2018 Diamond Awards accepting entries

Attention professional and student journalists within 250 miles of Little Rock, it’s time to enter the Diamond Journalism Awards!

Sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, the Diamond Journalism Awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering media markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Eligible work must have been published or broadcast between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.

Entries can be submitted starting April 20, 2018 and until 11 p.m. CDT, JULY 9, 2018.


Go here for rules and other information.

Call for Candidates: Arkansas SPJ Seeks Members for 2018-2019 Board of Directors

Call for Candidates: Arkansas SPJ Seeks Members for 2018-2019 Board of Directors

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will hold its annual board election at its June membership mixer. Want to get involved? Consider running for a seat!

The Arkansas SPJ Board of Directors has 11 seats that are up for election each year, including executive officers: president, vice president, treasurer and secretary.

Check out the following duties and responsibilities of board members and consider running for the board or an officer position. Send a photo and a brief bio that tells why you want to serve as an SPJ leader, your history with SPJ and what you will bring to the group, including any ideas you have for the coming year, to Arkansas SPJ President Jennifer Ellis at jellis@arkansasonline.com by Friday, May 11.

A list of candidates and their bios will be posted 30 days prior to the election and emailed to our membership. Voting will take place at the June 27 annual meeting (location and time to be decided) and via email for those who can’t attend.

Don’t want to be a board member? Get involved in one of our committees!

Duties and Responsibilities
To ensure the health of the Society of Professional Journalists Arkansas Pro Chapter, the members of the Board of Directors must be current on national dues and be accountable for the following duties and responsibilities:

The Board of Directors meets monthly, and sometimes calls special meetings via phone or email. Board members must attend a minimum of nine monthly meetings during their July-to-June term of office, but strive to make it to all meetings or phone in. Absence from three consecutive meetings, or four or more monthly meetings during their term, will result in the appointment of a new director to the position.

Board members must actively participate in at least one of the following chapter committees: Freedom of Information Act, Programing, Contests, Membership and Marketing, or other special committee designated by the president. Active participation may include planning at least one event in a year, advancement of the FOIA through lobbying, contributions to the chapter’s website, newsletter or social media campaigns, or other efforts determined by the board.

What Would You Run? Ethics for Journalists

What Would You Run? Ethics for Journalists

Anonymous sources, graphic images and conflicts of interest – these are just some of the ethical issues journalists must navigate on a daily basis. Join the SPJ Arkansas Pro Chapter at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 at Vino’s Brewpub, 923 W. Seventh St. in Little Rock, for a free event that asks the question, “What would you run?”
Inspired by the ABC News series What Would You Do?, competitors from two teams will learn about the SPJ Code of Ethics by playing editor in a variety of sketches designed to test ethical reasoning. Judges will award points for each response, and the team with the most points will win the game.
Ready to compete? Email Sarah DeClerk at sdeclerk@arkansasonline.com by Friday, Feb. 9.
Spectators are also welcome.


Reaching an Audience Online: Quick Tips on Social Media

Reaching an Audience Online: Quick Tips on Social Media

Reaching an Audience Online — Quick Tips on Social Media

Bring your lunch at noon, Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Arkansas Press Association, 411 S. Victory St. in Little Rock, and hear multimedia journalist Polly Irungu share how she’s built an online following of almost 40,000 people on Instagram and more than 14,000 on Twitter. Online editor Gavin Lesnick will present some best practices for journalists on how to use social media to reach an audience.

Polly Irungu is an online intern at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She most recently worked as a social media intern for NPR in Washington, D.C. In college she was a social media producer and digital content creator for the SOJC’s Communications team, a campus editor-at-large at The Huffington Post and a freelance production assistant for the PAC-12 Networks and Fox Sports. She has worked for TrackTown USA, Def Jam Recordings, EP Entertainment LLC, Artistic Outlet Media, Dell and Adobe.

Gavin Lesnick is the senior online editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He oversees editorial content on the newspaper’s website, arkansasonline.com, including web-first updates, email newsletters and social media. He’s helped grow the newspaper’s online following and increased its number of website visitors. Before becoming editor, Lesnick worked for five years as an online reporter specializing in multimedia and breaking news. He lives in Little Rock with his wife, their 1-year-old old son and two cats.


Behind the Scenes of Broadcast

Behind the Scenes of Broadcast

Join us at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26 as we take a tour of the KTHV Channel 11 newsroom, 720 Izard St., for a behind-the-scenes look at broadcast journalism. The event will include a tour of the newsroom and a sneak peak at their noon newscast. This is a great opportunity to explore the work that goes into not only running a television news station, but also take a glance at career opportunities in the field. Attendees must arrive at the station at 11:30 a.m. Carpooling is encouraged due to limited parking. The tour is expected to last about an hour, then join us for lunch downtown. Here is a link to learn a bit more about the news station: www.thv11.com/about.

There is limited space for this event, so an official RSVP will be required. Please email Jennifer Ellis at jellis@arkansasonline.com or Wendy Miller at wmiller@arkansasonline.com by Wednesday, January 24.