By Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Department
NATIONAL PRACTITIONER DATA BANK. Thanks to leadership from the Association of Health Care Journalists, we've been tracking an issue of great public importance: removal of a public data file concerning doctor performance. Last month, SPJ joined the AHCJ and Investigative Reporters and Editors in a letter protesting the removal of the Public Use File of the National Practitioner Data Bank by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.
The academic community has now joined the fight for access to important health-care information, and SPJ President John Ensslin has written a blog post calling for support.
AHCJ President Charles Ornstein discussed the issue on WNYC's "On the Media" last week.
There will be a conference call Thursday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. to discuss this issue. All are welcome to join the call. For information, click here.
SPJ VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH. Michael P. Reilley of the Chicago Headline Chapter is our first national SPJ volunteer of the month. SPJ President John Ensslin awarded the honor to Reilley for his work with the Digital Media Committee as well as his role as adviser to the student chapter at DePaul University.
"Volunteers are the backbone of our Society, and Mike is an excellent example of someone who has put his full talents to use in the service of SPJ," Ensslin said.
SPJ Region 4 director Liz Hansen nominated Reilley. "He did a phenomenal job in creating and advising the DePaul University chapter of SPJ, which was named national Campus Chapter of the Year for 2010-11 in only its second year of existence," Hansen wrote.
"Second, as creator of The Journalists' Toolbox and through #SPJChat (@spjchat) on Twitter, he has enhanced professional development for both professional and student members of SPJ."
Know of an SPJ volunteer worthy of being nominated for this honor? Email to John Ensslin at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your nominee and why that person should be considered.
FREELANCE COMMITTEE NEWS. The SPJ Freelance Committee has announced its goals for the 2011-12 year. Read through the goals on the freelance blog, and share your thoughts in the comments section. While you're at it, join the committee at its new home on Twitter, @spjfreelance.
Learn more about the SPJ Freelance Committee, including information on the freelancer directory, SPJ on Demand training videos and the freelancer reading room.
QUILL ONLINE. The Sept./Oct. issue of Quill is out, but members can always access it (and the Quill archives) online at spj.org/quill.asp. Here is just a sampling of what you'll find in the annual FOI-themed issue:
From the President: Immediate Past President Hagit Limor's final column as SPJ President
Ten with Jesse Eisinger, former Wall Street Journal writer and now a senior reporter at ProPublica
A Decade Later: 9/11 and Freedom of Information
Blowin' the Whistle, Rollin' the Dice: Insights into the Obama Administration's unexpected take on whistleblowers
Toolboxes on ethics, education, diversity, narrative writing and more
WHO GETS IT? We've been asking intermittently on Twitter and Facebook a rather subjective question: What news outlets "get it" with social media? For Quill, we are collecting responses about who does indeed "get it" and why. There is no true criteria list, to be sure.
So, what do you think? What news outlets "get it" and why (perhaps it's your own, and that's quite all right)? Email Quill editor Scott Leadingham or engage us on Twitter.
SPJ BLOGS NETWORK. Check out some of the newest posts to the SPJ blogs network:
National Practitioner Data Bank restricted: How you can help by SPJ President John Ensslin
Protecting Amanda Knox by Mike Brannen
Freelance Cents by Tara Puckey
Money available for student chapter programming in Region 5
Oregon/SW Washington SPJ Pro chapter hosts fall conference: "Building a Better Journalist"
CELEBRATE 100 YEARS AT OSU. SPJ has a long and stellar history at The Ohio State University. The OSU student chapter is celebrating its 100th anniversary on Friday, Oct. 28, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Ohio Union. The event will feature Pulitzer Prize winner and Ohio State alumnus Jim Schaefer. The group will host a reception afterward, sponsored by the Central Ohio Pro chapter. Contact Alexis Preskar at Preskar.email@example.com for more information.
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.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. What radio host/producer was recently named a MacArthur Fellow (receiving what is popularly called a "genius grant")?
Answer: Jad Abumrad, producer and co-host of WNYC's RadioLab, was honored as a MacArthur Fellow for his achievements on the nationally syndicated radio show.
And the winner is...Roy Harris, Editorial Director for CFOworld.com. Congratulations, Roy! You'll be receiving the official SPJ Leads Quiz prize, which we hear is just as prestigious as a MacArthur genius grant.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. What new scandal at News Corp. this week has nothing to do with phone hacking? (Name the primary person involved.)
Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.