By Beth King
Communications Manager, SPJ
DIGITAL REVOLUTION: It’s here — the first issue of your Digital Quill. The same great content that you’ve come to expect in SPJ’s member magazine is now available in this fully interactive format. By now, a link to your first digital edition should have arrived in your e-mail’s inbox. Take some time over the next few days to check out the entire issue, taking full advantage of its interactive capabilities. To help guide you through this process, you’ll find a help feature in the upper right corner of the screen. Also, please read Quill Editor Joe Skeel’s column about SPJ’s decision to go digital on Page 3. It may answer several questions you have.
After you’ve reviewed this issue, please take time to fill out the short survey on the opening screen. Without your feedback, it will be nearly impossible to gauge our members’ interest in the product.
For more information or general questions about Digital Quill, contact Skeel at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (317) 927-8000, ext. 214.
SPJ IS HIRING. There are two full-time staff positions available at SPJ Headquarters in Indianapolis. We told you last week about the ad sales rep. That position is still open so if you or someone you know is an excellent salesperson, send them our way. The ad rep will sell advertising for Quill, The Journalist, the Web site, SPJ’s electronic communications, etc. If you can put an ad on it, we want to sell it! We’re looking for a dynamic go-getter with a proven and quantifiable track record of success. Selling is selling, but we’re most interested in hearing from those with experience in print sales working national accounts.
We’re also looking for a bookkeeper. Reporting to the Controller and Associate Executive Director, the bookkeeper is responsible for daily administrative and accounting functions. Proficiency with QuickBooks is required. The successful candidate must have experience in all facets of bookkeeping, including A/P and A/R, payroll processing, bank reconciliations as well as proficiency with the Microsoft Office suite of programs. Experience with database management, especially iMIS, is a plus.
SPJ offers competitive compensation and a generous benefits package. Cover letters, résumés and salary requirements should be E-mailed to Executive Director Terry Harper at email@example.com.
VICTORY! The U.S. Army has dropped its subpoena of independent journalist Sarah Olson, who was ordered in December to testify against Lt. Ehren Watada, a military officer who publicly refused deployment to Iraq. When Olson interviewed Watada, he criticized the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war. Letting her views be known about the subpoena, Olson explained why she objected. Supporting Olson in her belief that journalists should never become arms of law enforcement, SPJ President Christine Tatum sent a letter to Army prosecutors, condemning their actions. Additionally, the Society issued an FOI Alert to generate awareness. Read how the Society’s efforts led to the prosecution’s surrender in Editor and Publisher and The News-Tribune in Tacoma, Wash.
FREE JOSH. U.S. District Judge William Alsup has ruled against independent journalist Josh Wolf’s grumbles motion, where his lawyers would have argued that Josh’s commitment to press freedom would forever prevent him from handing over the tape that federal prosecutors seek. Consequently, the motion’s loss has stopped a hearing where Josh’s lawyers could have presented further evidence and testimony. Meanwhile, Josh remains in a federal prison in Dublin, Calif. Show your support for Josh and join others who want him released at a press conference Feb. 6 in San Francisco.
YOU CAN HELP. There will be a benefit for Josh in San Francisco with entertainment, speakers, food and drink. WHEN: 8 p.m., Feb. 6. WHERE: House of Shields Bar, 39 New Montgomery St., between Mission and Market, San Francisco. MORE INFO: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUPPORT A SHIELD. The First Amendment battles faced by Sarah Olson and Josh Wolf prove the need for a federal shield law to protect all journalists. Contact your state senators and representatives to explain why a federal shield law is necessary to maintaining a free and unfettered press.
STICKING UP FOR STUDENTS. Last week, SPJ partnered with the Student Press Law Center to issue a statement in support of journalism students at Grambling State University who are dealing with prior restraint of the university’s newspaper The Gramblinite. SPJ continues to monitor this situation. Read coverage from Richard Prince on the matter. Then, post your comments to the LDF Shield, a blog maintained by SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund committee.
TEACHING IDEAS WANTED. Have you taught a class or made a presentation during a seminar that featured a special method for tackling the topic of ethics? Or, maybe the topic was media law…or diversity in the newsroom…or the importance of a free press? You get the idea. To create a database to share with other instructors and seminar presenters, SPJ Campus Adviser At-Large Sue Kopen Katcef wants to hear from you. She’s looking to collect materials that will help others in presenting classes and/or seminars on a variety of topics for both student and professional journalists. They can be low-tech or high tech, such as PowerPoint, QuickTime movies, audio recordings, etc. In exchange for your help, SPJ will provide a small prize for the best submissions, too! For more information, contact Sue at email@example.com.
SDX BLING. Entries for the Sigma Delta Chi Awards competition must be postmarked by Feb. 6. To be eligible, work must have been published or broadcast during the 2006 calendar year. Go online for more information and an entry form. Questions? Contact Heather Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 927-8000, ext. 204.
LOOKING FOR LEADERSHIP. The Ted Scripps Leadership Institute is an SPJ program that offers student and professional chapter leaders a mix of sessions focused on interpersonal and organizational leadership skills and sound chapter management practices. This all-expense-paid, weekend retreat helps to promote strong leadership in the Society. Applications for the 2007 Institute, held June 1-3 in Indianapolis, are now being accepted and are due March 16. We strongly encourage those who will be serving as chapter president in the coming year to apply. Questions? E-mail Chris Vachon.
TRAINING ON THE GO. Could your newsroom benefit from a boost in writing, more ethics training or a crash course in freedom of information for staffers? If you answered yes, SPJ has you covered with a traveling newsroom training program. This unique opportunity combines high ideals with hands-on application. For more information, contact Chris Vachon at (317) 927-8000 ext. 207 or email@example.com.
IN DOGGED PURSUIT. The Inland Northwest Pro Chapter and Investigative Reporters and Editors are teaming up for a Better Watchdog Workshop in Spokane, Wash. The workshop will be held in conjunction with the Region 10 spring conference. Special guest will be immediate past SPJ president David E. Carlson. WHERE: Gonzaga University. WHEN: March 24-25. On Saturday, there will be a full program workshop. On Sunday, beginning and advanced level computer assisted reporting classes will be offered. Please note: Sunday classes only have room for 20 people in each, so sign up early. COST: $60 for the Saturday program and an extra $20 for Sunday. MORE INFO: Contact Pia Hansen, (509) 459-5427 or piaH@spokesman.com.
SAVE THE DATE. The 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference will take place Oct. 4-7 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. This year’s convention will feature programs focusing on Campaign 2008 and Washington-related topics. Mark your calendars and make plans now to attend.
LIVE FOM ISRAEL. National diversity committee and Chicago Headline Club member Ray Hanania is leading an unusual Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour. He’ll be in Israel through this weekend and then blogging about his experiences soon. In the meantime, he has a "spoof video" that addresses what people thought was going to happen when you put a Palestinian and an Israeli on the same comedy stage.
BE A RAINBOW SOURCE. The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association is currently accepting panel and workshop proposals for its 2007 National Convention & 4th Annual LGBT Media Summit: “Breaking Stories, Breaking Waves,” The summit will be held at the Westin Horton Plaza, just steps from San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter from Aug. 30-Sept. 2. Information about the convention and proposal guidelines can be accessed at nlgja.org. Completed proposals must be submitted by Feb. 16. MORE INFO: Contact Tom Avila, (202) 588 -9888, ext. 17 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HISTORICAL CRASH COURSE. Whether or not we consider ourselves historical writers, journalists frequently reconstruct or interpret the past. Yet the prospect can be daunting for reporters untrained in historical techniques and standards. Learn ways to interpret history while applying the techniques to your work during Reconstructing the Past: When History and Journalism Meet. This daylong course is the sixth in an annual series known as the North Gate Professional Seminar. It will bring together journalists, historians, authors, filmmakers and radio producers for panels and workshops on the craft of reporting and writing historical narrative. WHEN: April 21, Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. MORE INFORMATION: Visit the UC Berkeley Web site.
A FAMILY JOURNALISM AWARD. Apply now for the 2007 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism honoring distinguished coverage of children and families. First-place winners in 14 categories receive $1,000 and participate in an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Categories include newspapers, magazines, television, radio, photojournalism and multimedia. Work must be published or broadcast between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2006. DEADLINE: Entries must arrive by 5 p.m. EST March 1. APPLICATION AND MORE INFO: Visit The Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families Web site.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS IN NEW YORK. The Greater Buffalo chapter is offering a $2,500 scholarship for the 2007-08 academic year to a local undergraduate or graduate journalism student or a working journalist who is studying or planning to study journalism. DEADLINE: April 30. MORE INFORMATION: Contact Annemarie Fraczyk, (716) 541-1612 or email@example.com.
MAKING EVERY DAY EARTH DAY. Environmental reporter Jeff Alexander of the Muskegon Chronicle will discuss publishing his book “The Muskegon, The Majesty and Tragedy of Michigan’s Rarest River,” while covering the environmental beat. WHEN: Feb. 14, noon at Tripper’s in Lansing’s Frandor Shopping Center. COST: $10 for SPJ members and students; $12 for nonmembers. Lunch included. MORE INFO: Contact Christie Bleck at firstname.lastname@example.org.