midst of an insurgent attack during the U.S. Embassy discussions they were covering in Afghanistan this week?
Answer: Quill Lawrence and Renee Montagne
And the winner is...no one! It looks like we picked a stumper last week. Let's see if SPJ staff can flummox you again.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Jean Otto, 1979-80 SPJ president, died last week (see first Leads item above). The SPJ family lost two other past national presidents in the past 12 months. Name one and when he or she served.
Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.