Don’t Miss SPJ/LA’s Media Literacy Panel: “Fighting the Fakers”

“Fake news” is an accusation leveled almost daily by pundits and politicians, while conspicuous fact-checking has become a mainstay of political coverage. Public confidence in the press has fallen to single digits. And Facebook is gearing up efforts to fight “information operations” designed to “distort … political sentiment.”

  • How can the average reader sidestep spin and sort out the truth?
  • Identify what’s left out of a story?
  • Fact check the fact checkers?
  • How can reporters avoid bias and signal the authority of their sources?
  • Identify the narrative within the chaos of social media?
  • What are media outlets doing to fight back?
  • What’s the long-term impact on the free press?

Join our panelists for a discussion on media literacy in an age of instant and endless information, followed by Q&A.


  • Jim Newton is a veteran journalist who spent 25 years at the Los Angeles Times — working as an editor, bureau chief and columnist — before joining the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and founding Blueprint magazine. Jim has authored three critically acclaimed and best-selling biographies.
  • Evan George is the managing producer for public radio station KCRW’s “To the Point,” the live, nationally syndicated show hosted by Warren Olney, which provides a daily in-depth look at national and international issues driving headlines. Before radio, Evan covered health care and courts as a newspaper editor and reporter.          
  • Kelly Whitney, director of integrated media for NBC4, oversees the station’s digital news coverage and social media strategy. Kelly began her career as a print reporter and has covered beats ranging from courts to biotech.

When:  Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 7 p.m.
(doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Where:  Chemistry 3 Room, Los Angeles City College

Parking: Free parking is available in the faculty lot at North Heliotrope Drive and Monroe Street (campus address is 855 N. Vermont Avenue)

Note: The Chemistry Building is at the north end of campus on Willow Brook Avenue (see campus map here: and Chem 3 is on the basement level
Cost: Free to the public. Students are encouraged to attend.

SPJ/LA’s 2017 Scholarship Awards Application Deadline: Friday, June 9, 2017

“You fell in love with journalism. You dreamt about it. You decided to follow that dream.”—Tom Huang, Sunday & Enterprise Editor, Dallas Morning News
The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will be awarding scholarships to students interested in pursuing careers in journalism.
Students from Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties who have completed at least their freshman year of college, as well as graduate students from those same counties, are eligible to apply for all scholarships.
High school seniors from Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties are eligible to apply for the Bill Farr Memorial Scholarship.
The awards will be announced July 11, 2017.
The financial awards range up to $1,000 for each of the following scholarships:

  • Ken Inouye Memorial Scholarship – This scholarship is awarded to a college journalist of color and is aimed at increasing ethnic diversity in newsrooms. Ken Inouye was a 22-year-old cameraman for the International News Service, covering the Korean War, when he was killed aboard an Army aircraft. ($500 – $1,000)
  • Helen Johnson Memorial Scholarship – This scholarship is awarded to a college student pursuing broadcast journalism. This award honors the late Helen Johnson, a producer of “Channel 4 News Conference” and an associate producer of “Meet the Press.” ($500 – $1,000).
  • Carl Greenberg Memorial Scholarship – This scholarship is awarded to a college student pursuing investigative or political reporting. Carl Greenberg was a political reporter at the Los Angeles Times, famed for being singled out by Richard Nixon as the only reporter who covered him “fairly.” ($1,000).
  • Bill Farr Memorial Scholarship – This scholarship is awarded to high school seniors or college students who demonstrate a strong intent to pursue a career in journalism. The award honors the late Bill Farr, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times who sat in county jail for 46 days for refusing to tell a judge which lawyers had violated a gag order during the Charles Manson murder trial. ($500 – $1,000).

On recommendation of the judges, these awards may be divided among two or more equally promising applicants. Scholarship funding is renewable, but renewal is not automatic. Previous winners who continue to meet eligibility requirements may apply to renew their awards. Renewal requests are considered along with all other scholarship applications and given no preference.
Primarily, awards are based on applicants’ potential to succeed in news media careers. However, financial need is considered if all other qualifications of competing applicants are equal.
Applicants may apply for more than one scholarship by checking all of the appropriate boxes on the form, but no more than one scholarship will be awarded to any applicant. Multiple applications will be discarded.
In addition, applicants must:
– Provide proof of enrollment or acceptance in a journalism program at a two-year or four-year college or university.

  • If your college does not have a journalism program, or if you are not enrolled in a journalism program, you must supply a letter from an adviser to your student media program, student-run campus news outlet or an SPJ member in good standing in your geographic area, verifying that you intend to pursue a career as a professional journalist and that you show strong potential as a journalist.
  • Students completing pre-journalism programs must provide proof they have been admitted to a journalism program.
  • Students must have completed at least their freshman year in college, and have at least one semester to complete in a journalism program after the award of the scholarship.
  • Graduate students in journalism programs are eligible. However, students in fields, such as advertising, public relations or law, are not eligible.

– Reside in or be enrolled at a high school, university or college in Los Angeles, Orange or Ventura counties. Or, if you are enrolled in college in another state, have graduated high school in Los Angeles, Orange or Ventura counties.
To find out more about the Society of Professional Journalists Greater Los Angeles Chapter, please visit
COVER SHEET (see below)
Attach to the front of your application, which should contain resume, journalism work samples, and an essay. Be sure your name is on all elements of your submission.
This document should contain a record of your school and/or professional journalism experience, including positions held, (reporter, city editor, etc.), dates you began and ended work for each position and a brief description of your duties (e.g., “feature editor, assigned and edited six to 10 features a week for a staff of four writers”), and a list of references with contact information.

  • You may include additional information, including journalism honors and awards, scholarships or achievements in any field (art or athletics, for example).

Students may submit their work in traditional formats, such as clips, tearsheets and prints, or via optical storage devices, such as CD or DVD. Send a self-addressed return envelope with sufficient postage if you want these items returned. Do not send irreplaceable original material.

  • Print: Submit three samples of your best work. Photocopies are acceptable.
  • Online and multimedia: Web page URLS are acceptable, but hard copy printouts of homepages would be helpful.
  • Broadcast: Submit up to three short video and/or audio samples. Microcassettes acceptable.
  • Photojournalism: Five or six samples are sufficient, but if you need to send more to show the breadth of your experience, you may do so.

Be sure that your submissions are clearly and accurately identified, with your name and other pertinent information, such as your university, college or high school. You may describe any special circumstances under which the work was done – such as unusually tight deadlines or particularly adverse conditions.
Write no more than 500 words describing your career goals: What specific kind of work do you hope to do in journalism when you graduate and later in your career? What are your expectations as a future practitioner? How will you accomplish your goals? (If you wish for financial need to be considered, include documentation in this statement.)

Society of Professional Journalists, Greater Los Angeles Chapter – 2017 Scholarships
NAME ________________________________________________________
MAILING ADDRESS______________________________________________
STATE_______ ZIP__________
TELEPHONE ____________
E-MAIL ADDRESS_________________________
TWITTER HANDLE­­___________________
Check each of the scholarships for which you are applying:
o Ken Inouye Scholarship – Ethnic diversity scholarship ($500 – $1,000).
o Helen Johnson Scholarship –  Broadcast journalism ($500 – $1,000).
Carl Greenberg Scholarship – Investigative or political reporting ($1,000).
Bill Farr Scholarship – Journalism majors or future journalists ($500 – $1,000).

University, college (or high school if applying for Bill Farr Memorial Scholarship): ____________________________________________
Major: ___________________________
Minor: ________________________
Grade Point Average (GPA):  ___________
Journalism GPA: ______________
Degree sought: BA_______ MA_______ Ph.D. ______
Anticipated date of graduation: ___________________
Date of birth: _________________________________
High school from which you graduated: ______________________________
City and state of your high school: __________________________________
Applications may be submitted either by regular mail or electronically, using universally readable e-mail attachments. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Deadline is midnight, June 9, 2017
Applications by e-mail to Tammy Audi                                     
NOTE: Please write “SPJ Scholarship 2017 Application” in the subject line!

Save the Date: Investigative Journalism in the Era of Facebook and “Fake News”

Can investigative journalism survive in the era of Facebook and “fake news?”

Public interest in investigative reporting got a bump in late 2015 with the release of the movie called “Spotlight,” about the team at the Boston Globe that exposed sexual abuse by priests in the Boston Catholic Diocese. The film depicted the reality of the task faced by the reporters and the care they took in pursuing the story.

Fast forward to 2017 and we have entered an era where the president of the United States daily berates journalists for reporting “fake news” — generating widespread mistrust of journalists — and digital giants like Facebook and Google are selecting news based on algorithms instead of trained editors, and swallowing up advertising revenue once coveted by traditional media.

Where is this going? Why should young men and women want to become journalists and how can sorely needed investigative reporting thrive in the decades ahead? Is investigative reporting falling off? Is it shifting to other journalism organizations? Has data crunching replaced shoe leather reporting?

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites you to attend a panel discussion focused on these questions and more on April 5, 2017.

SPJ/LA’s panel discussion on investigative journalism in the era of Facebook and “fake news”

The panel moderated by SPJ/LA board member Joel Bellman will include:

  • Matt Doig, Los Angeles Times assistant managing editor for investigations
  • Joel Grover, NBC4 investigative reporter
  • Alexandra Berzon, Wall Street Journal investigative reporter
  • Vince Gonzales, professor of professional practice and coordinator of masters programs, USC Annenberg School of Journalism

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Panel discussion begins at 7 p.m.

University of Southern California
Wallis Annenberg Hall Room 106
3502 Watt Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Free and open to the public.

Please RSVP at

Enter Gate 6 on Vermont Avenue at 36th Place to park in Lot A (a parking structure).

Parking is $12.

Richard D. Hendrickson, Ph.D.
(323) 806-1427


Join SPJ/LA in Celebration of Sunshine Week

Every March, journalism organizations celebrate Sunshine Week. It is a way to enlighten the public about their right to government information and thereby strengthen communities.

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will celebrate on Thursday, March 16 with a no-host mixer at the Redwood Bar & Grill.

Los Angeles Times journalist Ben Welsh will join us to talk about the California Civic Data Coalition, an open-source team of journalists and computer programmers from news organizations across America. The coalition is currently working on tools to make it easier for journalists, academics and others to analyze money in California politics.

The mixer is open to all. 

What: Mixer with L.A. Times journalist Ben Welsh

When: Thursday, March 16 at 7 p.m.

Where: Redwood Bar & Grill, 316 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Cost: The event is free and open to the public. 

Parking: There’s construction on Second Street in front of the bar and on Broadway. You can park in the lot on Hill Street.


Contact: Navid Nonahal, (818) 317-2234

Watch: SPJ/LA On CBS About Trump’s Labeling Of News Media

KCBS2/KCAL9 reporter Dave Bryan reached out to SPJ/LA for an extended package on Donald Trump’s incendiary tweet criticizing “the FAKE NEWS media” NYT, CNN, CBS, NBC, and ABC as “the enemy of the American People.”
Board member and Ethics Committee Chair Joel Bellman spoke via FaceTime as part of this deep dive into a topic of great concern to every journalist: our endangered free press.