A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


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April 17th, 2018 • Featured
Happy 109th Birthday, SPJ! Here are 109 things we love about you.

The Society of Professional Journalists turns 109 today! In honor of over a century of promoting ethical journalism, training journalists and protecting the First Amendment, the staff of SPJ Headquarters solicited help from members to create a list of 109 things we all love about SPJ.


April 9th, 2018 • Featured
Sinclair’s ‘teachable moment’ raises even more questions

Sinclair Broadcast Group executives reportedly called the recent backlash to its company-wide promotional videos “teachable moment” in a call Wednesday with representatives from the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. That same day, the National Press Photographers Association issued a statement calling on all media companies to “improve and celebrate ethical journalism in effective, meaningful and respectful ways.” By “teachable moment,” perhaps the Sinclair executives – who include past NPPA honorees – meant they’d be teaching those who criticized their company a lesson.


April 3rd, 2018 • Featured
Sinclair’s mandates threaten independent, local journalism

Journalists at Sinclair Broadcast Group stations across the country have been appearing in carbon-copy promotional videos claiming that some media outlets are publishing “fake stories” and that some members of the media “push their own personal bias and agenda.” How America’s largest local TV owner turned its news anchors into soldiers in Trump’s war on the media: https://t.co/iLVtKRQycL pic.twitter.com/dMdSGellH3 — Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 31, 2018 As others point out, the videos are troubling since they borrow wording from some of the attacks President Donald Trump lobs at journalists and news organizations.


March 30th, 2018 • Featured
Isolation and harassment: My life as a female journalist in Pakistan

Working as a journalist in Pakistan is a difficult task, especially for a woman since it is considered a man’s domain in my country. Women are harassed and threatened regardless of their profession, but when you are a journalist, raising your voice about issues facing a dysfunctional society such as Pakistan, the threats become more acute.


March 19th, 2018 • Featured
How newsroom culture is being re-evaluated following #MeToo

After The New York Times and The New Yorker’s groundbreaking exposés of disgraced Hollywood mogul and serial sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein, it wasn’t long before women in journalism began raising their hands to say, “Me too.” Powerful media figures such as MSNBC’s Mark Halperin, NPR’s Michael Oreskes and Leon Wieseltier, a former editor at The New Republic, were ousted from their jobs after women propelled by the “Weinstein effect” came forward with incriminating allegations of sexual harassment and assault.


March 15th, 2018 • Featured
How PolitiFact is fighting ‘Fake News,’ one stop at a time

Last August, President Donald Trump told an arena of supporters in Huntington, West Virginia, that the “Russia story is a total fabrication.” Investigators, he said, should be looking into the uranium Hillary Clinton “sold, which is now in the hands of very angry Russians.” Neither claim was accurate.


March 14th, 2018 • Featured
When journalists aren’t trusted, corruption often follows

Vladimir Putin’s media consolidation efforts in the early 2000s began on well-prepared soil. The public’s trust in journalism as a profession in Russia had become so low — driven down by a distinct mixture of economic, political and cultural factors following the fall of the Soviet Union —that Putin’s efforts weren’t the cause for alarm one might otherwise expect.


March 12th, 2018 • Featured
How news literacy programs can help journalists earn back trust

In the fall of 2006, after spending nearly 35 years as a reporter, editor and then the editor of one of America’s largest daily newspapers, I left my job to help start the newest journalism school in the country. Even then, it was an act of audacious optimism.


March 12th, 2018 • Featured
Can transparency save journalism from outside attacks?

Just over one month before a special election in Alabama for the U.S. Senate, The Washington Post published a story about Republican candidate Roy Moore that revealed inappropriate contact he made with teenage girls. The understated importance of this story was it included bits and pieces of how the story was reported to begin with; right within in the story, the reporters showed how they learned of the allegations.


November 2nd, 2017 • Featured
SPJ’s youngest member proves journalism is for anyone with the drive to do it

Hilde Lysiak made national news a few years ago when she broke a hometown homicide story in her newspaper, the Orange Street News. Named after the street she lives on, the Orange Street News is a family production, led by Lysiak. Now, she’s writing books in addition to reporting and publishing the only monthly newspaper in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania — and she’s only 10 years old.


November 2nd, 2017 • Featured
New Ohio records law a good start, but holes remain

“Wait, what?” That was my initial reaction when I thumbed through the supposed fulfillment of my public records request from the city of Green, Ohio. I quickly double checked the dates. It was May 3, 2016 — 10 business days after my initial request.


November 2nd, 2017 • Featured
Reimagining access rights under the First Amendment

We are living through an anti-openness renaissance. In June, on the eve of the special election in the Georgia Six, as it came to be known, Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff excluded a reporter for the conservative Washington Free Beacon from a campaign event, while Republican candidate Karen Handel gave the same treatment to a reporter for the liberal site ThinkProgress.