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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > The fast and the furious

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SPJ Leads | 3/7/2018
The fast and the furious

By Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Department


"If you're a news organization and the folks in power are constantly praising you, you're doing it wrong. By definition." --  Jake Tapper


Facebook is letting some publishers label stories as "Breaking News." The verdict?  It's already working.

The Women's Media Center issued a report called " The Status of Women of Color in the U.S. News Media 2018." The report notes that it's been 50 years since the Kerner Commission criticized the news media for not sufficiently covering race issues. The report also says "Women of color represent just 7.95 percent of U.S. print newsroom staff, 12.6 percent of local TV news staff, and 6.2 percent of local radio staff, according to industry research." Don't have time to read the full report? Read a  summary of the report here.

Hearst, a newspaper group with 24 daily and 64 weekly papers (like the Houston Chronicle and the San Francisco Chronicle), has been testing  a flexible paywall. The new design gives editors the flexibility to determine what should be in front of or behind the paywall at individual news organizations. At the Albany Times-Union, the first paper to test the flexible paywall, the total number of subscribers has doubled since it started tests in September.


SPJ Ethics Chairman Andrew Seaman  says there's a time to bring interviews off live television.

In the case of former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg, Seaman said: "Journalists must also consider whether the information being provided by the person is accurate and how it affects people at home reading the newspaper, watching television, listening to the radio or interacting with the news online. ... Journalists should not be chastised for speaking with Nunberg, but that does not mean each of his statements and accusations should be printed or broadcast."


Calling all copy chiefs! The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Maryland) is looking for a full-time Copy Desk Chief responsible for planning, editing, designing and managing a team of copy editors. Get details (and information about how to apply) here.

Do you want to save the world through local journalism? Consider applying for one of nine positions at newspapers across the country with  Report for America. Deadline to apply for this one-year gig is March 23. ( Details here.)


A tool called Tetra just  changed the automatic transcription game. When you call someone from within the app, Tetra creates a transcript of that call in just a few minutes. It even warns the receiver that you're recording before the call starts (which is great for two-party consent states).

Join the  USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism for a panel discussion next Tuesday with two of the country's leading researchers on gun violence. The free webinar, "Outgunned: America's Public Health Crisis," will provide attendees with crucial data, context and story suggestions for a uniquely American epidemic of deaths and injury.  Sign up here.


The goal of SPJ's  #Press4Education initiative is to help get journalists into K-12 classrooms across the country. The project provides lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations and other resources for journalists who want to volunteer. Sign up to  volunteer and be matched with a classroom here, and  share this form with educators you know who would like a journalist to come to their classroom.


#SunshineWeek is next week! SPJ is working with open government and free speech organizations to spread awareness of government transparency. Here are some things you can look forward to:

—SPJ and the Government Accountability Project will launch "The Whistleblower Project," which explores different aspects of whistleblowing, shares stories of whistleblowers and examines what actions need to be taken in order to protect whistleblowers' rights with proper laws and resources for whistleblowers.

—SPJ will  announce the recipient of the Black Hole Award, given to an individual or organization with the most heinous violations of the public's right to know.

—Monday afternoon, the National Archives  will livestream a Sunshine Week event.

—At 7 p.m. EDT Wednesday, SPJ FOI Committee Chair Danielle McLean will give a presentation on "The Whistleblower Project" during the " Truth Be Told: Whistleblowers, Journalism & Democracy" in Washington, D.C. The event will also be livestreamed.

—From 11 a.m. to noon EDT Thursday, GAP is offering " Working with Whistleblowers: A Sunshine Week Training for Public Interest Advocates," in Washington, D.C., for public interest advocates. The training will focus on working safely and effectively with whistleblowers and information they disclose. The event will be livestreamed and recorded. Those who RSVP will receive an email link to watch the livestream.

—From noon to 1 p.m. EDT Thursday, join SPJ for a Twitter chat about FOI, government transparency and whistleblowers. We're chatting with Think Progress Investigative Reporter Danielle McLean, IndyStar Investigative Reporter Tim Evans, Houston Chronicle Data Journalist John Harden and Lynn Walsh of the Trusting News Project.

We'll also be sharing stories that promote open government, quotes from journalists and politicians about why journalism is important for democracy and ways to get involved in your communities.

Don't miss out on SPJ's national public honors, closing in just two weeks! Submit your nominations for the  Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award, honoring outstanding contributions to the field of journalism education, and the  Historic Sites in Journalism program, recognizing a place of national historic journalism interest.

While you're at it, honor a journalist whose work exemplifies the SPJ Code of Ethics or a colleague making important contributions in the area of open government for the  Ethics in Journalism Award or the  Sunshine Award. Submissions for all honors are free of charge and are due by March 19. Contact  Program Coordinator Christine Cordial with questions.

Winners and finalists of this year's Mark of Excellence Awards contest from Region 8 were announced and honored at the Region 8 Conference on March 3. First-place winners from the regional contest will compete at the national level among other regional MOE winners from the 12 SPJ regions. National winners will be notified in the late spring and will be recognized at the  Excellence in Journalism conference in Baltimore.

SPJ Leads
– SDX Foundation changes its name
– Sign up for a Regional Conference near you
– Sign up for SPJ's Regional Conferences

Press Notes
– Breast Cancer Awareness: Learning From Jackie Collins' Death
– Blog: CPJ joins call to oppose draft surveillance law in France
– Baboon raid temporarily forced Zimbabwe radio station off air

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