Enjoy a cold one at SPJ’s annual Summer Solstice Soiree and 5 minutes of elections, June 21

No need to despair the Phoenix heat on the longest day of the year — because it provides a great reason to enjoy an ice cold brew! Once again our Summer Solstice Soiree (aptly named for a chapter called Valley of the Sun) expresses our thanks to our members and all Valley journalists. It’s 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 21, in the cool Brewer’s Den at SunUp Brewing (once again, aptly named for a chapter called Valley of the Sun) at 322 E. Camelback Road, a short walk from the Central Avenue/Camelback Road light rail station in uptown Phoenix.

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, 2018, to June 30, 2019. Chapter members on hand will vote.

Details and RSVP are on our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/445265395933630/

Questions? Email phoenixspj@cox.net.

SPJ members invited to AAJA’s ice cream fundraiser at Sweet Republic, June 6

Our chapter members have been invited by the Arizona chapter of the AAJA (Asian American Journalists Association) for a cool, refreshing fundraiser: with ice cream! It’s a fundraiser for the organization’s journalism programs and scholarships, including J-Camp training for high school students and sending college students to the organization’s annual convention.

Thirty percent of all ice cream sales at Sweet Republic Ice Cream, 6054 N. 16th St. (at Bethany Home Road) from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, go to the cause. Details, RSVP here.

So put a smile on your face by joining fellow Valley media people in enjoying the sweet treats and helping out a dedicated media professionals’ organization.

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).

Getting Old in the Valley: A Guide to Covering Elder Issues, May 9

People age 65 and over are the fastest-growing age group in the United States. With this exploding elder population come issues ranging from finances to coping with Alzheimer’s disease and how diverse communities deal with their elders.

RSVP here on our Facebook event page.

Join journalist Kathy Ritchie of KJZZ-FM (NPR); Ivy Glinski, director of Banner Olive Branch Senior Center in Sun City; Jessica Meyer from Beatitudes Campus of Care; and Yolanda Hart Stevens, artist and elder advocate from the Gila River Indian Community; for a panel discussion about the issues facing this growing aging population. “Getting Old in the Valley: A Guide to Covering Elder Issues” is 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, at the ASU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the Mercado, 532 E. Monroe St;, Building C, Classroom 368, Phoenix. Moderating the discussion is Phoenix freelance journalist Debra Krol, 2017 Journalist in Aging Fellow and Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter vice president.

This event is free and open to the public and to the Valley media community. This event is presented by the Valley of the Sun chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and supported by the Gerentological Society of America and the ASU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. RSVP here on our Facebook event page.

Parking is $12 at the Heritage Square garage on the south of Monroe across from the Mercado, as well as street parking meters at about $1.50 per hour. Consult the downtown Phoenix campus parking and transit guide.
Public transportation: Valley Metro light rail stops at Third and Washington streets about three blocks away. Local bus Route 7 goes along 7th Street along Mercado’s east side and Route 3 goes along Van Buren Street along Mercado’s north side. Fare is $2.

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.

Laban joins Hopi tribal newspaper

RI Laban-smThe Hopi Tutuveni, the official tribal newspaper for the Hopi Tribe in Northern Arizona, has hired Romalita Rl Laban to serve as the new managing editor. She replaces Louella Nahsonhoya, who served in that role for six years. Laban started work at the twice-monthly publication on April 16. She can be reached at rlaban@hopi.nsn.us.

The newspaper is overseen by an editorial board comprised of members Dr. Angela Gonzales, Candace Hamana and Curtis Honanie. For more information, visit https://www.hopi-nsn.gov/news/hopi-tutuveni/.

KTAR News honored with Crystal Award

KTAR News was selected as recipient of the Crystal Award by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) for its outstanding year-round commitment to community service.

“I am tremendously proud of the commitment our employees demonstrate day in and day out to uphold our company’s mission of serving and making a positive difference in our community,” said Scott Sutherland, VP/Marketing Manager for Bonneville Phoenix. “And for this to be our fourth Crystal Award win in a decade is remarkable.”

NAB Crystal Radio Award finalists were chosen by a panel of judges representing broadcasting, community service organization and public relations firms. Finalists were honored and winners announced at the April 10 We Are Broadcasters Celebration, where FCC Chairman Ajit Pai delivered remarks about local radio and television stations’ vital role in communities and ongoing commitment to innovation that enables broadcasters to better serve listeners and viewers.

This is the fourth time KTAR News has been recognized with a Crystal Award for community service. Judges cited, among other things, the Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which KTAR News produces, and has now grown to become the largest children’s hospital fundraiser of its kind in the United States.

Rick Barrs joins the E.V. Tribune

Times Media Group (TMG), the fast-growing publisher of the East Valley Tribune and 16 other Valley publications, announced that Rick Barrs, a veteran Phoenix-area journalist and columnist and the winner of many editorial awards, has been appointed Managing Editor of the Tribune.

Rick-Barrs-e1505188214245-150x150Barrs comes to the Tribune after working as the Editor-In-Chief at Phoenix New Times and Los Angeles New Times, positions he held for more than 20 years. During Barrs’ tenure, the Phoenix weekly enjoyed a journalistic reputation that far surpassed its size, winning editorial awards locally and nationally.

Prior to joining New Times in 2002, Barrs worked for the Los Angeles Times, serving as the daily’s assistant metro editor and city editor for 10 years. During his decade at the Times, Barrs was a member of two news teams that won Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage of breaking news.

“We’re serious about covering news at the East Valley Tribune and adding Rick Barrs to lead the Trib news team makes that statement loud and clear,” said Steve Strickbine, Times Media Group founder and president. “Rick knows the Valley, he knows how to lead a newsroom and he knows how to make good news stories great. For me, he represents exactly the leader the Tribune needs at this stage in our growth.”

Barrs, a University of Georgia graduate who attended the Michigan State University Graduate School of Journalism, said he relishes the chance to lead the Tribune. “There’s tremendous potential to grow our newspapers through stellar storytelling, the bedrock of great journalism,” Barrs said.

A digital and print media company operating in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, TMG publishes the East Valley Tribune (EastValley.com), the Ahwatukee Foothills News (Ahwatukee.com), the West Valley View, Nearby News publications, the San Tan Sun News, the Scottsdale Airpark News, the Gilbert Sun News, the College Times, Lovin’ Life After 50, The Entertainer! Magazine, North Valley Magazine, 85086 Magazine, 85085 Magazine and the travel and information website Phoenix.org. TMG also owns and operates AZ Integrated Media, a media distribution and custom publishing company.

Get your Yule on: Valley Media Holiday Mixer, Dec. 5, at Bliss ReBAR

Valley journalists: Pencil it in (OK, it’s 2017, so enter it into your smartphone calendar):  Our annual (and on its way to becoming legendary) Valley Media Holiday Mixer, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, 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. 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. Admission is free, so say your “Going” today on our Facebook event page, Valley Media Holiday Mixer ’17. The event hashtag: #getyouryuleon