February 2000 Region 6 Report

The Regional conference is taking shape. We have a full slate of panels and speakers April 14-15 at the Sheraton Minneapolis Metrodome. The conference is called “Journalism Festival 2000,” and we are jointly hosting it with the National Press Photographers Association and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the group that awards the Emmy,s that recently started a Minnesota Chapter. In addition, the conference features the SPJ Taishoff Seminar. We have lined up some very nice broadcast panels for the Taishoff Seminar. Investigative Reporters and Editors, which had agreed to run a computer-assisted reporting seminar as part of the conference, dropped out last week.

In all, we have more than 30 panels and more than 50 speakers lined up who will provide professional development for professionals and students inprint, broadcast and on-line journalism.

Scheduled to attend are: Dick Weiss, a writing coach from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who will talk about narrative and profile writing; Chris Ison and Paul McEnroe, two of the nation,s top investigative reporters from the Star Tribune of Minneapolis; Ray Marcano, the national SPJ president-elect and regional editor of the Dayton Daily News; Janet Roberts, computer-assisted reporting director for the St. Paul Pioneer Press; Jay Kolls, investigative reporter for KSTP-TV in St. Paul; Allen May of WTMJ-TV Milwaukee; TV computer assisted reporting special Alan Cox, of WCCO-TV; John McCormick, who does computer assisted reporting for the Des Moines Register; Caroline Lowe, WCCO-TV. And George Dohrmann, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter who broke the University of Minnesota academic scandal, will be the speaker at the annual SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards luncheon, where the best in student journalism is honored.

Other panel topics include on-line writing, education writing, reflecting diversity in your coverage, media law, and ethical decision making. For students, panels include improving your student newspaper, improving your student SPJ chapter, making the switch from the classroom to the news room and a discussion on what to expect your first year on the job and landing your first job.

The broadcast panels include a panel of crime victims who share their experience with the media and a panel on covering the same major story. More details including pictures of panelists can be found on the Minnesota SPJ Web site: www.mnspj.org.

The opening night reception features appetizers and a cash bar. The conference is bigger and better this year but it costs the same as last year.

SPJ, NPPA and NATAS members get two days of panels, two lunches and the reception for $45; non-members are in for $55; students $25. Registration forms go out in the next two weeks. You can sign up now by sending a check to:

Journalism Festival 2000
Minnesota Journalism Center
111 Murphy Hall
206 Church St.
Minneapolis, Mn. 55455

The deadline is April 1. There is an additional $5 charge for registration the day of the conference.

Our regional meeting at the regional conference will be from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Saturday April 15 at the Sheraton Metrodome. All chapters should try to be represented.

Students and broadcast professionals can apply for fellowships to help pay for your trip to the conference. We are offering 10 $200 fellowships this year. You must apply by March 3. Details have been e-mailed to chapter leaders. A brochure will go in the mail this week. More info on how to apply can be found on the Minnesota SPJ Web site: www.mnspj.org.

Students who are SPJ chapter members in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin can apply for one of five Region 6 Fellowships. Students or broadcast journalists may apply for one of five Taishoff Fellowships.

Any questions? Contact Dave Aeikens. Please spread the word around your campus and newsroom about these opportunities.

The campaign to raise $1 million for a new national headquarters in Indianapolis has reached nearly $250,000. Jane Pauley of Dateline NBC is co-chairing the fundraising efforts.

Membership director Jeff Stanley resigned. Nationwide membership goals are set at 2,000 new members, 2,000 renewed members and 2,000 returned members. (People who have lapsed) Expect to hear more about this later.

Remember to send your newsletters to me and SPJHQ:
Julie Grimes
16 Jackson St.
PO Box 77
Greencastle, Ind. 46135-0077

And national president Kyle Niederpruem:
Indianapolis Star-News
307 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
Indianapolis, Ind. 46204.