Time to Register: Regional Conference March 23-25

The SPJ Region 4 conference is quickly approaching — and we’d love to have a strong Miami showing! “Journalism Rebooted” will be March 23-24 in Lansing, Mich., on the campus of Michigan State University.

Here is the tentative plan at this date:

Friday, March 23 9 a.m.: Depart Oxford

2:30 p.m.: Arrive Lansing evening

TBA: Opening reception

Saturday, March 24 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Conference including Mark of Excellence Award lunch where Miami students are likely to win recognition!

6 p.m.: Return to Oxford

Costs: Conference registration: $30 Hotel: +/- $30 if you find three roommates; $0 if you make arrangements to stay with friends in Lansing

Transportation: TBA. I have room for five riders ($0 cost); other ride options possible.

Food: Friday reception and Saturday lunch are included in the registration cost. Other meals are on your own.

Registration is live at http://spjmi.eventbrite.com. Additional info on conference events will soon be posted to spjmi.org. Registration price goes up after March 15, so make your decision early. If you entered the Mark of Excellence contest and want to know if you won before you register, watch email around March 1 for that news.

Questions? Let me know! Patti Newberry, MU-SPJ adviser


Mark Your Calendars!

Flickr: ASurroca

Spring 2012 Events in Journalism

(Compiled by Patti Newberry)

  • Monday, Jan. 23, 6 p.m., Upham Hall 1: Glenn Muschert, associate professor of sociology and gerontology at Miami, presents: “Media and Violence Control: Communication in School Shootings.”
  • Wednesday, Jan. 25: Deadline to enter annual SPJ student journalism competition, Mark of Excellence. Visit http://www.spj.org/a-moe.asp for details. MU-SPJ will pay for three entries per media group. Individual entries (all online) are encouraged beyond that.
  • Thursday, Jan. 26, 4 p.m., Williams Hall studio (tentative): MU-SPJ presents “Branded: Journalism Job Search 2012” with Laura Baverman, MU grad and Cincinnati Enquirer business reporter; Chip Mahaney, director of digital content for E.W. Scripps Co.; and other TBA discuss need for cutting-edge skills in today’s journalism job market.
  • Monday, Jan. 30, 8 p.m., Hall Auditorium: CNN anchor and chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta  presents “Medicine in Times of War and Disaster,” as guest of Lecture Series. Ticket distribution begins Jan. 25 at Shriver Center Box Office. JRN will have spots at 4:15 p.m. small-group Q&A at Bishop Hall Living Room and 6 p.m. dinner at Shriver Center Harrison Room.
  • Saturday, Feb. 4, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.: Journalism Job and Career Fair, hosted by Hoosier State Press Association Foundation. To interview with one of 25 Indiana newspapers, students must register at wwww.HSPAFoundation.org/jobfair by Jan. 27.
  • Thursday and Friday, Feb. 16-17: Journalism scholar and University of Illinois professor Robert W. McChesney is guest for the CAWC’s Robert E. Strippel Memorial Continuing Dialogue on Social Justice and Human Rights program.

o       Keynote speech, “Media and Democracy and the Coming Upheaval,” Thursday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. in Shriver Center Heritage Room.

o       Symposium, “Media and the (Im) Possibility of Democracy: A Call to Action,” Friday, Feb. 17, 9-11:15 a.m. in McGuffey Hall 322.

  • Monday, March 12 (week of): JRN scholarship applications and MU-SPJ Excellence in Journalism entry forms available.
  • Wednesday, March 14, 7 p.m., Benton Hall 102: Ben Wedeman, CNN’s senior international correspondent based in Cairo, Egypt, talks about “The Great Arab Revolt: Tales from the Trenches.”
  • Wednesday, March 14, 7 p.m., Miami Middletown Campus Center: American political activist Ralph Nader, a five-time candidate for U.S. president, talks about politics and the presidency.
  • Monday, March 19, 4 p.m., place TBA: Ann Hagedorn, Miami writer-in-residence, presents “The Writing Life” about her long-form non-fiction books.
  • Friday-Saturday, March 23-24, Lansing, Mich.: SPJ Region 4 Conference. Details TBA.
  • Friday-Sunday, April 20-22: WMUB reunion, organized by Bob Long. Details TBA.
  • Monday, April 2, 5 p.m. – Deadline for JRN scholarship applications and MU-SPJ Excellence in Journalism contest.
  • Thursday, April 26, 4 p.m., MacMillan Hall Great Room — JRN Program Recognition event. Watch for your invitation!
  • Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m., Williams Hall Courtyard – Senior Sendoff. Invite your families, seniors!


Journalism: “Playing a bad hand well, over and over again”

By Amelia Carpenter, President

I just finished reading the last chapter in “Make it Memorable” by Bob Dotson. Dotson is the national correspondent for NBC News Today Show. His LinkedIn profile sums up his interests and reporting style:

Courtesy of ronaldhole, Flickr

“I search the neglected corners of our country, seeking the extraordinary in ordinary lives. I look for the kind of guy who may never run for mayor, or go to the moon, or transplant a heart, but whose story may touch a viewer’s heart. My reports, “American Story with Bob Dotson,” are seen on the TODAY show and other NBC News programs. Over the years I’ve saved more than 6,000 original story tapes, whenever my bosses, looking to save space, tossed them out. He preserved not just the stories themselves, but every field cassette. For three decades, they were maintained at my own expense in air-conditioned rooms – first in his basement then, as the collection grew, in warehouses. NBC donated that archive to the Oklahoma Historical Society. All are now available to scholars at the Society’s new 64 million dollar museum next to the State Capitol.”

Dotson includes a Reporter’s Checklist at the back of his book I think is worthwhile for Miami journalism students to know about if you have or will not take JRN 314 with Joe Sampson.

Some of the questions Dotson asks himself during an assignment: (The following excerpt can be found on pages 99 through 101).

  • How can I make this a compelling story with universal values that appeal to a wide audience?
  • Is my writing strong, tight, free of information that people would already know?
  • Does the story build to a close?
  • Are there elements of surprise within the visuals or sound to attract and hold viewers?
  • Is the subject matter interesting, concrete, important – not just another fluff piece?
  • Does my piece meet and answer the “So what?” test? Does it contain historical perspective that defines the story’s larger context? Does it address a larger issue?

… the list continues.

Dotson’s final though was most powerful for me, and I hope it sparks some inspiration for other aspiring journalists:

“Just remember – success in this business does not depend on being dealt a good hand. It’s playing a bad hand well, over and over again.”


Meeting today is at 5:45 p.m. in 232 Williams Hall. We’ll be having a brainstorm for events next Spring including our alumni event duties. Be ready to share about the conference in New Orleans! We’ll also order shirts for both the pub crawl and the org. See you all there!


Peter Bergen On Campus

Courtesy: thestronghorse.blogspot.com

CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Laden. Bergen is on campus today to welcome the first Lecture Series of the year at Miami. The speaking event is at 8 p.m. in Hall Auditorium.

Bergen will present, “10 Years Later: How 9/11 Changed America’s Place in the World.”

There is a Q&A in Bishop Hall in the afternoon and dinner at 6 p.m. for selected students.

And We’re Back

Cheryl G/Flickr

Updated 8:04 a.m.

The SPJ blog had a dormant summer, but we’re back and I know you are all excited to get emails on the listserv directing you to the lovely miamispj.wordpress.com site.

Main points:

RTDNA/SPJ Convention in New Orleans – I would suspect everyone has already registered, but in case you haven’t, DO IT NOW. Patti Newberry, Joe Sampson, Andrew Bowman, Noelle Bernard, Ariana Williams and myself are all set on going as far as I know. Patti and I both have hotel rooms with an extra bed as of right now. Joe’s room is full. Let myself or Patti know if you plan on joining us in New Orleans.

Okay, next thing: I’m going to need lots of help organizing great events this year. I want to have an ‘Officers Only’ meeting before we have weekly meetings to determine big projects for the year and assign duties to everyone. I’ll have a separate post for officers with more information on that.

Meeting Times for fall:

Let’s figure out when everyone can meet weekly. This will largely depend on Patti’s schedule.

Other business:

If you’re interested in joining Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), which you should be, Andrew Bowman is heading a new chapter at Miami! You’ll have to join first before we can figure out dues for our school, so sign up here. ALSO! We must vote for a Miami grad to be the new Director! Vincent Duffy is the News Director at Michigan Radio, a station part of National Public Radio. He worked with Bob Long at WMUB when he got his Masters degree from Miami. Let’s all support a fellow RedHawk – only members can vote though!

Thanks guys – as always, I’m open to ideas and plenty of new members for this year! We’re going to be recruiting at multiple events including one that Amanda Schumaker is going to head for us! T-shirts will be in the works, and don’t forget our Pub Crawl event … see Facebook for details!

More to come soon!

Amelia Carpenter, President