By Beth King
SPJ Communications Manager
STICKING UP FOR STUDENTS. SPJ leaders sent a letter of support Tuesday to editors of the Montclair State University student publication, the Montclarion. Last week, the university's Student Government Association president froze funding to publish the weekly newspaper. Disagreements arose when some association meetings were reportedly conducted in private and the student newspaper hired a lawyer, who was paid with student funds. The Associated Press today is reporting that funding has been restored for 30 days as the two sides reach a compromise. Get background and SPJ's reaction.
GARDENING AND ENTRY-LEVEL JOBS. What do these things have in common? A lot. Together, they can lead to increased student memberships in local SPJ chapters. Learn how to boost your chapter's membership by logging onto the SPJ Garden Center. National Membership Chairman John Ensslin tells a great story about SPJ Student Member Nate Taylor, whose currently job searching and making quite an impression on the professionals.
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 — funded by the Scripps Howard Foundation through the generosity of Ted Scripps' sons — 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 on 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SDX BLING. The deadline for the Sigma Delta Chi Awards is fast approaching. Get your submissions in by Feb. 6 for consideration in any of the 48 categories. Visit the SDX Awards page for complete details or contact Heather Porter at (317) 927-8000, ext. 204, or email@example.com.
SPREAD THE ETHICS WORD. Each year, SPJ welcomes nominations of journalists or news organizations who have shown distinguished ethics in their craft. SPJ's National Ethics Committee, which reviews nominations and recommends a winner, wants to hear from you. Send your suggestions and nominations by March 15. More information: Visit SPJ's Ethics Web page.
STUDENTS! SPJ NEEDS YOU! The application postmark deadline for SPJ's summer internships in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., is Feb. 1. THAT'S TOMORROW! Two students will be selected for the Pulliam-Kilgore Freedom of Information internships. One intern — with a legal background — will be stationed in Washington, D.C., and the other — with a strong reporting background — will spend 10 weeks in Indianapolis. Both interns will research and write about access issues. Or, how about trying your hand at communications and public relations work for SPJ? A third student will be selected for SPJ's Archibald Communications internship. Complete details and applications: Visit SPJ's Web site.
PROS! SPJ LEADS NEEDS YOU! Want to reach thousands of members with short little blurbs like this one while building a great portfolio of clips? If so, the SPJ Leads team needs you! Give one Thursday a month to byline SPJ Leads and know that you're doing something great to help SPJ. For more information, contact Beth King at (317) 927-8000, ext. 211 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATLANTA FACS PROGRAMS. The Foundation for American Communications (FACS) will present two seminars Feb. 25-26 at Cox Enterprises headquarters in Atlanta. "Reporting Immigration in Georgia," is a daylong seminar that will focus on the impact that legal and illegal immigration have had on the state. This seminar will also look at the repercussions of Senate Bill 529. "Hurry Up and Wait: Covering Urban Traffic Congestion in Georgia," is slated for Feb. 26. It will address the problems caused by Atlanta's legendary snarled commute — including suggested fixes and funding for the problem, and ways to cover the story. These seminars are presented in association with SPJ, Cox Enterprises and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cost: Free, but pre-registration is required. Complete agendas and registration: Visit The FACS Web site or call (626) 584-0010.
NEWSTOOLS2008. The news is now driven by rapidly changing technology. That noted, it's time for journalists to get up to speed, and explain their needs. NewsTools2008 is a flexible, three-day event that will offer journalists, technologists, entrepreneurs and funders a chance to explore ideas, form partnerships, develop projects, outline systems and businesses for sustaining "journalism that matters." Discounted, early-bird registration is now open. It's set for April 30-May 3, 2008 at the Yahoo! Conference Center in the heart of Silicon Valley. The event is hosted by the Journalism That Matters Collaborative, the Media Giraffe Project, the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists and Yahoo! Inc.
COVERING THE BOOM. People are living longer, working harder and anticipating a higher quality of life as they age. The Knight Center for Specialized Journalism will take a close look at these issues in a seminar, April 6-11, that will examine trends in aging, the coming retirement tsunami, health issues and more. Applications are invited from print, broadcast, online and citizen journalists. Reporters, editors, producers and opinion writers will receive in-depth training, meet like-minded colleagues, get grounded in a new assignment or rekindle enthusiasm for a long-time beat. Cost: Free. More information and an application: Visit The Knight Center Web site.
SCIENCE WORKS. The Marine Biological Laboratory Science Journalism Program, now in its 23rd year, provides professional science journalists, editors, and broadcast journalists with a chance to forget about story deadlines and the latest breakthroughs, and instead immerse themselves in the process of basic biomedical and environmental research. The program offers a choice between two introductory, intensive courses: the Biomedical Hands-On Laboratory Course, which is designed to introduce journalists to some of the research techniques used throughout basic biomedical science; and the new Polar Science Fellowship that will give science journalists the unparalleled opportunity to travel to the ends of the Earth (to both Alaska and Antarctica) to be a part of some of today's most cutting-edge ecological polar research. Deadline: March 1. More information: Visit the Marine Biological Laboratory Web site.
TALLENT SHINES. SPJ Member and 2007 Diversity Fellow Becky Tallent was recently named a part-time ombudsman at the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Washington. One of her projects will include promoting the paper's strong commitment to openness — including the radical idea of streaming its editorial meetings on its Web site. Check out how she and other Spokesman-Review staffers are making it work on the News is a Conversation blog.
KUDOS. SPJ members Shawntaye Hopkins, Ashlee Clark and Sharon Yep have been named Chips Quinn Scholars for spring 2008 by the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute and participating newspapers. Chips Quinn Scholars are college students or recent graduates with career aspirations in journalism. The Chips Quinn Scholars program is a major initiative of the Freedom Forum to help news organizations increase diversity in their newsrooms. A fellowship component of the program provides professional-development opportunities for alumni who have been working in newsrooms for two or more years. After completing an intensive four-day orientation with veteran journalists Jan. 24-27 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Scholars are now set to complete internships and will be eligible for $1,600 in scholarships and stipends and ongoing mentoring from the Freedom Forum. Congratulations!