‘Law & Media’ on Oct. 10

The Central Ohio chapter will once again pair with the Ohio State Bar Association for its annual Law and Media Conference. The Oct. 10 event at the Bar Association offices will include:

  • Lawyers, journalists, judges and academics discussing hot media law topics.
  • CNN’s Martin Savidge as guest panelist in a plenary session titled “Data Privacy and the News: Hackers, Leakers, Journalists and Spies.”
  • Concurrent seminar topics that include reporting on political mudslinging within legal and ethical limits, open meetings, accessing public records, mediating public records disputes, using digital analytics to measure audiences, Internet’s effect on journalism, native advertising, libel and “twibel” and the effect of online comments on news credibility.

Joining the Columbus SPJ chapter and Bar Association as sponsors of the Media and Law Conference are the Ohio Newspaper Association and Ohio Association of Broadcasters.

The registration form includes costs and other information.

 

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Cincy restaging ‘Cabaret’

The Greater Cincinnati chapter wants local journos to bring their war stories to its second annual JOURNALISM CABARET on Oct. 8.

With an “open mike” setting, journalists are invited to take to the stage to tell stories about their best, their worst or their funniest experiences in journalism.

Want in? Show up at the Below Zero Lounge, 1122 Walnut St., 6-9 p.m.

Bring your stage face. Costumes optional. First drink on the chapter; open bar thereafter.

Contact chapter prez Tom McKee at tmckee@wcpo.com with questions.

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Athens in 2015

 

OU's SPJ chapter picked up Campus Chapter of the Year in Nashville.

OU’s SPJ chapter picked up Campus Chapter of the Year in Nashville.

Calender update: Be sure to save the date for the regional conference in Athens, Ohio, March 20-21. The Ohio University chapter is taking the lead and already has a game plan for sessions.

But — big BUT — we need wide region involvement! So if you have an idea for a panel or a suggestion on who might be a good panelist for the list of likely panels, reach out to our most excellent chapter adviser in Athens, Nerissa Young, at young2@ ohio.edu or 740.593.2675.

She’s standing by at this very moment for your suggestions!

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Columbus fetes Smith

Kevin Smith picked up SPJ's top honor for his work on the new Ethics Code and other efforts.

Kevin Smith picked up SPJ’s top honor for his work on the new Ethics Code and other efforts.

Kevin Z. Smith — former SPJ prez, former R4 regional director and former long-time chair of the SPJ Ethics Committee — will be the guest of honor at the Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists/Ohio State University event Oct. 2, related to Ethis in the Media and SPJ’s new Code of Ethics. Smith won SPJ’s highest service award at the September national convention in Nashville, the Wells Key Memorial Award.

Smith is deputy director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at Ohio State University.

The Columbus/OSU event will be on OSU’s campus in Room 106 of the Journalism Building, 242 W. 18th Ave., at 6 p.m.

Congrats to Smith for his leadership of the revision and the Ethics Committee!

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‘Ohio’s Best’ event Oct. 25

Region 4 journalists and journalist-wanna-bes can rub shoulders with some of the best journalists in Ohio Oct. 25 in Cleveland.

Who are they? The winners of  Ohio’s Best 2014 competition, hosted by the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati SPJ chapters — are all available on the contest’s website.

The awards luncheon will start at noon in the Idea Center, housing the studios of WVIZ/PBS, 90.3 WCPN and WCLV 104.9, at the Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland. The Playhouse is a Cleveland landmark, having featured performances by Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Al Jolson and other stars of the entertainment world since the Roaring Twenties. Following the luncheon, guests are invited to enjoy a 90-minute backstage tour of the site.

Want in? Sign-ups are underway at http://tinyurl.com/spj2014awards

For more information, call or text Tony Kozlowski at 440-785-7136 or contest coordinator Mike Lorz at 614-395-3884.

 

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OU hosts ‘Tinker Tour’

Mary Beth Tinker and her brother, John, protested the Vietnam war by wearing black armbands to school.

Mary Beth Tinker and her brother, John, protested the Vietnam war by wearing black armbands to school.

As a junior high school student, she led a fight for free speech to protest the Vietnam War. As an adult, she tours the country explaining what that fight means today.

Mary Beth Tinker, one of the plaintiffs in the precedential lawsuit Tinker v. Des Moines, will visit Ohio University to speak to classes and the community about the lawsuit that established free-speech rights for students in schools.

“Rights are like muscles. If we don’t use them, we could lose them,” Tinker said. “Many people are saying that the youth vote will be critical in November.  No wonder — youth will be so affected by upcoming decisions, whether it’s tuition prices, employment, the environment, war or so much more.”

Tinker was 13 years old in 1965 when she and her brother wore black armbands to their schools in Des Moines, Iowa, protesting the government’s actions in Vietnam. School officials suspended the Tinkers, saying the armbands disrupted school activities.

The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court where Justice Abe Fortas wrote in the majority opinion the words to which free-speech advocates have since clung, “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Mary Beth Tinker launched the Tinker Tour last fall.

Mary Beth Tinker launched the Tinker Tour last fall.

Tinker said, “I’m from the Midwest — Missouri and Iowa — where we have a strong appreciation for rights and the idea that we need to use them if we want equality and democracy.”

“Having Mary Beth Tinker speak to our students about First Amendment issues is invaluable,” said E.W. Scripps School of Journalism director Robert Stewart. “They won’t think about the First Amendment the same way after hearing about her experience firsthand.”

“It’s a rare experience for people to meet in person someone they have studied in the history books,” added Nerissa Young, adviser to the Ohio University campus chapter of Society of Professional Journalists. “Since the Tinker Tour launched a year ago, I was hopeful we could bring her to campus.”

Tinker will discuss her experiences in a free, public presentation Sept. 25 in the Baker Center Theater at 5 p.m. She is expected to answer questions about two free-speech Ohio University controversies: the blood-bucket anti-Israel challenge of OU Student Senate President Megan Marzec and the federal lawsuit against the university filed by Isaac Smith regarding a campus group’s T-shirt at the 2013 Campus Involvement Fair.

“The First Amendment and controversy go hand in hand,” Tinker said. “What are our rights? What are the limits? I can’t wait to discuss current issues of student expression with OU students, whether it’s T-shirts and ‘bucket’ campaigns but other issues as well.”

Tinker, a pediatric nurse, began a national tour in fall 2013 to high schools, college campuses, church groups and others to educate and empower young people about their rights and responsibilities to speak up. The tour is a project of the Student Press Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Her visit is sponsored by the Ohio University chapter of Society of Professional Journalists and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Athens activist Arlene Sheak, a friend of Tinker’s, helped arrange the visit.

UPDATE at 9/26/14: To watch Tinker’s presentation at OU, visit: http://www.ohio.edu/media/?videoid=F5B10AF95056A81E8DF6B78F5CB9BA7B

Note:  Special thanks to Nerissa Young, lecturer in journalism at OU and adviser to its SPJ chapter, for providing info for this posting.

 

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Nashville Need-to-Knows

Back from an action-packed national conference in Nashville, with some highlights:

First, kudos to outgoing President Dave Cuillier who moved SPJ forward on many fronts during the past year, especially advocacy efforts and visibility among journalism groups; to executive director Joe Skeel for crafting a long-term vision for SPJ; and to Dana Neuts, our 2014-15 president, for bringing the first “SPJ online communities” along.

Here are my takeways from five days in Nashville:

Dana Neuts assumed the top SPJ spot in Nashville.

Dana Neuts assumed the top SPJ spot in Nashville.

  • SPJ is changing with the industry and looking to increase the volume of its voice and the validity of its place among journalism groups working to protect the First Amendment.
  • Cuillier, who will stay on as head of the FOI committee, enhanced the long-term goals outlined by ED Skeel with his proposal, passed by the board in Nashville, to create a $75,000 endowment account as part of the Legal Defense Fund.
  • Miami students Sara Dastagir and Sarah McIlwain grabbed NPR star Michele Norris for a group shot.

    Miami students Sara Dastagir and Sarah McIlwain grabbed NPR star Michele Norris for a group shot.

    Programmers, working with the support of Scott Leadingham at SPJ HQ, offered a diverse mix of sessions for journalists of all ages, all skill levels and all employers. (Special thanks to those of you who made my two sessions – the Race Panel with Michele Norris, Jerry Mitchell, Kathleen Wickham and Bob Butler; and the New Media Entrepreurs discussion with Brian Stelter, Kara Swisher and Etienne Uzac.)

A few fav moments:

  • Wins. Always feels good to win. Especially if you played even a tiny-teeny role in making it happen. I was thrilled that other members of the board endorsed my nominations for the Cincinnati chapter as small chapter of the year and the Ohio University chapter as student chapter of the year. They did all the work, of course. I was happy to promote their accomplishments. But not as happy as they were to win! (Tip to pro and student chapters alike: A well-written, detailed annual report is a powerful tool when it comes time to pick the winners. Brag on your accomplishments!)
Tom McKee, with Dave Cuillier, collected Cincinnati's big award.

Tom McKee, with Dave Cuillier, collected Cincinnati’s big award.

  • More wins. In the interest of full disclosure, I must report that Kevin Smith helped me land at Miami University 18 years ago. He was teaching in Oxford at the time and, because we were SPJ acquaintances, let me know Miami was looking for a visiting instructor way back in the fall of 1997.  I’ve watched Kevin climb the ranks of SPJ, move from job to job, and maintain his good humor and dedication to ethics all the while. Quite a big moment for him and all of us in Region 4 to be on hand as SPJ awarded Kevin him its highest honor – the Wells Memorial Keys. He did a stellar job of overhauling the SPJ Code of Ethics, with lots of last-minute behind-the-scenes negotiating.
Lindsay Friedman ran the OU chapter in 2013-14, with Kate Hiller taking over this year.

Lindsay Friedman ran the OU chapter in 2013-14, with Kate Hiller taking over this year.

In other news:

  • Save March 20-21, 2015, for the Region 4 conference at OU in Athens. The chapter already has a game plan in place for sessions. Adviser Nerissa Young (youngn2@ohio.edu) would be happy to hear from you with suggestions of panelists from your locale. Speaking of Nerissa, she showed her stuff in rushing to the aide of Pittsburgh stalwart Ginny Frizzi. Sadly, Ginny had to have an emergency foot amputation while in Nashville. Nerissa and Becky Tallent of the University of Idaho worked with national staff to attend to Ginny’s needs.  She’s back in Pittsburgh now and would, I’m sure, appreciate hearing from her Region 4 friends at 1715 Chislett St., Pittsburgh, Pa., 15206, or 412-361-6028.

What else?

  • Great session on media issues from Ferguson, Missouri. Panelists noted that journalists have far less access on big “crisis stories” in a post 9/11 world. That’s especially true given the new militarization of local police forces.
Kara Swisher joined Etienne Uzac and Brian Stelter to tackle media entrepreneurship.

Kara Swisher joined Etienne Uzac and Brian Stelter to tackle media entrepreneurship.

  • If you don’t know the name Kara Swisher, you should — or will soon. She was the belle of the ball – showcasing her big ideas and big personality on three or four panels. The co-creator of the Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsD created a new site in January. Check her and the site out at recode.net. Smart, sassy – and proof that great ideas and hard work are still great combinations in the Internet Age.
  • Students – and working pros – need personal/professional web sites. Long gone are the days of printing off resumes, copying clips, working up demo tapes – and sending them off via USPS. Today’s hiring news managers want to see your work on a digital platform. And if it does not grab them in mere seconds, they move on to the next link in their folder.
  • EIJ15 will be in Orlando, Sept. 8-10, 2015, with the 2016 national convo in New Orleans (also Sept. 8-10) and the 2017 event in Anaheim.  (BTW, as part of the national strategy to expand partnerships with other journalism groups and lock-in preferential pricing, our national execs are working on a plan to rotate conventions between four to six cities. I made a pitch for a Midwestern venue to stay on the list; Chicago is in the running!)

Finally, if you did not make it to Nashville, you missed a real treat in the Opryland Hotel. With lush gardens and water features, it felt like a quick trip to the Amazon. (The directionally challenged however — that would be ME! — wore a lot of tread from the tires walking in circles looking for rooms.)

Another SPJ convo; another badge for the bulletin board.

Another SPJ convo; another badge for the bulletin board.

Hope to see you in Athens in March! In the meantime, keep sending me updates about what’s happening in your chapter.

And catch me on Twitter at @pattinewberry. I finally jumped into the Twittersphere (is that a word?) this summer and had fun trying to keep up with veteran Tweeters in Nashville.

 

 

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Speak up on ethics

CodeWordsAs 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.  

 

 

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Sum’thin brewing at Kent

A letter from members of the faculty
of the Kent  State University School
of Journalism & Mass Communication

In a democracy, any decision that favors secrecy over openness must be closely scrutinized. Secrecy can damage the credibility of any public institution. We’re embarrassed by our administration’s refusal to disclose public records related to the recent presidential search. And we’re troubled over credible news reports that some of these records may have been shredded to avoid public inspection. Kent State’s decision to withhold these records may violate the Ohio Public Records Act. And though only a court of law can decide the legal issues, the administration’s decision to ignore the principles of transparency raises serious questions of ethics. At the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, we instill in our students a reverence for open government and the right of a free press and public to engage in the oversight of government agencies. It is our duty to do this. Kent State’s decision to withhold information about the presidential search teaches the wrong lesson to students. It also sends the wrong message to our friends, our alumni and Ohio taxpayers.  

This ad paid for by JMC Faculty Members:  Karl Idsvoog, David Labelle, Bill Sledzik, Ben Whaley, Dave Smeltzer, Barb Hipsman, Tim Smith, JMC Academic Advisor Bob Springer and JMC Alumni Brian Handler and Doug Brown

*******************************
As for reaction:

The 

Toledo Blade ran an editorial saying don’t follow Kent State’s example:

http://www.toledoblade.com/Opinion/2014/04/24/Keep-the-search-open.html

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Just back from Indy

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!

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