SPJ/LA postpones March 25 Distinguished Journalists Awards banquet

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has postponed its 44th annual Distinguished Journalists Awards banquet, which had been scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

The banquet will be rescheduled at a later date. Refunds will be available for ticket buyers, sponsors and banquet program advertisers.

SPJ/LA took this action in light of multiple health advisories issued by city, county and state agencies working to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The annual banquet honors Southern California journalists in print, broadcast and digital media.

This year’s Distinguished Journalists Awards Banquet event had been slated to feature Jennifer Medina, national political correspondent for The New York Times, delivering the keynote address.

SPJ/LA will work in the coming months to find another evening to honor this year’s Distinguished Journalist honorees: Southern California News Group senior editor Tom Bray; Maria L. La Ganga, Metro reporter for The Los Angeles Times; retired KNX1070 reporter and anchor Diane Thompson; KTLA assignment manager Vance Scott; and Lynell George, journalist and essayist, as well as Freedom of Information Award honoree David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition.

Contact: Sarah Favot
617-756-5643
sarah.favot@gmail.com

SPJ/LA will reschedule its March 14 “Know Your Rights” workshop

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will reschedule its workshop, “Know Your Rights: A Guide to Public Records, Court Access and Publishing Without Fear.”

The workshop, featuring media law attorney Susan Seager, had been scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 14 at Santa Monica College.

SPJ/LA took this action in light of Santa Monica College’s recent decision to cancel all extracurricular events and move most of its courses online, as part of the effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Organizers of the workshop will work to come up with a new date for this event in the coming months.

Contact: Sarah Favot
617-756-5643
sarah.favot@gmail.com

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KNX 1070’s Frank Mottek to MC SPJ/LA’s Distinguished Journalists Awards Banquet

Frank Mottek, KNX 1070’s senior money anchor.

KNX 1070’s business news anchor Frank Mottek will be the master of ceremonies at the March 25 Distinguished Journalists Awards Banquet sponsored by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The event, which will take place at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, honors journalists in print, broadcast and digital media. The evening’s keynote speaker will be New York Times National Political Correspondent Jennifer Medina.

An award-winning broadcast journalist with more than 30 years of experience, Mottek currently anchors the morning drive Your Money reports on KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO and hosts the one-hour business and consumer news program “Mottek On Money,” which is also a podcast. He provided daily coverage of the 2008 financial crisis, the Great Recession and stock market updates.

Since joining CBS in Los Angeles in 1992, Mottek served as reporter and anchor on KNX as well as business anchor on KCAL9-TV and spot reporter for KCBS-TV CBS2. For 10 years, he also worked as reporter and business news anchor on the KTLA Channel 5 News @ 10 and the KTLA Morning News.

He is frequently called to lead some of the highest-profile business discussions, including economic forecast events for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the Milken Institute, UCLA Anderson School of Management and the Association for Corporate Growth.

This year’s Distinguished Journalist honorees are: Southern California News Group senior editor Tom Bray; Los Angeles Times Metro reporter Maria L. La Ganga; retired KNX1070 reporter and anchor Diane Thompson; KTLA assignment manager Vance Scott; and Lynell George, journalist and essayist.

The Freedom of Information award will go to David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition.

The Distinguished Journalists Awards banquet will be held on Wednesday, March 25 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. A no-host cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the event are:

  • $100 for SPJ/LA members
  • $140 for non-members
  • $80 for students
  • Tables of 10 are available for $1,000. Table sponsors are listed in the program.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. The three levels of sponsorship are:

Platinum ($5,000):  Acknowledgement in the banquet program, event signage, logo included on banquet website and in emails, one complimentary table at the event.

Gold ($2,500):  Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on banquet website and in emails, five complimentary tickets to the event.

Silver ($1,500):  Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on banquet website and in emails, two complimentary tickets to the event.

You can also support SPJ/LA by purchasing an ad in the banquet program:

  • Full page ad inside program: $350
  • Half-page ad inside program: $250
  • Quarter-page ad inside program: $150

For details on sponsorship or to make a reservation, please contact Sarah Favot at sarah.favot@gmail.com or 617-756-5643.

SPJ/LA to host “Know Your Rights” workshop on March 14

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will host a free workshop titled “Know Your Rights: A Guide to Public Records, Court Access and Publishing Without Fear.”

The workshop, scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 14 at Santa Monica College will feature veteran media law attorney Susan Seager, who will discuss strategies for navigating libel law, seeking public records and obtaining court documents.

Seager is the head of the Press Freedom and Transparency practice at the University of California at Irvine’s Intellectual Property, Arts and Technology Clinic. She has defended journalists from lawsuits and worked to unseal court records and government documents.

A former journalist herself, Seager has written for the LA Weekly, the LA Daily Journal and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. She received the Freedom of Information Award from SPJ/LA in 2004.

The workshop is being sponsored by SPJ/LA’s Freedom of Information Committee.

WHAT: Know Your Rights: A Guide to Public Records, Court Access and Publishing Without Fear.

WHO: Led by media law attorney Susan Seager

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Saturday, March 14

WHERE: Santa Monica College Center of Media and Design Room 102
1660 Stewart St. Santa Monica, CA 90404.

PARKING: Free

COST: The event itself is free and open to the public.

RSVP: spjlosangeles@gmail.com

CONTACT: Matt Tinoco, FOI Committee chair: 213-290-2318

 

Meeting Minutes: January 11, 2020

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Retreat Minutes
Jan. 11, 2020
9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Present: Penny Arevalo, Joel Bellman, Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, Stephanie Bluestein, Tom Bray, Alexi Chidbachian, Sarah Favot, Xavier Higgs, Susan Jacobs, Elizabeth Marcellino, Kathryn Mora, Frank Mottek, Navid Nonahal, Nathan Solis, Lori Streifler, Matt Tinoco, Roberta Wax, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser.

I. Breakfast and Coffee

II. Minutes — Windsor moved to approve the minutes for the Dec. 2 board meeting, Blaize-Hopkins seconded. Motion carried.

III. Treasurer’s Report – Favot moved to accept the report, Nonahal seconded. Motion carried.

IV. President’s Report
• Welcome – Zahniser welcomed the new board members for 2020. He said he’d like to see SPJ/LA have a transformational year in 2020, expanding our volunteer base and strengthening some of our operations.
• Approval of chapter officers — Favot nominated Blaize-Hopkins to the serve as vice president, Arevalo seconded and the motion carried. Nonahal nominated Marcellino as treasurer, Mottek seconded and the motion carried. Marcellino nominated Solis as secretary and Bellman seconded. Motion carried.
• Slate of associate board members– Favot nominated Chidbachian, Higgs, Mora, Streifler, Tinoco and Windsor as associate board members for the 2020 calendar year. Mottek seconded.

V. 2020 SPJ/LA committee assignments. Zahniser said he has not yet made committee assignments, in part because he wanted to have a discussion first about our 2020 priorities – a conversation that could touch on what committees we have.

VI. SPJ/LA: What we do well, what we could improve – Board members talked about SPJ/LA’s strengths, including programming, advocacy, partnerships with other journalism organizations and mixers to bring Southern California journalists together. However, some felt SPJ/LA could work more on the promotion of its events – both before and after they occur – and communication with its members and on social media. Board members discussed the idea of creating a new committee to focus on how SPJ/LA communicates, upgrading our web site and redesigning our logo. The board also discussed the creation of an advocacy committee and the eliminating of the courts committee, folding those duties into FOI. Bluestein pointed out that certain committee changes will require amendments to the bylaws, which takes additional time.

VII. Snack break

VIII. Programming ideas – Board members offered up several possible events, including reporter/producer safety in the field, newsroom trauma, gentrification’s impact on communities, and a How We Did It series of events featuring journalists who explain how they covered a particular story. Workshop possibilities a Know Your Rights session on public access/public information; coverage of LGBTQ communities; coverage of suicide and mental health; media literacy for youth. Jacobs raised the idea of helping students prepare for job interviews. Board members said they want more partnerships with other journalism groups and more online video footage of our events, possibly in a podcast format.

IX. Old business
• Banquet update – Favot reported on initial efforts to secure tables and ads for the Distinguished Journalists Awards banquet, which will be held at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, March 25. Zahniser said the search for a banquet speaker continues.
• Holiday Party – Mottek reported that the holiday party, held at El Floridita in East Hollywood, was a success. Around 60 people attended. The board had lowered the entry price for non-members to $25. As a result, the event cost the chapter $512. Bluestein suggested having dessert available in future years.
• Chapter Election – Bray reported asked for feedback on the 2019 election for the SPJ/LA board of directors. Nearly 50 people voted, about the same number of people as in 2018.

X. Adjournment. Windsor moved, Mottek and Bellman seconded. Motion carried.