Recent Articles:

Watch: SPJLA Roasts Linda Deutsch

July 29, 2015 News, SPJ Events Comments Off on Watch: SPJLA Roasts Linda Deutsch

Missed SPJLA’s roast of legendary Associated Press reporter Linda Deutsch? Check out our video from the event here:

Job Opening: Desk Editor

July 9, 2015 News Comments Off on Job Opening: Desk Editor

Calling all job-hunting journalists! Check out this job posting in the Los Angeles area.

DESK EDITOR

Do you want to keep active in news as a desk editor but work only part-time or on a fill-in basis? Do you like having a major impact in your community — if that community is one of the world’s major news centers?  Or are you looking for an opportunity that could eventually lead to a full-time position?

City News Service Inc., the nation’s largest regional news service, covers news in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties 24 hours a day. We’re looking for experienced journalists to fill shifts at our West L.A. hub, which could include weekend and overnight assignments.

You must be a strong copy editor with social media skills. You’ll also be making assignments, directing reporters, doing your own reporting and more. You’ll never be bored because news happens at all hours in every one of the counties we cover in Southern California. Our subscribers include just about all the major local, national and international media in Southern California. Find out more about us at www.SoCalNews.com.

You should be knowledgeable about Southern California’s communities, institutions and leaders, and be a college or university graduate. It’s a great chance to show us what you can do or to work on that screenplay or novel and still be part of the world of journalism.

E-mail your resume – with cover letter – to Lori Streifler, CNS Editor, at Lori@SoCalNews.com. Due to the number of replies, we may not be able to respond to each applicant. City News Service is an equal opportunity employer.

Save the Date: Tuesday, July 7: SPJ/LA Hosts Journalism Mega Mixer

June 22, 2015 News, SPJ Events Comments Off on Save the Date: Tuesday, July 7: SPJ/LA Hosts Journalism Mega Mixer

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites you to a real “social networking site” to mix, mingle, mega schmooze, socialize, have fun, and network all at the same time.

WHAT:
SPJ/LA hosts journalism group mega mixer

WHO:
SPJ/LA invites journalists from throughout Southern California including members of:

  • Asian American Journalists Association – Los Angeles Chapter
  • Black Journalists Association of Southern California
  • CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California
  • Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) – Southern California
  • Los Angeles Press Club
  • National Association of Hispanic Journalists
  • National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association
  • Online News Association, Los Angeles Chapter
  • Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles
  • Radio & Television News Association of Southern California
  • SPJ/LA
  • 8Ball Welfare Foundation, which provides grants to journalists in need.

And more

WHEN:          
6 – 9 p.m., Tuesday, July 7

WHERE:        
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub
575 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

COST:
The mixer is free and open to all. Complimentary appetizers. Cash bar.

PARKING:    
Limited parking behind the building. Street parking also available.

RSVP:
Please RSVP by sending an email to:spjlosangeles@gmail.com

Contact:
Dan Evans, SPJ/LA
(213) 321-3661
Richard Saxton, SPJ/LA
spjlosangeles@gmail.com

CANCELLED: Robert Scheer Discusses and Signs His New Book: “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy”

June 8, 2015 News, SPJ Events Comments Off on CANCELLED: Robert Scheer Discusses and Signs His New Book: “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy”

UPDATE: With much regret, please be advised that Wednesday’s event with Robert Scheer at Book Soup is cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience this cancellation might have caused you.


The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites you to hear Robert Scheer, a veteran print journalist, radio commentator, founder of news and opinion website Truthdig and author of “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy” discuss the surveillance state and the erosion of privacy and civil liberties and sign copies of his new book.

Scheer’s evening talk and signing takes place on Wednesday, June 10, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Book Soup, located at 8818 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood.

Since 9/11, the extent of government intelligence-gathering, and the commercial data-mining of personal information through on-line commerce and social media, have drawn increasing public attention and concern. The revelations of previously unknown global surveillance programs by the National Security Agency through the release of confidential documents by former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden in 2013 heightened these concerns, and brought renewed media and congressional scrutiny of the practices, culminating in significant revisions to intelligence-gathering programs recently approved by Congress.

SPJ/LA believes these issues are a matter of broad public concern, and should be of particular interest to the journalism community. Scheer’s book is a timely reminder of the profound wisdom of Benjamin Franklin’s observation from 1755, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

We encourage all interested journalists and others to join us for a stimulating and informative discussion at Book Soup on Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m.

WHAT:

Discussion and book signing event

WHO:

Robert Scheer, a veteran print journalist, radio commentator, founder of news and opinion website Truthdig and author of “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.”

WHEN:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

WHERE:

Book Soup

8818 Sunset Blvd.

West Hollywood, CA 90069

(310) 659-3110

COST:

The event is free and open to all.

Don’t Forget: SPJ/LA’s Booze & Board Games Mixer on June 3

May 27, 2015 News, SPJ Events Comments Off on Don’t Forget: SPJ/LA’s Booze & Board Games Mixer on June 3

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites you to a different kind of mixer.

No name tags, no standing around and no uncomfortable chitchat.

At Booze & Board Games, you can just hang out with fellow journalists and enjoy a drink while engaging in some friendly competition.

The games begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3 at the Redwood Bar & Grill in downtown Los Angeles.

Feel free to bring your own board game.

Happy hour is being extended to 8 p.m., so come thirsty!

WHAT:
SPJ/LA’s Booze & Board Games Mixer

WHEN:
Wednesday, June 3
7 p.m.

WHERE:
Redwood Bar & Grill
316 W. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 680-2600

COST:
Free of charge.

PARKING:
There is street and lot parking throughout the area.

METRO:
The closest station is Civic Center/Grand Park.

RSVP:
Please RSVP at spjlosangeles@gmail.com

CONTACT:
Claudia Peschiutta, SPJ/LA
claudia.peschiutta@cbsradio.com

Save the Date: Wednesday, June 3 SPJLA’s Booze & Board Games Mixer

May 16, 2015 News, SPJ Events Comments Off on Save the Date: Wednesday, June 3 SPJLA’s Booze & Board Games Mixer

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites you to a different kind of mixer.

No name tags, no standing around, and no uncomfortable chitchat.

At Booze & Board Games, you can just hang out with fellow journalists and enjoy a drink while engaging in some friendly competition.

The games begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3 at the Redwood Bar & Grill in downtown Los Angeles.

Feel free to bring your own board game.

Happy hour is being extended to 8 p.m., so come thirsty!

WHAT:
SPJ/LA’s Booze & Board Games Mixer

WHEN:
Wednesday, June 3
7 p.m.

WHERE:
Redwood Bar & Grill
316 W. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 680-2600

COST:
Free of charge.

PARKING:
There is street and lot parking throughout the area.

METRO:
The closest station is Civic Center/Grand Park.

RSVP:
Please RSVP at spjlosangeles@gmail.com

CONTACT:
Claudia Peschiutta, SPJ/LA
claudia.peschiutta@cbsradio.com

RSVP Now! Larry King Headlines Roast for AP Court Reporter Linda Deutsch

May 7, 2015 News, SPJ Events Comments Off on RSVP Now! Larry King Headlines Roast for AP Court Reporter Linda Deutsch

Larry King will help roast Linda Deutsch, The Associated Press’ recently retired premier court reporter who has covered every major Los Angeles trial, from O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson to Phil Spector and Charles Manson. The May 21 fundraiser supports the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The dinner event, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, benefits chapter programs, including the Freedom of Information, Legal Defense and Scholarship funds.

Roast participants also include Loyola Law School Professor Laurie Levenson, former CBS news writer/producer Roberta Hollander and TV journalists and podcast hosts Ana Garcia and Dorothy Lucey.

Attorney Anthony Brooklier and L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Rob Knowles will channel their inner Elvis for a special musical presentation.

Ticket prices are $90 for SPJ members; $120 for non-members. A limited number of front row seats in “The Jury Box” are available for $200 each.

To reserve a seat, email RobertaWax@gmail.com. You will receive an invoice that can be paid by credit card via PayPal. RSVP deadline is May 14.

Details:

Who:
Retired AP Court Reporter Linda Deutsch

Ldeutsch

What:
A gentle roast by talk show legend Larry King, Loyola Law School Professor Laurie Levenson, former CBS news writer/producer Roberta Hollander and TV Journalists Ana Garcia and Dorothy Lucey. Musical performance by Anthony Brooklier, Esq., and L.A. County Deputy D.A. Rob Knowles. Proceeds benefit the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Proceeds support chapter programs including the Freedom of Information, Legal Defense and Scholarship funds.

Where:
Omni Hotel
251 S. Olive St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

When:
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Cocktails 6 p.m.
Dinner and festivities 7 p.m.

Ticket prices:
$90 per ticket for SPJ members
$120 for non-SPJ members

Or, be a First Amendment Supporter with prime seats in:
The Jury Box. Front row seats. $200 per ticket (table of 10, $2,000, plus program ad.) Limited availability.

For reservations, email: RobertaWax@gmail.com. You will be billed through PayPal and may pay via credit card. RSVP deadline is May 14.

Contact: RobertaWax@gmail.com

Recap: SPJLA Hosts Panel on Anonymous Sources at NBC4 News

May 7, 2015 News, SPJ Events Comments Off on Recap: SPJLA Hosts Panel on Anonymous Sources at NBC4 News

Journalism seeks to bring the truth to light, but what if a source prefers to remain anonymous in the public eye? We, as journalists, know the source’s identity, but sometimes those sources don’t want to be known. The use of unnamed sources in journalism arouses a multitude of ethical dilemmas.

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recently hosted a panel discussion on “the ethical dilemmas in identifying trustworthy sources and knowing when to run with anonymously-sourced information.” The discussion took place at NBC4 Southern California in Universal City on April 16 and was moderated by NBC4 News Managing Editor Matt Goldberg.

The discussion aimed to answer the 5 Ws (and H) of anonymous sources:

  • Who: Who is the source?
  • What: What is the risk of using it? What if they’re wrong? What is it worth?
  • Where: Where are they getting the information? Where is their loyalty?
  • When: When do we need anonymous sources?
  • Why: Why do we trust them?
  • How: How will it affect us? How will it affect them?

Media outlets have various practices on the use of anonymous sources, and the panelists offered a glimpse into their respective companies’ standards. Panelist Justin Pritchard, a reporter for the Associated Press, shared the AP’s rules on anonymous sources. AP reporters who use information from anonymous sources must obtain approval from their news manager before sending the story to the desk, Pritchard said.

Kim Bui, the West Coast producer at reported.ly, addressed the issue of using a single source anonymously. Bui covers international news largely through social reporting, where her Rolodex is “literally the Internet.” She advised the audience to never believe anyone “wholeheartedly” and to utilize Internet as a tool to corroborate and verify an anonymous source’s information.

Elizabeth Aguilera, a senior health care reporter for 89.3 KPCC-FM, added that a secondary source doesn’t necessarily have to be another person. For example, paperwork can be used to corroborate an anonymous source’s information.

There are instances where a reporter would never use an anonymous source. Andrew Blankstein, a reporter for NBC News Investigations, cited consent issues that can arise when interviewing minors. Children can certainly inform a story, Blankstein said, but he would never use them as an anonymous source.

While reporting, journalists must be cognizant of a source’s motives or agenda for divulging information. Aguilera said that she oftentimes asks anonymous sources outright what their motivation is for sharing a particular piece of information. While sources can, and sometimes do, lie to reporters, this question helps give her a sense of where the source’s head is at, she said.

Journalists should also research the source itself. They must be able to assess a source’s credibility, motivation and reliability.

The reported.ly team does a “social analysis” on people, Bui said. They conduct something similar to a background check. The team researches who a source is associated with, the people in their inner circle and their employment history.

Pritchard and Blankstein go directly to the source. Blankstein said he likes to ask his sources if there is something he should know about upfront, i.e., a personnel complaint, an arrest, etc.

Sometimes, a source may be the one having second thoughts about moving forward with a story. The anonymous source might be afraid of potential blowback or the repercussions that could arise after the story is published.

“Interview their fears,” Pritchard said. Figure out what has changed and why they are having second thoughts. Blankstein said he engages in a cost-benefit analysis by weighing the short and long-term benefits of using that person as an anonymous source.

In extreme circumstances, members of the media are pressured to reveal their sources. Some matters may eventually go to court and refusing to reveal a source in a legal proceeding could land a reporter behind bars.

Aguilera said she has had these tough conversations with managers and that each situation, source and story is different. Nevertheless, it’s the journalist’s duty to set boundaries on how far they are willing to go for a source, Bui said.

The four journalists on the panel shared personal stories with attendees relating to the use of confidential sources. These types of ethical dilemmas aren’t limited to just one medium — whether the form is print, broadcast, online, or radio — issues with anonymous sourcing are unavoidable.

Ultimately, it is best practice to pursue information on the record. But, in some cases, unnamed sources may bring to light stories that otherwise would never surface.

By Whitney Irick

SPJ/LA Hosts May Mixer: Booze & Board Games

May 5, 2015 News, SPJ Events Comments Off on SPJ/LA Hosts May Mixer: Booze & Board Games

Join us for SPJ/LA’s May Booze and Board Games mixer.

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites you to a different kind of mixer.

No name tags, no standing around and no uncomfortable chitchat.

At Booze & Board Games, you can just hang out with fellow journalists and enjoy a drink while engaging in some friendly competition.

The games begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6 at the Redwood Bar & Grill in downtown Los Angeles.

Feel free to bring your own board game.

WHAT:
Booze & Board Games

WHEN:
Wednesday, May 6
7 p.m.

WHERE:
Redwood Bar & Grill
316 W. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 680-2600

COST:
Free of charge.

PARKING:
There is street and lot parking throughout the area.

METRO:
The closest station is Civic Center/Grand Park.

RSVP:
Please RSVP at spjlosangeles@gmail.com

CONTACT:
Claudia Peschiutta, SPJ/LA
claudia.peschiutta@cbsradio.com

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: April 13, 2015

May 5, 2015 Meeting Minutes Comments Off on SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: April 13, 2015

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Monday, April 13, 2015, 7 p.m.

Louise’s Trattoria

10645 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90064

In attendance: Tami Abdollah, Tammy Audi, Stephanie Bluestein, Christina Cocca, Michael Fleeman, Khalil Garriott, Dick Hendrickson, Elizabeth Marcellino, Frank Mottek, Navid Nonahal, Julia Seifer, Alice Walton, Roberta Wax, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser.

Approval of Minutes: Wax moved to approve the minutes, Bluestein seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

President’s Report

  • Annual report: Nonahal said SPJ/LA’s annual report is due to national by April 30. Zahniser and Hendrickson are working to prepare it.
  • Region 11 Conference: Nonahal reported she would miss the SPJ Region 11 Conference due to the recent death of her father. Saxton has agreed to represent the chapter at the event. Windsor moved to have Saxton go in Nonahal’s place, and Walton seconded. The motion carried.
  • Federal court issue: Walton provided a report on behalf of board member Claudia Peschiutta, who was unable to make the board meeting. Peschiutta has raised concerns about a decrease in access at the federal courts in recent months. There have been issues with audio and video recording and, in one recent instance, reporters were excluded from a hearing altogether. Clerks also have not been providing hearing information, Walton said.

Abdollah said she would check with some of her contacts in the federal courts. Zahniser said he would like a more formal list of the issues, ranked by importance.  Hendrickson suggested the board write a letter and pursue the issue in coming weeks. The board agreed to seek more information at its next meeting.

Treasurer’s Report: Hendrickson distributed the treasurer’s report, saying he recently received several payments from the Christmas party, plus some checks from the banquet. One payment is still expected from Cal State, Northridge.

Nonahal asked whether there would be a full accounting of the annual banquet at the next board meeting. Hendrickson said yes. Windsor moved to accept the report and Wax seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Standing Committees

Awards: No report.

Banquet: Walton gave a lengthy report on the annual banquet, telling the board that based on preliminary figures, this year’s event brought in $14,805 from tickets, sponsorships, auction items and program ads. Expenses are currently in the $5,000 range. Walton, who ran the banquet for the first time, said the board owes Wax a huge debt for handling it for so many years.

Based on this year’s experience, Walton proposed that the board kill the auction, since it brought in only $500, an amount that is not worth all the time involving in collecting the items. A better strategy, she said, would be to focus more on selling ads for the program. If the board sold two ads next year, it would match the auction revenue.

Abdollah asked about the possibility of a raffle or live auction. Walton said a live auction was tried one year and did not go well. The banquet committee also recommends no longer having student volunteers at the event, since there isn’t much for them to do.

Walton said there was a problem with ticket buyers not showing up this year. Although that doesn’t cost the chapter any money, it’s a waste of food and looks bad, as far as table seating arrangements. Windsor recommended organizations that actually pick up uneaten banquet food and make sure that the food reaches the needy in future years. Wax said attendance frequently hinges on who the honorees are.

Walton said the bar also closed too early. Nonahal said she will look into the cost and size of banners to see if SPJ/LA can have a banner at next year’s banquet.

Courts: No report.

Diversity: No report.

Ethics: Cocca said there has been a strong response to the April 16 ethics event, to the point where there are worries about continuing to allow people to register. Cocca said she does not want to be in a position where she needs to turn people away. Matt Goldberg, NBC 4’s managing editor, will be moderating. Panelists include Justin Pritchard of the Associated Press, NBC’s Andrew Blankstein and Elizabeth Aguilera of KPCC 89.3

FOI: No report.

Generation J: No report.

Membership: No report.

Nominations: No report

Scholarships: Audi, Abdollah and Windsor reported on the students recommended for SPJ/LA scholarships this year. The committee went into detail the strengths of each student, and asked for guidance on the amount that should be awarded this year.

Wax moved that the board use last year’s unspent scholarship money to augment the Bill Farr Memorial Scholarship so that two recipients — Santa Monica High School senior Bianca Gonzalez and USC student Jordyn Holman — can each receive $1,000. Hendrickson seconded. The board approved the motion.

Zahniser then moved, and Bluestein seconded, a motion to affirm the committee’s scholarship choices: Giving the Ken Inouye Scholarship to USC student Kevin Tsukii; the Carl Greenberg Memorial Scholarship to UCLA graduate Katie Shepherd; the Helen Johnson Memorial Scholarship to Cal State, Northridge student Naomi Ogaldez, plus the two Farr scholarships.

The motion carried.

Old Business

  • April 8 Mixer recap: Walton reported that Booze and Board Games was a success, bringing in 25 people at the Redwood. The back room was totally packed and people stayed till 9 p.m. The next one will be held May 6. Zahniser mentioned that the March 11 panel on drones also worked out well and thanked Elizabeth Marcellino for her help with the video backdrop and the search for panelists.

New Business

  • Linda Deutsch roast: Wax said the roster of roasters has been finalized for the May 21 roast at the Omni, with one new and noteworthy addition: television and radio host Larry King. The Elvis cover band has been confirmed. Walton asked if the band could play during cocktail hour to free up more time for presentations. The board also discussed, and decided not to pursue, a raffle for a free trip to Turkey.
  • Office space: Marcellino said it looks like SPJ/LA will be able to obtain space at the Criminal Courts Building, which will allow the chapter to have insurance and an office. It’s on the 18th Floor in the press room. Nonahal will need to get the key.
  • Job listings: Fleeman said he is helping to launch an entertainment news web site, which has two contract positions available. The job starts in two weeks. Wax said Harvard-Westlake, the private school, has a post open for a high school newspaper advisor. The board then discussed whether to have a regular job board. Board members said the job listings should be placed on the chapter’s web site.

Next board meeting: May 4 at Louise’s, 7 p.m.

Adjournment: Windsor made a motion to adjourn. Walton seconded. The motion carried.

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