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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Early bird gets the free press

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SPJ Leads | 5/2/2018
Early bird gets the free press

By Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Department


"Journalism isn’t about the reporter. It's about the stories and informing the public and checking power. If you think it's about you ... that's not journalism." – Tanzina Vega, Eisner Fellow, author at The Nation Institute.


The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday left the internet in a hot mess of debate. President Donald Trump’s absence for the second year in a row and comedian Michelle Wolf’s controversial performance have many people wondering if the dinner should continue. Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan says the dinner should be canceled altogether. Even though aspects of the dinner have been controversial for decades, in response to Saturday, the WHCA is thinking about changing the format and tone for future dinners.

+ “An attack on any journalist is an attack on us all.” Watch WHCA President Margaret Talev’s address at the dinner.

World Press Freedom Day is Thursday. See where the United States ranks in this year’s World Press Freedom Index.

Heads up! The Justice Department deleted language about press freedom and racial gerrymandering from its internal manual. Though these changes are mostly cosmetic, they offer a glimpse into the Trump administration’s priorities.

The Associated Press announced its latest stylebook updates last week at the national conference of ACES: The Society for Editing. Get the details of all the changes – including one that kind of changes the laws of physics.


Thank you, everyone, for a truly awesome Ethics Week! Here are recaps of the webinar and Twitter chat. The SPJ Ethics Committee published an e-book during Ethics Week that shares tips and suggestions for the public – and journalists – on how to raise concerns with local news organizations and general queries about journalism ethics. Bonus! It’s a 15-minute read. Check it out and share it widely!

The ethics of reporting on your own organization can be tricky, especially when covering allegations of sexual misconduct. Read about how reporters at Minnesota Public Radio covered their employer after learning about an agreement MPR made to restore Garrison Keillor’s programs after initially severing ties with him over sexual misconduct allegations.


Do you know a smart, highly organized, innovative, hard-working journalism/marketing/PR/communications student who is about to graduate? Encourage them to apply for SPJ’s post-graduate internship. It’s full-time, two years long and based in Indianapolis.  Deadline to apply is 5 p.m. EDT Friday.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is searching for a technology editor and reporter. Candidates for this full-time, New York-based position should have at least five years of journalism experience, including extensive experience covering technology. To apply, submit a cover letter and resume to jobs@cpj.org with “Technology Editor” in the subject line.

Applications are now available for the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) 2018 fellowship program. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. EDT May 18.


Want to dive into the world of podcasting, but unsure how? Check out the Podcasting Resources on the Journalists’ Toolbox website.

Have you noticed exceptionally high metrics while running analytics for your story or website? When this happens, you might find the source by learning how to get notified when audiences post your work to Reddit.


SPJ is looking for an awesome volunteer photographer and videographer to capture scenes from the Sigma Delta Chi Awards Banquet in June! Your meal will be paid for, and you’ll get to hang out in Washington, D.C., with some great people. What could be better? Learn more and apply today.

You can help the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education train 200 journalists of color in the next five years through its new program, Maynard 200, by sharing your perspective in this anonymous survey.


The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Board and the SPJ Board of Directors met in Indianapolis in late April. Region 2 Director Andy Schotz shares a summary of the meetings here.

Did you miss the webinar SPJ Florida conducted last week about Sexual Abuse in the Newsroom? It featured SPJ Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie and Press Forward Co-founder Cary Hughes Weekes. Get the details here, then watch the replay.

Don’t forget! The early bird deadline for EIJ 2018 is July 25. But why wait until then? Register today.

ICYMI: Attend Excellence in Journalism 2018 on us by applying for  one of these scholarships or fellowships. (The deadlines vary, but some are as soon as May 18!)

Annual Report forms are now live for all SPJ chapters. Make sure to submit them to Chrystal Parvin, membership manager and chapter liaison, by May 30.

Congratulations to the winners of the Region 11 Mark of Excellence Awards! Honorees received award certificates the weekend of April 28 at the Region 11 Conference.

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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