Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Focusing on freelancing with SPJ's Internet radio show/podcast

Freelancing will be the hot topic tomorrow when "Your SPJ Membership," SPJ's live Internet radio show, hits the airwaves again. The episode airs live at 1 p.m. Eastern/noon Central, but if you can't tune in then, you can catch up later by listening to it as a podcast, either on or via iTunes -- you can listen through your browser or download the audio to your iPod.

Listen to internet radio with SPJ on Blog Talk Radio

Monday, December 6, 2010

Four Nashville stations to share Governor's Award for flood coverage

Round-the-clock coverage of Nashville's 2010 floods have earned Nashville's four commercial television stations the highest honor given out by the people who give out the Emmys.

WKRN, WSMV, WTVF and WZTV will receive the Governors’ Award, the highest honor from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences when it holds the Mid-South Emmys awards ceremony Jan. 29.

Among the numerous nominations received by the major stations for their journalistic output in 2010, WKRN, WSMV and WTVF were also nominated for the news excellence Emmy.

The awards ceremony will be held at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. RSVP by Jan. 15. More info is available on the academy's Nashville chapter's Web site.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Social media ethics training Thursday in Knoxville

Our friends in the East Tennessee chapter of SPJ are holding a cool program next Thursday at the News Sentinel offices -- it's on social media ethics.

The speakers include James Pilcher, business reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer and a member of the SPJ national board (who also serves with me on the SPJ Digital Media Committee) and Enquirer lawyer Jack Greiner.

The program is free and open to the public. Read more on ETSPJ's Web site.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tune in at 12 noon Thursday for SPJ's live Internet radio call-in show

Tune in to "Your SPJ Membership" on Holly Fisher from the national SPJ committee on membership will talk about SPJ's e-Campus online training program, and national Treasurer-Secretary John Ensslin will talk about chapter programming.

Listen to internet radio with SPJ on Blog Talk Radio

Monday, November 1, 2010

Save the dates, everyone!

Nashville will play host to next year's spring regional conference for Region 12, so mark your calendars for the weekend of March 26, 2011. Time, place TBA. Watch this space for more details.

And the national convention next year will be in New Orleans -- a double convention SPJ is putting on with the nice folks at the RTDNA (that's Radio Television Digital News Association -- it used to be the RTNDA, the Radio Television News Directors Association) coming up Sept. 25, 2011.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Deadline is tomorrow for registration for May 17 "Access Across America" event at Belmont

National FOI Expert Brings
"Access Across America" Tour to Nashville

"Doing FOI When You're SOL"

WHO: Presented by David Cuillier, National SPJ Freedom of Information chair and co-author of the recent book "The Art of Access"

WHAT: The Society of Professional Journalists and National Freedom of Information Coalitions are co-sponsoring a 45-day road tour of the United States to train journalists and citizens in accessing public records. Cuillier's tour covers more than 35 states and more than 60 groups.

To see the tour itinerary, with a map, go to Cuillier blogs daily at

"So far, in meeting with 315 people, mainly journalists, I'm finding that people at the local level are having great difficulty with law enforcement, more than anything. Not much of a surprise, but the problems seem quite bad," Cuillier says. "Basically, journalists are reliant on public information officers who can choose to release what they want and withhold what they want. A lot has changed since reporting 20 years ago when incident reports were provided unredacted for anyone to look at in police station lobbies. It wasn't that great then, when I was a reporter. Now it is terrible.

"But one thing I have found is that people appreciate a reminder of why transparency is so important," he adds. "Without it, we're all in a world of hurt."

WHEN: Monday, May 17,11 a.m. registration
Two-hour session -- 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Curb Event Center, Beaman A, Belmont University
On the Belmont Campus facing Belmont Boulevard. Park in the attached Curb Center parking garage. Turn left off Belmont Boulevard going south onto Bernard; the garage entrance is on the left. Attached is a PDF of the campus map.

COST: $20 per person, including box lunch

RSVP: E-mail Frank Gibson at no later than May 12 at 11 a.m.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Region's best named in collegiate journalism

The winners of the Mark of Excellence competition for college journalists from our SPJ region (Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana) were given their certificates at the regional conference this past weekend in Knoxville. Congrats to the UT Daily Beacon, which came in second in the category for all-around student newspaper (bested by the LSU Daily Reveille). See the complete list of winners here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 15 deadline to nominate for outstanding pro member, Wells Key

Here's the word from SPJ HQ:
SPJ Members: We Need Your Help!
Each year, we are proud to honor SPJ members who go above and beyond for the journalism profession and for the organization. If you know one or more of those individuals, please help us recognize them by submitting nominations for the following awards: the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award and the Wells Memorial Key. 
The postmark deadline to nominate candidates is Thursday, April 15.
Awards will be presented at the 2010 SPJ National Convention in Las Vegas! If you have any questions, contact Awards Coordinator Lauren Rochester at or at (317) 927-8000 ext. 210.
Wells Memorial KeyEach year, a member who is judged to have served the Society in the most outstanding fashion during the preceding year or over a period of years is presented SPJ's highest honor for a member, the Wells Memorial Key. Read more information online about the award and how to nominate a candidate.
Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award
Howard Dubin is a current SPJ member whose outstanding membership shines through his service to the Society, nationally and at the grassroots level. SPJ is honored to give this award annually to a member who is exceptionally dedication to the mission of the organization. Read more information online about the award and how to nominate a candidate.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Save the date: May 17 on doing FOI when you're SOL

Mark Your Calendar Now!

National FOI Expert Brings "Access Across America" Tour to Nashville

"Doing FOI When You're SOL"

Presented by David Cuillier, national SPJ Freedom of Information chair and co-author of the recent book The Art of Access
Monday, May 17
11 a.m. registration
Two-hour session -- 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Curb Event Center, Beaman A
Belmont University
$20 per person, including box lunch

More details will follow later. Reserve that date!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tricks and tips for multimedia: It's the new SPJ Digital Media Handbook

Want to know how to Twitter, take better video, or make digital slideshows? We've got the answers. The SPJ Digital Media Committee has published the SPJ Digital Media Handbook, a compendium of some of our best posts from the SPJ Net Worked blog. Yep, it's free. You can download it directly from SPJ's Web site at this link (it's about 50-60 megs, as I recall) or you can read it in a quicker Flash presentation via (You don't need to register with Scribd to read it there, by the way.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Positive vibes going out to our friends who were laid off from SouthComm

Seven people were laid off, and I know all of us fellow SPJ'ers are thinking good thoughts for them. (Details: Scene / Tennessean / Tennessean politics blog).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Early bird deadline extended to April 5 for regional conference in Knoxville

Our friends at the East Tennessee Pro Chapter in Knoxville, who are hosting the April 9-10 Region 12 conference, have extended the early bird registration deadline to April 5.

April 5 is also the deadline for booking a room at the conference hotel, the Holiday Inn Downtown at the Convention Center, Regional Director Sonny Albarado said in an e-mail.

The focus for the conference programs on Friday will be environmental journalism, and the focus on Saturday will be sports journalism. You can go both days or just one day. Go to to register.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

'Converging Media' discussion with Chattanooga online editor at Vol State April 7

Here are the details from chapter board member Clay Scott at Vol State:

Converging media is the topic for a discussion Wednesday, April 7, at 12:30 p.m., on the campus of Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin.

Ed Bourn, the online and technology director of the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press (, will discuss the “new media” in the Rochelle Center of the Thigpen Library.

His lecture is titled, “Media: Emerging and Converging.”

Bourn develops the technology and business models that drive seven sites associated with the the Times Free Press. was named the 2009 Best Overall Website in 14 states by the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.

This year, and its six sister sites won eight American Advertising Federation Addy Awards.

Editor & Publisher ranked the Times Free Press #22 among the Top 25 Daily Newspapers in Print and Online Growth last year.

Before coming to the Times Free Press, Bourn was the director of product management at Everstream, where he was managing over 250 newspaper and community online sites, powered by components developed by the company.

Bourn’s visit is part of Communication Week at Vol State. Events are planned throughout the week to celebrate the field of communication and the accomplishments of our students.

Bourn’s visit is funded by a grant from the Tennessee Press Foundation.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Environmental journalism topic of this year's regional conference in Knoxville

SPJ's Region 12 will have its annual conference next month in Knoxville, hosted by our friends with the East Tennessee Pro Chapter.

Here's some description we are shamelessly lifting from their Web site:

Programs for April 9 will focus on environmental reporting issues, taking advantage of our location in Southern Appalachia between two opposites: at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and near TVA’s 2009 Coal Ash Spill.

Programs for April 10 will focus on issues in sports journalism (where the hometown Vols have been the source of some recent controversy), social media, health coverage and “The Myth of Diversity.”

Also featured are a reception at the East Tennessee History Center with live music Friday night and the Mark of Excellence Awards banquet Saturday.

The conference hotel is Holiday Inn Downtown Knoxville @ Convention Center , in easy walking distance of plenty of unique restaurants, shops and clubs, and in easy driving distance of the Smokies, where you might spend some time before or after the conference activities.

Plus, Knoxville will be in the middle of its annual renowned Dogwood Arts Festival with its art fair and entertainment events going on in nearby Market Square as well!

You may register for either day individually or for both days at a discount. When you make a reservation at the Holiday Inn please do so HERE using the code SPJ. If you phone them, please say you want the SPJ block of rooms.

For more details, including a full schedule, see ETSPJ's Web site.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Channel 5 racks up the Emmys

WTVF-Channel 5 took home 15 regional Emmys Saturday night, including news excellence, best evening newscast and best investigative report.

The award for best investigative report went to Phil Williams' project on Davidson County General Sessions Court. Winning along with Williams were Bryan Staples and Kevin Wisniewski.

WTVF also had a second nomination in that batch as well.

WKRN-Channel 2 won for best daytime newscast and for best continuing coverage over a 24-hour period for coverage of the Good Friday tornadoes. Channel 4, which also had a nomination in the investigative reporting category, won for best continuing coverage of weather, also for the Good Friday tornadoes.

The Renaissance Center in Dickson and Bohan Advertising each took home two Emmys. WSMV-Channel 4, Nashville Public Television and Vanderbilt University News Service won one a piece. And WKRN's Anne Holt presented the Governor's Award to the Freedom Forum.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

NewsChannel 5 wins the Pulitzer of TV news

My apologies to the Channel 5 folks for not having posted this earlier. Here's a snippet from the story on their site:

-- WTVF-NewsChannel 5 has been awarded one of broadcast journalism's highest honors, the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, for the station's investigation of Nashville's General Sessions Court system, it was announced Thursday.

That exclusive investigation – "NewsChannel 5 Investigates: General Sessions Court" -- exposed judges and court employees abusing their positions, as well as a judicial system in which ticket fixing and political favoritism was rampant. The project was led by chief investigative reporter Phil Williams, along with photojournalist Bryan Staples and producer Kevin Wisniewski.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bob Battle, former Banner business editor, dies at 82

From the Tennessean obit:

He started working part time with the Nashville Banner in 1943 and spent a career as a reporter, covering police, politics, entertainment, business and other beats, and retiring as vice president and senior business editor when the Banner folded in 1998.

Beth Fortune, Vanderbilt University vice chancellor for Public Affairs, started at the Banner in 1985 and spent 7 years there. She said Battle helped show her and other young reporters the ropes.

“Newsrooms are filled with great characters, and Bob Battle was one of the greatest,” she said.