Posts Tagged ‘Nebraska’


SPJ Region 7 launches 2016 SPJ fellowship for student/recently graduated SPJ members

For the past several months, a group of SPJ leaders has been working behind the scenes to develop an SPJ Region 7 fellowship exclusively for SPJ student members and members who have graduated recently.

That fellowship is becoming a reality thanks to a generous grant from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

I am thrilled to announce the SPJ Region 7 Fellowship will launch in summer 2016.

Fellowship recipients will help with the daily journalism tasks of two nonprofit news organizations (either the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, based at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, or Omaha Public Radio, based in Omaha, Nebraska). They will also work on larger capstone projects to be published at his/her host news organization’s discretion.

After the fellowship’s summer portion has ended, recipients will present sessions at the most convenient SPJ spring regional conference in 2017.

Thanks to a grant from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the fellowships will include a stipend of $1,333.33 per month and funds for recipients to use for travel to present SPJ Spring regional conference sessions.

Our selection committee, composed of SPJ professionals from across the country, will choose two fellows who live in Region 7 or are students at/recent graduates of a university within the region. We’ll place one fellow at each organization for three months — beginning in mid-May 2016.

Fellows will meet weekly to discuss their capstone progress. These meetings will also serve as a brown-bag discussion series with journalism professionals to discuss the state of media, answer questions about the news business and more.

The organizing committee established four criteria for eligibility…

  • Fellows must be enrolled in or have graduated from an accredited university within Region 7 (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas) or be resident of a state within the region studying or have graduated from an accredited university outside Region 7.
  • Students who have earned or are earning undergraduate degrees AND graduate degrees will be considered.
  • Fellows must be members of the Society of Professional Journalists and in good standing with the organization. Applicants’ SPJ membership numbers from the national office will be required on the application form.
  • Fellow applicants who have graduated from their institution will be considered up to 18 months after commencement.

Applications and additional details will become available in the fall. Look for more information soon! Until then, feel free to email me any questions you have about the fellowship.

This fellowship would not be possible without the support of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. Visit SPJ.org to learn more about how you can support the foundation.

Region 7 journalists head to Omaha for professional development

Journalists from across the region traveled to Omaha March 27-28 for the 2015 Society of Professional Journalists Region 7 Spring Conference.

Journalists from across the region traveled to Omaha March 27-28 for the 2015 Society of Professional Journalists Region 7 Spring Conference.

The Society of Professional Journalists Region 7 2015 Spring Conference came to a close Saturday at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Journalists from Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska made the trek to Omaha for a weekend of professional development. Organizers held conference sessions about social media, digital, work/family balance and more.

Journalists Mariah Stewart, John Beaudoin, Chase Snider and Ashley Jost discussed their coverage of the protests and police action in Ferguson, Mo. during the SPJ Region 7 conference's keynote presentation.

Journalists Mariah Stewart, John Beaudoin, Chase Snider and Ashley Jost discussed their coverage of the protests and police action in Ferguson, Mo. during the SPJ Region 7 conference’s keynote presentation.

Rob McLean, region 7 director for SPJ, said those who attended the conference had an opportunity to network with colleagues and get a leg-up on their next job hunt.

“One of the best parts about being an SPJ member is the opportunity to make new journalism connections and friends,” McLean said. “As the industry continues to change, those connections can be invaluable when journalists are looking for their next gig.”

The event ended with the regional Mark of Excellence Awards Saturday afternoon, where SPJ recognized the best journalism at the collegiate level within the region.

 

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Marjorie Sturgeon and Jonathan Garcia served on a panel, moderated by Sherrie Wilson, about digital in the newsroom.

Marjorie Sturgeon and Jonathan Garcia served on a panel, moderated by Sherrie Wilson (right), about digital in the newsroom.

University of Nebraska alumnus’ San Francisco Bay Guardian shutters

 

Screen shot 2014-10-15 at 9.52.52 AM

Journalism saw a dark day this week when the San Francisco Bay Guardian announced its current owners would publish its final issue on Thursday.

The situation is heartbreaking. Gone is another publication with a storied past that did a lot of good for the San Francisco community and journalism.

You might ask, “Why is McLean discussing the Bay Guardian? San Francisco is thousands of miles away from SPJ’s Region 7.”

Fair argument, I grant you – but the paper had strong ties to the Midwest. The paper’s founder, Bruce B. Brugmann, is a graduate of the University of Nebraska.

The Columbia Journalism Review profiled Brugmann back in 2012, citing his experience with the The Daily Nebraskan.

“Born in Rock Rapids, IA, Brugmann went to the University of Nebraska hoping to be a hoops star, but wound up at the student newspaper. He met Jean, his future wife, as an undergraduate, and together they hatched the idea of someday publishing a weekly. Brugmann says he was impressed that The Daily Nebraskan, which only came out three times a week, still managed to upset the university power brokers.”

But there seems to be hope for the Bay Guardian. SFGate.com reported Tuesday that the Bay Guardian’s owners could potentially sell the paper.

I hope news of the paper’s death is greatly exaggerated.

Region 7 Career Connection, 10.13.14

Each week, The Heartland Beat will post four journalism jobs from within the region.

Check back next week for a new list of journalism jobs from around the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 7!

Region 7 Career Connection, 09.23.14

Each week, The Heartland Beat will post four journalism jobs from within the region.

Check back next week for a new list of journalism jobs from around Region 7!

Does your newsroom have a job you would like listed on the Region 7 Career Connection? Email Region 7 Director Rob McLean with the information.

Two fledgling chapters take first steps forward

As fall descends on Region 7, interest in SPJ continues to rise, and two prospective chapters are rising as well to meet that interest.

The society finally is gaining traction again in the Cornhusker State, a place where it once was prominent, as the fledgling Omaha-Lincoln chapter reintroduced the society by hosting last month in Omaha a get-to-know-you happy hour for media types, resplendent with swag bags and complementary chili con queso.

Nebraska does not have either a pro or student chapter, and is the only state in the region without them.

Though attendance at the event was modest, co-organizer Rob McLean said “it was a good beginning step to restart the chapter. People are interested, they see we’re here, and that’s the first step.”

“There’s professional interest” in SPJ “in Omaha, and we’ve got students from (the University of) Nebraska who are working with us, too,” Rob said.

To keep it going, Rob, of Hearst Television, and Katie Knapp Schubert, of Omaha Public Radio, are hosting an “election prep” study session at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at NuVibe Juice and Java in Lincoln. Besides refreshments, SPJ will provide election “cheat sheets” with contact information for candidates, as well as other election information and resources.

(Editor’s note: I campaigned for region director in part on the promise to bring SPJ back to Nebraska, and Rob is a former member of the award-winning St. Louis Pro chapter.)

Meanwhile, another fledgling chapter debuts next week at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., with its first function: an Ethics Hold ‘em card tournament, led off by a presentation on professional ethics by Rob Schneider, a Truman State alumnus and presentation director for the Dallas Morning News.

The card tournament features poker matches with cards incorporating ethical ideas and situations, and pits students against each other on their knowledge and understanding of both. Ashley Jost, who’s organizing the tournament and leading the drive for a new chapter, says local businesses are donating prizes to the event.

The tournament goes from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, in the Barnett Hall Atrium. Anyone interested in playing a hand or two for a very good cause can contact Ashley for more details.

__________

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 dsheets@spj.org. 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.

__________

Seeds Planted in Nebraska

Region 7 had a great spring conference in Omaha! We had about 75 participants, which I think is pretty good for a state without a professional chapter.  Speaking of that, I am excited to report that several Nebraska journalists have stepped up to get the ball rolling on reviving the state’s professional chapter.  If you are interested in getting in on this, contact one of the following folks:

Joe Radske, News Director FOX 42: jradske@kptm.com or 402-554-4207

Katie Knapp Schubert, News Director KIOS-FM: katie.schubert@ops.org

Carol Zuegner, Assoc. Professor Creighton University: czuegner@creighton.edu

It’s important to make this chapter a statewide outreach, so even if you’re far from Omaha & Lincoln, I hope you will consider joining SPJ to take advantage of great services and support. In fact, you can join right now! Then, let Joe, Katie or Carol know you’re on board.

Here is my Facebook photo album, showing the original Nebraska Pro Chapter charter for Sigma Delta Chi (SPJ’s original name), which hangs in the halls of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and snaps from the conference.

Omaha=New & Old Friends

So here we are in Omaha.  I thought I would share some pictures of the Region 7 opening night reception at the Doubletree downtown.

All four states in the region were in the house, with journalists from:

Iowa – Waterloo, Dubuque, and Iowa City

Kansas – Wichita & Baldwin City

Missouri – St. Louis, Columbia

Nebraska – Omaha!

Plus, past president of SPJ, Dave Aeikens came down from Minnesota.

More throughout the weekend.

Planting Seeds in Nebraska

In just two days I will be heading to Omaha, Nebraska for the Region 7 Spring Conference. I am really excited about meeting with fellow journalists, journalism students, and anyone else who may show up!

We have a great lineup of sessions planned, which I hope will serve to enthuse and enlighten our attendees.  Another big hope: That by the end of the conference we will have planted the seeds of a new professional chapter for Nebraska.  I heard from Ruth Brown of Nebraska Press Women that there indeed used to be a professional SPJ chapter in the state.  These folks at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln were among the driving forces:

Larry Walklin

John Bender

Charlyne Berens

Tim Anderson

I have invited all of them to attend the conference and hope we can convince them to get involved with SPJ again.  Apparently, the original 1947 charter for the chapter still hangs in the halls of the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications!

We will talk about starting a Nebraska professional chapter at the conference business meeting on Saturday, April 10.  All conference attendees are welcome.

By the way, if you still want to register for the conference, you can do so online now, or on-site (more expensive).

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