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SPJ Passes New Code of Ethics at Excellence in Journalism Conference

At the #EIJ14 Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, a new ethics code for SPJ was adopted. Over the course of a year, our own Dr. Chris Roberts helped to rewrite the code. He shared his thoughts on his own blog about the process. In case you missed it, SPJ has a recap of events. We hope you plan to join us next year for EIJ in Orlando!

Stay tuned for information about upcoming Alabama Pro Chapter officer elections, as well as events in your area. Need help, got an idea or want to share? Email SPJ Alabama Pro Chapter President at mccummings1@ua.edu or Tweet her @merecummings.

Joel Achenbach talks Deepwater Horizon on Studio SPJ podcast

The Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists hosted the April 26, 2011 episode of Studio SPJ, a podcast featuring conversations between journalists, with special guest Joel Achenbach, a Washington Post reporter who covered the BP oil leak for the Post and now has a book out about the disaster.

The book, “A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea,” begins in the hours leading up to the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform and covers the entire scope of the efforts to cap the well, as well as the political machinations and fallout from the event.

He also addresses the process of covering an unprecedented news event and what the future might hold in our highly-engineered society. Dennis Pillion, president of the Alabama Pro Chapter, served as moderator. You can listen to the entire podcast below.

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Studio SPJ podcast with Joel Achenbach moved to Tuesday, April 26

The Studio SPJ podcast with Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 26 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Achenbach is the author of “A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea – The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher” and five other books.

His latest book tells the story of the tragic April 20, 2010 explosion that killed 11 men and sent millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico from the huge drilling rig called Deepwater Horizon.

Achenbach started the Washington Post’s first blog, Achenblog, and has worked on the newspaper’s national Style magazine and Outlook staffs. He regularly contributes science articles to National Geographic.

A native of Gainesville, Florida and a 1982 graduate of Princeton University, he lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three children.

This episode is sponsored by the Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Chapter President Dennis Pillion will serve as moderator.

To listen to the program live or later as a podcast, go to:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/spj/2011/04/22/studio-spj-with-joel-achenbach

To call into the program live with a question, dial (347) 857-2441

Studio SPJ is a 30-minute Internet radio program that features interviews with journalists.

Join us Friday for a podcast with author Joel Achenbach

Shortly after the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill, Studio SPJ will feature an interview with a Washington Post reporter who has written a new book about the environmental catastrophe.

Joel Achenbach, author of “A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea – The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher” will be our guest on Friday, April 22 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

The book tells the story of the tragic April 20, 2010 explosion that killed 11 men and sent millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico from the huge drilling rig called Deepwater Horizon.

Achenbach started the Washington Post’s first blog, Achenblog, and has worked on the newspaper’s national Style magazine and Outlook staffs. He regularly contributes science articles to National Geographic.

A native of Gainesville, Florida and a 1982 graduate of Princeton University, he lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three children.

This episode is sponsored by the Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Chapter President Dennis Pillion will serve as moderator.

To listen to the program live or later as a podcast, go to:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/spj/2011/04/22/studio-spj-with-joel-achenbach

To call into the program live with a question, dial (347) 857-2441

Studio SPJ is a 30-minute Internet radio program that features interviews with journalists.

SPJ Regional recap: Kristen Heptinstall on social media (video)

Kristen Heptinstall, senior producer for al.com.

Kicking off the Society of Professional Journalists Region 3 Conference on April 1 was al.com‘s Kristen Heptinstall, who presented on social media and online user interaction in a newsroom setting.

Heptinstall is a senior producer for al.com, a site registering 2.8 million unique users per month that hosts all content from Alabama’s three largest newspapers: The Birmingham News, the Mobile Press-Register and The Huntsville Times.

She went over popular social media sites, how and why reporters should participate in online conversation that surrounds their work, maintaining a presence on Facebook and Twitter, location-based social networking tools like FourSquare and Gowalla and more.

Heptinstall also shows some examples of social media efforts by news organizations: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Here is the video of her presentation, clipped into five YouTube-friendly segments. Apologies for the shoddy lighting in the video. We’ll be posting video on this blog in the near future of other presentations from the SPJ Region 3 conference in Birmingham, and in many of those videos, you can actually see what the presenters look like.

For more on the latest from the Alabama Pro Chapter of SPJ, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

SPJ Region 3 Conference this week in Birmingham

The Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 3 Conference will be held April 1-2, 2011 in Birmingham, Ala.

We’ll start the conference with the Mark of Excellence Award luncheon at the Highland Conference Center, (2012 Magnolia Ave, Birmingham, AL 35205-2892, (205) 939-4599)

The luncheon will start at 1 p.m. We’ll have two options for breakout sessions from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the conference center. One of those sessions will be with Kristen Heptinstall of al.com. She’ll be discussing social media, community engagement (getting journos to interact directly with readers through social and commenting), and the future of news in the social sphere.

On Saturday we’ll be at the University of Alabama, Birmingham campus and will have breakout sessions all day.

Some of those sessions are:

  • Officials Stonewalling With FERPA? Learn what the rules are with the federal privacy law that university officials like to use to keep every piece of paper with a student’s name on it secret. When can they do that and when can they not? Carolyn S. Carlson, assistant professor of communication at Kennesaw State (Ga.) University and chairman of the FERPA subcommittee of the SPJ Freedom of Information Committee will lead the session.
  • There will be a panel discussion on social media ethics, featuring Clay Duda, a social media professional from Atlanta and Chris Roberts, professor of journalism at The University of Alabama.
  • Bob Corley will be discussing independent publications and how to thrive in a tough market.

There will be many more sessions and the full schedule will be released soon. We’ll have sessions on social media, political reporting, sports journalism, and a special panel discussion with recent graduates on landing that first job out of college. There will also be plenty of opportunities for networking.

The conference hotel is the Hotel Highland (1023 20th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35205, (205) 933-9555). Let them know you’re attending the SPJ Region 3 conference and you’ll get the $99 rate. Register for the conference itself via Eventbrite.

More details are coming soon so check back regularly for the program schedule and more details.

Feel free to contact Jenn Rowell with any questions at rowell83@gmail.com

Hope to see you there!

Join us at the Montgomery Advertiser for SPJ’s Alabama election recap

It’s certainly been a fascinating election here in Alabama, with the Republican party taking over the majority in the state house and senate for the first time in 136 years, and the Montgomery Advertiser – for the first time in the paper’s known history – declining to endorse either candidate for governor in its editorial section.

You can join us to talk about it all next Wednesday, November 10, at the Alabama election recap sponsored by the Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The program will begin at 7 pm in the Freedom Room of the Montgomery Advertiser (map).

We’ll have a representative from the Advertiser’s editorial board present to talk about the non-endorsement decision. We’ll follow that up with a panel discussion (audience participation encouraged) about election coverage in the state. We’ll talk about what worked, what didn’t, what we’ve always wanted to try, and how new media is changing the game for election coverage.

Dr. Brad Moody, interim head of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Auburn University in Montgomery will lead the discussion. Moody will be joined by Markeshia Ricks of the Montgomery Advertiser, David White of The Birmingham News, and more panelists to be announced soon.

It should be a fun and informative night for veteran reporters, young journalists looking to pick the brains of established pros, and anybody who wants to learn more about the way we cover elections in Alabama.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP with us on Facebook or in the comments here. You can also stay up to date on the latest happenings in the chapter by checking this blog, the chapter’s Facebook page or Twitter account. If you’re not a member of SPJ, visit the SPJ Web site to learn more about what SPJ can do for you, and join us. Remember to list Alabama Pro as your local chapter if you register on the Web site.

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