Archive for the ‘Ohio’ Category

Cleveland asks who owns public records

The Cleveland chapter is staying busy, with another great program set for March 11, titled “Access to Public Records: Whose Are They?” Here’s the details from the chapter’s “Writer’s Week” e-newsletter, from a posting by chapter president Rodney Bengston:

Public records. Who do they belong to?  The logical answer appears to be – the public.            

But things are not always that simple. As mentioned in an earlier column, there was a little controversy a couple of months ago, when the Cleveland Heights police withheld information from a Northeast Ohio Media Group reporter. That issue will be up for discussion at our next Cleveland SPJ event, on Tuesday, March 11 at 7 p.m. at John Carroll University, which is co-sponsoring the event.

The panel will include:   

  • Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeffrey E. Robertson.
  • Reporter Adam Ferrise of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
  • Attorney David Marburger of BakerHostetler, who represented the Northeast Ohio Media Group in this case.


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

Cleveland hosts timely ‘entrepreneur’ session

Hats off to the Cleveland chapter for a very timely program, in the wake of cuts at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. From the Constant Contact email:

From Newsroom to Entrepreneurship

“Perhaps you’re a journalist who has just lost a job, and you decide it’s time to strike out on your own. Where can you get start-up money? That’s the focus of Cleveland SPJ chapter’s Sept. 21  program “From Newsroom to Entrepreneurship.” It will focus on the nuances of applying for grants to launch non-profit ventures. It will be conducted by Fran McCaffrey, grants developer for Lorain County Community College, and will focus on writing grant proposals for Cleveland’s major philanthropic foundations. The event is free, but registration is requested.”

For more info or registration link, visit

Columbus chap co-host of ‘Law & the Media’

The Central Ohio SPJ chapter’s got it going on! Not only is the board deep into planning for the Spring Region 4 conference in Columbus, it is serving as co-sponsor for an Oct. 4 event called Law & the Media, hosted by the Ohio Bar Association.

According to chapter prez Beth Gianfacaro, Ohio journalists, lawyers, judges and academics will attend to discuss media law issues. On the agenda:

* Plenary session about the lasting impact of a U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting student press freedom and current newsgathering challenges.

* Problems and opportunities regarding access to government records and the current state of public records law in Ohio.

* How does a journalist cover a school shooting or a juvenile crime?

* How has the Internet affected journalism and how do journalists practice in this changing environment?

* Media Law 101: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

* Lawyers and journalists: how to improve interactions between the professions.

Download the complete program and registration form at



Inactive R4 chapters

One more item for the day:

The National Board agenda included much discussion on inactive chapters — with even more discussion about pulling the charter of the Philadelphia chapter for lack of activity.

In Region 4, the following chapters (all student ones) are now considered INACTIVE. That does not mean their charters are revoked, but simply that they are not currently operating.

I will be reaching out to J Programs at all these  institutions, but if you have any help info on any of the chapters, please be in touch.

  • Bethany College
  • California University of Pennsylvania
  • Central Michigan University
  • Cleveland State University
  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
  • Lorain County Community College
  • Otterbein College
  • Shepherd University
  • Shippensburg University
  • University of Toledo
  • Wayne State College

Dateline: Oxford, Ohio

Region 4 director Patti Newberry, MU-SPJ president Amanda Schumaker and MU Journalism Program Director Richard Campbell participated in Bill Keller’s public lecture on campus. (Photo by Samantha Kermode)

Bill Keller, the Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times who served as executive editor from 2003-2011, spent part of his Oct. 29-31 trip to campus reporting for a column. Among his interviewees: Profs of Miami grad and veep hopeful Paul Ryan. No telling what he’ll write up for his next column — due to appear Monday, a day before the Big Election — but it’s sure to be political. Students and faculty are both eager to see the fruits of his Oxford reporting.

When he wasn’t off working for The Times, Keller was working for the Miami Journalism Program. He gave a public talk on Monday, fielding questions about Judy Miller, WMDs, Jayson Blair, NSA, Wikileaks and more. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he talked to three classes. In between the visits and the interviews, he dined on shrimp (dinner at the Miami president’s house), noshed pizza (lunch with JRN students) and drank coffee (Starbucks was among his interview venues).

He also posed for LOTS of photos, including a series of grip-n-grins at the presidents’ dinner.

Good sport. Good guest. Gracious, generous — with thoughtful, reflective responses to every question we put to him.

Next big names on campus: First Lady Michelle Obama on Saturday; traveler writer Rick Steves, Nov. 12.

[A Post-Script: Keller’s column, with the headline “Republican id,” focused on the conservative bent of Miami students with an extended interview with Rich Hart, an econ prof and mentor to Ryan. ]


Social Media Summit to rock OSU

The Central Ohio chapter of SPJ and the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at Ohio State University are teaming up to present “Social Media Summit” Nov. 13-14 at OSU. For $50, participants will learn from what Kip director Doug Haddix calls “the rock stars of social media.”

Social media gurus from Twitter, LinkedIn, ABC News, The New York Times, Gannett, Digital First Media, the Reynolds Center for Business Journalism, Investigative News Network and other news orgs will lead sessions over the two days. Want more? Visit for all the details. Can’t spare two days? Go for one at $30.


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