By Christine Tatum
National President, Society of Professional Journalists
Assistant Business Editor, The Denver Post
DIG THESE GIGS. SPJ this week trumpeted its new Freelancer Directory to nearly 50,000 editors in the United States. Some freelancing journalists say they have received great job offers. What are you waiting for?! Enter your information in the database today. Anyone may search the directory, but only SPJ members may be featured in it. SPJ Communications Manager Beth King is scheduled to show off this great new tool at the national conference of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, coming up April 21 in New York.
SDX BLING. SPJ announced winners of the 2006 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism earlier today. Congratulations to all of the winners.
A BITE OF THE BIG APPLE. National President Christine Tatum is headed today to NYC. On Friday, she will promote membership in SPJ at The New York Times. On Saturday, she will speak at a conference of the World Journalism Institute and then trek to Long Island, where she’ll lead a boot camp for young journalists attending the SPJ Spring Conference for Region 1.
This week, SPJ also will conduct Spring Conferences in Detroit, Honolulu and St. Louis. Next week, you’ll find plenty of SPJers in Louisville, Ky. It’s not too late to join us! Find details online.
GOT ETHICS? Everyone needs a refresher on the importance of J-ethics. SPJ will conduct at least a dozen events nationwide to help journalists safeguard the integrity of their work. What’s the big occasion? (No, it’s not Katie Couric’s presentation of a Wall Street Journal story.) SPJ will observe Ethics in Journalism Week April 22-28.
PAY THE PIPER? SPJ chapters sometimes invite experts to speak at professional development programs. In some cases, a speaker gets an appearance fee or honorarium. Is this an acceptable practice? What should the limits be for SPJ chapters — especially student chapters? The national ethics committee debated this topic in its new blog, Code Words. We’d like to know your thoughts, too.
SPEAK THE LINGO. SPJ’s Code of Ethics is now available in Croatian and Hungarian.
RESPECT THE CULTURE. David Burns of SPJ’s International Journalism Committee provides a compelling look at the serious challenges of being a male professor at an all-female university in Dubai.
ADVICE, PLEASE. The Generation J section aims to help young, working journalists. So, all you veterans out there, how would you advise one entry-level reporter who recently wrote: “How common is working off the clock? … Reporters in my newsroom do it all the time to get their projects done. Editors know it happens but look the other way because overtime is verboten.”
MAXIMUM EXPOSURE. Help the Generation J Committee shape discussions that could reinvent entire newsrooms! Share cool reporting tips and tricks, and show off some of your best work. Contact Generation J Committee Chairwoman Caryn Rousseau today.
THAT BEAUTIFUL FACE. Are you a proud SPJ member still early in your journalism career? Willing to field questions from other young SPJ members? Passionate about journalism advocacy and wanting to inspire others? Then please add your bio and contact information to SPJ’s Faces of Generation J section. Submit a bio and photo to SPJ Web Administrator Billy O’Keefe.
HIGHER ED. SPJ is collecting materials for the construction of a database that will help journalists present classes and/or seminars on a variety of topics for both students and professionals. Submissions can be low-tech — or high-tech (think PowerPoint, video and audio). We can use them all! Please send materials to National Adviser At Large Sue Kopen Katcef.
Here’s one example: Nerissa Young, a visiting assistant professor at Shepherd University shows her students how “stereotypes reflect lazy reporting.”
LEARN SOMETHING NEW. Registration is open for SPJ’s Narrative Writing Workshops in San Diego, Denver and Columbia, S.C.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. Members can learn on the run with SPJ’s Podcasts, which can be downloaded into any MP3 player. Find out more about “storytelling in the new age” from Pulitzer Prize-winner Rick Bragg, and get the ins and outs of covering major college sports from Arnold Feliciano of the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun; Bob Thomas of the Florida Times-Union; and John Marvel, formerly of ESPN.com.
BLAH, BLAH, BLOG. There’s always something fun to yammer about on an SPJ blog:
• Maria Trombly of the International Journalism Committee is based in China and says she’s hiring again.
• On News Gems, Jon Marshall credits a couple of bloggers with some of the best reporting on the Bush administration’s controversial firings of several U.S. attorneys. Know of other blogs doing a good job of providing original reporting?
• Mike McQueen of the National Diversity Committee writes about how bilingual reporters are needed — and fast.
• Legal Defense Fund Chairman Dave Aeikens notes on the Legal Shield that a Connecticut judge is going to allow cameras in his courtroom.
• On its FOIFYI blog, the national Freedom of Information Committee notes that Massachusetts’ highest court upheld a lower -court judge’s decision to seal the names of jurors hearing a gang-related case.
GO TEAM! After being put to the test, three witty members have agreed to join the SPJ Leads-writing team. Many thanks to Willie Schatz, Pierce Presley and Stephanie M. Kanowitz.
TECH TIP OF THE WEEK. Are you a Mac person? Then seriously consider springing $100 for Apple’s “Pro Care.” Christine Tatum recently did, and boy is she impressed. She’s now entitled to a one-hour, personal tutorial each week with an Apple expert. Fifty-two hours of tech instruction! That’s probably the best deal you’ll find in any Apple store.