Reception to honor STAR Award Winners

Schmidt

Caitlin Schmidt

Members of the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona (FACAZ) have chosen Caitlin Schmidt, with The Arizona Daily Star, and Craig Harris, with the Arizona Republic as the 2018 STAR Award winners. Caitlin and Craig are being honored for their efforts to protect the principles of the First Amendment and further the public’s right to know about government actions through their tenacious journalism.

A reception in their honor will take place 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 in the First Amendment Forum at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 555 N. Central Ave. Metered street parking available.

Caitlin’s work portfolio is remarkable in southern Arizona. She has uncovered corruption within the Tucson Police Department and Pima County Sheriff’s Department, and wrote dozens of stories about law enforcement officers accused of serious misconduct. In late 2017, Caitlin shifted her efforts to focus on several allegations of sexual and domestic abuse involving University of Arizona athletes and coaches. Caitlin has won a dozen awards for investigative and government reporting during her four years at the Arizona Daily Star.

Harris

Craig Harris

Craig’s work in covering the Ducey administration and charter schools is without equal. While most state employees received meager or no raises, Craig exposed large raises handed out to Gov. Ducey’s inner circle last year. His work on charter schools showed how some charter owners are making a fortune, while the public school system deals with chronic underfunding. Craig has won multiple journalism awards, including the Polk, IRE and SPJ awards, as well as being a finalist for the Pulitzer.

During the reception, the two award winners will discuss their approaches to reporting and techniques they use to cover government. Free appetizers and drinks will precede the awards presentation. The event should wrap up by 6:30, with drinks at Chambers on First Street to follow (705 N. 1st St., #100).

Cooper receives Cronkite Award

By Bette Sharpe/Glendale Daily Planet

CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper accepted the 2018 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix. Arizona State University Executive Vice President and University Provost, Dr. Mark S. Searle presented the award to Cooper.

Cooper award“At a time in our history when journalism, facts and the truth itself are under attack every day, we believe that a free, robust and unfettered press remains the most essential element to the health and the future of our great country, our democracy and our freedom,” ASU Cronkite School Dean Chris Callahan said.

The journalism program at Arizona State University was named in honor of former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite in 1984. Gabriella Bachara, a senior student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, introduced Cooper, who accepted the award at a luncheon attended by a sellout crowd of more than 1,200 media leaders, business executives, civic leaders and Cronkite School supporters and students.

Cooper is the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning prime-time anchor of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” a newscast that goes beyond the headlines with in-depth reporting and investigations.

Cooper, also a correspondent for “60 Minutes” on CBS, has reported live from more than 40 countries since his journalism career began in 1992. He has earned a reputation as one television’s leading journalists.

Previously Cooper was and ABC News correspondent from 1995-2000, serving as anchor of ABC’s overnight newscast, “World News Now.” He also was a correspondent for “World News Tonight,” as well as “20/20.” He joined ABC from Channel One News, a school television network seen daily in more than 12,000 classrooms nationwide.

During his acceptance speech, Cooper recalled his childhood experiences watching Walter Cronkite on television. He also discussed the current political climate in which the press [is] attacked and special interests manipulate the truth.

“There is certainly much to criticize in the media and much to analyze and improve upon,” Cooper said. “But this I know: I know that the kids who are studying here (at the Cronkite School) to become journalists are not the enemies of the people.”

After the luncheon, Cooper spoke to more than 300 students who packed the First Amendment Forum. The 40-minute discussion, led by Cronkite senior Bryce Newberry, weaved Cooper’s stories from his hundreds of live reporting spots around the world with humor, a wealth of advice to the aspiring journalists and his own journey as a political science graduate of Yale University who rose through the ranks in television news.

While referring to Walter Cronkite as the “north star” of journalists, Cooper expressed humility and reverence for receiving the award as he stressed the importance of “finding your voice,” pursuing internships, learning every aspect of the business and “out-hustling everyone around you.”

“This is something that gets the heart pumping,” he said. “If it’s a genuine passion then you’ll put in the time and hours.”

He spoke of the “passion for this craft” in the face of “fake news” and other attacks on the media. Noting the increase in journalism degree enrollment, Cooper encouraged Cronkite students to learn everything they can about journalism, the world and “keep and follow whatever is unique to you.”

“You’re entering an incredibly honorable profession in which you can help save lives and inform people about things that can change their world,” he said. “It’s an incredibly honorable and tough profession, with unique challenges and difficulties. But at its core, there’s a real honor to doing it well.”

As part of Cooper’s daylong visit to ASU, Cooper anchored his CNN program, “Anderson Cooper 360” from the Cronkite School. He also hosted his Facebook Watch program “Anderson Cooper Full Circle.”

Each year, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism is presented to a recipient who is deemed to represent a leading figure in the journalism industry, especially for ground-breaking achievements which have advanced the industry as a whole.

Award recipients include TV news anchors Scott Pelley, Diane Sawyer, Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill; newspaper journalists Ben Bradlee, Helen Thomas and Bob Woodward; and media executives Katharine Graham, Al Neuharth and William Paley. Cronkite personally presented the award during its first quarter-century until the CBS News anchor died in 2009.

The Academics and Economics of School Choice: A Parent-Led Discussion, Oct. 18

(From the Huffington Post and Arizona Republic):

“The Academics and Economics of School Choice: A Parent-Led Discussion

“Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Add to Calendar

“Tempe Center for the Arts, Lakeside Room, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281 View Map

RSVP on Eventbrite here. Admission is free.

“Please join HuffPost and The Arizona Republic for a conversation about school choice. The event will take place at the Tempe Center for the Arts in the Lakeside Room. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the event will begin at 7 p.m. It will last approximately 90 minutes, including an audience Q&A. This conversation will be hosted by two Phoenix parents, Claudia Lopez and Angelina Dominguez, and will feature the following panelists: Lawrence Robinson, president of the Arizona School Boards Association; state Rep. Paul Boyer, charter school teacher and chairman of the House Education Committee; and Sharon Kirsch, co-chair of Save Our Schools Arizona.

RSVP on Eventbrite here.

“The event is part of HuffPost’s “Listen to America” RV tour — a two-week journey through five Western states to talk about issues affecting communities in California, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and Colorado. Learn more about the tour and what’s happening on the route.”

# # #

Free training: Covering and Protecting Your Elections, Oct. 11

Get the tools to detect misinformation, protect yourself and your data online, and connect with voters and help them get the full story — from training provided free by SPJ and the Google News Initiative!

WHEN: 1 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11

WHERE: Room 544, Beus Center for Law and Society, Arizona State University Downtown Campus, 111 E. Taylor St., Phoenix

WHO: Trainers are Mike Reilley, visiting professor in data journalism and digital journalism at the University of Illinois-Chicago (and former faculty member at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication) and consults with national media organizations on digital innovation. Dan Petty is director of audience development for Digital First Media. He develops and implements strategies to help grow the company’s digital audience across web, mobile, social and other third-party platforms. Robert Leger was president of SPJ’s Sigma Delta Chi Foundation from 2012 to 2018, and a member of the board since 2000. He was president of SPJ in 2002-03 and received the Wells Memorial Key, the Society’s highest honor, in 2012.

He was a newspaper guy for 37 years, the final 22 years writing and editing for the editorial pages of the Arizona Republic and Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. He now writes, edits and provides messaging advice through Leger Strategies, LLC.

Register here.

BASICS: During election season, misleading news reports can sway opinions. Digital attacks can take important websites offline, silencing information when voters need it most. Journalists need access to accurate information, and a clear understanding of how to break down complicated topics with data. These are areas where Google tools and workflows can provide real value.

The SPJ Training Program, in association with the Google News Initiative, is offering free training on a wide range of Google tools and workflows that can help you engage your audience, research and report information around the elections, and use data visualizations in powerful new ways. Get more information here. Register here.

Scare up a few friends and haunt our Happy Howler Mixer, Oct. 27 at FEZ on Central

Phoenix skyline 10-16-17

Photo by Mark Scarp

Valley media people: Put some journalistic spirit into your October. Visit with some old fiends, er, friends — and new blood is always welcome!

SPJ’s Happy Howler Mixer is 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, at FEZ on Central, 105 W. Portland St. (at Central Avenue just north of Roosevelt Street) in downtown Phoenix.

There’s no program. Just enjoyable conversation with fellow journalists in a beautiful setting. Halloween attire is not required, but the scariest attendee may have a drink paid for by the chapter president! See our Facebook event page!

 

 

 

Fake news: Why we click it, how to stop, Aug. 15 — NEW DATE AND LOCATION!

Join us as we hear a panel of distinguished journalists discuss the issue that has both media people and the public talking and wondering about the future of our democracy.

This FREE program, “Fake News: Why We Click It, How to Stop” is 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, in the Community Room (L162/163) at the South Mountain Community Library, 7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix.

This discussion is presented by Valley of the Sun SPJ in partnership with the SMCL, a partnership between the Phoenix Public Library and South Mountain Community College. The library, which opened in 2011, is a beautiful copper, concrete and steel structure containing 50,000 square feet.

RSVP to our Facebook page!

Speakers:

 

Lauren Gilger, host/producer, KJZZ, Phoenix

 

 

Mary Jo Pitzl, state government reporter, Arizona Republic, Phoenix

 

 

 

Jessica Pucci, Ethics and Excellence Professor of Practice, Data Analysis and Audience Engagement, Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Phoenix

 

 

Allison Rodriguez, multimedia journalist and anchor, ABC15, Phoenix

 

 

Topics will include:

  • What do we mean whenmicrophone09.jpg 42.8K we say fake news?
  • Red flags to help you know if you are viewing fake news
  • How do be a more media-savvy news consumer
  • How our own news-consumption habits worsen the problem
  • Do fact checkers and “Pinocchio”-like ratings systems work?
  • How Facebook and others are trying to fix the problem
  • How mainstream news organizations can better engage wary audiences

For further information, contact chapter president Tim Eigo. Eigo, editor of Arizona Attorney magazine, will moderate the discussion.

Enjoy a cold brew with us on the longest day of the year, June 20*

Celebrate another 12 months gone by with us on the longest day of the year — a perfect reason if you live in Phoenix for an ice cold brew! Once again our Summer Solstice Soiree expresses our thanks to our members and all Valley journalists is to be celebrated 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 20* in the Brewer’s Den at SunUp Brewing at 322 E. Camelback, a short walk from the Central Avenue/Camelback Road light rail station.

All Valley media people are invited and admission is free. Appetizers are on us; the beers (or non-alcoholic beverages) are on you.

At this event the chapter will also take about five minutes to hold its annual elections for chapter officers for a one-year term from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. Chapter members on hand will vote. The nominations committee has recommended a slate of candidates:

President: Tim Eigo, Arizona Attorney magazine; Vice President: Debra Utacia Krol, freelance journalist; Secretary: Kaely Monahan, KJZZ-FM; Treasurer: Teri Carnicelli, North Central News.

Any chapter member in good standing may run for chapter office. If you are interested, please contact Mark Scarp at phoenixspj@cox.net by Thursday, June 15.

Come on in! It’s too hot to be outside. (*The summer solstice actually begins June 21 this year, but who’s counting?)

The Numbers Game: Political Polls, and What They Mean, Sept. 28

Journalists are bombarded with data from polls, especially when election season approaches. Are you confident you can tell the legitimate numbers from the sloppy surveys? How effectively can you evaluate the polling methods? Do you know when nine out of 10 isn’t really nine out of 10?

Join us as we host political pollster Mike O’Neil of O’Neil Associates, for this informative event, just in time for the deluge of polls that will be released before the Nov. 8 election. Mike will discuss the current state of polling and how to understand and evaluate polls.

It’s 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill, 2121 E. Highland Ave., four blocks east of Route 51/Piestewa Freeway (Highland Avenue exit), Phoenix. SPJ welcomes all members of the media to this FREE event, but you must RSVP by Monday, Sept. 26 to: teri@phoenixspj.org.

Topics will include:
• Polls: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly—which is which
• Live interviewer polls, robopolls, internet polls: what’s the difference
• The Polling Aggregators (fivethirtyeight, pollster.com, and Real Clear Politics): which are better and why
• Why that “plus or minus” figure everyone always fixates on is actually among the least important of poll attributes (and why people still think it is important)


Walter Robinson, former Boston Globe editor who headed team portrayed in film ‘Spotlight,’ to speak at Sept. 14 screening co-sponsored by SPJ, Cronkite School

Spotlight_Promotional_Image

The Academy Award-winning 2015 film Spotlight will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the First Amendment Forum at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Walter V. “Robby” Robinson, the editor who headed the Boston Globe‘s Spotlight investigative team that reported the story of the pedophile priest scandal in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston in the early 2000s, will speak in September at a Phoenix screening of the Oscar-winning film Spotlight, co-sponsored by the Valley of the Sun chapter of SPJ and the Arizona State  University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Walter Robinson, Boston Globe, Spotlight

Walter V. “Robby” Robinson, former editor of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team, will speak at a screening of the film “Spotlight” in Phoenix Sept. 14.

Robinson, right, portrayed by actor Michael Keaton in the 2015 film — which won the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay earlier this year — will give remarks at the screening, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14.

The showing will be in the First Amendment Forum on the second floor of the Cronkite School, 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Officials announced on the Cronkite School website that Robinson has accepted a position at the school as Donald W. Reynolds Visiting Professor, teaching a course in investigative journalism for graduate and advanced undergraduate students. His Spotlight team’s series in the Globe won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2003.

SPJ arranged with the producers of the film to allow its professional chapters one-time licenses to show it locally. The Valley of the Sun (Phoenix) chapter was eager to secure a license for the Phoenix screening. The chapter is grateful to the Cronkite School for the opportunity to show the film on its large screen, which should give a local audience insight into how the Spotlight Team reported what ultimately became a national story.

Phoenix is site of 2016 SPJ Region 11 conference

Get the tools to keep your journalism skills sharp and network your way into opportunity at SpringConf15_Logothe SPJ Western Regional (Region 11) Conference, April 29-30 at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The conference hashtag is #spjwest.

Click here for conference details. Sign up today to get our affordable registration rate of $65, $50 for SPJ members, $30 for full-time college students. These prices include all sessions, a Friday opening night reception, Saturday continental breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and an invitation to a post-conference decompress gathering at the Sky Deck bar atop the Clarendon Hotel and Spa in midtown Phoenix.