john camperStudents and SPJ members are invited to attend a Fireside Chat with John Camper, newly appointed director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Camper, who will speak on law enforcement perspectives of media and on modern policing trends in Colorado, was appointed to his current position in October after nearly four decades, including his most recent post as chief of the Grand Junction Police Department.

R.S.V.P. for the event on Facebook.


SPJ Colorado Pro is excited to host the SPJ Region 9 Conference in Denver in 2018.

This year, we’re feating a weekend of Excellence in the Rockies. Whether you’re looking to learn new skills, hone the ones you already have or make new connections in the industry, it’s time to plan your trip.

After the sessions, grab a bite to eat and meet us at The Denver Press Club for the Top of the Rockies awards ceremony. We’re celebrating the best journalism in the region.

This post will be updated as more details become available. 


Visit this website to order tickets to the conference — as a whole or a la carte. Let us know you’re coming on Facebook!


All sessions for the Excellence in the Rockies conference will be held in the Tivoli Student Union on Auraria Campus, 900 Auraria Parkway in Denver. All sessions will in one of three rooms in the center: Senate Chambers, Adirondacks and LoRaine Good.

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Tivoli Student Union, 900 Auraria Parkway. Photo provided by the Auraria Higher Education Center


Friday April 20:
1 p.m.: Facebook Training by Raymond Ruiz

1 p.m.: Google Training by Abigail Edge

Saturday April 21:

9 a.m. in the Adirondacks: Welcome session.

9:15 to 10 a.m. in the Adirondacks: Opening Panel – Reporting on Sexual Harassment

From Hollywood to state legislatures and everywhere in between, the topic of sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement has become a permanent fixture in the newscycle. A panel will speak to building sources, fact-checking and journalism ethics in instances of sexual harassment.

10:15 to 11 a.m. in the Senate Chambers: The Political Poll in 2018

In an election year polls can be a reporting necessity. But following the 2016 presidential election many questioned how much reporting should lean on polls. Political reporter veterans and polling experts examine what happened in 2016 and how to avoid the pitfalls of polling this November.

10:15 to 11 a.m. in LoRaine Good: So You Want to Start a Podcast

Here’s where you start. Tips and tricks on creating a concept, writing for broadcast and producing a podcast based on original reporting.

11:15 a.m. to noon in the Senate Chambers: Free Tools for Breaking News and Audience Engagement

As social platforms constantly change so does audience engagement, and that means so does getting breaking news to your audience. Social media gurus talk how to get the most out of social media when news breaks. They’ll also share the best apps for when you’re on the scene.

11:15 to noon in LoRaine Good: Cracking Public Records

Getting government documents, whether it be local, state or federal, can be tricky. But ultimately worth the work to make a good story even stronger. Or, it can be the basis for a report. Veteran reporters who are Freedom of Information pros share how they delve into government documents and make the most out of what is available to public.
12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in the Adirondacks: Lunch and the Mark of Excellence 
1:45 to 2:30 p.m. in the Senate Chambers: Incorporating HTML into Reporting
There’s no other way to put it: Basic coding knowledge is a part of journalism. Computer assisted reporting journalists who work with code, specifically HTML, everyday share the basics for those who are just starting to learn about the tool and its use in journalism. You’ll acquire tips and tricks in addition to a list of ways to incorporate HTML into reporting and how/where to learn it moving forward.
1:45 to 2:30 p.m. in the LoRaine Good: Freelancing 101
That side hustle? Going rogue and doing the freelance thing full time? This is a session you won’t want to miss. Veteran freelancers spill on how to get started, form a pitch and stay organized on your freelance journey. Advice will range from how to interact with editors to getting paid.

2:15 to 3:15 p.m. in the Adirondacks: Campus Coverage Roundtable

A brainstorm session for how to bolster coverage of higher education from student journalists. Leticia Steffens, mass communications chair and a SPJ at-large campus adviser, leads a roundtable on issues facing student journalism in Region 9. Students and educators are encouraged to talk about issues facing their student newsrooms.
2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in LoRaine Good: Getting Down to Business
How do you best report on a private company? What’s available to you as a reporter? Business experts and reporters weigh in on how to get documents, where to look for information and what elevates good business reporting to great business reporting.
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Adirondacks: Resume Review
Polish up your resume and bring a copy for this round robin review session with a group of seasoned professionals. Reporters and editors from across different media have volunteered to review student resumes during an hour-long session to cap off the conference. College students not attending the conference may still attend the resume review free of charge.

Have questions? Message or email! karalmason(at)gmail(dot)com.

Top of the Rockies

TOR2018 imageJoin us as we announce the winners from this year’s Top of the Rockies contest in Region 9. This is the best journalism in New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.


The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 20 at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place in Denver.

Contest results will be announced on our website later in the evening.

Please let us know via Facebook that you will be in attendance so we can plan accordingly.
We’ll also honor the winners of SPJ Colorado’s First Amendment, Educator of the Year, Keeper of the Flame and Journalist of the Year awards.

gj event

From left, Ian Neligh, Carla Jean Whitley and Steve Knopper talk about their experiences writing and publishing books during careers mostly focused on newspaper and magazine writing Sunday, Feb. 11 at the Mesa County Library Central Branch in Grand Junction.

Turnout was low but conversation robust at a Feb. 11 SPJ Colorado Pro event in Grand Junction featuring three Colorado reporters-turned-authors.

Steve Knoppera Rolling Stone contributing editor and author of “MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson”  and “Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Business in the Digital Age”Ian Neligh, editor of the Clear Creek Courant and author of “Gold! Madness, Murder, and Mayhem in the Colorado Rockies”; and Carla Jean Whitley, features editor at the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent and author of “Birmingham Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Magic City” and “Music Shoals Sound Studio: How the Swampers Changed American Music” spoke at length about the process of researching, writing and publishing their full-length books.

Please join SPJ Colorado Pro for an event Sunday, Feb. 11, in Grand Junction.

Three Colorado journalists who have written published non-fiction books will speak on the process of moving from newspaper or magazine writing to taking on longer form projects. This event, which is is free and open to the public, will be held:

When: 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11

Where: The Central branch of the Mesa County Library, 443 N. Sixth St., Grand Junction, Colorado, The Monument Room.

Light refreshments will be served.



Steve Knopper mug

Steve Knopper

Steve Knoppera Rolling Stone contributing editor and Denver resident, is the author of “MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson” (Scribner, 2015) and “Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Business in the Digital Age” (Free Press, 2009).


Ian Neligh Mug

Ian Neligh

Ian Neligh, editor of the Clear Creek Courant and a resident of Bailey, is the author of “Gold! Madness, Murder, and Mayhem in the Colorado Rockies” (Westwinds Press, 2017).


Carla Jean-mug

Carla Jean Whitley

Carla Jean Whitley, features editor at the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent and a former Alabama resident, is the author of “Birmingham Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Magic City” (The History Press, 2015) and “Music Shoals Sound Studio: How the Swampers Changed American Music” (The History Press, 2014).

The SPJ Colorado Pro board is accepting nominations for our four major awards until Jan. 20, 2018. This is a chance for us to publicly recognize excellent journalists in our midst and we welcome our members’ input. Please consider whether there is somebody you know who you believe fits the bill. The awards are:

– Palmer Hoyt Journalist of the Year, which recognizes general excellence in journalism

– Keeper of the Flame, which recognizes a distinguished career in journalism

– First Amendment, which recognizes work protecting free speech, open records and government transparency

– Journalism Educator of the Year, which recognizes dedication to the education of young journalists

Please send us your nominations by emailing news@spjcolorado.com by the end of Jan. 20. Include a short bio of the nominee, an explanation of why you are nominating them for the award and, if applicable, links to their relevant work from the last year.

Winners will be announced at the Top of the Rockies award reception April 21 in Denver.

Top of the Rockies 2018 is now live! Visit our contest page for details like contest categories.

The contest portal will remain live until Saturday, Jan. 20 (make sure you select “2018 Top of the Rockies”). Please get your contest entries in early, as technical difficulties do arise.

Entries are $15 each, payable via PayPal.

Questions or problems with the portal? Contact our eternally patient contest chair, Deb Hurley Brobst, at dchurley@aol.com.