Send chapter items and other SPJ-specific news to editor Scott Leadingham at firstname.lastname@example.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.
Like most young journalists, I remember Facebook’s infancy. Back then, it was a way to maintain friendships and tag goofy photos of friends. Now, co-workers, superiors and grandparents send me friend requests. Suddenly, that image of me shot-gunning a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon isn’t so funny.
All eyes were on Detroit in the spring when its two hometown papers, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, unveiled a radical plan for saving the newsroom and serving readers. Both papers cut home delivery to the three most popular days of the week —Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays — with single copies available at newsstands every day.
During the 2008 presidential election, Orange County Register online editor Sonya Smith (Twitter @sonyanews) watched in amazement as reporter friends changed Facebook and Twitter avatars to reflect candidate preferences. Was this a generational shift toward openness and honesty or a thumbed nose at objectivity?
Last year I turned in my press pass, took the federal oath of service and finally gave in to the futuristic silver jumpsuit trend. In our field, that’s akin to going over to the dark side. But there was a heartwarming reason I went to work for Uncle Sam (I’ll explain the jumpsuit later): the chance to spend a year helping an inner-city public access television station start a youth media program.
August 1st, 2008 • Quill Archives
Gen J: Some essentials are only learned on the job
I was alone, walking across the George Washington Bridge, when it started to pour. The sky darkened, and the wind stirred the choppy Hudson River below. Cars whipped past. Then it began to rain harder. I had graduated from Columbia University’s Journalism School less than 24 hours earlier, and I wasn’t about to let some rain get in the way of pursuing my first post-J-school story.
A friend recently told me he was looking into jobs at smaller weeklies. He started interning with his current employer, a mid-sized daily newspaper in the Northeast, during his senior year in college and was hired full-time right after graduation. After eight years with the paper, he’s covered everything from cops and courts to town- and village- council meetings, but his enthusiasm for what he does is virtually nonexistent.
My favorite part of being a journalist is the excitement of getting news out fast and accurately to the readers. Mobile journalism makes that possible. So, I asked Gen J’ers to share some of their most memorable “mojo” moments, and how it enhanced their reporting.
Familiar faces, farmland and hometown pride are just a few benefits of a rural community. These are some of the reasons Ryan Ottney still lives in his childhood town of New Boston, Ohio. It’s where he grew up with Grandpa Mayor, stirring it up Saturday nights at Hickie’s Hamburger Inn and big timing at Buster’s Bi-Lo.
It’s always the young ones that have to go. No, I’m not talking about death. Well, actually yeah, kind of. I’m talking about covering death’s aftermath. I’m talking about the loved ones left behind after the two-car wreck, the drowning, the triple homicide, the boat mishap or, more recently, the improvised explosive device.
Work with me, people. Work with me. And think big. SPJ’s Web site holds so many exciting possibilities. If you haven’t taken it for a spin lately, please do. The site is key to spreading the Society’s ideals and to making SPJ members feel more connected to this great organization.
I’m a big believer that journalists must do more for the improvement and protection of journalism than what it takes for them to collect their paychecks. That, in part, is why I am a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
March 30th, 2006 • Quill Archives
Strong cover letter, résumé keys to getting noticed
Leaving the security of college and entering the job market is intimidating. You’re putting together a résumé, a cover letter and talking to people with a lifetime of experience in the journalism business. But taking a little time to fine-tune your résumé, think about your short- and long-term goals and edit your cover letter can go a long way toward helping you get your foot in the door.
December 1st, 2005 • Quill Archives
Life outside of the newsroom is important to career success
When I started my first full-time job after college, I was an eager beaver. I was ready to work 12 hours a day, six days a week. I was delighted to help with West Texas football coverage on Friday nights, and traveling the wide open spaces of Texas to interview cowboys and politicians was terrific.
A year ago, as I took office as SPJ’s president at our national convention in New York City, I told the audience at our installation banquet: “I won’t run SPJ … but many of you will. You, local officers and members who, through our chapters and national committees, do the work of SPJ.”
President-elect Christine Tatum Current SPJ Office: National Secretary/Treasurer (elected 2004); Previous SPJ Experience: National At-Large Director (elected 2002); National Chairwoman, Legal Defense Fund (1999-2004); President, vice-president, membership chairwoman, Chicago Headline Club; Creator/Director, Les Brownlee Journalism Series, drawing 1,500 journalists, raising more than $20,000; Co-creator, Media Education Series for P.R.
Police in Tyler, Texas, shot and killed a 73-year-old man on New Year’s Day after he apparently set fire to his home and then shot at those responding to the blaze. A Tyler Morning Telegraph newspaper reporter and photographer were injured in the shooting.