Friday, September 29, 2006

National President, SPJ, Cites Cool Justice Blog / Reporter Detention

National President, Society Of Professional Journalists,
Cites Cool Justice Report On Enfield Shenanigans
And Detention Of Reporter

SPJ Leads

By Christine Tatum
Assistant Business Editor, The Denver Post
National President, SPJ

GAINING MOMENTUM. The OPEN Government Act (H.R. 867) has won approval
from the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Government
Management, Finance and Accountability. This stands to be the most
comprehensive reform of the Freedom of Information Act in a decade.
Wednesday's vote came less than a week after the Senate Judiciary
Committee approved a Senate version (S. 394) of the act that also has
bipartisan support. SPJ has worked with a coalition of media
organizations, called the Sunshine in Government Initiative, to
champion the legislation. While Congress isn't expected to vote on
the measure this term, the momentum behind these bills bodes well for
approval next year. LINK >Find
out more about what the OPEN Government Act would accomplish.

FOI FYI. That's the name of SPJ's new and very cool, LINK http://spj.
org/blog/blogs/foifyi/> blog manned by the national>Freedom of Information Committee. Check the
blog early and often for the latest, greatest information and insight
about challenges to the free flow of public information. When you
spot interesting items, please drop a line to Committee Chairman Joel

SPEAKING OF BLOGS. SPJ member and veteran legal affairs reporter Andy
enfield-way-cops-detain.html>Cool Justice Report is worth a look.
Are you blogging, too? We'll drive traffic your way! Send a note to

NOT BLOGGING? LEARN HOW. The USC Annenberg School of Journalism is
offering an intensive, hands-on workshop about the myriad ways
journalists can use blogs and other tools to improve traditional
reporting and storytelling. Learn ways to build a wider audience for
your work and make money through blogging. Photoblogs, videoblogs,
wikis, podcasting and whatever's next also will be discussed. When:
Saturday, Sept. 30. Where: ASC 204 at USC Annenberg School for
Paid parking available. Bring: A wireless-capable laptop and power
cord. Or just take notes. Cost: Free. RSVP:< LINK http://www.formsite.
com/columbiaspj/form784799710/index.html Details online. Only
those who register in advance can attend.

OK, AND HERE'S ANOTHER. Show the world how smart you are - and
promote in the process -- by chiming in on a thoughtful, new
blog about foreign policy launched by the Washington Post. The blog,
called PostGlobal,
brings together sharp minds from around the world to debate pressing
issues. Currently, the blog features an interesting discussion about
global press freedom. When you post, write "Society of Professional
Journalists," and provide a link to in the appropriate fields.


UNDER COVER? Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts org/content/content_view.asp?id=111116>take on the debate about a
proposed federal shield law. Add your 2 cents to org/blog/blogs/president/archive/2006/09/12/131.aspx>a rolling
discussion on

BLOWN COVER. Five private investigators accused of
directors.html>posing as journalists to obtain information under
false pretenses for tech giant Hewlett-Packard have been subpoenaed
to testify before Congress.

COVERED. SPJ National President Christine Tatum>yammered this week with
SABEW business blogger and SPJ member Chris Roush about why some
business news coverage falls flat and her hopes for SPJ's growing
business savvy. She also chatted with Ken Spencer Brown of Investor's
Business Daily about IBDArticles.asp?artsec=17&issue=20060926>the hard questions
reporters caught in the Hewlett-Packard scandal should be asking

SPJ IN MOTION. Didn't get a chance to join us for the national
conference in Chicago? Boy, did you miss out! Members needn't fear,
however. They can check out video
recordings of select sessions about blogging, multimedia skills,
practicing journalism abroad, news councils and the Freedom of
Information Act. Not a member? No time like the present>to join one of the nation's largest and
oldest journalism advocacy organizations.

BACKING BOSTON. SPJ has joined an amicus brief supporting the Boston
Herald's appeal of a $2 million jury verdict awarded to Judge Ernest
B. Murphy in February 2005 by a jury in Massachusetts Superior Court,
the court on which Murphy sits. During a meeting with lawyers, Murphy
reportedly said of a teenage rape victim, "She's 14. She got raped.
Tell her to get over it." The Herald's David Wedge interviewed the
prosecutor who attended that meeting as well as two other prosecutors
with whom the first immediately shared Murphy's comments. Wedge also
tried, but failed, to obtain comment from Murphy. All three
prosecutors later testified that the comment attributed to Murphy was
substantially accurate. Murphy denied making the comments - but
waited more than three weeks after the Herald's publication to make
many any statements about the prosecutors' allegations. Despite
several other press accounts of Murphy's controversial comments about
cases he was handling, a trial court found that Murphy had proved "a
false statement of fact" and that the Herald published with actual
malice. Siiiiiigh.

SPJ's Legal Defense Fund
needs your help all year. Consider making a donation - or scoring
cool loot to auction during our national conference.

SOCKIN' IT TO 'EM. During a hearing Monday, SPJ's Sunshine
Chairperson in Utah - Alison Barlow Hess - com/ci_4396862>made no bones about where SPJ's Utah chapter
stood on a goofy proposal to place limits on pamphleteering and other
speech activities inside and around the Capitol complex in Salt Lake
City. Hess joined unanimous opposition from com/dn/view/0,1249,650193754,00.html>speakers at the hearing to
proposed "free speech zones." "How do we label everything that is not
(a free speech zone)?" she asked. "Does it become a zone of no free

TAKING STANDS. Over the past two weeks, the Miami Herald learned that
at least 10 journalists had accepted payments from the Office of Cuba
Broadcasting in exchange for positive news coverage about Cuba. After
discovering the unethical practice at El Nuevo Herald, The Miami
Herald News Co. fired the journalists. Today, the director of the
Office of Cuba Broadcasting is calling for a public ethical debate.
Weighing in, The South Florida Pro chapter com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003155693 released
a statement in support of the firings.

PRIZE FIGHTERS. Freelance videographer and blogger net>Josh Wolf is back in a federal slammer in California for
refusing to give up unaired video he took of a 2005 protest for a
grand jury's review. San Francisco Chronicle reporters Lance Williams
and Mark Fainaru-Wada have been sentenced to 18 months in a federal
prison for refusing to identify the sources that leaked them grand
jury testimony concerning steroid use among professional athletes.
All three have been named "Journalist of the Year" by SPJ's Northern
California chapter. Help celebrate
their work at an awards ceremony honoring excellence in
journalism. When: Nov. 9 Where: Yank Sing Restaurant in San
Francisco. Tickets: Contact Eva Martinez at< or (415) 648-1045.

JOURNALISM TODAY. The Greater Los Angeles chapter will host an
evening with Jerry Roberts, the award-winning editor who made
headlines when he and eight other journalists from the Santa Barbara
News-Press left the paper, putting ethical convictions above
professional security. Roberts will draw on his long and illustrious
career while discussing some of the most topical issues in our
industry today, including the importance of ethics in managing the
modern newsroom. WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 4; 6:30 p.m. no-host cocktail
reception; 7 p.m. dinner. WHERE: Smokehouse Restaurant at 4422
Lakeside Drive; Burbank, Calif. COST: $27 for SPJ members; $32 for
non-members. RSVP: By Monday, Oct. 2, at (323) 259-3350 or


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