Tag Archives | Society of Professional Journalists

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.…

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Awesome, folks! SPJ Region 1 rocked

We had an awesome two-day spring regional conference in Philadelphia this past weekend that lived up to our theme of “For the Love of Journalism.”

The conference was a sold-out event that attracted more than 130 people to Temple University where they heard 20 sessions and 32 speakers. We had members from almost every state in the region and one person from as far away as Denver, Colo.

An event of this magnitude requires many people to make it a reality.

Today, I’d like to offer a thank you to those folks

Let’s start with Regional Director Jane Primerano and Keystone SPJ President Pat Trosky, who were wonderful partners during the nine-month process that included many meetings to plan, design and execute the conference.

Next, a big thank you to New York Deadline Club President and NJ SPJ board member Claire Regan who designed a beautiful book that helped people navigate the conference and who crafted a conference flyer and logo.

A special thanks to Deadline Club volunteer Melissa Heule who helped run our conference website.

Thanks to Keystone board members Susan Schwartz and Carol Crane, who did everything from setting out chairs to editing the stories of a group of 14 Temple University journalism student volunteers.

A special thanks to NJ SPJ Vice President Miriam Ascarelli, for coordinating those volunteer students, serving as their editor and helping organize a very successful pizza party/newspaper swap for student journalists graciously hosted by the staff of Temple News.

14 students helped out

We were fortunate to have those 14 student volunteers who did everything from reporting, writing and recording the conference session to helping with registration and cleaning up afterwards.

Thanks to New Jersey chapter Treasurer Elizabeth Oguss for tracking our finances and to chapter Secretary Emily Kratzer for overseeing registration and sending out the emails that helped build our audience.

A big thank you to NJ SPJ board member Robert Bugai for soliciting, collecting and assembling our conference “goody bags.”

Thanks to NJ SPJ board members David Levitt, Ron Miskoff and Nick Hirshon for introducing some of our sessions.

Thank you to SPJ National President Rebecca Baker for moderating one of our sessions and helping present our Mark of Excellence winners.

Thanks to incoming SPJ national President Alex Tarquino for introducing one of our sessions.

Thanks to deputy Regional Director Chris Vacarro who helped with the MOE brunch and to New England chapter President Jordan Frias who helped guide students to the brunch.

Thanks to all our speakers who gave up a lovely spring weekend to lead sessions that demonstrated our love for journalism – especially our hackathoners, who spent more than six hours over two days crafting a document on newsroom diversity (more on that later).…

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Dash-cam videos, new SkillsFest

Hello SPJ members! I hope you’ve all had a good summer and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

Your SPJ New Jersey board had a very productive summer. Here are a few things we’ve been working on.

Friend of the court

This past weekend the board voted unanimously to join in an amicus or “friend of the court” brief in a lawsuit filed by John Paff versus Ocean County.

Paff is an officer with New Jersey Foundation for Open Government, an open records advocacy group with which New Jersey SPJ holds a permanent seat.

He sought a copy of a police dashboard video from a 2014 incident in which a police dog attacked a woman who allegedly failed to stop in a vehicle pursuit.

Here is a link to a story about the case.

As one of our board members wrote, it is a relatively easy decision to join this case as a “friend of the court.”

To a person, our board believes it is important that police dashboard camera footage be a public record.

A step back in time

Our board had a productive meeting on Aug. 26 in Flemington. We met in perhaps the most elegant surroundings of any meeting in several years: the Doric House next to the Hunterdon County Historical Society Library.

The library had a wealth of materials about the 1935 Lindbergh kidnap-murder trial which took place in the courthouse just down the block and across the street.

For me, the highlight of the collection was a document signed by all the reporters who covered the trial, including one “Damon Runyon.”

Later Regional Director Jane Primerano led us on a walking tour to the now defunct Union Hotel where Runyon and the press corps stayed during the trial.

A new board member

During the meeting, we voted to confirm the appointment of Claire Regan as the newest member of our board.

Claire is a former editor for the Staten Island Advance who now teaches journalism at Wagner University.

She is a former member of the New York Deadline Club’s board of directors where she served on their scholarship committee. She helped Jane organize the most recent Region 1 Spring Conference in New York City.

Claire is a gifted graphic designer. She designed the beautiful medallions that the Deadline Club uses for their Hall of Fame. She also helped our chapter with designing brochures when New Jersey last hosted the spring regional conference in New Brunswick.

She fills the unexpired term of Maureen Nevin. Thanks, Maureen, for your service.

We’re a non-profit (again)

Our chapter received some good news recently from the Internal Revenue Service. We have been approved as a tax-exempt 501(c)6 organization.

What this means for us is that we no longer have to rely upon the national SPJ’s tax exempt status.…

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