Time to recognize the best

Paging all journalists: It’s time to be rewarded for your hard work.

Yes, I’m talking to you.

All of you can now submit entries for SPJ’s annual Sigma Delta Chi Awards and Mark of Excellence Awards honoring the best professional and collegiate journalism of the 2014 calendar year. Students can enter the Mark of Excellence Awards through Jan. 23, and professionals have until Feb. 6 to enter the Sigma Delta Chi Awards.

If you already know the drill, here’s your entry form for both contests.

If you don’t, read on and …

SPJ’s annual Mark of Excellence Awards honor the best student journalism of 2014 for print, radio, TV and digital platforms, whether you belong to a Region 11 campus chapter or not. First-place regional winners will be showcased at our regional spring conference in the Bay Area (date TBD) in 2015 and then compete at the national level.

Because it may help, here are last year’s Region 11 winners, the 2012 Region 11 winners and the 2011 Region 11 winners, and here are some of the rules from SPJ’s website:

The contest is open to anyone enrolled in a college or university in the U.S. studying for an academic degree in 2014. International SPJ student members may also enter. Students who have had full-time, professional journalism experience, outside of internships, are not eligible. Entries must have been published or broadcast during the 2014 calendar year.

SPJ’s annual Sigma Delta Chi Awards honor the best professional journalism in categories covering print, radio, television, newsletters, art/graphics, online and research. The contest is open to any U.S. media outlet. SPJ’s website has a page with rules, hints, entry requirements and more. Here are last year’s winners if you want to take a look.

Questions? Contact Awards Coordinator Abbi Martzall via email or by phone 317/927-8000, ext. 210. Or leave a comment below.

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New campus chapters, social media accounts

Our social media reach is slowly expanding here in Region 11. As is our empire itself; I’m happy to report that we have a new SPJ chapter at CSU, Sacramento, and that California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, is working to start another.

Dorothy Mills-Gregg, president of the CSU Sacramento chapter writes: “We have three programmers and each one is contacting News10, Capital Public Radio, and the Sacramento Bee to get a tour. … After our first tour, we have the idea of partnering with a club on campus to discuss their issues in the media. For example, we could partner with the Pride Center, which is very active on our campus, and do a panel on LGBT communities covered by the media. Also, there is a newspaper called the Homeward Street Journal which does something with the homeless that we want to look into and see if there’s anything we can do with them.”

At Cal Poly Pomona, Department of Communication assistant professor Jason Turcotte is excited about the prospect of a chapter: “It’s something the Communication Department here has wanted for awhile and it’s long overdue. We have many eager, hard-working students who are looking to become more engaged professionally.”

Helping these two chapters get off to good starts would be just one way I want to improve communication and connections between pros and student SPJ members. I also recently met with the San Diego State University chapter (it was a short commute, I know) to present students with their 2013-2014 outstanding Region 11 campus chapter award and help them figure out what events and speakers they’d like to have this year. If I can help you with any of your chapters, please let me know.

To that end, I’m still building out our Twitter (@SPJregion11) and Facebook (SPJ Region 11) channels.

Can Ello be far behind?

The Facebook page will be a place to showcase news about regional conferences, blog posts and more.

The Twitter page will be an account to follow for chapter news, journalism tips and trends. My aim is to post more frequently in that space than on Facebook.

We’re just getting started so please like and follow those accounts and tell us what you want to see on them. One way is to ping me on Twitter at either @SDuncovered or @SPJregion11. Or you can email me at matthew.hall@utsandiego.com. Cheers.


spj shield

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5 goals, 4 GIFs from your new Region 11 director

Hi, everybody.

I’m the new Region 11 director, appointed by the board in July to fill Elizabeth Smith’s seat and then elected by SPJ members last week to serve through the EIJ15 conference in Orlando. Since returning to San Diego from Nashville, I’ve caught up on my sleep, “The Leftovers” and “Boardwalk Empire” and been eating more tacos and less BBQ. But I’m still brimming with ideas and inspiration from our EIJ14 conference.

Hope you are, too.

Blogging is kind of my thing, so you can expect this blog to be more regular and entertaining than it has been in recent years. This post will serve as an introduction and a solicitation.

But first, I’d like to thank and acknowledge Debra Krol of the Valley of the Sun chapter and Richard Saxton of the Los Angeles chapter, both of whom ran for the Region 11 seat and then reached out to me after the election to offer their congratulations and help. It’s that kind of support that will make this year great for all our chapters in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada. If you missed it, Debra and I gave speeches on the convention floor in Nashville, where I was very lucky to meet many of you and also eat this:


By now, you’ve probably heard the biggest news from our conference. To recap: We updated the SPJ Code of Ethics for the first time in 18 years. We also elected a new board and created an endowed legal defense fund. And we chose Anaheim as the site of the EIJ17 conference. There were also tons of great breakout sessions and conversations. In one, some of us from Region 11 met to discuss expectations and hopes for the coming year. Our plan is just a start, but it seemed to energize people in the room.

Some of our common goals and first steps are these:

1) Throw another excellent regional conference in Phoenix this spring.

The Valley of the Sun chapter and I will work to make that happen and share a date as soon as we have one.

2) Network and share program ideas.

There’s talk of a joint L.A.-San Diego SPJ meetup, and to everyone’s benefit, I plan to set up a Google doc soon to allow us to share successful programs in a convenient way. There, we can document and discuss together what makes certain panels work (or not), and review a series of metrics that is likely to include social media, turnout, fundraising or membership growth.


3) Share some valuable lessons we’ve learned covering stories that touch us all, stories on drought, wildfire, Native American issues and other subjects.

Look for these in a future blog post once I compile them, with your help.

4) Better advocate for the region and its journalists.

The presidents of our pro chapters will hold a regular Skype or conference call to coordinate and communicate and tap into our collective wealth of knowledge. Then we’ll all be able to stay on top of what everyone is doing and move quickly as warranted because that line of communication is open.

5) Boost our membership at the college and pro chapter level.

We can start by connecting on the new Twitter and Facebook pages I set up for Region 11 and inviting non-SPJ members to follow us and like us there. I’d like these social media spaces to be places where we share tips, job postings, stories, issues and conversation. Please follow, like and promote them. I hope they become a forum for every reporter in all four states.

Have other thoughts, suggestions or proposals? Please add them below, email me at matthew.hall@utsandiego.com or find me on Twitter, where you’ll find I’m really responsive.

One specific thing I’d like to consider? Renaming this blog. We can do better, am I right? If you have suggestions, drop me a line. I’ll try to scare up some SPJ swag for the person who picks something that sticks.

In closing, here’s my bio. The tl;dr summary? I’m the public engagement director at U-T San Diego, where I’ve worked since 2001 as a reporter, city columnist and public engagement editor and now manage and curate social media. I’ve also worked in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I’m president of the San Diego Pro Chapter of SPJ. I have two young daughters.

Again, got something on your mind? Please ping me. This blog’s for you.

I’m here for you. As is SPJ.

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Volunteer needed to serve as interim Region 11 director

Dear SPJ member,

Region 11 Director Elizabeth Smith resigned her seat on the national SPJ Board of Directors on Tuesday. She expressed her gratitude and passion for SPJ, and admiration for board members and all SPJ members, specifically those in Region 11. We wish Elizabeth all the best and want to thank her for her service.

As a result, we are seeking a volunteer to fill the vacancy. The selected candidate will serve until Sept. 6, 2014. A new regional director will then be elected on Sept. 6 to fill the one year remaining on the term.

Interested candidates must live in Arizona, California, Hawaii or Nevada. They cannot be a student member or an associate.

In accordance with SPJ’s bylaws, the national board will appoint the temporary replacement. Interested candidates should send the following information to Chapter Coordinator Tara Puckey no later than July 16:

• Your current role in journalism.
• Your history with SPJ.
• The reason you are applying for the position.
• Your resume/CV.

The volunteer selected for the temporary role will be expected to fulfill the duties of the position, such as participate in the board meeting on Sept. 4 during EIJ14 conference in Nashville.

He or she will also enjoy the benefits of the position, such as a $1,000 stipend that can be used for travel expenses to EIJ14.

Anyone volunteering for this temporary role is strongly encouraged to run for the remaining term (Sept. 2014-Sept. 2015) during the upcoming election. However, anyone meeting the criteria above is welcome to run for the position.

Those with questions should contact Tara. Thank you for considering this opportunity.


Joe Skeel
SPJ Executive Director

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Job openings for editor/reporter, and bilingual news anchor in Phoenix, AZ

Univision seeks bilingual news anchor

Univision Arizona is seeking a full-time news anchor to join its seasoned staff for the 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts. Ideal candidate must be a strong newsroom leader, have effective reporting background and be a clear, concise and accurate Spanish writer and speaker.

In addition, news anchors are responsible for gathering, researching and writing articles which can be posted “online” and/or for use on a web-based medium either on the company’s website, social media or any other Univision subsidiaries. Position requires generating enterprise field reports and active participation in the community on behalf of the station.

Responsibilities include: Anchoring newscasts/special projects as assigned; producing newscasts when needed; reporting in the field; writing for newscasts, including teases, promos, intros, tags and generating graphics; maintaining a high degree of knowledge of current and community events; and developing and maintaining good relationships with news sources.

Broadcast Journalism degree preferred. Minimum 5 years experience as an anchor/reporter on Spanish language television.

Email a resume and links to your most powerful stories to: jvilla@univision.net.


North Valley weekly seeks editor/reporter

The Foothills Focus, a weekly newspaper serving the communities of Anthem, Black Canyon City, Carefree, Cave Creek, Desert Hills, New River, North Phoenix, and North Scottsdale, is looking for an editor/reporter.

Needed is a self-starter capable of building sources who has strong time management skills. Responsibilities include reporting, editing and photography skills, writing up briefs and determining placement of stories. Reporter is responsible for utilizing the newspaper’s Facebook page to supplement weekly coverage as well as post breaking news.

Send resumes and three to five writing samples to foothillsfocus@qwestoffice.net. For information call 623-465-5808. This is a salaried position. Pay depends on experience.

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Grow your journo business workshop set for July 15 in Phoenix

The American Press Institute presents “Growing Your Audiences and Growing Your Business,” 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday, July 15 at The Arizona Republic in downtown Phoenix. Registration currently is discounted from $200 to only $100 until 5 p.m. EST on Friday, July 5.

As the news industry moves toward digital subscriptions, it becomes more critical for news publishers to know how to identify and understand their audiences, how to increase the value of the content provided and how to reach new audiences.
Participants will learn how to:

• Go beyond demographics to understand audience needs and expectations

• Develop techniques to turn user research into valued content, products and services

• Build a solid strategic audience-growth plan that includes content, marketing and sales

• Use the right metrics and IT to segment your audience and personalize for user tastes

Early-arriving participants are also invited to an exclusive tour and discussion at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications in downtown Phoenix on Sunday evening, July 14. Join a walk-through of ASU’s professional immersion labs, newsrooms and studios, as well as the opportunity to learn and discuss how a journalism school at the forefront of new thinking on digital media is preparing next generation news leaders. Meet at 5:30 p.m. for tour and discussion. Group dinner on your own in Phoenix.

For more information, including the full schedule and the presenter bios, or to register, click here.

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Early Bird registration expires March 29!

TODAY IS THE DAY! If you haven’t yet registered for the SPJ Region 11 Spring conference, “Letting it Ride: Betting on the Future of Journalism,” set for April 12-13 at South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., then take note that PRICES WILL GO UP after midnight tonight.

Conference pricing is $80 for non-SPJ members, $65 for SPJ members, and $40 for all students on or before MARCH 29. After tonight, conference pricing will go up significantly. Visit the conference website at http://spjregion11.eventbrite.com/ to register.

Note: The Mark of Excellence (MOE) awards luncheon is ticketed separately at $35 for students and $40 for guests. MOE ticket prices will remain the same.

If you haven’t reserved your hotel room yet, there may still be a few available at the group rate of $95 per night. Call the hotel directly at 866-791-7626 (toll free) and use the booking code SPJ 0412, or visit http://www.southpointcasino.com and use the same booking code, if still available.

If you’ve already registered, THANKS, and I look forward to seeing you in just a couple of weeks!


Teri Carnicelli

SPJ Region 11 Director


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Region 11 Spring Conference set for April 12-13, 2013 in Las Vegas!

Mark your calendars for the Region 11 Spring Conference, “Letting it Ride: Betting on the Future of Journalism,” set for April 12-13 at South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.!

We anticipate high attendance from writers, editors, photographers, columnists and broadcasters, as well as college students studying in the field of journalism, who will spend their time learning about the best techniques for improving their news gathering, writing, and editing skills, as well as discuss important ethical issues that continue to arise in this era of 24/7 global news. They’ll hear from media thought leaders from around the region who will help them prepare for producing news in the 21st century – and they’ll come away sharper and better prepared for the realities of today’s news production.

We were able to get the hotel registration deadline extended to Thursday, MARCH 21, for the So if you haven’t booked your room yet, do it now before the ultra-low block price of $95 is gone. Call the hotel directly at 866-791-7626 (toll free) and use the booking code SPJ 0412, or visit http://www.southpointcasino.com and use the same booking code.

Conference pricing is $80 for non-SPJ members, $65 for SPJ members, and $40 for all students. REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS FRIDAY, MARCH 29! Visit the conference website at http://spjregion11.eventbrite.com/ to register.

The Mark of Excellence (MOE) awards luncheon is ticketed separately at $35 for students and $40 for guests.

The hotel will be providing free in-room Wi-Fi and there will be inexpensive shuttles available to and from the Strip, for those of you who are flying in.

In addition, we’ve secured a FREE TOUR of the Springs Preserve for 10 a.m. Sunday, April 14. Note the tour is limited to 20 people. Located 3 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, the Springs Preserve is the best place to explore the Las Vegas Valley’s vibrant history through interactive science and nature exhibits, botanical gardens, hiking trails and animal shows. For more information about the Springs Preserve, visit the conference website.

This is going to be a great and affordable conference in one of Region 11’s most exciting and fun cities: VEGAS, BABY!! Hope to see you there!


Teri Carnicelli

SPJ Region 11 Director



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Registration Open for “Best of the West: 2012 SPJ Spring Conference”

Registration is now open for “Best of the West: 2012 SPJ Spring Conference,” set for March 30-31 at the Hilton Universal City in Los Angeles.

Visit the conference website at http://spjla-bestofthewest.org/ to register for the conference and Mark of Excellence luncheon, and to book a hotel room at the Hilton Universal.

The event will kick-off on Friday, March 30 at 4:30 p.m. with registration and an opening night reception, followed by a fun-filled day of professional development sessions on Saturday.

The annual conference will bring together professional journalists and students from throughout the region – California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. The conference will include sessions on digital journalism, ethics, stress in the workplace and mentoring between professionals and journalists. A separate room will be set aside for networking opportunities throughout the Saturday of the conference.

Register before March 1 to receive the early bird registration rates of:

  • $100 early bird registration for professional members
  • $125 early bird registration for professional non-members
  • $50 early bird registration for students

After that date, registration prices will increase to:

  • $125 standard registration for professional members
  • $150 standard registration for professional non-members
  • $75 standard registration for students

The Mark of Excellence Awards luncheon is a separate ticket at $40.

The Hilton Universal is offering conference participants a special rate of $149 per night, if booked by March 2.

Additional details on speakers, programming sessions and the opening night reception will be released in the coming weeks.

When:  Friday evening, March 30 to Saturday, March 31, 2012

Where:  Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive in Universal City, CA

Cost:  By March 1:  $100 for professional members, $125 for professional non-members, $50 for students. After March 1:  $125 for professional members, $150 for professional non-members, $75 for students. Registration includes all programs and Opening Night Reception. Mark of Excellence Awards Luncheon tickets are sold separately for $40 per person.

Register online:  http://spjla-bestofthewest.org/


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Mark your calendars for Region 11 Spring Conference, March 30-31

The SPJ Region 11 Spring Conference, set for Friday, March 30-Saturday, March 31 is taking shape.

The conference, hosted by SPJ’s Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter, will be at the Universal Hilton at Universal City in southern California. Friday features an opening night reception at the hotel, followed by a full day of programming on Saturday and the Mark of Excellence student awards luncheon.

Programs and speakers are being finalized, and registration will open shortly. For more details, check back here, visit www.spjla.org or e-mail Conference Committee Chairman Jeff Wald at JeffWaldSPJ@aol.com.

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