Learn how to interpret polling information with SPJ

As we close in on the home stretch of this election season, state and national polls will be coming hot and heavy. But what do the numbers actually mean? How do you interpret them in a way that your audience can really understand?

The Valley of the Sun Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists presents a special program with polling guru Bruce Merrill, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12 in the boardroom of the Associated Press’s Phoenix bureau, 1850 N. Central Ave. Parking is free.

The event is FREE for SPJ members and $5 for non-members, payable at the door (cash or check only). RSVPs requested by no later than noon on Sept. 12 to info@phoenixspj.org or call 602-410-1267. For more details, download the program flier.

Learn How to Access Public Records with David Cuillier on June 21

Join SPJ national secretary-treasurer Dave Cuillier, who is also director of the School of Journalism at the University of Arizona in Tucson, for a reprise of his 2010 Access Across America tour, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 21, in the Lecture Room at Phoenix’s Burton Barr Central Library.

During the 2010 tour, he spoke to more than 1,000 journalists on strategies for getting public records during his travels around the nation for several weeks that summer. This year, “AAA II” involves several people touring different regions, with Dave speaking to journalists and members of the public in the Southwest.

His presentation on gaining access public records that will address effective requests and how to use tactical strategies to overcome denials and exorbitant fees. Not just for journalists, this program is for anyone trying to access public records such as police reports, court documents and school records. His presentation is funded from a grant from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

The Burton Barr Central Library is in downtown Phoenix at 1221 N. Central Ave., south of McDowell and north of the Central Avenue bridge over Deck Park. The Lecture Room is on the fourth floor in the southwest corner of the library. Admission is free and it’s light-rail accessible!

Registration for SPJ-ONA JournCamp Ends May 14

Don’t forget to register for the SPJ-ONA JournCamp in Phoenix! Here are a few workshops you’ll get to enjoy:

  • Entrepreneurial Journalism: Where does every journalist, from the up-and-coming student to the seasoned newsroom manager, fit in this new field? Hear from one journalist turned innovator and entrepreneur who’s been leading the charge in this expanding space. Trainer: Retha Hill, Arizona State University
  • Visual Storytelling: Visual storytelling is no longer reserved for those who just work in television. Working on the Web means journalists in all media need to find creative ways to provide information to their audiences. We’ll show you how you can use pictures to tell your story, even if none are (obviously) available. Trainer: Victoria Lim, freelancer
  • Social Media as a Reporting Tool: Social networks sprout by the minute, but which ones should you focus on, and how can you use them to find news, crowdsource information and generate leads? We’ll give you ideas for how to curate information, what you should consider in the verification process and how to publish it all, with specific case studies. Trainer: Daniel Petty, Denver Post

When:  Friday, May 18. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost:  $20 for SPJ or ONA members / $40 for non-members. (Registration fee includes breakfast and lunch.)

See more programs and speaker bios at www.spj.org/spjona.asp. To register, visit www.spj.org/spjona-register.asp. Hurry, registration closes May 14!

Free investigative business journalism workshop in Phoenix

Arm yourself with the knowledge to cover private companies better by attending a free afternoon workshop, Cracking Private Companies, Jan. 5 in Phoenix.

Presented by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and hosted by The Arizona Republic and Arizona Newspapers Association, this workshop will teach you:

  • How private companies are structured, and how they are different from public companies;
  • Where to find public information on private companies;
  • How to produce a better private-company profile.

Jodi Schneider, tax-policy editor for Bloomberg News, will teach the sessions from 12:45-5 p.m. on Jan. 5. To register for this free workshop, visit http://businessjournalism.org/ws-registration/?cid=611.

Make your hotel reservation via by emailing davehill@businessjournalism.org by Dec. 9 to qualify for a discounted Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel rate of $129/night plus tax.

Can’t make it? Here’s more free training from the Reynolds Center

Cronkite School receives $150,000 grant

Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation (EEJF) has awarded $150,000 to Arizona State University for News21, providing fellowships for advanced journalism students at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication and ASU’s Cronkite School.

“At EEJF, our mission is to invest in the future of journalism by supporting organizations around the nation who produce principled, probing news and information,” said Bob Ross, president and CEO of Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. “We strive to partner with organizations that are entrepreneurial in spirit, and we are proud to partner with all of our current grant recipients, each displaying this type of innovation.”

News21 is a collaborative newsroom experience under the guidance of top journalism professionals. The program is based in Tempe, Ariz.

Register for the Society of Feature Journalists Conference

SFJ, formerly the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors, is inviting Phoenix-area journalists to their annual conference. Scheduled for Aug. 24-27 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa in Tuscon, the conference will help you learn Learn how to make the entire paper your section, cope with difficult bosses, and ride the wave of user-generated content. Plus, you’ll hear from a panel of journalists and others who covered the Tucson shootings last January.

The speakers lineup includes political cartoonist David Fitzsimmons; Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson (“The Warmth of Other Suns”); chef Beau MacMillan (“Iron Chef America”); Arizona State University prof Retha Hill, queen of mobile apps; and writing coach Jack Hart.

Registration is $300 for SFJ members, $475 for nonmembers. (After July 29, add $25.) The daily conference rate is $75. Book at Starr Pass by Aug. 3 for the special rate of $92 per night. Register at http://featuresjournalism.org/conference/registration.

Questions? Contact Merrilee Cox at merrileesfj@gmail.com or301-314-2631.

Communities in Crisis: Ethical Considerations for Journalists

The recent tragedy in Tucson have added to the many questions in the minds of members of the public about how journalists cover violence as well as cover communities in crisis where violence is a part. It is one of the main bases for public criticism of journalists. Meanwhile, covering violence, from war abroad to crime at home, also affects journalists in many ways most members of the media are unprepared for. Learn how to approach covering violent people and communities in a whole new way.

Communities in Crisis: Ethical Considerations for Journalists,” sponsored by Valley of the Sun Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, is 7 p.m. Monday, March 7, in The First Amendment Forum at the Cronkite School, 555 N. Central Ave., in Phoenix.

Admission is free. Continue reading

Phoenix SPJ Seeks Board Members

A message from Phoenix SPJ Immediate Past President Mark Scarp:

In the 17 years I have served on the Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter board, I’ve seen many changes in both our national Society and our local chapter. Locally one of the biggest changes is the changing composition of our chapter board. People naturally come and go for a variety of reasons after their board service has ended. But as American journalism in the past two years has suffered greatly–and virtually none among us has been spared some form of suffering–so has the need to be there for the future of our profession. Journalism needs SPJ’s guiding principles and the eager hands and minds of its members more than ever.

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Village Voice Digital Media Fellowships

The Village Voice is looking to recruit some top candidates who are strong reporters and writers with pre-existing multimedia experience or the desire to acquire these skills (and an interest in alternative magazine journalism). Digital fellows will be immersed in blogging, photography, video, audio and social media and will produce original reported material for Village Voice online publications.

Fellows will be paid $500 per week. Housing will be provided. The program is open to students who are within one year of graduation, graduate students or post grads. Fellows may ultimately be considered for positions within the Village Voice family of publications.

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Social Media For Journalists Workshop

Navigate the wave of social media that’s sweeping into your newsroom and sharpen your skills to make your stories stand out! Go beyond the basics and “how-to” instruction and concentrate on how journalists can use social media as tools to cultivate and find sources.

Join the Arizona Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association and Arizona Latino Media Association for a social media workshop lead by Robert Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.  This seminar was a crowd-pleaser when Hernandez gave it at both the Asian and Hispanic Journalists Conventions this summer.

When: 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 23
Where: Arizona Republic building, 200 E. Van Buren, Pulliam Conference room
Cost: $15 for AAJAz members who pre-register and send in their registration fees by October 21; $10 for students; and $25 for non-members and on-site registration

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