SPJ in 2017: The Year in Review

It’s been quite a year for journalism. In 2017, journalists have been arrested, threatened and bullied. They’ve been harassed by sources – and each other. But more than anything, 2017 has been a year when journalists have proven they will continue to do their jobs no matter the obstacles they face.

That’s why SPJ has been hard at work fighting for journalists everywhere, but much of our work is done behind the scenes.

In 2017, SPJ has continued strong advocacy work in fighting for journalists’ rights; recognized amazing works of journalism with our Sigma Delta Chi Awards, Mark of Excellence Awards and many others; launched an Inauguration Day membership drive and continued to partner and support other journalism organizations.

Here are some of our highlights:


We signed onto at least 17 court briefs whose cases would have major effects on journalism this year. We wrote and signed onto a plethora of letters in support of issues that would affect free press, ethical journalism, net neutrality and more. We also committed thousands of dollars from the SPJ Legal Defense Fund this year to journalists facing legal issues.

SPJ spearheaded a letter, signed by 70 journalism and open government organizations, to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence requesting a meeting about government transparency. The groups seek to build on the meeting SPJ led in December 2015 with the Obama administration. To date, however, the Trump administration has not responded.

In February, SPJ – along with Committee to Protect Journalists, Native American Journalists Association, National Press Photographers Association and Online News Association – sent a letter to officials in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to allow journalists to cover the events at Standing Rock safely.

After speaking out against a judge’s actions regarding “prior restraint” in December 2016, SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund Committee granted Isaac Avilucea, a reporter for the (Trenton, New Jersey) Trentonian, $5,000 in March to help with his legal fees. Avilucea obtained a confidential child custody report from the child’s mother. Without giving notice to the newspaper or Avilucea, a New Jersey judge issued an emergency order prohibiting him and the newspaper from publishing information obtained from the complaint. Avilucea won his case in March.

SPJ had its biggest and best Ethics Week in April – with the help of some friends in New York City, we displayed the Code of Ethics on billboards in Times Square. We also had our very first Day of Giving, where we raised $22,025.

Dan Heyman, a West Virginia Public News Service journalist, was arrested in May for questioning Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and White House adviser Kellyanne Conway. SPJ urged West Virginia officials to drop the charges. SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund Committee later granted Heyman’s lawyer, Tim DiPiero, $5,000 to cover his fees. DiPiero, along with the law firm of Wilmer Hale, which worked on a pro bono basis, was instrumental in securing a complete and unconditional dismissal of the charges.

In June, SPJ headquarters staffers and leaders met with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to discuss the importance of journalism and explain what organizations like SPJ do to help the industry. We also joined a group of press freedom groups in filing a formal complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics asking that Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) be disciplined after his assault charge for allegedly “body-slamming” a reporter for The Guardian.

SPJ and 32 other journalism and open government organizations sent a letter in July to Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) urging the Senate Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the state of media in the United States.

Throughout the year, SPJ Ethics Committee Chairman Andrew Seaman shared his thoughts on ethical journalism and the SPJ Code of Ethics, via the Code Words blog. He wrote about journalists speaking out against discrimination; the reasons why journalists are not the dishonest enemies of America like POTUS says; how to cover natural disasters and the situation in Puerto Rico; why journalism organizations and institutions should be held accountable and more.

SPJ joined Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom of the Press Foundation and 17 other press freedom organizations to launch the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. We also launched a website to continue fighting restrictions on information from Public Information Officers.

SPJ raised more than $10,000 for Giving News Day in support of the Legal Defense Fund, the First Amendment Forever Fund, the President’s Club and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

SPJ spoke out against the secretive new owners of LA Weekly and, most recently, compiled and released a list of resources for journalists combating sexual harassment in the newsroom.


SPJ received more than 3,500 entries for the Mark of Excellence collegiate awards. There were 51 national winners across 12 regions. This year, SPJ also introduced a new videography category for the 2017 awards.

SPJ had more than 1,300 entries for the Sigma Delta Chi awards for professional journalists, with 86 national winners. These awards recognize the best of the best in journalism, which truly makes a difference in people’s lives.

Bruce Sanford, longtime SPJ attorney and First Amendment advocate, was given the highest SPJ honor – the Wells Memorial Key. Jerry Seib, Lawrence Pintak and Stephen Shepard were named Fellows of the Society for their extraordinary contributions to journalism. Rochelle Riley was given the $75,000 Pulliam Fellowship in Editorial Writing. Riley plans to spend the next year studying the effect of trauma and a toxic environment on children’s learning.

Ohio University was named the best SPJ campus chapter, and the Press Club of Long Island, Florida Pro Chapter and Cincinnati Pro Chapter were named the best professional chapters of SPJ.


SPJ gained 219 members in response to an Inauguration Day special membership promotion for professional members. Thanks to the “Fight Back” campaign, we’re trending up in membership compared to this time last year, finally reversing a multi-year decline.


More than 1,800 people attended this year’s journalism conference in Anaheim, California. At EIJ17, more than $5,500 was raised for the Legal Defense Fund through the LDF auction, and #EIJ17 was tweeted more than 11,600 times during the three-day conference.


SPJ’s partnerships with other journalism organizations also grew in 2017. Now, SPJ provides association management services such as bookkeeping, communications and conference planning to the American Copy Editors Society, Journalism and Women Symposium, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Society of Environmental Journalists and Radio Television Digital News Association, to name a few. Our work with the “boring office stuff” allows them to focus heavily on their mission, which continues to improve journalism across the board.

SPJ regularly partners with more than 100 other journalism and open government organizations across the country on letters, statements, court briefs, etc. We couldn’t do what we do without them.

We know 2018 will bring more challenges for all of us to fight for the First Amendment, freedom of the press and journalists everywhere. It will also bring more opportunities to share with the public who we are, what we do and how and why we do it.

From all of us at SPJ to all of you, best wishes for a happy, healthy and productive 2018.

January journo jobs

Are you looking for a new journo job for 2016? Finding a job can be difficult and sometimes it’s hard just to figure out where to look. I have compiled a list of job openings that cover a range of experience and locations. Want to find even more jobs? Visit the SPJ Job Bank and follow us on LinkedIn.

*SPJ Region 7 Fellowship: Fellowship recipients will work on daily journalism tasks at one of two nonprofit news organizations: the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, based in Iowa City, Iowa, or Omaha Public Radio, based in Omaha, Nebraska. During the three month fellowship, fellows will work on a large capstone project to be published at his/her host news organization’s discretion. Applications are due Jan. 15. Click here for more information.

Assistant Professor of Communications (San Antonio): Texas A&M University-San Antonio seeks applications from qualified candidates for a full-time, tenure-track appointment beginning in Summer 2016. The appointment is for an assistant professor of communications; specialization sought is broadcast journalism. The college seeks excellence in instruction, research, and service. The regular teaching load is 4/4. Summer teaching assignments may be available but are not guaranteed. Read more about the position here.

Breaking News Editor (Detroit): The Detroit News is seeking a breaking news editor to coordinate our instant digital newsgathering. The ideal candidate is comfortable in a fast-paced environment and thrives on being first. This candidate is a multitasker focused on social media, comfortable reacting to real-time analytics and obsessed with finding the most important breaking and viral stories every day. This person will mobilize journalists on all desks for an aggressive digital news report, as well as work with editors and producers in the management and presentation of our digital platforms. Inquiries should be directed to Dawn Needham, digital news editor, at dneedham@detroitnews.com or (313) 222-1881.

Business Reporter (Detroit): The Detroit News is seeking a business reporter. The successful candidate is hard-driving reporter that would join our award-winning business team. Metro Detroit is home to a rejuvenated downtown with tech startups, new retail and restaurants. This reporter would cover Michigan’s evolving business landscape. Inquiries should be directed to Kelley Root, assistant managing editor/local news, kroot@detroitnews.com or (313) 222-2522.

Development Staff Writer (Sioux Falls): Sanford Health is hiring! The development staff writer position is responsible for producing communications pieces to help aid in development and fundraising efforts for the Sanford Health Foundation on an enterprise level. Some of the responsibilities for this position could include: writing newsletter articles and creating content for social media and websites, interviewing patients and donors to write compelling stories, writing for direct mail fundraising, donor proposals and other pieces as needed.

Features Reporter (Detroit): The Detroit News is looking for an experienced reporter to cover lifestyle and entertainment issues and trends. The ideal candidate will be a strong writer with an eye for detail and a great story and be interested in developing quick-turn stories for our digital platforms as well as and long-form projects. This person should be active in social media. Inquiries should be directed to Felecia Henderson, assistant managing editor/features, at fhenderson@detroitnews.com or (313) 222-2557.

General Assignment Reporter (Detroit): The Detroit News is seeking a general assignment reporter. The successful candidate would join our local news team. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated an ability to produce both breaking news and enterprise stories, be comfortable on social media and a desire to be first on the big stories impacting our community. Inquiries should be directed to Kelley Root, assistant managing editor/local news, kroot@detroitnews.com or (313) 222-2522.

Investigations Team Reporter (Detroit): The Detroit News is seeking a driven, experienced reporter to join our investigations team. This reporter will research, develop, write and produce groundbreaking, exclusive stories resulting from long- and short-term investigative projects. Successful candidates should be multi-taskers who also are able to contribute research and analysis on major breaking news events.

Typical day-to-day tasks include sifting through records and documents, turning complex subject matter into easy-to-understand copy.  Successful candidates will have strong journalistic and editorial judgment, keep up to date on the changing social media spectrum and have computer assisted reporting skills. This reporter must be a team player who can effectively work and discuss stories and story ideas with team members and editors. All inquiries should be directed to Walter Middlebrook, assistant managing editor, wmiddlebrook@detroitnews.com or (313) 222-2429.

Managing Editor, News (San Francisco): KQED in San Francisco is hiring! The managing editor, news, supervises KQED’s news reporting and editing staff and oversees the daily newsgathering efforts to provide timely, high-quality news and feature coverage for TV and radio broadcast, web, video, mobile and public engagement platforms. The managing editor, news, also coordinates coverage with KQED Forum and with KQED Science and KQED Arts. More details here.

Public Affairs Specialist (Washington, D.C.): Make a difference in the federal government! The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is looking for an experienced public affairs specialist to help communicate the mission of the ACHP and the importance of historic preservation in the lives of all Americans. The incumbent will be responsible for outreach directed to federal agencies, national, state and local organizations, officials and organizations and associations that represent the historic preservation community, as well as to the press and other media outlets, and the general public. This is an important role which communicates information about the ACHP’s initiatives, policies, and programs. Read about the job position here. Click here for the application.

Social Media Editor, Digital (New York): Bloomberg Media is seeking an experienced social media editor to manage content promotion and strategy across all social media platforms, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Key responsibilities include identifying, analyzing and communicating audience trends and story recommendations to editors, real-time coverage of breaking news, and working directly with editors to package major stories (from story selection to headline writing to social promotion) to ensure persistent reach and engagement. Read the complete job description here.

Sports Reporter (Detroit): The Detroit News is looking for a versatile journalist to join our award-winning sports department. The ideal candidate will have the ability to work on the copy desk, on digital platforms and handle general assignment reporting duties as needed. Qualified candidates will have strong writing and editing skills, an ability to edit and report on deadline and be active on social media. All inquiries should be directed to Phil Laciura, sports editor, placiura@detnews.com (313) 223-4640.

Vice President of Content (Nashville): The vice president of content manages and oversees Nashville Public Radio’s Programming and Operations departments. The vice president of content is responsible for the design, integrity and success of the content on all of Nashville Public Radio broadcast and non-broadcast services, including WPLN-FM, WFCL-FM, WPLN-AM and associated stations, along with all other delivery platforms. He/she manages and directs local staff and utilizes national sources to create and acquire content that meets the needs of audiences in Middle Tennessee and beyond. He/she provides leadership and participates in the development of our organization’s strategic vision as a member of the senior management team. Reports to the president & chief executive officer. Click here for more information.

The #EIJ15 early bird deadline is coming

The early bird special for Excellence in Journalism 2015 ends Aug. 4. I know I’ve spent the past few days pretending that it isn’t August already, but it is. That means you need to register now to be sure that you make the deadline!

Why should you even attend EIJ15 in the first place?

You’re going to gain a lot of journo knowledge.
You’ll learn about a large variety of topics, from the latest technology trends in the industry to how to ethically cover recent topics, and it’s all taught by highly skilled trainers. You can view all of the breakout sessions online, read about the trainers and look at the entire schedule at a glance. Still need more journo training? Sign up for one of the workshops on Sept. 18. Read all of the descriptions carefully; some have their own deadlines and applications.

There will be plenty of awesome people to meet.
Between breakout sessions and workshops, you can drop by the J-Expo and Career Fair to meet with organizations and even talk about career opportunities. Attend one of the receptions to help honor great journalists and meet conference attendees. You can also find a roommate to save on your hotel room.

You will be better prepared for your job search.
I don’t think that I can mention the J-Expo and Career Fair enough because it’s just that awesome. You can have a professional headshot taken at the J-Expo and Career Fair, too! Before you go speak to recruiters, you can have your career profile critiqued by experts. Need interview practice? There’s a breakout session for that. EIJ15 is a must attend conference if you’re a student, recent graduate or just looking for a new journo job.

You’re also going to have a lot of fun.
You’re going to learn a ton of great stuff at EIJ15 but you’re also going to have a lot of fun. Have you looked at the highlights page? If not to, you need to. Not only are the breakout sessions and workshops about exciting topics, but there are plenty of additional activities to supplement your weekend. Come early to sample wine at Epcot, take a Wild Florida Airboat Tour and dance the night away with other EIJ15 attendees. Come to Orlando and party like a journalist.

Okay, so now you’re convinced to go. So why am I rushing you to register?

Maybe it’s just me being the recent-college grad that I am, but saving up to $200 is a pretty big deal. And to get all of the things EIJ15 as to offer for that low price is incredible.

Here are some ideas on how to use the money saved with the early bird special:

  • Sign up for one of the great workshops offered before EIJ15
  • Stay an extra day at the Orlando World Center Marriott
  • Register for the Wild Florida Airboat Tour
  • Explore one or more of the many attractions that Orlando has to offer
  • Use it toward your transportation costs to EIJ15

Become a better journalist, have a lot of fun and save money. Register for EIJ15 today.

I can’t wait to see you all in Florida!

The face behind the emails, tweets and all things SPJ communications

My name is Maggie LaMar and I am the new Communications Coordinator for the Society of Professional Journalists. I am almost finished with my fourth week here and have already learned so much (and sent members many emails).

I often find myself looking at corporate social media pages or going through a promotional email and wondering about the person who runs it. Have you found yourself doing this with SPJ the past three weeks? Wonder no more loyal SPJ followers!

I’m a 2015 public relations grad from Purdue University. My previous public relations/marketing experience includes internships with Purdue Liberal Arts Career Development, Ivy Tech Community College and Re/Max.

Working for a journalism society, as well as for journalists, has been an exciting three week trip. There are so many similarities between public relations and journalism, and just as many differences. I hope to use all of the skills I learn, as well as the journo knowledge I pick up on, to be a better public relations professional.

I have a few goals with this position:

1) A verified SPJ Twitter account

The tricky thing about this is that no one can just request verification, not even an organization. Verification occurs when Twitter declares a page to be influential. My compromise to this goal would be to continuously post relevant and exciting content for all of SPJ’s followers.

2) Write a blog post regularly

This is a goal that I have complete control over. I will try to provide meaningful blog posts throughout the year that are relevant to SPJ and my positon. As many communications specialists (and journalists) know, that a to-do list can look entirely different at 3 p.m. as it did at 8 a.m. and blogging usually is pushed down the totem pole.

3) Increase membership and EIJ attendance

The marketing side of my position thrives on numerical results. The “success” of my promotional efforts is determined by the response; the amount of people who attend the events or join the society. I hope that I can help SPJ grow as an organization.

4) Communicate effectively

This seems obvious because it’s my job title basically. My goal is to consistently go above and beyond to communicate happenings at the society to members and assist members with their questions and problems.

Fun extras:

  • Every playlist on my iPod (250 gb circa 2007) contains at least one of the following artists: Led Zeppelin, Blink-182, Eminem or Hans Zimmer.
  • I have watched every movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy at least four times (and yes, I read the books).
  • I enjoy hiking and a long list of other outdoor activities.
  • I enjoy cooking and eating equally as much.

I look forward to everything I will learn and experience in my year here at SPJ. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, feel free to email me!

Community engagement in the form of public news meetings

News as we know it is changing, shifting — and hopefully — becoming even more robust. From social media to the Apple Watch, the means by which we receive our news is also constantly changing. One thing that won’t change in the way we gather and receive news is the importance of community engagement.

Without a community of some sort, news can’t exist. There would be no target audience, no local events and most importantly, no input about what is being covered and how by news organizations everywhere.

A recent Q & A done by the International Journalists’ Network about engaging your community via social media got me to think about all the opportunities journalists now have to give and receive feedback digitally with the audiences they serve in their respective communities. But what if tech isn’t the only way to move community news engagement forward?

The Indianapolis Star held its very first public news meeting on Friday at a local coffee shop here in Indy. Here was their intent for the meeting according to their Facebook invite:

“We want to hear what matters to you.

Join the IndyStar news team for Coffee+News as we hold our morning news meeting — in public — at 10 a.m. Friday at Hubbard and Cravens, 4930 N. Pennsylvania St., and join in on the conversation.

Share your story ideas, let us know what matters most to you in our community and meet the people behind the news.

At the very least, have a cup of coffee on us.”

So, I went. I was curious to see the turn out, the vibe, who came, who participated and what staff and attendees had to say.

Overall my initial thoughts had to do with the overcrowded room and the loud coffee shop, but the overcrowded problem is a good problem to have when a news organization seeks community engagement and opinion. More is more. The loud coffee shop problem is just the result of underestimating the number of attendees who were going to show up and only reserving a small room in a rather busy establishment.

Regardless of the logistics, the meeting was interesting. It began with the Indy Star staff being introduced (the staff filling up a lot of the room space making the ratio 2 staff members to every 1 community attendee) and going through what they had planned for the day and the weekend’s news budget. Other than a story about a stage collapsing at a local high school, most of the topics at that point in their news process were filler content, but talking through their thought processes about how they decided what stories to cover, when and how was informative. Kind of a yawner, though. At least for people who are educated in or at least have a small idea of how a newsroom makes content decisions. But, in the spirit of transparency, I guess it was needed.

Then came the comments. The floor was opened up for “audience members” to contribute thoughts, suggestions and ideas for the staff to take into consideration. None of the input really had to do with the weekend’s news coverage. Instead, there was a little bit of agenda pushing about past coverage and future coverage — mainly concerning political issues. Yes, there were a few constructive suggestions about covering more entertainment and sports topics, but not a lot that were of value.

What was of value was the newsroom getting outside of the newsroom. The staff being able to engage with the community face-to-face was invaluable. The community, in this specific room, ranged from early 20 year-olds to late 70 year-olds all with various reasons for attending, from concerned citizen to political candidate pushing.

I talked with Jeff Taylor, the Star’s executive editor and vice president, after the meeting and asked him why they wanted to hold this meeting, something that isn’t done by a lot of news organizations, to which he replied, “Why not give people a chance to see us, be transparent, see how we conduct our news meetings, see what our thought process is and give people a chance to weigh in and ask questions?”

He said the end goals of the meeting for them were:

1. To make themselves visible and accessible to the public

2. To get story ideas and input

3. To give people a chance to tell them what they think about how they do their jobs

Did the Indy Star get some story ideas from the meeting? Possibly. Did those in attendance get a platform to vent frustrations they had with the news organization and praise what they perceived as triumphs? Yes. But, the real benefit at this event was the opportunity it presented — personal community engagement and access.

I think it is worth it for the Indy Star, and other news organizations for that matter, to try it again. Maybe change the location, maybe make it more of an open forum for a conversation rather than an actual news budget meeting, but one thing I wouldn’t change is the opportunity for the personal involvement it gave the public.

Social media is great. I am obsessed, professionally and personally. But, call me old-fashioned, it will never be a substitute for the value that comes when news organizations have face-to-face discussions with who they are serving on a daily basis.

“This really helps make us better journalists and makes us think how people perceive what we do, how people perceive what we write,” Taylor said.

Taylor Carlier Headshot

Taylor Carlier | Photo credit: Matt Thomas

Taylor Carlier is the communications coordinator at the Society of Professional Journalists. She is a 2014 Purdue University graduate of Mass Communication: Journalism and previously was the special projects editor at The Exponent. She can be reached at tcarlier@spj.org or on Twitter at @Taylorcarlier.

Journalists, are you seriously still not scheduling your social media?


Due to the nature of my position with SPJ, I tend to be on social media all day and night. Some of this may be due to my overwhelming addiction to Buzzfeed quizzes about which celebrity would play me in a movie, but mainly this is because SPJ’s social media requires a lot of attention.

I am constantly posting SPJ’s own content, SPJ’s Blogs Network posts, other journalism associations’ content, and journalism-related articles. On top of this, I monitor newsfeeds and reply to followers’ questions — and social media only makes up about a fourth of my duties at SPJ.

In order to maintain my sanity, which arguably could already have been lost in my short 20-some years of existence, I have to schedule most of SPJ’s social media posts. Really, all news organizations and associations with active social media accounts should be scheduling their social media posts. It is not really an option anymore.

So when I started at SPJ in May, I inherited the use of Hootsuite as my scheduler. It got the job done, but I found it cumbersome. Now to be fair, it could all be user error, but I needed something that was a little more intuitive. That’s the day I found Postcron.

Since this time, in June I believe it was, SPJ’s social media has mostly been run via Postcron and all of its social media scheduling abilities. I have also been planning on writing some blog posts about social media since this change, and part of it was going to involve scheduling social media with my suggestion of Postcron as my preferred tool. Coincidentally, Postcron approached me last week to write a post about its services, because of SPJ’s constant use of the platform, in exchange for some free months of its more advanced level.

Ethically, we weighed this decision against SPJ’s Code of Ethics, which states to act independently and disclose conflicts when present. We decided to disclose the conflict and write this post for a few different reasons. Namely, we were already using Postcron for some time, and wanted to get the message across about the importance of scheduling social media. Also, Postcron is the scheduling medium we use and it could potentially help members searching for a good scheduler. SPJ regularly shares tips and tools to make a journalist’s life easier. These factors outweighed the ethical concerns we might have had.

Because digital journalism is in major need of some social media organization, here is what Postcron can do for independent journalists, news organizations, associations and anyone in need of a great social media scheduler.

It’s Free!

Postcron has paid versions, but the free version is plenty for anyone who only needs to promote a few social media accounts and schedule up to 10 posts at one time. Also, with the free version, you can store up to seven Facebook, Twitter and Google + accounts for scheduling purposes. If you have more than seven accounts, you should probably reconsider your social media strategy – fewer accounts and more posts.

Google Chrome Widgets

These three words are literally my best friends for any site that has them available, and it just so happens that Postcron is one of them. You can easily download the Postcron widget and be a lazy social media poster, like myself. Once you have your widget, all you have to do is go to the article or web page you want to share and click your Postcron widget. The Postcron box will pop up on the same page you want to promote, and you can set all of your preferences without going back and forth between multiple browser tabs.

Bitly+Postcron= Social Media Love

If you are tweeting, regardless of whether it is with a scheduler or not, please use Bitly or a link shortener at all times — or at least for the really long web links. Postcron just so happens to make this easier for those who are extra lazy social media users (again referencing myself). You can sync your Bitly account to your Postcron account and your link will auto generate into a shortened Bitly link when you go to post on the scheduler. Talk about killing two steps with one click.

Visual Appeal

Just as much as link shorteners are extremely important for Twitter, images are crucial for Facebook. Postcron makes adding images to your posts a breeze. When you click your Postcron widget on an article with photos or logos on the page, images auto populate for posting. If you don’t like any of the images that come up, upload your own or paste an image URL that you do like. It is that simple. So really, you have no excuse for your bland, extra wordy Facebook post that no one has time to read or cares about.

Time zones and Military Time

Though I obviously have much love for Postcron, as exemplified above, there are a few minor details I could definitely do without. It took me forever to figure out how to get the right time zone for my area correct, mainly because of the military time, which is my other non-favorite time about the scheduler. I think I have been very clear how lazy I want to be about social media, so doing a little math to figure out what non-military time something should post is not ideal. But if the time zone/military time issue is the worst complaint I have, I think I can get over it.

I digress…

Moral of the story is, social media scheduling is a must. Newsrooms, journalists and up-and-coming journalists need to swallow that pill and get on board. So whether you use Postcron, Hootsuite or any other scheduler, just find one that best suits you or your company’s needs and makes your social media posting life as easy and painless as it should be.

Taylor Carlier Headshot

Taylor Carlier | Photo credit: Matt Thomas

Taylor Carlier is the communications coordinator at the Society of Professional Journalists. She is a 2014 Purdue University graduate of Mass Communication: Journalism and previously was the special projects editor at The Exponent. She can be reached at tcarlier@spj.org or on Twitter at @Taylorcarlier.

Sept/Oct: Journo Job & Internship Openings for All!

For Young Journos: How to ‘not fail at journalism’ job finding

Finding a job as a new journalist isn’t easy. You may have to give up your money dreams, location dreams, beat dreams, news medium dreams — basically you might have to give up on all of your dreams, except for the being a journalist one.

So in order to help journalists find a job covering county fairs in the middle of nowhere for right about the poverty line salary, or a job as the next editor of the New York Times, we turned to Kenna Griffin for a #youngjournojobs Twitter chat. She gave tons of amazing advice, but her Twitter typing fingers could only type so fast. So, the assistant professor of Mass Communications at Oklahoma City University, graciously answered some bonus job-seeking questions for me.

Thanks Kenna for all of your hard work helping J-students!

Kenna Griffin Mug

Kenna Griffin

What are the best three websites to find journo jobs?

The best sites for media jobs depend on the type of job you’re seeking. You probably know that I post a list of media jobs on my website, www.profkrg.com every Monday and a list of internships every Friday. But, also, I recommend looking at local journalism organizations’ sites to see if they have job boards. They tend to be more informed than national sites. Journalism Jobs is a good site to look at if you just want to know what’s “out there.” LinkedIn is always a good resource for job-related things.

Is it better to have an online resume, paper or both? Why?

It’s better to have both. This gives you more methods of distributing your information and displays your multimedia mindset. It’s best to have your materials available in whatever format the potential employer desires.

What are the top three qualities news orgs are looking for in the young generation of journos?

News organizations are looking for professionalism, strong foundational skills in writing and reporting and an understanding of multimedia tools with a willingness to adapt to change.

How should young journos go about promoting themselves/their work?

Young journalists should have professional online presences (perhaps including a blog) that they use to display their work and understanding of the industry. They should participate in online discussion groups and Twitter chats related to the industry. They also should attend professional organizations’ networking events in the community in which they live. Establishing themselves as professionals and becoming known is key to establishing a strong career future. And, of course, they should work for student media and take internships for as many clips and professional experiences as possible.

Journos and fashion don’t always mix. What guidelines would you suggest for interviews?

Dress in business attire. Invest in a basic black or navy suit and dress shoes. You can always adapt to a more casual workplace, but it’s tough to undo a negative first impression. A special note from me: Flip flops are never appropriate work attire.

Should writing clips be paper or digital? Best organization of clips?

As I said above about resumes, have both. That way, you can send them in advance or guide a potential employer to your resume site. However, take a portfolio with you to every interview. Also, take a pen and paper. Nothing says “I fail at journalism” like not being prepared to take notes.

If networking=jobs, how do young journos go about networking efficiently?

Join professional organizations. Almost all of them have reasonable student rates. Many of them have local and campus chapters. If so, join both. Get to know as many people as you can in the industry. Attend every professional conference your journalism school provides. Attend dressed up and ready to network. Also, I’ve met so many amazing people through Twitter chats. Twitter has become one of my favorite networking tools. I highly recommend that students participate in some of these chats.

If young journos only have time to market one skill to potential employers, what should they focus on?

Adaptability. Our industry is changing in ways many of us never imagined. Students have to show that they have the basic skills they need now and a willingness to learn whatever storytelling tools the future presents.

Taylor Carlier Headshot

Taylor Carlier | Photo credit: Matt Thomas

Taylor Carlier is the communications coordinator at the Society of Professional Journalists. She is a 2014 Purdue University graduate of Mass Communication: Journalism and previously was the special projects editor at The Exponent. She can be reached at tcarlier@spj.org or interact on Twitter: @Taylorcarlier.

#Youngjournojobs Twitter Chat by the Numbers

SPJ hosted a #youngjournojobs Twitter chat for college and post grad journos in need of job advice on Tuesday. Participation was high and conversation was lively. We hope to be able to conduct a similar chat in the future, because of the success of this first one.

Thank you to everyone who participated, especially Kenna Griffin, who led the chat. The first chat was so successful, that I wanted to share the numbers with everyone. Below is a breakdown of the hashtag from 9/24/2014-10/2/2014.

Impressions: 3,065,061

Tweets: 678




Taylor Carlier Headshot

Taylor Carlier. Photo credit: Matt Thomas

Taylor Carlier is the communications coordinator at the Society of Professional Journalists. She is a 2014 Purdue University graduate of Mass Communication: Journalism and previously was the special projects editor at The Exponent. She can be reached at tcarlier@spj.org or interact on Twitter: @Taylorcarlier.

Words in news, not in life

The world of journalism has its many intricacies, quirks and down right oddities, but one common theme is the frequent use of words that don’t really exist in the common, day-to-day language of average Americans.

Poynter started the whole topic this week when they solicited these commonly used words from their audience and then wrote a post about it. So I could be as cool as Poynter, I did the same with our audience and found some pretty good answers from our Facebook and Twitter followers.

Have more than this list or disagree? Add more words below in the comment section and maybe all of us journos will be a little more conscious of our word choices.

SPJ: What words do journalists use in their writing that many people don’t use in every day language?


Slaying or slain

In the 300 Block of …

Actor, as a police term


Certificates of obligation


Eyes (as a verb)

Gets nod

Set for (rather than scheduled for)





Effective tax rate

Proposed (as in not final)

Feted, fete or fetes





Community leaders

Local residents





And with the possible exception of DC, boots on the ground.

Pan as a verb




Cognitive dissonance

Contusions and lacerations









It is understood

“Preps” to mean high school sports







Flee, fled


Taylor Carlier Headshot

Taylor Carlier. Photo credit: Matt Thomas

Taylor Carlier is the communications coordinator at the Society of Professional Journalists. She is a 2014 Purdue University graduate of Mass Communication: Journalism and previously was the special projects editor at The Exponent. She can be reached at tcarlier@spj.org or interact on Twitter: @Taylorcarlier.


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