Tell us what you want to see at the regional conference

Sure, it’s only October, and spring seems too far down the calendar to contemplate.

But time ticks down faster than you think, and soon you’ll have to consider making travel plans for the annual Region 7 conference.

In fact, the foundation is being laid for that conference right now, with help from the leaders of neighboring Region 5 (Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana). Because St. Louis is central to both regions, we decided to convene there, and very soon we expect to announce a venue.

After that, we’ll hammer out the smaller details, such as sponsors and costs.

But the whole show isn’t up to just us: Your input is important, too. Tell us now what kinds of programs you’d like to see included at the dual regional, and maybe also mention the speakers you’d like to see present them.

Last spring, the conference in Ames, Iowa, included sessions on multimedia and mobility, social media and document searches, and helpful tips for freelancers as well as news staffs. The one-day, all-day conference even helped lay the foundations for stronger chapters in Iowa, and a new chapter in Nebraska.

Next spring, journalists from Region 7 are sure to face a host of new issues and challenges, some of which already may be taking shape. What better place then to discuss them and get valuable advice from learned SPJ colleagues and other professionals than the annual conference?

So, take a few moments to let us know now your ideas for program sessions at next spring’s conference. Send those ideas to me, David Sheets, Region 7 director, at If you want to discuss ideas directly, include a contact number.

Springtime may seem a long way off, but it’s really just around the corner. Help the regional conference’s planners get a jump on the calendar by adding your input to our efforts today.


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  • itsnotmyfault

    I’m disappointed that Adrian Chmielarz’s “Women and Video Games” didn’t get an award. Would it have done better in the Feature category?

    Congrats to the winners. Remind me to recommend this for the next Kunkel, if it takes place:

  • The categories need to be reworked, and perhaps assigned to specialized judges. There’s a big difference between news articles, feature articles and investigative articles, and that difference stood out like a sore thumb here.

    The Star Citizen article (third place tie) was a half-written, sloppy attempt at an investigative piece. It was in no way a news story (which is normally taken to mean “breaking news”, or the inverted pyramid stuff).

    If there were an investigative journalism category, judged by investigative journalists, they would have asked why the article originally ran before the company responded. What was the rush? This wasn’t time-sensitive.

    And what about the lack of indication as to what positions the oddly code-named anonymous employees held that made them privy to the financial state of the company? I can find disgruntled former employees from any sizeable organization all day. The question is whether those employees have relevant knowledge of the financial state of the company.

    Most of all, this should have been shelved until the writer talked at least one of the employees into going on the record. Also, I would have made an attempt to find someone with a history in the video-game industry in a position to evaluate some of the assertions made by the employees. There are people scattered all over the academic world who worked in gaming and do research on the economics of gaming. Do a freaking Proquest or Browzine search and find one. If Roberts has taken on an impossible job, and is burning through money on a chimera, the writer should have been able to find someone willing to talk about that, who doesn’t have to be given a code name from a bad sci-fi movie.

    My irritation with this winner isn’t that it was a bad idea for an article. It was that it seemed to be slapped together too rapidly, and reeked of angry hit piece. Another few months (which is a minimal expectation for investigative pieces) could have made it a promising article.


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