Programs GALORE coming YOUR way from SPJ!

Colorado Pro Sept. Newsletter

Hello members and friends.
Your new board has been busy and we’ve got a ton of great programs coming up in the rest of the month and in October. Feel free to forward all this useful information to anyone you think might be interested.
Stay tuned to the end of this newsletter for an entertaining story on one member’s excellent trip to SPJ’s Excellence in Journalism national conference.

Quick reminder on the APME NewsTrain two-day journalism workshop in Colorado Springs Sept. 27-28. Get details from the Colorado Press Association’s website. NewsTrain is sponsored by APME (Associated Press Media Editors) and the workshop is hosted by the CPA and the Colorado Springs Gazette. Click here to register. The Colorado Pro chapter provided two $75 stipends for members to attend.


The first Fireside Chat of the season is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place, featuring Dusty and Patrick Saunders talking about sports journalism. Admission is free.

The father-son duo will discuss how ESPN, Fox and other broadcast networks affect local sports coverage, both on TV and in print, how the Internet affects sports reporting, the popularity of radio sports talk shows, how newspaper economics affect sports coverage, and, of course, the future of sports journalism.

Dusty worked at the Rocky Mountain News for 54 years as a copy boy, police reporter, city hall reporter, features editor, and covered the broadcasting beat as a critic and columnist for more than 40 years. He currently writes a Monday TV/radio sports column for The Denver Post.
Dusty was named the Colorado Journalist of the Year in 1993 by the Society of Professional Journalists and is a member of the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame. In 2011, he published “Here’s Dusty: Life in the TV & Newspaper World.”

Patrick covers the Colorado Rockies for The Denver Post. After working at the Longmont Times-Call, he joined the Post in 1998 as a Denver Broncos beat writer, covering the team’s second run to the Super Bowl title. He also worked as the Post’s online sports editor.
Patrick has won numerous writing awards including the 2003 Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award from Northwestern University for his series on the difficulties pro athletes face when battling mental illness.

Colorado Pro is teaming with the Denver Press Club to present an intriguing BOOK BEAT LUNCHEON with authors Robert McChesney and John Nichols, whose new book is titled “Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America,” on Monday, Oct. 14. The book covers the nexus of media consolidation, politics, elections and democracy. Nichols is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for The Nation magazine. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and dozens of other papers. McChesney is the Gutsell Endowed Professor in Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the co-founder of Free Press one of the nation’s leading media policy and reform organizations, which held its biennial national convention last April in Denver, with more than 2,000 attending.

The event starts at noon, Monday, Oct. 14, at the DPC, 1330 Glenarm St. Menu: Chicken cordon bleu, roasted potatoes and mixed vegetables. Cost is $14 for DPC or SPJ members, $16 for nonmembers. MANDATORY REGISTRATION by noon Friday, Oct. 11. Here’s a link to a video of the authors speaking in Denver in April.

We’ve got an information-packed event coming up Oct. 16 to train journalists (and students!) how to mine U.S. Census data for story ideas and manipulate it to load your stories with accurate information. The free event, hosted by Angeles Ortega-Moore of the Partnership & Data Services
at the Denver Regional Census Office, is from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm St., Denver. Did we mention ADMISSION IS FREE!


In the spirit of offering more professional training to our members, the Colorado Pro board awarded a $500 stipend to Boulder freelance writer Jayme Moye to attend SPJ’s Excellence In Journalism conference last month in Anaheim. (Didn’t you see all our #EIJ13 tweets and FB posts?). Moye, whose travel writing has been published in 5280 and National Geographic, got so excited about SPJ she volunteered to be a board member and will now help run our Top of the Rockies regional journalism conference. It’s hard not to get excited about SPJ and its important mission at a national convention. Here’s Jayme’s experience at EIJ:

“Apparently I wasn’t the only virgin conference attendee at SPJ National this year. The Excellence in Journalism Conference August 24-26 set a new record with nearly 1,500 participants, many first-timers. While I can’t speak for the rest of the neophytes, I was lured by the Anaheim, California location (free Disney tickets!), and some very high-profile presenters including Mark S. Luckie, Twitter’s Manager of Journalism and News.

Social media-oriented breakout sessions had high participation. But in the three I attended, it seemed most people wanted more basic information than what was being presented. For example, Mark S. Luckie presented “The Business of Me,” an entrepreneurial vision for branding yourself and pitching your ideas. The audience questions, however, were not in that vein. Participants wanted to know if it’s okay to tweet the same thing twice (Yes, but not the exact same tweet—perhaps tweet the headline first, then a pull quote next), and what the best times are to tweet (Twitter traffic breaks out as follows: 8-10 am Morning News, 12-2 pm Lunchtime Personal Info, 5-8 pm Longer Form Content). It seems that going forward, in addition to advanced social media topics, a best practices presentation would be appropriate.

My favorite presentation was Louise Knott Ahern’s “Understanding the Fundamentals of Fiction (or Everything I Know About Writing I Learned from Romance Novels).” A reporter for the Lansing Journal, Knott Ahern could easily be an actress, or perhaps a politician, with her charmingly powerful presentation style. Her session distilled the best techniques from fiction, and how they can be applied to nonfiction to create a more compelling story. For example, she lambasted the anecdotal lead for having become too formulaic (“If you start your story with When Sally Smith woke up this morning you’ve already failed.”) and urged writers to begin with an inciting incident, a true moment of change, or what Knott Ahern calls “the holy shit moment.” She had the audience at times in stitches, at other times bemoaning their suboptimal narratives, and typically both at once.

Overall, I’d say the best part of the national conference is the networking. I got lost walking to a bowling alley in Anaheim with the President of the Colorado Chapter of SPJ (Dennis Huspeni) and ended up with a board position, drank scotch and talked teaching positions with the University of Colorado’s Director of Journalism and Mass Communication (Christopher Braider) , had lunch (and landed an assignment) with a senior editor at the Christian Science Monitor, and mentored a college student from Kentucky over burgers and fries.
I’ve heard that next year’s conference will be in Nashville. Anyone need a roommate?”