Tag Archives | Fran Burns

Doherty reports back from EIJ 2018

 

The first Fran Burns Scholarship given by the NJ Society of Professional Journalists went to Sarah Doherty, so that she could attend the national conference of the Society of Professional Journalists.

 

 

In Doherty’s words

Last year, I transferred into Rutgers University to find more opportunities that could help me achieve my life-long dream of becoming a news anchor. I found exactly what I was looking for when I had the opportunity to go to the 2018 Excellence in Journalism Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, thanks to the Fran Burns Scholarship.

Five sessions

I attended five sessions at the conference. My favorite session was the last session that I attended. The session was called “Unleash Your Inner Broadcaster” and the speakers were George Bodarky, Tracy Davidson, and Amy Tardif. Since I aspire to be a news anchor, this session was a perfect fit for me. At one point during the session, I was called to the front of the room and I read a news script. The speakers of the session then critiqued me on my reading and showed me how I could improve. Since I was bit nervous, they had me read the script as loudly as I could and then afterward I read it with absolutely no trouble. I found that incredible, and after watching many others go through their critiques, it seemed like a magic trick to me. The speakers always knew what exercises to give someone so that they could read the script back perfectly. I will definitely remember those tricks and save them for my future.

Favorite part: Davidson

My favorite part of the conference was seeing a familiar face, fellow news anchor Tracy Davidson. I met Davidson back in 2016 after winning the Widener University Student Leadership Award. I have always looked up to Davidson, especially after meeting her in person in 2016. When I first saw her at the conference I was shocked, and I went to talk to her immediately. She was so excited to see me that she took a video of me and posted it on her Instagram page. She also even gave me advice about internship opportunities and I could not be more grateful.

Attending the Excellence in Journalism Conference has been the highlight of my semester. I took pages and pages of notes while I was there, and I will definitely keep those notes in mind as I navigate through my college career. This conference has given me great advice and has taught me the steps I can take to be the best journalist that I can be.…

Continue Reading 0

NJ SPJ board opportunity; Burns scholarship

Hi folks – I’m blessed to have a very good board of directors at New Jersey SPJ. They include several people who have served as past presidents of the chapter. They are a group of people who are passionate about journalism and its role in a democracy.

It’s that time of year, however, when we elect a new board. And it appears we will have one vacancy on our 11-member board. Former chapter president and long-time board member Ron Miskoff has indicated he plans to not run for another one-year term. We will miss Ron and appreciate all he has done for our chapter.

If you are an SPJ member and have an interest in serving on our board, let us know. The job involves attending one two-hour meeting each month, usually on the third Sunday. Members are also called upon to take on additional assignments during the year, such as helping organize programs, working on our annual SkillsFest event or overseeing our signature awards journalism contest.

We also tackle important topics such as diversity, ethics, open public records access and journalism advocacy.

If you would like to be part of this effort, please email our nominations chair Miriam Ascarelli at ascarelli@gmail.com by no later than May 20. Also please put “NJ SPJ Board Nominee” in the subject line and include a JPEG photo of yourself, plus a one-paragraph bio.

Student SPJ members: Go to Baltimore with the Fran Burns scholarship

If you are a SPJ student member in New Jersey, here’s a great opportunity for a $500 scholarship to help enable you to attend our national Excellence in Journalism Conference Sept. 27-29 in Baltimore.

The scholarship is named after Fran Burns, a former SPJ New Jersey chapter president and long-time board member who passed away in September. The $500 stipend is a very good deal.

For example, it will be enough to cover your $175 early bird registration plus a $199 one-night stay at the Baltimore Hilton, which is the conference hotel.

You must, however, be a current SPJ student member to qualify for this money. All we ask in return is that you write a short story about the conference which we can later post to our chapter website.

Interested? Then please contact Karin Price Mueller at karin@njmoneyhelp.com.

You will need to send Karin your resume and a short statement on why you wish to attend the conference.

The application deadline is June 10. The winner will be announced later that month.

ALSO

SCHOLARSHIPS TO 2018 NABJ, AAJA, NAHJ, NAJA, NJGLA EVENTS

Speaking of scholarships, here’s another one: To help move the news ecosystem in the Garden State toward a goal of better reflecting the communities it serves, the Center for Cooperative Media is launching a scholarship fund dedicated to helping New Jersey journalists attend training, events and conferences in 2018 put on by organizations that work on improving diversity, equity and inclusion in media.…

Continue Reading 0

Save Oct. 14 for SkillsFest

Editor’s note: The Oct. 14 Skills Fest has been postponed. We’ll let you know about the new date as soon as it is determined. 

Good news!

SPJ National has awarded a $500 grant to help us stage another Skills Fest event.

Our first Skills Fest in April was a success. We drew 22 students and professional to the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark for a half-day of training on social media and other journalism applications.

Each of the participants either became new members or were about to renew their membership, so we grew out chapter by 20 percent in a single day.

However, there were some costs that the chapter had to pay. The grant from SPJ national will help us cover those costs.

Our next SkillsFest will again be at NJIT on Saturday, Oct. 14. Please save the date and watch for details on our guest speakers.

A chapter grows at William Paterson

Our most recent board meeting took place on Sept. 16 at William Paterson University in Wayne where we were graciously hosted by the Communications Department.

We met with their chairman, faculty and several print and broadcast students who recently became SPJ members.

The University agreed to pay for the students’ membership fees in hopes of establishing a student chapter on campus.

We offered to do what we can to help them in that effort.

Welcome to our newest board member

During our September meeting, the board voted to add Nick Hirshon to our board of directors.

Nick is an associate professor at William Paterson who will be serving a campus advisor to our new SPJ student chapter there.

He is a former New York City journalist and Deadline Club member who has written for the New York Daily News and other publications. He also has written books on the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Forest Hills, the Queens neighborhood that hosts the U.S. Open.

Nick has a Bachelor’s in journalism from St. John’s University, a Master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in mass communication from Ohio University.

We welcome Nick to our board and look forward to working with him on the new student chapter.

Corrections

I made some mistakes in my previous president’s message on our other new board member, Claire Regan.

Claire continues to serve on the board of the Deadline Club, where she is vice president for special projects. She has also chaired their scholarship committee for about 10 years.

And Claire co-chaired last year’s spring regional conference with Region 1 Director Jane Primerano.

She is also a regular contributor to the Staten Island Advance, where she previously served as an editor.

The addition of Claire and Nick make an already strong SPJ NJ Board even better.…

Continue Reading 0

Remembering Fran Burns

Fran Burns (1948-2017)

I loved to hear Fran’s stories.

We old newspaper ladies tend to ramble on about predatory politicians, clueless editors, catastrophic malfunctions in new-and-improved technology, but Fran put her own spin on her tales: her days at the Hudson “Disgrace,” from churning out obits to covering the Statehouse. Then at UPI, fielding the questions: “Does UPI still exist?” and “I thought they went out of business years ago?”

But she had earlier stories, too. Her college years at St. John’s College, the one in Annapolis, MD. It sounds like a place for late-night debates on God, politics, baseball, all the important things.

Fran spent some years as a cab driver and then as a self-described Trotskyite forklift operator, but she loved journalism which is best described as an addiction rather than a profession.

She became involved in the New Jersey Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, a high-falutin’ (and somewhat redundant) name for a group of like-minded ink-stained wretches. Even in this era of electronic wizardry, there are those of us who bask in the aroma of newsprint, thrive skating on the edge of a deadline, survive on a diet of caffeine and, in Fran’s case, nicotine and love every minute of it.

Fran was president of the motley crew in the early 2000s and remained on the board after her tenure at the helm. She was known for a series of freelance programs. She invited editor and freelancers to a panel discussion/speed dating/melee. Many of us got jobs or at least gigs out of those panels. Because Fran knew everyone, she was a great matchmaker.

Fran handled her illness like she handled everything else: with humor and spirit. She continued to work, editing for NJ Spotlight, as long as she could. She cracked jokes about how, after years of smoking, it wasn’t lung cancer that got her. She ventured to New York City in April to the SPJ Regional Conference and for a UPI reunion as well as to Maryland for a college event.

The last time I saw Fran was after an SPJ meeting in August. I ended up trading stories with her until much later than I thought I would, but she wasn’t slowing down or tiring at all. Surrounded by books and not a few journalism awards, Fran was as sharp and funny as ever. I’m glad I will be able to remember her that way.…

Continue Reading 0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes