Register now for Student Boot Camp!

Come learn from the pros! St. Louis SPJ is proud to host its annual Student Boot Camp, a day of workshop sessions with working journalists teaching the real work they do every day.

Learn about investigative reporting, research, photojournalism, freelancing, social media and copy editing, and so much more, all of it in a behind-the-scenes perspective. Then participate in a mock press conference with a real police officer, and write a story about the “incident” to compete for Amazon.com gift cards! (Much thanks to Chief Jay Keeven of the Edwardsville, Ill. Police Department for arranging this for us each year.)

Speakers include: Carl GreenSt. Louis Labor-TribuneBeth Hundsdorfer, RFK award-winning investigative journalist; freelancers Lynn Venhaus, Elizabeth Donald and Robert LowesCatherine Klene of Sauce MagazineDerik Holtmann and Teri Maddox of the Belleville News-Democrat and more!

Best of all, it’s FREE. There is a $10 deposit per person, which will be refunded upon arrival by request (or may be donated to the chapter scholarship fund if you wish). Breakfast and lunch are provided.

The program takes place Saturday, Sept. 15 in Dunham Hall of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, co-hosted by the SIUE Mass Communications Department and the Alestle. Thanks to all our partners for helping to make this happen!

Watch our Facebook page and website for further updates; space is limited, so be sure to register early! Registration is at EventBrite here; register first, then pay deposit here.

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Coming up: Audio training for experienced journalists – FREE!

A great announcement from our friends at St. Louis Public Radio offers a terrific opportunity for experienced journalists to expand and hone their skills. From Holly Edgell at SLPR:

As part of the grant that is funding the Sharing America public radio collaborative, St. Louis Public Radio is offering free audio training to mid to late-career journalists who are interested in broadening their skill set.

Our reasons are partially selfish: Public radio is growing. That’s a big deal. And, as we grow, we want our newsrooms to reflect both the country’s diversity and the communities we cover and call home. Developing a pool of potential job candidates is key. To do anything less would be to fail our public service mission.

So, here are the basics:

·         9 am to 5 pm on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1, 2018

·         Free, but if folks are coming from out of town they’ll need to cover their own transportation and lodging

·         Breakfast and lunch provided on both days

·         Space is limited so there will be an application period, from early September through Oct. 15

·         Sessions will take place at St. Louis Public Radio

·         Equipment will be provided for the duration of the training

Day 1: 

•        The philosophies and best practices of storytelling with sound and public radio journalism;

•        How radio journalism differs from print, television and digital-first platforms;

•        The challenges and joys of radio

Day 2:

•        Studio and field equipment and recording techniques;

•        Writing for radio;

•        Editing software and sound-mixing techniques

Applications will open near the end of August, so stay tuned here and on our Facebook page!

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Jobs Jobs Jobs

Given another round of recent layoffs, we’ve compiled some more jobs listings to help those who may be looking for work. If you know of an opening that we haven’t listed, please contact Elizabeth Donald at elizabethdonald@aol.com and we will be sure to add it.

And don’t forget the SPJ Employment and Career Center! It includes more than 50 journalism-related jobs banks, as well as a plethora of information and advice for conducting a job search: videos and training on building a killer resume, standing out in a pool of applications, networking and more.

Good luck to all those pounding the pavement!

• St. Louis Public Radio has created a new position for an investigative journalist who can be both reporter and coordinator of investigative work. Full listing.

• Call Newspapers is looking for a full-time reporter to handle government news and occasional features for four community weekly papers, as well as posting to web and social media, some photography and design. Full listing.

• The Maryville Forum is looking for a news reporter; bachelor’s degree required, experience desired. Family-owned weekly. Full listing.

• The Columbia Daily Tribune is seeking a news editor to drive transition to a digital-first operation, a leadership role working with reporters, photographers, page designers and other editors. Full listing.

• Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Ill. is seeking an experienced reporter for breaking news, features, community coverage and local events. Ability to shoot photo and video is a must. Full listing.

• 22nd Century Media is seeking freelance reporters and photographers to work directly with editors on local government, features, events, sports and more. Full listing.

• The Joliet (Ill.) Herald News and Watseka Ill. Times-Republic are each seeking a sports editor. Full listings.

• The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale, Ill. seeks a part-time copy editor who can package content for digital, work with regional designers, can work a flexible schedule and more. Full listing.

• Now News Group in Milwaukee, Wis. seeks a multimedia reporter interested in telling stories on multiple platforms. Full listing.

• Lee Enterprises is seeking a special presentation designer and page designer for its design center in Madison, Wis. and its regional design center in Munster, Ind. Full listing.

• Sauk Valley Media is seeking a staff photographer. Full listing.

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting is looking for an investigative reporter to work individually and in teams. Required is five years’ experience and a proven track record, comfort with data and documents, and radio experience is a plus.

• Wausau (Wis.) Daily Herald seeks an experienced public issues investigative reporter with a minimum of five years’ experience to work with a team of watchdog reporters. Full listing.

• The Indianapolis Star is seeking a breaking news reporter for public safety weeknights; arts and culture columnist; and a “things to do” reporter for Hamilton County. Full listing.

• The Decatur Herald & Review needs a copy editor; full listing.

• Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press seeks a neighborhood issues reporter with a focus on Owensboro, Ky. who can shoot photos and video. Full listing.

• The Newton (Iowa) Daily News needs a city reporter with at least one year experience. Full listing.

• The Des Moines (Iowa) Register needs: a rapid response general assignment reporter; political columnist; statehouse reporter; politics reporter; and metro reporter. Full listing.

• The Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal needs a “future city” reporter and political reporter. Full listing.

• The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer needs an assistant editor and military reporter.

• Crain’s Chicago Business seeks a health care reporter for a newsletter and daily breaking news. Full listing.

GANNETT/USA TODAY

ACES/Society for Editing

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Our year in review here at St. Louis SPJ

The St. Louis Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists submitted our annual report to the national organization at the end of May. We’re happy to say our report was accepted and our charter renewed for another year. Whew.

Aside from all the boring financial documents and bylaws, we recapped our major activities for the past year. So what did we do this year (up through May, at least)? Read on!

• SPJ Student Boot Camp. Each year we bring in working professionals in various disciplines for a day-long “Journalism 101” program as an intensive training opportunity for student journalists.

Subjects range from basic newswriting and interviewing to FOIA, investigative techniques, video and social media, ethics, feature writing, Google Tools and other skills.

We bring in a local police officer to present a mock press conference, and the students ask him questions as they would on the job. They have an hour to write a story, and a group of volunteer judges awards prizes for the best stories.

This annual program is free to students, and a highlight of our year.

The next one is tentatively slated for Sept. 15, and we need volunteers! Contact Elizabeth Donald at elizabethdonald@aol.com.

SPJ Night at the Movies. This year we attended a showing of The Post in February, inviting the public to see the film and join us for a conversation afterward at a local restaurant. We were bedeviled by a snowstorm this year, but we try to repeat this program whenever a journalism-related movie is released in the hopes of continuing public discussion and engagement.

Public presentations and representation. Chapter president Elizabeth Donald gave presentations on the depiction of journalists in television, film and other fiction at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Archon STL, a local popular culture convention; on practical applications of ethics at SIU and journalismSTL; and on the business aspects of a writing career at Imaginarium, a writers’ conference in Louisville, Ky. She also joined other communications professionals from public relations and marketing for a roundtable discussion with a local student chapter of PRSSA.

Donald represented the chapter at the spring regional conference in Iowa and Excellence in Journalism in Anaheim, Calif., and serves on the advisory board for the SIUE Alestle and the national SPJ Ethics Committee.

First Amendment Free* Food Festival. As has become an annual tradition, we help fund the annual festival, in which students and members of the public can sign away their First Amendment rights in return for pizza, and get a “taste” of what it’s like to live without those rights. At least 90 people participated with another 30 or so observing. Volunteers play the enforcers and counter-protesters, and SPJ members often join in. This festival is organized by the Alestle staff at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Advocacy. We issued a public statement in September 2017 protesting the arrest of reporter Mike Faulk by the St. Louis Police Department during protests and unrest following the acquittal of a police officer. A photo circulated of Faulk being arrested while clearly cooperating, with his press pass in plain view. Donald also reached out to Faulk personally and encouraged him to seek help from the SPJ Legal Fund in the event his newspaper did not support him.

Partnerships. We partnered with the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat and Racial Harmony of Southwestern Illinois to promote a program titled “Then I Knew,” a documentary produced by the BND examining race in our region. We worked with reporter Cara Anthony to help plan and promote the event using our social media and direct email network, and manned an informational table at the event handing out information about SPJ and copies of the Code of Ethics. In addition, we continue to partner with the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists, St. Louis Press Club and new partners Online News Association to cross-promote and support each others’ programs,.

Chapter fun. We have reinstituted our quarterly happy hours, and are always on the look for other fun activities for our members! We are continuing our bimonthly newsletter and frequent posts on Facebook and Twitter to keep our members well-informed, as well as maintaining an up-to-date website.

Fundraising. Our sole fundraiser all year is our Trivia Night, which takes place in the fall. Last year it was hosted by the International Institute of St. Louis, and plans are already underway for this year.

Keep in mind that our sole sources of funding are this one trivia night and our chapter dues of $15, which are voluntary for SPJ members. It is our philosophy that our programs should be open to as many journalists as possible, not just our members. But to keep doing that, we need support!

Our recent membership drive has grown our numbers by 12.5 percent since the beginning of 2018, but we hope for more to come. Please consider joining SPJ and supporting our programs!

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