December 1999 Region 6 Report

The entry forms for the annual Mark of Excellence Awards have gone out. These awards honor the best in student journalism. The entries are due back to national Jan. 31.

If your student chapter did not receive an entry form please contact me. The awards will be announced at the Regional Conference Mark of Excellence luncheon April 14 at the Sheraton Minneapolis Metrodome. The SDX awards for professionals also are headed your way.

There will be a limited number of fellowships for students who want to attend the Regional Conference. The money will come from the regional fund. There will also be fellowships available for professionals who want to attend the conference through the Taishoff Broadcast Seminar. More information on how to apply for these fellowships will be available next month.

I opened a Region 6 checking account in Norwest Bank, St. Cloud, Minn. Please contact me if you want to see the account records.

SPJ is offering a mentorship program for journalism students. It is an opportunity for a prospective journalist to tag along with a current professional. The program right now has more professionals than proteges. If you would like to take part in this program please contact Michelle Swafford, SPJ’s national campus at-large representative at Please emphasize whether you want to be a mentor or a protege and what area of journalism interests you.

SPJ will match mentors with proteges.

As you know, SPJ purchased a new headquarters building this year in Indianapolis. The goal is to be moved in this summer. National is trying to raise $1 million to pay for the building and its remodeling. In October, delegates from Region 6 voted to donate $1,000 from the Region 6 account to the fundraising effort.

If you as individuals or your chapter would like to donate to the capital campaign fund, send you checks to national at 16 S. Jackson St., Greencastle,

Ind. 46135–0077

The decline of the Atlanta chapter is why the 2000 convention is in Columbus, Ohio. It was rescheduled for Atlanta in 2003, but it looks as though national is going to have to select another city. So any SPJ Pro Chapter interested in hosting the 2003 convention, please contact any member of the Executive Committee.

SPJ president Kyle Niederpruem has be prompt in responding to a number of issues that affect the media. She has fired off at least a half dozen press releases since taking office in October. This is all being to done to heighten visibility of SPJ. Those press releases, plus SPJ notes, a daily recap of media related news and her columns can be found on the national as well as the Minnesota Pro Chapter Web page. Remember, responding to issues works well at the local level as well.

In addition, starting with the December issue, every member of the United States Congress – House and Senate – will receive Quill. Now our federal legislators will see that the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization is a vital and involved professional membership organization and that we stand for some very important concepts and tenets, not the least of which is FOI and the First Amendment. The 535 complimentary subscriptions will run us about $500 per issue, including production and mailing costs – a modest investment.

The quirk of the calendar and the SPJ

Employee manual will play a little bit of havoc with office hours between Christmas and New Year’s, so here’s the deal:

The office will be closed on Friday, Dec. 24, Monday, Dec. 27, and Friday, Dec, 31. We will have abbreviated office hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) on Tuesday, December 28, Wednesday, Dec. 29 and Thursday, Dec. 30. Additionally, the staff will be working in two “shifts” on those three days. If we’ve confused you, don’t fret. Your telephone calls, e-mails and other correspondence will continue to be handled throughout the holiday season.

Minnesota hosts its holiday party Tuesday.

Marquette hosted a meet the recruiters program Dec. 7. Potential employers from TV, radio and print served on a panel moderated by a career counselor. Those who want to know how to do a panel like this of your own should contact Lindsay Morris, the Marquette student chapter president.