Our annual thank you to Valley media people: Summer Solstice Soiree, June 20

Our annual thank-you party for Valley media is at an exciting new location!

Each June, your Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter refuses to let the longest day of the year go by without showing our appreciation for our members and for all Valley media people with a Summer Solstice Soiree. Come and cool off with an ice cold brew or other beverage 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at an exciting new location!

After several years of benefiting of our annual loyal patronage, our former Soiree location decided in its, um, wisdom, to give up serving food. When we heard this, we thought, how can the chapter provide its traditional buffet of free appetizers that way? The only solution: Move. And we’ve found a great spot in about the same part of town: The highly praised and decorated Helton Brewing Co., 2144 E. Indian School Road (at 22nd Street), Phoenix. RSVP on our Facebook event page.

A bit of business

As usual, we will take five minutes (or less, as we’ve gotten pretty fast at this) to hold our annual voice-vote chapter officer elections. Like to be an officer? You have to be a chapter member to be one. Email phoenixspj@cox.net for details.

SAVE THE DATE: Book Signings

The House of Broadcasting (HOBI) invites members of the media to join them at Changing Hands-Phoenix, 300 W. Camelback Road, as they host a book signing 7 p.m. Friday, May 17, for “Images of America: Phoenix Television” ($21.99, Arcadia Publishing), written by John Craft and Lisa Honebrink.

Craft is a member of the faculty at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Honebrink has been a radio producer and spent time as a public information officer for the city of Phoenix, including a stint in the mayor’s office. She continues to work in Public Relations.

Craft and Honebrink said they wanted to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at past and present on-air personalities, programs and other significant moments that have shaped society and, specifically, the lifestyles of Phoenicians since TV burst onto the scene here in the late 1940s.

To view a short segment Craft and Honebrink had on KAZ-TV with Pat McMahon to talk about the book, click the link below:

https://www.aztv.com/posts/history-phoenix-television

Then on Tuesday, May 21, come back to Changing Hands in Phoenix for the much-anticipated launch of Jana Bommersbach’s latest true-crime book, “A Stolen Life: The Debra Milke Story” ($20, paperback). Her presentation begins at 7 p.m.

Arizona said Debra Milke was a baby killer. Phoenix Homicide Detective Armando Saldate testified she “confessed” to having her 4-year-old son killed when he though he was going to see Santa. On his word alone, she was convicted in 1990 and became the only woman on Arizona’s death row. So how did she go free in 2015—only the second woman in American history to walk off death row? How did both a federal court and Arizona’s Court of Appeals lambast Arizona for imprisoning her in the first place—the state court saying it was “ashamed” of what happened to her, seeing it as “a severe stain on the Arizona justice system.”

This non-fiction, investigative book probes deep inside this fascinating criminal case … inside the prison, inside the evidence, inside the breakdown of justice, inside the legal tenacity, inside the heart and mind of Debra Milke. To pre-order your book, click here.

Jana Bommersbach is one of Arizona’s most acclaimed journalists, authors and public speakers. This is her seventh book.

ONA Phoenix’s first event: Meet and greet, March 29

The very first event of the #ONAPhoenix group is happening this week! Group organizers want to bring people together to have some drinks and share ideas for this #ONALocal group. And no, you don’t have to be an ONA member to attend. The event is open-ended and casual – drop by and head out when you’d like.

The following message about an exciting upcoming event was sent to us from Lauren Aguirre of the new Phoenix group of the Online News Association (onaphx@gmail.com):

“It’s a casual meet and greet in downtown Phoenix. The goal is to bring people who are interested in being involved with the group together face-to-face for the first time. It’s a chance to meet other journalists just as excited as you are about ONA Phoenix. I hope all of you can make it. As the founder and organizer of ONA Phoenix, I would love to meet you in person.”

ONA Phoenix Meet and Greet Mixer

Friday, March 29

6 to 9 p.m.

The Churchill (901 N. 1st Street, Phoenix)

Check out the event on Facebook and MeetUp

Get Schooled: Covering Education Like A Pro, March 2

We’re passing on this announcement from the Arizona Latino Media Association:

“The Arizona Latino Media Association and the Education Writers Association are teaming up to present ‘Get Schooled: Covering Education Like A Pro,’ an informative conference for journalists and communicators on key education topics that frequently make headlines, including:

  • Charters and School Choice
  • Teacher Activism
  • Mental Health, Social Emotional Learning and Schools

“9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Saturday, March 2, 2019, in the First Amendment Forum at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.

“Panelists, including education journalists and experts, will share their insights and best practices for covering education issues and producing compelling stories. Among the panelists are:

  • Kathy Hoffman, Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Arianna Prothero, Staff Writer, Education Week
  • Justin Price, Data Reporter, The Arizona Republic
  • Marisol Garcia, Vice President, Arizona Education Association
  • Dale Russakoff, freelance writer and author of The Prize, a book about Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to the Newark, New Jersey, schools
  • Dr. Sofia B. Pertuz, Senior Advisor, Campus and Diversity & Inclusion, Jed Foundation
  • Janine Menard, Chair, Arizona School Counselors Association
  • Matt Beienburg, Director of Education Policy, Goldwater Institute

“”he conference is free and includes a light breakfast and lunch. RSVP at https://bit.ly/2UH398K

ACES boot camp, ‘Fundamentals in Editing,’ Feb. 28 in Phoenix

Marina Cinami, Communications Coordinator, ACES: The Society for Editing (https://aceseditors.org/), asked us to pass on this message to our chapter members:

“It’s time to step up your editing game with ACES: The Society for Editing’s boot camp on Fundamentals in Editing.

“ACES is the nation’s leading organization of editing professionals, educators, and students. We set standards of excellence and give a voice to editors in journalism, government, business, and beyond through top-notch training, networking, and career opportunities.

“Our next boot camp is coming up, it’s near you, and registration is open! Check out the details:

“Fundamentals in Editing

  • When: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28
  • Where: Fairfield Inn & Suites, Midtown Phoenix, 2520 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004
  • How much: $150 for members. $200 for nonmembers.
  • Presenters: Teresa Schmedding and Merrill Perlman

“What you’ll learn

1. Why editing is important (and how to convince your bosses). 
2. Grammar and punctuation basics. 
3. Commonly confused and misused words. 
4. Elements of proofreading. 
5. Clarity: smoothing out dense or garbled prose and streamlining copy. 
6. Accuracy: checking facts and sources, ensuring charts/graphics are correct, identifying and filling in missing information. 
7. Headlines: writing clear, informative display type in print and online (including SEO). 
8. Style: why you need a style guide.

“If you’re an editor or edit as part of your job, ACES’ Editing Boot Camps will help you perfect your skills. Have questions? Contact us at info@aceseditors.org.

Register here. You won’t want to miss it!”


Journalist Law School, June 5-8, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles


Brian M. Costello, associate director of marketing and communications at the Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, asked us to post the following message:

“The Civil Justice Program at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles will host its 14th-annual Journalist Law School from Wednesday, June 5-Saturday, June 8, 2019 on its Frank Gehry-designed campus in downtown Los Angeles. The application deadline is Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. Apply or learn more at www.journalistlawschool.org.

Loyola Law School Logo

“The fellowship condenses core law-school subjects and break-out topics into a long weekend filled with courses taught by law professors, judges and prominent attorneys. Fellows have the opportunity to suggest and select sessions based on their areas of interest. This year, faculty planners expect to focus on issues related to scrutiny over presidential conduct, the intersection of technology and the law, and other legal topics frequently occupying news headlines. That’s in addition to such core classes as constitutional law, criminal law, civil justice, evidence and more.

“Journalists with at least three years of experience who cover the law in some fashion are encouraged to apply. Journalist fellows, who are competitively selected, receive a certificate of completion at the end of the four-day program. JLS alumni include about 500 reporters, editors and producers from a wide range of local, national and international news organizations.

“There is no cost to journalists to attend the fellowship. Instruction, lodging and most meals are included. The Journalist Law School will cover half of travel expenses up to $300. Fellows will be housed at the nearby Omni Los Angeles Hotel.

“Please see www.journalistlawschool.org for more information and to apply. If you have questions about the program, please let me know.

“Thanks, and happy holidays!”

 


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

jollliday-1

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.

SPJCap_cropped

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

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).

Casey returns to the news

Veteran Arizona journalist Mark Casey in September was named news director at ABC15 Arizona.

Maricopa County Sheriff Office Portraits. Mandatory Credit :(ALLAN HENRY/MCSO.ORG)

Mark Casey

Following a nationwide search for the position, the local media company identified the ideal candidate close to home. Casey served as News Director in Phoenix at KPNX from 1999 to 2012 before being promoted to vice president and station manager, a position he held until 2016. Most recently, Casey served as director of public information at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

“Mark is a proven leader with deep ties to our community,” said ABC15 Arizona vice-president and general manager Anita Helt. “Mark’s vision and commitment to serving the people of Arizona with the highest level of journalistic integrity on all platforms make him the perfect choice to lead our talented team.”

“Our communities are challenging us to deliver impactful reporting that both helps them understand a complex world and holds our public institutions and ourselves to the highest standards,” said Casey. “I’m excited to join the exceptional team of journalists at ABC15 who are committed to following the facts, reporting the truth and making Arizona a great place to live, work and play.”

Casey’s journalism career spans more than 40 years. Before coming to Phoenix, he worked as a reporter, photojournalist, producer, editor, executive producer and news director in New York, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. He and his newsrooms have received numerous local and national journalism awards, including the duPont-Columbia Award for Investigative Reporting and Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Casey was awarded The Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism by the Valley of the Sun chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The award honors an Arizona journalist who has demonstrated a continuous commitment over time to high standards of ethical professional conduct and a spirited defense of the First Amendment.

Casey has a long history of civic service in Arizona, currently serving on the board of the Association of Arizona Food Banks.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. He and his wife, Lynnette, have three adult children and live in Phoenix.

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.