News from Central Ohio SPJ

Chapter Invites Journalists to Screening of The Post

SPJ members, local journalists and guests are invited to the 7:10 p.m. screening of The Post on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 at Cinemark Movies 12 – Carriage Place, 2570 Bethel Rd. Just show us an ID from a working-media organization or your SPJ membership card for free entry to the movie! Guests can join for $5.

Relax in the new theater reclining seats while watching a movie that already has won the AFI Movie of the Year and several other best picture awards and is nominated for many others yet to be given. Attendees are invited to an informal discussion about the film at Winking Lizard, 1380 Bethel Rd., anytime after 9:30 p.m.

Please RSVP so we can reserve enough tickets! Click here to reserve your seat on Eventbrite.

The movie starts at 7:10 p.m., but please plan to arrive starting at 6:45 p.m. to pick up your tickets and get seated!

Chapter plans reception for international journalists

The Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists is hosting a reception Nov. 2 for a delegation of international journalists visiting Columbus.

Buckeye Bourbon House photo

SPJ members and prospective members are invited to join us for the event set for 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Buckeye Bourbon House, 36 E Gay St, Columbus 43215.

The delegation of international journalists is participating in a U.S. Department of State program. The delegation’s local stop is being hosted by the International Visitors Council in Columbus. The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at Ohio State University is providing a day of training for the international journalists.

Central Ohio SPJ is providing light appetizers and a first round of drinks at the Nov. 2 reception. The Buckeye Bourbon House is located in the Residence Inn by Marriott Columbus Downtown.

Members and prospective members are invited to join us to mix, mingle and network with colleagues and our 23 international guests.

The Department of State has outlined the following specific objectives for the project for the visiting journalists:

  • Examine the rights and responsibilities of a free press in a democracy and the principles and laws governing the press in the United States;
  • Gain an understanding of the evolution, current status, and trends in investigative journalism in the United States;
  • Explore unique aspects that distinguish investigative reporting from traditional journalism;
  • Understand the role that investigative journalists play in U.S. society as they raise awareness of issues of social concern and report on illegal, irregular, or abusive actions on behalf of government, politicians, criminals or corporations; and
  • Assess the impact of social media, new communication technologies, citizen journalism, and alternative forms of investigative reporting.

Those attending should RSVP to Central Ohio SPJ with an email to

Columbus NewsTrain – Professional Development for Journalists – Oct. 21

NewsTrain SPJ APME

Dublin campus of Ohio University, where the APME NewsTrain will take place Saturday, Oct. 21.


The Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is proud to be a sponsor the Associated Press Media Editors’ NewsTrain stop in the Columbus area this week.

We invite journalists and students to use the event to train in mobile, social, video and data-based reporting at the Columbus NewsTrain on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017.

Full details:

When: 9 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. This is a bye date for Ohio State University football.

Where: Dublin Integrated Education Center, Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions, 6805 Bobcat Way, Dublin, Ohio

Cost: Early-bird registration has expired. Registration is $85.

Meals: Your registration includes light breakfast and lunch.

Is this workshop for you? This workshop is for reporters, editors and other journalists from print, digital and broadcast newsrooms of all sizes, as well as journalism educators and students. Public information officers and public relations specialists have also benefited from attending NewsTrain. You do not have to be a member of APME to attend.

Registration for groups:

Diversity scholarships: The deadline to apply for a competitive diversity scholarship for Columbus NewsTrain is Sept. 13, 2017. Applications are open to journalists, journalism educators or journalism students from a diverse background, Successful applicants have their registration fee waived; they must pay their own travel expenses. In addition to completing the online application, applicants should email a resume and up to three work samples to Dr. Hillary Warren at Otterbein University. Journalism educators need not send work samples.

What to bring: A fully charged laptop and smartphone for the exercises.

Parking: Free. Please see map at bottom of the page for location of parking.

Lodging: Hyatt Place Columbus/Dublin, 6161 Parkcenter Circle in Dublin, is offering a $99 nightly rate, plus 17.5 percent tax, for NewsTrain attendees. To reserve by Sept. 28, go online, or call 800-993-4751 and ask for the APME NewsTrain rate. The rate includes free breakfast, WiFi and parking. The hotel also offers a free shuttle within a five-mile radius of the hotel from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. That would include the workshop site, which is 4.4 miles from the hotel.

Airport shuttle: The workshop site is about 25 miles from John Glenn Columbus International Airport. Airport shuttle services include Urban Express Charter. Taxis, Uber and Lyft also serve the airport.

The Central Ohio Transit Authority operates the AirConnect shuttle bus between the airport and 19 downtown Columbus hotels for $2.75 each way, but it does not serve the workshop site in Dublin, Ohio,18 miles north of downtown.

Sponsor: Associated Press Media Editors (APME). Please see the complete list of donors who support NewsTrain at the bottom of this page.

Local donor: Sigma Delta Chi FoundationHosts: Ohio State University’s Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism, Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Business First, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Otterbein University, Meyer Media LLC, Ohio Department of Administrative Services, WOSU Public Media, The Associated Press, WBNS-10TV in Columbus, Cox Media, Ohio Public Radio, The Blade in Toledo, Chillicothe Gazette, Akron Beacon Journal, Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, Troy Daily News, WHIO Radio in Dayton, WTVG TV in Toledo and WJER Radio in Dover

Come to suburban Columbus, Ohio, to Dublin — just 18 miles northwest of downtown — for a full day of digital-journalism training on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017.

Training Sessions Include:
•Maximizing your smartphone for mobile newsgathering,
•Using social media as powerful reporting tools,
•Shooting short, shareable smartphone video,
•Making smart choices in mobile storytelling, and
•Producing data-driven enterprise stories off your beat.

Early-bird registration is just $75 and includes a full day of training, plus light breakfast and lunch. The early-bird rate ends Sept. 21, increasing to $85 on Sept. 22.

Your Trainers
Doug Caruso, assistant metro editor at The Columbus Dispatch
•Doug Haddix, executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors
•Q. McElroy, director of engagement and optimization at Cox Media Group in Atlanta
•Sue Morrow, assistant multimedia director at The Sacramento Bee
•Jeremy Pelzer, politics reporter for

You Will Learn How To:
• Use your smartphone to shoot a well-composed, well-lit and in-focus photo that captures a moment and tells a story; livestream using Facebook Live; capture high-quality audio; and transcribe audio.

• Use social media to locate diverse expert and “real people” sources, listen to your community and identify news stories, verify user-generated content, crowdsource using Google Forms and callouts, contact a source on social media responsibly and create a social dossier on a newsmaker.

• Shoot short, shareable smartphone video using a tripod and external microphone, and sequence the best five shots in sharp focus with high-quality audio.

• Identify the best way to tell a particular story on a small screen: digest, explainer, bulleted live updates or what-we-know lists, photo, video, graphic, audio, games, curation, or something else.

• Identify a data set from your beat that will likely produce a story, and sort and filter in Excel to locate a potential story.


The blue and green tracks on the agenda allow for smaller class sizes. All attendees receive the same instruction, just at different times.

More on Your Trainers

Doug Caruso is an assistant metro editor at The Columbus Dispatch, overseeing coverage of education and local government. He has used data to tell stories since 1993, when he compared county budgets using Lotus 1-2-3. Among many other projects, in 2001, he built the first searchable database of campaign contributions to Columbus city officials, triggering reforms in how contributions are reported at City Hall. As an editor, Doug helps his reporters use databases, spreadsheets and mapping software to analyze data on their beats. @DougCaruso

Doug Haddix is the executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He oversees training, conferences and services for more than 5,500 members worldwide, and for programs including the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) and DocumentCloud. Previously, Haddix worked as an IRE training director, an assistant vice president at Ohio State University and director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism. An IRE member since 1996, Haddix led investigations and computer-assisted reporting at The Columbus Dispatch for a decade. Before that, he worked as city editor of The Scranton Times in Pennsylvania; city editor of The Commercial-News in Danville, Illinois; and as a reporter for the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun and United Press International (Indianapolis). He earned a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University. @DougHaddix

Q. McElroy is the director of engagement and optimization for Cox Media Group in Atlanta. She works with a cross-functional team of “growth hackers” to identify optimization techniques, best practices and external relationships that grow digital audiences across all Cox’s brands and platforms. Previously, she was based in Dayton as senior director of digital strategy for Cox’s 10 newspaper, radio and TV brands in Ohio. There, she helped grow digital visits to Cox’s Ohio properties nearly 20 percent annually. Her career with Cox started at in Atlanta, where she held several leadership roles. @QMcElroy

Starting in August 2017, on sabbatical from her job as assistant multimedia director at The Sacramento Bee, Sue Morrow will be a visiting professional at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. At the Bee, she edited the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning (2007) and finalist (2013) entries in feature photography. She has also worked as a photo editor and manager at the San Jose Mercury News, Tampa Bay Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Boston Globe. She has taught at Ohio University and lectured at The Poynter Institute, Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar and many National Press Photographer-related seminars. Since 1994, she has been a faculty and board member at The Kalish visual-storytelling workshop and served as its director from 2011-2013. As the Knight Fellow at Ohio University in 2010-11, she earned a master’s degree from the School of Visual Communication. During that time she produced the short documentary, “Born to Die,” about horse rescue. @SueLMorrow

Jeremy Pelzer is a politics reporter for He most recently covered the 2016 presidential race and Ohio’s U.S. Senate campaign. Named one of the best state-based political reporters and tweeters by The Washington Post, Jeremy regularly uses video, social media and other online reporting techniques in his reporting. Before coming to Ohio, he covered politics and government in the District of Columbia, Illinois, Colorado and Wyoming. He has a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. @JPelzer

Session Specifics

Mobile newsgathering: better reporting with your smartphone A smartphone, stocked with the right apps, is a powerful multimedia reporting tool. Learn from Jeremy Pelzer how to use it to shoot photos, livestream using Facebook Live, and record and transcribe audio. Bring your smartphone for the exercises.

Using social media as powerful reporting tools Social media can be used as powerful reporting tools, which are valuable whether you’re facing a big breaking news story or an enterprise project. Learn from Doug Haddix how to use social media platforms and complementary websites to locate expert and “real people” sources, crowdsource using Google forms, contact a source on social media responsibly and create a social dossier on a newsmaker.

Viral video: shooting shareable smartphone video Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism studied what makes for successful news video and recommended that reporters shoot fast, raw clips posted instantly from the field, leaving in-depth, more sophisticated video stories to highly trained video journalists. Learn from Sue Morrow how to produce those clips of under one minute with minimal editing. Use a tripod and external microphone and sequence your best five shots to create shareable video – without getting in the way of your reporting. Bring your smartphone for the exercises.

Storytelling on mobile: making smart choices Forty-four of the 50 largest newspapers get the majority of their digital traffic on mobile. We need a new storytelling tool kit to attract and better serve our audience on mobile. On a small screen, learn from Q. McElroy what’s the best way to tell a particular story: digest, explainer, bulleted live updates or what-we-know lists, photo, video, graphic, audio, games, curation, or something else? And what are the tools to make that happen as efficiently as possible?

Data-driven enterprise off your beat How do you fit enterprise stories around the many other demands you face as a beat reporter to write dailies, file web updates, tweet and shoot video? One way is to take advantage of the plethora of local data available online to spot and develop unique stories for your news outlet. All you need is either you or someone else in your newsroom who can download and sort databases in a spreadsheet program, such as Excel. Learn from Doug Caruso how to find and analyze data, enabling you to spot the enterprise stories in the numbers, whether your beat is sports, health, business, education, local government or cops and courts. Bring your laptop for the exercises.


2017 Law and the Media Conference set Oct. 13

The Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists is again this year a sponsor of the Ohio State Bar Association’s 2017 Law and Media Conference.

The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 at the OSBA headquarters, 1700 Lake Shore Drive, Columbus, 43204.

This popular, annual event brings together journalists, lawyers, academics and students for a day of stimulating discussions about hot media law topics. Whether you are professionally immersed in media law issues or just have a healthy interest in what’s happening in today’s media law world, this conference is for you.

Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Plenary keynote speaker: Gregg Leslie, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Topic: Fake News – What is it, and what to do if you get burned by it. Leslie is also chairman of the D.C. Bar’s Media Law Committee and is a member of the governing committee of the Communications Law Forum of the American Bar Association.

Highlights of conference panel discussions include:

– The Internet of (Media) Things: Automated News from your Coffeemaker;
– Public Records Extravaganza: Court of Claims Update, New Exceptions, and the Craziest Court Rulings;
– How the Internet Affects Litigation and Settlement Strategy for Defamation and Privacay Cases;
– Hot Topics in Copyright Law;
Communications in a Two-Way Street, Roadblocks, Detours and Dangerous Curves Ahead.

If you would prefer to register with the OSBA’s Member Service Center, please contact 800-232-7124 and someone will be happy to assist you.

STUDENTS: To obtain the reduced student price, please add the Conference to your Cart, then view your cart. Add in the Coupon Code of STUDENT2017 and hit apply. The price should adjust to $20 after a few moments.

Journalists/Non-Lawyers – Register after October 2:

OSBA Members/Lawyers – Register after October 2:

TWO DAYS LEFT for Special Offer

Join SPJ, and we'll pay your fare on the News Train

Pay to become a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and attend the powerhouse News Train professional development seminar FOR FREE.

The News Train, a touring training seminar for journalists sponsored by the Associated Press Media Editors (APME), is coming to the Columbus area Oct. 21. It will offer world class training in mobile, social, video and data at Ohio Univeristy's facility in Dublin, just northwest of Columbus.

Through 5 p.m. Sept. 21, SPJ's Central Ohio Chapter in underwriting an awesome deal for newcomers interested in this great event:

You pay for a one-year professional membership in the Society of Professional Journalists ($90 to join both the national organization and its Central Ohio Chapter) and we pay your entire cost of to attend the News Train. That's a $75 value, for training worth much, much more. And you will be joining the nation's largest journalism advocacy and training organization -- which comes with its own rich benefits, resources and network of peers. And hey, a light breakfast and a lunch is included.

This offer is open only to the first 20 professional journalists who join SPJ for the first time, or rejoin after a lapse in membership of more than a year.

Read more about the News Train and its Columbus stop at Find out more about the Central Ohio SPJ at, and national SPJ at

Then join SPJ through EventBrite at THIS LINK.

The Central Ohio SPJ will register you for the News Train Columbus stop upon processing your SPJ membership application.

We look forward to seeing you at the News Train Oct. 21, and for many years ahead at our future SPJ events.


News Train offer

-731Days -20Hours -36Minutes 00Seconds

You’re invited: Ohio SPJ Awards Luncheon in Canton Aug. 26

The Pro Football Hall of Fame, 2121 George Halas Drive NW, Canton, Ohio 44708

The Cleveland Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists Invites you to the Ohio SPJ Awards Luncheon at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in  Canton, Ohio. The awards luncheon will begin at noon, Saturday, Aug. 26.

Celebrate Ohio’s best journalism at the world renowned Pro Football Hall of Fame, in Canton, birthplace of the National Football League.

Guests will receive their awards and have complete access to HOF exhibits, videos and tours, and have the opportunity to see the amazing progress being made on the Johnson Controls Pro Football Hall of Fame Village, a $700 million "Football Heaven" being developed at the site in preparation for the NFL’s 100th season in 2019 and centennial celebration in 2020.

Tickets are $60 and include:

  • Reception, luncheon, and awards ceremony
  • Full day access to all that the HOF has to offer, including the exciting new holographic Super Bowl Theater. The museum remains open until 8 p.m.
  • Free parking
  • 15 percent discount at the museum store

The Ohio SPJ Awards contest is staged jointly by the SPJ chapters in Central Ohio, Cleveland and Cincinnati. The awards luncheon is hosted on a rotating basis among the three chapters, with Cleveland hosting this year and Cincinnati set to host in 2018.

The 2017 Ohio SPJ Awards luncheon celebrates the best journalism Ohio has to offer.  The Pro Football Hall of Fame celebrates the best of America’s most popular sport. Put them together for a memorable afternoon Aug. 26!

Click here to register today through EventBrite.




Region IV Director: EIJ17 early bird prices end tomorrow

From Patricia Newberry, outgoing SPJ Region IV director —

Just a reminder that the best rates for EIJ17 end tomorrow.

Patricia Newberry

I invite you to consider attending the national Excellence in Journalism (EIJ) convention in Anaheim, Calif., this Sept. 6-10. Co-sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists and three other groups, EIJ17 will attract more than 1,500 journalists, journalism students, academics and other friends of journalism for a wide range of professional development sessions and networking opportunities. Visit the EIJ17 site for highlights, the schedule and (coming soon) the list of sessions. The best registration rates end Tuesday, July 11, so hope you will review the links now and consider making the trip.

Hope many of you will make the trip, too!

Senior Lecturer & Coordinator of Special Events | Journalism Program
Miami University Department of Media, Journalism and Film

2017 Ohio SPJ Awards winners announced

Winners in the 2017 Ohio SPJ Awards contest have been announced!

The statewide contest is a collaboration of the Central Ohio, Cleveland and Cincinnati chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists.Click HERE to see the full list of the 2017 awards.

Congrats to the winners—which includes a huge contingent from Central Ohio!

Save the date—Banquet Aug. 26

The 2017 Ohio SPJ Awards luncheon will be held at the world renowned Pro Football Hall of Fame, at noon Saturday, Aug. 26 in Canton. Attendees will have complete access to HOF exhibits, videos and tours.

Look for full details here soon, and formal invitations to be sent in mid-July.



‘The Truth About Food’ at OSU to focus on science, journalism

From OnCampus Today
an online publication of The Ohio State University
Monday, May 15, 2017

The Food Innovation Center at Ohio State University on June 12 will host “The Truth About Food: The Role of Science in Public Affairs Journalism.”

The Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is among the event’s sponsors.

The program will explore the relationship among consumers, academics and journalists and the importance of effective science communications.

Nina Teicholz

Set for 1-4 p.m. Monday, June 12, at the Ohio Union, the event will feature a keynote address from Nina Teicholz, New York Times best-selling author of the The Big Fat Surprise. Teicholz, an investigative journalist, will share her experience researching the 2014 book that challenged years of conventional wisdom on dietary fat.

The program is free but advance registration is required.

What Purpose? The ability of science and technology to improve society requires a trust relationship between consumers, academics and journalists. The program will explore the capabilities and limitations of this network. It will seek understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of providing factual science-based food information. As facts flow from benchtop, to blog does accuracy suffer?

Why Attend? Anyone interested in effective science communication or in critically analyzing food claims in welcome to attend. Thanks to our sponsors, there is no cost to attend but advance registration is required and limited to seating.


Where and when? 1-4 p.m. Monday, June 12, 2017 in the US Bank Theater at The Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St., Columbus OH 43210.


Sponsors of the program and panel discussion include The OSU Food Innovation Center, Citation Needed (an OSU student organization originating from the Department of Food Science and Technology), The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at Ohio State, and The Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional.


1 p.m. – Welcome and Introductions

1:10 p.m. – Keynote Speaker: Nina Teicholz

2 p.m. – Panel Discussion: How to Tell a Research Story: From Pitfalls to Perfection.

The panel will focus on the relationship between the research community, journalists and public information officers and how they work together to develop clear messaging on complex scientific topics for the general public.  

Panelists will share specific experiences related to their work, identifying best practices and pitfalls when it comes to science communications.

Panel moderator:  Jeff Grabmeier, Senior Director, OSU Research Communications

Panelists: Ken Lee, Professor of Food Science and Director of the Food Innovation Center; Misti Crane, Assistant Director, OSU Research Communications; Marion Renault, Columbus Dispatch Science Reporter; Joe Cornely, Senior Director of Communications for the Ohio Farm Bureau; Matt Teegarden, Phd candidate and USDA National Needs Fellow in food science at Ohio State.

3 p.m.- Closing Speaker: Earle Holland, Contributing Editor for Health News Review

Holland has more than 35 years of experience as a science communicator. His presentation will address the shared responsibility of the media, the scientific community and the consumer to critically analyze health claims in various media outlets.

For additional information, visit

Former Central Ohio SPJ President James Hunkler passes

Sad news for the Central Ohio journalists and communications professionals.


Jim Hunkler

James R. Hunkler, former communications director of and employee of Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus for more than 40 years, died Wednesday, April 26.

He was 88.

Hunkler served as president of the Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for 1969-1970.

He was awarded the Chapter’s Distinguished Service Award in 1977.

According to his obituary printed in The Columbus Dispatch, Hunkler was active in several community and professional groups, including the Columbus Urban League, Columbus Area Leadership Program (and its Leadership Columbus alumni group), Gypsies Travel Club, LifeCare Alliance Meals on Wheels, Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi, Press Club of Ohio, the West Virginia University Journalism Alumni Association, the University District Organization in Columbus, and the International Visitors Council in Columbus.

In addition to his SPJ honors, he was a recipient of the Columbus Area Leadership Program’s Columbus Area Leadership Award in 1990 and the Press Club of Ohio’s Hambone Award in 1991. Hunkler was a a longtime member of St. Christopher Church in Columbus.

He was the only child of James M. and Geneva (Phillips) Hunkler, both deceased, of Wheeling, W. Va. According to his obituary, Jim leaves no immediate family, but is survived by many cherished friends in Columbus, Wheeling and various parts of the world.

He requested no visitation. His funeral Mass is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 2,  at St. Christopher’s, 1420 Grandview Ave., Columbus. Burial is to follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Wheeling. In lieu of flowers, friends are asked, if they wish, contribute to the charity of their choice.

Read the full obituary from the Dispatch.