SPJ News http://www.spj.org/ SPJ Delivers Today's Media News en-us Copyright 2006 Society of Professional Journalists 1440 Groups urge officials to allow journalists to do their work at Standing Rock http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1488 Contacts:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists and other journalism groups <a href="http://spj.org/pdf/news/standing-rock-letter-FINAL.pdf">sent a letter today</a> as the planned enforcement of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ evacuation order to those at the Dakota Access Pipeline camp is underway. <br> <br> In their letter, SPJ, Committee to Protect Journalists, Native American Journalists Association, National Press Photographers Association and Online News Association urge officials in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to allow journalists to cover the events at Standing Rock safely.<br> <br> “The journalists at Standing Rock are doing the important work of letting the public know what is happening there, and they need to be able to do that work without fear of arrest, violence or confiscation of their equipment,” said SPJ National President Lynn Walsh. <br> <br> The groups contacted the Morton County Sheriff’s Department last week to offer training to law enforcement and journalists there on ways they can peacefully work together. As of this afternoon, the sheriff’s department had not responded.<br> <br> The organizations additionally urge officials to drop charges against journalists who have been arrested while covering Standing Rock.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Quotes from SPJ leaders on today’s White House press conference http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1487 <b>MEDIA ADVISORY</b><br> <br> Contacts:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – The following quotes from <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> leaders may be used in stories regarding today’s White House press conference and/or the <a href="https://action.donaldjtrump.com/mainstream-media-accountability-survey/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GOP_surveys_Mainstream-Media-Accountability-Survey&utm_content=021617-media-survey-djt-jfc-p-p-hf-e-1&utm_source=e_p-p/">mainstream media survey</a> sent out this afternoon by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee. <br> <br> <b>Lynn Walsh, Society of Professional Journalists national president:</b> “When President Trump continues his anti-media, anti-press rhetoric, tip-toes around questions from journalists and chooses not to provide support for information he shares, the American public is the biggest loser. The public is entitled to ask the White House, Mr. Trump and other government officials and employees questions, whether the topics are something they feel are newsworthy or appropriate. Journalists fill the role for the public by working every day to hold them accountable, ask about policies and question facts, figures and information being shared by the government. Journalists will continue to do their jobs to hold this administration and all government officials accountable so the public can have the information it is entitled to.”<br> <br> <b>Andrew Seaman, SPJ Ethics Committee chair:</b> “President Trump's treatment of journalists at today's press conference and his new email to supporters asking for their evaluation of the ‘mainstream media’ is more evidence that he believes the press is at war with the White House. In reality, journalists are just fulfilling their jobs of holding our nation's power brokers accountable to the American people. As they have for hundreds of years, journalists will continue to be a pillar of democracy by ethically and thoroughly reporting on the presidency. The Society of Professional Journalists will have their backs.”<br> <br> <b>Gideon Grudo, SPJ Freedom of Information Committee chair:</b> “Even with a billion-response-survey summary calling the media ‘failing,’ American journalism will continue to prove with every passing day that a free press holds the government accountable. Even the angriest and most hugely accusatory fingers from those at the top of levels of our government will not -- and will never -- change that. Though Trump may try to curtail the public's trust in the press, thus diminishing the freedom it has in communicating with the public, he will ultimately fail.”<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member,</a> <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund,</a> or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.</a></i><br> <br> <div align"=center">--END--</div> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ Legal Defense Fund Roundup – January 2017 http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1486 Contacts:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="rsemple@spj.org">rsemple@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – As a free press and free speech advocate, SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund Committee initiates and joins court briefs to support First Amendment and open records cases. <br> <br> The following are amicus briefs and other action the LDF Committee took in December<br> <br> <b>Buehler v. City of Austin</b><br> SPJ joins the National Press Photographers Association and other media organizations in the support of Antonio Buehler. Buehler was arrested in 2012 for recording the activities of police officers conducting a DUI stop and the charges were later acquitted. In 2014, he sued the Austin Police Department for false arrest, which was dismissed by the Fifth Circuit court. SPJ and other organizations are supporting his petition to the Supreme Court to review that decision, urging it to consider whether his arrest was a retaliation against his recording, an activity protected by the First Amendment.<br> <br> Read the full brief <a href="https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/buehler-austin-pd.pdf">here</a>.<br> <br> SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. The First Amendment also guarantees the press and the public a right of access to criminal trials, including pretrial proceedings, and documents submitted in connection with them. <br> <br> The LDF Committee also oversees the <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">Legal Defense Fund</a>, a unique account that can be used to provide journalists with legal or direct financial assistance.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Former SPJ President Howard Graves dies at age 90 http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1485 Contacts:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS — Howard Graves, Society of Professional Journalists national president from 1980-81, died this morning at age 90. <br> <br> Graves, who shaped journalistic coverage for the Associated Press for 40 years across three western states, was chief of AP bureaus in Albuquerque, N.M. (1962-1977), Portland, Ore. (1977-1982) and Honolulu (1982-1993). <br> <br> His sons said their father died this morning of health issues related to age and Alzheimer's in his apartment in a Prescott, Ariz., assisted living community. <br> <br> Graves and his wife, Audrey Gayle Parsnick Graves, moved to Prescott in April 1994 from Hawaii after he retired from the AP in 1993. She died in Prescott at age 82 in 2012. They were married 57 years.<br> <br> Survivors include sons Carson Graves, Edmonds, Wash., and Graham Graves, Little Rock, Ark. Also surviving is granddaughter, Kathryn Taylor Graves, and daughter-in-law Dana Graves. They live in Edmonds. <br> <br> <img src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Q2pPEHspgVY/WIkR0WofNTI/AAAAAAAASZI/sbsgZLMDx0cLXaSQBnfWNJigg1-hv6q3QCLcB/s320/Graves-HowardMay2009.jpg" class="right">Born Nov. 11, 1926, in Robinson (Crawford Co.), Ill., Howard Graves was the son of Perry and Marvel Graves. He had three brothers and sister Julia Graves Roberson, Robinson, Ill., who survives.<br> <br> His parents were owners/operators of Robinson Lumber and Coal Co., where he worked during and after graduating from Robinson Township High School May 23, 1944. Later, thanks to his family’s connection to the lumber trade, he worked for a summer at a Toledo, Ore., sawmill. <br> <br> In high school he was student body president, played football and ran track and covered Robinson Township High athletics for the weekly Robinson Argus newspaper and as a stringer for the Chicago Daily News and the Champaign, Ill., News-Gazette.<br> <br> In October 1944, he left the Robinson Argus and a job as sports editor to enlist in the U.S. Navy. He served on the newly-launched U.S.S. Midway aircraft carrier. World War II ended in August 1945 and he was discharged a year later.<br> <br> He studied 1946-1947 and 1949-1950 at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., and two semesters (fall 1947 and spring 1948) at Linfield College, McMinnville, Ore.<br> <br> As a reporter for the Linfield Review student newspaper, he covered the 1948 Republican presidential debate held in Portland, Ore., between candidates Gov. Thomas Dewey of New York and Harold Stassen, former Minnesota governor.<br> <br> In the summer of 1948, he was among those who were drivers – nicknamed “gearjammers” -- of the iconic canvas topped red bus driving tourists through Glacier National Park in Montana.<br> <br> Deciding not to continue in college, he worked as a reporter and editor on daily and weekly newspapers in Robinson and Centralia, Ill, and Shelby, Mont. <br> <br> His reporting skills caught the attention of the Associated Press which he joined April 21, 1952. During his AP career, Graves was a news writer in Little Rock, Ark; Helena, Mont; and Denver, Colo. In May 1957, he became an AP administrator. Twice he was with the Portland, Ore., AP bureau, first 1957-1962 as regional membership executive for the Northwest and then as chief of the bureau, 1977-1982. For 14 years, he was AP bureau chief in Albuquerque, N.M., 1962-1977. For 11 years, starting in November 1982 until his retirement at the end of 1993, he was Honolulu AP bureau chief. <br> <br> In summary, he spent 40 years-plus with the Associated Press, 31 of those years as a chief of bureau. At the time of his retirement, he was the senior chief of bureau in the domestic service.<br> <br> Graves once wrote that he "never won an award for reporting or writing." His career, one of journalistic excellence and leadership, proved stellar, if not award-winning.<br> <br> Upon Graves’ retirement, Louis D. Boccardi, Associated Press president/CEO said Graves “carried the flag high with honor.” Another AP executive said, Graves was "probably the most modest man I’ve ever known. And he would be the last guy to call attention to his own achievements." And, yet another executive of the AP said, “Howard’s objectivity, investigative abilities, tenacity and modesty won them all."<br> <br> Graves was nominated by the AP for the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for Best Regional Enterprise Reporting. His nomination was for more than 120 stories he wrote in 10 months – traveling more than 30,000 miles -- for AP out of the Albuquerque bureau. The stories were about the misappropriation and misspending of hundreds of millions of federal dollars by the Navajo tribal government on the 25,000-square-mile Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. <br> <br> In a 1976 letter, the editor of the Grants, N.M., Daily Beacon (now the Cibola County Beacon) newspaper said, "Howard Graves has done the honest, decent citizens of our country a great service through his investigative series on the Navajo tribal government."<br> <br> An editorial in the Farmington, N.M, Daily Times praised Graves’ stories "all based on the facts as he was able to put them together, after hours, days, and months of interviewing people and studying documents."<br> <br> While in New Mexico, Graves was active in freedom of information matters. He received the 1972 Dan Burrows Memorial Award for work in the field from the New Mexico Society of Professional Journalists chapter. He was cited for helping protect and promote freedom of the press and free flow of information to the public by the news media.<br> <br> During Graves’ tenure as AP Portland bureau chief, he directed news coverage prior to and after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in southwestern Washington and the 1978 crash in suburban Portland of United Airlines Flight 173 after it ran out of fuel. While based in Oregon, he traveled and spoke nationally while serving as 1980-1981 president of the Society of Professional Journalists.<br> <br> As Honolulu AP bureau chief, Graves directed news and news photo coverage for an area more than three million square miles covering six time zones. He supervised coverage of Philippines’ president Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda going into exile in Hawaii; hurricanes in Hawaii and the Central Pacific; Aloha Airlines Flight 243’s fuselage being ripped apart after an explosive decompression in flight and the 50th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. He wrote of political status changes in the UN’s Trust Territory of the Pacific and the U.S. insular areas of Guam and American Samoa. He was the primary reporter on the Republic of Palau in Micronesia becoming an independent country in 1994.<br> <br> As an AP bureau chief, Graves’ first priority was management. But, he always reported. For example, he was on a first name basis with Navajo leaders while working in the Albuquerque bureau. From the Honolulu bureau, he traveled throughout the Central Pacific and made contacts and gained insights which were reflected in what he wrote. <br> <br> Following his retirement from the AP, a Honolulu Star-Bulletin columnist wrote, "No journalist knows the present and former U.S.-administered islands in the Pacific better than Howard Graves." Another columnist for the same newspaper called Graves, "Mr. Pacific."<br> <br> During his career, he spoke on university campuses from Florida to Alaska. <br> <br> After retiring to Prescott, Ariz., which Graves the journalist liked to refer to as “Press-kit,” he spoke at Linfield College, Washington State University and civic groups about "America’s Forgotten Colonies." His speech was about the U.S. territories in the Western Pacific, nuclear test bombing in the Pacific after World War II, and why the U.S. holds onto the possessions. <br> <br> Also, in retirement, he served on the advisory board for the Northern Arizona University Lumberjack student newspaper and was writing and editing coach at the Gallup, N.M., Independent daily newspaper.<br> <br> The Graves family suggests memorial donations to Good Samaritan Society, Marley House, 1063 Ruth St., Prescott, AZ 86301-1729, or a favorite charity.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <div align"=center">--END--</div> Wed, 25 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ, 60 other journalism groups, ask Trump administration for meeting on government access http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1484 1/18/2017<br> <br> Contacts:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> <i>*Editor's Note: Since the letter was sent to the president-elect, more journalism<br> groups have expressed their support in joining the cause, bringing the current total to 70 organizations.</i><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists and 60 other journalism organizations have requested a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to discuss access to government.<br> <br> The coalition <a href="http://www.spj.org/pdf/news/trump-pence-letter-lh-final-01182017.pdf">sent a letter today</a> to Trump and Pence, asking for a meeting or conference call to discuss:<br> • the ability of reporters to directly interact with government employees who are subject matter experts, rather than interacting with Public Information Officers (or having all conversations monitored by Public Information Officers);<br> • access to the activities of the President; <br> • and ensuring that the Federal Freedom of Information Act remains as strong as possible. <br> <br> “We believe strongly that journalists are the eyes and ears of the citizens of the United States,” said SPJ National President Lynn Walsh. “The average American citizen does not have the time or resources to check up on elected officials to make sure they are running the country the way they should. It is up to journalists to help hold those in power accountable.”<br> <br> This letter follows several that were sent to the Obama administration since at least 2013, regarding concerns about White House restrictions on photographers, transparency and public information officer restrictions. <br> <br> <a href="https://nppa.org/sites/default/files/wh_letter_protest.pdf">The first letter</a>, sent Nov. 21, 2013, addressed concerns regarding White House restrictions on photographers. The <a href="https://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=1254">next letter</a>, sent July 8, 2014, and a <a href="https://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=1266">follow-up letter</a> sent Aug. 5, 2014, regarding PIO and transparency issues were met with a <a href="https://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=1267">response</a> from the White House on Aug. 11, 2014, that the groups found unsatisfactory. This <a href="http://www.spj.org/pdf/news/obama-restrictions-press-freedom-2015-12-15.pdf">white paper and other articles</a> also provide background on the issue.<br> <br> “We urge you to publicly affirm your commitment to transparency, to issue an executive order prohibiting the restrictive public information policies that have been the status quo, and to engage in a public discussion with us about the Trump administration’s commitment to the free flow of information from the White House and all federal government, to the American people,” the latest letter states. <br> <br> The groups hope that together, they and the Trump administration can improve the lines of communication between the White House and the press. <br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism a.nd fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <div align"=center">--END--</div> Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ Legal Defense Fund Roundup – December 2016 http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1483 Contacts:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="rsemple@spj.org">rsemple@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – As a free press and free speech advocate, SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund Committee initiates and joins court briefs to support First Amendment and open records cases. <br> <br> The following are amicus briefs and other action the LDF Committee took in December.<br> <br> <b>Eramo v. Rolling Stone</b><br> SPJ joins the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and other organizations in regard to the Rolling Stone defamation case. The brief argues that the editor’s note appended to the story “A Rape on Campus” is not a “republication” of the original information that was later shown inaccurate. In defamation cases, determining that the article was republished would increase the liability of the company due to an “actual malice” standard. It was determined the company had not acted with “actual malice” in the original publication of the article.<br> <br> Editor’s notes have long served the public good by clarifying when new information comes to light. If the tradition of editor’s notes were to increase liability for publishers, it could discourage publishers from clarifying or correcting information in the future.<br> <br> Read the full brief <a href="http://spj.org/pdf/news/amicus-brief-as-filed.pdf">here</a>.<br> <br> SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. The First Amendment also guarantees the press and the public a right of access to criminal trials, including pretrial proceedings, and documents submitted in connection with them. <br> <br> The LDF Committee also oversees the <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">Legal Defense Fund</a>, a unique account that can be used to provide journalists with legal or direct financial assistance.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i> Mon, 19 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ condemns “prior restraint” ordering The Trentonian to not publish about child abuse case http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1482 December 14, 2016<br> <br> Contacts:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Miriam Ascarelli, SPJ New Jersey Pro President, 862-576-1256, <email address="prez@njspj.org">prez@njspj.org</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@hq.spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS — The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> and the <a href="http://www.njspj.org/">New Jersey Professional Chapter of SPJ</a> condemn the actions of Superior Court Judge Craig Corson who, in October, issued a temporary injunction prohibiting <a href="http://www.trentonian.com/">The Trentonian</a> from publishing information from a child abuse complaint that could have shed light on a story about a 5-year-old boy from Trenton, N.J., who went to school with drugs in his lunchbox. <br> <br> The action constitutes “prior restraint” which has been rejected by the United States Supreme Court several times, including in the landmark 1971 case, <i>New York Times vs. U.S.</i>, over the publication of the Pentagon Papers, a classified report on the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War.<br> <br> Over and over again, the courts have ruled that the burden of proof for prior restraint is extremely high. In the case of the Pentagon Papers, the government’s attempt to stop the presses was rejected because it failed to show that the story would cause a “grave and irreparable danger” to national security. <br> <br> The case involving the Trentonian doesn’t even approach the level of the Pentagon Papers. It is about an innocent kid caught in the midst of family wrangling that led to school officials finding drugs in his lunchbox. The state has yet to cite any evidence that is weighty enough to justify imposing prior restraint.<br> <br> The state also argues that Trentonian reporter Isaac Avilucea obtained the child abuse complaint illegally. However, as Avilucea told <a href="http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2016/12/12/nj-judge-orders-newspaper-stop-publishing-articles/95356962/?">northjersey.com</a>, the child’s mother willingly offered it to him. Afterwards, when Avilucea was approached by state officials, he refused to hand it over.<br> <br> There is no question that this story is messy and needs to be handled with sensitivity. As Avilucea reported in <a href="http://www.trentonian.com/">The Trentonian</a>, the child’s father and his girlfriend were each charged with child endangerment, and the child’s grandmother has accused the boy’s mother of “possibly having a role in planting the drugs in the folder in a set up to regain full custody.”<br> <br> The sensitivity of the topic is not a reason stop the presses and prevent Avilucea from using material from a report that he obtained legally to tell a story that raises legitimate issues of public concern. This is not just about the criminal aspects of the case, but also about whether there were failures on the part of the state agencies that were supposed to protect the child. <br> <br> This injunction sets an intolerable precedent that undermines everything we value about a free press. That is why we strongly urge the court to overturn Judge Corson’s order. <br> <br> As Avilucea correctly argued in his interview with <a href="http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2016/12/12/nj-judge-orders-newspaper-stop-publishing-articles/95356962/?">northjersey.com</a>: “I don’t know how we’re supposed to operate in a democracy if media organizations are having to capitulate to the court or the Attorney General’s Office. The discretion of what to publish should be vested in reporters and editors, not in the court.”<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i> Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ: Proposed Gawker bankruptcy plan can’t leave journalists without legal protection http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1481 December 6, 2016<br> <br> Contacts:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="rsemple@spj.org">rsemple@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – The <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> has initiated a legal brief joined by 20 other media groups in support of the indemnification rights of Gawker journalists.<br> <br> The proposed Chapter 11 Liquidation Plan for Gawker would remove the indemnification rights of former Gawker employees, no longer requiring Gawker to provide them legal defense if they were sued for actions taken in the course of their work. This leaves those journalists at risk of bearing their own legal defenses without assistance from the company or its insurers.<br> <br> A “third-party release” provision proposed in the plan is a viable option to safeguard those journalists, SPJ argues in the amicus brief. Though it would prohibit any potential plaintiffs who have not yet brought forth claims from filing lawsuits against the employees after the bankruptcy has been finalized, there is concern that the court may remove this provision from the bankruptcy plan, leaving those journalists completely exposed.<br> <br> "In their contracts with employees, Gawker included clauses that would have required the organization to provide a legal defense to its journalists if they were sued as part of their job. These types of clauses are standard at most media companies,” said Lynn Walsh, SPJ national president. “In the company's proposed bankruptcy plan, employees were losing their rights under this clause and instead provided a ‘third-party release’ that would prevent any additional lawsuits that have not yet been filed once the bankruptcy is finalized.”<br> <br> “SPJ and other organizations are asking that this ‘third-party release’ be kept intact. If journalists cannot depend on these types of agreements they may not be as likely to produce and investigate stories," Walsh said.<br> <br> Both First Amendment and policy reasons favor granting indemnification releases to journalists. If unable to rely on their indemnification agreements, journalists will be subjected to the high cost of personal liability while in pursuit of information critical to the public. Without these protections, journalists will be less able to engage in the public service of journalism ensured by the First Amendment. If this plan is approved without indemnification rights or third party releases, Gawker itself would retain the protection of the bankruptcy laws, but individual journalists would be left exposed to potentially crippling lawsuits.<br> <br> <a href="http://spj.org/pdf/news/gawker-bankruptcy-amicus-brief-and-motion-2016-12-05.pdf">Read the full amicus brief here.</a><br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i> Tue, 6 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ Legal Defense Fund Roundup – November 2016 http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1480 Contacts:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-859-6194, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="rsemple@spj.org">rsemple@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – As a free press and free speech advocate, SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund Committee initiates and joins legal briefs to support First Amendment and open records cases. <br> <br> The following are amicus briefs and other action the LDF Committee took in November.<br> <br> <b>Kenneth Jakes v. Sumner County Board of Education</b><br> The LDF Committee has approved a request from the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government for $4,000, which will help offset legal fees in an important public records case. The Coalition is submitting an amicus brief in the case of <i>Kenneth Jakes v. Sumner County Board of Education</i>. The case involves a public records request that a Tennessee resident submitted via email to his local board of education. The board denied the request under the theory that public records requests may be made only in person or via a written request mailed through the U.S. Postal Service. The resident sued, arguing that the relevant question is whether the board actually received the request, not what form the request took. The trial court ruled in favor of the resident and found that the school board violated the Tennessee Public Records Act. But the school board, with the support of state government agencies, is now appealing that ruling, and it is litigating the appeal aggressively.<br> <br> The case is seen by many in Tennessee as an important test case that will create a precedent beyond its narrow facts. If the school board ultimately prevails on appeal, it will open the door for agencies to implement all sorts of other policies, beyond the bounds of the Public Records Act that impede or delay access to public records.<br> <br> Read the brief <a href="http://tcog.info/tcog-files-amicus-brief-in-jakes-vs-sumner-county-board-of-education-case-over-public-records-requests/">here</a>.<br> <br> <b>Fields v. City of Philadelphia</b><br> This brief involves a Philadelphia case attempting to stop private citizens from photographing and recording police on the grounds that unless they are criticizing the police, it is not protected under the First Amendment. Precedent set by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Supreme Court shows that in public places, under reasonable restrictions, the First Amendment protects the right to record or photograph the police regardless of purpose.<br> <br> Eyewitness news provided by private citizens is an important source of news to journalists, and not allowing citizens to do gather photo and video removes an important source of information to the public, the brief argues. The ability to support or contradict official reports of events through eyewitness photo and video often plays an important role in monitoring the function of the government and therefore is of significant importance to the general public.<br> <br> SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. The First Amendment also guarantees the press and the public a right of access to criminal trials, including pretrial proceedings, and documents submitted in connection with them. <br> <br> Read the brief <a href="http://spj.org/pdf/news/RCFP-Fields-amicus-as-filed.pdf">here</a>.<br> <br> The LDF Committee also oversees the <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">Legal Defense Fund</a>, a unique account that can be used to provide journalists with legal or direct financial assistance.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ joins 14 other journalism orgs to ask Trump to commit to protective press pool for transparency http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1478 Contacts:<br> <br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> SPJ signed the following letter with The National Press Club and 13 other journalism organizations calling for a protective press pool for transparency.<br> <br> Dear President-elect Trump, <br> <br> We, a group of diverse journalism associations representing thousands of journalists from the nation's capital to every corner of the country, begin this letter on a hopeful note. Your administration is a blank slate, and we are eager to work with you to perpetuate one of this nation's great strengths: our freedom of the press. <br> <br> We expect that you, as the new leader of the free world, will preserve longstanding traditions that ensure coverage of the Trump presidency. The idea of a press pool that covers all of the president's movements is one that dates back to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration. Every president of both parties has treated this important tradition with respect. The role of the press pool is critically important to our country whose citizens depend on and deserve to know what the president is doing. This isn't about access for the press itself; it's about access for Americans in diverse communities across the country. Your constituents receive information from a variety of platforms to learn about what our president is doing.<br> <br> Being president is an enormous responsibility, and working with the White House Correspondents' Association to ensure journalists' access is one small but important part of that. We call on you to commit to a protective press pool from now until the final day of your presidency. We respectfully ask you to instill a spirit of openness and transparency in your administration in many ways but first and foremost, via the press pool. <br> <br> We also call for access to you via regular press conferences and pool sprays and to your key decision-makers. You have an opportunity as incoming president to set the tone for your staff speaking on the record for the sake of transparency. We also hope your administration will improve response rates to FOIA requests as a way to show the American people, and the world, that the republic belongs to the people. <br> <br> A great America depends on having sunlight on its leaders. We expect the traditions of White House press coverage to be upheld whether in Washington or elsewhere. Again we, a joint group of diverse journalism associations, speak as one as we respectfully ask that you take these steps to ensure access to our members covering your administration. <br> <br> <b>Thomas Burr</b><br> President <br> The National Press Club <br> <br> <b>Barbara Cochran</b><br> President <br> National Press Club Journalism Institute <br> <br> <b>Lynn Walsh</b><br> President <br> Society of Professional Journalists <br> <br> <b>Mizell Stewart III</b><br> President <br> American Society of News Editors <br> <br> <b>Mike Cavender</b><br> Executive Director <br> Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation <br> <br> <b>Delphine Halgand</b><br> US Director <br> Reporters Without Borders/RSF <br> <br> <b>Courtney Radsch</b><br> Advocacy Director <br> Committee to Protect Journalists <br> <br> <b>Sandy K. Johnson</b><br> President <br> National Press Foundation <br> <br> <b>Sarah Glover</b><br> President <br> National Association of Black Journalists <br> <br> <b>Brandon Benavides</b><br> President, Board of Directors <br> National Association of Hispanic Journalists <br> <br> <b>Bryan Pollard</b><br> President <br> Native American Journalists Association <br> <br> <b>Paul Cheung</b><br> President <br> Asian American Journalists Association <br> <br> <b>Jen Christensen</b><br> President <br> National Association of LGBTQ Journalists <br> <br> <b>Elisa Lees Munoz</b><br> Executive Director <br> The International Women's Media Foundation <br> <br> <b>Allison Sherry</b><br> President <br> Regional Reporters Association Wed, 16 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ President Walsh statement on journalism and the election http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1477 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br> <br> Nov. 9, 2016<br> <br> Contacts:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com/">lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org/">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – The following statement may be attributed to <a href="https://www.spj.org/">Society of Professional Journalists</a> National President Lynn Walsh: <br> <br> “The Society of Professional Journalists believes public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy.<br> <br> Yesterday, people from across the United States voted for their next president. They voted after being informed about the candidates and their positions by journalists.<br> <br> We want you to know the Society is prepared and ready to work with President-elect Donald J. Trump and his administration to ensure journalists continue to function free and without fear of prosecution -- as intended by our Founding Fathers.<br> <br> However, you may, understandably, be concerned about the future. We saw a campaign trail littered with attacks against ‘the media’ and journalists from both sides. President-elect Trump’s past comments and actions about and toward the press foreshadows a potentially dangerous reality. <br> <br> Even though a lot has been said and threats have been made, the Society, as it has for more than a century, will continue to work tirelessly to improve and protect journalism no matter what obstacles and challenges may stand in the way. For the American people, we vow to keep fighting to protect their right to know what elected officials are doing.<br> <br> So, what's next? The Society needs the help of journalists and everyday Americans to lead this charge. SPJ needs you, to stand with us in the fight for information, an open government, a free press and free speech.<br> <br> Most importantly, journalists and news organizations need to continue responsible and ethical reporting, informing the public about their communities, our nation and the world. Americans – regardless of political allegiance – need to engage and invest in responsible and ethical reporting in order for it to thrive. <br> <br> If you want to send a message that journalists will fight on; that ethical, accurate and fair journalism is here to stay; that access to government information will continue, we want your support. <br> <br> As a journalist, you can <a href="https://www.spj.org/joinapp.asp">join SPJ as a member</a>. As a member of the public you can tell the world the foundations of democracy are of the utmost importance to you, and <a href="http://spj.org/supporters.asp">become an SPJ Supporter</a>.<br> <br> Additionally, the <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp#2">SPJ Legal Defense Fund</a>, is set aside to assist journalists across the country tangled in legal battles while fighting for the public's right to know. Or you can support the <a href="http://www.spj.org/firstamendmentforever.asp"> First Amendment Forever Fund</a>, to help fight, advocate and lobby for press freedom. <br> <br> If we believe in these things, we must work to protect them. The Society has worked and thrived through the past 18 presidential administrations and will continue to do so.<br> <br> We will be here for all journalists and all of America."<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href=" http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href= "https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> Wed, 9 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ Legal Defense Fund Roundup – August 2016 http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1476 September 29, 2016<br> <br> Contacts:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-859-6194, <email address="lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com">Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="rsemple@spj.org">rsemple@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – As a free press and free speech advocate, SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund Committee initiates and joins amicus briefs to support First Amendment and open records cases. <br> <br> The following are amicus briefs and other action the LDF Committee took in August:<br> <br> <b>Global injunction of single nation should not be imposed on Internet-published speech worldwide</b><br> <br> The case Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Morgan Jack involves the theft of trade secrets in the networking device market. A British Columbia court issued an injunction requiring Google to remove from its search database any websites used by Morgan Jack to sell its products.<br> <br> The court found that an injunction applying only to Canada would not sufficiently protect Equustek so it made the injunction global. The case is now pending before the Canada Supreme Court.<br> <br> SPJ and the group of organizations involved are concerned that a precedent for global injunction could be used against the media as well as against Google. A court should not be allowed to impose a single nation’s standards on Internet-published speech around the globe.<br> <br> The full brief will be filed at a later date.<br> <br> <br> <b>SPJ supports documentary filmmaker’s protection of notes, recordings</b><br> <br> SPJ joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and other groups in filing a legal brief related to the military court martial of Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who was held captive in Afghanistan. Journalist and filmmaker Mark Boal interviewed Bergdahl after his release, and portions of those interviews were played on season two of the “Serial” podcast. The military is now planning to subpoena Boal for his notes and recordings as part of its court martial proceedings. Boal is fighting the subpoena, and the amicus brief supports his efforts to invoke the reporter’s privilege. The brief argues that Boal deserves the protection of the privilege whether he is working in documentary film or in traditional journalism. It also argues that Boal should be allowed to seek protection from a federal district court (rather than having to proceed through the military justice system).<br> <br> Read the full amicus brief <a href="http://www.spj.org/pdf/news/2016-07-29-boal-v-united-states.pdf">here</a>.<br> <br> <br> <b>SPJ urges strengthening of NYPD body cam policy</b><br> <br> The New York Police Department has released a draft policy on police bodycam videos. The policy acknowledges that such videos are subject to New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), which is positive. SPJ joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in submitting comments on areas in which the policy could be strengthened. For instance, the policy should clarify that, if only a portion of a video is exempt from FOIL, the video should be redacted and the non-exempt portion should be released (rather than the entire video being withheld). The brief also emphasizes the importance of proactive disclosures of footage showing serious use of force by police.<br> <br> Read the full amicus brief <a href="http://www.spj.org/pdf/news/2016-07-29-nypd-bodycam-policy-comments.pdf">here</a>.<br> <br> <br> <b>SPJ joins 56 other groups in support of New York Times reporter’s subpoena fight</b><br> <br> SPJ joined 56 other news organizations in filing an amicus brief with the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, in support of New York Times reporter Frances Robles in her effort to fight a subpoena to testify about a jailhouse interview and turn over her notes. The amicus brief argued that the trial court that ordered her to testify did not give sufficient consideration to the protections in the New York Shield Law, which only allows subpoenas against journalists for non-confidential information when the information is highly relevant, meaning the case should "rise or fall" with the evidence. The brief argued that reporter's relations with their sources will be jeopardized if such information, and particularly information from jailhouse interviews with criminal defendants, is compelled without meeting that high standard.<br> <br> Read the full amicus brief <a href="http://www.spj.org/pdf/news/2016-08-19-people-v-juarez-in-re-robles.pdf">here</a>.<br> <br> <br> <b>SPJ joins letter expressing concerns with proposed Deaths in Custody Reporting Act</b><br> <br> SPJ joined 66 other groups in signing a letter to express concerns with the proposed implementation of the Deaths In Custody Reporting Act (DICRA), stating it departs from DICRA provisions that require states receiving federal funding to report deaths in custody to the federal government. The provisions indicate that the Bureau of Justice Statistics will rely upon publicly available information (“open-source review”) for its Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) program, but relying on media accounts and statistics is an inadequate method of collecting data to determine the circumstances under which people die while in law enforcement custody; it does not indicate how federal law enforcement agencies will comply with DICRA, although the law is clear in its application to federal law enforcement including immigration officials; and does not indicate what the penalties will be for non-compliance. The letter also reiterates the request that the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) condition federal criminal justice grants on data collection and reporting on police-civilian encounters.<br> <br> Read the full letter <a href="http://www.civilrights.org/press/2016/Death-in-Custody-Reporting-Act-DOJ-Regulations.html">here</a>, and a <a href="http://blogs.spjnetwork.org/foi/2016/08/30/doj-should-improve-requirements-for-how-death-in-police-custody-data-is-collected/">blog post by SPJ President (then president-elect) Lynn Walsh here</a>.<br> <br> <br> <b>SPJ supports reporter’s appeal in New York x-ray vans case</b><br> <br> SPJ joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press regarding the application of the New York Freedom of Information Law. In the case of Grabell v. NYPD, a ProPublica reporter requested documents relating to the use of NYPD surveillance vehicles known as “Z-backscatter x-ray vans.” SPJ signed onto an amicus brief last year when the case was before an intermediate appellate court. Unfortunately, that court ruled that most of the records at issue did not have to be released.<br> <br> The reporter is now seeking to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court). The brief emphasizes: (1) the nature and extent of information that is already publicly available concerning the “Z-backscatter” technology, particularly as it contradicts a key affidavit that was filed by the NYPD, and (2) the importance to the press and the public of access to law enforcement records.<br> <br> <br> <b>SPJ supports Microsoft in government surveillance case</b><br> <br> SPJ joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in signing a brief in the case, Microsoft v. U.S. Department of Justice, which affects the ability of the media to report on government surveillance of private digital information stored in the cloud. Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the government can obtain a court order requiring digital service providers (like Microsoft) to turn over electronically stored information about a customer, such as the customer’s emails, cell phone records, or web history. One section of the act, 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b), also allows the government to obtain a gag order preventing the service provider from telling the customer (or anyone else) that the government is monitoring the information.<br> <br> These gag orders operate as a prior restraint on speech and stymie the ability of journalists to learn about (and report on) government surveillance. Microsoft is challenging the gag orders in federal court. The brief supports Microsoft and provides the perspective of the media. It argues that these gag orders interfere with the media’s right to receive information on an important issue from a willing speaker. It also argues that the orders undermine the well-established right of access to warrant materials.<br> <br> Read the entire amicus brief <a href="http://www.spj.org/pdf/news/2016-09-02-microsoft-v-doj.pdf">here</a>.<br> <br> <br> SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. The First Amendment also guarantees the press and the public a right of access to criminal trials, including pretrial proceedings, and documents submitted in connection with them. <br> <br> The LDF Committee also oversees the <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">Legal Defense Fund</a>, a unique account that can be used to provide journalists with legal or direct financial assistance.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ President Walsh talks journalism ethics at Domestic Violence Summit http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1475 9/23/2016<br> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br> <br> Contact:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, <email address="Lynn.K.Walsh@spj.org"> Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="rsemple@spj.org"> rsemple@spj.org</a><br> <br> INDIANAPOLIS – In one of her first appearances as president of the <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp"> Society of Professional Journalists </a>, Lynn Walsh is speaking today at the inaugural California <a href= "https://scvtickets.com/e/domesticviolencesummit"> Domestic Violence Summit </a> today in Valencia, California.<br> <br> “One of my goals for the coming year is to do more outreach to community groups and organizations to discuss journalism and media ethics,” Walsh said. “It is so important for journalists to be compassionate and ethical while covering victims of crimes and domestic violence. We at SPJ want to not only help educate journalists on best practices in covering these types of stories, but to also share with community groups what goes into the decisions journalists make and what ethical journalism looks like.”<br> <br> Walsh will lead a breakout session on covering domestic violence, sexual assault and victims’ issues as a journalist. The session will include information about how victims are covered by the media. Walsh will also discuss the “Minimize Harm” section of the SPJ Code of Ethics and how journalists can make ethical decisions while reporting on domestic violence and sexual assault stories using the <a href= "http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp"> SPJ Code of Ethics </a> as a tool.<br> <br> The summit was organized by Kim Goldman, whose brother Ron Goldman was murdered alongside Nicole Brown in 1994. It seeks to educate organizations, law enforcement, social workers and individuals to take back their communities. Net proceeds of the event will go to Ventura County Coalition for Family Harmony, SCV Domestic Violence Center, The Youth Project and Signal Charity.<br> <br> Since her brother’s death, Kim Goldman has become a victim advocate and executive director of <a href="http://www.helpnothassle.org">The Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project</a>, an agency that provides free mental health to teenagers dealing with depression, trauma, domestic violence, abuse/neglect, loss, substance abuse and more. <br> <br> The summit is hosted by Signal Multimedia and College of the Canyons and will include tools that community organizations, law enforcement, social workers and individuals can use in their communities.<br> <br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href=" http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Journalists ask Anderson Cooper, Martha Raddatz to include question about open government in presidential debate http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1472 Contacts:<br> Andrew Seaman, SPJ Ethics Committee Chair, 570-483-8555, <email address="andrew.m.seamsn@andrewseaman.com">andrew.m.seaman@andrewmseaman.com</a><br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> NEW ORLEANS – The Society of Professional Journalists, American Society of News Editors and OpentheGovernment.org are <a href="http://spj.org/openourgov.asp">leading a campaign</a> asking presidential debate moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz to include a question about open government in an upcoming presidential debate.<br> <br> “They are in unique positions to ask each candidate about their stance and plan for an open government,” said Andrew Seaman, SPJ Ethics Committee chair. “SPJ believes public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalists serve as watchdogs over public affairs and government. They also seek to ensure that the public’s business in conducted in the open, and that public records are open to all.”<br> <br> Journalists Cooper and Raddatz will moderate an upcoming presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 9. <br> <br> “We hope Cooper and Raddatz will use this opportunity to obtain solid answers from each candidate about how their administration will relay information to the American people,” Seaman said.<br> <br> As the debate’s moderators, Cooper and Raddatz are charged by the <a href="http://www.debates.org/index.php?page=2016debates">Commission on Presidential Debates</a> to ask about topics of broad public interest “as reflected in social media and other sources.”<br> <br> Twenty-six organizations that represent many working U.S. journalists ask Cooper and Raddatz to fulfill their roles as watchdogs by challenging each candidate to answer the following question: <br> <br> <b>What steps do you believe are necessary and what policies would you implement to guarantee and advance public access to government information and sources?</b><br> <br> The groups are asking the public to also persuade Cooper and Raddatz to ask this question by Tweeting at them by <a href="http://spj.org/openourgov.asp">clicking on the buttons on the OpenOurGov web page and using the hashtag #OpenOurGov</a>.<br> <br> “It's important that the belief and want for government transparency comes from the top down. While the person serving as President does not control everything, they can set an agenda, tone and culture that encourages disclosure and the public needs that more than ever now,” said Lynn Walsh, SPJ president-elect. <br> <br> The campaign was announced today by Walsh and Seaman during the Excellence in Journalism 2016 conference in New Orleans. <br> <br> The question was crafted with help from the American Society of News Editors and OpenTheGovernment.org’s <a href="http://asne.org/content.asp?contentid=428">comprehensive questionnaire</a> for federal candidates on open government issues.<br> <br> For more information, email <email="contact@openourgov.org">contact@openourgov.org</a>.<br> <br> <br> SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>. Tue, 20 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Cuillier receives SPJ's highest honor, the Wells Memorial Key http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1473 Contact:<br> Abbi Martzall, SPJ Awards Coordinator, 317-920-4791, <email address="amartzall@spj.org"> amartzall@spj.org</a><br> Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="rsemple@spj.org"> rsemple@spj.org</a><br> <br> NEW ORLEANS — David Cuillier, past president of the Society of Professional Journalists and former chair of its Freedom of Information Committee, has been awarded the <a href="http://www.spj.org/a-wellsmem.asp">Wells Memorial Key</a>. Cuillier received this award, the highest honor for a member of SPJ, at the President’s Installation Banquet tonight during the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism conference</a> in New Orleans.<br> <br> "I look around the room and I see everyone who I got to meet around America and through the years, so many people who have inspired me and I get more energized about what we’re doing here," Cuillier said. “Thank you so much, I appreciate all of you and you’re wonderful.”<br> <br> Cuillier started his career in journalism as a city hall reporter in the early 1990s, but joined academia in 2001 as the editorial adviser for the campus newspaper and yearbook in the Great Northwest. He went on as an instructor of journalism and media at the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University and the School of Journalism and Mass Media at the University of Idaho from 2003 to 2006. After joining the University of Arizona School of Journalism as an associate professor in 2006, he now serves as the director.<br> <br> One of Cuillier’s biggest efforts as an educator and SPJ leader was his 45-day Access Across America tour. In the summer of 2010, he educated more than 1,000 citizens and journalists across 32 states and 56 locations about public records. In the summer of 2011, he held the same tour, allowing open government coalitions, SPJ chapters and small news organizations free training on access to public records.<br> <br> The passion that Cuillier has for freedom of information and public access is evident in his tireless work for SPJ. For 13 years he has been educating, advocating and leading SPJ through multiple roles. In July 2016, he testified on behalf of SPJ in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee regarding FOIA reform.<br> <br> Paul Fletcher, SPJ president, said of Cuillier, “Through his time as an educator and as an SPJ leader, he has fought tirelessly for freedom of information and public access, but that doesn’t even begin to describe his contribution to the Society—and for the profession as a whole.”<br> <br> Named after Sigma Delta Chi’s second national president, Chester C. Wells, the Wells Memorial Key was first awarded 98 years ago. Each year, it is given to a member who has performed outstanding service to the Society in the preceding year or through a period of years.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Lynn Walsh installed as 2016-17 SPJ President http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1474 Contact:<br> Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-859-6194, <email address="Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com">Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com</a><br> Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="rsemple@spj.org">rsemple@spj.org</a> <br> <br> NEW ORLEANS – For the first time in the <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a>’ 107-year history, three women will lead the organization for the coming year. <br> <br> Lynn Walsh, investigative executive producer at <a href="http://www.nbcsandiego.com/">NBC 7 San Diego</a>, became national president of SPJ tonight during the Presidents Installation Banquet at <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism 2016</a>.<br> <br> Rebecca Baker, managing editor at the <a href="http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/?slreturn=20160820151749">New York Law Journal</a>, is now president-elect, and Alex Tarquinio, special issues editor at <a href="http://therealdeal.com/">The Real Deal</a>, will as secretary-treasurer for the coming year.<br> <br> Walsh graduated from the <a href="http://scrippsjschool.org/">Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism</a> and has worked as a journalist nationally for the E.W. Scripps national desk as well as locally across California, Ohio, Texas and Florida in data and investigative reporting. An Emmy award-winning journalist, Walsh currently leads the KNSD investigative team. She takes the baton from Paul Fletcher, publisher and editor-in-chief of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, who has served as SPJ president for the past year. <br> <br> A member of SPJ since 2004, Walsh has served as secretary-treasurer and president-elect. She is also a member of the ethics and FOI committees, and was selected to serve on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) advisory committee, which works to improve the FOIA process.<br> <br> One of Walsh’s goals during her year-long term is for SPJ to assist the public’s understanding of journalism and how it has changed.<br> <br> “People are committing acts of journalism on a daily basis, mainly using social media and the internet. SPJ can help inform the public about what it means to report and disseminate information ethically, accurately and fairly.”<br> <br> Another focus will be to make SPJ a go-to resource for information about journalism, ethical reporting, FOIA and diversity. She plans to partner with other groups already working toward similar goals so that the press and the public are no longer forced to fight for information that belongs to them.<br> <br> “SPJ has been a connector for me in my journalism career in so many ways: jobs, advice, guidance. I want SPJ to be that connector for journalists, other journalism and media organizations and the public,” she said.<br> <br> “I also believe SPJ can lead the way, protecting the right of the public and journalists to government information,” she continued. “A new president will take office in 2017 and it is imperative that we continue to push for government transparency, access to information and the public’s right to know.” <br> <br> Coverage of the 2016 Excellence in Journalism conference is available from <a href="http://www.eijnews.org/">EIJ News</a>. EIJ16 is a joint conference between SPJ, <a href="http://www.rtdna.org/">Radio Television Digital News Association</a> and the <a href="http://www.naja.com/">Native American Journalists Association</a>.<br> <br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Resolutions passed at Excellence in Journalism 2016 http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1479 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br> <br> Sept. 20, 2016<br> Contact:<br> Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, <email address="jroyer@spj.org">jroyer@spj.org</a><br> <br> NEW ORLEANS – Each year, <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">Society of Professional Journalists</a> delegates vote on <a href="http://www.spj.org/res2016.asp">resolutions</a> submitted by members on topics of importance to the society. These resolutions are voted on by delegates during the closing business session at the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism</a> annual conference. <br> <br> Here are the resolutions that were approved during EIJ16 in New Orleans:<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 2: Urging the University of Kentucky to comply with Kentucky public records law<br> Submitted by: Bluegrass Professional Chapter<br> Resolutions committee recommendation: Favorable<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS public institutions have a responsibility to protect the larger public interest, including constitutional principles that serve democracy, such as freedom of expression and the right of the public to receive information about the performance of those who govern in the name of the public; and<br> <br> WHEREAS public institutions should respect each other’s roles and not engage in unnecessary controversies and costly litigation; and<br> <br> WHEREAS university presidents should respect the efforts of journalists, especially those who observe the tenets of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, to seek the truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently and be accountable; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the University of Kentucky has repeatedly refused to allow the state’s attorney general to conduct a confidential review of documents that are the object of open-records requests, contravening the state law that makes the attorney general the initial arbiter of open-government disputes; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Dr. Eli Capilouto, president of the University of Kentucky, accused the independent student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel, of publishing “salacious details to attract readers” to a story about the university’s handling of a sexual-assault case involving a tenured professor; and<br> <br> WHEREAS all 15 full-time faculty members of the UK School of Journalism and Media told Capilouto in a letter that his accusation was false and an insult to Kernel Editor Marjorie Kirk and her teachers; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the university is also suing the Lexington Herald-Leader because of an open-meeting ruling of the attorney general; and<br> <br> WHEREAS such attacks from high-ranking public officials can weaken the news media, the openness that state laws require, and journalists’ ability to perform the service envisioned in the First Amendment, thus undermining democracy.<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in New Orleans, La., calls on the University of Kentucky to obey the sunshine laws of the state, to respect journalists and their mission to inform people and serve as a watchdog on government, to stop spending public dollars on lawsuits against the media and to apologize to the Kentucky Kernel and Editor Marjorie Kirk.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be delivered to Dr. Eli Capilouto and each member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Kentucky.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 3: Urging President Obama to abandon access restrictions<br> Submitted by: Washington, D.C., Pro Chapter<br> Resolutions committee recommendation: Favorable<br> Delegate action: Approved </b><br> <br> WHEREAS in August 2015 the Society of Professional Journalists led 53 journalism and other open-government organizations in asking President Barack Obama to change policies that constrict information flow; and<br> <br> WHEREAS these policies and tactics include prohibiting journalists from communicating with agency staff and forbidding agency staff to speak to journalists without going through public information offices, vetting and monitoring interviews, and using “on background” briefings that block reporters from identifying the speakers for information that should be public; and<br> <br> WHEREAS these controls threaten the legitimacy of our democracy; and<br> <br> WHEREAS SPJ, the Society of Environmental Journalists and the American Society of News Editors sent a delegation representing those 53 groups to the White House in December 2015 to meet with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on these issues and ask for an answer from President Obama; and<br> <br> WHEREAS to date there has been no answer from the White House on the organizations’ concerns; and<br> <br> WHEREAS on August 30, 2016, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest wrote in a letter to the New York Times: “If journalists don’t acknowledge steps that the Obama administration has taken to strengthen transparency, then who will? Leading the fight for government transparency means confronting politicians who face intense political pressure on narrow, short-term interests and pressing them to prioritize transparency, too, even when it’s politically inconvenient — especially when it’s politically inconvenient.”; and<br> <br> WHEREAS although President Obama vowed to have the most transparent administration in history, in fact his is one of only three administrations that have used these controls to anywhere near the extent they are used today; and<br> <br> WHEREAS many journalists have seen these restrictions and outright blockages grow more intense and bolder during this administration; and<br> <br> WHEREAS presidential candidates from both parties have illustrated an alarming lack of transparency, including Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and nine-month span without a press conference, and Donald Trump’s continued refusal to release his taxes and past use of a pseudonym to act as his own spokesman; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the controls on the press exhibited in the current presidential campaign are extremely concerning; and<br> <br> WHEREAS we have seen these controls become increasingly more entrenched; and<br> <br> WHEREAS no one can know how they will be used in the future;<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists meeting in convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, in September 2016, asks that President Obama address the serious concerns expressed by these 53 groups representing thousands of journalists and others.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society urges President Barack Obama to take action so that he will not leave these extraordinarily serious restrictions in place as he leaves the presidency.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that on behalf of journalists everywhere, the Society encourages the next president of United States to quickly stop the use of restrictions that hinder the media’s role in informing citizens about the actions and policies of their government.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 4: In support of enhanced protections for student journalists<br> Submitted by: Resolutions committee<br> Resolutions committee recommendation: Favorable<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS one significant role in education is to nurture and develop students as inquisitive and participatory citizens in a democracy; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the freedom of student media to inform the community about issues of public concern is compromised when educational institutions censor, including by such indirect means as the revocation of financial support, the removal of supportive faculty advisers, or threats of disciplinary consequences against student editors; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the student media is confronting aggressive hostility from college administrators’ intent on withholding unflattering information, exemplified by the University of Kentucky’s near-unprecedented decision to initiate a lawsuit against its own student newspaper in an attempt to conceal records reflecting the university’s disposition of harassment and sexual battery accusations against a professor; and<br> <br> WHEREAS a growing body of research documents that young people are receiving inadequate training during their K-12 and college years both in understanding the process of government policymaking and in formulating fact-based political arguments respectful of the existence of differing views, a skill set that journalism education conveys with unique effectiveness when practiced in a supportive environment; and<br> <br> WHEREAS recent survey data compiled by University of Kansas researchers’ documents that the impact of school censorship falls most heavily upon girls, who as a consequence of the disempowering climate in schools report that they have “self-censored” their own journalism at rates twice that of teen boys; and<br> <br> WHEREAS a parallel study by University of Kansas journalism professors documented that high school students whose schools respect and practice First Amendment freedoms graduate with a heightened sense of civic efficacy, as measured by their belief that they can use their words to effect positive social change; and<br> <br> WHEREAS federal law has proven inadequate to remedy the abuses of press freedoms in schools and colleges, as evidenced by adverse judicial rulings in First Amendment cases brought on behalf of college journalism advisers removed from their positions by administrators at Northern Michigan University and Muscatine (Iowa) Community College; and<br> <br> WHEREAS state statutes can and do provide effective protection for the independence of student journalism in 10 states, with reform movements taking shape in nearly 20 other states, as part of the “New Voices” movement that began with the enactment of the John Wall New Voices of North Dakota Act in 2015.<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention at New Orleans, Louisiana, commends the organizers of the New Voices movements in Illinois and Maryland and their legislative sponsors, whose dedicated efforts led to the successful enactment of laws protecting student journalism in their states during 2016.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Society of Professional Journalists urges state legislators and the leaders of K-12 and higher education institutions nationally to unite in supporting New Voices reforms in every state, protecting the ability of college and high school journalists and journalism educators to learn and practice the best principles of public-service journalism without fear of reprisal.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, regardless of the existence of statutory protections, the Society of Professional Journalists calls upon the nation’s institutions of higher education, both public and private, to honor their oft-stated commitment to civic engagement by supporting — including, where necessary, financially — meaningful opportunities for students to participate in journalism with the assurance of full freedom to cover news of importance to the campus community.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 6: The right to report on political campaigns<br> Submitted by: Sonny Albarado, FOI Committee member<br> Resolutions committee recommendation: Favorable<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS journalists covering a political campaign perform an important public service by providing information to Americans seeking to determine our next leaders; and<br> <br> WHEREAS journalists must be free to do their jobs without fear of reprisal, intimidation and threat of physical harm or threats to loosen libel laws; and <br> <br> WHEREAS candidates for the office of president of the United States and all other offices — local, state and national — must understand and respect the role of a free press and its constitutional protections; and <br> <br> WHEREAS, candidates must expect to be asked uncomfortable questions and receive tough but fair coverage; and<br> <br> WHEREAS journalists ask questions on behalf of all Americans, who have the right to know the policies, positions and background of any person seeking to hold public office and the trust of the American voter; and<br> <br> WHEREAS it is shameful for a candidate to disown the principles of the First Amendment simply because he or she does not like the coverage of an individual journalist or news outlet; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the Society of Professional Journalists strongly supports the numerous journalists and news outlets that have been blocked, bullied and harassed during this election season.<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in New Orleans, La., condemns the actions of all presidential candidates who block access to any journalist by revoking their credentials to cover campaign events in public venues.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society rejects any political candidate’s attempts to harass, bully or otherwise intimidate journalists assigned to cover their campaigns.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society urges all political candidates, especially presidential candidates, to conduct their campaigns in a transparent manner and with utmost respect for the role of journalists in informing the citizens of a democratic society about those who seek elective office.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 7: Opposing censorship by wealth<br> Submitted by: SPJ Ethics Committee<br> Resolutions committee recommendation: Favorable<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS the Society of Professional Journalists is tasked with improving and protecting journalism; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the Society maintains the most respected Code of Ethics in the profession of journalism; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the Society believes that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy; and<br> <br> WHEREAS local news organizations serve as the backbone of a community by keeping citizens informed and holding locally elected officials and powerbrokers accountable; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Sheldon Adelson and his family — as News + Media Capital Group LLC — purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal in late 2015; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the Adelsons attempted to remain anonymous as owners; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the editorial independence of the Las Vegas Review-Journal has been compromised on a number of occasions, such as when Jon Ralston reported the paper’s journalists were told to ask for candidates’ opinions on public funding for a stadium proposed by Mr. Adelson even though the answers were not to be printed; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the Society’s Code of Ethics says ethical journalists should deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in New Orleans, La., condemns the manipulation of news outlets for personal gain by wealthy media owners everywhere.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society condemns those worldwide who use their riches to silence media with whom they disagree rather than support responsible and ethical journalism that competes in the marketplace of ideas.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society will defend democracy by forcefully speaking out against any person or group using money to manipulate or silence the media.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 8: In support of women in journalism<br> Submitted by:<br> – Alex Veeneman, SPJ Community Coordinator<br> – Elle Toussi, Co-Chair, SPJ International Community<br> – Dan Kubiske, Co-Chair, SPJ International Community<br> – Joanne Lisosky, Professor and Advisor, SPJ chapter, Pacific Lutheran University<br> – Claudia Amezcua, Chair, SPJ Generation J Community<br> – Sharon Dunten, Assistant Regional Director, Region 3, SPJ Georgia Pro Chapter<br> – SPJ Connecticut Pro Chapter<br> Resolutions committee recommendation: Favorable<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS a study from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford in the UK noted that more women are studying journalism at colleges and universities in the United States, as well as other countries; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the journalism industry is still male-dominated; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Recent reporting and research from the The Wall Street Journal, citing data from the US Census bureau, indicated that women in journalism are paid 86 percent of their male counterparts; and<br> <br> WHEREAS A resolution calling for the elimination of race and gender pay gaps in the media was signed, dated April 9, 2016, by the Asian American Journalists Association, the Native American Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, and the Journalism and Women Symposium; and<br> <br> WHEREAS The Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker, has called for the elimination of gender pay gaps within the newspaper, supported by its parent Dow Jones and Company; and<br> <br> WHEREAS The BBC has said that half of its on-air roles, as well as its workforce, will be women by 2020; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Women have made significant contributions to the journalism profession and are quintessential to the foundation of its future, especially in the digital age, as well as to the operations and interests of the Society.<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, recognizes the contributions made by its female members from all chapters as well as women in journalism.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society supports the resolution of April 9, 2016, signed by the aforementioned journalism support organizations.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society will make this issue a priority in conjunction with our partners in these organizations and other media organizations, and will work collaboratively as well as an individual organization to address the issue.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society calls upon resources to be made available to female journalists, including those currently enrolled in postsecondary education, including but not limited to mentoring and networking opportunities.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society will continue to promote women in journalism and media through programs and outreach efforts on a regional and national level.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society welcomes the review by The Wall Street Journal of pay gaps and the BBC’s commitment to gender equality in its workforce.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society calls upon other media organizations, irrespective of medium, to follow their lead to ensure gender equality in the industry, and to address the elimination of inequality.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society subscribes to the idea that it is 2016 and that gender should not be a barrier when it comes to pursuing work in this profession.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 9: Recognizing Alistair Cooke’s contribution to British-American relations<br> Submitted by: Alex Veeneman, SPJ Community Coordinator<br> Resolutions committee recommendation: Favorable<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS Alistair Cooke was born on November 20, 1908, in Salford, Greater Manchester, in the Northwest of England, United Kingdom; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke is a graduate of Jesus College, University of Cambridge; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke joined the BBC in 1934 as a film critic; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke simultaneously served as the London correspondent for NBC News from 1936-1937, reporting on life in Britain for American audiences; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke immigrated to the United States in 1937; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke began the Letter from America radio program in March 1946 for the BBC World Service, reporting on American culture and politics; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke’s idea for Letter from America derived from a desire to help bring the United States and the United Kingdom “closer together in understanding and affection”; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Letter from America was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in the UK; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke simultaneously served as a special correspondent for The Times of London on US affairs from 1938 to 1942; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke simultaneously served as the chief US correspondent for The Guardian newspaper from 1948 to 1972; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke presented the PBS program “Masterpiece Theatre” from 1971 to 1992, devoted exclusively to British drama and adaptations of works by British authors; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke presented Letter from America for the BBC until February 2004; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke died on March 30, 2004, in New York City; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke’s papers, including manuscripts for Letter from America, and other items are maintained at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke made an exceptional contribution to journalism and the fields that the Society of Professional Journalists advocates; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mr. Cooke contributed greatly to the improvement of the cultural and political relations between the United States and the United Kingdom.<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, recognize the contributions to journalism made by Mr. Cooke on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the first broadcast of Letter from America.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society commemorates the legacy of Mr. Cooke and his contributions to American journalism and British journalism.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society recognizes the work of journalists, in the US and abroad, who, like Mr. Cooke, bring the world closer together in understanding and affection.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 10: Thanking Outgoing SPJ President Paul Fletcher<br> Submitted by: Resolutions Committee<br> Resolutions committee recommendation: Favorable<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS during the past year, President Paul Fletcher has represented the Society of Professional Journalists with integrity, professionalism, and passion; and<br> <br> WHEREAS President Fletcher has spread the gospel of SPJ from Fort Worth, Texas, to New York City, Washington, D.C., Arizona, Cincinnati, Richmond and Norfolk Virginia, Seattle; and<br> <br> WHEREAS President Fletcher contributed to the financial well-being of wineries in many of those same locations on those same trips; and<br> <br> WHEREAS President Fletcher led a coalition of Journalism organizations at a meeting in the White House with President Obama's press secretary Josh Earnest; and<br> <br> WHEREAS at said meeting, President Fletcher relayed complaints about Administration practices that hamper transparency in government; and<br> <br> WHEREAS when the White House failed to follow through on promises made at that meeting, President Fletcher took the Administration to task in a letter published in the New York Times; and<br> <br> WHEREAS none of several past SPJ presidents can remember having any of their writings published in the New York Times; and<br> <br> WHEREAS President Fletcher advanced a proposal to give delegate voting rights to 41% of SPJ members unaffiliated with any chapter; and<br> <br> WHEREAS President Fletcher led a barely 60-minute open board meeting, one of the shortest open board meetings in anyone's memory.<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in New Orleans, La., praises and thanks President Fletcher for his service to SPJ.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we hope our gratitude will ease the pain of an O and 2 start by his beloved Miami Dolphins, who were pummeled Sept. 18 by the Tom Brady-less New England Patriots.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 11: Thanking SPJ staff<br> Submitted by: SPJ Resolutions Committee<br> Resolutions committee recommendation: Favorable<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS the headquarters staff of the Society of Professional Journalists makes it possible for SPJ to provide strong professional development programs, defend the public’s right to know through First Amendment advocacy, and guide journalists to act ethically; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the staff created a superlative national journalism conference in collaboration with the Radio Television Digital News Association and Native American Journalists Association; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the stupendous display of “talent, truth and energy” of Excellence in Journalism 2016 would not be possible without the SPJ staff’s deep knowledge, tireless energy, two-way radios, running shoes and Twitter #hashtags; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the SPJ staff continues to expand the technical capabilities of SPJ in exciting new ways, such as the new Q-code event tickets; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the SPJ staff’s high level of professionalism, skill, ingenuity, nimbleness, and ability to keep the EIJ16 events running smoothly on very little sleep.<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, thanks the SPJ staff for all its work and gives the staff a hearty round of applause for its work on Excellence in Journalism 2016.<br> <br> <b>Resolution No. 12: Commending Mark Thomason<br> Submitted by: FOI Committee<br> Resolutions committee recommendation: None<br> Delegate action: Approved</b><br> <br> WHEREAS no reporter should ever be arrested for filing an open records request; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Mark Thomason, publisher of the Fannin Focus in Blue Ridge, Georgia, was charged with three felonies, including one for making a false statement on his open records request; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the arrest was clearly retaliatory and in reaction to articles he had published about Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver; and<br> <br> WHEREAS Thomason was jailed for 48 hours and then subjected to onerous bond restrictions; and<br> <br> WHEREAS the charges were dropped only after numerous public statements by the Georgia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists; and<br> <br> WHEREAS SPJ Georgia has also called upon Judge Weaver to resign and has files an official complaint against her with the state Judicial Qualifications Commission.<br> <br> THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting in convention in New Orleans, La., also calls on Judge Weaver to resign. <br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society commends Mark Thomason for his relentless pursuit of the public’s right to know.<br> <br> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society also commends the Georgia Pro Chapter for standing up for working journalists.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp"> give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.<i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div><br> <br> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Ohio University named SPJ’s Outstanding Campus Chapter http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1470 Contacts:<br> Tara Puckey, SPJ Membership Strategist, 317-920-4784, <email address="tpuckey@spj.org"> tpuckey@spj.org</a> <br> Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="rsemple@spj.org"> rsemple@spj.org</a> <br> <br> NEW ORLEANS — <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">The Society of Professional Journalists</a> is pleased to honor <a href="https://ouspj.wordpress.com/">Ohio University</a> SPJ for its commitment to SPJ’s mission and the profession of journalism.<br> <br> Ohio University has been named the 2016 Outstanding Campus Chapter thanks to its dedication to offering members educational opportunities. Each year, the chapter targets new members, typically first-year students, at the student involvement fair and a separate introductory pizza social. <br> <br> The chapter also hosted an event about national SPJ membership followed by multiple diversity, FOI and ethics events to get students involved in SPJ’s mission. Throughout the year the chapter hosted 21 events in addition to encouraging chapter members to attend other journalism-related campus events.<br> <br> Ohio University SPJ also hosts an annual “Grammar Smackdown,” volunteering events, resume critiques and a reporting 101 workshop.<br> <br> The chapter was honored today at the Student Union during the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism 2016</a> conference in New Orleans.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Capital News Service awarded MOEy Best in Show http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1471 Contacts:<br> Abbi Martzall, SPJ Awards Coordinator, (317) 920-4791, <email address="amartzall@spj.org">amartzall@spj.org</a><br> Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, <email address="rsemple@spj.org">rsemple@spj.org</a> <br> <br> NEW ORLEANS – <a href="http://cnsmaryland.org/category/2016conventions/">Capital News Service</a> in the Philip Merril College of Journalism at the <a href="http://www.umd.edu/">University of Maryland, College Park</a>, has been given the <a href="https://www.spj.org/a-moe.asp">MOEy Best in Show award</a> for its series, <a href="http://cnsmaryland.org/human-trafficking/index.html">“The Brothel Next Door.”</a><br> <br> Each year, student journalists compete regionally in print, TV, radio and online categories. The Brothel Next door was a regional winner in the Newspaper In-Depth Reporting (Large school) category.<br> <br> First-place winners advance to compete nationally and are eligible for the MOEy. The best in show award is chosen from more than 4,100 entries in SPJ's 2015 Mark of Excellence Awards competition.<br> <br> The Capital News Service project had contributors from the investigative reporting, media law and Baltimore urban affairs reporting classes. Students examined more than three dozen state and federal human trafficking cases from 2005 to 2015, submitting 70 public records requests for reports on human trafficking and prostitution.<br> <br> Their multimedia website shows failures uncovered on the city and state levels. The city of Baltimore has not won a human trafficking case in two years, and Maryland ranks among the mildest penalties for human trafficking of adults when compared to other states. These discoveries are paired with testimonies and anecdotes of survivors.<br> <br> The judges said, “This reporting told a story that is important and hasn’t been told before. The collaboration of the different classes increases its impact by bringing in different perspectives and expertise. Then the production level includes all the elements that a piece of digital journalism should while being compelling.”<br> <br> Capital News Service accepted the award today during the Student Union at <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism 2016</a> in New Orleans.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 SPJ Pro Chapter of the Year honorees named http://www.spj.org/news.asp?REF=1469 Contacts:<br> Tara Puckey, SPJ Membership Strategist, 317-920-4784, <email address="tpuckey@spj.org"> tpuckey@spj.org</a> <br> Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, <email address="rsemple@spj.org"> rsemple@spj.org</a> <br> <br> NEW ORLEANS — <a href="https://www.spj.org/index.asp">The Society of Professional Journalists</a> annually selects professional chapters to honor for their commitment to SPJ’s mission and the profession of journalism. <br> <br> Large Chapter of the Year is open to chapters with 75 or more members and Small Chapter of the Year is open to chapters with fewer than 75 members. <br> <br> <b>Large Chapter of the Year </b><br> The <a href="http://www.pcli.org/">Press Club of Long Island</a> and <a href="https://spjflorida.com/">Florida Pro</a> are both honored this year for their commitment to the mission of the Society.<br> <br> The Press Club of Long Island was selected due to its outstanding commitment to student outreach and service to the community. Their Student Outreach Program helped build a school newspaper with local high school students and the chapter also trained hundreds of students at high schools and colleges in the area.<br> <br> Their major FOIL audit provided information on county, town and village governments based on their compliance and transparency in response to FOIL requests. Two landmark signs were generated by the historic studies committee, commemorating the Town of Hempstead, home of Newsday’s first location and the Town of Huntington, the founding location of The Long-Islander, the oldest publication in Long Island.<br> <br> Many of the chapter’s 27 events throughout the year focused on FOI, service to the community, ethics and diversity. Programs on the ethical implications of drones, media training with local police and presidential campaign coverage kept members current on breaking issues.<br> <br> Annually the chapter also hosts a holiday party with a donation drive for Toys for Tots and the PCLI Media Awards Dinner, which includes the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame induction ceremony.<br> <br> The Florida Pro chapter was selected due to its dedication to membership and partnerships with other local organizations for programs on ethics, diversity, community service and awards.<br> <br> Membership initiatives by the Florida Pro chapter have more than doubled their chapter membership through contacts with unaffiliated SPJ national members and potential or lapsed member communications. To increase transparency, the chapter has added five years of chapter reports to the website for members and non-members to access.<br> <br> Of the 12 programs held throughout the year, many included partnerships with diverse local journalism organizations for social events, panels, a #BlackLivesMatter webinar and Forging the Future, a day-long conference.<br> <br> The chapter also worked to improve its website’s jobs section and increase submissions to the annual Sunshine State Awards with buy-one-get-one free submissions, allowing a greater variety of journalists to apply.<br> <br> The finalist for Large Chapter of the Year is <a href="http://www.spjcolorado.com/">Colorado Pro</a>. <br> <br> <b>Small Chapter of the Year </b><br> <a href="http://www.cincyspj.com/">Cincinnati Pro</a> was named Small Chapter of the Year due to its dedication to encouraging collegiate involvement, awards programs and diversity events.<br> <br> Multiple programs covered media coverage of race and community, including “Words and Images: A Media Debrief and Community Conversation” about the shooting of a black man by a white police officer during a traffic stop, and “Beyond Profiling: Race and Media Coverage” about media coverage of race and community relations.<br> <br> Awards were given for excellent journalism at both the Ohio SPJ Awards Program and the chapter’s Excellence in Journalism Awards Banquet and Journalism Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, allowing members to network.<br> <br> The “Looking Back, Moving Forward” Region 4 and Region 5 conference in Cincinnati was a large part of the Cincinnati Pro chapter’s event programming, with 11 programs coordinated specifically for the conference in addition to the 18 chapter programs throughout the year.<br> <br> Cincinnati Pro also hosted a regular “Lunch with the Pros” series on topics of interest to journalism students at local universities.<br> <br> The two finalists for Small Chapter of the Year were <a href="http://spjlouisville.com/">Louisville Pro</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/30822669197/">Utah Headliners</a>.<br> <br> Winners were honored today during the Opening Business Session at the <a href="http://excellenceinjournalism.org/">Excellence in Journalism 2016</a> conference in New Orleans.<br> <br> <i>SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. <a href="http://www.spj.org/join.asp">Become a member</a>, <a href="https://www.spj.org/ldf.asp">give to the Legal Defense Fund</a>, or <a href="https://www.spj.org/donate.asp">give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation</a>.</i><br> <br> <div align"=center">-END-</div> Sun, 18 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500