As SPJ gets ready for its annual conference in Nashville, Sept. 4-6, work continues on a revision of the SPJ Code of Ethics. Members of the national board have been discussing the revision process this week — with some folks calling for more transparency in how the revision is being handled.
My greater concern: What do YOU think of the revised document? Does it cover all the bases? Is it too long or too short? Do some topics get too much attention — and others too little? Is it clear? Is it comprehensive? Will it stand the test of time as media continues to morph?
Former national SPJ president Kevin Smith is leading the revision effort. I’d encourage you to visit http://blogs.spjnetwork.org/ethics/ to read the old version, the new version, commentary and other posts related to this important issue. The revision committee invites comments on the current version of the revised document through June 30. The committee meets in Columbus July 11-13 to hammer out a final document for consideration in Nashville.
Speaking of Nashville, start following #EIJ14 or visit spj.org to get all your pre-convention news. Early bird registration (best rates!) ends July 23.
Just back from Saturday’s national board meeting in Indy with lots of great tidbits:
Executive Director Joe Skeel put together a thoughtful and thorough look at SPJ five, 10, 20 and even 50 years in the future. With membership stable at around 7,500, SPJ is thinking of new ways to work with some 65 other journalism associations to keep SPJ out front as an advocate for journalists and journalism. The discussion is just starting. — so watch for more on how you can join the conversation. SPJ is lucky to have a staff that thinks beyond next week.
SPJ President Dave Cuillier challenged other board members to commit to the Legal Defense Fund (which may soon morph into the Legacy Fund) to protect and defend journalists. He personally pledged $100K in his will. Region 3 director Michael Korestzky summarized it well (and with his usual wit) with this post, titled “Can’t wait till Dave’s dead.”
The board also encouraged members to take a look — and offer comment — on revisions to the long-standing SPJ Code of Ethics. Want to weigh in? Go here to read and react. Region 4′s Kevin Z. Smith, now in the No. 2 job at OSU’s Kiplinger Center for Public Affairs Journalism, has done a great job at an inclusive, comprehensive and transparent review of the code.
Other news of interest:
The board OK’d another $5,000 from the Legal Defense Fund for Westerville, Ohio-based Otterbein University’s effort to obtain records from its campus police force. That brings its total from LDF to $10K.
Plans for the national convention in Nashville, Sept. 4-6, are moving along. Remember: Early-bird register continues through July 23. Want the details? Visit this link.
Wanna know what’s up on the idea to change the name of SPJ to the Society of Professional Journalism? Visit Cuillier’s “Freedom of the Prez” blog for news on that and more:
Thanks to SPJ staff and SPJ execs for handling every little detail of the meeting. These folks know how to get it done! Yeah. They’re journalists!
Congrats to the Central Ohio Chapter for staging a super Region 4 Conference in Columbus April 4-5! Chapter President Beth Gianforcaro,
Beth Gianforcaro headed the conference planning committee.
doubling as conference chair and calling on many of her chapter officers, assembled a great line-up of speakers and topics that held the crowd through the final minutes of the conference — and even beyond!
Among the highlights:
- Attendance and venue: About 175 professionals, students and academics attended the conference, with the Friday evening opening at the new OSU Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in Sullivant Hall and the Saturday sessions at the OSUFawcettCenter.
Michigan State’s Jeremy Steele, a former Region 4 Director, announces the MOE winners.
- MOE winners: 488 students entered the annual competition, with about 120 picking up “winner” or “finalist” awards. (Release: http://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=1237.
- Otterbein College: Otterbein360, the student-run website of the Westerville, Ohio, private school of about 3100, received First Amendment Awards from the Central Ohio chapter and Region 4 (the latter called the Dick Goehler First Amendment Award, named for the prominent Cincinnati media lawyer who developed leukemia and died in March 2011). Otterbein360 news editor Anna Schiffbauer sued the university earlier this year in the Ohio Supreme Court for the right to obtain police arrest and incident reports from the Otterbein Police Department. SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund put up $5,000 for the effort, partly to retain the services of Cincinnati media attorney Jack Greiner to handle the case.
Thanks to all for a terrific weekend!
Heading to Columbus tomorrow for what promises to be a great Region 4 Conference.
Congrats to Central Ohio Chapter President Beth Gianforcaro and her team for pulling together “Celebrating our past, recreating our future,” running April 4-5 in Columbus.
Looking forward to: Renewing SPJ friendships, hearing from a Pulitzer Prize winner and leading national cartoonist, touring a new cartooning museum, taking in lots of relevant how-to sessions and celebrating our Mark of Excellence winners.
Wanna see the full list of activities? Go to http://2014spjregion4conference.com.
Watch this space for an-after conference report next week. Now ….on to Columbus!
Pittsburgh SPJers will host some of its broadcast pioneers on April 26 for a session called “Broadcast Legends and Storytellers.” Here are details from Ginny Frizzi:
What was it like being a broadcast journalist in Pittsburgh before microwave technology and “instant” news? What was it like covering city hall or a fire lugging a heavy tape recorder with you….or getting the film back to the station so it could be developed and edited in time for the 11 o’clock news? What was the relationship between reporters and sources?
Find out when four Pittsburgh broadcasting pioneers journalism join Pittsburgh SPJ for an enjoyable program looking back at local broadcasting…the way it was.
Guests include a “Who’s Who” of Pittsburgh broadcast journalism:
- Joe DeNardo, a long-time weather forecasters with time at KDKA-TV and radio, and WTAE-TV.
- Bob James, known as “Dean of City Hall Reporters” for his 26 years on that beat for KQV Radio, with earlier stints at four other stations.
- Adam Lynch, respected Pittsburgh television news anchor who, in the course of his career, worked for all three Pittsburgh television stations, in radio news and magazine journalism.
- Eleanor Schano, a media trailblazer who has constantly reinvented herself, as the city’s first weather girl, first female news reporter, and first solo female anchor.
The event will run 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at WESA (90.5) at 67 Bedford Square. Cost is $15 for students, $20 for members, $25 for non-members — and includes brunch.
To sign-up contact Ginny at firstname.lastname@example.org or (412) 624-5448 by April 24.
Lotsa newsy — and news-related events — at Miami of Ohio this week:
- Film scholar Amy Rust presented “Violence Incarnate,” a talk about cinema violence and its relationship to TV news and photojournalism, on March 4.
- A founding editor of Her Campus, a national Web site with a strong Miami presence (as in 150 active members!) visited campus on Tuesday, too.
- Four Enquirer Media staffers outlined the paper’s strategy for a “digital first” world at a Wednesday gathering. (New news: Enquirer Media launches a new look for its Web site on Thursday. Check it out at cincinnati.com.)
- Wil Haygood, a Washington Post writer and Miami grad who wrote the story that became “The Butler,” is back on campus this week to visit journalism classes. And — woo-hoo — we announced today that he will be a writer in residence with us for the next three academic years.
- Hearing that docu film maker Keith Beauchamp (“The Story of Emmitt Till”) and Freedom Summer photographer Herbert Randall will visit campus in about two weeks. (This is the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, by the way. Oxford, Ohio, has a chapter in that story, as about 800-1000 volunteers trained here to go into Mississippi to register black voters and run Freedom Schools and community centers. I’m on the planning committee and teaching “The Journalism of Freedom Summer” this term. Fascinating and shocking events and only 50 years ago.)
Whew! Only Wednesday and I’m wrung out. But in a good way.
The Region 4 conference site is now ready for your register!
For general information for the event — set for April 4-5 in Columbus — visit: http://2014spjregion4conference.com
When you are ready to sign up, go to the Event Brite site: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spj-region-4-spring-conference-tickets-8305316425.
Go Team Columbus! Gonna be a great line-up!
The Cleveland chapter is staying busy, with another great program set for March 11, titled “Access to Public Records: Whose Are They?” Here’s the details from the chapter’s “Writer’s Week” e-newsletter, from a posting by chapter president Rodney Bengston:
Public records. Who do they belong to? The logical answer appears to be – the public.
But things are not always that simple. As mentioned in an earlier column, there was a little controversy a couple of months ago, when the Cleveland Heights police withheld information from a Northeast Ohio Media Group reporter. That issue will be up for discussion at our next Cleveland SPJ event, on Tuesday, March 11 at 7 p.m. at John Carroll University, which is co-sponsoring the event.
The panel will include:
- Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeffrey E. Robertson.
- Reporter Adam Ferrise of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
- Attorney David Marburger of BakerHostetler, who represented the Northeast Ohio Media Group in this case.
Soledad O’Brien visits Athens, Ohio, Feb. 20.
Kudos to the JRN and COM programs at Ohio University for booking CNN veteran Soledad O’Brien to talk about race on campus Feb. 20.Sponsored by the Scripps College of Communication, the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and the School of Communication Studies, O’Brien continues to produce “Black in America” documentaries for CNN.
“When my colleague Justice Hill first told me we might be able to bring Soledad O’Brien to campus, I realized it was a great opportunity for the journalism faculty and our students to be part of this conversation,” Robert Stewart, director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, said in this piece.O’Brien is hosting town-hall conversations throughout February – Black History Month – to share her own professional and life experiences with audiences. Her “Black in America” effort premiered on CNN in 2008 as a multi-part series of documentaries covering issues, challenges and culture of African Americans across the country.
My employer, meanwhile, will feature three journalists this spring talking about race-related topics. The Miami University Lecture Series Committee will bring in Juan Williams and Charlayne Hunter-Gault Feb. 26 for a panel discussion called “Freedom Summer: The Voting Rights Act and the Political Realities of 2014.” On March 17, Jose Antonio Vargas, lately of the Washington Post, will be in Oxford to present “Define America: Let’s Talk About Immigration.”
See details for the Feb. 26 event at http://www.units.muohio.edu/lecture/lectures/freedomsummer.php. For more on the March 17 event go to http://www.units.muohio.edu/lecture/lectures/vargas.php.