#Society of Professional Journalists


Net Worked | June 11th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
The pros of verifying

Twitter has become important for disseminating information, but you need to make sure its accurate before publishing. (Photo: Pixabay)

Last Thursday, the UK held a general election which saw a hung parliament. It also saw negotiations begin on a minority government between Prime Minister Theresa May and the Conservatives, and the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland.

But as the news of the election results came down, so did a statistic on youth voter turnout – which indicated that 72 percent of voters between 18 and 24 voted. Continue reading


Net Worked | April 17th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Let’s talk about ethics

We should talk about ethics, not just on the days of Ethics Week, but every day. (Photo: SPJ)

Next Monday (April 24th) begins Ethics Week, an annual event here at SPJ that looks at the role of ethics in journalism, why the Society’s own Code of Ethics is important – and to explore its four key principles – seek truth and report it, minimize harm, and be accountable and transparent.

This year’s observance of Ethics Week comes at an interesting time for journalism – a time where the digital age is challenging the industry and trust between journalists and the public continues to decline. Continue reading


Net Worked | December 31st, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #
An ethical resolution

Ethical journalism remains a quintessential part of society, and the SPJ Code of Ethics helps to reinforce it. (Image: Pixabay)

Journalism is in a quandary. As we prepare to say goodbye to 2016 and head into 2017, we do so with a challenge to the identity and culture of our profession. In light of the geopolitical headlines, notably with the recent US presidential election, we’re attempting to trace our next steps.

Writing in her column for the Society’s Quill magazine, SPJ national president Lynn Walsh says we have been challenged. Continue reading


First Draft | October 12th, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Alastair Cooke: Transatlantic storyteller

Alistair Cooke, the journalist and long time presenter of Masterpiece Theatre. (Photo: Marion S. Trikosko/Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons under CC)

The idea for it came from a connection — a desire to bring Britain and the United States “closer together in understanding and affection.”

The program was Letter from America, which was first broadcast 70 years ago. The idea came from Alistair Cooke, known to many Americans as one of the presenters of the long running PBS program Masterpiece Theatre, produced at WGBH in Boston. Continue reading


First Draft | September 22nd, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Reflecting on EIJ and journalism

Cafe du Monde based in New Orleans, the site for the recent Excellence in Journalism conference. (Photo: justinsomnia.org/Wikimedia Commons)

The famous author E.L. Doctorow had a saying about writing: “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

The same can be said of the Excellence in Journalism conference, which took place this week in New Orleans. Journalism, in this case, is an exploration, and you’re constantly learning as you go along. Continue reading


First Draft | September 13th, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
How weird do I want to get?

As part of Generation J’s ongoing series of guest essays, Emily Bloch of Florida Atlantic University considers why a different element of programming can help reinforce some journalistic principles.

Interviewing musicians is a lot like interviewing zombies: they can be easily sidetracked, are often monosyllabic and they don’t always smell great.

It’s not their faults — the musicians or the zombies — they’ve probably had a long day with the press where they keep getting asked the same questions after having spent the last hour performing. Continue reading


First Draft | September 12th, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
6 Low- to No-Cost Ways to Learn New or Improve Existing Skills

Education never ends for journalists especially those on the techy side. Understanding trendy technologies,  social sites, and learning new, necessary skills are all part of the job. But learning new or improving existing skills can be really expensive, right? Not if you know who to follow, what to learn, and how to find such opportunities:

Stay-up-to-date with the latest technology and media news.

By keeping up with the latest tech news and state of the media, then you’re less likely to be caught by surprise. Continue reading


First Draft | August 22nd, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #
All The President’s Men and their ethics

January 20, 1973 — Inauguration Day in Washington.

In the newsroom of The Washington Post, reporters discuss stories while Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward sit and type at their desks. Simultaneously, televisions in the newsroom air the scene of Richard Nixon being sworn in for his second term as President of the United States.

Woodward and Bernstein’s reporting had been the subject of national attention leading up to the final moments of the 1972 campaign for the Watergate Scandal, a scandal that would see Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Continue reading


Net Worked | June 21st, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Why it is truly #SPJ4All

My photo for #SPJ4All.

Last May, I picked up the telephone at my desk and dialed into New Albany, Indiana. Situated on the Indiana-Kentucky border, it was the town that was home to an idea that is at the core of SPJ’s beliefs, principles and ideas.

The idea took root last year when Indiana lawmakers were considering legislation which would have been branded as discriminatory to gay and lesbian couples. Membership Committee chair Robyn Davis Sekula then came up with the idea to do #SPJ4All, a social media campaign that emphasizes SPJ (which itself is based in Indianapolis) is welcome and accepting of all of its members, irrespective of their gender, race, nationality or sexual orientation. Continue reading


Net Worked | April 18th, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
The SPJ Ethics Code applies to Twitter too

Ethics Week is an important time to remember the Code of Ethics, and how they apply to Twitter. (Photo: SPJ)

Next week is Ethics Week here at SPJ, a time to celebrate the Code of Ethics, and to examine and consider its four principle values in journalism — to seek truth and report it, minimize harm, be accountable and transparent, and act independent.

The subject for this year’s Ethics Week is best practices in new technology, including social media. Continue reading