Author: Paula Christine Schuler

Jefferson High Students Create Awareness

Jefferson High School student journalists decided to do something creative this year to raise money for their program. They designed a T-shirt. Attendance at Gridiron on Sept. 30 will offer an opportunity to meet these student journalists and support their quest for truth. For just $20, Gridiron folk can get an uber-cool shirt and support these bright teenagers. Jefferson offers three classes focused on journalism taught by Melissa Carroll: Journalism I, a photojournalism course and a newspaper/yearbook course of 12 students. “At this point our main function is to create awareness of the First Amendment and the function of journalism,”...

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Safe House Needed in Mexico

Safe House Needed in Mexico On June 15, the Society of Professional Journalists posted announcements and encouraged social sharing of support for journalists in danger. Just over the Rio Grande, journalists are not safe and work in conditions we can only imagine. According to a report by The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia Journalism School, journalist Marcela de Jesús Natalia was shot as she left the radio station where she worked. If we knew we might be shot leaving work, would we go? A Texas journalist responds to the need Patrick Timmons picked up the torch nearly a year ago when he launched his campaign to fund a research trip into Mexico, speaking with journalists directly. He said nobody knows what they really need because no one has asked them. Bravery and torch-bearing on behalf of endangered and oppressed people deserves support and recognition. Timmons’ campaign request is for a supplement to what he is committed to spend of his own pocket. If you cannot engage financially, then use the share button on the campaign...

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Journalist murdered

Books by Javier Valdez Cárdenas, known by most as Javier Valdez Journalist Murdered May 15 may have been just another day for us here in the U.S., but for journalist Javier Valdez in Mexico, it was his last. Across the Internet, journalists mourned the loss of a generous and admired journalist, who spent years reporting on the impact of drug cartels in Mexico. The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that Valdez told them he felt he was in danger just a few weeks before his murder. The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia Journalism School wrote about specific journalists missing or killed before and after the loss of  Valdez. They put out an SOS for help to the international community. According to their report, more than 99% of cases of journalists murdered in Mexico go without punishment. Join SPJ, share links and comments On June 15, today, the Society of Professional Journalists is ringing the bells, posting announcements and encouraging social sharing of support for journalists in danger. SPJ chose the following hashtags for social media: #ourvoiceisourstrength and/or #nuestravozesnuestrafuerza Needed: Journalist Safe House in Mexico Today, we communicated with Patrick Timmons, a bilingual human rights investigator, translator, journalist, historian and college professor based in El Paso, Texas. He has deep connections throughout Mexico with journalists and diplomats. Timmons campaigns to raise funds for research, visiting and asking journalists in Mexico...

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Perspectives

Andrew M. Seaman writes a call for newsrooms and individual journalists to change their perspectives. Responding to the roller coaster year journalism experienced in 2016, Seaman reminds journalists of their “noble purpose.” Seaman serves as ethics committee chairperson for Society of Professional Journalists at the national level, and so his voice echoes with particular influence. SPJ owns a long history of ethics advocacy with a Code of Ethics professing the highest standards of objectivity and freedom from conflict of interest. The following is the fine print below the actual code on the web page at spj.org: The SPJ Code of Ethics is a statement of abiding principles supported by additional explanations and position papers that address changing journalistic practices. It is not a set of rules, rather a guide that encourages all who engage in journalism to take responsibility for the information they provide, regardless of medium. The code should be read as a whole; individual principles should not be taken out of context. It is not, nor can it be under the First Amendment, legally enforceable. Seaman says the shift in public trust of journalism as a whole works as a signal for change in the ethical best practices of news media across the nation. He refers to historical precedent under President John F. Kennedy’s administration, references current-day incivility and Gallup poll data to support his suggestions.  Check out...

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