Get your Yule on: Valley Media Holiday Mixer, Dec. 4, at Bliss ReBAR

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Valley journalists: It’s almost here!  Our annual (and now officially legendary) Valley Media Holiday Mixer, is 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Bliss ReBAR, 901 N. Fourth St. (just south of reindeer12Roosevelt), named by USA Today as one of the 10 Best Nightlife Destinations in Downtown Phoenix. 

Say your “Going” today on our Facebook event page, Valley Media Holiday Mixer ’18.

Get your Yule on, celebrate the year gone by and the year ahead with your media peeps, colleagues and competitors alike, in this must-be-there holiday event! Your friendly neighborhood Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter will put out a spread of free appetizers (drinks are on you) and give away door prizes.

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We will also be raising funds for chapter events and activities by selling cool soft denim blue caps with the SPJ shield logo and the words, “I Support Freedom of the Press” for only $10!

Admission to the mixer is free, so — right now! — say your “Going” today on our Facebook event page, Valley Media Holiday Mixer ’18. The event hashtag: #getyouryuleon

Reception to honor STAR Award Winners

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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.

Free Tools Training for Journalists, Nov. 1

Hurry! Sign up now: Only 11 seats left! A free workshop for journalists providing an overview of the Google tools journalists can use in newsgathering, 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. SPJ Trainer Mike Reilley comes to Phoenix for this training thanks to a grant from the Google News Initiative. The grant enables SPJ to pay the travel expense for the trainer. Sign up today — seating is limited to 40 participants. Mike will cover:
–5 p.m. to 5:55 p.m.: Google basics, Google Trends, Google Reverse Image Search and verification tools, Google Scholar. Fun with Google AutoDraw.com and what else is coming in AI with Google Lens.
–6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.: Deep Dive Google MyMaps. Data scraping with Google Sheets, scraping .PDFs with Tabula. Google Public Data Explorer.
–7:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. (optional): Google Earth Pro, Earth Engine Timelapse tool, Google Street View.
Click here for more info and to register.

AAJA-Arizona’s Spelling Bee for Adults, Oct. 23

(From the Asian-American Journalists Association of Arizona:)

So you think you can spell? AAJA-Arizona invites you to compete for the honor of supreme speller in the 2018 Spelling Bee for Adults, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix. Doors open at 6 p.m.AAJA Spelling Bee for Adults, 10-23-2018, Phoenix

Entry for spellers is $10. Shoot an email to aajaaz@gmail.com to sign up.

Non-competitors are welcome to come and watch all the letter-reciting action. Happy hour-priced drinks will be available at the store’s First Draft Book Bar. AAJA is also selling raffle tickets ($5 a pop) for prizes including gift cards to Fox Restaurant Concepts, Snoh Ice Shavery, Genuine Concepts, Great Wall Cuisine, and the grand prize: a one-night stay at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale.

Admission is a suggested donation of $10. Proceeds benefit scholarships for the Asian American Journalists Association of Arizona. Details, RSVP here.

 

An Evening with Norah O’Donnell of “CBS This Morning,” Oct. 23

(From Barrett, the Honors College, at Arizona State University):

Barrett, the Honors College, at Arizona State University is hosting a signature event, the Flinn Foundation Centennial Lecture, on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Norah O’Donnell, CBS This Morning anchor/co-host, is the featured speaker. The event is free and open to the public. You are welcome to attend and bring guests. Please share this invitation with your colleagues and anyone else who may be interested.

Information is below and here is a link to the ticket registration page: https://centennial2018.eventbrite.com

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.

Bommersbach to discuss latest novel

Jana Bommersbach, a well-respected Arizona journalist and author, discusses her latest novel, “thedeadgirlinthevacantlot,” 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 16 at Changing Hands–Phoenix, 300 W. Camelback Road.

This is Bommersbach’s second book based on the character Joya Bonner, a Phoenix investigative reporter. Bonner knew nothing about the world of sex-trafficking—or the ugly status her city held in this filthy underground. And then it smacked her in the face, just as the Super Bowl was coming to town in 2008. Scared, repulsed, frantic, but determined, she risks her life trying to save girls forced into sex slavery.

Bommersbach will speak about her research and agony in writing this novel at this, the official launch of “thedeadgirlinthevacantlot.” The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase ($20.00 plus tax).

Bommersbach has been the state’s “Journalist of the Year” and has been honored with two lifetime achievement awards as an “inspiration to the state’s media community.” Her inaugural book, The Trunk Murderess: Winnie Ruth Judd, was lauded as one of the nation’s best non-fiction books. Her historical novel, Cattle Kate, won a similar accolade.

Help with conference expenses

Just because your company and/or personal budget is looking bleak doesn’t mean you should miss out on the important training and fun networking waiting for you at EIJ18, Sept. 27-29 in Baltimore, Md.

To help offset the cost of #EIJ18, SPJ will award 27 scholarships/internships/fellowships to students and professionals. Assistance for pro’s includes:

  • Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program:The goal of the program is to increase the diversity of SPJ members within the organization. Each year, SPJ selects six members to participate as SPJ Diversity Leadership Fellows. The fellowship provides funds for fellows to receive a conference registration, airfare (up to $300), four-night hotel accommodations at EIJ18 and one ticket to the SPJ President’s Installation Banquet on Sept. 29 Get the details and apply now.
  • Terry Harper Memorial Scholarships: The Terry Harper Memorial Scholarship is open to professional, post-grad and retired members. It is given in honor of Terry Harper, SPJ’s executive director from 2002-2009. The scholarship provides funds for up to five members to receive a conference registration, airfare, four-night hotel accommodations at EIJ18 and one ticket to the SPJ President’s Installation Banquet on Sept. 29. Applications are due June 5. Get the details and apply now. For eligibility and application information, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact our program team, Christine Cordial (ccordial@spj.org) or Abbi Booth (abooth@spj.org).

Valley Publicity Summit set for Sept. 15, 2018

 

SAVE THE DATE: The 15th annual Valley Publicity Summit has been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, once again at Barrett, the Honors College, at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. (Backup date: Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.)

Once again we will be bringing together Valley media and public relations professionals to discuss story-pitch preferences and story ideas. Each year more than two dozen journalists and more than 50 PR pros participate. Stay tuned to this website and our chapter’s Facebook page for more details.

SPJ_InstagramJournalists: Volunteer for the Summit and connect with area PR pros and let them know how you want to be pitched! Email phoenixspj@cox.net to find out more.

Watch this site and our Facebook page for details on social, professional and other chapter events throughout the year.