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This year’s regional conference: “For the love of journalism”

The Society of Professional Journalists Region 1 Spring Conference will take place April 21 and 22 at Temple University in Philadelphia. 

The conference theme, “For the Love of Journalism,” reflects both our love for our chosen profession and a growing public appreciation of how the role of a free press serves a democracy.

Our focus during the Saturday, April 21, sessions at Annenberg Hall will be on the skills you need to know to be a better journalist. On Sunday, April 22, our focus will broaden to some of the bigger challenges facing journalism today.

The weekend will also include some activities that are just for fun – including a walking tour of historic sites in journalism in downtown Philadelphia and, for those who arrive early, a Friday, April 20, night ballgame between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies.

But a word to the wise: the number of conference tickets and hotel rooms are limited. You’ll want to register for both the conference and the hotel as soon as possible. Don’t procrastinate. We anticipate this event will be sold out well in advance.

Make your hotel reservations HERE. 

Jane Primerano, SPJ Region 1 director
Pat Trosky, Keystone SPJ chapter president
John Ensslin, New Jersey SPJ chapter president

What we have planned
Here are some of the sessions that will be part of the SPJ Region 1 Spring Conference. We are continuing to add sessions, so check the conference website for the latest additions as well as information on panelists.

  • Into the Weeds: Efforts to legalize marijuana are advancing in the Northeast. NewJersey‘s new governor has called for legalizing recreational marijuana. Susan Livio covers medical marijuana for The Star Ledger. She will be part of a panel discussion of reporters delving into the issues raised by legalization.
  • Covering Cosby: The first sex assault trial of comedian Bill Cosby in Norristown, Pa., drew national attention until it ended with a hung jury and a mistrial in June 2017. A retrial is scheduled to begin on April 2 and is anticipated to last about two weeks. This panel will be moderated by Roy Gutterman, an associate professor at Syracuse University where he also is director of The Tully Center for Free Speech.
  • Going Digital: The trend toward digital journalism continues to accelerate as print and broadcast newsrooms grapple with new ways of telling a story and communicating it to their increasingly online audience. Cate Barron, editor of The Patriot-News and vice president of the PA Media Group, will serve as moderator.
  • “Dirty Dozen” Digital Journalism Apps: Digital journalists increasingly rely upon an ever-changing and always expanding tool kit of applications.
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SkillsFest 2018 schedule & speakers

Hi folks,

SkillsFest 2018 is shaping up! We’d like to share the schedule with you.

SkillsFest will take place on Saturday, Jan. 27 in room 116 of the Central King Building on the campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

Registration ends on Jan. 23; but we have a limited number of seats, so sign up soon!

Our day-long set of training sessions is aimed at giving journalists – both students and professionals – the tools they need to better do their job.

Here’s the plan:

9-10 a.m. coffee and registration

10 to 11:15 a.m. Session 1: Multimedia skills with Dave Bergeland

11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Session 2: Data visualization with Carla Astudillo

12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Lunch and possible brainstorming and newspaper swap of student newspapers

1:30 to 2:45 p.m. Session 3: Useful social media skills with Renee Ernst

2:45 to 3 p.m. Coffee break

3 to 4:15 p.m. Session 4: How to use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets as a reporting tool with David Sheingold.

4:15 p.m. Presentation of certificates; fill in evaluation forms

Meet our presenters

David Bergeland is an award-winning photojournalist who teaches multimedia skills at the Newark campus of Rutgers University. His specialty is digital media including video, audio slideshows, podcasts, documentary and editorial content for the web. David will talk about the basics of multimedia journalism.

Renee Ernst is a producer for the social publishing unit of CNN. She previously worked as a social media editor at The Huffington Post and The Record. Renee will talk about the social media skills that have been useful in her career.

Carla Astudillo, a data journalist for the Star-Ledger and NJ.com. Carla is a self-described “data chaser and interactive graphics maker” She previously worked for the International Business Times as deputy data visuals editor. Carla will discuss the basics of data visualization.

David Sheingold, the data and computer-assisted reporting specialist for The Record. He will discuss how to use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets as a reporting tool.

Affordable, relevant

Our SkillsFest offers a full day of useful and relevant training that you can use in your own work. And it’s affordable.

The cost is $85 for professionals and $45 for students. Besides the training, that includes a box lunch and a one-year membership in SPJ for new and renewing SPJ members. NJIT students pay $10 to cover the cost of lunch, but have the option of joining as a student member of SPJ.

Click here to register for this event.

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What you need to know about this year’s contest

It’s contest season again!

Notice there are two options this year: one from New Jersey SPJ, the other from Keystone SPJ.  Here’s the lowdown:

  • The NJ SPJ contest opens on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Because of a sharp decrease in contest entries, our contest has been scaled down to include only our four signature awards: Courage Under Fire (for journalists who, despite strong opposition, defend the principles of a free press), the Barto (our “rookie of the year” award); the Awbrey (for local journalism that goes above and beyond); and the O’Brien (for investigative journalism that digs deep through effective use of public records). For an overview of the contest, go here. to submit work, go here.  Our contest closes March 1. Questions? Contact our contest coordinator Heather Taylor at heather.taylor.spj@gmail.com or call (609) 250-2582.
  • The SPJ Keystone Chapter 2018 Best in Journalism Contest is already open and is comprised of about 30 categories; entries can be submitted  until Feb. 26. As our members know, we had hoped to run a joint contest with Keystone but there were logistical issues, so we are elated that our friends in Pennsylvania expanded their contest to include submissions from New Jersey. The contest may be accessed through this link: https://betternewspapercontest.com/2018SpotlightAwards Any questions or concerns should be directed to Pat Trosky at pattrosky@gmail.com or spjkeystone@gmail.com.

To enter the Keystone SPJ journalism contest, you’ll need to set up a new open call login. NOTE:  Keystone uses Better Newspaper Contest (BNC) to manage its submissions (as we did up until this year), but if you entered a BNC contest in New Jersey or elsewhere, that login will not work in the Keystone contest. This is true for individuals and for companies.

You can create your login in one of two ways. Go to the Keystone SPJ website ( https://keystonespj.wordpress.com/) and click on the url at the bottom of the announcement OR go directly to the contest page using this url:  https://betternewspapercontest.com/2018SpotlightAwards

Once you’re on the Keystone BNC page, you’ll see the open call contestant login on the lower lefthand corner of the page. Click that.

Once on the Open Call Contestant page, look to the lower right corner and create an open call account. Fill in the info and submit. Pat Trosky, president of the Keystone chapter, will then get an email to approve you. When she does, you can then log in and set everything else up.

 

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Keystone SPJ expands its contest to include NJ

Editor’s note: Stay tuned for news about NJ SPJ’s contest, which opens Jan. 2. However, do know that because of a sharp decrease in contest entries, our contest has been scaled down to our four signature awards: Courage Under Fire (for journalists who, despite strong opposition, defend the principles of a free press), the Barto (our “rookie of the year” award); the Awbrey (for local journalism that goes above and beyond); and the O’Brien (for investigative journalism that digs deep through effective use of public records).

To those who miss the old NJ SPJ contest that we all know and love, there’s no need to despair.

The SPJ Keystone Chapter has invited Jersey journalists to enter their annual 2018 Best in Journalism Contest. The contest — which is comprised of about 30 categories — is open for submissions from now until Feb. 26.

As our members know, we had hoped to run a joint contest with Keystone but there were logistical issues, so we are elated that our friends in Pennsylvania have expanded their contest to include submissions from New Jersey.  As members of SPJ’s Region 1, our two chapters have had a strong relationship: we have shared news about jobs, sought solutions to the issues facing the profession, and opened our doors to each other’s seminars.  We hope this invitation will help strengthen Keystone’s contest and foster further bonding between our two chapters.

The contest may be opened at through this link: https://betternewspapercontest.com/2018SpotlightAwards

Any questions or concerns may be directed to Pat Trosky at pattrosky@gmail.com or spjkeystone@mail.com.

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SkillsFest 2018 on Jan. 27

Our SkillsFest 2018 is beginning to take shape and it’s looking pretty good so far.

SkillsFest is our day-long set of training sessions aimed at giving journalists – both students and professionals – the tools they need to better do their job.

The next SkillsFest will take place on Saturday, Jan. 27 starting at 10 a.m. on the Newark campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Here’s a partial list of our speakers and what they will be talking about:

David Bergeland is an award-winning photojournalist who teaches multimedia skills at the Newark campus of Rutgers University. His specialty is digital media including video, audio slideshows, podcasts, documentary and editorial content for the web. David will talk about the basics of multimedia journalism.

Renee Ernst is a producer for the social publishing unit of CNN. She previously worked as a social media editor at The Huffington Post and The Record. Renee will talk about the social media skills that have been useful in her career.

Carla Astudillo, a data journalist for the Star-Ledger and NJ.com. Carla is a self-described “data chaser and interactive graphics maker” She previously worked for the International Business Times as deputy data visuals editor. Carla will discuss the basics of data visualization.

-David Sheingold, the data and computer assisted reporting specialist for The Record. He will discuss how to use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets as a reporting tool.

Stay tuned for more details in the weeks to come.

Our SkillsFest offers a full day of useful and relevant training that you can use in your own work. And it’s affordable.

The cost is $85 for professionals and $45 for students. Besides the training, that includes a box lunch and a one-year membership in SPJ for new and renewing SPJ members.

Click here to register for this event.

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