Monday, September 22, 2008

Twenty tips your editor won't tell you

Tonight we had the pleasure of chatting with Lane DeGregory of the St. Petersburg Times (all the way in Florida!) about how she finds her stories -- and where we can find ours.

Lane's stories have appeared in the "Best Newspaper Writing"editions of 2000, 2004 and 2006. She has been a speaker at the Nieman Narrative Conference at Harvard and has won more than a dozen national awards, including the 2008 Winner of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for non-deadline writing and the 2007 winner of the Ernie Pyle Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation for human interest writing.

It was our chapter's first skype conference -- and Lane's, too. It was great to see and hear her talk about her stories while we looked at pictures of the people and places she's covered.

You can access the presentation with her tips and pictures from her stories here.

She said she was happy to answer questions at any time -- e-mail her at . If you click here, you can also keep track of her articles!

Thanks again, Lane! (And to her son, who helped set up our skype conference!)

-- Erica

Applications update

We were a bit ambitious in hoping to put people in place for our new positions by tonight!

New Officers and Journalism Week Coordinators will be announced tomorrow night. We aren't extending the deadline on this one!

Mentors and Mentees will be matched up by Friday. We won't accept applications after tomorrow night!

Send everything to


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I know, your inboxes are flooded already ...

... but consider joining the Benton Communications listserv.

I had to subscribe last semester for Nancy Cornwell's government and media class and I haven't stopped using it since. It aggregates major headlines from major news sources that cover journalism, tv and virtually any industry related to communications. You could find some good program ideas, but more importantly, stay up on whats happening out there in the "real,"
nitty-gritty world of journalism. (Yes, I just wanted to use the phrase nitty-gritty).

To subscribe,send an email to: In the body of the message, type only:
subscribe benton-compolicy YourFirstName YourLastName.

If you have problems, e-mail

Happy headline hunting!


And we're off.

We kicked off our year with one of the all-time greatest turnouts at a rush night -- more than 50 people!

To recap, we talked about some important new initiatives, including a mentoring program, journalism week and this blog.

But more important are some of the ideas you all came up with for programming. They include:

- Multimedia Workshop (most likely in the spring)
- Resume and internship workshops
- An election event
- Freelance workshops
-Final Cut Pro and Avid training
- Travel writing
- Magazine Writing
-Compiling clips for a portfolio
- On-air performance seminars

If you have more, leave a comment and we'll add it to the list.

Last call for positions -- if you're interested, e-mail by Thursday at noon!

We won't have a meeting this Monday -- but check back here, because we're hoping to set up a great meeting for the 25th! Remember that SPJ is what you make it. If we keep getting great turnout we'll be able to do so much more, and you'll reap more benefits, too.

Liiiiive from the Park School ... ( I couldn't resist the sign-off opportunity) ... ,