Call for Candidates for SPJ Arkansas Board Members

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. Included in that number are the officers: President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.

Check out the following duties and responsibilities of board members and consider running for the board or a 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 SPJ President Chelsea Boozer at cboozer@arkansasonline.com by Friday, May 26 if you intend to run.

A list of candidates and their bios will be emailed to our membership. Voting will take place at the June 28 annual meeting (and via email for those who can’t attend.) (Location and time to be decided.)

The 2016-2017 SPJ Board of Directors recommends the following candidates: Jennifer Sue Ellis for President and Bobby Ampezzan for Treasurer.

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

ARKANSAS PRO CHAPTER BOARD
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:

Attendance
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.

Participation
Board members must actively participate in at least one of the following chapter committees: Freedom of Information Act, Programing, Contests, Membership and Marketing, or any 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.

Call for Entries: 2017 Diamond Journalism Awards

Attention professional and student journalists, 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, 2016, and June 30, 2017.

Entries may be submitted starting May 31 and until 11 p.m. CDT, July 14.

Enter online via the Better BNC Media Awards platform, https://betternewspapercontest.com/

For entry rules, contest categories and fee options, go here.

Journalism & Islam: Halal Food For Thought

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Join us for a free halal dinner and frank discussion about how Muslims are covered in the news at home and abroad. When should reporters mention the faith of a source? Are there stories that aren’t being covered? What terms should be avoided and more.

Imam Mahmoud Al-Denawy Hassanein of the Islamic Center of Little Rock will give a tour and share information about Islam. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and mingle with members of the center.

Our hope is that we can learn from each other, and that we come away with a better understanding of how to cover the Muslim community.

RSVP is required. Email Jennifer Ellis at jellis@arkansasonline.com
or text (501) 533-0565.

Women in the Media

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Keynote speaker:

Ibby Caputo is a journalist based in the Ozark Mountains covering Arkansas’ 91st General Assembly for the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network. She was a 2014-2015 MIT-Knight Science Journalism Fellow. Ibby covered health care, transportation, and breaking news as a reporter for WGBH’s Boston Public Radio and WGBH TV. Her work has aired on The World, NPR News, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace Morning Report, Marketplace Tech, Scene on Radio, Radiotonic, and the BBC’s Short Cuts. Her journalism, essays and photography have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Cape Cod Times, The Times-Picayune, theAtlantic.com, and elsewhere. Ibby received an award for hard news and was part of the team that won an award for investigative reporting, both from The Associated Press. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Moderator:

Mariel Ruiz, THV11 meteorologist, will moderate the panel. Mariel joined THV11’s weather team in June 2016. She grew up in nearby North Texas and previously worked in West Texas forecasting the wild weather. Mariel received her Bachelors of Science in Atmospheric Sciences from Texas A&M University. (http://www.thv11.com/about-us/team-bios/mariel-ruiz/296329534)

Panelists:
Gwen Moritz, editor of Arkansas Business. “Gwen Crownover Moritz was born in Conway, reared in North Little Rock and graduated from Harding University at Searcy. She worked at the Pine Bluff Commercial, the Arkansas Gazette and the Nashville (Tenn.) Business Journal, with stints at the Tennessee Health Care Association and the Nashville Bar Association thrown in. Moritz has been editor of Arkansas Business since 1999.” (arkansasbusiness.com/staff/gwen-moritz)

Raven Richard, weather anchor and reporter at THV11. “She joined the THV11 team in May 2016 as a News and Weather Anchor after spending two years in Kennewick, WA as a reporter, anchor, and weather anchor. She is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in Mass Communication and a minor in Political Science.” (thv11.com/about-us/team-bios/raven-richard/245118382)

Karen Segrave, Little Rock-based photographer and owner of KES Photo. Karen has more than 20 years of experience as a professional photographer. In 1996, she moved to Arkansas and began working for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette until 2013. Karen said her photo projects have taken her across the street and around the globe.(www.kesphoto.com)

Jill Bleed, breaking news staffer at The Associated Press in Little Rock. A native of Iowa, Jill has lived in Arkansas since 2003, when she moved to Little Rock to work at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She joined the AP in 2006 and now handles top breaking stories in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. She also serves on the executive committee of the News Media Guild, the union representing workers at AP, UPI, The Guardian US and the Spanish news agency EFE. She holds a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder, journalist and former state politcian. “Charlotte co-owned the Dumas Clarion newspaper in Dumas (Desha County) with her husband for more than four decades and served in the Arkansas House of Representatives for fourteen years. She was also president of several associations for professional journalists, including the Arkansas Press Women, the Arkansas Press Association, the National Federation of Press Women, and the National Newspaper Association.” (encyclopediaofarkansas.net)

 

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Are you interested in getting more involved?

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The Arkansas Pro Chapter is looking to fill two vacancies on the Board of Directors. Check out the following duties and responsibilities of board members and consider applying. Applications are due by midnight Wednesday, Nov. 2. Two people will be selected at our monthly board meeting Nov. 9 to complete the current term, which runs through June.

ARKANSAS PRO CHAPTER BOARD
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 local chapter dues, if applicable, and be accountable for the following duties and responsibilities:

Attendance
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.

Participation
Board members must actively participate in at least one of the following chapter committees: Freedom of Information Act, Programing, Contests, Membership and Marketing, or any 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.

 

SPJ Arkansas Pro Chapter Board Member Application

Name:

Email:

Phone Number:

  1. Are you an SPJ member? If so, how long have you been a member?
  1. Do you have any past experience in SPJ at the student or professional level?
  1. List any boards, committees or organizations you serve in.
  1. Which SPJ committee(s) are you most interested in serving on?

    Programming, Marketing/Membership, FOIA, Contest, 2018 Regional Conference committee

  1. List a brief work history and any journalism/leadership awards you have received.
  1. Why do you want to serve on the SPJ board?
  1. What is one thing you would like to accomplish as a board member?

Submit completed application to Chelsea Boozer, SPJ Arkansas Pro president, at cboozer@arkansasonline.com by midnight Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Winners of the 2016 Diamond Journalism Awards

Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists
Announces Winners of the 2016 Diamond Journalism Awards

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists today revealed the winners of its 2016 Diamond Journalism Awards, a new regional competition that honors excellence in online, broadcast and print journalism.

Judges named Jordan Hickey, a writer for Arkansas Life magazine, Diamond Journalist of the Year for a portfolio of his work.

“Scene setting, strong characters, complexity, and his ability to narrate while not stealing the voice of his characters all contribute to the strength of his work,” judges wrote. “His subjects hover below the ‘news cycle’ radar, but speak to larger issues that need the public’s attention.”

Hunter Field, a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper, was named Outstanding New Journalist, an award that recognizes the work of reporters who have five or fewer years of reporting experience.

“I was impressed by the statistical detail in all the stories, which shows the reporter has a knack for research and doesn’t cut corners seeking out detailed information,” a judge wrote.

Lisa Hammersly, a Democrat-Gazette reporter, received the Robert S. McCord Freedom of Information Award. McCord helped found the Arkansas SPJ chapter, lobbied to help pass Arkansas’ Freedom of Information Act and served as SPJ’s national president in 1975-76. He died in 2013 at age 84.

Hammersly’s “clean writing makes a complicated issue clear for the public,” judges wrote.

Former Democrat-Gazette reporter Chad Day won the award for Community Service for a package of stories about the issue of jailing minors for actions that are not adult crimes.

“The writer and the editors should be applauded for bringing this seldom discussed issue and its impact on the community to the forefront of public consciousness,” the judges said.

Winners were named in 45 categories. Entries included reporting, photography and video produced between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. The contest solicited entries from throughout Arkansas and parts of five other states: North Louisiana, Northwest Mississippi, southern Missouri, eastern Oklahoma and West Tennessee.

Judges included professionals and academics from outside the contest area.

A full list of winners follows by category, place, entry name or title, entrant’s name, and publication or media outlet:

2016 DIAMOND JOURNALISM AWARDS

Feature Video – Online: 1st, Arkansas State Fair 2015, Stephen Thornton, Arkansas Online, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock.

Multimedia Project: 1st, The kidnapping and killing of Beverly Carter, Arkansas Online staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, Arkansas’ obsolete and deficient bridges, John Moritz, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Sports – Online: 1st, MSU Swimming Features, Chris Bryant, KSPR-TV, Springfield, MO; Baseball Fans Meet “Chris” Bryant, Chris Bryant, KSPR-TV.

Education – Online: 1st, Education coverage, Gavin Lesnick, Arkansas Online, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Editorials – Newspapers: 1st, Election 2016 editorials, David Barham, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Personal Column – Newspapers: 1st, Philip Martin portfolio, Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, That’s Life columns, Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 3rd, Paul Greenberg portfolio, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Commentary – Newspapers: 1st, John Brummett portfolio, John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, Rebekah Yearout portfolio, Rebekah Yearout, Clarksdale Press-Register, Clarksdale, MS; 3rd, Arkansas Perspective commentary, The Associated Press.

Hard News – Newspapers: 1st, Execution Drugs, Claudia Lauer, The Associated Press; 2nd, Flooding, Staff, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 3rd, Conway cops, Debra Hale-Shelton, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Narrative/Feature Writing – Newspapers: 1st, Donor’s heart beating, Rick Kron, The Leader, Jacksonville, AR; 2nd, Marshall Islands-Global Warming, Nick Perry and Kelly P. Kissel, The Associated Press.

Project/Investigative Reporting – Newspapers: 1st, Cash & The Court, Lisa Hammersly, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, Jailing status offenders, Chad Day, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 3rd, Judge-Sex Allegations, Claudia Lauer, The Associated Press.

Profile Writing – Newspapers: 1st, Michael Hunter Schwartz, Rachel O’Neal and John Sykes Jr., Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, Dennis Zane Kuo, Celia Storey and John Sykes Jr., Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 3rd, Cabot woman receives praise for longtime volunteerism, Syd Hayman, Three Rivers Edition/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Minority Issues Reporting – Newspapers: 1st, Heritage tours, Brandon Mulder, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, Confederate Boulevard, Claudia Lauer, The Associated Press; 3rd, Marshall Islands-Global Warming, Nick Perry and Kelly P. Kissel, The Associated Press.

Beat Reporting – Newspapers: 1st, Severe Weather, Kelly P. Kissel, The Associated Press; 2nd, Bill proposing to shut Aggie down to come up for Senate vote soon, Rebekah Yearout, Clarksdale Press Register; 3rd, Corrections coverage, Jeannie Roberts, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Sports Reporting – Newspapers: 1st, UAPB basketball, Troy Schulte, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, Simply Red, Tim Cooper, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Political Reporting – Newspapers: 1st, Judicial Races – Money, Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press; 2nd, Presidential Politics, Frank Lockwood and Benjamin Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

General Photo – All Print: 1st, Funeral for a veteran, Benjamin Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, Sprinklin’, Crystal Burns, Trenton Gazette, Trenton, TN; 3rd, Volleyball Champs, Benjamin Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Spot News Photo – All Print: 1st, High-water rescue, Stephen B. Thornton, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, Bridge standoff, Stephen B. Thornton, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 3rd, 13-acre fire in Searcy County, Stephen B. Thornton, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Portraiture – All Print: 1st, “Arkansans of the Year” – December 2015, Rett Peek, Arkansas Life; 2nd, Myeloma Institute doctor, John Sykes Jr., Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 3rd, Surgeon works to recruit women for orthopedics, John Sykes Jr., Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Photo Portfolio – All Print: 1st, Benjamin Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, Staton Breidenthal, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 3rd, Arshia Khan, Arkansas Life.

Photo Package – All Print: 1st, Rivers receding, rising in Arkansas; Highest LR crest since ‘90 expected, Stephen B. Thornton, Melissa Sue Gerrits, Staton Breidenthal, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, 80th Arkansas Derby, Stephen B. Thornton, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 3rd, Old school swimmin’ pool, Benjamin Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

News Page Design – Newspapers: 1st, Terry Austin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Feature Page Design – Newspapers: 1st, Walter Webb, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2nd, Sean Clancy, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Magazine Cover: 1st, Arkansas Life – July 2015, December 2015, June 2016, Kelley Lane, Rett Pek, Gately Williams, Arkansas Life.

Magazine Spread: 1st, “Day Tripper” – June 2016, Kelley Lane, Arkansas Life; 2nd, “Cheap Eats” – February 2016, Kelley Lane, Arkansas Life; 3rd, “The Natural State Parks” – October 2015, Kelley Lane, Arkansas Life.

Magazine News Writing: 1st, “A City Grows in Bentonville” – August 2015, Bonnie Bauman, Arkansas Life; 2nd, “Come Looking for Me If I’m Not Back” – March 2016, Paul McDonnold, Arkansas Life.

Magazine Narrative/Feature Writing: 1st, “Work in Progress” – January 2016, Katie Bridges, Jordan Hickey, Mariam Makatsaria, Arkansas Life; 2nd, “Leap of Faith” – February 2016, Katherine Stewart, Arkansas Life; 3rd, “The Story of Dal Santo” – September 2015, Nicholas Hunt, Arkansas Life.

Magazine Profile Writing: 1st, “Portrait of the Artist” – July 2015, Jordan Hickey, Arkansas Life; 2nd, “Artists in Residence” – November 2015, Jordan Hickey, Arkansas Life; 3rd, “The Gospel of Bigfoot” – April 2016, Nicholas Hunt, Arkansas Life.

Magazine Column Writing: 1st, “Hometown” – July15/Aug15/Sept15, Heather Steadham, Arkansas Life; 2nd, “First Taste” – Aug15/Nov15/Dec15, Emily Van Zandt, Arkansas Life.

Magazine Sports Writing: 1st, “Field of Dreams” – May 2016, Seth Eli Barlow, Arkansas Life.

TV Spot News: 1st, Arkansas Flooding Hurts Business, Rachel Dubrovin, Tony Nguyen, KSPR.

TV Feature Reporting: 1st, Jurassic Journey, Chris Bryant, Leigh Moody, KSPR; 2nd, In Sickness and In Health, Susanne Brunner, KARK/KLRT; 3rd, Detective, family of murdered teen discuss the case for the first time, Stephanie Garland, Ben Knaup, KSPR.

TV Investigative Reporting: 1st, Fact of Fiction: Bigfoot in the Ozarks, Chris Bryant, Lindsey Slater, KSPR; 2nd, Staudte’s Secret, Leigh Moody, Chris Bryant, KSPR.

TV Sports Reporting: 1st, Landers Inspiration, Mike Scott, KSPR.

TV Documentaries: 1st, Survive the Storm 2016, KSPR Staff, Bridget Lovelle, Kevin Lighty, KSPR.

Radio/Podcast Spot News: 1st, Graduating Seniors, School Superintendents Head Toward Summer Transition, Bobby Ampezzan, KUAR-FM 89.1.

Radio/Podcast Feature Reporting: 1st, 911 Systems in Arkansas Are Decentralized, Underfunded, Sarah Whites-Koditschek, KUAR-FM 89.1; 2nd, To Honor the Victims, They Demanded Better Words to Tell What Happened to Them, Christopher Blank, WKNO-FM 91.1 NPR for the Midsouth.

Radio/Podcast Investigative Reporting: 1st, Heritage & Hate: A Struggle Within the Confederate Legacy Movement, Jacob Kauffman, KUAR-FM 89.1.

Radio/Podcast Documentaries: 1st, Memorial Service to Be Monday For Longtime KUAR-KLRE Leader Ben Fry, Michael Hibblen, Karen Tricot Steward, KUAR-FM 89.1.

Radio/Podcast Sports Reporting: 1st: Little Rock Men’s Basketball Team Greeted by Jubilant Crowd, Chris Hickey, KUAR-FM 89.1.

Community Service – All Platforms: 1st, Jailing status offenders, Chad Day, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Outstanding New Journalist – All Platforms: Hunter Field, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Robert S. McCord FOI Award – All Platforms: Lisa Hammersly, Arkanasas Democrat-Gazette.

Diamond Journalist of the Year – All Platforms: Jordan Hickey, Arkansas Life.