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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.

Bylaws for the Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

Bylaws:

Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

Article I–Definitions

Section I “Chapter” as used herein shall refer to the Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Section II The name of the chapter shall be the “Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.”

Section III “Meetings” as used herein shall mean regularly scheduled or special meetings authorized by the Board of Directors.

Article II–Meetings

Section I–There shall be at least eight board meetings of the chapter each year, the times and places to be fixed by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors also shall be authorized to call meetings of the chapter.

Section II–Notice of meetings shall be sent by e-mail to the recorded address of each member of the chapter at least seven days in advance.

Section III–There may be special or designated meetings for special occasions or for initiations, the time and place of such meetings to be determined by the Board of Directors.

Section IV–For the transaction of chapter business at any meeting, a quorum shall consist of no less than three-quarters of the board.

Article III–Officers

Section I– Only professional members shall be officers of the chapter. The officers of the chapter shall be: President, President Elect, Secretary and Treasurer, and they shall perform the functions customarily associated with such titles. Each of these officers shall be elected by the Board of Directors from among its newly elected and incumbent members (except that the secretary and treasurer, because of the specialized nature of their duties, may be selected from the membership at large) at a combined board meeting of incumbent and incoming board members and shall assume office July 1. These officers shall serve for one year or until a successor has been elected. The retiring secretary is to notify National Headquarters immediately of the names of the new officers and date they take office. Each of these officers shall be elected during the meeting immediately preceding the July-August summer recess, shall take officer immediately.

Section II–At least two months before the meeting at which the annual election is to take place, the President shall appoint a committee of three professional members to nominate officers and directors from the professional membership to be voted upon at the last meeting before summer recess. Professional members also may make nominations for these positions from the floor at the time of election.

Section III–The President is authorized to appoint such committees and/or committee chairmen as he/she deems necessary.

Article IV–Board of Directors

Section I–This chapter shall have a board of directors of nine elected voting members, including incumbents who have been elected or appointed to office as defined in Article III, Section I. It shall also have one board-appointed alternate members, who shall vote only when fewer than 8 elected members are present. Considered ex-officio voting members of the board will be the secretary and treasurer, if elected from among the general membership; and the immediate past president.

Section II–All chairs of regular standing committees shall be entitled to make motions connected with reports of their committees or areas of responsibility, to participate in related discussions and to vote according to the provisions of Article IV, Section I.

Section III–Except for Board members sitting because of immediate past presidency or incumbency in chapter officer, directors shall be elected to serve two-year terms, one-half elected annually. The nominating committee shall present its report at a prior Board meeting at which time other nominations may be made. Thereafter it shall serve as an election committee to count ballots, to certify results at a subsequent Board meeting, and to recommend as to matters of term, or to fill out unexpired terms.

Section IV–The President of the chapter shall be Chairman of the Board and shall preside at Board meetings. In case the President is unable to attend, the Vice President, or officer appointed by the President, shall preside in his/her place.

Section V–The Board of Directors shall be responsible for these basic functions: (1) Membership and attendance; (2) Chapter meetings; (3) Professional programs; (4) Planning; (5) Convention representatives; (6) Cooperation with National Headquarters in all matters furthering the programs and goals of the Society. This shall specifically include submission to National Headquarters of membership rosters and financial and other reports required.

Section VI–Vacancies among officers or Board members due to death, resignation or other cause shall be filled by a majority vote of the directors present at any meeting at which a quorum is present.

Article V–Membership

Section I–All professional members in good standing with the National Society shall be eligible for professional membership in this Alabama Pro Chapter.

Section II–Any professional member may submit for nomination the name of a proposed new member and it shall be the duty of the chapter’s Board of Directors to determine whether the nominee is eligible for membership under the By-Laws of the National Society. Nominees for professional membership shall be approved either by a majority vote of the chapter’s professional members present and voting, or by a majority vote of the chapter’s Board of Directors.

Article VI–Convention Attendance

Section I–The chapter shall be represented at each National Convention by a delegate and an alternate elected by the chapter and in good standing with the National Society. The delegate and alternate shall be professional members.

Article VII–Dues and fees

Section I–The amount of local dues to be paid by each member of the chapter shall be fixed by the Board of Directors, subject to ratification by the professional membership. Professional members shall pay dues at the beginning of each calendar year, or, if they join during the year, shall pay dues on a pro-rata basis for the remainder of the calendar year.

Section II–At the time of initiation, a local initiation fee, to be determined by the chapter’s Board of Directors, may be assessed. Local dues and initiation fees are in addition to those payable to the National Society.

Article VIII–Amendments

Section I–Amendments to these By-Laws may be proposed at any meeting of the Board of Directors or of the general membership and be put out to a vote, either by mail or e-mail ballot or at a subsequent meeting, ordinarily the following one. To become effective they must receive a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors present, if the proposal originated at a directors’ meeting; or, a majority of the members present and voting if the proposal originated at a meeting of the general membership or was referred to the general membership by the Board of Directors.

Section II–The By-Laws may be amended at any time by the written or e-mail ballot or the consent of a majority of the voting members of the Board of Directors or of the general membership.

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