Tag Archives: SPJ

SPJ chapter to hold Ethics Poker night

poker chips

The Alabama Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will play host for Ethics Poker next week.

Guests will learn to play Texas Hold ’Em for fun, using special decks that highlight the society’s Code of Ethics. Discussion topics include the code and how to improve it to meet the challenges of contemporary journalism.

Ethics Poker takes place at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Desert Island Supply Co., 5500 First Ave. N., Woodlawn district in Birmingham [map]. Organizers expect the event to run 2 hours.

The free event will include refreshments, but advance registration is required.

For more information or to register, email Chris Roberts at croberts@ua.edu.

Photo: Adrian Sampson (CC)

Panel discussion on journalism ethics Tuesday

Sent to us by our friend and MOBster, Dennis Pillion …

Journalism Ethics: A Panel Discussion

Ever wondered how far a journalist will go to get a story? How do news organizations decide what to cover? Should journalists live by rules of how to treat their sources and the public?

The Alabama Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is holding a panel discussion on journalism ethics.

Executive editor Hunter George of The Birmingham News and SPJ chapter president Dennis Pillion will make brief opening statements.

Archibald, Ott, Pollone, Roberts

  • When: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday
  • Where: The Birmingham News, 2201 Fourth Ave. N., downtown [map]
  • Panel: John Archibald, columnist, The Birmingham News; Tanya Ott, news director, WBHM (90.3 FM); Chris Pollone, reporter, NBC 13
  • Moderator: Chris Roberts, assistant journalism professor, University of Alabama, and author of a forthcoming book on journalism ethics
  • Cost: Free

For more information, e-mail Dennis Pillion at dpillion[at]al.com.

SPJ regional conference in Orlando, March 19-20

The Society of Professional Journalists’ regional conference will take place in Orlando later this month.

  • What: Society of Professional Journalists Region 3 Conference
  • When: March 19-20
  • Where: University of Central Florida, Orlando
  • Cost: $75, $65 for SPJ members. To register, visit the online form.

Workshops on the schedule include …

  • “The Future of Journalism (and Your Future in It)”
  • “How to Make Money Blogging”
  • “Freelancing: Strategies for Paying the Bills”

For more information, visit the conference site.

• • •

Read more stories on the Society of Professional Journalists.

UAB professor Minabere Ibelema wins Sigma Delta Chi Award from SPJ

Minabere IbelemaMinabere Ibelema, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, won the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Research. He was the sole winner from Alabama and also serves as undergraduate journalism director.

He won the award from the Society of Professional Journalists for research on his book, “The African Press, Civic Cynicism, and Democracy.”

• • •

Read more Birmingham media updates.

Have a news tip? Let us know!

SPJ Alabama selects Dennis Pillion as chapter president

The Alabama Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has selected new officers for 2010:

  • President: Dennis Pillion, sports producer, AL.com in Birmingham
  • President elect: David Joyner, executive news editor, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. in Birmingham
  • Secretary: Meredith Cummings, director of the Alabama Scholastic Press Association, journalism instructor at the University of Alabama
  • Treasurer: Jill Nolin, city/county reporter, Montgomery Advertiser

From left, Pillion, Joyner, Cummings, Nolin

The other current board members are:

  • George Daniels, assistant professor of journalism, University of Alabama
  • Abigail Morrow, attorney, Taylor Ritter P.C. in Birmingham
  • Jenn Rowell (immediate past president), military reporter, Montgomery Advertiser
  • Matt Stanley, producer, “Today in Alabama,” WSFA-TV, Montgomery

• • •

Read more Birmingham media updates.

Have a news tip? Let us know!

SPJ Alabama Pro chapter update

Jenn Rowell, president of the new Alabama Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, has been busy busy busy …

• The chapter has a new site, alabamapro.blogspot.com.

• And a Twitter account, @SPJ_AlabamaPro.

• And an upcoming road trip to the SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference Aug. 27-30 in Indianapolis, marking the group’s 100th anniversary.  She’s going, along with University of Alabama journalism professor George Daniels

Jenn says:

I went last year in Atlanta, and it’s really a great event. Lots of professional development and networking opportunities. I highly recommend it for anyone that can swing it.

Since we’ve been a chapter for a year, we get a vote in the national level elections this year.

Cost is $235 for members, $335 for non-members if you register by Sunday. Those interested in attending, carpooling or splitting hotel rooms — or just being added to the SPJ Alabama Pro mailing list — should contact her at alabamapro.spj[at]gmail.com.

• • •

Read more Birmingham media updates.

Have a news tip? Let us know!

Awards roundup: Birmingham Weekly, Lipstick, WBHM

Awards roundup: awards for Birmingham media folks …

• WBHM (90.3 FM) picked up three first place awards in the 2009 Public Radio News Directors Incorporated Awards.

[The full list of PRNDI awards.]

• • •

• Birmingham Weekly’s Kyle Whitmire picked up his second consecutive first-place award in the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ Alternative Newsweekly Awards, his fourth overall.

[Original post | full list of AltWeekly Awards]

• • •

• In the Society of Professional Journalists’ 59th Annual Green Eyeshade Awards, Alabama media outlets took home five first-place awards, and WBHM (90.3 FM) took home its second consecutive divisional win in radio. [The directors of the Green Eyeshade Awards canceled this year’s banquet because “the news media’s economic problems made it difficult to guarantee attendance.”]

Divisional Winner

  • Radio – WBHM (90.3 FM) of Birmingham, for “Considering Faith,” by its news team.
    Links to stories

1st Place

  • “Collection of Editorials” Mac Thrower, Mobile Press-Register
  • “Lauren,” Laurel Mills, Lipstick Magazine, Birmingham
  • “This one time at camp …,” Laurel Mills, Lipstick Magazine, Birmingham
  • “Skimboarding” Bronwyn Coffeen, Mobile Press-Register
  • “Considering Faith,” News Team, WBHM (90.3 FM) [Links to stories]

2nd Place

  • “Rumble, Rumble, Rumble” Challen Stephens, The Huntsville (Ala.) Times
  • “Sky-High” George Talbot, Jeff Amy, Dan Murtaugh, Press-Register, Mobile
  • “Series of Columns” Tim Sanders, The Post, Centre
  • “Theology of the Dispossessed” Mark Potok, Intelligence Report
  • “Beer Law, Wilcox Gas, Fight Song” Tanya Ott, WBHM-FM

3rd Place

  • “Big Bad Wolf Hunt” Brendan Kirby, Press-Register (Mobile)
  • “Desperate Search” News Staff, Press-Register, Mobile
  • “Outside Agitators” David Holthouse, Intelligence Report, Montgomery
  • “Spaceships and Playoff Systems” Scott Wright, The Post, Centre
  • “Capital Murder Trial Coverage” Scott Wright, The Post, Centre
  • “J.D. Crowe Editorial Cartoons” J.D. Crowe, Mobile Press-Register

[hat tip to The Terminal]

[Original post | full list of Green Eyeshade Awards]

Possible SPJ workshop on social media and journalists

A note from Jenn Rowell, president of the Alabama chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists:

Save the date for our next program, June 24 and/or June 25.

We’re going to focus on Twitter, social media and how journalists can use those tools to enhance coverage and generate Web traffic. Some of us use it, some of us don’t, so let’s discuss pros and cons, best practices, neat tricks, how-tos and lingo. (See “The Twitter Explosion” from the American Journalism Review.)

Here are possible plans:

  • Host one in Prattville, since it’s sort of (although not really) a halfway point for Montgomery and Birmingham folks.
  • Or host one in Montgomery and one in Birmingham (like we’ve done on several occasions).

If y’all could weigh in on what you would prefer and if any of you use Twitter and social media on a regular basis and would like to help facilitate discussion, let me know at AlabamaPro.SPJ[at]gmail.com. I have a few in mind, but am always looking for fresh faces!


Green Eyeshade Awards: 17 finalists in Alabama


The Society of Professional Journalists’ Green Eyeshade Awards announced its finalists today, including 17 entries from Alabama media outlets, four from Birmingham.

The Birmingham finalists in print are both from Laurel Mills of Lipstick magazine, which closed in March, in the Serious Commentary and Humorous Commentary categories.

The radio division includes 2008 winner WBHM (90.3 FM) in the Public Service category for “Considering Faith” and news director Tanya Ott in the Radio Specialized Reporting category for “Bible Belt Beer Brawl,” “Wilcox County’s Pain at the Pump” and “College Fight Songs.”

Other Alabama finalists:


  • Breaking News: “Desperate Search” News Staff, Press-Register (Mobile)
  • Feature Writing: “Rumble, Rumble, Rumble” Challen Stephens, The Huntsville Times (Huntsville)
  • Breaking Business News: “Sky-High” George Talbot, Jeff Amy, Dan Murtaugh, Press-Register (Mobile)
  • Courts and the Law Reporting: “Big Bad Wolf Hunt” Brendan Kirby, Press-Register (Mobile)
  • Editorials: “Collection of Editorials” Mac Thrower, Press-Register (Mobile)
  • Feature Writing: “Outside Agitators” David Holthouse, Intelligence Report (Montgomery)
  • Sports Commentary: “Spaceships and Playoff Systems” Scott Wright, The Post (Centre)
  • Courts and the Law Reporting: “Capital Murder Trial Coverage” Scott Wright, The Post (Centre)
  • Humorous Commentary: “Series of Columns” Tim Sanders, The Post (Centre)
  • Editorials: “Theology of the Dispossessed” Mark Potok, Intelligence Report (Montgomery)
  • Graphics: “Skimboarding” Bronwyn Coffeen, Press-Register (Mobile)
  • Editorial Cartoons: “J.D. Crowe Editorial Cartoons” J.D. Crowe, Press-Register (Mobile)


  • Videography: “Mr. Postman” Brandon Ross, Times Daily (Florence)

Winners will be announced this summer.

Full list of finalists, after the jump …

Continue reading

Society of Professional Journalists interest meeting

Society of Professional Journalists

From our pal Hilary, who says that Jennifer Rowell, military reporter at the Montgomery Advertiser, is working to start a Society of Professional Journalists chapter in Alabama:

Greetings! Ever feel the need to sharpen your journalism skills or network with other professional journalists? Here’s your chance!

The SPJ Alabama Pro Chapter will be hosting an interest meeting on July 16 at Speakeasy 1920, 1920 Third Ave. N. [map], from 5 to 7 p.m. Snacks will be provided.

In addition to professional development and networking opportunities, the Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 10,000 members; works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts. SPJ is a group for print and broadcast alike.

Come and find out more about the SPJ Alabama Professional Chapter opportunities coming soon to central Alabama!

Please RSVP to Jennifer Rowell at jrowell@gannett.com. Please feel free to forward to coworkers!