November Newsletter

Society of Professional Journalist’s Colorado Pro Chapter

“I Wonder Where that Car is Going?”

That’s what the 20 or so guests of Colorado Pro’s first Fireside Chat of the season at the Denver Press Club learned from Kevin Vaughan about the natural curiosity that should drive all journalists. A relative of Vaughan’s used to say that and it became his catch phrase for wanting to know more. That drive led to more than 25 years of award-winning journalism for Vaughan at Colorado newspapers, including the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News.

He talked about the wanting to get back to that investigative journalism and writing stories, which fueled his recent decision to leave the Denver Post as its City Editor and write for the Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network (

“I wanted to help build something important that will be a part of Denver’s journalism future,” Vaughan told the college students and longtime journo veterans of the organization’s goal of public service journalism that makes an impact. He also gets a chance to team-up again with former Rocky Mountain News editor Jim Trotter.

Vaughan offered this story-telling advice: “If your story were a movie, what would it look like? Describe the opening scene and what kind of movie it is, a mystery?”

He also said the need for strong, independent reporting has never been greater.

“There’s a vacuum of critical information people need,” he said.

Guests included first-time visitors to the Denver Press Club, college students, freelancers looking to network and SPJ members. Thanks all for a great evening.


The Colorado Pro’s annual Holiday Party is 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm, Denver. With a theme of “Bring A Non-Member,” we’re hoping to share the benefits of SPJ membership. It’s also a great chance to get some face time with people we haven’t seen in a while and make new friends. The Club will be adorned with holiday decorations and looks very festive this time of year. We’ll provide the appetizers with the available cash bar.


Don’t forget the Colorado Pro Chapter is offering up to $4,000 in scholarships to college students who are studying journalism, both print and broadcast. All the details and a down-loadable application form are available at our website: under “scholarships.”


The New Mexico chapter has agreed to host the Region 9 Spring Conference 2013.  A tentative date has been set for April in Albuquerque. Anyone interested in helping plan the event, or ideas for programming, please reach out to us at


Our contest committee is finalizing the 2013 Top of the Rockies regional journalism contest now. The entry period doesn’t start until January, so we’ll give you plenty of notice and details in the December newsletter. But start compiling your best work from the last year now! Anyone with suggestions on improving the contest, please reach out to our contest Chairman Nic Garcia at

And speaking of contests: SPJ’s Region 9 Mark of Excellence awards for college students is being handled by the Rio Grande Chapter.  Laura Paskus is coordinating judging of this year’s MOE entries. This year, Region 9 will be judging Region 2’s entries, and we’ll start on February 6. If you are interested and willing, please drop me a note ( with your name, email, phone number and your preference for category (newspaper, magazine, radio, TV, or online).


Finally, Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice has recommended to the legislature the repeal of a law that makes it a crime to take more than five copies of a free newspaper. According to the Denver Post, the 2004 law was passed “as a way to discourage people who may not have liked something contained in free papers from stealing numerous copies of a publication in order to squelch a story.” The commission thinks the law is “boutique,” or unnecessary, and proposed that lawmakers this year repeal the statute.

Colorado Pro’s immediate past president Cara DeGette, and many on the board, feel this is an important law and should not be repealed. In a letter to Sen. John Morse earlier this year, DeGette wrote: “Please do not recommend repealing this important law. At the very least it serves a valuable deterrent.” The Post’s excellent editorial on this topic is here.

We now have official emails we’re using for key officer positions. So if you’d like to reach President Dennis Huspeni, use, or Treasurer David Milstead, use Of course you can continue to use our general email, If you prefer snail mail: P.O. Box 100201, Denver, CO, 80250.

Please reach out if you have any programming ideas, want to help volunteer to judge contest entries or anything else. This is YOUR chapter, so help us make it the best it can be. Send us feedback about this newsletter and other chapter communication efforts or if you have something you would like to submit to this publication. Also, add the email to your contacts, so it won’t hit your spam box.

Thank you for reading this issue of the SPJ Colorado Newsletter.

See you next month!


Dennis Huspeni

President/Communications chair

SPJ Colorado Pro