Archive for March, 2012

March 15: Annual Reports

Dear chapter leaders,

Spring is a busy season at SPJ, so there’s a full docket of information in this edition of Leading Edge. Please read through this email and prepare yourself for all the great upcoming programs. Thanks for your continued commitment to SPJ!

Annual Reports

As you know, all chapters must file an annual report to remain in good standing with SPJ. It is wise to begin writing it early — and you probably already have most of the information you’ll need. The deadline for campus chapters is April 30, and for pro chapters the deadline is May 15. Forms can be found at Linda Hall is always willing to answer questions; you can contact her at or 317-927-8000 ext. 203.

Scripps Deadline: TODAY

The Scripps Leadership Institute is a training weekend crafted specially for SPJ chapter presidents. All incoming chapter presidents (serving the 2012-2013 term) are encouraged to apply. Please touch base with your incoming president about submitting an application.

  • Cost: Attendees pay $100 total – SPJ funds the rest, including lodging, meals and travel expenses
  • Dates: June 1-3 in Indianapolis
  • More information:
  • Contact: Heather Dunn at or 317-927-8000 ext. 204

March Membership Month

To keep improving on membership recruitment and retention efforts, please send me a short description of your chapter’s event/program/efforts for March Membership Month. Even if it doesn’t take place in March, we’d like to hear what kinds of ideas chapters had for recruiting new members and keeping current members involved. I’ll be gathering this information to put together a resource guide for membership outreach. Please send the information to Thank you!

Position opening: Communications Post-Graduate Intern

Exciting news: SPJ is hiring! Please spread the word to college seniors, graduate students and recent graduates who are looking for an entry-level job in communications. We’re looking for someone with a passion for writing and social media who can help spread SPJ news to members and the public. This is a one-year position, paid and with benefits. Click here for more information, including a job description and application instructions.

Note from President Ensslin

John Ensslin has asked me to share this note with chapter leaders:

Here is a link to a video the folks with Colorado SPJ produced last year called “This I know.” It’s a heartfelt testament to the power of journalism by a group of volunteers. With the exception of a crusading high school newspaper editor, they are all non-journalists.

This spring, as we move into our season of regional conferences, ethics seminars and membership events, I would ask if you could find a time and place to air this one-minute video. I realize it’s not the slickest video in terms of production values, but I think it delivers a powerful and authentic message: that journalism matters.

Yours truly,
John Ensslin

Again, thank you for all you do for SPJ and for journalism. We couldn’t do any of this without you!


Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Manager

March 1: Chapter operations, Scripps Leadership Institute

Good afternoon!

In the coming months, you might notice some changes from HQ. Heather Dunn, SPJ’s Director of Events, will be taking on some new duties in events. At the same time, I (Abby Henkel, Communications Manager) will be taking the reins on chapter communications and strategy. I’ll be reaching out to you individually at some point, but until then, enjoy this latest edition of Leading Edge!

Annual Reports

All chapters must file an annual report with SPJ national. The online submission form makes it easy, but give yourself plenty of time to fill it out completely. The deadline for campus chapters is April 30; for pro chapters, the deadline is May 15. More information is here. Contact Linda Hall (, 317-927-8000 ext. 203) or your Regional Director for more help.

Chapter Elections

To improve chapter communications and enable us at HQ to serve you better, we need to know when each and every chapter holds elections for officers. Please email me with the date of your chapter’s annual elections, and if there has been an election recently, also send a list of your officers.

Scripps Institute deadline approaches

It takes one set of skills to be a fantastic journalist, but it’s another thing entirely to be a good leader of journalists. That’s why SPJ offers the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute every summer for incoming presidents (serving the 2012-2013 term).

We hope you will apply (or encourage your incoming president to apply) for the Scripps Institute, June 1-3 in Indianapolis. You’ll learn invaluable tools for chapter management and individual leadership. Attendees are asked to contribute only $100 to their tuition, which includes travel, lodging and meals. The deadline to apply is March 15, so apply online now!

National Honors

The nomination deadlines for SPJ’s national honors are quickly approaching. Take a few minutes to think about journalists in your area to see if any of the national honors apply to them. Details on how to send in a nomination are available by clicking on the link associated with each honor. Nominations are due March 20.

  • Fellows of the Society: Presented to journalists for extraordinary contributions to the profession.
  • Historic Sites in Journalism: Honors individuals, news organizations and places of national historic journalism interest.
  • Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award: Honors an outstanding journalism educator who has made a significant contribution to the profession and/or journalism education and to maintaining the highest standards of the profession.
  • First Amendment Award: Recognizes extraordinarily strong efforts to preserve and strengthen the First Amendment.
  • Sunshine Award: Recognizes those making important contributions in the area of open government.
  • Ethics in Journalism Award: Honors journalists or news organizations that perform in an outstanding ethical manner demonstrating the ideals of the SPJ Code of Ethics. It also honors especially notable efforts to educate the public on principles embodied in the code or hold journalists ethically accountable for their behavior.

March Membership Month

If you need help or ideas for planning your chapter’s membership recruitment/retention event this month, here are some program ideas to consider. You should have also received some from John Ensslin last week.

Here are some tips on planning a journalism event from Ryan Broussard, a member of SPJ’s Gen J committee. Do you have some tips of your own? Email them to me and I’ll post them online to share.


Abby Henkel
Communications Manager

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