Wow! My first column as president of the Society of Professional Journalists. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous and a lot excited. But mostly I am grateful and honored to serve you and have an opportunity to be a representative voice for journalists.
For George Daniels, journalism is about the people you meet along the way. Looking back, he recalls the names of several mentors who helped him develop from high school on to college and in his career. Those five mentors he considers instrumental, saying they shaped his career in broadcast journalism and journalism/mass communication as a professor.
Marty Baron took over as editor-in-chief of the Boston Globe at a time before the internet significantly changed the business and distribution of journalism. His pushing of the Globe’s now-famous Spotlight team to deeply pursue the intuitional corruption of the Catholic Church’s clergy sex abuse cover-up in the Boston Archdiocese is portrayed by Liev Schreiber in the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight.” Baron has since moved on to lead the Washington Post.
On a warm summer night, I’m volunteering at the check-in desk at a community event. During a lull, I chat with a fellow volunteer. As often happens, the topic turns to work. After learning I’m a professor, he asks what I teach.
I recently decided to become a full-time freelance journalist after working in the field part time over the past few years. As a full-time doctoral student, I knew I needed to do something that allowed for a flexible schedule and fulfilled my academic needs as well.
The SPJ Ethics Committee handles a lot of issues that, as expected, involve news outlets representing all kinds of media. What may surprise some people is that we also deal with a lot of issues involving non-fiction books. These issues often involve works that could be classified as creative non-fiction.
From time to time I receive emails from young journalists who want to eventually move into feature reporting, but they find themselves on a beat where they tell me they have no chance to work on storytelling skills. My first gig was at a weekly newspaper where I covered four small towns.
I get lots of reader queries about that and which. Here’s a typical email: “I’m pretty good at grammar and usage, but apparently I don’t have a clue about the correct use of which and that. There’s some principle at work here that I don’t understand.
In June, the New York Times Magazine published a 10,000-word article by Nikole Hannah-Jones about segregated schools in New York City. Those who read the article online or on mobile devices may have noticed a subtle multimedia element buried halfway through the content: a graphic showing the shifting school zones for two Brooklyn schools.
Public information officers at federal agencies have become gatekeepers and minders of federal employees, preventing journalists from doing their job and getting past a carefully controlled message from on high. That’s one of the things that Josh Earnest, President Barack Obama’s press secretary, heard Dec.
Belonging to SPJ holds a different meaning for each member. One in particular has dedicated her time to making sure every member has a sense of belonging and a meaningful experience with the organization. Since fifth grade, Robyn Davis Sekula knew she wanted to be a writer.
Chris Geidner makes a very convincing lawyer, even though his full-time job has him covering law instead of practicing it. He’s eloquent in his delivery, articulate, makes a point well and argues for it. And he’ll answer your questions more than thoroughly.