Archive for May, 2018


We’d Rather Be in Philadelphia

Former National President and current NJPro Prez John Ensslin.

Matt Katz of WNYC tells a great Chris Christie story

Jodie Gil and Mike Savino of Connecticut.

Former National President Irwin Gratz.

Roiy Gutterman comes down from Syracuse U. for every Regional to share his wisdom.

Students at the legal panel.

 

Former National President Keven Z. Smith speaks on current apps for journalists.

Region 1 volunteers put together another terrific conference April 21 and 22 in Philadelphia.

Philly’s chapter was discontinued several years ago and it has been a personal crusade of mine to bring it back. I’m not sure if the Regional alone can accomplish that, but we did attract city journalists and students, so I think we are on track at least to bring in a number of active members to Keystone Pro.

Speaking of Keystone, I want to thank Pat Trosky, Keystone Pro president, for her planning expertise and hard work. Pat is a wiz at finding the perfect venues and arranging catering and the multiple details that nobody thinks about when they attend a regional. And NJPro President John Ensslin had the idea to do a two-day Saturday and Sunday regional rather than the traditional Friday night/Saturday event. It gave us room for more sessions. John’s contacts brought in some terrific speakers.

And, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Denise Ensslin who corralled the student volunteers and held down the fort at the Annenberg Hall Atrium. I know I will leave out some volunteers but thanx to Miri Ascarelli, Melissa Francis, Claire Regan, Tricia Couture, and the great cadre of student volunteers, especially Evan the sports editor who managed to teach the “grown-ups” how to work a recalcitrant copy machine.

We had two super keynoters. Matt Katz, superhero of Chris Christie coverage, spoke on his transition from print to radio. Bill Marrimow of the Philly Inquirer told some great stories of his career at a brunch in the spacious and airy public room of the newspaper.

Workshops concentrated on tools we need to keep up with the times. We brought in former SPJ National President and Ethics Guru Kevin Z. Smith, director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism with his Digital Dirty Dozen new apps for journalists. Vix Reitano presented one of her Google Tools sessions, Roy Gutterman, our favorite lawyer, once again combed the murky corners of libel law. Frank LoMonte, another favorite attorney, gave a program on student press rights and the New Voices bills in New York and New Jersey.

One of the most exciting events was a two-day Hack-a-thon designed to bring in diverse voices. It succeeded in bringing up diversity issues and bringing together people who are committed to diversity. It was conceived of and run by two of SPJ’s rising stars, Keem Muhammad and Kim Chin. It’s so exciting when our young members take the initiative,

The 2019 Regional is in the capable hands of the New England Chapter, specifically NE Chapter President Jordan Frias with a committee consisting of former National President Irwin Gratz and two students from Roger Williams, Brett Johnson and Kayla Ebner. Which doesn’t mean they won’t need the imagination and energy of volunteers from all over New England and the region. We owe our series of great regional conferences to our ability to collaborate.

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