About spjonadepaul

Official website for DePaul University's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.

Excellence in Journalism 2018: Scholarships Available!

Want to attend #EIJ18, SPJ’s national conference Sept. 27-29 in Baltimore? SPJ wants to help cover your costs! Check out the opportunities and application deadlines.
STUDENTS
EIJ News Internships: Ten student interns will gain experience and make connections while covering the EIJ18 conference, by using multimedia approaches in a student newsroom. If selected, you’ll get one conference registration, complimentary four-night stay at the conference hotel, some meals and the chance to show off your talents and network with other journalists. Applications for the EIJ News Team are due April 30Apply now.
Columbia Journalism School Student Fellowships: The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism is providing funds for five SPJ student members from any school to attend EIJ18. If selected, you’ll get one conference registration and $575 to use toward travel expenses. Applications are due May 18Apply now.
Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award: The Lewis family’s generosity provides this scholarship to one SPJ student member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the First Amendment through the field of journalism. If selected, you’ll get one conference registration and $350 to use toward travel expenses. Applications are due June 5Apply now.
PROFESSIONALS
Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program: The goal of the program is to increase the diversity of SPJ members within the organization. Each year, SPJ selects six members to participate as SPJ Diversity Leadership Fellows. The fellowship provides funds for fellows to receive a conference registration, airfare (up to $300), four-night hotel accommodations at EIJ18 and one ticket to the SPJ President’s Installation Banquet on Sept. 29 Get the details and apply now.
Terry Harper Memorial Scholarships: The Terry Harper Memorial Scholarship is open to professional, post-grad and retired members. It is given in honor of Terry Harper, SPJ’s executive director from 2002-2009. The scholarship provides funds for up to five members to receive a conference registration, airfare, four-night hotel accommodations at EIJ18 and one ticket to the SPJ President’s Installation Banquet on Sept. 29. Applications are due June 5Get the details and apply now. For eligibility and application information, click here.

Welcome back! Winter Quarter events

Hope you enjoyed your break! We have a great lineup of SPJ events planned for the coming quarter:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 10, 5-7 p.m.: Our next general meeting. Everyone is welcome! Our location will be announced soon.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 17, 5-7 p.m., Daley 1260: Resume and headshot workshop. Get advice on how to make yourself a great job candidate. We will have a photographer taking professional headshots. Prepare for job and internship season!
  • Saturday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.: School newspaper training for 8th-grade students at St. Juliana in Chicago. We’ll give aspiring journalists tips on how to find story ideas, conduct interviews and more. SPJ will provide transportation to the school, and lunch will be served afterward. If you’re interested, please contact SPJ President Ally Pruitt at allypruitt87@gmail.com.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Monthly Public Newsroom: We’re teaming up with DePaul’s 14 East magazine to encourage Chicago residents to talk about important issues and learn more about how journalists will do their work. The first one will be in late January. Stay tuned for details!
  • Newsroom tours: Details coming soon
  • Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7: Save the dates for the SPJ Region 5 conference in Chicago. DePaul’s journalism program will be hosting the April 7 events. Sign up at the conference website to get email updates.

Questions? Interested in learning more? Find out what SPJ does and how to join. You can always contact Ally or Amy Merrick, our faculty adviser, at amerric1@depaul.edu.

Check out the minutes from our board meetings and general meetings here. We accept applications for board memberships each spring.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

EIJ 2016: Everything you know about multimedia storytelling is wrong

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By Danielle Church

Reporters are not just writers anymore. They are photographers, videographers, graphic designers, etc. In this generation, they have to be everything…or so they thought. According to University of California Berkley professor Richard Koci Hernandez, reporters really don’t have to do it all. In fact, we all really need to let go of that burden.

Here are some of Hernandez’s best tips on why journalists truly don’t have to do it all:

The best story ideas are the most passionate ones

It may sound a little crazy at first, but the best reporting doesn’t come from someone who tries to do everything. It all starts with someone who has a great story idea.

It doesn’t matter that technology and social media are the way people read stories, because if the story itself isn’t good, people won’t share or read it anyway. People who are passionate about certain topics are going to be very knowledgeable about them. They’re the ones that have gone out of their way to do loads of research or will eventually.

Therefore, it only makes sense that the best journalism would, as Hernandez says, come from someone who is extremely passionate about what they are doing. When you focus on a story idea that you know so much about, it’ll encourage you to think of more creative ways to share it with the world, such as through videos, interactive maps, etc. It also means that there is no room for someone in journalism who isn’t passionate about what they’re doing because their story ideas simply won’t measure up to the ones that are.

You’re not broken, the business model is broken

Journalism is not about working for the so-called “best” media company and it doesn’t mean you aren’t successful just because you haven’t gotten there. The foundation of any multimedia, or any part of journalism for that matter, is writing.

Don’t think about what the story will look like six months from now because it will probably change by then. Focus on what the story looks like now and put everything you have into it. As Hernandez says, the web is a creative platform and not just a single canvas.

That means you can do anything with it and it’s up to the reporter decide which platforms or materials they should use to help their audiences dive deep into the story.

Don’t worry about people who don’t matter

It’s impossible for reporters to reach everyone. Therefore, they shouldn’t be trying so hard to reach people that won’t pay any attention to the story.

The best way to spread a story is to know who to target. When reporters focus on who their story needs to reach specifically, it will do so much better because those people will be affected by it. If a reporter is able to inform a few instead of many, that’s fine because the point is that it reached the people that it matters the most to.