Phoenix SPJ Seeks Nominations for Freedom of Information Awards

Arizona media professionals who produced informative news items for the public by making use of public records requests are invited to submit their stories for consideration in the 2012 Freedom of Information Awards contest, presented by the Valley of the Sun Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Categories include:

  • First Amendment Awards – honoring published or broadcast work in 2011 that involved significant reliance on public records and open meetings
  • Sunshine Awards – honoring Arizonans (both journalists and non-journalists) whose actions helped foster greater openness in government in 2011 through improved access to public records or open meetings
  • Order of the Silver Key Society – paying tribute to journalists from any medium with at least 25 years of experience in the state of Arizona (consecutive or cumulative) whose careers exemplify high standards and consistent, top-quality journalism
  • The Lloyd Clark “How it Made Print” Award – honoring print journalists (all circulations) responsible for a published story, photograph or graphic design whose own story of how it became reality is exceptional. Unusually difficult circumstances, or unusual tenacity in pursing the story, will be the hallmark of the subject of the winning entry. Entries need not have been published in 2011.

There is no cost to enter the contest. Nominations can be from employers/supervisors as well as self-nominations. The deadline to enter is March 19, 2012. For more information, download the 2012 Freedom of Information Awards brochure.

Entry Forms

Raise a glass for our new regional director, Teri Carnicelli

Plan on making an SPJ night of it this Friday, Oct. 7! After our program on
journalists-turned-authors at Monti's La Casa Vieja restaurant ends at 8 p.m., we'll be taking a short one-block walk to Caffe Boa wine bar and bistro, 398 S. Mill (at 4th Street), for a "Carnicellibration" honoring our chapter president, Teri Carnicelli, who was elected to the SPJ national board of directors last week. Teri will represent Arizona, California. Hawaii, Nevada and the Pacific Islands as Region 11 director.

For details on the earlier program, visit

Don’t Miss the 7th Annual Publicity Summit

These days a journalist’s time is more precious than ever. Once again, we’re holding the one event that can result in less wasted time for both journalists and PR professionals: The 7th annual Publicity Summit.

What is the Publicity Summit?
The 7th annual Publicity Summit will bring journalists and public relations people together to share information and to offer better ways to pitch story ideas to journalists. Co-sponsored by the local chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Public Relations Society of America, this interactive half-day event is structured with a light breakfast and networking, followed by breakout panel sessions (for radio, television, online media and print), lunch and one-on-one speed pitching. An updated list of the media professionals in attendance is available on the Phoenix PRSA website.

Sounds great. When is it?
The summit will be 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.

Where is the Publicity Summit?
We’re meeting in the Memorial Union at Arizona State University in Tempe. Visitor parking is free on Saturdays in the Apache Blvd Parking Garage.

How much does this workshop cost?
Advance registration is available for $100 for non-profits or PRSSA students, $125 for PRSA members and $150 for non-members. Walk-in rates are $105 for non-profits or PRSSA students, $130 for PRSA members and $155 for non-members. Note: RSVPs that are no-shows will be charged. Register at the Phoenix PRSA website.

Should I live-Tweet during the event?
Absolutely! Just remember to use the Twitter hashtag #PRPubSum.

I still have more questions.
No problem! Just email Virginia Anderson at or Alison Bailin at and they’ll help you out.

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.

Continue reading

Journalism Jumpstart Workshop Series

The face of journalism is evolving faster than in any other time in history – are you prepared? Join Phoenix SPJ and the Rocky Mountain chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in a series of six workshops designed to reinvent you and your career direction.

The workshops are free to SPJ and NATAS members, $10 to people who RSVP in advance and $15 at the door (cash only). Or you can purchase all six for $50 (or if you join either group in person at any one of the workshops you can get in all remaining workshops for free). Light desserts and beverages will also be provided courtesy of Media Watch AZ.

Workshop #4: Work from Home: Making a Living in the Freelance World

  • Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2010
  • Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Location: Phoenix Fire Headquarters, 150 S. 12th St. in Phoenix
  • Details: Determine whether full-time freelance is the move for you and receive tips on how to start your own freelance business. The panelists will also offer crucial information about how to keep your business thriving and your editors happy.
  • Panelists: Elizabeth Exline, freelance writer with experience in public relations, custom publishing, management, marketing and online writing in addition to traditional print media; Marlene Montanez, freelance writer and blogger as well as freelance editor of West Valley Health & Living Magazine; and Kathleen Armentrout, editorial director of Gannett Magazine Group, which includes Your Health and Moms Like Me, as well as experienced custom and special interest publication pro.

Workshop #5: Tips and Training for Web and Broadcast Reporting

  • Date: Wednesday, November 3, 2010
  • Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Location: Metro Studios, 9831 S. 51st St., Suite D-133, in Phoenix
  • Details: This seminar will provide live instruction to journalists on how to present to the camera for both web and broadcast reporting. Topic points to include the difference between live, recorded and web vs broadcast reporting. Kevin will provided instruction on package formats, file sizes that work best for web uploading and distribution.
  • Panelists: Kathy Kerschner spent 15 years in the media trenches asking the tough questions—now she’s teaching you how to answer them. In her workshops and seminars, Kathy likes to have fun, but she’s serious about helping you become a better communicator. Cary Pfeffer is founder and principal of ClearComm Consulting and 30-year broadcaster, reporter and newscaster. Kevin Jacobsen is the senior videographer and editor with Metro Studios and has 12 years experience.

Workshop #6: New Ethics for the New World of Media

  • Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2010
  • Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Location: Metro Studios, 9831 S. 51st St., Suite D-133, in Phoenix
  • Details: Can we still apply professional ethical principles to the constant posting of news and information online? Is it sufficient to simply say, “Post it now; if it’s wrong, we’ll just update it”? News is moving faster and getting edited less than ever. Since credibility is the journalist’s only real selling point, learn how to be ethical, accurate and credible in this digital age.
  • Panelists: Two adjunct professors of journalism ethics at the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Richard Ruelas, feature writer for the Arizona Republic and former news columnist and Mark Scarp, formerly of the East Valley Tribune and currently membership coordinator for the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

To RSVP for one or more seminar, please contact Alison Bailin Batz at Seats are limited!

Journalism Jumpstart Workshop Series Sponsored by Media Watch AZ

Journalism Jumpstart Workshop Series Sponsored by Media Watch AZ

Clark retires for DNS; farewell event July 8

Lloyd Clark, founding secretary of the Valley of the Sun chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, is retiring from a long career as a columnist for the Daily News-Sun.

Clark will be signing copies of a book compilation of his columns at a special celebration in his honor, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Thursday, July 8, at the offices of the Daily News-Sun, 10102 Santa Fe Drive, in Sun City. It is located just north of Grand Avenue and West of 99th Ave. [See map.]

Refreshments will be served. The event is open to all. For more information, email or call 623-876-2572.

Phoenix SPJ Names 2010 Scholarship Recipient

The Valley of the Sun Pro Chapter of SPJ has begun setting aside funds for an annual scholarship, to be presented each spring to a college student who is majoring in journalism. With the increase in college tuition and decrease in available government loans and grants, we know how vital every dollar can be.

This year’s $500 scholarship was presented to Leigh Anne Zinsmeister, a sophomore at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, on April 17 during the chapter’s annual Arizona Freedom of Information Awards Reception.

Zinsmeister plans to graduate in May of 2012 and hopes to work as a magazine editor.

“No matter what field I end up in, I hope to deliver the news to the people and keep them informed while building and maintaining their trust in me as a journalist,” she said.

The chapter awarded its first $500 scholarship to community college student Heather Lacey, who was enrolled in the journalism program at Phoenix College. Lacey was given her scholarship in August 2008.