SPJ UW set out to join forces with the Association of Women in Communications and host a Women in Multimedia panel.
We discussed journalism ethics, diversity, making our voices heard, and changes in the media landscape. They also shared advice for student journalists and communications professionals.
Read more about the panelists:
This took a lot of outreach and coordinated efforts to arrange. I delegated tasks, but nonetheless handled most of the planning. I created PDF flyers for the event — though I forgot to put the event date on it — and contacted all of the mentors. Polls were conducted and food arrangements were made beforehand and a room was reserved. I really tried to get mentors who came from an array of different journalistic fields.
I decided around the second quarter that I wanted people to feel welcome and see SPJ as an accessible venue to toss about and employ ideas for literally anything. To do this, I announced that people could run for officer positions [after seeing it was possible when I was arbitrarily rereading our policies]. These positions don't have any specific title other than officer, but it grants them the ability to create and spearhead subcommittees, invent and manage their own events under SPJ, or lead a discussion.
Julia Grace-Sanders decided to take up such an opportunity, and came up with an immigration panel. She handpicked and gathered panelists for the event, and was slated to host it. Unfortunately, her communication with panelists wasn't the fastest. She also had a last-minute medical opportunity she had to take so she couldn't host the event, but that was fine.
I was motivated to write a post in an attempt to unload journalists' brains, because I knew I myself and my friends were just reeling with too much news and too many things to think about for our jobs. But also for our personal lives and mental health. Trump's presidency was a shock for many but even while we were shocked as journalists, we still had to do our jobs of relaying the information. Moreover, with the ups and down of DAPL, activism, the Muslim ban and airport protests, people just had too many things on their minds. We needed to decompress. I came up with the following:
We are living in a critical time for journalism. It is more important than ever to equip yourself with the right tools to do the job.
I definitely wanted to make it a point to work with other groups (not even just strictly journalist-related) because widening horizons, group membership, and opportunities for people with more than just a journalist identity is really important.
Our first collaboration was head-started by me, and we joined with UW's PRSSA (PR club), UW's Husky Sales, and the Communications Department.
Club Day is a pretty standard thing, but we arranged to have a mixer afterward. We met up beforehand several times, had a chat ongoing, and created plans. It was actually pretty successful! A lot of people attended, we had ice cream, refreshments, and board games.
We've finally sorted through and elected a new student liaison! I'm excited because he seems very responsible, and he's also at a good time in his undergraduate career to join SPJ. He just transferred from another college so the Chapter will be especially beneficial to him, but he's also not going to be graduating the next year, which gives him opportunity to gain higher positions. It also helps SPJ to keep someone around who isn't new so there's a couple of people who've been-there-done-that in a way. I just don't want the next round of SPJ-ers to recreate the wheel when it's unnecessary.
I understood our secretary's overwhelming stress and I didn't want to exacerbate it, but she had, in turn, put a lot of stress on me. Nearly every task that was given to her she wasn't completing, and I had given her two warnings. Once it reached the third warning, I followed our policy and warned her that she couldn't continue the way she was. As such, she had to make a decision to commit or to leave. She resigned.
On top of this, our VP is studying abroad next quarter and our student liaison is graduating. So two more positions to fill on top of the secretary's.
The following is SPJ's announcement about it:
I realized as president that SPJ needed to address the various subcategories of 'journalist' outside of print/online and investigative journalism. To address this, I invited a previous broadcast journalist [who turned PR]. I figured this would also draw in larger communications majors to our Chapter.
In a changing media landscape, Derek Wing showed us that newsroom representation and diversity is more important than ever, especially in broadcast.
Wing shared experiences from his time as a young journalist reporting in Baghdad, to hosting his own show, and making the transition into Public Relations when he decided to start a family. He made one thing clear: there is an adrenaline rush like no other finding, writing, and reporting a story in less than two hours. It’s something for which you will not regret putting in the hard work. Still, Wing found the work less fun as he got older and wanted to settle down, but his effective communication skills from his journalism career translated well into the PR work he does now.
The following is my takeaways attending the event:
As SPJ President, I'm really wanting to amke it a point to give student journalists as many unique opportunities as possible. A key part of doing that is connecting them with other journalists at different publications. Kate Schimel was the first guest speaker we had!
This was the second time I'd attended the annual panel and it wasn't exactly any more of an epiphany the second time around, but it's always nonetheless important. The following is my recap for our SPJ blog:
Kelsey Hamlin is finishing up her last year at the UW. Though her time is typically spent telling others' stories, here's a chance to get a peek at hers.