Apply for an SPJ/ONA DePaul E-Board Position

SPJ/ONA DePaul is seeking students to fill four executive board positions for the 2014-15 school year. Students must be available from May 15, 2014 to the end of the winter quarter, 2015 (roughly March 31).

Candidates will be interviewed on May 8 and 9.  You must sign up for an interview time on Reilley’s office door, room 1106, 14 E. Jackson Blvd. Please bring two copies of your resume to the interview and dress professionally.

To read the job descriptions, click on the link:

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Free Speech Wall Project Brainstorming

SPJ/ONA DePaul presented its free speech wall project at the SPJ Region 5 conference in Chicago. After the presentation, we held a brainstorming meeting with other chapters that attended, including Indiana, Loyola, Butler and Eastern Kentucky.

Here are some of the ideas the chapters came up with as we plan to take the project to the regional and national level with other chapters next year:

  • Hold your free speech wall not only on campus, but on a public sidewalk or park.
  • Coordinate with all chapters participating by tweeting to the #fsw hashtag on Twitter as the event goes on. Tweet photos, what’s posted, short videos, etc.
  • Have signs with details from landmark free speech court cases near the free speech wall area.
  • Hold it both indoors and outdoors on your campus.
  • Coordinate a multi-school free speech wall in your area (DePaul and Loyola are doing this) and then present findings to local media/professional SPJ chapter.
  • Partner with a local pro chapter and do it in public and on campus.
  • In Chicago, you could post a free speech wall in the performers section on a CTA subway line.
  • Have an online component — post to Twitter or a message board — and see if people say different things online as opposed to writing on the wall.
  • Tie the free speech wall project in with a First Amendment Free Food Festival on your campus.
  • Bring more snacks as you’ll run out quickly!

SPJ/ONA DePaul’s Review and Feedback on Code of Ethics Changes


Yeah, it’s time for an update. (Photo/Melanie Stone)

By Brianna Kelly
SPJ/ONA DePaul President

The past two SPJ/ONA DePaul chapter meetings were dedicated to re-evaluating the SPJ Code of Ethics and suggesting changes. This is part of a national movement in the organization to update the code and make it more relevant.

Since the journalistic guidelines haven’t been revisited since 1996, we felt that it was important to review it with a critical eye. We took a page from the book of the University of Georgia’s SPJ/ONA chapter for our own rewrite session.

On Jan. 27, the chapter executive board and a couple of members met for the first in-depth look at the code. We went through it line-by-line, brainstorming suggestions of how it can be improved. Most of our ideas (in red) focused on expanding and clarifying existing guidelines.

Then we invited DePaul professors Jason Martin and Bruce Evensen, who specialize in journalism ethics and social responsibility, to the meeting on Feb. 25 to review our suggestions. They gave us feedback and shared their own ideas that you see linked below.

We decided that a set of guidelines should be established to define proper conduct on social media. There needs to be a standard for the way journalists interact with other users, find sources, break news, cite outside information, share stories and so on. The current code isn’t clear on how to address those areas.

Our chapter also urges the committee to strongly consider a more flexible code, such as the one being developed by the Online News Association. We also encourage the committee to implement many of the ideas and suggestions from veteran online journalist Steve Buttry.

Also, we strongly encourage other student chapters to review the code and make recommendations. Make sure you voice is heard.

Read the .PDF of our recommended changes:
SPJ Code of Ethics Changes Notes

DePaul Wins 23 SPJ Region 5 MOE Awards, 7 First-Places

SPJ Region 5 Awards Photo

DePaul students with their haul (left to right): Rima Mandwee, Brianna Kelly, Melanie Stone, Tyler Carter and Jakub Rudnik.

DePaul University College of Communication journalism students won 23 awards, including seven first-place wins, in the SPJ Region 5 Mark of Excellence Awards on April 12.

The Region 5 awards recognize the best student work in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. The winners advance to the national SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards, which will be judged in May.

The 23 awards are the most DePaul has won in the four years participating in the competition.

The first-place winners (complete list):

Best Digital Student Publication: The Red Line Project

Best Use of Multimedia: Searchable Crime Maps, Clayton Guse and Andrew Rodriguez, The Red Line Project

Online News Reporting: School’s Out: CPS Closes 50 Schools, Joe Ruppel, Josclynn Brandon, The Red Line Project

Online Sports Reporting: Chicago Marathon coverage, Chicago Sidelines/The Red Line Project staff

Television Feature Reporting: Crazy Deli, Jessica Paris, Good Day DePaul

General News Reporting: Flags Under Fire, Dylan Fahoome; Dylan McHugh; Michael Corio, The DePaulia

Sports Column Writing: Sports Columns, David Webber, The DePaulia

SPJ/ONA DePaul Free Speech Wall Presentation

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SPJ/ONA DePaul presented its Free Speech Wall program to 25 students, pros and advisers during an afternoon session at the SPJ Region 5 conference April 12 in Chicago.

The students did a 20-minute presentation, showed the wall as well as research on results of the Free Speech Wall, which they are turning into an annual Constitution Day (Sept. 17) event that will involve other SPJ chapters from around the country.

Want to participate in the program nationally? Tweet us at @spjonadepaul and we’ll help you.  Here’s a .PDF of the students’ presentation. Groups will tweet to the hashtag #FSW on the 17th.

After the presentation, Region 5 attendees formed small groups to brainstorm suggestions and improvements for the larger-scale Free Speech Wall for Constitution Day 2014

SPJ members from Eastern Kentucky University suggested creating informational boards to display next to the wall, explaining the history of why we have the right to free speech. Content could range from court cases that fought for our right to free speech to posting the First Amendment verbatim.

The success of the Free Speech Wall prompted the suggestion that Chicago citizens should get the opportunity to participate, not just university students. SPJ members from Loyola University also have two campuses, and they hope to post Free Speech Walls in their Rogers Park and Water Tower neighborhoods as well.

Between the four campuses, Constitution Day 2014 will allow for citizens all around Chicago to practice their First Amendment rights. Participation will grow even larger with the suggestion that we add an online component, allowing for anyone online to share their First Amendment rights and participate in our social experiment.

Watch these rough-cut videos of the presentation (turn up your sound, our shotgun mic broke):

Part I:

Part II:

Women in Sports Journalism Panel Coverage

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SPJ/ONA DePaul hosted a Women in Sports Journalism Panel at DePaul’s downtown campus on April 10 that explored locker room access issues, industry trends and some great advice on making it in sports media.

The event started with the ESPN documentary “Let Them Wear Towels,” a history of female journalists working in male locker rooms.

The forum was moderated ESPN Chicago reporter and DePaul adjunct instructor Melissa Isaacson, who asked panelists about their own locker room experiences, as well as advice for aspiring female sports reporters.

Video: Panelists talk about covering male-dominated locker rooms in the 1980s and ’90s. Cheryl Raye-Stout of WBEZ leads this part of the discussion.

Veteran sports reporters Cheryl Raye-Stout (WBEZ), Shannon Ryan (Chicago Tribune) and Kerry Sayers (670 The Score) shared some of their notable locker room experiences and how the treatment of female sports journalists has changed during their careers.

DePaul alumni and former SPJ/ONA executive board members Lauren Camplin (ESPN) and Meghan Bower (Chicago Blackhawks) compared those experiences to their own and shared how they were able to break into the world of sports media.

You also can follow the conversation on Twitter by searching the hashtag #spjsports.

Video: The panelists discuss building respect on the beat and in the locker room. Kerry Sayers of 670 The Score leads this part of the discussion.

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