By Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Department
SPJ STATEMENT ON JOURNALISTS' ARRESTS. In light of the recent arrests of journalists covering Occupy protests across the country, SPJ has issued a statement condemning this breach of First-Amendment rights. SPJ urges city administrators to drop all charges against these journalists and to avoid future incidents of arrest or obstruction of journalists' constitutionally protected work.
Read SPJ's statement here. President John Ensslin has also written a blog post about arrests of journalists doing their jobs.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: MOE AND SDX AWARDS. SPJ is excited to announce that two contests, the Mark of Excellence and Sigma Delta Chi awards, are open for entries. The MOE Awards honor the best in collegiate journalism, and the entry deadline is Jan. 25, 2012. Entries for SDX Awards, for professional journalists, are due by Feb. 9, 2012.
The awards cover online, print, radio and television journalism. To be eligible, work must have been published or broadcast in 2011. Both contests are open to non-members, although SPJ members receive a significant discount.
Please visit our awards site for more information, and enter online here. Good luck!
JUDGES NEEDED FOR AWARDS CONTESTS. SPJ is looking for qualified volunteers to judge the Mark of Excellence and Sigma Delta Chi Awards, two national contests that recognize the best work published or broadcast in 2011. The MOE Awards honor the best collegiate journalists and the SDX Awards honor outstanding work by professionals.
MOE judges must have three years of professional experience, and SDX judges must have 10 years of professional experience and a thorough knowledge of the area they are judging.
For questions or to express your interest in volunteering, please contact Lauren Rochester at 317-927-8000 ext. 210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you! These awards would not be possible without the commitment of members like you.
EIJ 2012: CALL FOR PROGRAMS. It's time to start thinking about Excellence in Journalism 2012, a conference co-presented by SPJ and RTDNA. With more than 1,000 journalists coming together from all types of media, we intend to offer diverse programs of the highest quality. That's why we're asking you to submit program proposals. Learn more about program guidelines. Submissions are due by Jan. 2, 2012.
JOURNALIST'S TOOLBOX. The Journalist's Toolbox, brought to you by SPJ and DePaul University professor Mike Reilley, is a free resource providing links and tips for journalists on dozens of topics. Browse resources by category, or use the search function to find a specific article or topic.
Recent updates include politics, military history and the financial crisis. Visit journaliststoolbox.org for more resources, and interact with @journtoolbox on Twitter to get all the relevant updates.
SPJ BLOGS NETWORK. Check out these latest posts to SPJ blogs:
— Thoughts on arrests of journalists simply doing their job by President John Ensslin
— FOI wins in Detroit, Justice Department; potential fail in Tennessee by SPJ Communications Coordinator Abby Henkel
— Business freelancers: Are you using the Reynolds Center? by Freelance Committee chairwoman Dana Neuts
— Hell, yeah! It's another SPJ committee! by Michael Koretzky, chairman of the new Blue Sky Committee
— How to make more money freelancing by Freelance Committee member Michael Fitzgerald
GEORGE MASON BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE. The Virginia Pro chapter announces a tribute to George Mason, founding father and author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the model for the Bill of Rights. Mason insisted on including a Bill of Rights and abolition of slavery in the Virginia constitution. On Mason's birthday — Sunday, Dec. 11 — the group will travel to the George Mason Memorial in Washington, D.C.'s West Potomac Park, followed by lunch, then a tour of Mason's plantation home, Gunston Hall in Lorton, Va.
The tribute will take place Dec. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at the Mason Memorial and 1:30 p.m. at Gunston Hall. SPJ Virginia Pro will coordinate rides from Richmond. RSVPs by all participants are required by Dec. 8, so that adequate restaurant arrangements and tour guides can be arranged. Contact Brian Eckert, email@example.com, for more information and RSVPs.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND FIRST AMENDMENT SCHOLARSHIP. The recent Knight Foundation "Future of the First Amendment" survey suggests that young people who actively use social media have a better understanding of core First Amendment principles. On Dec. 15, the "1 for All" campaign, Knight Foundation, First Amendment Center and the Newseum will both explore the survey findings and put them to the test. That date marks the 220th anniversary of ratification of the First Amendment.
The Newseum will host a special program on the survey results and ways in which educators can use social media to teach about free expression. At the same time, students throughout America will be invited to participate in "Free to Tweet," a national "1 for All" promotion that will award $5,000 scholarships to the 22 high school and college students who celebrate the First Amendment most creatively through social media.
More information on the scholarship program and rules is here. For information about "1 for All," visit 1forall.us.
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. An article making the rounds this week in the journalism-watching world questioned the wisdom of who the author called "news gurus." What deceased journalist did the article open with to set the stage for his argument? For that matter, what is the article in question?
Answer: "Confidence Game" by Dean Starkman opens with a story about investigative journalist Ida Tarbell. Read the story here.
And the winner is... Harold Geiger, producer at KTVI-TV. Congratulations, Harold! Your thorough knowledge of journalism literature has won you the coveted SPJ Leads Quiz Prize™!
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. Why has a long-standing blog been renamed "MediaWire"?
Submit your answer to Abby Henkel.