The Society of Professional Journalists Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter has sent the following letter to J. Alex Tarquinio, President of SPJ, and Patricia Gallagher Newberry, SPJ President-Elect and Chair of a newly-formed Sponsorship Task Force:

Dear Alex and Patti:

I am writing to you on behalf of SPJ/LA to express our chapter’s appreciation that a task force has been seated to develop recommendations and guidelines for future event sponsorships. It is our deepest hope that the task force will incorporate language of the resolution that was approved Sept. 29 by delegates at the Excellence in Journalism (EIJ) conference in Baltimore. In part, the resolution calls on SPJ to “consider rejecting dollars from entities whose actions are at odds with SPJ’s journalistic mission and using the SPJ Code of Ethics as a guide to vet donations.”

The issue that brought this to a boiling point was the EIJ ‘18 panel ostensibly assisting journalists in navigating the Freedom of Information Act, sponsored by the Charles Koch Institute. SPJ/LA believes the task force’s report must include a full account of how the Koch Institute panel sponsorship was handled — and to what extent Koch and other sponsors have controlled the content of conference programming.

We also believe that any new policies must cover not only sponsorship at annual conventions that are planned with other journalism organization, but all events and programs held under SPJ auspices and should cover chapter events as well.

SPJ should lead, not follow, in establishing and honoring “best practices” in journalism, not just in journalists’ professional conduct in the course of their jobs, but in our conduct as an organization dedicated to promoting professional journalism. We are looking forward to hearing the task force’s recommendations and seeing a report on the Koch Institute panel sponsorship.


Stephanie Bluestein
President, Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter of SPJ

SPJ/LA Hosts a Seminar on Producing 360VR and 180VR Video Content

Are you an experienced storyteller, journalist, or content creator looking to add VR to your skill-set or marketing media mix? Join the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for an introduction to producing 360VR and 180VR led by Oculus Launchpad Fellow, Marlon Fuentes. Walk away with an understanding of the equipment, software, and field-tested methods and approaches necessary to create meaningful in-headset experiences.

360VR and 180VR video content seminar

Led by Oculus Launchpad Fellow, Marlon Fuentes

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018
7 to 8:30 p.m.

Santa Monica College Center for Media and Design (CMD)
1660 Stewart Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Free parking is available after 6 p.m. in the parking garage on Pennsylvania Avenue near Stewart Street. Be sure to park head first in a space NOT marked “staff.”

The event itself is free and open to the public. SPJ/LA will provide light refreshments.​


Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins

Navid Nonahal
(818) 317-2234

Save the Date: An Expert Panel on Pay Disparities Uncovered in Top Newsrooms on Nov. 13

Since a 2016 pay disparity study revealed that female journalists at the Wall Street Journal made on average nearly $12,000 annually less than their male counterparts, a groundswell has emerged leading to similar findings at several other major news outlets. Unions at newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times followed suit, discovering similar trends: women and journalists of color tend to make less than their male, white colleagues. Join the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for a panel discussion on the effort at the Los Angeles Times to close the pay gaps and how to approach pay negotiations for print, digital and broadcast news outlets.

SPJ/LA hosts a panel on pay disparities uncovered in top newsrooms.

The panel is moderated by journalist and SPJ/LA board member, Ricardo Lopez. Panelists include:

  • Christina Bellantoni, USC Annenberg Media Center Director and former Los Angeles Times Assistant Managing Editor
  • Al Corral, TV news veteran and agent at Napoli Management Group
  • Jon Schleuss, graphics and data journalist at the Los Angeles Times, who helped compile the LA Times’ pay disparity report

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018
7-8:30 p.m.

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (ASC) 207
3502 Watt Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Parking is available at the Vermont Street Parking Plaza (PSA). Enter at the Vermont Avenue Entrance at 36th Place (Gate 6).

The event itself is free and open to the public. SPJ/LA will provide light refreshments.


Ricardo Lopez

SPJ/LA Seeks Nominations for 2018 Distinguished Journalists Awards

Did you read, see, listen to or click on a great news story this week? Maybe it’s time to recognize that reporter, broadcast anchor or editor for a career’s worth of great stories.

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is seeking nominations for the chapter’s 2018 Distinguished Journalists Awards and 2018 Freedom of Information Award.

The five journalism categories include print: 90,000+ circulation; print: less than 90,000 circulation; television broadcast; radio broadcast; and digital media. Nominees may include reporters, news anchors, behind-the-scenes writers, editors or producers. Awards recognize a body of work rather than an individual story.

The FOI award honors a non-journalist who has helped promote First Amendment issues. Previous winners have worked in the legal profession, academia, government and nonprofit organizations.

Nomination forms or emails with the relevant information must be submitted to Lori Streifler at lori@socalnews.com no later than October 22, 2018.

Please provide the nominee’s name, contact information, title, company and a summary of the nominee’s work, work history and achievements to describe why the nominee should be honored. Submission of links to the nominee’s work is recommended, but remember that the nomination is for a body of work, not an individual story. All submissions must be in English or include English translations. Please do not nominate past honorees.

A list of prior winners can be found here.

Awards will be presented at the SPJ/LA annual awards banquet on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.

Lori Streifler, SPJ/LA

SPJ/LA Past President Navid Nonahal honored Richard “Dick” Hendrickson During Acceptance Speech for SPJ Award

Navid Nonahal, board member and past president of the Society of Professional Journalists/Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter, accepts the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award from SPJ for her outstanding contributions to her chapter and the organization, Saturday, Sept. 29 at SPJ’s annual banquet, part of the 2018 Excellence In Journalism convention in Baltimore.

Nonahal also delivered a touching tribute to Richard D. “Dick” Hendrickson — a beloved journalism educator, former editor and reporter and SPJ/LA board member — who passed away July 29 at age 77. Hendrickson was a past winner of the award.

Contributions in Hendrickson’s memory can be made to a scholarship fund that will be established in his name, to be given out next year. Contributions can be sent to SPJ/LA, P.O. Box 572632, Tarzana, CA 91357 or made via PayPal here.