By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department
WWU HOSTS FREE FOOD FESTIVAL. Members of SPJ's student chapter at Western Washington University recently gathered in the campus' Red Square (ironically) to convey the importance of First Amendment rights to their fellow students through SPJ's First Amendment Free Food Festival. With a heaping pile of 20 pizzas, chapter members invited all students to join them for a free lunch -- if they were willing to give up their First Amendment rights in return. More than 100 students actively handed over the rights, while at least a dozen others refused, walking off without pizza.
Learn more about the First Amendment program and how your chapter can sponsor one. Creators Michael Koretzky and Michele Boyet, from SPJ's South Florida Pro Chapter, provide more details at koretzky.com/free. If you have questions, email Koretzky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEMBER RECEIVES NAMESAKE AWARD. The first Al Smith Award for public service through rural or community journalism by a Kentucky journalist was recently presented to its namesake, Albert P. Smith Jr. Al has been a member of SPJ since 2001. Making the presentation was Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism & Community Issues. The award is co-sponsored by the Bluegrass Chapter of SPJ.
Read more about Al and his career. He was named a Fellow of the Society, one of SPJ's top honors for a journalist, in 2008.
OPEN ACCESS WORKSHOP IN ANCHORAGE. David Cuillier, SPJ's Freedom of Information Committee chairman, will give an open access workshop at the invitation of The Northern Light, a student media organization at the University of Alaska Anchorage, at noon Friday, June 24. All members of the media are invited to attend.
Read more about the workshop on the Region 10 blog. For more information or to register, contact Paola Banchero at the Dept. of Journalism and Public Communications at the University of Alaska Anchorage at 907-786-4194 or via email.
WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK. Throughout the year, SPJ seeks nominations for its highest national honors. The awards honor individuals and groups who have made a difference in the journalism field. SPJ welcomes you, our members, to view national honors candidates and post comments for the SPJ Executive Committee's consideration.
To give feedback, you must be logged in to the Members section of the SPJ website and provide your SPJ membership number on the feedback form. Anonymous feedback will not be accepted or reviewed. The identities of those offering comments will not be disclosed outside of the Executive Committee and headquarters staff. Click here for a full list of the candidates the feedback form.
DONATE TO THE LDF AUCTION. SPJ's Legal Defense Fund Auction will take place during the Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference with RTDNA, Sept. 25-27 in New Orleans. The auction will raise money to offset legal fees of journalists and news outlets who are faced with subpoenas that hinder their rights. Of course, any auction requires items on which to bid, and we're seeking item donations from far and wide.
If you, your chapter or other organizations in your area can help, we hope you'll consider donating to the LDF Auction by sending items to SPJ Headquarters. When doing so, please include the donation form, which you can download here. Past items have ranged from practical to memorable to playful. Some have donated professional services like writing instruction. Others have given journalism memorabilia like an antique AP teletype. And the auction always includes popular items such as vacation packages or tickets to sporting events.
Thank you in advance for helping us defend and project journalism and journalists!
JOIN THE 2011 CONF. FAN PAGE. On Monday, we unveiled the official Facebook fan page for the joint RTDNA/SPJ Excellence in Journalism 2011 conference. Stay connected and join the conversation on the latest updates and happenings going on around the conference. All the fun culminates in New Orleans, Sept. 25-27.
And for the Twitter types, you can engage and interact with us by using the conference's official hashtag, #EIJ11. Don't miss a beat as we converge on the Quarter.
Registration for the conference is open — and quite a good deal.
FLA. CHAPTER PROTESTS PHOTO POLICY. The South Florida chapter joined in filing a lawsuit Tuesday that challenges Fort Lauderdale's ban on all photography within several hundred yards of a Hollywood movie set.
If the city doesn't rescind its policy, noted South Florida photographer Carlos Miller will join SPJ for a "lunch-in" on June 17. Professional photographers and citizen supporters of the First Amendment will descend on Southwest Second Street at 1 p.m. to buy lunch — carrying and clicking their SLRs and smartphone cameras.
SPJ South Florida president Michael Koretzky explains that the "lunch-in" is not a formal protest because SPJ doesn't want the city invoking its right to deny a protest permit.
"We're simply going downtown to have lunch with 100 of our closest friends and First Amendment allies," says Koretzky. "We're going to buy lots of food and take lots of pictures — of each other, of police, of buildings, of everything. We plan to be well-fed criminals."
Read the full press release.
REPORTERS INSTITUTE HAPPENINGS. Early career broadcast and Web journalists completed the final day of the SPJ Reporters Institute Wednesday, held at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. Join the conversation by interacting with the participants on Twitter using hashtag #SPJRI.
At the Institute, journalists attended sessions that focus on SPJ's missions of ethics, FOI and diversity as well as programs on new media and industry trends. On Monday, Kenneth Irby, director of diversity at Poynter, discussed theories and strategies behind diversity. On Tuesday, reporter/anchor Victoria Lim of Bright House Sports Network and University of Mississippi professor Deb Wenger led sessions on multimedia.
A second Institute for another group of early career journos will take place July 10-13. Lean more about the program.
LA GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS. Join SPJ's Los Angeles chapter for a free, fun and enlightening dialogue as award-winning journalists share insights on covering one of the hottest beats on June 16. Topics will include print and broadcast perspectives on the economy, the stock market, the financial crisis and more.
— Jane Wells, Los Angeles-based business correspondent, CNBC
— John Corrigan, business editor, Los Angeles Times
— Howard Fine, business reporter, Los Angeles Business Journal
— Frank Mottek, business reporter, CBS KNX 1070 Newsradio
Learn more at the LA chapter website.
DEADLINE SOON FOR PULLIAM AWARDS. The deadline is coming up fast (July 1) for the two Pulliam Awards offered by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation:
The Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award honors a person or persons who have fought to protect and preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Learn more about the eligibility requirements and nomination packets on the SPJ website. You could win $10,000.
The Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship for Editorial Writing is looking for mid-career editorial writers or columnists at a U.S. newspaper to apply for a $75,000 fellowship! This award allows the Pulliam Editorial Fellow to take courses, pursue independent study, travel or pursue other endeavors that enrich their knowledge of a public interest issue. Further information and the application are on the SPJ website.
The postmark deadline for both awards is July 1. Please contact awards coordinator Lauren Rochester at email@example.com or at 317-927-8000 ext. 210 if you have questions. Good luck!
LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. Scott Pelley took over this week as anchor of the "CBS Evening News." What part of his background does he share with two past anchors in the same position? Who are the anchors?
A. He has Texas roots, as do Bob Schieffer and Dan Rather.
And the winner is...
Jeremy D. Hoover of Denver, Co. Congrats, Jeremy!
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. What journalism industry documentary opens June 17 at the Angelika Film Center and Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York?
Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott.