Archive for the ‘SPJ Training’ 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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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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Don’t you want to be a Scrippster?

Yes, you do. Scrippsters are among the best and brightest of SPJ. Fearless leaders who spent an entire weekend learning about their leadership styles, how to better their beloved chapter and had some amazing fun, of course.

They’re participants in the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute, developed to create better leaders by offering a mix of sessions focused on interpersonal and organizational leadership skills, as well as sound chapter management practices. And in 2013, the Institute is hitting the road.

In fact, it has already made a stop in Indianapolis, taking place on a chilly March weekend. A group of devoted leaders from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Nebraska gathered together to create memories and lessons that are sure to last a lifetime.

Check out their experiences!

Or, if you’re interested in more, you can always read through the Storify of the event, which captures spectacular memories, important lessons and insight into the program through the words of the Scrippsters themselves.

Then, because you’ll definitely want to be one – apply to participate in a region near you! We’ll be in Denver in June and Memphis in July. Applications are due soon, so don’t delay. Questions? Contact Chapter Coordinator, Tara Puckey, via email or phone (317) 927-8000, ext. 215.

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Two chapters receive funding in February and March

Congratulations to two amazing chapters! They’ve both hit the jackpot with unique and creative programming, which landed them SPJ Chapter Grants that padded their wallets with $500 each.

The Minnesota Pro chapter is hosting a Journalism Film Festival, showing some of the best journo flicks to those working in the business and the general community. They hope to “discuss journalism with the broader public and raise Minnesota SPJ’s profile in the community.” Chapter members, fellow journalists and the community will likely come together during receptions at the opening and closing of the festival, engaging in conversation about journalism and media.

Scoop

A chapter-in-the-works  at Florida Atlantic University will receive $500 for their upcoming program, JournoSwitch, where FAU students will switch jobs and cover the playing of the 1950’s retro game, Scoop.

“Prominent pro journalists and Frank LoMonte, the executive director of the Student Press Law Center, play an old-school game while discussing the future of journalism and media law. We’ll raffle off spots in the game for journalism students.”

Sign us up!

Congrats to both chapters on great programming and FREE cash. Don’t worry, your chapter can receive some money, too. Applications are available for April and May, so hurry and apply today!

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Two chapters receive cash for programming

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!

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