Greg Moore

The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition will present Gregory Moore, former editor of The Denver Post, with the Jean Otto Friend of Freedom Award at a fundraising luncheon at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, at the Denver Consistory, 1370 Grant St., Denver.

The award recognizes someone for sustained and/or significant contributions to open government and First Amendment causes in Colorado. It honors the legacy of Jean Otto, a long-time editor and reader representative at the Rocky Mountain News who founded the CFOIC in 1987 and was a tireless advocate for First Amendment and freedom-of-information rights.

Tickets are $30 per person, and additional tax-deductible contributions to CFOIC are appreciated.

For information on how to order tickets, please contact CFOIC at this link.


Please join SPJ Colorado Pro and other journalism organizations for a mixer from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Denver Press Club. A cash bar will be available and all are welcome. Keep an eye on this website for more details, and R.S.V.P. through Facebook to invite your friends.

Street parking is available near the club, which is located at 1330 Glenarm Place in Denver.

Scholarship season is just around the corner, and this year Colorado SPJ Pro has opened the competition to eligible graduating high school seniors, as well as to eligible undergraduate students.

Colorado SPJ Pro offers two scholarships each year, the Sheldon Peterson Award for broadcast journalism and the Helen Verba Award for print journalism. Each award may be for up to $2,000. The deadline for applying is Jan. 31, 2017.

Click here to read more about eligibility and how to apply.

Educators can download flyers here:

For more questions about the contest, contact Adrian Garcia at Garcia.d.adrian@gmail.com or at 720-288-9175.

Mark your calendars for two upcoming programs featuring Pulitzer Prize winners as part of The Pulitzer Prize Centennial project:

Fort Collins event

Joanna Bean

Joanna Bean and Stephanie Swearngin – two key figures in 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting by The Gazette in Colorado Springs – will be featured in a program at the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

The program will be free and open to the public. A reception at 6:30 p.m. will precede the one-hour program in the Coloradoan Cafe.

The event is limited to the first 70 to RSVP via Facebook, or to lgustus@coloradoan.com

The Gazette’s 2013 series of articles and photos – titled Other Than Honorable – documented the story of three soldiers, among a wave of many more, who were discharged from the Army for misconduct likely related to injuries they sustained in combat. The Pulitzer was for National Reporting.

“Our program, ‘It takes a team to win a Pulitzer,’ will focus on the large team and the teamwork behind the project and what it took to pull it off,” Bean said.

The Coloradoan, Colorado State University, Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Colorado Press Association and KUNC are sponsoring the Sept. 27 program.

Grand Junction event


Tom Hallman

Join Tom Hallman, a senior reporter for The Oregonian, The Daily Sentinel and Colorado Mesa University for an evening to discuss the stories behind his prize-winning stories.

Hallman’s poignant profile of a disfigured 14-year-old boy who elected to have life-threatening surgery earned Hallman the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2001. He then authored the book, “Sam: The Boy Behind the Mask.”

The event is free and will be held in the University Center 235 West Ballroom at Colorado Mesa University. Seating is limited.


Three former Rocky Mountain News staffers – photographer Barry Gutierrez (left); reporter Jim Sheeler and photographer Linda McConnell – presented two programs on Sept. 13 at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley as part of the Pulitzer Prize’s 2016 Centennial. McConnell worked on the newspaper’s 2000 Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Columbine High School shootings. Gutierrez worked on the 2003 prize-winning coverage of Colorado’s wildfires. Sheeler wrote the 2006 prize-winning Final Salute coverage. The Sept. 13 afternoon program was for UNC’s journalism students and faculty. The evening program was free and open to the public. UNC’s Journalism & Media Studies department, Greeley Tribune, Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, KUNC public radio and the Colorado Press Association sponsored the programs.

Linda McConnell, Barry Gutierrez and Jim Sheeler- three key figures in Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage by the Rocky Mountain News – will be featured in a program at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept, 13, at the University Center on the University of Northern Colorado campus.

The program, part of the Pulitzer Prize’s 2016 Centennial, will be free and open to the public.  A reception at 6:30 p.m. will precede the one-hour program in the Pikes Peak Ballroom in the University Center.

The News won a Pulitzer in Breaking News Photography in 2000 for its coverage of the Columbine High School shooting and in 2003 for its coverage of Colorado’s wildfires. McConnell and Gutierrez were staff photographers on both projects.

Sheeler won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for Final Salute, his reporting on  Marines who died in combat in Iraq and their families. Former News photographer Todd Heisler won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his photos that accompanied Sheeler’s stories. Heisler’s photos will be shown at the Sept. 13 program.

The Pulitzer Prize Centennial project “is a grassroots, nationwide endeavor to reinforce the journalistic, literary and cultural values represented by the Pulitzer Prizes and inspire upcoming generations to pursue them,” according to the Pulitzer Prize board at Columbia University. Local organizations were recruited to arrange  programs in their states “as an opportunity not only to celebrate the Prize’s history, but also to spark a national conversation about how we, collectively, can strengthen the values represented by the Prizes as we move into a new era.”

UNC’s Journalism & Media Studies program, The Tribune, Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Press Association and KUNC are sponsoring the Sept. 13 program. The Mildred Hansen Endowment generously provided funding for the Journalism & Media Studies’ sponsorship.

Previous programs, featuring Pulitzer Prize winners from The Denver Post and The (Colorado Springs) Gazette, were conducted in Denver and Colorado Springs. Other programs in the series will be Sept. 27 in Fort Collins and Sept. 28 in Grand Junction.

The Sept. 13 program will feature a 12-minute video provided by the Pulitzer Board at Columbia University, PowerPoint slide shows by McConnell, Gutierrez and Sheeler, and a discussion about the prize-winning projects with a question-and-answer session with the audience.

McConnell, a photojournalist for more than 30 years, was a photographer at the News for 25 years. She has a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and an MFA degree in photography and painting from the University of Denver where she also was an adjunct professor.

Gutierrez,  on the News photo staff from 1999 to 2009, graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in photojournalism. He has freelanced for numerous news organizations including CNN, Fox News, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, People, Sports Illustrated, New York Times and Washington Post.

Sheeler graduated with a degree in journalism from Colorado State University and earned a master’s degree in journalism from CU-Boulder. He now teaches at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

The News won four Pulitzer Prizes from 2000 to 2009. The newspaper ceased publishing in February 2009, less than two months shy of its 150th anniversary.

Leticia Steffen has been a journalism adviser for 12 years and involved in SPJ since 2008.



Leticia Steffen, chairwoman of the mass communications program at Colorado State University-Pueblo, could be the next Campus Adviser At-Large for the Society of Professional Journalists national organization.

The associate professor and CSU-Pueblo Today adviser joined the CSU-Pueblo mass comm department in 2004, and has since seen the struggles facing journalism educators. It’s why she decided to run for the seat.

“I have experienced first-hand the challenges student journalists and their advisers face in maintaining journalistic integrity in light of university administrators’ failure to understand the important, independent role of student journalism,” Steffen said in her campaign bio for the election, which will be taking place in September.

“As the Campus Adviser At-Large, I want to ensure that the SPJ board acknowledges campus and, especially, student impact as the board makes decisions and considers policies.”

Steffen has served SPJ in several different capacities since 2008. From 2008-2014 Steffen was the Colorado Pro secretary and still helps organize the chapter’s scholarships.

If Steffen wins the seat — she’s up against Chris Delboni at Florida Atlantic University — that would put two Coloradans on the national board. Colorado Pro chapter past president Ed Otte is running unopposed for Region 9 director.

The following is a brief email interview with Steffen about her bid for the Campus Adviser At- Large position.

How important is SPJ at the collegiate level?

SPJ is vital at the collegiate level. The SPJ Code of Ethics provides the foundation for helping college journalists understand how to handle the complex challenges of the profession. I think every journalism course being taught at the college level touches on issues that the code addresses. I also feel that the programming provided by local chapters, along with regional conferences, are excellent opportunities for college journalists to network and obtain valuable skills and knowledge about current issues in the profession. The SPJ’s Mark of Excellence Awards are a great way to recognize the work being done by college journalists in programs of all sizes.

What is the biggest issue facing journalism education?

The biggest issue facing journalism education is balancing the important foundations needed in the field (excellent, clear writing; sound ethics; thorough reporting; fulfilling the watchdog role of journalism) with the technological skills that entry-level journalists are expected to have (e.g., social media, audio/video) and balancing all of these expectations with the real challenge that the profession faces: remaining relevant in this competitive age of information/entertainment overload.

Many journalism programs don’t have the resources or faculty to cover all of these things, so it becomes more important for educators to find ways to work with professional organizations like SPJ and local media outlets to help educate and train students in the realities of the profession.

You’re at a school that has a very small journalism program, does that allow you to see journalism education through a different lens?

In terms of resources, I think coming from a smaller journalism program makes you realize that you can’t teach students EVERYTHING they’ll need to know going into the profession. We try to instill the important journalism foundations, which I mentioned in response to the first question, but we have to be a little more creative in terms of providing students with the rest of what they need to be prepared for the profession.

Our students have benefitted from a variety of internship opportunities and from occasionally attending workshops or training sessions offered by the SPJ Colorado Pro chapter, Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and Colorado Press Association. I’ve been thrilled to see many graduates from our program thrive as professional journalists. Even though they graduated from a smaller journalism program, they are able to be just as effective and successful in the profession as students who may have graduated from larger programs with more resources.

In your reason for running you said you’ve encountered the challenges students and advisers face with college administrations. What kind of resources make better journalism advisers, and ultimately better journalism programs?

Legal resources are crucial. The Student Press Law Center, Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, SPJ Colorado Pro chapter and Colorado Press Association have all been very helpful in terms of providing resources and workshops/discussions on legal issues for me and my students.

I think more students should be encouraged to attend these sessions or have speakers from these groups come to their campuses so students can share the specific issues they may be facing and get advice and support. I know that efforts are being made to strengthen the relationships between journalism programs and professional journalism organizations/working journalists, but I’d like to see those relationships grow even more. I think the SPJ could play a big role in bringing journalism at all levels — from high school (and earlier) to colleges to working professionals — together so we can keep the journalism profession vibrant and relevant.