Arkansas SPJ announces scholarship winners

The Arkansas Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has announced the recipients of two $1,000 scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year and has named a new scholarship in honor of its first female member and president.

The winners are Lauren McLemore of Maumelle and Renato Betim of Fayetteville.

Lauren McLemore
Lauren McLemore of Maumelle is the recipient of the inaugural Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for the 2019-20 academic year.

Lauren McLemore is a junior at the University of Central Arkansas studying journalism and sociology. She works as the associate editor for the university’s student newspaper, The Echo, and also freelance writes pieces for AY magazine and Arkansas Money and Politics. She said she hopes to use her journalistic training alongside her passion for justice and compassion to be successful in a career in media. She will receive the inaugural Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder Scholarship.

Schexnayder is a longtime Arkansas journalist as well as a pioneering leader in areas long dominated by men. Born at Tillar (Drew and Desha counties) in 1923, she graduated in 1944 from Louisiana State University, where she had served as editor of the student newspaper, the Reveille. She became editor of the McGehee Times in October 1944.

In 1955, Schexnayder and her husband, Melvin, bought the Dumas Clarion, owning the newspaper until 1998. Among her many firsts were becoming the first female member of what was then the Little Rock chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (now called the Arkansas Pro Chapter or Arkansas SPJ) and being elected the first female president of the chapter in 1973. She became the first female president of the Arkansas Press Association in 1981 and first female president of the National Newspaper Association in 1991.

Beyond her journalistic firsts, Schexnayder was the first woman named to the Arkansas Board of Pardons and Parole and was the first female president of the Dumas Chamber of Commerce.

Renato Betim
Renato Betim of Fayetteville is the recipient of a $1,000 J.N. Heiskell Scholarship for the 2019-20 academic year.

Renato Betim is a junior at the University of Arkansas double majoring in journalism and political science. He has worked as a senior reporter at the Eagle View, the student-run newspaper of Northwest Arkansas Community College. After completing his bachelor’s degree, Betim said he hopes to pursue a master’s degree in journalism and report on politics and social issues that impact politics in his community and nationwide. In honor of the 200th anniversary of the Arkansas Gazette, which continues today as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, he will receive the J.N. Heiskell Scholarship.

Heiskell, owned and edited the Arkansas Gazette for 70 years until his death in 1972. The newspaper won two Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure.

The scholarship recipients will be honored at the chapter’s annual meeting and Diamond Journalism Awards ceremony at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the Flying Saucer in Little Rock.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Ellis, chapter president, at jellis@arkansasonline.com or (501) 533-0565.

Another member added to Arkansas SPJ board candidates

The Arkansas SPJ Board of Directors election will take place during the Diamond Journalism Awards ceremony and annual meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the Flying Saucer (downstairs party room) in Little Rock.

There are 11 seats that are up for election each year, including executive officers: president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. Candidates include Jennifer Ellis, president; Sarah DeClerk, vice president; Wendy Miller and Rob Moritz, co-treasurers; Maggie McNeary, secretary; and Sonny Albarado, Sarah Campbell-Miller, Andrew DeMillo, Steven Listopad, Dwain Hebda and Brittany Reese as board members.

According the Arkansas SPJ bylaws, nominations will also be taken on the floor at the meeting.

Members who would like to take a leadership position, but who don’t want to join the board can get involved in one of our committees: programs, marketing, scholarships, contests, and FOIA/New Voices. For more information, email Jennifer Ellis at jellis@arkansasonline.com.

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: programs, marketing, scholarships, contests, FOIA/New Voices 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.

 

2018-2019 Board Candidates long.indd

Finalists selected for 2019 Diamond Journalism Awards

Finalists selected for 2019 Diamond Journalism Awards

 

Judges have chosen the finalists for the 2019 Diamond Journalism Awards, a regional competition sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering states.

The Diamond Journalist of the Year will be announced at the awards ceremony and annual membership meeting, which will take place 6 p.m. June 25 at the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Little Rock. Tickets are $15 per person, including heavy hors d’oeuvres and libations. More details about the event will soon be released.

Buy tickets | RSVP

Here is a list of finalists by category:

Specialized website (any platform)

Jeanne Roberts, Gavin Lesnick and Mitchell Pe Masilun, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Rachel Herzog, Brandon Riddle and Polly Irungu, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Gavin Lesnick, Nikki Dawes, Ginny Monk, John Moritz and Ryan Tarinelli, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Slideshow (any platform)

Staff, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Multimedia (any platform)

Nikki Dawes, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Gavin Lesnick and Jillian Kremer, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Staff, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Video portfolio (any platform)

Mitchell Pe Masilun, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Arts and culture (daily newspapers)

Philip Martin, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Kelly Brant, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Health (daily newspapers)

Kat Stromquist, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Emma Pettit, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Sarah DeClerk, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Politics (daily newspapers)

Rachel Herzog, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Hunter Field, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press

Sports (daily newspapers)

Jeremy Muck, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Bob Holt, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Investigative reporting (daily newspapers)

Ginny Monk, John Moritz and Ryan Tarinelli, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Hannah Grabenstein, The Associated Press; Stephen Steed, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Feature (daily newspapers)

Ginny Monk, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Clara Turnage, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Hannah Grabenstein, The Associated Press

News (daily newspapers)

Bill Bowden, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Jill Bleed and Adrian Sainz, The Associated Press; Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press

Opinion (daily newspapers)

John Brummett, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Elizabeth West, Ville Platte Gazette; Philip Martin, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

News (magazine)

Johnny Carrol Sain, Arkansas Life magazine

Sports (magazine)

Johnny Carrol Sain, Arkansas Life magazine; Jon Beilue, Hooten’s Arkansas Football; Dwain Hebda, Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for 501 Life magazine

Feature (magazine)

Heather Breed Steadham, Arkansas Life magazine; Dwain Hebda, Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for AY magazine

Politics (magazine)

Jordan P. Hickey, Arkansas Life magazine; Jacque Walsh, Nathan Poppe and Whitley O’Conner, The Curbside Chronicle

Health (magazine)

Dwain Hebda, Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for AY magazine; Dwain Hebda, Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for Mental Health Guide

Arts and culture (magazine)

Seth Eli Barlow, Arkansas Life magazine; Dwain Hebda, Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for Soiree magazine; Dwain Hebda, Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for Do South magazine

News (non-daily newspapers)

Arielle Dreher, Jackson Free Press; Shawn Arraj, Rebecca Hennes, R. Hans Miller and Amelia Brust, Community Impact Newspaper; Hannah Zedaker, Community Impact Newspaper

Health (non-daily newspapers)

Linda Garner-Bunch, Three Rivers Edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Dwain Hebda, Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for Arkansas Catholic; Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Feature (non-daily newspapers)

Danny Wicentowski, Riverfront Times; Rick Kron, Leader Newspaper; Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, Richmond Daily News

Arts and culture (non-daily newspapers)

Amber Helsel, Jackson Free Press; Karen Craigo, The Marshfield Mail

Opinion (non-daily newspapers)

Anthony Mariani, Fort Worth Weekly; Donna Ladd, Jackson Free Press; Rick Kron, Leader Newspaper

Politics (non-daily newspapers)

Ashton Pittman, Donna Ladd and Amber Helsel, Jackson Free Press; Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia, Richmond Daily News; Jack Flagler, Emma Freer and Christopher Neely, Community Impact Newspaper

Sports (non-daily newspapers)

Dwain Hebda, Ya!Mule Wordsmiths for Arkansas Catholic; Wendy Miller, Three Rivers Edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Tammy Keith, River Valley & Ozark Edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Investigative reporting (non-daily newspapers)

Danny Wicentowski, Riverfront Times; Matt Dulin, Community Impact Newspaper; Beth Marshall, Community Impact Newspaper

Design portfolio (print/online)

Stan Denman, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Emma Devine, Arkansas Life magazine; Leanne Hunter, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Special section (print/online)

Sarah DeClerk, Emily Partridge and promotions team, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Sarah DeClerk, Wendy Miller and special sections team, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Sarah DeClerk and special sections team, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Photography portfolio (print/online)

Mitchell Pe Masilun, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Stanton Breidenthal, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Tommy Metthe, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Photo package/spread (print/online)

Mitchell Pe Masilun, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Photography (print/online)

Mitchell Pe Masilun, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Yvette Jagneaux, Ville Platte Gazette; Staton Breidenthal, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

News (radio/audio)

Johnathan Reaves, KASU Public Radio; Ann Kenda, Arkansas Public Media

Sports (radio/audio)

Brandon Tabor, KASU Public Radio; Ann Kenda, Arkansas Public Media; Chuck Livingston, David Wallace, Barry Groomes, Chad Hooten and Chris Hooten, Hooten’s Arkansas Football

Documentary/investigative reporting (radio/audio)

Ibby Caputo, Scene on Radio podcast of Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies

Arts and culture (radio/audio)

Jerome Weeks, KERA

Documentary/investigative reporting (television/video)

Caitlin Sinett, KY3 and KSPR

News (student – print/online)

Kimberely Blackburn, Delta Digital News Service; Keith Turner, Delta Digital News Service; Kayce Wilson, Delta Digital News Service

Feature (student – print/online)

Christine Miyawa, Delta Digital News Service; Miranda Reynolds, Delta Digital News Service; Destini Lattimore, Delta Digital News Service

Sports (student – print/online)

Marvin Davis, Delta Digital News Service

Photo package/spread (student)

Tristan Arquitt, Delta Digital News Service; Madison Gomez, Delta Digital News Service

Community service (special award)

Donna Ladd and Arielle Dreher, Jackson Free Press; Lisa Hammersly, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Robert McCord Freedom of Information Award (special award)

Donna Ladd, Ko Bragg, Taylor Langele and Marie Weidmayer, Jackson Free Press; Ron Wood and Greg Harton, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Outstanding New Journalist (special award)

Ashton Pittman, Jackson Free Press; Hannah Grabenstein, The Associated Press; Clara Turnage, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Candidates for the 2019-2020 Board of Directors

Board MEMBER:
Your name here
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. 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.

 

2018-2019 Board Candidates long.indd

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Arkansas SPJ seeks candidates for 2019-2020 Board of Directors

Looking for leaders.indd

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will host 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 17 (extended deadline).

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 annual meeting (location and date/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: programs, marketing, scholarships, contests, and FOIA/New Voices.

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: programs, marketing, scholarships, contests, FOIA/New Voices 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.

Arkansas SPJ to host Sunshine Week events

Trivia.indd

Your Right to Know

SUNSHINE WEEK Events 2019

FOIA TRAINING + Q&A
10 a.m. Tuesday, March 12
CALS Cox “Bookstore” Building 3rd floor
120 River Market Ave., Little Rock

Join Arkansas SPJ and the state attorney general’s office for a Freedom of Information Act training, followed by a Q&A session with local journalists. Learn how to use FOIA to access public records and how reporters use the law every day. 
SPACE IS LIMITED • RSVP ArkansasSPJ@gmail.com

SUNSHINE TRIVIA
6 p.m. Thursday, March 14
Vino’s Brewpub
923 W. 7th St., Little Rock

Grab a brew and a slice while we test your knowledge of the state’s FOIA history and regulations with a fun twist, of course.

Police, Press and the Public
2 p.m. Saturday, March 16
CALS Main Library – Darragh Center
100 S. Rock St, Little Rock

This panel will feature members of local police departments and professional journalists on public information, transparency, crime, community policing 
and how media and police work with each other.
Officer Tommy Norman
Officer Norman works for the North Little Rock Police Department.
He promotes community policing through his Mission Give Foundation 
and far-reaching social media presence.

Lt. Michael Ford
Lt. Ford runs the Public Affairs Section of the Little Rock Police Department.
He is responsible for releasing police information and responding to FOIA requests.

Mitchell McCoy
McCoy has been a general assignment reporter at KARK.
He routinely covers crime in Little Rock.

Clara Turnage
Turnage is the crime reporter at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
She often works with the paper’s breaking news team and interacts with police.


OPEN GOVERNMENT IS GOOD GOVERNMENT

Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information.

These events are brought to you by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. @ArkansasSPJ
$5 donation is suggested at each event to assist with printing costs of the 19th Edition of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook (set to be revised October 2019). A joint effort by the Arkansas Press Association, the Governor of Arkansas, the Attorney General of Arkansas, the Arkansas Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and other organizations, the Handbook is the state’s definitive and most up-to-date resource on the FOIA.

Celebrate #TinkerTurns50 with Arkansas SPJ

Letter.indd

The Arkansas Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites you to join us in a region-wide celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District decision.

On Feb. 24, 1969, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that Mary Beth Tinker,
her brother John, and others had the right to wear black arm bands imprinted with peace signs to school in protest of the Vietnam war. The court’s decision, which said, “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” solidified student expression rights that we still hold dear today.

Through a generous grant, Arkansas SPJ will provide scholastic and collegiate journalists, media advisers and educators, and SPJ members with Tinker armbands to be worn on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 in honor of the Tinker decision.

To join in the expression, email Arkansas SPJ President Jennifer Ellis at jellis@arkansasonline.com or board member Steve Listopad at listops@hsu.edu with the following:

• Your group or organization’s name
• The quantity of armbands your group would like
• Contact information, including a mailing address where the armbands can be sent


Here is what you can do this week to fully engage in the celebration:

1. Learn more about the Tinker decision, later court cases such as Hazelwood that limited the rights of student journalists, and legislative campaigns to cure Hazelwood here:
a. splc.org
b. newvoicesus.com
2. Follow Tinker, Hazelwood and New Voices activities on social media nationally and in your state.
a. On Facebook and Twitter, search for New Voices USA, New Voices of (your state) and the Student Press Law Center.
b. Search for and use hashtags for #NewVoicesUSA, #CureHazelwood and #TinkerTour.
3. Follow the Tinker Tour and “Tinker Turns 50” activities of Mary Beth and John Tinker this week as they tour their old stomping grounds in Iowa and speak to students at the very schools that banned their expression over 50 years ago: tinkertourusa.org/2019/01/11/tinker-turns-50/.
4. On Friday, Feb. 22, wear your enclosed armband to school or work. Take selfies and group photos and share them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with #TinkerTurns50.
5. Also on Friday, Iowa Public Television will live-stream a presentation and Q&A with Mary Beth and John Tinker as they reflect on the case and its impact. Presented live from the State Historical Museum of Iowa, the program will begin at 12:30 p.m. Central Time on Friday, Feb. 22. Follow this link to participate: www.iptv.org/video/story/32660/50th-anniversary-tinker-v-des-moines-schools-decision.
6. On Sunday, Feb. 24, from 8–9 a.m. CST, watch the C-SPAN Live Interview and viewer call-in with Mary Beth and John. The broadcast will be on C-SPAN and simulcast on C-SPAN3.

We are so grateful to John and Mary Beth Tinker, and their late friend Christopher Eckhardt for standing up to their school district by standing in front of the Supreme Court and setting the standard for student expression across the country. Thank you for joining us in this wonderful celebration of our First Freedoms and those who fight to preserve them.