Student Boot Camp Deadline Feb. 3!

Calling student journalists! Come learn from the pros at the St. Louis Society of Professional Journalists’ Student Boot Camp! Sessions include investigative reporting, the skills you need to land a job, copy editing on the fly, making it as a freelancer, Google Tools for journalists, research and the art of interviewing, real-world journalism ethics and even a mock press conference, where you’ll interview an actual spokesman, write a story and compete for prizes! The sessions are taught by actual working journalists with decades of experience doing the job you’re training for – come learn from them!

The all-day session will take place Feb. 13 beginning at 8 a.m. at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, co-hosted by the mass communications department and The Alestle. While the boot camp is FREE, there is a $10 registration fee refunded upon arrival. A pizza lunch will be provided.

The registration deadline is Feb. 3, and the form is linked below. For more information, contact Tammy Merrett at or Elizabeth Donald at

2015-2016 SPJ College Journalist Boot Camp Registration

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Google Tools Workshop coming up – FREE

Time to hone up those Google skills and learn about the tools Google has developed for journalists!

Journalists and students have the opportunity for a FREE workshop in Google Tools on Saturday, Dec. 5 at St. Louis University. Holly Edgell, director of digital media for KSHB Kansas City and a Google News Lab trainer, will teach advanced skills at SLU on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Subjects will include advanced searches, image search and backgrounding, basic techniques in My Maps, Google Trends and more. Participants should bring laptops and chargers, and should download Google Chrome in advance – other browsers may work, but Chrome is ideal.

Holly Edgell is Director of Digital Media at KSHB, the Scripps television and digital property in Kansas City, Mo. In this capacity she leads a team of six digital journalists, spearheads strategy, and collaborates closely with the television news director in an integrated newsroom. 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 master’s in media management at Kent State University. Edgell has been a member of NABJ since 1996 and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists since 2002.

The seminar will run approximately two hours with registration at 9 a.m. and wrapping up by 11:30 a.m., with a break halfway through. It is hosted by the St. Louis Society of Professional Journalists and St. Louis University. SPJ would like to thank university liaison Neil Ralston and SLU professor Dr. Amber Hinsley for their assistance in setting up this training program.

RSVPs are encouraged at the Facebook event. For further information, contact St. Louis SPJ President Elizabeth Donald at or on Twitter at @BNDedonald. Holly Edgell may be reached at or on Twitter at @hollyedgell.

Map: SLU map-SPJ Google apps (1)

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Food! Drink! Journalism!

The St. Louis Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites you to a happy-hour networking evening at iTap in the Central West End. The chapter has recently elected new officers and is in the process of developing new programs – and we want you!

Please come enjoy an evening with your fellow journalists, and talk to us about what you’d like to see from SPJ. What, you’re not a member? Show up anyway! Our goal is to be useful for all working journalists in St. Louis, whether you’re members or not.

Just as a little incentive, however: if you join, we will waive your local chapter dues for the year. That’s a $15 savings, limited time only! But really, our primary goal is to meet and chat, probably complain about work, and definitely enjoy the beer.

We hope to see you there! The Happy Hour begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15 at iTap in the Central West End.

President: Elizabeth Donald of the Belleville News-Democrat
Vice President/Treasurer: Tammy Merrett of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Secretary: Janette Lonsdale of The Red Stairs
Membership Chair: Gary Meyer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Members at Large: David Nicklaus of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jill Moon of the Alton Telegraph

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SPJ congratulates Post-Dispatch, editor, for National Press Foundation award

Gilbert Bailon image

Gilbert Bailon (Photo courtesy Post-Dispatch)

Tear gas, rioting, fires, gunfire, anger, despair.


When events in north suburban St. Louis exploded into fragments of all these things subsequent to the police shooting of Michael Brown, reporters and photographers from the Post-Dispatch met them with the same uncertainty as anyone ill-prepared to believe such tensions could inflame their neighborhoods.

But when those tensions rose to attract world attention, the Post-Dispatch staff rose with them, and for that earned deserved recognition this week from the National Press Foundation when editor-in-chief Gilbert Bailon received the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award.

On its website, the foundation said, “If ever a newspaper and its editor faced a real-time stress test, it was the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and editor Gilbert Bailon in 2014. … But (they) delivered for readers and the larger St. Louis community with a breadth of coverage that is truly impressive. Hundreds of stories, dozens of editorials, every piece of evidence — all were either there in print or on the paper’s website. Most striking were the photographs, often taken at great personal risk to the photographers.

“Through it all, Bailon was a strong presence both in his community and in the newsroom, fighting for access and striving to keep the coverage balanced and emotions in check.”

Bailon told SPJ that he was grateful for the honor but deflected the credit.

“It was above all a team effort,” he said. “This is an honor that belongs to everyone for all of their hard work, and it’s recognition that’s well deserved.”

Bailon has been the Post-Dispatch’s editor since 2012. Before that, he was the newspaper’s editorial page editor. Bailon came to St. Louis from the Dallas Morning News, where he was vice president and executive editor.

The National Press Foundation is based in Washington, D.C., and provides professional development and recognition to its 5,000-plus member editors, producers, and photographers. The Bradlee Award, the oldest award given to editors in the United States, is named after the great Watergate-era editor of the Washington Post. Bailon will receive the award at an NPF banquet in Washington in February.

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