AMICUS BRIEF RESPONSE. In response to Faulkner vs. National Geographic Society, a freelance-related amicus brief that SPJ's Legal Defense Fund Committee chose to sign on to in June, SPJ National President Christine Tatum has offered her comments on her blog, "Freedom of the Prez."
OPEN VICTORY! Leaders of the Society of Professional Journalists praised members of the United States Senate for passing the OPEN Government Act, a bill that would dramatically help Americans access public information by providing a tracking system for records requests, setting meaningful deadlines by which the government must respond to requests, establishing an ombudsman to assist records requestors and creating guidelines that could make it easier for requestors to recover legal fees associated with their requests.
A CLEAN WIN. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 10-9 to approve the Toxic Right-to-Know Protection Act (S. 595) on July 31. The act would reverse a December 2006 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule change to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) that significantly reduced toxic release reporting requirements for polluting facilities. In June, SPJ was one of 200 organizations to sign onto a letter in support of the bill.
NFL KICKS BACK. When SPJ leaders learned of the NFL's policy requiring photojournalists who cover the games from the sidelines to wear logo-adorned vests, they wasted no time expressing their views. Now, National President Christine Tatum responds to NFL Vice President of Public Relations Greg Aiello's explanation. Read Aiello's response, Tatum's retort and post a comment of your own.
APPLY PRESSURE. Protest this new rule by writing a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at:
National Football League
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
EVERYDAY FOI. SPJ Member and Maine Sunshine Chairman Mal Leary writes about the importance of being an advocate for open government. Read his thoughts.
HAMMER TIME. SPJ has joined forces with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Hoosier State Press Association to offer support to David Paul Hammer in Hammer vs. Ashcroft. Hammer, a death row inmate in Terre Haute, Ind., filed a lawsuit in federal court attacking a Bureau of Prisons policy that bans face-to-face media interviews with death row inmates.
BABY BOOMERS. Aging Today Editor Paul Kleyman has released "The Journalists Exchange on Aging Survey on Style," and "Words to Age By: A Brief Glossary and Tips on Usage." This material is based on Aging Today's survey of almost 100 journalists who cover issues related to aging. More information
COVERING RETIREMENT. The National Press Foundation will offer a free training seminar for journalists covering retirement issues Sept. 16-19 in Washington, D.C.. The application deadline is tomorrow. More information: Visit The National Press Foundation Web site.
CONVENTION BOUND. Get hands-on training, attend stimulating half-day training workshops and participate in large group gatherings at the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C. But, hurry! Early bird registration ends Aug. 27.
GOING GLOBAL. Norma Green, graduate journalism director at Columbia College Chicago and an SPJ member since 1972, recently returned from the first ever World Journalism Education Congress, conducted June 25-28 in conjunction with the annual Asian Media Information and Communication Centre in Singapore. Enjoy her online journey.
CASTING CALL. NorthSouth Productions is looking for an articulate journalist and charismatic American male between 30-45 years of age to host a new television series that will travel around the world exploring tattoo cultures - from urban gangs to ancient tribes. The show is an immersive show where viewers will learn about the world of tattoos through the experience of the host. Must be willing to travel and put himself in sometimes painful, dangerous and dirty situations. Travel writers, cultural anthropologists, culture experts, photojournalists, adventure seekers as well as educators of all these areas make great candidates for this project. To be considered, send a resume, photo and non-returnable tape, DVD or mini-DV by Aug. 15 to:
Attention: MARKED CASTING
New York, NY 10001
REMEMBERING CHAUNCEY BAILEY. Journalists everywhere were shocked and saddened to learn of Chauncey Bailey's murder earlier this week. Bailey was editor of the Oakland Post and he was a tireless advocate for Northern Calif.'s African-American community and a passionate investigative journalist. His work will be missed dearly in the Bay Area. Bailey's death underlines the enormous risks journalists take to seek the truth and report it. At least 100 journalists were killed around the world while covering the news the first six months of this year, according to the News Safety Institute. SPJ's Northern California chapter is urging journalists throughout the Bay Area to continue to pursue tough, investigative stories in Bailey's honor and in honor of all the courageous journalists who continue to risk their lives around the world. Our hearts go out to Bailey's family, friends, and colleagues. Listen to a tribute.