Archive for the ‘Cincinnati’ Category

Open Mic Night, journalists’ style

Cool new program from our friends in the Cincinnati chapter of SPJ. From my inbox:

Journalists are used to telling other people’s stories. But for one night, the Cincinnati chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is opening up the stage to allow those folks to tell their own stories.

Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 9 for our inaugural Journalism Cabaret. What’s that, you ask? It’s basically a chance for any and all journalists to share their best stories about being in the profession. They can be funny, sad, enraging, poignant, but as the saying goes in our business, just make ’em interesting. We’ll even have a pianist there for accompaniment if you want. The event will include free appetizers, a cash bar, and chances to win free drinks and other prizes. We’ll also be looking to sign up new SPJ members with prizes and the like (but we promise to keep the sales pitch to a minimum).  

Here are the details:

When: Wednesday Oct. 9 (cocktails start at 6:30 p.m., program starts at 7 p.m.)

Where: Below Zero Lounge, Over-The-Rhine, 1122 Walnut Street, Cincinnati OH 45202.

Questions? Contact chapter president Tom McKee at or vice president James Pilcher at

P.S. Smart move, Tom and James, to open the bar BEFORE the mic. In community theater, we call that liquid courage.

Call for R4 Conference Topics

The folks in Columbus are waaaaay ahead of the pack in planning for the Region 4 Conference next April! How much ahead? They’ve already put out a call for programs. In September. Gonna be a good one. So plan now for a trip to central Ohio April 4-5, 2014. And send all your programming ideas to Central Ohio President Beth Gianforcaro ASAP!

Her call for program ideas will get you started:

This year’s conference will focus on three themes:

1.       Contemporary Issues – Key news or other issues of particular importance to journalists and other communicators;

2.       Tools / Training Needed on the Job – Specific skill-building trainings that journalists and other communicators need to know to do their job well;

3.       Personal / Professional Development— Particular topics that enhance the personal and professional well being of journalists and other communicators.

…. we are seeking recommendations or proposals from you for outstanding speakers who might like to participate in this conference, panelists for a specific topic in one of the three key theme categories. Perhaps you or someone you know or work with would be a good presenter.  We are looking for names, contact information and a brief description of the specific subject matter to which the speaker can address. 

 Please send your e-mail recommendations to me at  by Friday, October 4, 2013. All recommendations will be considered by the 15-member board of directors for the Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists as they finalize plans for the conference.  

 Watch for more conference details at or or follow the event on Facebook.

Great job, Team Columbus!

Miami chapter in high gear

I’d be remiss not to promote what my students are up at Miami University, although many of our plans are, shall we say, still fluid:

On Oct 3, we’ll host “Outside the Classroom,” to promote internships, on-campus media opportunities and the general need to get out there and get busy.

MU-SPJ will also have a hand in these events:

  • ABC News veteran Bill Blakemore will visit Oct. 21-23 and give three talks.
  • Wil Haygood, the Washington Post reporter (and Miami grad) who wrote the story that the new film “The Butler” is based on, will spend time with JRN students and faculty Nov. 4.
  • Doug Haddix, who runs the OSU Kiplinger Program just up the road, will visit Nov. 12, with wife Margaret Peterson Haddix, an author. Both alums, Doug will visit JRN classes and give a talk, with Margaret spending the day with English students and faculty.
  • We’re also chasing NPR’s Mara Liasson, who’ll be in town Nov. 13-14, in hopes of doing a joint chat with students at Miami and the University of Cincinnati.


Cincy planning busy fall

Cincinnati Chapter Prez Tom McKee reports a busy fall in the Queen City:

Sept. 24: Nostalgia Night Mixer, aka “Journalism Karaoke.” (Mmmmm, who will dare?)

Sept. 26:  Lunch With The Pros with University of Cincinnati students.

September TBA: Lunch With The Pros with Northern Kentucky University students.

October TBA: “Internship Night” with area universities.

October TBAs:  Repeats of the Lunch With The Pros at UC and NKU. (Hey, Tom, don’t forget us up the road in Oxford, at Miami University!)

November TBA: Forum with Congressional reps from Greater Cincinnati and/or forum with whoever wins the Cincinnati’s mayor race.

Interested? Wanna help? Contact Tom at

Region 4 and 5 SuperRegional Registration now open!

The registration is now OPEN for the SPJ Regional Conference, April 1-2, 2011, at the METS Center in Northern Kentucky.

Early bird registration is among the least expensive SPJ regional conferences in the country, with a lineup of rock-star speakers designed to inspire and teach. You can find a link to registration here: Registration is $50 for student SPJ members, and $70 for SPJ pro members. This early bird price is only good through March 4 – so grab your seat fast. You can also find a link to the conference hotel on that same page.

You can find a lengthy description of the conference on the Event Brite site, which will be updated as we continue to line up speakers. We’re excited to announce our keynote speaker, Jonathan Katz, AP International Desk reporter, who will discuss his work in Haiti during the earthquake and subsequent humanitarian crisis.

Students will receive their Mark of Excellence Awards at the conference, which covers seven states: Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We’ll also provide an opportunity for student members to get their work critiqued during the afternoon of Saturday, April 2. We will also be offering newsroom tours of The Cincinnati Enquirer and WCPO-TV, the local ABC affiliate.

Questions? Let us know. We’re here to help.


James Pilcher, Region 4 Director

Cell: 513-378-3203 or

Robyn Davis Sekula, Louisville Chapter President

812-981-8223 (office/home)

502-608-6125 (cell)

Out with Queen City

The board of the Queen City Professional Chapter has voted to change its name to
the Greater Cincinnati Professional Chapter, a name board members said better represents the group.

Cincinnati picked up the nickname, “Queen City,” by the 1820s, according to the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. Residents proud of the city’s development dubbed it the “Queen of the West.”

The name change requires approval of the executive committee of SPJ’s board of directors, which grants chapter charters. The executive committee next meets in January.

Get more info on the chapter from its December newsletter.


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