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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > SPJ sends letter to the White House; combating stigmas by building media trust

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SPJ Leads | 10/24/2018
SPJ sends letter to the White House; combating stigmas by building media trust

By Isaac Taylor, SPJ Communications Department


"These are polarizing, uncivil times when almost any statement can be painted as 'political,' but these violent incidents are more than high-stakes political battles. They are crimes, and speaking out against them is to support human decency, fidelity to the truth and the fundamental capability of governments and other institutions to function for the common good. Those values are at risk whenever journalists and ethical journalism are under attack." -- PRSA 2018 National Chair Anthony D'Angelo writes regarding PRSA's cosigning of SPJ's Jamal Khashoggi statement


National President J. Alex Tarquinio  sent a letter to the White House on behalf of SPJ expressing deep concern over the disappearance of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi and President Trump’s ongoing rhetoricattacking press freedom.

President Tarquinio has created a task forceto take a look at sponsorship policies for national conferences. Meet the task force members and learn more about their assignment to create standard operating procedures for selling and producing sponsorships in her Freedom of the Prez blog.

Are you interested in joining SPJ's national board and making journalism stronger in Region 11 (Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Mariana Islands)? Check out the qualifications and  apply to be our next regional director. Deadline is today!

The SPJ Board of Directors approved new finance rules for pro and campus chapters during its meeting Sept. 27 at EIJ18. Transparency about chapter operations is important for credibility among our members and the public, especially when it comes to your chapter’s treasury. Chapter board members (even those who aren’t treasurer) have a legal responsibility to keep tight oversight on chapter funds. Chapters are required to follow these rules. By doing so, you will greatly decrease your exposure to misappropriation of chapter funds and other problems. Questions? Emailor call or Caroline Escobar, manager of membership and chapters, at (317) 361-4132.

Read revised pro chapter finance rules here.

Read revised campus chapter finance rules here.

Read amended regional fund oversight rules here.

Honor a colleague or mentor’s contribution to the profession of journalism by nominating them to be a  Fellow of the Society, the highest professional honor given by SPJ. Nominations should include a letter(s) of recommendation addressing the nominee's contributions and/or service to the profession and why the nominee is deserving of this national honor. Self-nominations are not permitted. Submit entries  here. Send questions to  Program Coordinator Christine Cordial.

Press freedom is one of the most essential components of a democracy, and yet it is witnessing a drastic decline here in the United States. That’s why SPJ is joining a coalition of partners led by Reporters Without Borders to promote the #DefendPressFreedom campaign ahead of the midterm elections in November.  Find out more, get involved and help us #DefendPressFreedom!

After receiving hundreds of entries for our drawing at the Texas table at EIJ18, three lucky attendees won a free EIJ19 registration. We are happy to congratulate Kris Perez, Joseph Radske and John D. Hopkins for winning! We can't wait to see you in San Antonio!

Celebrate your #FreedomofSpeech and #PressFreedom this week! Created in 2005 and originally called National Freedom of Speech Week, Free Speech Weektakes place the third week of October annually, and SPJ is a proud sponsor. Its purpose is to raise public awareness of the importance of freedom of speech and of a free press in our democracy – and to celebrate that freedom. This non-partisan, non-ideological event is intended to be a unifying celebration.


A series of explosive devices was sent to Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, a number of other prominent Democrats and the New York City building that houses CNN, sparking condemnation from law enforcement officials and elected officials.

The Washington Post says Saudi Arabia's  announcement about the death of contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi is not an explanation at all, but a "coverup."

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency's powers to carry out warrantless searches of electronic devices has serious  press freedomimplications including weakening the ability of the media to protect source privacy, the  Committee to Protect Journalists found in its reportreleased this week.

For many U.S. critics, journalism — and  the journalistic trade — is all too often seen as elitist, left-leaning, out of touch with non-coastal audiences, and frequently the preserve of white, educated men. Damian Radcliffe shares his Lessons learned: seven ways news outlets can rebuild trust and sustainability.


The  2018 Korea Journalist Fellowship Program gives early and mid-career journalists the opportunity to dramatically expand their knowledge of the most critical economic and security issues on the Korean peninsula and in the Asia-Pacific. This fellowship represents an incredible opportunity for young journalists to jump-start a career covering foreign policy and international relations.

Television station WNCN in Raleigh, North Carolina, is looking for an  experienced investigative reporter to uncover stories, ask tough questions and hold the powerful accountable.

The Austin Business Journal in Austin, Texas, is seeking a  reporter to cover real estate. The reporter must be able to blend traditional skills with online and social media know-how.


Expand your journalism skills by requesting a FREE Facebook training for your newsroom, classroom or conference! You’ll learn how to use tools such as Live, Groups, Creators app, CrowdTangle and more to leverage Facebook and Instagram for newsgathering, storytelling and audience engagement. Request a free training.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press published a new Elections Legal Guide that covers legal issues journalists may face when covering elections. Learn to navigate issueslike exit polling, photography, videography and ballot selfies.

Freelancing is tough! It can be an unpredictable, unreliable grind and sometimes things fall through even if you’ve done everything right. Most bad freelance pitches are bad for the same few reasons. But they’re often salvageable with a little tweaking.

News Foundry is a new three-day, high-intensity workshopthat provides 100 people working in journalism the entrepreneurial skills to start building a viable business. The first event is Nov. 16-18 at The Philadelphia Inquirer. SPJ members receive a 50 percent discount on registration. Use the code "MemberSPJ" to redeem the discount.

Florida International University is conducting a series of studies to examine how people process news messages and the impact of these messages on perceptions and attitudes. Journalists and journalism educators are invited to participate in a  research survey on news perceptions and media literacy.

“How Investigative Journalism Succeeds in a Hostile Medical Environment: A Conversation with David Tuller” delves into a fascinating story that takes place at the intersection of science, medical practice and human tragedy and resilience. It also covers the role journalism can play in impacting all three areas. Register before Nov. 3.


"This lack of transformation means that the concentrated and toxic nature of ownership in South African media...can flourish without concern for journalism ethics or the consequence of managements' intrusion into the newsroom.

It means even without the stresses of technology, we continue to suffer a crisis of quality and credibility." - guest columnist Niren Tolsi wrote for News24 in Cape Town, South Africa.

In an SPJ webinar, the current and former Ethics Committee Chairs of the Society of Professional Journalists discuss tenets of ethical reporting, using SPJ's Code of Ethics as a guide.


When you donate to the General Fund, you are providing the resources to cover SPJ’s most pressing needs and ensuring that membership fees remain affordable. In an increasingly challenging environment, your support is needed now more than ever.

Consider being a monthly donor to SPJ or the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. Even a gift of $5 a month makes a difference in SPJ’s work to improve and protect journalism. Choose your passion and give today!

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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