Excellence in Journalism 2017 | Anaheim


September 10th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Grace Rauh Wins SPJ’s Sunshine Award for Outstanding Reporting on Government Accountability

The Society of Professional Journalists held its closing dinner at the Excellence in Journalism with a strong statement defending journalism. Grace Rauh, a political reporter at Spectrum News NY1 won the Sunshine Award for her investigative reports on New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. Grace Rauh is the lead plaintiff in an ongoing lawsuit titled Rauh v. de Blasio nicknamed 'Agents of the City'.

September 10th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #
Q&A: Data Journalism For Newbies

Pam Baker is a freelance journalist on the big data beat. She contributes to PC Magazine and a variety of tech media outlets. Her session at EIJ 2017 focused on rapid response protocol in news rooms when dealing with continuously flowing data to find relevant background and contextual information. Baker shared her knowledge for aspiring data journalists looking to get into the field.

September 10th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #
‘Make journalism great again’: Rebecca Baker takes president post

New Society of Professional Journalists President Rebecca Baker told Society of Professional Journalist members that they are "stronger together."

September 9th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Pressing Issues: Reporting On A Changing Climate

Podcast: Reporting on climate is just as much of an art as it is a science. Telling the human side of climate change and keeping track of the facts go hand in hand.

September 9th, 2017 | #, #, #, #
SPJ delegates pass bylaw change, resolutions at business meeting

SPJ concluded its business meeting on Saturday evening passing a bylaw change and several resolutions.

September 9th, 2017 | #, #, #
Q&A: New SPJ president highlights plans for community outreach

Incoming President Rebecca Baker

In her last hours as the Society of Professional Journalists’ president-elect, Rebecca Baker discussed her plans for the organization with the EIJ News Team.

Tell us about your background with SPJ?

I joined the Connecticut chapter in the year 2000 first as a member, then as a board member. Then I became board secretary, and then I got a job in New York, so I joined the New York Deadline Club as secretary, and then I rose up to be awards contest chair, events chair, first vice president and then president of the deadline club. Continue reading

September 9th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
White House Correspondents Defend Journalism During Super Session

White House correspondents had a candid conversation of what it means to cover the White House in the Trump age. "I think we are living in challenging times," said CNN Senior Correspondent Jim Acosta,"Forgive me if this sounds a little too much, but at times there are attempts to twist what is being said. Our sense of reality is being warped."

September 9th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Pressing Issues: Understanding Native Truths

Podcast: For this episode of Pressing Issues -- avoiding the inaccurate representation of Native American and Alaskan communities throughout history and in the present day with Crystal Echohawk -- CEO of EchoHawk Consulting.

September 9th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #
SPJ committee to present resolutions at business meeting for debate

At the final SPJ business meeting this week, the Resolutions Committee will present at least two issues to spark debate among delegates.

September 9th, 2017 | #, #, #, #
SPJ may create additional student chapter awards

Student SPJ chapters may soon have more ways to receive recognition at the regional level. “What we’re hoping to do is address what we saw as an imbalance,” said Andrew Schotz, SPJ Awards and Honors Committee Chair. “There are many more student chapters than there are pro[fessional] chapters.”

September 8th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Pressing Issues: What Makes A Great Podcast?

Podcast: For this episode of Pressing Issues - a conversation with NPR's Felix Contreras, host of Alt.Latino.

September 8th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #
SPJ delegates to vote on bylaw change

SPJ Governance Task Force chair Patti Newberry explains the proposed bylaw change delegates will vote on at this Saturday's business meeting.

September 7th, 2017 | #, #, #, #, #, #
NAHJ and CCNMA Relationship in Question

Brandon Benavides, the President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, spoke with our News Team about NAHJ’s decision to review its partnership with the California Chicano News Media Association. | Photo by: Elena Piech

A rift between two major Latino journalism organizations has postponed the presentation of the Ruben Salazar Journalism Award during the National Association of Hispanic Journalist’s annual awards luncheon.

Members of the California Chicano News Media Association were surprised to hear that board members of NAHJ announced a request to review the finances shared between the two organizations. Continue reading

September 29th, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #
SPJ elects a new president

“…As an officer of the Society, I hereby promise to uphold its ideals. I pledge myself to do all in my power, to perform faithfully the duties assigned to me, and to serve fellow journalists, whether of the Society or not. And so endeavor to enrich the profession with the ideals of the Society of Professional Journalists. This I promise and pleasure myself to perform.”

And with those words, Lynn Walsh of Columbus, Ohio, was crowned the new president of the Society of Professional Journalists. Continue reading

September 20th, 2016 | #, #, #
SPJ appoints new board members

The Society of Professional Journalists ushered in a new year of leaders for the 2016-17 year at the end of the 2016 national Excellence in Journalism conference in New Orleans.

All SPJ members were allowed to vote on the six open positions. While several roles, including the new at-large director and campus adviser at-large, included multiple candidates, both the positions of president-elect and secretary-treasurer ran unchallenged.

According to the SPJ board, the year brought a record turnout, with 1,016 votes — roughly 16 percent of all SPJ members. Continue reading

September 18th, 2016 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Building from debris: ABCs of podcasting from New Orleans

It had been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, increasing in danger and wind speed like an imposing turbine in the skies, and flooding New Orleans. An estimated 1,835 people died, about 300,000 homes were destroyed and the damage reached over $96 billion in estimated costs. In 2015, when the historic 10-year anniversary approached, Eve Troah, the news director for the New Orleans NPR affiliate WWNO, decided it was time for a podcast to reflect on how the catastrophe had changed and shaped her community.

September 21st, 2015 | #, #, #
Former Sigma Delta Chi president receives SPJ’s highest honor

Sue Porter, vice president, programs at Scripps Howard Foundation, received the Society of Professional Journalists highest honor, the Wells Memorial Key award. She received the award during the Presidents Installation Gala.

The gala also serves as an awards ceremony for distinguished journalists, but the Wells Memorial Key is always given out last. Recipient names are kept secret until it’s time to present the pin, and Porter said she was surprised.

“It’s incredibly humbling to win an award like this, after you’ve sat through an evening like this,” Porter said. Continue reading

September 20th, 2015 | #, #, #, #
Combining forces to advance EIJ

Sonny Albarado, an Arkansas Democratic-Gazette projects editor, speaks during a National Association of Hispanic Journalists meeting Sunday.

Fewer than five percent of this year’s 1,500 attendees to Excellence in Journalism are members of more than one organization associated with the conference. Among those in rarified air, Sonny Albarado, an Arkansas Democratic-Gazette projects editor.“That feels pretty good and it’s actually higher than I thought it would be,” he said.

Excellence in Journalism 2015 is comprised of three organizations, but it wasn’t always that way.  Continue reading

September 20th, 2015 | #, #, #, #
Meet SPJ student delegates voting Sunday

"As a college chapter, we don't really look at ourselves as professional journalists. So it's really weird for us as college kids to feel like we're professionals within this organization."

September 19th, 2015 | #, #, #, #, #
Storify: #EIJ15 Day 2 Highlights from the EIJ News Staff

[View the story “#EIJ15 Day 2 Highlights from the EIJ News Staff” on Storify] Continue reading

September 19th, 2015 | #, #, #
7 takeaways from current SPJ president Dana Neuts

Continue reading

September 18th, 2015 | #, #, #, #, #, #
Storify: #EIJ15 Day 1 Highlights from the EIJ News Staff

[View the story “#EIJ15 Day 1 Highlights from the EIJ News Staff” on Storify] Continue reading

September 18th, 2015 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #
One of the most important tools in a journalist’s arsenal

Some parts of the Constitution are more hotly contested in the 21st Century than others. Most Americans assume that Freedom of the Press is a given in this day and age and doesn’t need to be defended in court. Third world countries jail journalists, not the United States.

Wrong, according to organizers of the Society of Professional Journalists Legal Defense Fund.

Many journalists every year come under fire from government agencies and need help defending their First Amendment right to publish their stories freely. Continue reading

September 18th, 2015 | #, #, #, #, #, #, #
Small screen, big divide?

In broadcast news, visuals are everything. And that doesn’t just mean the videography.

Ever since the early days of broadcast news and the first anchors in the ’50s and early ’60s, appearance has been important. Crisp suits, confident body language and posture, and deftly applied stage makeup are essential for TV personalities no matter the genre.

Here at Excellence in Journalism 2015, JCPenny is sponsoring a booth with free styling advice to help journalists and media professionals become “camera ready.” Complete with sample clothes, and a full makeup and hair set up, stylists spent Friday helping journalists improve their visual appeal. Continue reading

September 18th, 2015 | #, #, #, #, #
Tracking the crowds

For SPJ Director of Education Scott Leadingham, planning a conference is all about drawing from past experience.

“You kind of learn year after year about what works and what doesn’t, and what’s popular and what’s not,” he said. “When we schedule rooms, we look at what will probably be more popular, so we can schedule for bigger rooms. It’s guesswork. Sometimes it’s not as popular as we think, and sometimes it’s more.”

Attendees stand outside the crowded “News Content: What Works?” session. Continue reading

September 18th, 2015 | #, #, #, #, #
The Origins of “Excellence in Journalism”

It’s become an annual pilgrimage, every fall, for journalists and media industry professionals from across the globe to come together. All in the name of ‘Excellence in Journalism,” ready to recruit new hires, learn valuable skills, and discuss the current issues at the forefront of the media industry.

But where did “Excellence in Journalism” come from?

For years prior to the first Excellence in Journalism conference, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) held an annual conference for its’ members. In 2010 the organization combined forces with the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) to hold a joint conference annually beginning in 2011. Continue reading

September 6th, 2014 | #, #, #, #, #
SPJ Election Results

Attendees and registered SPJ members were able to vote for the upcoming year’s directors and representatives since Thursday when the Excellence in Journalism conference began. And doing so in appropriate fashion for the digital age; for the first time members were able to cast their votes via an online voting system.

The position applications opened in the spring. Since then, candidates have campaigned for their hopeful spots in the society with live streamed candidate speeches and the creation of social media groups to raise awareness of their ambitions. Continue reading

September 6th, 2014 | #, #, #, #
A Freelance Chapter?: SPJ’s First Virtual Community Have Already Made a Motion

For the first time in its 105 years, SPJ members are in talks for possibly creating their first ever virtual chapter. The Freelance Community, the first non-geographic community recognized by SPJ, has made a motion at EIJ14 for the Bylaw Committee to consider making a chapter for the future.

The motion, initially drafted by D.C. freelancer and Freelance Committee member Hazel Becker, states “The Freelance Community requests that the SPJ Board ask the Bylaw Committee to consider what changes might be needed to give communities a voice in governance of the society.” The Freelance Committee voted unanimously for the motion and planned to relay the message to respective parties before the upcoming Board of Directors meeting. Continue reading

September 5th, 2014 | #, #, #, #, #, #
Roundup: Honoring a Lifetime of Excellence in Journalism

Harvey Nagler

Dick Ebersol

From ESPN to NBC to SNL, two creative forces behind some of the nation’s most-watched programming were recognized Friday for their achievements in journalism.

Harvey Nagler, longtime Vice President for CBS Radio News, received the John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual for contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press.

Former NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol was awarded with the Paul White Award, RTDNA’s highest award which recognizes lifetime contribution to journalism. Continue reading

September 5th, 2014 | #, #, #, #, #
Diversity at EIJ14: Bringing Color to SPJ

The SPJ Diversity Committee had a lively discussion at EIJ14 on better ways to improve the experience of members of color. Although more can be done in shaping programming and recruitment, the new chair, April Bethea, plans to implement new solutions to diversify management training and membership. Here is a video highlighting some of the key topics and plans discussed at this session.

Continue reading

September 5th, 2014 | #, #, #, #, #, #
The SPJ Name Change: What People Think About the Upcoming Vote

The upcoming SPJ name change discussion is slated for discussion Saturday during Excellence in Journalism 2014.  However many attendees aren’t waiting until the weekend to share their views.

While the proposal to change from “The Society of Professional Journalists” to “The Society for Professional Journalism” may seem like a minor issue, it’s actually created a bit of a stir among organization leadership and members. Please check out this exclusive video on the various thoughts and opinions on the topic.

Continue reading

September 5th, 2014 | #, #, #, #, #
EIJ14 Remembers John Seigenthaler

The coincidence that the 2014 Excellence in Journalism Convention in Nashville convened shortly after the death of John Seigenthaler, the Nashville-born publisher of the Tennessean, administrative assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and lifelong defender of the First Amendment is, well, uncanny.

Or maybe it’s just serendipitous, said Freedom Sings’ frontwoman Jonell Mosser, a singer in a band formed to educate young audiences about the importance of the First Amendment.

“It’s exactly the right thing,” said Mosser.

The convention officially began with a memorial held for Seigenthaler, who died in July at the age of 86. Continue reading

September 5th, 2014 | #, #, #, #, #
SPJ President-Elect: What Can I Do For Students, Professionals, Journalism?


Dana Neuts, president elect of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Since 2005, Dana Neuts has been a faithful Society of Professional Journalists member. A veteran of multiple EIJ/SPJ conferences, Neuts has networked with industry professionals and, arguably, the most important, asked, “what resources can I get from SPJ?”

After being laid off from her corporate business job, along with the help of SPJ, Neuts was able to establish herself as a freelance writer in the Seattle-area. Neuts additionally created a personal website, Virtually Yourz, and established a hyper-local news site for her local town, IloveKent.net — all while continuing to regularly contribute to AARP Bulletin and The Seattle Times. Continue reading

September 4th, 2014 | #, #, #, #
What do people expect of Excellence in Journalism 2014?

We went out to get a pulse of guests’ expectations for this year’s Excellence in Journalism Conference. Across the various professions, cultural groups, and regions, networking was the standout response of what members were looking forward to doing during this 4-day convention. Whether one is a digital news professor who wants to mentor aspiring young journalists or a student who is looking forward to professional exposure and learning, please check out what your fellow journos expect out of  this year’s conference! Continue reading

September 4th, 2014 | #, #, #, #
Got some free time? Use our guide to explore ‘Music City’

Smart discussions and networking opportunities are expected to go well beyond the hallways and conference rooms of the Opryland Resort and Convention Center this weekend.

August 26th, 2013 | #, #
SPJ Resolutions from EIJ13

Updates from SPJ's closing business session on Monday.

August 26th, 2013 | #, #, #, #
Improving relations between reporters, PIOs

Journalists and public information officers converged at a panel Monday afternoon at EIJ13 to discuss relationships between the two professions.

August 25th, 2013 | #, #, #
Chris Wallace honored at EIJ13 with Paul White award

Chris Wallace, the host of FoxNews Sunday, was honored at the Excellence in Journalism conference Sunday evening with the Paul White award, the highest honor for lifetime achievement from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

August 25th, 2013 | #, #, #, #, #, #
Beyond the Trauma Vortex

Journalists are second responders to any crisis, but nonetheless, they are there to capture the moment, tell the story, and ultimately put their lives on the line all in the name of journalism. “We are the messengers,” Sid Garcia said. Garcia is a general assignment reporter for ABC7 Eyewitness News in California and has, like many journalists, covered stories that changed their lives.

August 25th, 2013 | #, #, #
Panel focuses on stress in the newsroom

Experiencing trauma while working is natural for journalists and should be addressed, not ignored, said panelists at a discussion on trauma at EIJ13 Sunday morning.

August 24th, 2013 | #, #, #, #
Chrysler Group and Kaiser Permanente Promote Healthy Living at EIJ13

Chrysler Group and Kaiser Permanente have teamed up to challenge National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Radio Television Digital News Association members to "Step it Up."

August 24th, 2013 | #, #, #, #, #
First Time Conference Attendees Share Their Story

Wisconsin and Virginia are two states extremely far from Southern California, however, the distance didn't stop two first time conference attendees from coming to this years Excellence in Journalism Conference.

August 23rd, 2013 | #, #, #
VIDEO: The Calm Before the Storm

It is Friday night, and SPJ associate executive director Chris Vachon and her staff are preparing for the three-day Excellence in Journalism conference that starts Saturday.

September 23rd, 2012 | #, #
Delegates reject review of financial records

Delegates of the Society of Professional Journalists rejected a proposal Saturday that recommends the Board of Directors establish a policy making all SPJ chapter treasurer reports available for public review upon request.

September 23rd, 2012 | #, #
‘One member, one vote’ gives opportunity to all SPJ members

Officials said 830 votes were cast in SPJ’s first “one member, one vote” election for national officers, which accounted for about 11 percent of the 7,371 ballots emailed to members.

September 22nd, 2012 | #, #
With fewer board candidates, SPJ elects nontraditional leader

A candidate's lack of a traditional journalism background and involvement in public relations reignited a sensitive issue.

September 22nd, 2012 | #, #
Sigma Delta Chi board proposes new gift acceptance policy

The board plans to vote in April on a gift acceptance policy outlining which types of gifts can be accepted or rejected.

September 22nd, 2012 | #, #, #
SPJ seeks data on Diversity Leadership Fellows program

The Society of Professional Journalists will start surveying 30 journalists it has trained for leadership roles to find out where they are, what they’re doing or whether they’re still working in the industry.

September 22nd, 2012 | #, #
Qatar SPJ chapter represented

Qatar’s strict government regulation makes it difficult to practice journalism using traditional American techniques.