A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

Chapter News

By Quill

Send chapter items and other SPJ-specific news to editor Scott Leadingham at sleadingham@spj.org.

Knowing when to Hold’em

The Arkansas Pro chapter began 2010 with a gamble. Specifically, 30 people turned out for the chapter’s first — and hopefully annual — Ethics Hold’em tournament at a local bar. “We had a lot of journalists show up who don’t usually come to SPJ events,” chapter treasurer John Krupa said. “I thought that was a good thing.” Food and prizes were paid for with a $500 SPJ chapter grant, and the decks of specially printed playing cards were provided by a grant from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. The cards have entries from SPJ’s Code of Ethics printed on their faces. But because there are more cards than ethics entries, some are repeated. Ethics Hold’em players who found the matches won extra chips. Chapters wanting to host their own Ethics Hold’em tournament can e-mail SPJ Director at-Large Michael Koretzky at michael@koretzky.com.

Art of Access

Need help accessing information from your local government? Feel like you are entitled to records but aren’t sure how to get them? Well, you are entitled and SPJ Freedom of Information Committee Chairman Dave Cuillier and former FOI Chairman Charles Davis will show you how. Cuillier and Davis recently released their new book, “The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records.” It’s a nuts-and-bolts handbook for journalists and a secondary textbook for journalism reporting courses. Learn more here.

Speed Pitching event catches on

When Kristyn Wellesley entered the SPJ Cincinnati Pro chapter Speed Pitch event — an event that brings editors and hiring managers together with young, freelance and aspiring journalists — she did not expect that a three-minute discussion would lead to a job. Fresh out of journalism graduate school at City University in London, Wellesley came to the SPJ event with experience working for the CNN International Bureau, Daily Express in London and the local Ohio government.

“I have all this odd experience, so just talking to editors to find out what they’re looking for, having the opportunity to meet with somebody who can just give you career advice and direction is great,” Wellesley said. “(All the professionals) were very nice and helpful. It was much more of a conversation than a pitching session, too.” But Wellesley got more than advice; she landed a job. Wellesley started work March 3 in a position split between the copy desk and editorials at the Cincinnati Enquirer. Wellesley gives a lot of credit for the event’s success to its creator, Generation J Committee Chairwoman Aiesha Little, who is working to get other local SPJ chapters to host pitch events.

The Minnesota chapter hosted a similar event, “Freelance Love,” on March 11 that gave freelancers five minutes each with assigning editors from the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Minnesota Monthly and several specialty magazines.

Chapter says “Aloha” to cartoonist

The Honolulu Pro chapter joined the Friends of Corky, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Pamana Dancers and the Filipino Community Center to establish an endowment fund in the name of deceased local cartoonist Corky Trinidad. Francisco “Corky” Flores Trinidad Jr. was born in the Philippines in 1939 and was the first Asian editorial cartoonist to be syndicated in the U.S. The fund will provide assistance to students and researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who are studying journalism, mass communications, fine arts, performing arts, ethnic minorities, international studies, media studies or human rights and who also have an academic focus or interest in Philippine studies, society and culture. Corky was inducted into the SPJ Hawaii Journalism Hall of Fame in 2005.

Newsroom training in Chicago

On Feb. 20, SPJ teamed up with Community Media Workshop in Chicago to host training for journalists from area ethnic publications. The “Audio/Images for the Web” session, part of SPJ’s Newsroom Training Program, offered beginning-level hands-on training on how to record, import and edit audio files for use on the Web. Nineteen journalists from publications such as Hoy, Asian Broadcasting Network, CBS News, Reflejos bilingual newspaper, La Raza Newspaper and The Arab Horizon Newspaper attended. Victoria Lim, a reporter for Bright House Sports Network, served as the trainer.

“I have done training and been to the same kind of training that (Lim) did, and I thought she was excellent on the topic and wonderful as a communicator, listener and someone who carried through with enthusiasm and support,” said Steve Franklin of Community Media Workshop. “And the folks I talked to thought it was a wonderfully helpful session and plan to follow up.” Click for more about the SPJ Newsroom Training Program, visit.

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