By Isaac Taylor, SPJ Communications Department
"Journalism is a competitive business, but it’s not a zero-sum game. We all campaign for scoops, access, and sources, but we are, effectively, on the same side. – Pete Vernon, staff writer for the Columbia Journalism Review.
EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM 2018
If you haven’t registered for EIJ18 yet, what are you waiting for? The early-bird deadline for EIJ18 in Baltimore is quickly approaching. Save up to $100 when you register before July 25. You won’t want to miss reuniting with old friends, making new ones, learning new skills and networking with other journalists from across the country. Check out all the breakout sessions (more are being added all the time) and register today!
Gwen Payne of Louisiana became the latest victim of a disturbing trend around the country: the reverse public records lawsuit. The city of Tallulah, Louisiana, sued her for trying to access records of how its officials were spending taxpayer money.
News organizations’ audiences are increasingly moving from public social media to closed or semi-closed platforms like WhatsApp, Discord and Facebook Groups. But there are still opportunities for good reporting on the communities we cover.
Imagine if a news photographer at a football game had to get permission from every single person in the stadium before taking a single shot — or else face hundreds of civil lawsuits. That’s what new model legislation wants to bring to public airspace.
The FOIA Ombudsman took an important step by issuing its first advisory opinion. While the opinion dealt with a non-controversial topic (communicating with requesters), this is an important, promising step in using opinions on FOIA controversies.
In a solemn tribute Thursday, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-MD.) led the United States Senate in commemorating the fatal shooting that occurred at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, MD., on June 28. The Senate unanimously passed a resolution to honor the five employees who were killed.
GET A GIG
The Post and Courier in South Carolina has an immediate opening for a technology and jobs reporter covering Charleston’s growing tech sector and its ever-expanding workforce.
The San Francisco Chronicle is looking for an energetic, versatile, creative journalist with a knack for breaking exclusive stories and producing clear-eyed reports on one of the country’s most divisive issues: immigration.
WLFI in West Lafayette, Indiana, has an available career opportunity for a multiplatform journalist. The journalist will be able to shoot video and interviews; report; write clearly; edit and voice stories for broadcast and the web.
WCPO-TV in Cincinnati is seeking an opinion editor to write and edit editorials under the station brand for all appropriate platforms.
LEARN SOME STUFF
The online version of the SPJ Freelance Community’s guide to freelancing is now updated with new information for 2018! It is free to all members. The guide is a living document, one that can adapt to changing norms in journalism (in general) and freelancing. Suggestions and contributions from the Freelance Community are welcome.
Nothing annoys readers like having to plow through a litter of errors on their way to a period. And because even professional writers can get rusty regarding the basics, it’s a good idea to check recall from time to time. Try this short quiz as a refresher for your writing.
“Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.” – SPJ Code of Ethics. When covering a story, especially one that is emotionally compelling, take great care to make all important aspects known. Do not exclude information that is relevant to the seven news values: impact, timeliness, prominence, proximity, novelty, conflict and currency.
GIVE A LITTLE
SPJ has resumed the sale of First Amendment T-shirts in support of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, where five employees were killed on June 28. More than 400 shirts have been ordered, including some purchases for entire newsrooms. They have gone as far as Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. Help us make sure they spread farther.
Become a member of SPJ’s revamped President’s Club with a donation of $50 or more, and join thousands of journalists around the nation in supporting our work to promote the flow of information, protect free speech, foster excellence among journalists, encourage diversity in journalism and inspire the next generation of journalists.
SPJ QUICK FIX
The SPJ national board of directors will put forth this proposed bylaw amendment during the Society’s upcoming convention. Please take time to read the proposal and share it with your chapter members. Delegates to the Excellence in Journalism 2018 conference, Sept. 27-29 in Baltimore, will be asked to vote on the proposal.
Speaking of the SPJ Board, it will have a virtual meeting at 2 p.m. EDT Saturday. Agenda items include updates on EIJ18 and recent HQ staffing changes, including the addition of the Journalist on Call.
SPJ recognizes Chuck Todd, Robert J. Rosenthal and Judy Woodruff as Fellows of the Society, the highest professional honor awarded by SPJ, for extraordinary contributions to the profession of journalism.
SPJ is happy to recognize The Arizona Republic with the USA Today Network as the recipient of the 2017 New America Award . This award honors journalism that sheds light on important issues of immigrant or ethnic communities in the United States.
SPJ spoke out earlier this week after a U.S. District Judge ordered the Los Angeles Times to remove information from a published article. SPJ also signed on to a letter written by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press detailing support for the Los Angeles Times’ court proceeding. The judge later lifted the order, saying he was initially unsure whether the newspaper had legally obtained access to the agreement, but after conducting an investigation, concluded the sealed document was publicly posted for more than 31 hours as a result of a clerical error.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says he has “serious concerns” about the proposed $3.9 billion merger of Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media Co. Pai said he sees legal problems with Sinclair’s plan to sell enough stations to meet ownership limits prior to gobbling up the Tribune stations.