June 5th, 2012
Tech tools can help knit SPJ closer
By John Ensslin, 2011-12 SPJ President
One of my goals this year as SPJ president has been to use technology where possible to improve communications within our organization.
That’s why I’ve put an emphasis on encouraging chapters to use tools like Blog Talk Radio and Google+ hangouts as a way to program SPJ activities while overcoming the usual obstacles of distance, scheduling and logistics.
And that’s why we’ve been making extensive use of our gotomeeting platform for various committee meetings.
The platform has enabled us to host our first virtual executive committee meeting last month and our first virtual board meeting on June 16.
And this month, we’re launching two new initiatives that show promise.
On Wednesday, June 13, SPJ will offer members our first webinar. Board member Michael Koretzky will present his popular talk “Weird Careers in the Media,” which offers tips on non-traditional jobs where journalism skills can be useful.
Over 175 of you have already signed up for this program, which is very encouraging.
Our Professional Development Committee is working to bring you more webinars with useful instruction later this year.
The second initiative is something that will begin later this week when we launch a series of virtual town hall meetings, one in each of our 12 regions.
These sessions will be a chance for us to talk face to face about some of the issues confronting SPJ. It will be an opportunity for those of us on the national board to talk with members about our efforts. And it will provide a forum for candidates running for office later this year to talk directly and answer questions from the membership.
Taking part will be relatively easy. You can simply dial in by telephone or use your computer to listen to the meeting and offer your own comments and questions. Those of you who have webcams will also be able to communicate face-to-face.
These virtual meetings can accommodate up to 25 people. We will fill those spots on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you would like me to send you a link to the program, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a list of the town hall meetings we’ve scheduled so far. All times are Eastern:
Region 1 – Saturday, June 30 at 11 a.m.
Region 2 – Saturday, August 25 at 11 a.m.
Region 3 – Saturday, July 7 at noon
Region 4 – Saturday, June 16 at 3 p.m.
Region 5 – Saturday, June 9 at noon
Region 6 – Saturday, August 11 at 1 p.m.
Region 7 – Saturday, June 30 at 1 p.m.
Region 8 – to be determined.
Region 9 – Saturday, June 23 at 2 p.m.
Region 10 – Saturday, June 23 at 3 p.m.
Region 11 – Saturday, July 14 at 3 p.m.
Region 12 – Saturday, July 14 at 2 p.m.
Hope to see you at your regional meeting.