And now, a word from our sponsor…
Today I donated in SPJ’s Day of Giving to the Terry Harper Fellowship, of which I was a proud recipient in 2010.
It was the first year for the Harper scholarship, which funded my attendance at the Excellence in Journalism conference, by the end of which I had been nominated to the national Ethics Committee. EIJ is not the least expensive enrichment experience you will ever see, but it is an amazingly helpful and productive experience, and I have been honored to attend several times in the years since 2010. My participation on the Ethics Committee has been one of the most valuable and meaningful experiences in my professional career, and I am honored to continue to serve on the committee and locally.
Now I am president of the St. Louis Pro chapter, working on our projects to support journalists and the First Amendment here in St. Louis and to spread awareness about the work that we do among the public. We are small but mighty, and the volunteers on your chapter board work diligently to find new programming ideas and support journalists and the First Amendment here in St. Louis.
It’s safe to say none of the work I have done through SPJ would be possible without generosity like the Harper Fellowship, or the support of my employers. I cannot overstate the importance of either, or the value of my participation in SPJ.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s the top ten reasons to support SPJ, in today’s mail (yes, they quoted me, too):
  • SPJ supports truthful, compassionate, independent, transparent journalism.
  • “There are about 41,440 reasons to be SPJ Proud, but one is that SPJ is an incredible asset to my student journalists.” -Brandon Szuminsky, Waynesburg University.
  • The SDX Foundation awards a $75,000 Pulliam Fellowship to an outstanding editorial writer or columnist to help broaden his or her journalistic horizons and knowledge of the world. Sometimes, that leads to Pulitzer-Prize winning work (See No. 8).
  • SPJ committed $10K to back journalists seeking a database of all public purchases in New Orleans.
  • The SDX Foundation annually supplies grants to support journalism projects like the Drone Tour, which traveled to 10 universities in the south to teach students about ethical drone use.
  • “Journalism is essential to democracy and society. It’s about giving people the information they need to self-govern. Without journalism, we might as well call it in. Without journalism, we are at the will of those in power.” -Dave Cuillier, Past SPJ President.
  • SPJ and the SDX Foundation supports diversity in the newsroom.
  • “I think it’s important for journalists to support each other, and to be able to get together in a space where they can brainstorm, network, share information and get away from the daily grind and think about their own careers and the future of journalism.” – Farah Stockman, Pulliam Editorial Fellow & Pulitzer-prize winner
  • “SPJ serves a vital function to support journalists in their difficult work, but also to educate the public about journalism and its place in our society.” -Elizabeth Donald, member since 2009.
  •  Together, because of journalism, we make our communities better.
I hope my fellow journalists will join me in supporting SPJ. Donate to the funds, join the organization, attend the conferences, find out the amazing resources available to you online and in person. I guarantee you will find it worth your time and energy.
And if you are not a journalist, I hope you will consider supporting us as well: the same First Amendment that protects us protects you, especially the Legal Defense Fund and the First Amendment Forever Fund. In addition to donations to our nonprofit arm, non-journalists can become supporting members for as little as $20.
We are #SPJProud.
– Elizabeth Donald, president of St. Louis Pro
Posted in advocacy, excellence in journalism, first amendment, fundraising, national convention, scholarships, SPJ National | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

FREE Google Newslab Tools training Feb. 9!

We’re pleased to welcome back Holly Edgell for a new training workshop in Google News Lab tools! This FREE hands-on seminar is hosted at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 in SIUE’s Dunham Hall,Room 2007.

Holly Edgell speaks to the 2016 SPJ Student Boot Camp about the wonders of Google Tools

Google has a suite of free tools that you can use to bring dimension, insight, context (and even fun) to your digital content. Learn about advanced searches and image search; creative interactive maps and using Google Maps to enhance your content; and how to use Google Trends to further your reporting.

Holly Edgell has more than 25 years’ experience as a journalist and journalism educator. She recently returned from Belize, after serving as communications and marketing for that nation’s National Institute of Culture & History. Before that, she was Director of Digital Media at KSHB, the Scripps television and digital property in Kansas City, Mo. Previous positions include: Community Editor at WCPO (Scripps in Cincinnati); Regional Editor for Patch/AOL in St. Louis; teaching at the Missouri School of Journalism and Florida A&M University; and news producing at several television stations around the country.

Edgell has been working in journalism since 1991, when she was hired as the first news director at Great Belize Television. News 5 was the first independent television newscast to air in Belize. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University and earned a masters degree in media management at Kent State University. Edgell has been member of the Society of Professional Journalists since 2002 and is a former Region 7 Director. She joined the SPJ-Google News Lab training network when it launched in 2015.

Participants should bring laptops and chargers, and preferably should have downloaded Google Chrome prior to the training session.

RSVPs are encouraged! Email StLouisSPJ@gmail.com to reserve a seat. Limited to 40 participants. For more information, contact St. Louis SPJ President Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or on Twitter at @BNDedonald. Holly Edgell may be reached at edgellholly@gmail.com or on Twitter at @hollyedgell.

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Join SPJ on Inauguration Day – only $45!

It’s time to #PressthePrez.

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, fighting on behalf of journalism and the First Amendment since 1909. The Society has fought for the Freedom of Information Act, for open government and access to government records, for the First Amendment freedoms enjoyed by all citizens, not just those of us who carry a notebook.

A professional membership normally costs $75. For a short time only, you can join at the professional level for $45. It’s our Inauguration Day special, our call to arms to protect journalism going forward.

Did you know that it was SPJ that made sure the Iran/Contra report became public?

Did you know that SPJ was instrumental in getting a Georgia journalist released when a judge he was investigating had him jailed for filing a FOIA request?

Did you know that the SPJ Ethics Code, revised in 2014, has been adopted by most of the journalism organizations in the nation and a good many overseas? That in some countries, the SPJ Code helped form the blueprint for establishing a press free of government control for the first time in their histories?

Did you know that SPJ has standing committees and online communities providing support, resources and advocacy regarding ethics, the Freedom of Information Act, diversity in journalism, the First Amendment, young journalists “Generation J”, students, educators, international journalists, digital-only journalists and more?

Did you know that SPJ is leading more than 60 other journalism organizations in a collective effort to get the Trump administration to meet with them and discuss open government, both in terms of coverage and access to records under the Freedom of Information Act?

You’ll also gain access to much-needed resources to help you in your work. The jobs boards, training webinars, networking and opportunities, reduced cost for regional and national conference registration, discounts on services like insurance, database subscriptions and office supplies, the ability to apply for journalism awards and internships…

In addition to supporting the work of the Society in Washington D.C., you’re supporting advocacy in journalism ethics, legal defense for freelance and small-organization journalists fighting for open government, continuing education and career development for journalists of all backgrounds, and much, much more.

Here in St. Louis, your support helps fund a student “boot camp” for college journalists to learn from working professionals; guest speakers and workshops for the public as well as working journalists; an upcoming media literacy program to be presented at area high schools on recognizing “fake news”; a scholarship program to assist journalism students; and much more.

Not a journalist? You can still help! SPJ has a “supporting membership” for those who want to support our mission, and to still gain some of the benefits of a pro membership. This is only $20 a year, and available all the time!

Please consider joining us, and getting involved with St. Louis SPJ on a local level. Questions? Contact chapter president Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com! But hurry – the Inauguration Day special is only available for a short time!


Posted in advocacy, freedom of information, freedom of speech, government and media, membership, networking, public access | Comments Off

SPJ Happy Hour Dec. 20!

Join us at iTap in Soulard at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20! iTap allows outside food, so we will all be bringing something – but if you can’t, come anyway! There’s always plenty to go around, and iTap’s bar selection is extensive.

All are welcome, whether or not you’re a member – we’d just like to get to know you! Spouses and significant others welcome as well. Look for us toward the front!

Please RSVP at our Facebook event or by emailing chapter president Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com so we can tell iTap how much space to set aside for us.

iTap: 1711 S. 9th St., St. Louis

Let’s celebrate another year together, with hopes for a terrific 2017!

Posted in christmas party, happy hour, meet and greet | Comments Off