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.

NPR’s Mara Liasson to speak about 2016 election at ASU-Tempe Feb. 25

Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for National Public Radio, delivers the John J. Rhodes Lecture in an event sponsored by Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, at Katzin Concert Hall in the Music Building at Arizona State University, Tempe.

The veteran reporter, who has covered six presidential elections, is scheduled to speak on the topic, “A Citizen’s Guide to the 2016 Election.”

Admission is free but tickets must be reserved. Click here for tickets and more information.

Meet the national SPJ Executive Committee — at a reception at a Scottsdale patio bar, Friday, Jan. 29

Spend a January evening like an out-of-town tourist — at an Old Town Scottsdale patio bar — with some out-of-town tourists from SPJ: the Society’s national leadership.

Paul Fletcher

National President Paul Fletcher of Virginia Lawyers Weekly in Richmond, Va.; President-Elect Lynn Walsh of KNSD-TV in San Diego and other members of the Executive Committee — it makes decisions about the governance of the Society of Professional Journalists in the absence of the national board of directors — will be in Scottsdale for their semi-annual meeting in Scottsdale Jan. 29-30.

But they want to meet you, local members of SPJ as well as all other Arizona journalists who would like to stop by, at a reception at Boondocks, 4341 N. 75th St., at Stetson Drive, in Old Town Scottsdale, starting at 6 p.m. Here’s a link to a map of the neighborhood around Boondocks. There’s also a map embedded below.

Lynn Walsh

Friday. Jan. 29. SPJ national headquarters and the Valley of the Sun chapter will be buying the first rounds of appetizers; you pay for your own beverages.

Also on hand will be your Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter board, whose members include Robert Leger, 2002-03 national SPJ president and current president of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

Come and meet them at a Friday fun night in Old Town. It’ll be a night of talking about media, past, present and future, and a chance for you to let the pe who are at the forefront of media is

Robert Leger

sues what you think — and to share a few stories among friends. We’ll also be sharing information about the upcoming April 29-30 SPJ Western Regional Conference at the Heard Museum in Phoenix!

Plenty of free street parking — Scottsdale has no parking meters by city tradition — as well as nearby free public parking lots.


Personal privacy vs. national security, May 1

The Maricopa County Bar Association hosts a FREE educational program that discusses the vital issues of personal privacy and national security and how they should be balanced.

Privacy & Security in 2015 – Magna Carta Today,” will take place 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, at the Maricopa County Bar Association offices, 303 E. Palm Lane. Free parking on site.

The following panel of experts will discuss issues related to national security and personal privacy in an era of terrorism and digital media:

  • David Bodney, Ballard Spahr, LLP
  • Andrew Gordon, Coppersmith Brockelman PLC
  • Michael Morrisey, Mitchell Stein Carey
  • Prof. Daniel Rothenberg, ASU School of Politics and Global Studies
  • Moderator: Hon. Patricia K. Norris, Arizona Court of Appeals

The Maricopa County Bar Association hosts this special event in honor of Law Day.  On May 1 each year, the United States celebrates Law Day, which was created in 1957 by President Eisenhower as a national day of re-dedication to the principles of government under law. In recognition of the 800th anniversary of its signing on the field of Runnymede, England, the national theme for this year is “Magna Carta:  Symbol of Freedom Under Law.”

For more information, visit:

‘Dark Money’ debate on Tuesday, April 28

Phoenix—Anonymous political speech has been a cherished principle since the earliest days of the American republic. The ability to speak anonymously—and to privately support others who speak on your behalf—has played a central role in historical milestones from the ratification of the U.S. Constitution to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizen United, there has been a new outcry from some critics that the public deserves to know who seeks to influence elections by giving money to private political groups. Describing anonymous giving as “dark money,” these critics want new laws that compel independent groups to give the names and addresses of their donors to the government.

On Tuesday, April 28, four legal experts will debate whether this campaign against anonymous giving benefits or harms free speech and democratic participation. Starting at 7 p.m. the debate will be broadcast live on the Internet from the Cronkite journalism school on Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus. The debate is free and open to the public and members of the media.

If you are unable to attend, you can watch the debate live on YouTube at

The debate will be tweeted with the hashtag #DarkMoneyDebate.

Topic: The Dark Money Debate: Is Anonymous Political Speech Protected By The First Amendment?
When: 7-9 p.m., Tuesday, April 28
Where: First Amendment Forum, Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communications, Arizona State University
Debaters: Kurt Altman, national policy adviser and general counsel, Goldwater Institute; Allen Dickerson, Legal Director, Center for Competitive Politics; Tom Irvine, legal expert on election law, ASU Alumni Law Group; Daniel Barr, First Amendment expert, Perkins Coie law firm
Moderator: Robert Robb, editorial board member, Arizona Republic

This event is hosted by the Goldwater Institute and has been made possible by a grant from the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation.

SAVE THE DATE: Valley Publicity Summit returns Sept. 19, 2015

Improve your dealings with PR people and the story pitches they make to you by participating 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. Interested journalists: Write More info soon!

Eat and drink with Tucson journalists

SPJ is heading south to the Old Pueblo to host a mixer for Southern Arizona journalists 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 30, at Union Public House, 4340 N. Campbell Ave. (at River Road, in the St. Philip’s Plaza). SPJ is buying appetizers, you pay for your own drinks. We’re familiarizing media people in Tucson about SPJ, its mission, resources and activities — perhaps to see if there’s interest in reviving the dormant Southern Arizona chapter. So, if you’re in the area, stop in and enjoy the shop talk, the telling of tales and the camaraderie between newspeople. For more information write to

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 —>