Highlights from #EIJ14

Minnesota SPJ sent a “delegation” of five chapter leaders to the 2014 Excellence in Journalism Convention in Nashville, September 4-6. The convention is a combined effort by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

CircleOfExcellenceWe’re happy to report that Minnesota SPJ took home a Circle of Excellence Award from SPJ at the convention! We were honored for excellence in communication with our members and friends, via this website and other channels. We were also one of three finalists for Large Chapter of the Year. We didn’t win, but applauded Florida Pro for taking home the honor.

DAY 1: Thursday featured some great half-day workshops, the SPJ Region 6 meeting and the SPJ opening business session. Tennessee’s own “Freedom Sings,” based at the First Amendment Center performed an awesome set.  They are an all-star group that tells the entertaining, engaging and inspiring story of free speech in America through rock, pop, hip-hop and country music. We re-convened in the evening for a great opening night reception, hosted by CNN NEWSOURCE at the Wildhorse Saloon in Downtown Nashville.  There was line dancing and a country band. Very Nashville.

4/5 of the MN Delegation: Anna Pratt, Ben Garvin, Sarah Bauer & Jonathan Kealing

4/5 of the MN Delegation: Anna Pratt, Ben Garvin, Sarah Bauer & Jonathan Kealing

DAY 2: On Friday, attendees dove into the great sessions.  Ethics. Management. Social Media. Better writing.  Our delegates spread out throughout the massive convention space at the Opryland Hotel and had a great day of learning and networking. The MN crew went out for BBQ, music and some impromptu dancing, following the day’s business.

DAY 3: Saturday was perhaps the most “exciting” part of the convention.  After another great day of sessions, delegates from SPJ chapters all over the country debated, edited and voted to pass an updated code of ethics. You can read it here: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

Results of the annual SPJ Election were also announced: http://www.spj.org/elections.asp

Following the closing business session, Dana Neuts was sworn in as the 2014-2015 SPJ President at the President’s Installation Banquet.  You may have met Dana at the regional conference this spring. You can learn more about Dana and follow her year as president here: http://blogs.spjnetwork.org/president/


SPJ President Dana Neuts with MN SPJ Secretary Sarah Bauer.

You can check out video and photos, recaps, interviews and features from the convention on The EIJ News — the convention news site staffed by a crew of talented student interns: http://www.eijnews.org/

And of course, if you didn’t follow along live, you can still search the hashtag #EIJ14 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Next year, #EIJ15 will be held in Orlando, FL. Let us know if you’d like to attend!

When: September 18-20, 2015



Silha Lecture: Oct. 6

Minnesota SPJ members are friends are invited to the 2014 Silha Lecture!

October 6, 2014
7:00 pm Cowles Auditorium
University of Minnesota West Bank, Twin Cities Campus

“See No Evil: Why We Need A New Approach to Government Transparency”

David A. Schulz

David A. Schulz 
Partner, Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP
Co-Director of the Media Freedom & Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School

Counsel to The Associated Press, The New York TimesThe Guardian, and other investigative news organizations

On the 25th anniversary of Department of Justice v. Reporters Committee, one of the nation’s leading advocates for press access and the public’s right to know will explore the judicial and bureaucratic debilitation of the Freedom of Information Act since 9/11, and the critical need to broaden and enforce the First Amendment right of access to government proceedings and records. The discussion will consider the untapped potential of the constitutional access right and the role of the press in illuminating issues ranging from “secret law” articulated by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to the government’s plans to prevent Guantanamo detainees from testifying publicly at their own trials, to a State’s ability to keep secret the formulas used for lethal injection executions.

This event is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

For additional information, contact the Silha Center at 612-625-3421 or at silha@umn.edu


EBCE1EDB8CC2F0470EB3DB1849624498C195326FCDF18ED6CDCheck out AAJA-MN’s Trivia Bowl on October 16.

$100 for teams of 5. All proceeds benefit AAJA-MN’s scholarship, grant and internship program.

If you’d like to join “Team MN SPJ” email us!

More information and register your team today!


Check Out SPJ’s Newly-Elected National Leaders

At the Excellence in Journalism Convention winners were announced in various elections for leadership positions. Meet your new national board of directors and committee chairs!


  • President: Dana Neuts
  • President-Elect: Paul Fletcher
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Lynn Walsh
  • Immediate Past President: David Cuillier
  • Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs: Sue Kopen Katcef
  • Directors At-Large: Bill McCloskey and J. Alex Tarquinio
  • Campus Representatives: Jordan Gass-Poore, Texas State University and Brett Hall, University of Maryland
  • Campus Advisers At-Large: Mike Reilley, DePaul University and Becky Tallent, University of Idaho
  • Region 1 Director: Rebecca Baker
  • Region 2 Director: Andy Schotz
  • Region 3 Director: Michael Koretzky
  • Region 4 Director: Patricia Gallagher Newberry
  • Region 5 Director: Deborah Givens
  • Region 6 Director: Joseph Radske
  • Region 7 Director: Rob McLean
  • Region 8 Director: Eddye Gallagher
  • Region 9 Director: Tom Johnson
  • Region 10 Director: Pia Hallenberg
  • Region 11 Director: Matthew T. Hall
  • Region 12 Director: Tony Hernandez

Continue reading →


twitterAre you still slumming your way through a college newspaper waiting for an internship opportunity to come up for next summer? Or maybe you recently graduated college and want to actually start using your journalism degree, instead of selling clothes at Gap? SPJ is here to help.

Join us @spj_tweets at 2 p.m. ET on Sept. 30 for our college/post graduate #youngjournojobs Twitter chat all about finding jobs, updating resumes, wearing the right clothes to interviews and everything in-between.

Even better, Kenna Griffin, assistant professor of Mass Communications at Oklahoma City University who has a really great website for young journalists, will be leading the discussion!

So come with questions, answers, suggestions, fashion advice, journo job websites or just all of your piled up confusion about how to break into the world of journalism. Doesn’t matter why, just join in and invite your friends.

MNSPJ Announces Election Results for 2014-15 Board of Directors

The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists (MNSPJ) is pleased to announce election results for its 2014-15 Board of Directors. 27 members, in good standing, submitted ballots for consideration. The results are as follows:

President-Elect: Jonathan Kealing (27 Votes)
Secretary: Sarah Bauer (27 Votes)
Treasurer (no declared candidate)**
Write-in Votes:
Scott Theisen: 1
Anna Pratt: 1
The MNSPJ Board will decide how to proceed with filling the treasurer’s position at a later date.

Directors elected to a 2-year term (ending June 30, 2016):

Jenna Ross (Reporter, Star Tribune): 25 Votes
Christopher Snowbeck (Reporter, Pioneer Press): 22 Votes
Kaeti Hinck (Director of News Technology, MinnPost): 20 Votes
Joe Spear (Editor, Mankato Free Press): 19 Votes

Directors elected to a 1-year term (ending June 30, 2015):

Nick Halter (Reporter, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal): 18 Votes
Nathan Hansen (Reporter, Winona Daily News): 18 Votes

Chris Newmarker will serve as MNSPJ President for the 2014-15 year. Congratulations to our new board members!