Excellence in Journalism 2014

Hello everyone! Would anyone be interested in attending Excellence in Journalism 14, the annual joint conference of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 4-6. There will be great programming, outstanding networking opportunities, and a terrific job fair. It would be a great investment in your future. The prices go up tomorrow, so check it out! http://excellenceinjournalism.org/eij14/%20now!


SPJ 2014-2015

Hey guys!

Here is a preview of what to look forward to next year in SPJ:

For the 2014-2015 school year, SPJ will be taking a deeper focus on the First Amendment freedom of the press and Freedom of Information. Media censorship has been a growing issue facing the free press in recent years; This year, the Miami University SPJ chapter hopes to join the fight in advocating for First Amendment protections as well as feature a number of prominent guests to illuminate the the issues facing us in today’s media and share their advice and experiences. 

SPJ is actively seeking new members interested in participating in weekly meetings, or who are thinking about getting involved whenever their schedules permit. You don’t need to be a journalism major to join, SPJ is a broad based organization that will benefit any student.  

Miami’s chapter of SPJ is one of more than 250 chapters nationwide: both student and professional.  In promoting journalism-related events on campus and in the area, SPJ seeks to raise awareness of the key issues related to the field.  As ardent defenders of the First Amendment, SPJ is always acting to increase awareness of domestic issues. 

Joining SPJ is making a solid investment in yourself and in your future. Membership in SPJ is a rewarding experience that puts you at the forefront of industry happenings. 

“Society of Professional Journalists, both nationally and through local chapters, fights and wins battles for Freedom of Information and First Amendment rights that might not otherwise be fought at all. As a result of SPJ’s grass-roots activism, we are able to address vital issues confronting today’s working journalist.”

If you are interested in joining, please contact Sarah McIlwain at mcilwasf@miamioh.edu

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)