Fall Semester Meeting

Time Has Been Decided!

The meeting time for this semester has been decided! We will be meeting every Monday at 5:00pm in Williams 112! See you there!

Welcome Back!

It’s that time of year again! We’re all about to make the trek back to Oxford for the start of fall semester. And for most of us that means we will be spending much of our time in Williams. We’ll see you there!

But in the meantime, ANYONE who is interested in being a part of SPJ this year should fill out this poll on doodle and select all of the meeting times that fit with their schedules for the ENTIRE semester. We will try to accommodate as many people as possible because we would love to see your smiling faces at our meetings!

Our first meeting will be the second week of class, the week of August 27th. I’ll be sure to update this page accordingly as soon as we have decided on a meeting time.

Have a fantastic first day of class!

What’s Everyone

Screaming About?

Conan O’Brien pointed out a flaw in local television news when he showed a montage of 26 anchors all giving the same lead for a story on ice cream apps.

The audience laughs and applauds, but is it really funny?

I concur with O’Brien when he says, “It scares me.”

The video sheds light on many issues journalism faces. What it comes down to is this:


We need to be more creative and open-minded. We need to embrace all of the resources at our fingertips rather than ignore them, hoping that they’ll go away and things will return to the glory days of journalism when the news was read and viewed on our schedule instead of the people’s.

Arizona State’s Tim McGuire makes a plethora of valid points regarding what he believe the future of the media looks like. I suggest reading his post or at least a brief summary of it on the blog.

Since when do we give quote

approval to politicians?

Reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Reuters are all doing it: succumbing to the quote approval demands of politicians and campaign staff members in order to get interviews with them. They’re finally getting the juicy interviews they have always wanted, but what is published is as dry as the drought that’s threatening this year’s harvest.

The quotes come “stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative,” according to The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters.

Peters writes, “It is a double-edged sword for journalists, who are getting the on-the-record quotes they have long asked for, but losing much of the spontaneity and authenticity of their interviews.”

Journalists in Peters’ article all state their dislike of the agreements they’ve made in order to get their stories, but they see few other options. They also say they have yet to encounter situations in which the quote approval has altered the meaning of what was said.

So we ask you, what do you you think of this? Would you grant quote approval to a source?

10 Tips From RTDNA On

How To Win A Job In TV News

Carlton Houston, KTUL news director, created a list of ten ways to snag a job in TV news. But these tips can be applied to any interview or job search. Here is the list:

1. Learn to write, and write well.

2. Be courteous and respectful.

3. Show your enthusiasm.

4. Don’t trust Google.

5. Learn how to hold a conversation with all types of people.

6. Be nice to the receptionist.

7. Carry a notebook and printed copies of your resume.

8. Know the difference between texting and email etiquette.

9. Be upfront about other employment offers.

10. Send a thank you note! (See one of our other blog posts)

Desperation Smells Like Bacon?

Thanks to a post by Romenesko (who in turn was tipped off by his subscribers), I found perhaps the most creative ad for a reporter’s job than any I’ve seen before. The employers for this ad know what desperation smells like (apparently it’s bacon), so please don’t waste their time.

The position, posted on journalismjobs.com by Dolan Media/New Orleans CityBusiness, is titled “REPORTERS – Don’t bother reading this if you have a cut-and-paste cover letter.”

Don’t reply to the ad if:

- You’ve “always wanted to be a writer”

- Your best story came from covering a meeting

- You prefer conducting most of your interviews over the phone

- You feel news releases are the best places to find story ideas

- College professors still make up the bulk of your references

- You prefer “flexible” deadlines

However, if you’re “a rodeo clown with impeccable grooming skills who can offer sound financial advice” you just might capture their attention long enough to make something happen.

I wonder how many applied….

Honoring The Fallen:

Armando Montano

It’s never easy reading about someone’s passing. Especially someone within our own field.

Armando Montano, 22, was found dead in an elevator shaft yesterday morning (July 1) in Mexico City. He was working there as a news intern for The Associated Press for the summer. The investigation of his death is being conducted by Mexican authorities and monitored by the U.S. embassy.

 Montano, a resident of Colorado Springs, covered stories including the shooting of three federal policemen in Mexico City’s international airport. He was not on assignment at the time of his death and had plans to attend a master’s degree program at the University of Barcelona in the fall.

Marjorie Miller, the AP’s Latin America editor based in Mexico City, said in an AP article on The Washington Post’s website, “[Armando] absolutely loved journalism and was soaking up everything he could. In his short time with the AP, he won his way into everyone’s hearts with his hard work, his effervescence and his love of the profession.”

CNN and Fox News Get

Health Care Ruling Wrong

We’ve all heard about this by now; it’s certainly not a secret, as much as both networks would like to forget about it. Well here are the facts presented in a timeline of June 28th (verified by Poynter, NYT, SCOTUS blog, and personal observances). Read an in depth account of what happened on the SCOTUS blog.

DISCLAIMER: This post focuses on CNN because that is the network I watch. I apologize for my partisanship.

10:06AM – Chief Justice John Roberts concludes his announcement of the rulings of the Affordable Care Act and two other remaining cases for the term. The Court’s press room staff hands out the decision to reporters.

10:07AM – CNN producer scans decision and eight lines from the bottom of page 2 reads, “Chief Justice Roberts concluded in Part III-A that the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause.” In conference call, the producer says it “looks like” the mandate has been struck down. He tells the control room to “go with it.” Bloomberg issues an alert: Obama’s healthcare-overhaul upheld by U.S. Supreme Court.” Bloomberg is first, and correct.

10:08AM On air, CNN’s reporter outside the court, Kate Bolduan, reports the mandate has been struck down. Banners on air as well as on CNN’s homepage declare the mandate invalid. CNN’s official Twitter account as well as employees’ accounts report the mandate has been struck down. Meanwhile, SCOTUS blog says the mandate survives as a tax.

10:09AM – The network sends an email stating, “The Supreme Court has struck down the individual mandate for health care – the legislation that requires all to have health insurance.”

10:11AM – CNN realizes confusion and replaces the incorrect banner with “Supreme Court Rules on Obamacare.”

10:13AM – CNN now alone in telling audience the mandate has been struck down.

10:15AM – CNN team says the mandate “may have been upheld,” seconds later making another error and saying the “entire law has been upheld.”

10:18AM – The network sends out another email stating, “Correction: The Supreme Court backs all parts of President Obama’s signature health care law, including the individual mandate that requires all to have health insurance.”

 10:19AM – CNN publishes it’s formal correction.

Reactions on Twitter:

Anthony De Rosa: CNN is wrong.

Lisa Desjardins: Um. Trying to find the most appropriate way to express this. Perhaps #%*@! And I am mortified about passing  on bad info. Deep apologies.

Lisa Desjardins: Jon Stewart, YOU are having a big day.

Dan Gardner: This is historic! CNN has just delivered the Twitter generation’s “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

Seth Borenstein: AP, NBC, Scotusblog all say Obama health care law upheld, CNN dead wrong for more than 6 mins; too bad they dropped AP; could have helped.

Beth Fouhy: Dear CNN – Perhaps you should reconsider your decision to drop the AP. Just sayin’

UConnJournalism: The loser wasn’t the one who was last, it was the ones who got it wrong trying to be first.

Say What? A TV Drama About

Journalism? FINALLY!


Tomorrow (June 24) @ 10pm on HBO :)

Adventures in Kosovo:

Ariana and Kaitlin

Ariana Williams, SPJ treasurer for the 2012-2013 school year, and her predecessor Kaitlin Schroeder are studying abroad in Kosovo for eight weeks this summer. They will earn eight credit hours and intern at Kosova Live, a local online independent news source.

Learn more about their adventures on Ariana’s blog!