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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Act Independently

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SPJ Leads | 4/4/2018
Act Independently

By Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Department


"I hope people realize that the journalists are trying their best and this shouldn't reflect poorly on them. They're just under this corporate umbrella." — Kirstin Pellizzaro, doctoral candidate at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and former Sinclair producer, about the recent Sinclair promotional videos.


SPJ National President Rebecca Baker and Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie sent a letter yesterday to David Smith, executive chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group. The letter stated: “ At a time when journalists are constantly being ridiculed and attacked by those in positions of power, we would expect someone in your position, at a media company as large as yours, to realize the difficult job ALL journalists have and stand in solidarity with them.”

+ SPJ Ethics Chairman Andrew Seaman writes about the other issues Sinclair’s must-run videos cause for local journalists.

The New York Times published its first diversity report last week. It shows that the representation of women and people of color in the newsroom is improving, but at a very slow pace.

The Guardian’s Mobile Innovation Lab (MIL) wrapped up its work on improving news delivery on smartphones last week after two years of two dozen experiments with hundreds of thousands of readers. The set of concept papers and case studies from the Mobile Lab’s run are available  on its Medium page. Neiman Lab’s coverage of MIL’s experiments are available  here.

Are you a journalist whose device was searched at the United States border? Were you stopped for extra screening? Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, on behalf of A Culture of Safety Alliance, are working to understand the scope of the problems facing journalists entering and exiting the U.S. border. Journalists experiencing issues or have ever been stopped at the border should contact Alex Ellerbeck at CPJ or  Margaux Ewen at RSF to report incidents (reports can remain anonymous) or seek advice.


SPJ’s 15 th annual Ethics Week is April 23-27! We're bringing our A-game for Ethics Week this year by being billboards in Times Square again, and hosting a Twitter chat for journalists and the public, an ethics webinar and more!

Want to get involved?

—Consider hosting a Media Open House or a panel discussion around an ethics topic

—Share why ethical journalism is important to you with the hashtag #PressForEthics

—Direct people to ethics.spj.org, a special website dedicated to ethics week where you can download resources

Request Code of Ethics bookmarks and posters for your newsrooms


Nieman Lab is hiring a staff writer. Interested? Apply here.

Columbia Journalism Review is hiring a managing editor. Apply now.

Spotify will host a free bootcamp June 25-29 in New York City for women of color who aspire to be podcasters. Get the program and schedule details here. Apply by 11:59 p.m. EDT Tuesday (April 10).

The community news division of Baltimore Sun Media Group in Baltimore is hiring an experienced, self-starting and dedicated general assignment reporter to cover beats for its website's daily and weekly print publications. Get the details here, and apply here.

SPJ is hiring a Journalist on Call. The person in this new, three-year position will lead the fight against those working to discredit a free press. This person will also be something of an ombudsman, helping journalists understand why the public doesn’t trust them and what they can do to re-earn more trust. This is a full-time position; relocation is not required. People of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The full job description is posted here, and the deadline to apply is 5 p.m. EDT Monday.


Want to advance in your career, change jobs or simply tell engaging, impactful stories? Take a City University of New York J+ class! These classes are a series of affordable and convenient digital skills workshops, presented by the CUNY School of Journalism. The best part? SPJ members get 10 percent off the cost of these classes – just use the code JPLUS10 when you register.

SRCCON (pronounced “Source-Con”), the hands-on journalism conference, is accepting calls for participation until 11:59 p.m. EDT April 13. The conference is June 28 and 29 at the McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis. If you want to go as an attendee or a facilitator, fill out this form. (You’ll be notified by the end of April if you’ve been selected.) What’s SRCCON?


Help the American Society of News Editors understand challenges related to “unpublishing” — requests from the public to remove content on media websites and in digital archives — by participating in this survey. It takes about 15 minutes for journalists to complete and about five minutes for other participants. Your responses will provide important insight, help inform best practices and are anonymous.


Board members help define the Society. The board of directors provides vision, direction and leadership to SPJ, the nation's largest journalism organization.  Find out what positions are open this election season and how you can fill one of those seats.

Need free money for a chapter event? Good news! The deadline to apply for a chapter grant has been extended to April 12.

Annual Report forms are now live for all SPJ chapters. Annual Reports are required for all chapters. Professional and Campus deadline: May 30. Email Chrystal Parvin, membership manager and chapter liaison.

The Wells Memorial Key for Outstanding Service to the Society recognizes exceptional contributions and service to SPJ and is the highest honor bestowed to members. View rules, nomination criteria and past winners. Nominations are due April 16 — just two weeks away!

In the St. Louis area? SPJ Diversity Chairwoman Meena Thiruvengadam and SPJ Past President Lynn Walsh are speaking at a half-day digital storytelling workshop 12:30-6 p.m. Friday for Online News Association. Register here.

Honor an exceptional SPJ member who’s made a significant contribution to their chapter by nominating them for the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award! While you’re at it, celebrate the outstanding service of your favorite SPJ regional director with a nomination for Regional Director of the Year. Deadline for these and other SPJ member awards is April 16.

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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