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Posts Tagged ‘Society of Professional Journalists’

We hope everyone’s summer is going well. We’ve got an information-packed Newsletter, including: a chance to let Colorado Pro help YOU go to the SPJ Excellence in Journalism national conference Sept. 4; A public radio primer at a June 26 Fireside chat at the Denver Press club; July elections (call for candidates) and a chapter board member update.

 WHO WANTS TO GO TO SPJ EIJ?

SPJ’s national conference, Excellence in Journalism, is Sept. 4-6 in Nashville. As part of our commitment to professional development, the Colorado Pro chapter gives a member in good standing $500 to apply towards hotel, airfare and/or conference registration. You must be a Colorado Pro member (“in good standing” means you paid your dues for 2014! 😉 Please send us an email (president@spjcolorado.com) of why we should send you by July 15 and the board will pick a winner by July 21. The stipend will reimburse expenses; it’s not an advance.

Here’s what 2013’s winner Boulder freelance writer Jayme Moye had to say about her EIJ experience in California: “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 … 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.”

THE STATE OF COMMUNITY PUBLIC RADIO

Harvest Public Media reporter Luke Runyon and KUNC reporter Grace Hood will discuss community public radio in a Fireside Chat at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm. Admission is free and the event is open to all.

Harvest Public Media, based at KCUR in Kansas City, is a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest that covers agriculture and agribusiness. Runyon joined KUNC in Greeley in 2013 after spending two years as a reporter at Aspen Public Radio.

Since joining KUNC in 2008, Hood has won a number of state, regional and national awards. She received the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize in 2012 from the Boston NPR news station for her series “Investigating Colorado’s Online K-12 Schools.” She also received the national Edward R. Murrow awards in 2010, 2011 and 2012 for her feature and investigative reporting.

JULY BOARD MEMBER ELECTIONS:

My name is Deb Hurley. I’m the contributing editor at Evergreen Newspapers and the elections chair for the Colorado Professional Chapter of SPJ. I am calling for self-nominations for the five positions up for election on the board: four directors at-large and the secretary. Per the chapter’s bylaws, the president-elect Ed Otte, who you elected last year, will automatically become president of the chapter without a vote.

Board meetings are held once per month, and board members may attend in person or via conference call/Google hangout. Board members may reside anywhere in Colorado, and must be members in good standing with national SPJ and the Colorado Professional Chapter.

To indicate your willingness to run for a position and to serve on the board, please e-mail me (dchurley@aol.com) your name, the position you are interested in, a photo, a biography of no more than 250 words and a statement of no more than 200 words explaining why you want to be on the board. Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, July 11.

The election information will be e-mailed to all members of Colorado Pro on July 18, and you will have until noon on Friday, July 25, to cast your ballot.

If you have any questions about the process, the duties or how you can get involved with Colorado Pro – whether as a board member or as a volunteer – please contact me at 303-601-8098 or at dchurley@aol.com or contact Dennis Huspeni at 719-648-0055 or president@spjcolorado.com

 ANNUAL REPORT

The board had three members (Otte, Cara DeGette and Vicky Gits) review the chapter’s finances for 2013/14 earlier this month. We sent the annual report to national and anticipate getting our “good standing” certification in September at EIJ. Thanks for a successful year, members.

FROM THE PRESIDENT: On a personal note, it’s been tremendous serving as your president for the past two years. There are ton of great journalists in this state who care deeply about the state and future of journalism. Your president-elect Ed Otte takes over in August and will do a fantastic job, as he did with the Colorado Press Association. After more than 5 years on the board, I’m resigning effective the end of July when my term expires. That’s for two reasons: I’ve taken job in public relations and it will give other members a chance to serve on the board and I encourage you to do so! Thank you for a rewarding two years.

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By Ed Otte

“Follow the money” is a popular saying from the 1976 movie “All The President’s Men.” It was also the message at a May 1 program about transparency and open government at the Denver Press Club.

Sandra Fish and Nancy Watzman lead a workshop on following the money of today's politics.

Sandra Fish and Nancy Watzman lead a workshop on following the money of today’s politics.

Nancy Watzman of the Sunlight Foundation and Sandra Fish with the Journalism & Women Symposium explained how to research election campaign finances. “Tools for Journalists: Following the Colorado Money” was cosponsored by JAWS and the Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

“The primary races will be really important,” Fish said. “A lot of money will be coming in for those and a lot of money will be spent on ballot initiatives. With the resources available on the Sunlight website and the (Colorado) Secretary of State website, you’ll find useful information for many stories.”

Watzman’s PowerPoint demonstration showed the various categories and links available on the Sunlight site at http://www.SunlightFoundation.com.

“The Realtime Federal Campaign Finance tracker gives you up-to-the-minute filings,” she said. “Political Ad Sleuth shows you who’s buying airtime for political ads. Old-fashioned reporting can find some of the funding sources for the groups that buy ads, the ‘grassroots’ funding sources.

“Scout is another really, really useful tool. It searches for key phrases in legislation and will send you email and text alerts on specific issues.”

Fish said following campaign donation activity is important because “Amendment 27 changed the playing field, shifting power from candidates and parties. It sharply regulates how much money you can give to campaigns. Now, 527s and IE (Independent Expenditure) Committees are powerful here.”

Amendment 27 was passed by 66 percent of Colorado voters in 2002. It was designed to curb the influence of special interest groups by limiting the amounts and types of political contributions.

The Tracer link on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website (www.sos.state.co.us) “will help you with stories about cash,” Fish said. “Who’s buying TV ads. Who gives the most? It can sort to see who’s given the most in an election cycle. For example, you can see who spent money, and how much, in the 2010 GOP governor races.”

Watzman encouraged journalists to look at additional training opportunities, including free webinars and other online tools, on the Sunlight Academy link on the Foundation’s website. She also explained that the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization’s name comes from a 1913 quote by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”

“That’s why,” she said, “we believe in making government accountable and transparent.”

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SPJ Colorado Pro chapter president Dennis Huspeni, left congratulates Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Dave Philipps of The (Colorado Springs) Gazette, who received the Journalist of the Year award at the Top of the Rockies Awards presentation.

SPJ Colorado Pro chapter president Dennis Huspeni, left congratulates Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Dave Philipps of The (Colorado Springs) Gazette, who received the Journalist of the Year award at the Top of the Rockies Awards presentation.

What a fantastic night at the Denver Press Club Friday for the SPJ Region 9 Top of the Rockies journalism competition Awards reception. Congratulations to all the winners (all 450 of you!) Here the results in an Excel file. judgments-results-528.1395761152

We will mail certificates to you folks who couldn’t make it (hopefully in the next week). Thanks to everyone for making it a great contest.

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Dave Philipps of The (Colorado Springs) Gazette received the Journalist of the Year award Friday from the Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The award was one of four special honors announced at the chapter’s annual awards ceremony at the Denver Press Club. The contest awards went to journalists in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Philipps won the 2014 Pulitzer on April 14 for his series “Other Than Honorable” that examined how soldiers injured during war were being discharged with no benefits. The SPJ award was for the same stories which were published in The Gazette in May 2013.

“Dave Philipps would be the first to tell you there are many others deserving of this award. But his work exemplifies the best of what we all endeavor to do,” said Jim Anderson , news editor Denver’s AP bureau and Colorado Pro board member.

“As the Gazette put it in an editorial on Dave’s work: ‘Philipps is just the latest in a distinguished line of reporters proving that investigative journalism is alive, well and in demand. … When the Pulitzer Committee chooses the best in mass communication, it looks for examples of research and storytelling that expose truth and bring about constructive public policy,” Anderson said. “Dave Philipps has done just that.”

7News received the SPJ First Amendment Award for the Denver TV station’s ongoing series titled “Contrary to the Public Interest” about problems with Colorado’s open records laws.

“It was an ambitious, and important, project. During months of investigations, Channel 7 found that — while Colorado’s open records laws are supposed to keep government officials accountable — getting documents can mean paying huge fees or becoming tangled in expensive legal battles,” said Cara DeGette, board member.

SPJ’s Keeper of the Flame Award, which recognizes a distinguished career in journalism, went to Westword editor Patty Calhoun.

“Westword, which started 37 years ago as a feisty alternative newspaper, is now a journalistic institution and a respect member of Denver’s media landscape,” said Gil Asakawa. “Patty Calhoun, one of the founders, is the editorial vision behind Westword, and has trained dozens of journalists — like me — on the job.”

Colorado Mesa University assistant professor Eric Sandstrom received the SPJ Journalism Educator of the Year Award.

Sandstrom was cited for his contributions to the school’s journalism program as faculty adviser to the campus newspaper and for his work in the classroom. He also was instrumental in establishing a student SPJ chapter in 2012 at the Grand Junction university. Prior to joining CMU in 2007, Sandstrom worked at newspapers in Ohio, Illinois and Nebraska and taught at Kent State University and Cleveland State University.

 

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It’s April and Colorado Pro is hoping your Spring has sprung. We are deep into planning for our biggest event of the year, the Top of the Rockies Awards Reception Friday April 25 at the Denver Press Club. More details below, but we hope you all can make it. We’ve awarded our 2014 scholarships and there’s also a cool May program coming up.

Top of the Rockies to ROCK the Denver Press Club

The Top of the Rockies Awards night, as we said, is next week! The fun starts at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 25, at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm, Denver. After socializing, networking, beverages and light appetizers, we’ll start the awards presentation at 7 p.m. We’ve got a NEW format for announcing awards that doesn’t involve a lot of name reading (don’t worry, you all will still get cool recognition in front of your peers). With a record number of entries this year, we’re expecting a lot of attendees to celebrate recognition for a lot of hard work and fantastic journalism in 2013. Entry is free to winners and we’ll ask for a small donation from others to help defray costs. Light appetizers will be provided with a cash bar. Our keynote speaker is Patty Calhoun, editor of Westword. Don’t forget to RSVP on our Facebook page, so we know how much food to make.

2014 Scholarship Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s scholarships by SPJ’s Colorado Pro chapter. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, need and desire to be a journalist.
We had more applicants this year than we’ve had in a while, so thanks all you students for your interest. And because of the elevated number of applicants, the board awarded more money than ever: $7,500!
The envelope please.
The 2014 Helen Verba Awards for print journalism:
* Kiki Turner of the University of Colorado at Boulder, $1,500.
* Kara Mason of Colorado State University-Pueblo, $1,500.
* Scott Fromberg of Colorado State University, $1,500.
* Allison Dyer Bluemel of Colorado State University, $1,000.
* Cali Rastrelli of Colorado State University, $500.
* Hunter Goddard of Colorado State University, $500.

2014 Sheldon Peterson Award for broadcast journalism:
* Sasha Klepitskaya of the University of Colorado at Boulder, $1,000.

Here’s what Sasha had to say on FaceBook after being informed of her scholarship: “Today I was awarded a scholarship from the Society of Professional Journalists! It’s such an honor to be believed in by the best in the business, and it sure takes a little load off my pockets. I can’t thank the SPJ enough! Seems like after everything is said and done, I’m right where I need to be. – feeling blessed.”

We wish all the winners much luck in your continued journalistic endeavors.

May Programming update

Colorado will again play a prominent national role in the November elections and where there’s interest, there’s money – a lot of it – with much of it pouring in from outside the state.

Journalism and Women Symposium and the Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will co-sponsor a program on elections and campaign finances on Thursday, May 1, at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place. The 6:30 p.m. event is free and open to the public.

Join Nancy Waltzman of the Sunlight Foundation, who will show you tools to follow the federal money that flows into the state, and Sandra Fish, an independent journalist, who will offer tips on tracking money at the state level.

The Sunlight Foundation is a nonpartisan nonprofit founded in 2006 that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency.

JAWS supports the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism and works toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society.

From the face off between U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman and former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff to the competitive race between U.S. Sen Mark Udall and U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, to the battle over control of the Colorado Senate, there is much to watchdog. Fortunately, there are resources to help.

At the May 1 program, find out how to use Sunlight’s suite of tools and apps to track the latest campaign finance reports, ad spending, fundraisers and more. Learn to navigate the Secretary of State’s campaign finance system and where else to go for Colorado information (think TV ad contracts, with caveats and cautions on what to look for and what to look out for.

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Welcome to March everyone.

The Colorado Pro chapter has a lot going on, so read on for some great upcoming programs and a recap of our panel discussions at the recent Colorado Press Association convention.

Region 9 Conference hits Salt Lake City March 28/29.

Our Region 9 Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, March 28th and 29th in sunny Salt Lake City.  There’s an outline of the conference schedule and a paypal link for people to register on the Utah Headliners’ website, utahspj.com.   The cost is $25 for SPJ members (and students) and $35 for non-members.

The state of scholastic journalism.

Challenges facing scholastic journalism will be discussed at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, at the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place. The event is free and open to the public.

The value of journalism in schools (21st century learning and skills) will be discussed by the panel as well as student publication editorial control, finances, staff recruitment and retention, and relations with college journalism programs and working journalists.

Sponsored by the Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the program will feature four current and former high journalism teachers and advisers:

– Mark Newton, journalism teacher and media adviser at Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, is president of the Journalism Education Association.

– Jack Kennedy, executive director of the Colorado High School Press Association and JEA past president, is the former newspaper adviser at Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch. He is an adjunct professor at Metro State University of Denver and Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

– Carrie Faust, Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, is the JEA Southwest Region director.

– Kristi Rathbun, Rock Canyon High School, is JEA’s state director.

Anastasiya Bolton leads Fireside Chat

9News reporter Anastasiya Bolton will be featured in a Fireside Chat at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20, at the Denver Press Club, 1300 Glenarm Place.

The event is free and open to the public.Anastasiya_Bolton

Bolton, who covers crime and justice at 9News, will discuss her coverage of the Sochi Olympics at the Fireside Chat. She went to Russia in June 2013 to do pre-Olympics stories and then spent February in Sochi during the games.

A native of Moscow, Bolton came to the United States to attend college. After graduating from Southern Methodist University, she worked at TV stations in Dallas, Amarillo and Tyler, Texas, and Birmingham, Ala., before joining 9News.

The Sochi Olympics weren’t Bolton’s first return to Russia on a news assignment. While working at the Tyler station she traveled to Siberia to do stories on the plight of Russian orphans.

Bolton and photojournalist Andy Buck received a national Edward R. Murrow award in 2013 for a series on a Fort Collins woman who survived a killer. In 2007, she won a regional Emmy in Spot News for her coverage of the Safeway warehouse shooting.

Sunshine Week approaches

The Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition will present a one-hour webinar on Sunshine Week at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 4.

Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of your right to know what and why and how decisions are made by your local, state and national government, is March 16-22. The CFOIC is also sponsoring a panel discussion on “Who’s Records Are They Anyway? How to Get Your Hands on Public Records” on March 19.

The 12-year-old event is officially described as a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. At the grassroots level, it is yearly reminder that every resident of every community has a right to know how the town board, city council, school board, county commissioners and every other elected and appointed board operates.

At the practical level, it also serves as a reminder to public officials that they are to be held accountable for their decisions and actions.

While a variety of organizations – nonprofits, libraries, schools and civic groups – participate in Sunshine Week activities, the news media are often at the forefront of open government and freedom of information projects each March and throughout the year. FOI resources and project ideas can be found on the sunshineweek.org website.

The site features a Sunshine Week Toolkit and Idea Bank.

Last fall, the Colorado Pro Chapter partnered with CFOIC to present open government programs to college students and professors at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CU-Boulder and on the Auraria campus in Denver.

SPJ and CFOIC also conducted an open government panel session on Feb. 21 at the Colorado Press Association annual convention in Denver.

SPJ at CPA

Colorado Pro Chapter conducted two sessions at this year’s Colorado Press Association annual convention at the Westin Denver Downtown Hotel, Feb. 20.

 Panelists Jim Anderson, left, Steve Zansberg and Jeff Roberts at the Feb. 21 FOI session during the CPA convention. CREDIT:  Thomas Cooper of Lightbox Images


Panelists Jim Anderson, left, Steve Zansberg and Jeff Roberts at the Feb. 21 FOI session during the CPA convention. CREDIT: Thomas Cooper of Lightbox Images

The first was a freedom of information/open government discussion featuring panelists Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition; CFOIC president and First Amendment attorney Steve Zansberg; Cara DeGette, editor of Colorado Public News and immediate past president of  Colorado Pro and Jim Anderson, The Associated Press news editor for Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, and ethics chair of the SPJ Colorado Pro Chapter.

The second SPJ session focused on diversity in newsrooms and in news coverage. The panelists were Denver Post director of news operations Linda Shapley; Tim Ryan, assistant news director at 9News; and Gil Asakawa, manager of student media at CU-Boulder, president of the Denver chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, and diversity chair of the SPJ Colorado Pro Chapter.

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By ED OTTE

First-time authors “hope to catch lightning in a bottle” but the formula for success is simple: research, rewriting and networking.

That was the message from two former Rocky Mountain News journalists turned authors at the Nov. 13 Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists Fireside Chat at the Denver Press Club.

“Unless your name is Grisham or King, you will face challenges. Many challenges,” said Denny Dressman, who has authored five books, including a 2010 biography of Grambling football coach Eddie Robinson, and edited four others.

“Even Grisham had difficulties breaking in. It wasn’t until ‘The Pelican Brief’ was published and made into a movie that he was successful. After it was a best seller, his publisher asked if he had other manuscripts and he sent them ‘A Time to Kill.’ It had been turned down by other publishers before ‘Pelican Brief’ became popular.

“You hope to catch lightning in a bottle but most beginning writers have to work hard to get published and to sell their books.”

When the News closed in 2009, Mike Madigan had compiled enough historical material to produce “Heroes, Villains, Dames & Disasters/150 Years of Front-Page Stories from the Rocky Mountain News.” The book won the 2010 Colorado Author’s League award for best non-fiction and was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award.

Both men are members of the Colorado Author’s League and Madigan cited CAL and other writers’ organizations as vital for budding authors.

“It was what we learned as journalists, networking is so important,” he said. “The mentoring, the advice, the leads. It’s all very helpful.”

Dressman said networking also involves finding a reliable person to edit a manscript. “The reason self-published books aren’t reviewed by the mainstream media is because so many have misspellings and grammatical errors. They needed a good editor.”

When asked about the advantage of e-publishing over printed books, Dressman said it is “for specific genres of fiction – romance, sci-fi, young adult novels – a good way for new authors to get published.”

Both men said research is key to producing a good manuscript.

Madigan’s adventure thriller “Double Dare” is based in southwestern Colorado and the author researched the geography and history of the area “to make the story credible. You have fictional characters but everything else has to be accurate.”

For “Sterling Heroes of World War II,” published in 2012, Dressman researched Allied airbases in Europe and included the information in the book so “younger readers would understand the references made by the people interviewed for the story.”

Rewriting was an ongoing process in Madigan’s novel, which was released in September. “When I started, I thought I had to write the perfect book. I was wrong. I did a lot of rewriting to make the dialogue believable, make it all better.”

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Anyone who would like to join us, you’d be more than welcome and we’re quite sure the delegation of international journalists would welcome many points of view. This will be in a mixer format, so come visit and enjoy the Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm.

The delegation of International Journalists visits Wednesday, November 20th from 6:30-8:00pm. They are a very engaged group and will appreciate warm hospitality and professional insights. This program is sponsored by the U.S. Congress Open World Leadership Program and is administered in part by WorldDenver. The five participants have been selected as emerging leaders throughout Russia for their work as journalists, advancing the public’s access to information.

Meeting Topic: The delegation is looking forward to meeting with the Society of Professional Journalists to talk about various journalism issues and to meet with well-known journalists from across the state of Colorado.

Participants:

Ms. Darya DANILOVA, News Correspondent, Russian Public Television

Dr. Denis DOKUCHAYEV, Director of Media & Information Projects, Seryeznyye Proyekty, LLC

Ms. Alina LVOVA, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Channel 31 News Company

Mr. Pavel POMINOV, Chief Business Development Officer, Omskpress, LLC

Ms. Yuliya SHEVTSOVA, Chief Executive Officer, Vyatsky Nablyudatel Newspaper

Mr. Ilya MICHCHENKO (Facilitator), Deputy Director of Translation and Localisation Centre, “EGO Translation Company”

Escorts: The delegation will be accompanied by Ms. Michelle Woodruff and Mr. Nathan Gallo, representatives of WorldDenver.

 

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