Archive for the ‘Programs’ Category

Our friends at the Virginia Press Women host their spring conference soon in Farmville. Have a look!

Virginia Press Women: “Courage, One Step at a Time: Pursuing Professional Excellence and Equality for All.” That’s the theme of our Spring Conference, to be held April 4-5 in Farmville, Virginia. Farmville was ground zero for equality in American education. Sixty years ago this year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education (1954), a case that desegregated schools and had a 16-year-old Farmville girl at its roots. Barbara Rose Johns was that girl. She was a teenager who used nonviolent civil disobedience to draw attention to her cause. In 1951, witnessing unfair conditions at Moton High School, Barbara Johns walked out. It was the first public protest of its kind demanding racial equality in the U.S.—jumpstarting the American Civil Rights Movement. Come to the conference to learn more about segregation, massive resistance, the deciding case, and the crucial role of the news media in that struggle.

For more information, contact Ilsa Loeser  at cumberlandnews AT farmvilleherald.com


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Recalling a Great 2013!

SPJ Virginia Pro Chapter members and friends,
As the year winds down, I wanted to send a recap of all the accomplishments YOU helped us achieve this year.

In January, President Paul Fletcher lined up with the Virginia Press Association and Virginia Coalition for Open Government during the General Assembly session. He helped outline our positions on open government, FOIA, public notice and other issues to lawmakers, and plans to do so again in 2014.

In April, our chapter hosted the Region 2 Spring Conference for the second time in three years. We enjoyed sharing the Norfolk Waterside Marriott’s facilities with the Virginia Press Association and Virginia News Photographer’s Association. A big thank-you is due to Vice President Robyn Sidersky for chairing the event.

In June, we appointed new officers and board members during the George Mason Banquet. Rachel DePompa from NBC 12 is a welcome new face on the board, and Robyn Sidersky has stepped up as chapter vice president. Jeff South has done excellent work as chapter secretary; he departs in January for a Fullbright Scholarship.

SPJVA was well-represented during the Excellence in Journalism Conference in August. Our chapter was selected as Small Chapter of the Year; Brian Eckert was again honored as Regional Director of the Year; and Paul was elected as national secretary-treasurer.

Student journalists from across Virginia gathered at The Richmond Times-Dispatch for our inaugural College Media Day in October. About 40 students turned out to hear workshops and panels about landing jobs and internships, social media, the Freedom of Information Act, column writing, data journalism, photography, how to enter and win journalism contests and WordPress.

In November, our chapter welcomed SPJ’s Ted Scripps Leadership Institute to Richmond. The program helps develop the next generation of local and national SPJ leaders.

Earlier in December, SPJVA financially supported two great events with close ties to our mission. AP Day at the Capital took place Wednesday, Dec. 4, offering a chance for dozens of journalists to get an early look at the big issues in the 2014 General Assembly. Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe also spoke. On Friday, Dec. 6, the Virginia Coalition for Open Government was held, with in-depth discussion of the Star Scientific gift scandal, ethics reform and other issues.

Thanks for everything this year and I’m looking forward to 2014!

Pat Kane
Chapter President

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Mason birthday celebration POSTPONED

SPJVA’s George Mason Birthday celebration, scheduled for this Saturday, Dec. 14, has been postponed.

Fairfax County is likely to experience a wallop of wintry mix – cold or freezing rain and snow – on Saturday, and numerous board members have noted conflicts with the holiday-season date.

The event will be rescheduled after the turn of the year, and we will make that announcement here on SPJVA Today. Thank you.

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The Society of Professional Journalists’ Virginia chapter will hold an afternoon of activities commemorating patriot George Mason’s birthday Dec. 14 at Mason’s historic colonial home, Gunston Hall, in Lorton.

A wreath-laying ceremony at Mason’s grave on the Gunston Hall grounds at 1:30 p.m. will be followed by a guided tour of the mansion and a talk on “Threats to Press Freedom Today” by Paul Fletcher, SPJ’s national secretary-treasurer and publisher-editor of Virginia Lawyers Weekly. Holiday-themed refreshments will close out the celebration.

This is one of our annual events, which we are proud to host every year. We celebrate Mason,  who wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights later used as the model for the Bill of Rights. Because his actual birthdate is Dec. 11, this year’s commemoration is being held on a Saturday to enable the largest number of people to attend.

In the Virginia Declaration, Mason wrote “That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by  despotic governments.” SPJ’s Virginia chapter presents an annual award in Mason’s name for outstanding contributions to journalism in the commonwealth.

Admission to Gunston Hall to attend the events is free for members of the Friends of Gunston Hall and SPJ. A suggested donation of $10 to Gunston Hall is requested.

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Registration closes today at 5 p.m. so act now!

Limited seats are still available for the inaugural College Media Day this Saturday, Oct. 19, hosted by SPJ Virginia Pro Chapter and The Richmond-Times Dispatch. Registration closes Thursday, so e-mail virginiaprospj@gmail.com now to save your seat!

Your $15 per person registration includes a light breakfast, pizza lunch, a full day of workshops and networking with local journalists. Get a group together and take advantage of our special offer: Register five students for $60!

Saturday’s sessions with local pro journalists include:
How to Land a Job or Internship;
The Freedom of Information Act in the College Newsroom;
Inform, Engage and Get it Right: The New Role of Social Media in Your Newsroom;
Hit Me With Your Best Shot : Planning and Executing Great Photography;
Blue-Ribbon Special : How to Make Your Work Shine in Journalism Contests;
So you want to be a Columnist;
Investigative Workshop;
The Hidden Powers of WordPress;
and a College Journalism Hackathon

One-on-one critiques are also available. Please indicate in your registration e-mail to virginiaprospj@gmail.com if you are interested in a critique. This is your opportunity to meet hiring editors and journalists from several media outlets around Virginia. Be ready to share your portfolio of work.

Journalism students and college paper staffers from across the commonwealth have already signed up. We look forward to seeing you Saturday!

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Virginia Pro Chapter SPJ Members:
We will host our next board of directors meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Virginia Lawyers Weekly offices on the 17th floor of the Eighth and Main building, 707 East Main Street in Richmond. All chapter members are welcome to attend.

Our agenda includes : Minutes from the June 29 meeting; the treasurer’s report;  discussion of the upcoming Excellence in Journalism conference; student scholarships to said conference; an update on the collegiate journalism event; and discussion of other upcoming events.

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BLACKSBURG—SPJVA chapter members Cara Modisett of Roanoke and Brian Eckert of Richmond gave a program on finding the first job in journalist to the Virginia Tech campus chapter Oct. 28.

They advised the 16 Tech chapter members that journalism is a “show ’em what you can do” profession. To stand out from the crowd of college grads seeking jobs, Modisett and Eckert advised the students to try to publish free-lance work while still in school.

A college degree and work for the campus newspaper are expected, but not enough, they counseled. 

Both Modisett and Eckert provided examples from their varied careers to how they made contacts and got hired.

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