SPJ in the COVID-19 Age

SPJ remains in COVID-19 mode, along with the rest of the world.

But even in lockdown, with staff and board members mostly working from home, we’re focused on serving members:

  • We’ve hosted two online discussions with the next one tomorrow. If your schedule allows, please join SPJ Executive Director John Shertzer and IRE Executive Director Doug Haddix, with a panel of four health reporting pros, at 2 p.m. ET for “Fact-Checking Coronavirus Stories.”
  • We launched the Collegiate Coronavirus Coverage contest, attracting nearly 500 entries from about 160 news organizations in our first two weeks. If you’re a student or work with students covering the story, we’d love to have your entries. It’s free with a weekly 11:59 p.m. Friday deadline.
  • We’ve released results of seven of our regions’ Mark of Excellence competitions. With 11 of our 12 regional conferences canceled, we are missing in-person celebrations of our students – but are happy to share news of their MOE wins with the world.
  • We’re accepting nominations for most of our big national member awards (among others) through this coming Monday.
  • We’re continuing to feed the special COVID-19 front page on spj.org – with dozens of helpful resources. Of note: a full, frequently updated calendar of online seminars related to virus coverage; our  “Journalist’s Toolbox” page with dozens of resources to enrich your reporting; and a jobs page if you are on the hunt for a new position.
  • We’re staying on top of dramatic and disheartening changes in the industry – mostly via our Twitter feed and the weekly SPJ Leads newsletter – as news orgs close or cut jobs from coast to coast. This Poynter Institute update is crushing to read, but important to know.
  • We’re tracking conversations about what might be ahead for journalism – with renewed interest in the possibility of government funding.
  • Soon, we’ll join other pro-press groups and launch an initiative for members to help members who are finding themselves under- or unemployed because of the pandemic.

At present, your boards (SPJ and its foundation) are prepping for their April 18 online meetings. Both will be livestreamed with a link coming soon on our board meetings page. The foundation board will meet 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET, with the SPJ board following, 3-6 p.m. We’ll get out the agendas, with supporting documentation, next week at this time. The SPJ meeting will include time for public comment and questions.

Among our topics: good news on SPJ’s database needs; less good news on the financial  front as we continue to grapple with a deficit position in our operating budget.

The boards will also talk about two of our largest annual priorities – the awards dinner for our annual Sigma Delta Chi competition in June, and the annual Excellence in Journalism conference, set for Sept. 10-12. Both are still on the calendar. But as with everything in this COVID-19 climate, it’s hard to predict the near-term future.

We’ll let you know, of course, if those plans change.

Wishing you and yours good health and fortune in these most unsettling of times.

 


Defending the First Amendment and promoting open government are more crucial now than ever. Join SPJ's fight for the public’s right to know — either as an SPJ Supporter or a professional, student or retired journalist.


comments powered by Disqus

Connect

Twitter Facebook Google Plus RSS Instagram Pinterest Pinterest LinkedIn


© Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ