A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

Chapter News Briefs

By Quill

Submit chapter news items to editor Scott Leadingham at sleadingham@spj.org.

Florida chapters challenge students and gamblers

The semesters were in full swing when two Florida campus chapters held popular events that made students, faculty, staff and their communities think twice about media law and ethics.

At Flagler College in St. Augustine, the campus chapter hosted a First Amendment Free Food Festival. The event offered free pizza to students only if they symbolically signed away their First Amendment rights. Meant to open students’ eyes to life without their rights, a life that exists for many in the world, the festival attracted almost 100 student participants and even more observers, including local media. A Region 3 grant and the SPJ South Florida Pro chapter helped the students fund the event. Photos of the event and more information are at koretzky.com/free.

The University of Florida chapter brought journalism ethics to the table — the poker table. Using specially printed decks underwritten by a Sigma Delta Chi Foundation grant, three full tables of gamblers competed in an Ethics Hold’em poker tournament. See koretzky.com/ethics for pictures from the tournament.

For advice on hosting similar events with your chapter, contact SPJ national board member Michael Koretzky at michael@koretzky.com.

Chicago chapter supports subpoenaed Northwestern students

The Chicago Headline Club did not waste any time giving support to Northwestern University journalism students subpoenaed by local prosecutors for information related to their Medill Innocence Project. The project surrounds the three-decade-old murder conviction of a man who maintains his innocence. The university is battling the subpoenas, and the local professional SPJ chapter has joined the fight. In a statement released by the Chicago Headline Club, the chapter called for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office to rescind the subpoenas and investigate the students’ findings.