Monday, October 17, 2011

Passing of WPLN's Rebecca Bain

One of the fixtures of Nashville's public radio station, Rebecca Bain, has passed. More from WPLN at this link.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

On the passing of our friend and former chapter president Duren Cheek

I know that all of us in the Middle Tennessee Pro Chapter of SPJ are sad to hear of the passing of our dear friend and former chapter president Duren Cheek.

It was a privilege to have known Duren and worked with him at The Tennessean, where for many years he was a top political reporter. But before he came to the paper, he worked for many years at United Press International in its heyday.

You can read a more thorough accounting of Duren's UPI career written by his friend and UPI comrade Jim East at this link.

Duren was an early president of this chapter, a participant in many years of Gridiron shows, and launched the chapter's Duffers' Golf Tournament, which benefited what is now the Drue Smith/SPJ Scholarship Fund. Several years ago, the Duffers' was formally renamed as the Duren Cheek Invitational Golf Tournament.

Duren's dedication to SPJ was evident to everyone who worked with him. He will deeply missed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Channel 4's Jeremy Finley wins 2010 IRE award for flood investigation

Congratulations to Jeremy Finley of WSMV-Channel 4, who won has won the 2010 IRE award in the category of "breaking news investigations" for all media for his flood-related report called "A Failure to Warn."

Jeremy was also a finalist in the television category for below-Top-20 markets with his report "Deception of the Desperate."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chapter president Fellows turns over the reins due to move to Texas

For those of you who have not heard via WPLN, our chapter president and my personal friend, local Morning Edition host Jacqueline Fellows, is leaving NashVegas to move back to her hometown of Dallas.

I know we are all sad to see her go but excited for her that she is heading back to her roots, and we all wish her the greatest success.

Our new incoming chapter president will be our president-elect (and my old boss at The Tennessean), Deborah Fisher.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Channel 5 takes two first places in Nat'l Headliner Awards

Congrats to our Tennessee winners in the 2011 National Headliner Awards!

Jennifer Kraus and Bryan Staples of WTVF-Channel 5 took first place in the broadcast category for business and consumer reporting for their report "veteran support organization." And Channel 5's Ben Hall and Iain Montgomery took first place in the environmental reporting category for "Big Coal's Political Power."

More winners:

  • Local interest column on variety of subjects, 2nd place, for (my friend and former co-worker) Wendi C. Thomas of the Commercial Appeal.
  • Individual sports column, first place, went to Geoff Calkins of the Commercial Appeal.
  • Education writing, 2nd place, went to (more friends and former co-workers) Jaime Sarrio and Brad Schrade of The Tennessean
See all the recipients here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

SPJ Region 12 spring conference goes off without a hitch at Lipscomb

Journalists from Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana converged on the Lipscomb University campus in Nashville Saturday for the 2011 Society of Professional Journalists' Region 12 spring conference.

Among the highlights:

Thanks to everyone who attended and volunteered!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lipscomb, TSU, Vol State honored at Mark of Excellence Awards

Student journalists from Lipscomb University, Tennessee State University and Volunteer State Community College took home honors today in the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence competition for Region 12.

Lipscomb took first place awards for breaking television reporting, online news reporting and best independent online student publication, along with a second-place finish in breaking news photography.

TSU won first place for best all-around radio newscast for WTST AM-1600's Tiger News Network reports.

Vol State took home first place for best student magazine in the two-year college category.

The awards were given out today during the regional conference on the Lipscomb campus.

Congrats to our local winners! For details on all the winners, check out the complete list below.

2011 Society of Professional Journalists Region 12 Mark of Excellence Awards results

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"The Journalistic Enterprise": SPJ regional conference March 25-26 in Nashville

“The Journalistic Enterprise”

WHEN: March 25-26, 2011
Opening night reception March 25
Conference March 26

WHERE: Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tenn.
HOW TO GET THERE: Details at this link

Early bird (by March 18)
$90 for SPJ members
$100 for nonmembers
$55 for students

After March 18
$95 for SPJ members
$110 for nonmembers
$60 for students

To register: Send checks by mail to SPJ Middle Tennessee Pro, P.O. Box 22248, Nashville, TN 37202.

Accomodations: There are several reasonably priced hotels near the campus.

Plus, the Hampton Inn Vanderbilt, 1919 West End, has set aside a small number
of rooms for SPJ at $109 a night, double or king beds. This rate is available until
March 2. The Hampton can be contacted at 615-329-1144 or 888-880-5394.
The reservation code is SPJ.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

SPJ live Twitter chat tonight; topic: copy editing and social media

SPJ's live Twitter chat is at 7 p.m. tonight Nashville time. More on the #SPJchat site: 

Jan. 13 Topic: Copy Editing and Social Media with our Panel of Experts:
  • Andy Bechtel, University of North Carolina and author of The Editor’s Desk blog
  • Mignon Fogarty, author of Grammar Girl book and podcasts
  • Sue Bullard, University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Mark Allen, freelance writer and copy editor, ACES/

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Professional development next topic of SPJ's podcast/live Internet radio show

Listen in to the next episode of "Your SPJ Membership," SPJ's podcast and live Internet radio show, coming up tomorrow to find out more about SPJ's professional development offerings.

The special guest on the show will be Deb Wenger, the chairwoman of SPJ's national committee on professional development.

The show airs at noon tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 13) on If you can't listen in to the live show, you can always go over and listen to the archived show -- and you can also download the audio through iTunes and listen on your PC or on your iPod.

Listen to internet radio with SPJ on Blog Talk Radio

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lest we forget ...

A little pep talk for us all on this Friday morning. The whole thing only takes about 30 seconds.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

SPJ launches #SPJchat tonight on Twitter

Want to chat live with prominent journalists and leaders in our industry?

SPJ has just the thing: #SPJchat.

SPJ is launching a new weekly live Twitter chat on hot topics in journalism. It's called #SPJchat, and it's slated to take place at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central each Thursday, starting tonight.

#SPJchat is being coordinated by Mike Reilley, the man behind SPJ's Journalists Toolbox site and adviser to the SPJ chapter at DePaul University. (We're also welcoming Mike as a member of the Digital Media Committee.)

If you're totally new to live Twitter chats, Mike has posted a step-by-step primer at this link.

The first #SPJchat sounds like it's going to be great. The topic will be "Online Storytelling and Best Practices," and the guest are slated to be:
  • Mark Briggs, author of Journalism 2.0
  • Mark Luckie, Washington Post national innovations editor, author of The Digital Journalist’s Handbook and founder of the 10000words Blog
  • Mandy Jenkins, social media producer at

And next week's topic is slated to be "Copy Editing and Social Media."

So follow @spjchat on Twitter for more updates, and we'll see you at #SPJchat!