By Stephanie M. Kanowitz
Web Editor, Federal Computer Week magazine
SPJ Leads Takes A Vacation. Due to the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, SPJ Leads will be on hiatus next week. It will return Thursday, Oct. 11.
Shield Law Debate. Since 1984, 17 U.S. journalists have been jailed for their work. The most highly publicized cases have involved former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who spent 12 weeks in jail for refusing to reveal a source, and Josh Wolf, a San Francisco-based independent journalist who spent 226 days behind bars for refusing to hand over film he took during the 2005 G-8 economic summit. During the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, a panel of media professionals will debate federal shield laws. The event will take place at 10 a.m. on Oct. 5 in the Ticonderoga room at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.
If you can't join us in D.C., be sure to stay abreast of convention happenings by visiting the Society's Web page.
SPJ Board To Meet In D.C.. The current board of directors will meet at 1 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Congressional A room at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, during convention. The newly elected SPJ board will meet Oct. 7 at 8 a.m. in the same location. The meetings are open to the public.
Chapter Kudos. The Western Washington Pro and the Utah Headliners Club are the 2007 SPJ National Chapters of the Year. Each year, SPJ honors six chapters for their work. Two chapters, one large and one small, are then named National Chapters of the Year. The awards salute chapters for overall excellence in supporting SPJ's missions, members and the profession.
SPJ also annually recognizes chapters for outstanding work during the previous year in five areas. The areas and 2007 winners large and small chapters, respectively are:
First Amendment and Freedom of Information activity Northern California and Maine pro chapters.
Campus relations and scholarship activities -Valley of the Sun and Hawaii pro chapters.
Diversity among journalists Greater Los Angeles and East Tennessee pro chapters.
Professional development and continuing-education programs Minnesota and East Tennessee pro chapters.
Chapter communications Colorado and Mid-Michigan pro chapters.
Awards will be presented Oct. 6 at the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C.
Student Success. SPJ honored campus chapters that have done outstanding work this week. This year's National Outstanding Campus Chapter of the Year is Pacific Lutheran University in Region 10. Regional honorees include:
Region 1: Ithaca College
Region 2: Appalachian State University
Region 3: University of South Carolina
Region 4: Ohio University
Region 5: Loyola University Chicago
Region 6: St. Cloud State University
Region 7: No honoree selected
Region 8: Baylor University
Region 9: Colorado State University
Region 10: Pacific Lutheran University
Region 11: California State University, Fullerton
Region 12: University of Mississippi
Awards will be presented at individual regional meetings on Oct. 5 during the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C. Pacific Lutheran University will receive its national award during a luncheon, also on Oct. 5, in Washington.
Stirring The Pot. National President Christine Tatum has had plenty to say this week on her blog, Freedom of the Prez. She explains why "free speech and responsible journalism are NOT synonymous." She praises one harsh assessment of the newspaper industry and highlights a brilliant new news site that illustrates what is possible when editorial and math types collaborate. She also recommends a great video download for journalists.
Drowning In Paper?. Kill the clip file because paper = one big mess, writes SPJ student member Dale Denwalt on the Society's new student-run blog, Journo.edu. Denwalt shares tips that will help inspire even the oldest and saltiest dogs to rethink and, perhaps rebuild their hardcopy archives.
Have What It Takes?. SPJ student members are invited to contribute to Journo.edu. Send a note and three examples of your work to Christine Tatum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trials And Fewer Errors. The Foundation for American Communications and SPJ present a tele-seminar titled "Understanding Clinical Trials and the Pharmaceutical Approval Process" on Oct. 3 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. EDT. Connect by computer and phone with Dr. Kay Dickersin, director of the Center for Clinical Trials at Johns Hopkins University. She will help journalists understand the procedures and practices of clinical trials and how their outcomes affect consumer health policy and practices. This program is free, but you must register in advance to receive directions to participate. Peruse the agenda or register online or by phone at (626) 584-0010.
Weird Science?. Take the guesswork out by attending a workshop on best practices on science reporting for print, radio and multimedia stories. Sponsored by New America Media, the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication, SoundVision Productions and the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of SPJ, the event is Sept. 29 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the university, 300 S. Grand Ave., Ste. 3950, Los Angeles. Cost: free. Contact Julian Do for more information at (714) 366-6669 or email@example.com.
Covering Katrina. Want to know what it was like to be a journalist in New Orleans during and after Katrina? Listen to James O'Byrne, features editor at the New Orleans Times-Picayune; Susan Feeney, senior producer at NPR; and Mark Schleifstein, environmental reporter at the Times-Picayune, talk about covering a tragedy at "Disaster! In the Eye of the Storm: Katrina, Catastrophe, and the Media Amid the Wreckage," hosted by the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs' Center for Innovative Media Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. in GWU's Jack Morton Auditorium, 805 21st St. NW, Washington, D.C. Cost: free.
Intern For Scripps Howard In D.C.. The Scripps Howard Foundation Semester in Washington Program is looking for six interns to work as reporters for the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire in the Washington bureau. They will get a stipend and free housing in furnished apartments in Northwest Washington. The program is open to college juniors and seniors who are studying print or online journalism. Apply for the spring term by Oct. 12 and the summer by Nov. 2. Check the Web site for details.
Let Freedom Ring And The Music Play. Support a free press? Enjoy free music? Do both at the same time by donating $10 to the Student Press Law Center. Michael Koretzky, a SPLC advisory council member and professor at Florida Atlantic University, is offering a free jazz, blues or world music CD and a copy of JAZZIZ magazine with each donation. Of course, donating more is good, too, since it's all tax deductible. Make sure to say you're an SPJ member when you make your secure online donation.