SPJ Chapter Records Musical Minutes

When Columbia University’s SPJ chapter records its meeting minutes, it literally records them. In the short entertaining videos, chapter leaders sing about key items discussed at their meetings.

The chapter has been recording these musical minutes for three months. It all started with this one:

They’ve now made a total of 12 videos with wide-ranging themes — Halloween minutes, Thanksgiving minutes,  and even SPJ workout! minutes

And just in time for the holidays…

Want to see more? Check out the Columbia J-School SPJ chapter’s Vimeo page.

SPJ’s Region 3 Director Michael Koretzky recently interviewed Columbia SPJ’s chapter leaders about the minutes. Read the Q&A interview here.

We hope this SPJ chapter has inspired you to think creatively when operating your campus chapter. If you’re already doing something creative, we want to hear about it! E-mail tmirfendereski@spj.org with details.

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  • Michael Koretzky

    There are only three arguments for joining SPJ that I’ve ever heard…

    1. It’ll help you get a job.
    2. It’s the right and noble thing to do.
    3. It’s abou the training and programs.

    The first one isn’t true: Most SPJers aren’t hiring editors.

    The second is a guilt trip: We need your money to lobby for our industry.

    The third is the only greedy reason we can control, yet we spend the least amount of time on it. Our training programs are staid and static. We avoid verve. We don’t fail big. We fail small.

    If we want more members, we need to take more risks. After years of denial, SPJ has finally admitted it ceded tech to ONA, investigation to IR, broadcast to RTDNA, and diversity to NAHJ and NABJ. So now we strive to partner with those groups by doing their accounting and co-hosting conventions. It’s a solid and sensible plan that will attract zero new members.

    What are we doing that tingles journalists’ toes? Answer that question, and you have new members.

  • I think you make some great points, succinctly. Thank you. I especially like the idea of “tingling their toes.”

  • I love this idea. I think it could be particularly beneficial for students. As a pro member, serving as a very casual even mentor to students has recharged me.

  • A thank you is HUGE for doing a good job on something. It means a lot to me, I know. I write thank you notes to my board for going above and beyond. I like the thoughts you shared that it’s not the same for everyone – some need very little, while others want a lot more.

  • Important topic — I’m a relatively new member and joined partly due to my interest in building relationships with local pros and connecting the high school journalists I teach/advise with more resources from the industry. Students are hungry for opportunities to meet and learn from professionals. The outreach and support I receive from my local chapter will go a long way in proving the value of my SPJ membership and can plant seeds now for the soon-to-be college and pro journalists (your next round of future members!) who are currently thriving in a high school media setting and looking to see what’s out there for networking and professional development.

  • Donald_W_Meyers

    To play devil’s advocate for a moment, Paul, couldn’t one argue that the intense media coverage helped Richard Jewell in the end. After a while, journalists started questioning why Jewell was the target of the investigation, and eventually he was publicly exonerated by the authorities. Would that have happened if the FBI were allowed to have investigated him in obscurity?


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