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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Fun SPJ Programs + Chapter Improvement

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SPJ Leads | 9/25/2013
Fun SPJ Programs + Chapter Improvement

By Ellen Kobe, SPJ Communications Department



We all have deadlines approaching, including some great SPJ opportunities. Don't miss out on the chance to benefit your chapter:

Ted Scripps Leadership Institute: This weekend-long training will teach you the ins and outs of being a superstar leader for your SPJ chapter. Join us in Richmond, Va., on Nov. 8-10 -- professional and campus members are welcome. Learn about your leadership style, mingle with other SPJ members and have fun! The deadline to apply is next Friday, Sept. 27. Remember, you (or your chapter) are responsible for costs associated with travel to the program location, but once you're there, we've got you covered.

Chapter grants: Organize a cool program with the help of SPJ funding. Chapters who apply by Oct. 1 could receive up to $500 to plan unique, diverse and creative programming geared toward anything journalism related -- ethics, campus crime coverage, copy editing, you name it! Write up your idea and fill out our online form. Check out our website for more information about chapter grants.

Questions about any of this SPJ awesomeness? Contact Tara Puckey at or 317.920.4784.


Last week, two SPJ chapters celebrated Constitution Day with the Free Food Fesitval, a program that teaches the public about their First Amendment rights. Participants sign up for a free meal and waive their First Amendment rights by doing so. You can read about the University of Memphis' experience in the university's student newspaper, and check out Florida Atlantic University's event in this video.

SPJ Florida and Region 3 helped the two chapters by providing T-shirts and advising about logistics.

Want to host a Free Food Festival? It doesn't have to be on Constitution Day. Contact Region 3 Director Michael Koretzky at


Ever wanted to know what it's like to interview a zombie? Now you can during Zombie Stories, a FREE SPJ program in New Orleans on Oct. 26. Here's how the night will go:

1. You'll receive a free white T-shirt - your uniform for interviewing the zombies.

2. If you ask a bad question, a zombie will spread fake blood on you.

3. The more blood on your shirt, the more likely you are to be disqualified. But if your shirt stays clean, you can win the grand prize: getting made up as a zombie for the evening.

4. And what good event doesn't end with a pub crawl?

If you'd like to participate, email Michael Koretzky at For more information, visit the Zombie Stories webpage.


The Jane Velez-Mitchell Journalism Award -- named after award-winning journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell, host of "Jane Velez-Mitchell" on HLN -- recognizes excellence in coverage of news of local, national, and international significance, with a single award for either a print or broadcast journalist who uses the power of media and his/her position to highlight the ongoing violence against women and girls, whether domestic violence, human trafficking, kidnapping and abductions, hate crimes or other despicable crimes and violence against women and girls without re-victimizing and re-exploiting the victim(s). The deadline to submit nominations is September 30, 2013. Click here for more information.


The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism has some useful training events coming up:

SEC Filings Master Class, Oct. 8-10, Online: Michelle Leder, who makes her living ferreting out news stories from SEC documents for, will be teaching a free webinar one hour each day. Sign up.

Data Journalism 101, Oct. 22-23, Online: Pulitzer winner Michael J. Berens of The Seattle Times will introduce attendees to the power of databases in a free webinar one hour a day. Sign up.

Strictly Financials Seminar, Jan. 2-5, Phoenix: Applications are open through Nov. 1 for fellowships to attend four days of intensive training in financial statements and SEC documents. Fellowships cover the full cost of training, lodging, materials and most meals. The 12 fellows have to pay only their travel expenses.


The Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence Awards -- created by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons -- recognizes and honors efforts by journalists that further the public's understanding of musculoskeletal health issues and encourages healthy behaviors in the care of bones and joints. Entries must be received on or before 5 p.m. CST on Monday, October 14, 2013. To read about eligibility, criteria and applying, visit the AAOS website.


Alexander Frederick "Sandy" Muir, who became a member during his collegiate days at Indiana University, died March 17 in Leesburg, Va. According to his obituary, Muir was a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps and later served as mayor of Hillsboro, Va., before moving back to Indiana.

Harry Allen Nordwick, an SPJ member since 1960, died July 18 in Madera, Calif. According to his obituary, Nordwick was a graduate of the University of Arizona and a longtime managing editor of the Salinas Californian.


Last week, the Dallas Morning News hired a full-time staff art critic from the academia world. How long had it been since the newspaper had an art critic?

Answer: 7 years (since 2006)

And the winner is ... Krystina Martinez from West Texas A&M University. Congrats!


Which U.S. President spoke at a SPJ, SDX convention? Hint: It was in Phoenix.

Submit your answer to Ellen Kobe.

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