Digital and Social Media Training

Going Digital First

Joel Christopher – Gannett Wisconsin Media

An SPJ digital news gathering workshop, was held on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus on Friday, October 17, 2014, our fall journalism training event. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Wisconsin Public Television, Wisconsin Public Radio and the Wisconsin State Journal co-sponsored the training workshop.

Session One: Going Digital First in the Newsroom Continue reading

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SPJ statement on press access at campaign events


Oct. 1, 2014

The Madison chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists was distressed to learn that press minders sought to prevent reporters from interviewing people who attended a Mary Burke campaign event in Milwaukee on Monday, Sept. 29, featuring First Lady Michelle Obama.

The good news is that the campaign of gubernatorial candidate Burke and the White House have a chance to get it right. Continue reading

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SPJ to host digital and social media training


How can you keep pace with the accelerating pace of innovation in newsrooms? And how do you get started if you’ve fallen behind? Join us for the Madison pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2014 Fall Training to learn the skills, strategy and tools you need to compete in the world of digital native news. Continue reading

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Journalism Education Has a Future

SPJ/SSFP Journalism Education Forum at Edgewood College

The field of journalism education is changing, just as the field of journalism is changing but the need for people who can communicate continues because the hunger for information continues. The hunger remains even as the vehicles for information distribution continue to change and expand in number. Continue reading

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The Future of Journalism Education



Sept. 11, 2014


The Next Generation: The Future of Journalism Education

MADISON – Journalism is changing, and so is the way educators train the next generation of reporters, photographers, videographers and graphics specialists. Join leading college and high school educators and students for a wide-ranging discussion about the future of journalism education – and what mid-career journalists need to know to stay current.

The discussion takes place at Edgewood College’s Anderson Auditorium in the Predolin Hall from 7-9 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 24. It features Hemant Shah, director, UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Kim Hixson, chairman, UW-Whitewater Communications Department; Linda Friend, adjunct faculty, Edgewood College English Department, and former senior news producer, Wisconsin Public Television; Jon Netzler, journalism teacher and The Norse Star adviser, Stoughton High School; and Deirdre Green, managing editor, Simpson Street Free Press.

The event is sponsored by the Madison chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and Simpson Street Free Press, and with the generous support of Edgewood College. All area journalists are invited to attend this free event, which is also open to the public. High school and college students interested in journalism are particularly encouraged to attend. Parking is free.

Launched in 1992, Simpson Street Free Press uses journalism to teach the most practical and transferable of academic skills. Literacy is the SSFP brand.

Students publish five separate youth newspapers. The organization grows its own after-school instructors. Newsrooms are staffed using a youth leadership model. Former SSFP students, now in college, serve as editors. These college-age newspaper editors know SSFP curriculum because they grew up doing it. SSFP is thus a pipeline for young people of color. Experienced volunteers, including professional journalists, provide robust forms of assistance.

Based in Indianapolis, SPJ is a national membership organization that promotes high professional and ethical standards, First Amendment principles and the belief that a free and vigorous press is vital in a representative democracy. The Madison professional chapter was formed around 1990. Membership costs $75 annually, and it is open to journalists who spend at least half of their professional life writing or editing work for publication.

Contact: Mark Pitsch, 608-252-6145;



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SPJ delegates approve revised Code of Ethics

Sept. 6, 2014

NASHVILLE — Delegates of the Society of Professional Journalists voted overwhelmingly Saturday to approve a revised Code of Ethics. The voice vote came at the Society’s business meeting at its annual convention.

A committee of the Society spent the past year studying the current code and proposing changes. It had not been updated in nearly two decades. The committee’s work underwent revisions in the days leading up to the vote, and several amendments were accepted in Nashville.

An informal online poll of SPJ members showed that three of every four members who voted approved of the changes.

Delegates on Saturday also rejected a proposal to change the organization’s name to the Society for Professional Journalism.

Delegates are chosen by local chapters and the number of delegates allotted each chapter is determined by the number of members in each chapter. The Madison chapter had one delegate.

Also, SPJ members elected Dana Neuts president, Paul Fletcher president-elect, and Lynn Walsh secretary-treasurer. RadskeNashvilleNeuts is a freelance writer in the Seattle area. Fletcher is publisher and editor-in-chief of Virginia Lawyers Weekly. Walsh is national digital producer for the Scripps network of news organizations.

On Friday the Madison chapter received a certificate for outstanding work by a small chapter in advancing relations with campuses. At left is Joe Radske, SPJ Madison executive committee member and SPJ national board member, with the certificate.

Mark Pitsch, chapter president, received the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Member of the Year Award at the president’s installation banquet on Saturday.


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SPJ enters Madison chapter in “Circle of Excellence”


Aug. 28, 2014

Contact: Mark Pitsch, president, Madison pro chapter Society of Professional Journalists, 608-252-6145

MADISON – The Society of Professional Journalists this week named its Madison pro chapter to this year’s “Circle of Excellence” for helping revive SPJ’s UW-Madison campus chapter.

The Circle of Excellence is a collection of awards that recognizes outstanding work in five areas: First Amendment/freedom of information, professional development, chapter communications, diversity and campus relations.

SPJ Madison secretary Breann Schossow, weekend assignment editor at WKOW-27, worked closely with UW-Madison students and professor Lucas Graves to help revive the campus chapter.

“It was simply a delight to help the students re-start their chapter,” Schossow says. “They’re passionate and wanted their fellow journalism students to benefit from the opportunities that SPJ offers.

Earlier this year, SPJ named Madison chapter president Mark Pitsch its Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member of the Year in the small chapter category. Since 2011, the Madison chapter has twice been a finalist for small chapter of the year.

The Madison pro chapter serves to support journalism and journalists, promote First Amendment and ethical principals, and help the public understand what journalists do. SPJ membership is $75 annually.


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