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.

Journalists to talk about drug war along border as they deliver Schatt Lecture, April 14

Alfredo Corchado and Angela Korcherga will deliver the ninth annual Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture at the ASU Cronkite School April 14.

Alfredo Corchado and Angela Korcherga will deliver the ninth annual Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture at the ASU Cronkite School April 14. (Photo courtesy of the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.)

The drug war and other border issues will be the focus of the ninth annual Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, to be delivered by two award-winning journalists.

Join Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief of The Dallas Morning News, and Angela Kocherga, border bureau chief at Gannett, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, at the Cronkite School, 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. The lecture is free and open to the public. Corchado has been awarded the Maria Moors Cabot Prize and the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Journalism Award. Kocherga has received two Emmy awards for reporting from the border city of Cuidad Juarez on the war on drugs.

The annual lecture series began in 2007. It honors Paul J. Schatt, longtime Arizona Republic journaliist as well as Cronkite School adjunct faculty member. Mr. Schatt, who died in 2005, was a member of the Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter and posthumously received the chapter’s Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2006. The lecture series is supported by an annual gift from the newspaper as well as by an endowment created in Schatt’s memory by his widow, Laura Schatt-Thede.

More details —->

NY Times’ Thomas Friedman speaks on ‘Sustainability as Freedom’ Feb. 26 at ASU Gammage

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas Friedman, foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, will speak on the topic, “Sustainability as Freedom,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, at ASU Gammage in Tempe. Friedman, whose appearance is part of the Wrigley Lecture Series, “will argue that what freedom was to our parents’ generation, sustainability is to this present generation,” according to an ASU statement. Admission is free, but RSVPs are required.

More information and RSVP here —>

Cronkite School professor to lead March 3 webinar about disability journalism

Cronkite School Professor Tim McGuire, an advisory board member of a national organization that offers resources to media covering people with disabilities, will host a free webinar at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 3. Register for the webinar here.

Tim McGuire

Tim McGuire, Courtesy Arizona State University

During the webinar, hosted by the National Center on Disability and Journalism, McGuire will present ideas from his new memoir, his first book, Some People Even Take Them Home: A Disabled Dad, a Down Syndrome Son and Our Journey to Acceptance. The book tells of McGuire’s living with a physical disability and raising a child with Down syndrome.

McGuire is the Frank Russell Chair for the Business of Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. McGuire,is a former editor and senior vice president of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and a past president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He has a rare congenital joint disability.

More details —>

Note New Date: Journalists wanted for 11th annual Valley Publicity Summit, Sept. 19

NOTE NEW DATE: Improve your dealings with PR people and the story pitches they make to you by Pub Sum 2014 logoparticipating 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. Write to if you’re interested. More info soon!

Learn about changes to rules regarding cameras, mobile devices in state courtrooms from free presentation Jan. 23 in Tucson

fac_logo1Your Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter is a proud founding member of the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona. The coalition is sponsoring a free presentation at the University of Arizona in Tucson on Friday morning, Jan. 23, on changes to laws regarding the use of cameras and mobile devices in Arizona state courtrooms. Click here for details!

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

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

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.

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