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Posts Tagged ‘FOIA’

Time to get excited! Here’s the preliminary agenda for the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Regional Conference, set for April 8-9 at the Short Pump Hilton in Richmond. This year’s Region 2 conference will be held jointly with the Virginia Press Asspj-vert__5_sociation, meaning members of each group who register get access to the others’ activities and events.

This is a preliminary agenda, so check back here and on our Twitter and Facebook accounts for updated information, including how to register.

Friday, April 8

* 10 a.m. – Registration for VPA and SPJ

* 10 a.m. – VPA Contest display room opens.

* 1-4 p.m. – Bonus Session: VCU Photo Shooting & Editing Held at VCU Campus ($30 fee, separate registration required)

* 2-5 p.m. – VPA/VPS Board Meeting

* 2-4:30 p.m. – Job Fair/Clip-Resume Critiques

* 5:30 p.m. – VPA Reception

* 6:30 p.m. – VPA Virginian of the Year/AP Banquet

* 7-11 p.m. – Possible SPJ Reception/Film Screening

Saturday, April 9

* 9 a.m. – Registration for VPA and SPJ

* 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. SPJ Silent Auction & Resume Critiques

* 9 a.m. – VPA Contest Display

* 9:30-11 a.m. – FOIA Session

* 11 a.m.-noon -Reporter Safety: Tips for Doing Your Job Without Compromising Your Safety

* 11 a.m. -noon – So You Want to be An International Reporter: Hear From Those Who Have Done it and How You Can Do the Same

* 12-1:45 p.m. – VPA/AP Annual Meeting/Business Meeting and Awards Luncheon

* 12-1:45 p.m. – SPJ Annual Mark of Excellence Awards/Keynote Luncheon

* 2-3 p.m. – Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

* 2-3 p.m. – The State of the News Media: Discussion of a Pew Report about the Climate of Today’s News Outlets

* 2-3 p.m. – Sharpen Your Social Media Skills: How to Use It to Expand Your Reach and Attract More Readers

* 2-3 p.m. – New Products and Existing Products: “Steal Our Ideas”

* 3-4 p.m. -Stop Errors in Their Tracks: Copy Editing for Everyone

* 3-4 p.m. – Ethics Advice: How to Act When You Find Yourself in Questionable Situations

* 5-6 p.m. – SPJ Reception & Wrap Up

* 5-6 p.m. – VPA Reception & Cash Bar – Foyer

* 6 p.m. – VPA Ad/News/Editorial Awards Banquet

* 8:45 p.m. – 1 a.m. – Possible member-generated After Banquet Party

Questions? Comments? Email SPJ Virginia Pro Chapter Robyn Sidersky. You can also follow SPJ Region 2 on Twitter and Facebook.

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The weather may have pushed us back, but we still plan to celebrate Sunshine Week!
In celebration of Sunshine Week 2014, SPJ Virginia Pro Chapter members and friends are invited to learn a new tool for uncovering government secrets on Thursday, April 10.
 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press recently launched iFOIA, a new FOIA letter generator and project management system for handling local, state and federal freedom of information requests. RCFP Freedom of Information Fellow Emily Grannis will make a presentation on taking advantage of this new system.

During the event, we would love to hear about a FOIA-driven project that helped you uncover something in your community. Equally, let’s share the struggles Virginia journalists are encountering with freedom of information requests.
Also, SPJ Secretary-Treasurer Paul Fletcher will offer a recap of action related to FOIA, public notice and other issues during the General Assembly session. For the past two sessions, Fletcher has monitored the legislature on behalf of our membership and citizens.

Our Sunshine Week event will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10 in the second-floor conference room at 707 E. Main St. in Richmond. We hope to see you there! Please RSVP with an e-mail to virginiaprospj@gmail.com so we have a head count for snacks.

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The Society of Professional Journalists, Virginia Pro Chapter honored a leading journalist during the 2013 George Mason Award Banquet Tuesday, June 18 at the University of Richmond.

Dick Hammerstrom of The Free Lance-Star received the George Mason Award for his relentless efforts in the arena of freedom of information.

Hammerstrom told the crowd of about 50 journalists that during his first job covering government, he and a colleague found out that the janitor emptied the city manager’s trash into a third-floor bathroom. Those discarded documents became a gateway to understand what was really going on in the city. Today, “Hammer” is noted as a go-to for FOI and a mentor to his newsroom and beyond.

Also during the event, which serves as the annual meeting of the chapter, two local students were honored with the Virginia SPJ, SDX Educational Foundation scholarships. Recipients are Mark Robinson, a rising senior at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Katherin Johnson, also a rising senior at VCU.

A silent auction during the event raised more than $400 for the Virginia SPJ, SDX Educational Foundation.

In a surprise, Region 2 Director Brian Eckert received the George and Francine Crutchfield Distinguished Service Award from outgoing President Paul Fletcher and Francine Crutchfield. Eckert, who serves on SPJ’s national executive committee, is also a past president of the chapter and most recently served as treasurer.

Newly elected officers include President Pat Kane of The Progress-Index, Vice President Robyn Sidersky of The Free Lance-Star, Secretary Jeff South of VCU and Treasurer Mary Ellin Arch of TransUrban. New to the board of directors this year are Peter Vieth of Virginia Lawyers Weekly and Rachel DePompa of WWBT-TV NBC-12.

See more photos from the banquet on our Facebook page.

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The Virginia Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the Region 2 Spring Conference April 19-20 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott in Norfolk, Va. Registration with special early-bird pricing for pros and students is now open at http://2013spjregion2.eventbrite.com .

We will kick off the weekend with a cash bar reception just down the street from the hotel in on Friday night.

Saturday, plan on an event packed with compelling speakers, panels, workshops and networking opportunities. During sessions, panelists and presenters will address the pressing issues of journalism, including social media, data journalism, how to navigate jobs in the tough market and more. We will close out the day with a set of small-group workshops on topics such as mobile phone photography, coding for journalists and more.

We will recognize regional winners of the collegiate Mark of Excellence Awards during an included luncheon. Luncheon-only tickets for parents and supporters will be released closer to the event. Registrants of the Region 2 conference are also welcome to attend all non-meal events during the Virginia Press Association’s News Conference at the hotel Saturday.

If you or your organization are interested in taking part in a panel or workshop, learning about sponsorship opportunities or have other questions please contact Conference Co-Chairs Pat Kane and Robyn Sidersky by phone at (804) 986-6804 or e-mail at virginiaprospj at gmail.com

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Kudos to UVa student journos

The Cavalier Daily’s work on the mess surrounding the ouster of the university president got national notice on JimRomenesko.com — and an endorsement of its Twitter feed. Good work wins.

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