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For more than 100 years the Society of Professional Journalists has been dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism and perpetuating a free press.
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By Beth King
SPJ Communications Manager
HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING. Immediate Past President Christine Tatum is a collector of journalism stuff - and cool stuff made by journalists. If you or someone you know is the same, save yourself a trip to the mall and check out Tatum's gift list for newsies. She's cornered the market on all things journalism.
GIVE THE GIFT OF MEMBERSHIP. Are you a recent graduate? Maintaining your SPJ membership has just gotten easier - and more affordable. The $36 per year post-graduation rate has been extended from two years out of college to three. After that, dues are $72 per year. Get all the details from SPJ Membership Coordinator Linda Hall by calling (317)-927-8000, ext. 203. Know a seasoned journalist who could benefit from SPJ? Give them a membership this holiday season.
IT'S ALL MERCHANDISING THESE DAYS. If all of your journalism friends are already SPJ members, we salute you. And what better gift to give than an SPJ hat, shirt, pen or travel mug. Check out SPJ's merchandise and make a happy member even happier.
PLANNING AHEAD. SPJ is seeking program proposals for the 2008 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, which takes place Sept. 4-7 in Atlanta. If you have an idea for a convention session and are interested in participating, visit the Call For Programs Web site and get the details you need to submit your idea. Deadline: Dec. 14.
IT'S ALL GREEK TO ME. SPJ's Code of Ethics has been translated into Greek! Check it out. SPJ also provides the Code of Ethics in 11 other languages.
LOOKING FOR GUIDANCE?. If you're struggling with an ethical dilemma, call SPJ's Ethics Hotline at (317) 927-8000, ext. 208. A member of SPJ's National Ethics Committee will assist by talking you through your situation.
HELP YOUR CHAPTER GROW. On the SPJ Garden Center blog, Membership Chairman John Ensslin discusses the benefits of partnering with press clubs. Read up and get some great ideas for your chapter.
HATEFUL WORDS. Get an in-depth analysis of the National Arab American Journalists Association conference hosted in East Jerusalem and why NAAJA President and SPJ Member Ray Hanania is talking about countering hate in his blog, Al Sahafiyeen.
VICTORY FOR KATIE. Fifth District Judge James Shumate dismissed his contempt of court ruling against KUTV reporter Katie Baker. Shumate had found Baker in contempt for interviewing a potential juror in the trial of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. The judge had ordered Baker to produce a "public interest" story or go to jail. However, he was satisfied with a story Baker did on homelessness. Get the full details on FOI FYI.
LEADERSHIP LADDER. Who's next in line to lead your chapter? It's never too early to begin preparing your incoming president for a successful term. The Ted Scripps Leadership Institute is an SPJ program that offers student and professional chapter leaders a mix of sessions focused on interpersonal and organizational leadership skills, as well as sound chapter management practices. The all-expenses paid, weekend retreat takes place in Indianapolis June 6-8. It's designed to promote strong leadership in the Society. Applications are due March 16. Those who will be serving as a chapter president during 2008-09 are encouraged to apply. Questions? E-mail Heather Porter.
COLLABORATION ROCKS. SPJ is accepting entries for the Society's New America Award. The award honors public service journalism collaborations that include ethnic media in order to explore and expose an issue of importance to immigrant or ethnic communities in the United States. To be eligible, work must have been published or broadcast during the 2007 calendar year. All entries must be in English, or provide English translations, and be postmarked by March 3. The nominated work must have been a true collaboration of reporting, writing, editing and publication/broadcast, not merely a translation from one language to another. Questions? Contact Heather Porter at (317) 927-8000, ext. 204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PARTY LIKE A SOUTHERN ROCK STAR. The East Tennessee Pro chapter will host a holiday party at 6 p.m. on Dec. 11. Festivities will take place at The Maplehurst Inn, 800 W. Hill Avenue. A highlight of the party is the "Crazy Gift Exchange." To participate, bring a wrapped gift, either serious or gag, and worth up to $10, along with a side dish. Numbers will be drawn and the person with the first number chooses a gift from the pile. The players with following numbers can either choose another wrapped gift or "steal" one that is already opened. RSVP: Contact Amanda Greever or Christine Jessel by Dec. 9.
GRAND OR GRANTHAM PRIZE? YOU DECIDE. Entries are being sought for the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment, which is given for coverage of the environment and natural resources produced and distributed in the United States and/or Canada between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2007. Entries must be postmarked no later than Jan. 14 for book entries and Feb. 14 for all other entries, and sent to the Grantham Prize administrator at Metcalf Institute, URI Graduate School of Oceanography, Narragansett, R.I. 02882. Prize: $75,000. Contact: Sunshine Menezes at (401) 874-6499 or email@example.com.
AWARDS IN THE HOUSE. The National Low Income Housing Coalition is hosting the second annual Cushing Niles Dolbeare Media Awards. The awards are designed to recognize print journalists who do an exemplary job of illuminating the affordable housing crisis in America. The awards will honor first-place winners with a $2,500 prize. Winners and honorable mentions will be recognized during a reception on Feb. 25 in Washington, D.C. Additionally, a new category has been added for editorial writing. Deadline: Jan. 7. For complete rules and information, visit the National Low Income Housing Web site.
MIRRORED REPORTING. The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University is accepting submissions for the Mirror Awards. The Mirror Awards honor reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public's benefit. The competition is open to anyone who conducts reporting, commentary or criticism of the media industries - television, newspaper, magazine, radio, advertising, public relations, the Internet and other forms of content - in a format intended for a mass audience. Deadline: Feb. 15. More information and application, visit the Mirror Awards Web site.
SPRING IN THAILAND. The Bangkok Media Conference will focus on "Changing Dynamics in the Asia Pacific: Power Politics, Economic Might and Media Challenges." It takes place Jan. 20-23 at the Novotel Siam Square Hotel. Register by Jan. 5. Contact: Susan Kreifels via e-mail or at (808) 944-7176.
SCIENCE NONFICTION. Early to mid-career journalists looking to better understand science can attend the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting's "Coastal Impacts: Tenth Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists." It emphasizes data collection and analysis, research methods, and the integration of science with public policy and the local community. Fellowships are available to journalists interested in learning about marine and environmental science for improved reporting. Limited space is available for qualified non-U.S. citizens. Deadline: Jan. 28.
COOL BLOGGING. SPJ Member and Cool Justice Blogger Andy Thibault will teach a course in Writing for New Media at Northwestern Connecticut Community College at its Winsted campus in January. The course will explore the background, research tools, writing styles and approaches used by bloggers. More information: Visit the Northwestern Community College Web site.