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.

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?)

Jerusalem Post chief political correspondent to speak at ASU in Tempe, March 20

A former Arizona Republic journalist who is now chief political correspondent for The Jerusalem Post in Israel will give a free lecture at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Hoffman will speak on the topic, “Peace, Politics and Plutonium: An Insider’s Look at the Mayhem in the Middle East,” at 7 p.m. Monday, March 20, in Room L1-20 of Coor Hall, 976 S. Forest Mall, on the Tempe campus.

Hoffman’s presentation is sponsored by the Hillel Jewish Student Center near ASU, Hasbara Fellowships, Jewish Arizonans on Campus, and Stand With Us Supporting Israel Around the World.

About Gil Hoffman (provided by Hillel Jewish Student Center):

Gil Hoffman is the chief political correspondent and analyst for The Jerusalem Post. He has interviewed every major figure across the Israeli political spectrum, has been interviewed by top media on six continents and is a regular analyst on CNN, Al-Jazeera and other news outlets. Called “the most optimistic man in Israel” by Israel Television, Hoffman provides a behind the scenes look at the intrigue and humor in the Israeli political arena. He was raised in Chicago, graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University’s School of Journalism, and wrote for the Miami Herald and Arizona Republic before moving to Israel. A reserve soldier in the IDF Spokesman’s Unit, he has lectured in every major English-speaking country in the world. He lives with his family in Jerusalem.

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.

Local events commemorate 40th anniversary of Phoenix reporter’s murder

Two events in early June will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the car-bomb murder of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles on June 2, 1976, at what was the Hotel Clarendon in midtown Phoenix.

  • “You Can’t Kill a Story” is a “gathering of storytellers at the scene of the crime,”  the Clarendon Hotel and Spa itself, 401 W. Clarendon, from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, June 2. “Law enforcement, firefighters, journalists, and family members will recall their first person memories of that unforgettable day,” according to the event’s Eventbrite page where tickets are sold at $25 each. The gathering, presented by the Arizona Centennial Theatre Foundation, will be held at the hotel’s rooftop Sky Deck bar. A reception is to follow.
  • The Arizona Storytellers will present “Stories Behind the Stories,” 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, June 3, at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University’s downtown campus, 555 N. Central Ave., In addition to recounting other journalistic efforts, the evening will “feature stories of Bolles’ work, life and death, as well as ones about the continued relevance of Arizona-based investigative and watchdog journalism,” according to the event’s Facebook page. A $12 donation is suggested; get tickets here.