March 23rd, 2010
Journalists will ‘Rise Up in Cleveland’ April 9-10 to build skills, chart futures, and Rock and Roll
By Jeremy Steele
CLEVELAND – “Rise Up in Cleveland!” is the title of the 2010 Region 4 Spring Conference presented by the Society of Professional Journalists, April 9-10, in Cleveland. SPJ’s Cleveland Pro Chapter will host programs for professional development and improving journalism at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center and the newsroom of The Plain Dealer, the largest daily newspaper in Ohio.
Journalists, students and educators from Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania, which form Region 4, will gather for the annual spring meeting which is open to all journalists, including those not affiliated with SPJ.
High-profile, accomplished journalists speaking at the conference include Jim Schaefer, part of the Detroit Free Press team whose coverage toppled Kwame Kilpatrick, the former Detroit mayor, and won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting, and Regina Brett, a columnist at The Plain Dealer who twice won first-place National Headliner Awards. The two are among more than two dozen professional journalists, educators and entrepreneurs providing skills training for anyone who plays a journalistic role in any form of media.
“Our theme is `Rise Up in Cleveland’ to emphasize steps journalists and other communicators can take to chart their own course if they have lost jobs in the media or wish to aim for the stars with their own venture,” said Tony Kozlowski, conference chairman and SPJ Cleveland Pro board member. “I’m especially excited about our hands-on training program for students and young professionals at The Plain Dealer to begin the conference at 1:30 p.m., April 9, followed by the opening reception, 7 p.m., at the world famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.”
“We’ll have a well-rounded program for people with a variety of interests,” said Clifford Anthony, president of SPJ Cleveland Pro. “Writers, photographers, editors and broadcasters who work in varied roles will be able to choose from an agenda that includes training in using public records for investigative reporting to using social networking technology.”
The PD sessions begin at 1:30 p.m. April 9 at The Plain Dealer, 1801 Superior Ave. For others attending the conference, it begins at 7 p.m. April 9 with a reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum at North Coast Harbor in downtown Cleveland. Programming begins at 8 a.m. April 10 at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown, 127 Public Square. The conference includes the Region 4 Mark of Excellence Luncheon, where student journalists receive awards for superior work, at 12 noon, April 10.
For more details and registration, go to http://spjclevelandregion4.eventbrite.com/. Earlybird fees (by March 20) for SPJ members are $70 for students and $80 for professionals, and $10 more for non-members. Registration is also available after 3 p.m. Friday, April 9 and beginning at 7 a.m. the day of the conference. Hotel rooms are available at the Marriott at a special conference rate of $89 per night, plus local taxes and fees, for a limited number of reservations made by March 22. The discounted rate may be extended, depending on room availability. The entrance to the hotel is at West Mall Drive and East St. Clair Ave.
Since 1909, the Society of Professional Journalists has delivered continuing education, professional services, journalism and open government advocacy while encouraging the free practice of journalism and high standards of ethical behavior. The Cleveland Chapter of SPJ joined the fray in 1950 and is one of the 10 largest chapters of the nation’s largest membership organization for journalists. The national organization’s website is www.spj.org. The Cleveland Pro Chapter’s website is www.spjcleveland.org/cleveland.