Archive for the ‘Chapters’ Category


Taxes, major awards, the Post Office and a makeover … SPJ style

Status is important – don’t lose it!

It’s that time of year – holiday bustle, good food and great friends, just like the ones at the IRS.

They’ve asked that our chapters file their annual Form 990’s by Dec. 15. That’s a little over a month away, so mark your calendars or, better yet, just get it over with.

Those chapters whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less can electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard. It’s quick and painless and you’ll want to do it ASAP. Otherwise, after three consecutive years of not filing your chapter will automatically lose its tax-exempt status.

You can use this link to file. If you have questions, Tara Puckey, Chapter Coordinator, can help (tpuckey@spj.org, 317.920.4784).

Return to sender?!

At SPJ HQ, we know how badly everyone wants to get their bright and shiny SPJ card in the mail when they join, so we get sad every time our friendly postal worker brings back a stack of returned cards. Plus, it costs us money that we could be spending on other awesome journalism training programs, which makes us extra sad.

So do us a solid and remind members that if they’re pulling up the stakes to move, let us know ASAP. We’ll be grateful, they’ll be grateful and our post office will probably be grateful, too.

It’s a major award!

Sorry, we just couldn’t help ourselves since the holidays are right around the corner. Anyway, we’re really talking about actual major awards – our Sigma Delta Chi Awards and the Mark of Excellence Awards, which honor outstanding professional and student journalism, respectively.

Please take a few minutes to pass on deadline information to your chapter members:

Sigma Delta Chi Awards: Opened Nov. 3 and closes Feb. 6
Mark of Excellence Awards: Opened Nov. 3 and closes Jan. 23

Questions about awards can be sent to our Awards Coordinator, Abbi Martzall (amartzall@spj.org, 317.920.4791).

SPJ Leads just got a makeover

Looks aren’t everything, but they’re certainly going to help Leads, our members only weekly emails. 

A whole new feel will still bring you the same great news about SPJ programs, industry news and other insider info.

So what does this mean for you? A few things you need to know about the spiffy new Leads:

  • If your chapter does cool stuff, be sure to tell us about it by Monday each week so we can feature it in Leads on Wednesday (we can’t guarantee to include everything we receive so send early and send often)
  • When you submit info, send it to Taylor Carlier, our Communications Coordinator, attcarlier@spj.org
    • Include a short (as in 200 words or less) write up
    • A graphic or photo (required)

Chat with the law

You know communication is key. Because of that, we’re asking chapters across the country to open constructive dialogue with law enforcement officers in their communities. It’s imperative that those sworn to protect and serve do their jobs without jeopardizing the journalist’s responsibility to the public.

So talk it out.

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Congrats & Annual Reports!

Chapter Cash

Congrats to another chapter for receiving a 2013-2014 Chapter Grant to fund some of their awesome programming. The Columbia University SPJ Chapter will be hosting a program about FOI issues and we’re sure it will be great. Congrats again!

Annual Reports

It’s Annual Report time for chapters, but don’t worry. We’re trying to make it as painless as possible. We’ll have the report posted soon, we’ll send you a link and you have plenty of time to complete them – both campus and pro reports are due May 30. Questions? Contact Tara Puckey at 317.920.4784.

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Round 3 of Chapter Grants: More money!

Three more chapters were awarded funds from SPJ’s Chapter Grants, which provides money to chapters for unique and innovative programming, thanks to a little help from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

Chapters receiving grant funds include:

  1. Rio Grande Pro
  2. East Tennessee Pro
  3. University of Maryland Campus

Didn’t get in on the money train? No worries, we’ll have one more round of grant applications. The due date for submissions is April 1 so start thinking up those great programs now!

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More money for chapters

Congratulations to three chapters who were recently awarded Chapter Grants for their upcoming programs! DePaul University will host a symposium about women in sports journalism, Texas A&M San Antonio plans to hold a workshop about developing community news sites and Delaware Pro will host a series of hands on FOIA programs around the state.

Don’t forget – your chapter can apply to receive a grant, courtesy of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, during our next round of applications due in February. For more information, visit the Chapter Grants section of the website.

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A new round of Chapter Grants dishes out more cash

Congratulations to the three chapters who were awarded Chapter Grants this month! Each chapter was awarded up to $500 to put on their unique, amazing and brilliant journo program. Once they’ve finished, we’ll post a recap here so you can steal some great ideas.

cash

Grants were awarded to the following chapters:

1. Louisville Pro

2. Oklahoma Pro

3. Kennesaw State University

Congrats again! Now go do great stuff!

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Two more chapters get cash in May

Two chapters have been awarded funds for their awesome programs thanks to SPJ Chapter Grants. We ended this years program on a great note by dishing out the cash to SPJ South Florida and the Fort Worth chapter for some great ideas.

According to their grant application, “SPJ South Florida and the Miami chapter of NAHJ are following the lead of their national organizations- who are joining forces for EIJ this summer in Anaheim – and we’re sponsoring our own mini-conference on Saturday, July 13, at the Mayfair Hotel in Coconut Grove.” For more information on the event, visit their website.

The Forth Worth chapter plans to host an in-depth program about investigative journalism at the request of many of their members. They also hope to help out the community and had this to say: “By providing in depth training, the community will benefit as journalists apply theskills learned to report on the misuses and abuses as well as the beneficial events occurring in ourarea as well as beyond it for those reporters who take these skills with them into other areas.”

Either way, both chapters are set to provide quality programming with some extra in their wallets. Look for information about the next round of Chapter Grants in the future and congrats to these two great chapters!

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Chapter leaders: Let’s talk web stuff

From SPJ Director at Large, Carl Corry:

In an effort to help SPJ chapters improve their all-important web presences, or to start one, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey if you’re a chapter leader. We’ll share the results.

The goal: to help bring attention to the great work you do and improve your ability to attract and retain members.

Additionally, SPJ Director at Large Carl Corry is offering to help you get started by providing one-on-one advice to any chapter. We will also host a Google+ Hangout on the subject.

Please reply by June 14.

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Free pizza, the First Amendment and serious fun

The Arizona State University chapter recently hosted a First Amendment Free Food Festival, affectionately known to most enthusiastic SPJers as FAFFF. Chapter president, Anne Stegen, reported that “exactly 162 people gave up their First Amendment rights for pizza.” Two dozen people didn’t appreciate the fun lesson and turned it down. For the details, check out this story on the event.

Here are some pictures of the awesomeness. Does your chapter want to host FAFFF? Do you have pictures of your last great event? Tell us!

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April Chapter Grants

The Chapter Grant Committee decided to not award any grants this month, rolling over the $500 cold, hard cash to next month where we’ll be giving away multiple grants for amazing chapter programs.

I’m sure you all know the drill already. The deadline is May 1 and you don’t want to miss out, so apply soon!

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A subtle reminder

Annual Reports, Annual Reports, Annual Reports, Annual Reports, Annual Reports…
Campus – May 1
Professional – May 6

I’m pretty sure you’re picking it up. As always, if you have questions – contact Tara Puckey, Chapter Coordinator, via email or phone (317.927.8000, ext. 215).

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