By John Ensslin, 2011-12 SPJ President | March 5th, 2012
I’m very excited that SPJ recently opened an account that will enable us to host online meetings and webinars.
We’ve subscribed to GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar. While there is a bit of a learning curve to understanding how to operate them, I see great promise here.
For example, let’s say a chapter in New Jersey would like to host a webinar featuring an expert in Denver talking about search engine optimization. We can do that now.
Let’s say the Diversity Committee would like to host a meeting where the members can talk and conduct a video conference. We can do that too.
And let’s say the Executive Committee wants to hold a virtual meeting that other members want to watch live. We can and will do that. Stay tuned for details.
Death of a journalist
Speaking of virtual programs … I thought Linda Jue of our Northern California chapter conducted a really interesting interview last week with journalist Thomas Peele.
Peele talked about his new book, “Killing the Messenger,” which details the background of the 2007 murder of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey. It’s not really what you would call a true crime book, but rather a history of the Black Muslim movement and the cult to which Bailey’s killers belonged.
I was particularly fascinated to learn that while Bailey was killed because of a story he was working on, he was not what you would describe as a classic investigative journalist, Peele said.
“Chauncey was a community journalist, editor of a community newspaper,” Peele said. “He wanted to make the community paper, The Oakland Post, stronger.”
“His background was in daily journalism. He had been a reporter at The Detroit News. He was one of those workhorse journalists that we all know who could turn out 2-3 stories a day and fill up the newspaper.”
“…He was a good daily reporter, but he simply didn’t work on long investigative projects. It wasn’t the nature of the journalism that he did.”
Peele described how Bailey was killed over a 15 inch story that had not yet been published when he was gunned down while walking to work on Aug. 2, 2007.
Mobbed up in Boston
And speaking of crime and journalism, I could not pass up an opportunity to host a segment of Studio SPJ on Saturday, March 10 at noon ET with Boston Globe journalist Emily Sweeney.
Emily is president of our New England chapter and a member of our Digital Media Committee. I’ve been a fan of her work for some time. As a former crime reporter myself, I loved her Globe story, “Greatest Hits – A Mob Tour of Boston.”
We’ll talk about her new book, “Boston Organized Crime.” So be sure to tune in. You can hear the live broadcast or listen later to the podcast here.
Textbook Authors in the Big Easy
Here’s another program that might interest you.
Mary Kay Switzer, a longtime member of SPJ’s Cal Poly Pomona chapter, is national president of the Text and Academic Authors Association, which will host its 25th annual confab in New Orleans June 8-9.
A bit of info on the gathering:
The conference will feature two workshops, more than a dozen sessions and several small-group discussions; the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a veteran author or attorney specializing in educational publishing; and several networking opportunities, including a welcome breakfast and an evening networking reception.
Joy Hakim, author of the ten-volume K-12 textbook series, “A History of US,” and three-volume textbook series, “The Story of Science,” will give a keynote presentation on Friday morning titled, “Textbooks Should Be Great Books!”
And thanks to TAA for sharing information with their members on our SPJ spring conferences.