Welcome to SPJ Leading Edge, a blog built just for chapter leaders. Youll find tools and information to help build, grow and sustain active and successful chapters, the very backbone of SPJ. Well highlight programs, provide best practices for things like finance and governance and answer some of the most popular leadership questions. Contact Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator, for anything and everything chapter related.
Archive for January, 2013
By Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator | January 25th, 2013
Hey chapters, here’s a heads up:
Over the last six months, two of our local chapters have discovered mishandling of their funds. In an effort to help chapters practice fiscal responsibility, the exec committee recently approved a motion to require pro chapters to submit 12 months of bank statements with their annual reports for the time period covered by the report.
Pro chapters will submit 12 months of chapter bank statements, for all chapter accounts, with their annual reports.
Good news: You have time. Start getting your books in order. Conduct monthly audits to make sure you’re ready. And when I say audit, I don’t mean glance over the Word doc your treasurer handed to you – take a look at those statements, reconcile the checkbook, view cashed checks, ask questions. Trust me, it’s worth it in the long run.
The statements are considered part of the annual report and if they’re not included, it’s not considered a complete report.
Questions? Email me, call me (317-927-8000, ext. 215). I’m happy to help walk you through our financial best practices, answer tax questions or just listen to your chapter concerns.
By Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator | January 24th, 2013
Congratulations to the two chapters selected to receive Chapter Grants for the month of January! They submitted stellar programming ideas and were rewarded accordingly, each receiving $250 to fund their upcoming event.
Don’t forget, your chapter can get cold, hard cash, too – just by applying. February applications aren’t due until Feb. 6, so apply now!
The University of Arizona was awarded a grant for their upcoming program, the Future of Investigative Reporting – With a Pulitzer Prize Winner, which features Ryan Gabrielson, a Pulitzer Prize winner for Local Reporting in 2009. Gabrielson and another University of Arizona Journalism School alumnus reported on Arizona’s controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio. According to Susan Knight, who applied for the grant on behalf of the chapter:
Their reporting on the sheriff’s illegal-immigration operation showed that other crimes, such as sexual assaults, were going un-pursued. In addition to winning the Pulitzer, the package of stories titled “Reasonable Doubt” won the George Polk Award for justice reporting, the Best of the West first place award for investigative reporting and the Arizona Press Club’s Don Belles award.
The chapter will invite Gabrielson to host a workshop on investigative reporting, give a public lecture and speak to several reporting classes about doing investigate journalism and new economic models in the news industry.
Alabama Pro, the second chapter awarded a grant for the month of January, “makes no bones about the fact that we are stealing this idea from the Minnesota chapter.” They plan to host their program, Freelance Love, in response to massive layoffs in their area, an effort to help people over the difficult hump. In their grant application, the chapter notes:
Alabama just suffered massive layoffs in the newspaper industry and there are more freelancers looking for work than ever. The Birmingham News, Huntsville Times and Mobile Press-Register laid off hundreds of people last summer, so the media industry here is in a state of shock.
The program aims to connect freelancers with potential employers and will be held at DISCO, a program in an “underserved neighborhood that helps students write, and keeps them off the streets.”
Congratulations to both chapters!
By Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator | January 9th, 2013
Attention chapter leaders: We’re giving you yet another opportunity to grow your ranks and fill up with folks straight out of the newsroom. That’s because we’re proud to announce SPJ’s Newsroom Memberships.
Here’s the nuts and bolts of the program:
Newsrooms join one of three membership tiers, Bronze ($250), Silver ($750) or Gold ($1,250). When they do, their employees receive pro memberships for $60 instead of $75, they’ll receive access to SPJ.org and all our training resources there, free job postings/classifieds, free award entries, conference reimbursements and more. Really, the possibilities are endless.
A Newsroom Membership is the best way to show a commitment to producing high-quality, ethical journalism. It shows you support the missions of SPJ and gives your staff the opportunity to become part of the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism association.
A few things to know about our Newsroom Memberships:
They apply to a physical location. So, for example, Joe Johnson who owns 263 community newspapers from coast to coast couldn’t pay $250 and allow all his 6,000 employees join at the discounted rate. Makes sense, right?
There are a limited amount of Gold memberships available this year. We won’t say how many right off the bat – that takes away some of that “VIP” shine, but just know you’re offering newsrooms a few-of-a-kind deal.
We did the hard stuff for you. Here’s an Newsroom Memberships for you to take to your local newsrooms, as well as a nifty application. Consider hosting a brown bag lunch for each local newsroom where your chapter hosts a mini program, maybe a 30 minute rapid fire FOI session, then talks for another few minutes about the benefits of a Newsroom Membership. Don’t forget to mention individual memberships as well.
Need more help? Let us know. We’d love to help you track down some interested local newsrooms or answer any questions you might have.