Personal privacy vs. national security, May 1

The Maricopa County Bar Association hosts a FREE educational program that discusses the vital issues of personal privacy and national security and how they should be balanced.

Privacy & Security in 2015 – Magna Carta Today,” will take place 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, at the Maricopa County Bar Association offices, 303 E. Palm Lane. Free parking on site.

The following panel of experts will discuss issues related to national security and personal privacy in an era of terrorism and digital media:

  • David Bodney, Ballard Spahr, LLP
  • Andrew Gordon, Coppersmith Brockelman PLC
  • Michael Morrisey, Mitchell Stein Carey
  • Prof. Daniel Rothenberg, ASU School of Politics and Global Studies
  • Moderator: Hon. Patricia K. Norris, Arizona Court of Appeals

The Maricopa County Bar Association hosts this special event in honor of Law Day.  On May 1 each year, the United States celebrates Law Day, which was created in 1957 by President Eisenhower as a national day of re-dedication to the principles of government under law. In recognition of the 800th anniversary of its signing on the field of Runnymede, England, the national theme for this year is “Magna Carta:  Symbol of Freedom Under Law.”

For more information, visit:

‘Dark Money’ debate on Tuesday, April 28

Phoenix—Anonymous political speech has been a cherished principle since the earliest days of the American republic. The ability to speak anonymously—and to privately support others who speak on your behalf—has played a central role in historical milestones from the ratification of the U.S. Constitution to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizen United, there has been a new outcry from some critics that the public deserves to know who seeks to influence elections by giving money to private political groups. Describing anonymous giving as “dark money,” these critics want new laws that compel independent groups to give the names and addresses of their donors to the government.

On Tuesday, April 28, four legal experts will debate whether this campaign against anonymous giving benefits or harms free speech and democratic participation. Starting at 7 p.m. the debate will be broadcast live on the Internet from the Cronkite journalism school on Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus. The debate is free and open to the public and members of the media.

If you are unable to attend, you can watch the debate live on YouTube at

The debate will be tweeted with the hashtag #DarkMoneyDebate.

Topic: The Dark Money Debate: Is Anonymous Political Speech Protected By The First Amendment?
When: 7-9 p.m., Tuesday, April 28
Where: First Amendment Forum, Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communications, Arizona State University
Debaters: Kurt Altman, national policy adviser and general counsel, Goldwater Institute; Allen Dickerson, Legal Director, Center for Competitive Politics; Tom Irvine, legal expert on election law, ASU Alumni Law Group; Daniel Barr, First Amendment expert, Perkins Coie law firm
Moderator: Robert Robb, editorial board member, Arizona Republic

This event is hosted by the Goldwater Institute and has been made possible by a grant from the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation.

SAVE THE DATE: Valley Publicity Summit returns Sept. 19, 2015

Improve your dealings with PR people and the story pitches they make to you by participating in the event that’s been doing it for more than a decade! Volunteer for the 11th annual Valley Publicity Summit, hosted by your Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, at SkySong, the ASU Innovation Center in Scottsdale. Interested journalists: Write More info soon!

New edition of Reporter’s Media Law Handbook

d78b477fde1ad3e4136884a8455f42577bea7d76-thumbYour Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter is a proud founding member of the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona, for which the 7th edition of the Arizona Reporter’s Handbook on Media Law has just been published — and now can be downloaded free. The coalition, which consists of several media organizations and open-government advocates  is represented by the Phoenix law firm of Perkins Coie, L.L.P. Partner Dan Barr, counsel to the coalition, is the Handbook’s principal author and editor. Every professional and student journalist who covers Arizona news should have one. We’re grateful to Dan and his colleagues for producing such a valuable resource.

Eat and drink with Tucson journalists

SPJ is heading south to the Old Pueblo to host a mixer for Southern Arizona journalists 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 30, at Union Public House, 4340 N. Campbell Ave. (at River Road, in the St. Philip’s Plaza). SPJ is buying appetizers, you pay for your own drinks. We’re familiarizing media people in Tucson about SPJ, its mission, resources and activities — perhaps to see if there’s interest in reviving the dormant Southern Arizona chapter. So, if you’re in the area, stop in and enjoy the shop talk, the telling of tales and the camaraderie between newspeople. For more information write to

Cooney to leave 12 News desk

April 1, 2015 (Phoenix) — Longtime 12 News/KPNX anchor Lin Sue Cooney announced today that she will leave TV news at the end of May to join the executive team at Hospice of the Valley. Cooney has worked for 12 News—a Gannett owned television station in Phoenix, Arizona—since 1984, and is one of the most recognized faces in Arizona television journalism.

In an on-air announcement, Cooney explained, “I will miss all the beautiful people I work with here…because they are family to me. But, I am thrilled to be embracing a new season in my life. So many people have helped me along the way, I am anxious to start giving back and use the gifts God gave me to help others.”

Cooney will begin working for Hospice of the Valley later this summer.

Lin Sue Cooney

Lin Sue Cooney

“We will sincerely miss Lin Sue in our newsroom every day. She is beloved not only by her co-workers but by Arizonans who invite her into their living room each night,” said 12 News President/General Manager John Misner. “While we know that it’s our loss, we appreciate how impactful she will be in her new role.”

For more than 30 years, Arizona viewers have watched Cooney as a primary news anchor at 12 News/KPNX. Most recently, Cooney has served alongside co-anchor Mark Curtis on 12 News at 5, Arizona Nightly News at 6, and 12 News at 10 p.m.

A respected journalist, Cooney has been honored as the Valley’s “Best Anchor” by the Phoenix chapter of American Women in Radio and Television. She also has won numerous awards for her news reporting and community service efforts including nine Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards. She has been the face of “Buddy Check 12,” a major breast health awareness initiative for 12 News and has served as the principal storyteller on “Hero Central,” a news series focusing on ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Cooney began her career in Beaumont, Texas. She came to Phoenix from WFAA-TV in Dallas where she was a news reporter and co-host of PM Magazine.

Cooney graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from Willamette University in Oregon. She holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the prestigious Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

First low-power digital television station in Indian Country

March 27, 2015 (Gila River Indian Reservation) — Loris A. Taylor, president and CEO of Native Public Media, will speak at the grand opening of the Gila River Broadcasting Corporation (GRBC) on April 6, 2015.

“I am honored to be invited by the Gila River Indian Community to celebrate the grand opening of GRBC,” Taylor said. “This occasion is the pinnacle of what broadband in Indian Country can be, and how intertwining the art of Tribal Nations storytelling with digital technologies can create powerful broadcasts of their own stories and content meaningful to their community.

“My hope is that GRBC will be the first of many broadcasting facilities to multiply and prosper across Indian Country and that other tribal communities will follow suit and push the envelope to innovate and to be creative.”

The grand opening will take place at 9 a.m. April 6 at the GRBC studio located at 7065 W. Allison Road in Chandler.

Taylor recently was recognized by the Distribution & Interconnection Committee of the National Public Radio (NPR) Board of Directors for her service along with her advocacy work to establish the Tribal Priority for Broadcasting and the Office of Native Affairs and Policy at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Taylor was instrumental in commissioning the first study on broadband entitled “The New Media, Technology and Internet Use in Indian Country” which outlined the first tribal recommendations to the Federal National Broadband Plan.

Native Public Media is a national organization devoted to encouraging healthy, independent and engaged tribal communities through media access, control and ownership. Currently 53 Native owned and operated radio stations and a handful of television stations and projects serve Indian Country.

AZ State Library, Archives and Public Records turns 100

March 20, 2015 (Phoenix) — Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records celebrated 100 years of service to Arizonans on March 24.

As part of the milestone, the State Library has released an e-booklet, “100 Years of Public Service,” that highlights its history decade-by-decade. The pamphlet chronicles changing facilities, staff, resources, and technologies.

“Many Arizonans are not aware of the State Library,” said Secretary of State Michele Reagan. “The e-booklet is a great way to learn about our many services and how we have delivered them throughout the decades.”

Services provided by the State Library include the:

  • State Library of Arizona – There are many facets to the library, including: a genealogy section, a repository for federal publications, a U.S. patent and trademark resource center, a law library and access to state agency publications.
  • Digital Arizona Library – A portfolio of online resources, including: reference services, Reading Arizona, the Arizona Memory Project, Arizona digital newspaper program and the Arizona Almanac.
  • State Archives and Records Management – ARM collects, preserves and makes publically available permanent public records, historical manuscripts, photographs and other materials; managing public records throughout state and local government in Arizona.

“The State Library continues its commitment to Arizona by helping Arizonans know and obtain information about their government, their state and their world,” said State Librarian Joan Clark.

For more information about the State Library, a division of the Secretary of State, visit the website at

Two promoted at ABC15

March 12, 2015 (Phoenix) — Chris Kline has been named news director at ABC15, where he will oversee all cross-platform story gathering. In his new position, Kline will lead the newsroom to distribute stories across both television and digital channels to better serve Arizona communities and meet changing audience habits.

Chris Kline

Chris Kline

For the past three years, Kline has served as director of new media at ABC15, managing the station’s growing digital strategy. He’s also served as an executive producer, web producer and reporter during his eight-year tenure at the station.

Before joining ABC15, Kline worked as a convergence journalist for the Arizona Republic and at CNN’s Crossfire in Washington, D.C. He’s also been an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Kline, who is an Arizona native, received his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He moves into the news director role effective immediately.

Danielle Lerner

Danielle Lerner

In related news, Danielle Lerner has been promoted to co-anchor of ABC15 Mornings. She is an award-winning journalist who has been with ABC15 since the fall of 2014 as a weekend anchor and reporter.

“She has been anchoring on a temporary basis with the ABC15 Mornings crew for the past few months and the response to the team has been terrific,” said Anita Helt, vice-president and general manager at ABC15.

Lerner has studied and worked in five different states stretching from Washington, D.C., to California. Before joining ABC15, Lerner was most recently a morning anchor at KVOA-TV in Tucson. She also worked at KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Lerner grew up in Phoenix and is a graduate of Chaparral High School. She attended Saint Mary’s College in South Bend and received her Master’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.