Valley Holiday Media Mixer gathers local journalists for second year

It seemed like a terrific idea in 2013: Get members of Valley media organizations together for a big holiday happy hour, with free appetizers to attract skeptical journalists, to celebrate putting another year behind us with hopes for better times in the next one.

Not only did it seem like a good idea, it was. About 35 of us showed up at various times media mixer 2014during a chilly-by-Phoenix-standards December evening at The Turf, an Irish pub with good vibes of comfort and joy. As we began making our way out, we talked about doing it again — although admittedly we didn’t think it wocould be another year before we did.

Well, it is another year, but once more the 2nd annual Valley Holiday Media Mixer is here to help local media people to get their Yule on. Valley of the Sun SPJ is one of the sponsoring organizations as is the Arizona Press Club, the Rocky Mountain/Southwest chapter of NATAS and the Arizona chapters of AAJA, NAJA and NLGJA.

So plan to be there, rest ye merry, gentlemen (and ladies), and bring your friends in the business. This is a membership building opportunity for each of the media groups, after all. It’s 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, back at The Turf, 705 N. First St., between Fillmore and Roosevelt, just north of the Cronkite School in downtown Phoenix. No need to RSVP, just be there to toast the holidays (drinks are on you, but, as said above, the appetizers are paid for by the media groups), renew connections and friendships, and make it your starting point for a brighter, better 2015.

Former Republic writer talks about journey with Alzheimer’s

Embedded journalism typically refers to news reporters attached to military units engaged in war.

Greg O'Brien

Greg O’Brien

In the case of Greg O’Brien, the term applies to the award-winning journalist’s personal battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. O’Brien is embedded in his own mind, chronicling his journey with hope, faith and humor in his new book On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s.

O’Brien will speak and sign books from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 20 at Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, 555 N. Central Ave. Sponsored by Hospice of the Valley, the “Voices of Alzheimer’s” event also includes the agency’s dementia program director Maribeth Gallagher – a doctor of nursing practice and national expert on the disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.

O’Brien was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2009, at the age of 59.

His mother and grandfather also had the disease; they share a common gene. O’Brien decided to face down the demon and write about it, chronicling moments like gargling with rubbing alcohol instead of mouthwash, introducing himself to a friend he’d known for decades, and getting lost for hours on a drive then coasting into his driveway at home with the lights off to escape detection.

With more than 35 years’ experience as a writer, editor, investigative reporter and publisher – including The Arizona Republic – O’Brien tells his story with grace and insight. It is a story about living with Alzheimer’s, not dying from it. O’Brien lives with his family in Cape Cod, where he served as editor of the local newspaper.

There is no charge for the event, which is open to the public. A short documentary film clip about O’Brien and his family produced by “Hoop Dreams” director Steve James will be shown. Valley businessman Ray Artigue, a Cronkite board member, will moderate the event. A question-and-answer session also will be held followed by light refreshments.

To RSVP, contact 602-636-5394 or events3@hov.org.

Thanks for making the Valley Publicity Summit a success!

pubsum14updatedValley of the Sun SPJ appreciates the 53 public relations professionals and 27 media representatives who participated in last Saturday’s Valley Publicity Summit, hosted by SPJ. We’re also grateful to Olson Communications Inc. for its sponsorship, to Phoenix PR Pros and IABC Phoenix for promoting the Summit, and for the ASU chapter of SPJ for volunteering at the event, which brought media people and public relations practitioners together to discuss story-pitch preferences. Proceeds will support the chapter and make a contribution benefiting the Phoenix-area public relations community. See you in 2015!

Valley of the Sun SPJ presents Freedom of Information Awards in Scottsdale

Phoenix, AZ, Sept. 20, 2014 — The Valley of the Sun Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) honored nine journalists, two newspapers and two television stations with its 2014 Freedom of Information Awards winners Saturday, Sept. 20, recognizing outstanding work done by members of the state’s media that substantially made use of public records in 2013.

The awards were presented during the Arizona Newspapers Association’s 75th annual fall convention and meeting at the Chaparral Suites in Scottsdale. Valley of the Sun SPJ joined in partnership with ANA for awards presentations for the first time this year, joining the Arizona Associated Press Managing Editors, who have been making its awards presentations at the annual ANA event for several years.

In addition to its First Amendment Awards for outstanding journalism based significantly on access to public records and/or open meetings, Valley of the Sun SPJ also honored with induction into the Order of the Silver Key media professionals who have had long and distinguished careers in Arizona.

Gary Nelson, retired from The Arizona Republic, received the chapter’s highest honor, the Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism.

Here are the awards Valley of the Sun SPJ presented on Sept. 20, 2014:

First Amendment Awards:

  • Morgan Loew, CBS 5/AZ-KPHO, for “Sheriff Arpaio’s SVU”
  • Craig Harris, Beth Duckett and Dustin Gardiner, The Arizona Republic, for “Arizona’s public pension systems”
  • Wendy Halloran, KPNX-TV, for “Phoenix Fire Department arson squad members’ false claims”
  • Craig Harris and Rob O’Dell, The Arizona Republic, for “Troubled youths abused at residential treatment centers”
  • Arizona Daily Star, and education reporter Alexis Huicochea, team leader Joe Burchell, and Editor Bobbie Jo Buel, for lawsuit, “Pressing TUSD to release superintendent candidates’ names”

The First Amendment Awards recognize efforts that substantially relied on public records and open meetings to produce top-quality journalism.

Order of the Silver Key Society:

  • Pete Aleshire, Editor-in-Chief, Payson Roundup
  • Ed Sharpe of the Glendale Daily Planet
  • Kathy Tulumello, Business editor, The Arizona Republic

The Order of the Silver Key honors journalists who have been in the profession for at least 25 years, a significant majority of which were in Arizona, who have conspicuously contributed to the journalism profession and have inspired fellow journalists.

Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism:

Gary Nelson, retired from of The Arizona Republic

   The Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism recognizes the career of an Arizona journalist whose body of work has served to inspire fellow journalists, including a notable commitment to the cause of freedom of information. The award is named for Phil Alvidrez, who retired as news director at Phoenix’s KTVK-TV (Channel 3) after 20 years in that position. Alvidrez was a tireless campaigner for the free flow of government information, often committing his station’s financial resources to fight numerous court battles to open closed documents and meetings.

For more information, contact Teri Carnicelli, Valley of the Sun SPJ treasurer, at 602-410-1267 or teri@phoenixspj.org.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Our Valley of the Sun chapter has been doing the same since 1958.

Join us for the Valley Publicity Summit, hosted by SPJ!

pubsum14updatedThe event that brings journalists and public relations professionals together for an entire Saturday morning is coming soon! PR pros: Sign up here! The Society of Professional Journalists, Valley of the Sun chapter, presents the Valley Publicity Summit, hosted by SPJ, the amazing event where a roomful of locally based journalists share insights, give their story pitch preferences and industry updates with area public relations practitioners. In fact, we’ve arranged to have two rooms! It’s 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at SkySong, 1475 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale (2nd floor of SkySong 1 building, the NE building of the complex). A map is at our registration site on Eventbrite (details below), and the hashtag is #pubsum14.

PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONALS: You could contact our more than 25 journalists expected to attend on your own over the course of a typical year, but at the Summit you can accomplish the same thing in one day! So sign up today — early-bird registration ends Sept. 2! Sign up here! (Proceeds to benefit the Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter and also fund a donation to benefit the Phoenix-area public relations profession.)

JOURNALISTS: Here’s your chance to guide PR practitioners in their interactions and respond to their story interests. Likewise, PR professionals have the opportunity to acquaint you with potentially newsworthy information. If you would like to volunteer to be one of the journalists at this event, please email Mark Scarp.

JOURNALISTS EXPECTED TO ATTEND INCLUDE (SO FAR): Kathy Tulumello,business editor, Arizona Republic; Nicole Crites, morning anchor, KPHO-TV (CBS5);Heather Dunn, managing editor, KPNX-TV (12 News); Al Macias, managing editor, and Carrie Jung, reporter, KJZZ-FM; Sue Doerfler, deals reporter, Arizona Republic; Marie Look, editor-in-chief, Scottsdale Magazine, Ilana Lowery, editor, and Hayley Ringle, technology/startups reporter, Phoenix Business Journal; Laurie Merrill, digital business reporter and former public safety reporter, Arizona Republic; Kate Crowley,contributing blogger, “Chow Bella,” Phoenix New Times; Amanda Ventura, associate editor, AZ Big Media; RaeAnne Marsh, editor, In Business Phoenix Magazine; Teri Carnicelli, editor, North Central News; Tom Gibbons, editor, Talk of Arizona online quarterly, Kristy Durkin, blogger, whereshouldweeat.com…. AND MORE TO COME….

PR PROFESSIONALS: Sign up here! A schedule of the day’s events is at publicitysummit.eventbrite.com.

Our event organizing committee consists of Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter members and several public relations practitioners in the Valley.

 

Keep up with First Amendment issues on arizonafoi.com

Arizona journalists who want to know the latest on First Amendment, freedom-of-information, public records/open meetings or other access-to-government issues as they relate to journalism in the Grand Canyon State should visit arizonafoi.com, the website of the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona.

The coalition is a consortium of the state’s media and open-government-minded individuals and organizations. The Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter is a charter member of the coalition, which was founded in 1981 and maintains a free hotline for professional and fac_logo1student journalists to call to speak to a media-law attorney from the Phoenix office of Perkins Coie, P.A., who can advise them on their efforts to gain access to government via public documents and public meetings.

Visit arizonafoi.com to keep up on the issues as well as the coalition’s efforts to support media and public access to government though the exercise of the freedom of information.

Veteran journalists panel to discuss child immigration crisis

Five veteran journalists from The Arizona Republic will explore issues surrounding the child immigration crisis during a special online panel discussion at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University next week.

The Cronkite School is partnering with The Arizona Republic to host “Reporters on the Ground: The Child Immigration Crisis” on Wednesday, July 23, from noon to 1 p.m. The online, interactive discussion features Arizona Republic staff who contributed to a weeklong series of stories examining the recent wave of unaccompanied migrant children seeking asylum in the U.S.

The event will be streamed live online on azcentral.com’s home page. The public is encouraged to participate in the discussion at www.azcentral.com or on Twitter using the hashtag #immigrantchildren.

Republic opinion writer Linda Valdez will moderate the conversation, featuring reporters Bob Ortega and Daniel Gonzalez and photographers Michael Chow and David Wallace. The panelists will share their experiences covering the crisis.

As part of the in-depth series “Pipeline of Children,” the Republic sent reporters and photographers to Central America and the U.S. border from Texas to Nogales, Ariz., to share the stories of children hoping to escape violence and bleak futures in search of a better life.

According to The Arizona Republic, approximately 57,000 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended in the U.S. in the past eight months — already 18,000 more than fiscal 2013. More than 70 percent are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, three of the countries with the highest murder rates in the world.

“We’re excited to partner with The Arizona Republic to host this discussion,” said Cronkite Associate Dean Kristin Gilger. “At the Cronkite School, we teach coverage of immigration and border issues as part of our Latino specialization, so this is an important topic for us, as it is for all Arizonans.”

The Republic project also includes a story written and reported by Cronkite student Emilie Eaton, who was part of a depth reporting class this spring that traveled to Chiapas, Mexico. The Cronkite Borderlands Initiative, supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Adelaida and Barry Severson, offers students multimedia depth reporting training and the opportunity to learn about critical immigration and border issues.

“Reporters on the Ground: The Child Immigration Crisis” is presented by The Arizona Republic and the Cronkite School in partnership with Valle del Sol, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Valley Leadership.

To view The Republic’s “Pipeline of Children” series and learn more about the ongoing immigration crisis, visit borderkids.azcentral.com.

Awards contest deadline is July 11

Each year, the Valley of the Sun Chapter of SPJ presents its annual Arizona Freedom of Information Awards, honoring excellence in journalism and in open government in Arizona during the previous calendar year. Other awards are given for dedication and outstanding service in journalism, as well as for special recognition for efforts on behalf of the First Amendment.

Nominations must be postmarked NO LATER THAN Friday, July 11 and mailed to: Teri Carnicelli, c/o North Central News, 5308 N. 12th St., Suite 402, Phoenix, AZ  85014. Self-nominations are welcome. E-mail submissions can be sent to spjteri@gmail.com.

Award categories include:

  • The First Amendment Awards, which recognize efforts that substantially relied on public records and open meetings to produce top quality journalism.
  • The Order of the Silver Key, which honors journalists who have been in the profession for at least 25 years, a significant majority of which were in Arizona, who have conspicuously contributed to the journalism profession and have inspired fellow journalists.
  • The Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism, which recognizes the career of an Arizona journalist whose body of work has served to inspire fellow journalists, including a notable commitment to the cause of freedom of information. The award is named for Phil Alvidrez, who retired as news director at Phoenix’s KTVK-TV (Channel 3) after 20 years in that position. Alvidrez was a tireless campaigner for the free flow of government information, often committing his station’s financial resources to fight numerous court battles to open closed documents and meetings.

There is NO COST to enter the awards contest. Award nomination forms can be downloaded from the http://www.phoenixspj.org website under “Awards & Scholarships.”

For more information, contact Teri Carnicelli at 602-410-1267 or spjteri@gmail.com.

Valley of the Sun SPJ extends awards contest

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the spring awards event originally planned by the Valley of the Sun Chapter of SPJ had to be postponed. The chapter now will be partnering with the Arizona Newspapers Association (ANA) to co-present its awards at ANA’s fall awards event, set for 12 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Chaparral Suites Resort, 5001 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.

The Valley of the Sun SPJ’s annual Arizona Freedom of Information Awards honor excellence in journalism and in open government in Arizona during the previous calendar year. The nomination period has been extended, with entries needing to be postmarked no later than Friday, July 11. Self-nominations are welcome. Entries that were received earlier this year (for the original spring event) are still eligible and do not need to be re-submitted.

There is NO COST to enter the awards contest. The First Amendment Award nomination form, as well as the Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the Order of the Silver Key Society award forms, can be found on this website under “Awards & Scholarships.”

For more information, contact Teri Carnicelli at 602-410-1267 or teri@phoenixspj.org.

Join us for cool brew and hot networking

The Valley of the Sun chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites Valley media to its annual summer mixer (and 5 minutes of chapter officer elections), “Cool Brew & Hot Networking” coincides (reasonably) with the Summer Solstice, the longest (and arguably one of the hottest) days of the year. First round of appetizers is on the chapter.

10384130_10152391312200660_6262570595579174691_nEach year, our tradition is to take five minutes to elect new SPJ officers and wrap a couple of hours of socializing, food and beer around it.

So once again, the Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter holds its annual meeting and mostly social event at the SunUp Brewing Co., 322 E. Camelback (click for map), just a short walk from the Central Avenue/Camelback Road light rail line, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26.

Members and nonmembers are welcome. The chapter will pick up the first round of appetizers. Come and cool off with a variety of on-the-premises-brewed beers and meet fellow journalists from around the Valley.