Friday, April 15, 2011

Director's Notes: April Update

Friday, April 15, 2011

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

T.S. Eliot called it “The Waste Land”.
We call April exciting.
The news media conference season is in full swing, spring journalism classes are running at full tilt and the Journalism Program’s deadline for letters of inquiry is fast approaching. Click here to learn how to apply.
Some of our recent highlights include:
  • Hosting the McCormick Foundation High School Media Awards, which recognizes the best in student journalism in the Chicago area. The April 15 luncheon at the Chicago Cultural Center honored 12 schools in 24 categories. Lane Tech College Prep High School won the most awards, while Mike Stanton of Whitney Young Magnet High School was named High School Journalist of the Year. For the first time in the event’s 19-year history, two principals were acknowledged for their leadership in protecting and defending press freedoms. The Scholastic Press Association of Chicago, which is based at Roosevelt University, coordinated the event. For a complete set of winners, click here.
  • A new International Center for Journalists course that is equipping a corps of U.S. Spanish-speaking journalists with skills needed to be multimedia trainers in their newsrooms. Participating journalists represent such prominent news organizations at NPR, CNN, CBS News, Univision, Telemundo, the Sun-Sentinel of Florida and Hoy of Chicago. Click here to learn more about “Lideres Digitales: Creating a New Generation of Spanish-Language Multimedia Trainers.” Click here for more information.
  • Attending a ‘two-fer” in San Diego, the annual conferences of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Inter American Press Association. These piggy-backed events focused on innovation, leadership and press freedoms. ASNE’s annual survey of newsroom employment showed a very slim increase in jobs after three years of downturns. However, the percentage of minorities in newsroom slipped nearly a half a point to 12.8 percent. IAPA also awarded the MF Journalism Program a spiffy plaque for 16 years of funding in support of the Chapultepec Project, which promotes and defends press freedoms in the Americas.
  • The Berkeley-based Center for Investigative Reporting hosted a management and sustainability workshop for more than 30 journalists, many of them members of the Investigative News Network. The MF-funded event allowed these superb journalists to concentrate on the more mundane back-shop issues that may determine the fates of their fledgling news organizations. Click here to learn more. Maggie Mulvihill, co-director of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University emailed me that not-for-profit watchdog reporting “is truly a movement that has much potential for public good. It is heartening to know that McCormick has put some money behind the INN effort.”
  • Hosting Manal S. El Moteay of the Cairo-based Media-Arts for Development. The Egyptian youth media trainer is visiting Chicago student journalism organizations and colleges to give a first-hand account of the political revolution that will forever reshape her country. Manal also is sharing her vision for an ambitious youth media center project offering scholarships, internship, leadership programs and media arts training for tens of thousands of Egyptian students. She and a colleague also are speaking at Columbia College (6 p.m. on April 20 in Room 219, 33 E. Wacker). Click here to view their work.
  • Piloting an American Press Institute career development and branding workshop for independent journalists. The April 8 training at Northwestern University focused on how an authentic and relevant personal brand gives journalists a competitive edge in the employment and freelance marketplace.

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