For student iournalists who hope to share their published work with

more than iust a local audience. the Society oI ProIessional Journalists
oIIers a chance Ior them to shine at the regional and national levels.
All iournalism students are encouraged to apply Ior the 2010 Mark
oI Excellence awards. which are conducted through SPJ. With catego-
ries ranging Irom print iournalism to radio and television iournalism to
photography. the Mark oI Excellence award submissions can include any
single piece oI iournalism that was published in 2009 as long as it was
not used solely Ior a classroom exercise.
According to the national SPJ Web site. entries will frst be iudged on
the regional level. First place winners at
this level will then be submitted to the
national level. Regional winners will be
announced at the spring regional SPJ
conventions. while national winners
will be announced at the 2010 Las Vegas
national convention.
Last year. SPJ received a little over
3600 entries. but the amount oI applicants
Ior the Mark oI Excellence awards has been
increasing. according to Lauren Rochester. the
National SPJ Awards Coordinator.
'Every year we get more and more entries.¨
Rochester said. who noted that the Mark oI
Excellence awards began in the early 1970s.
Rochester said that applications will be
accepted online this year. which will make the
process easier both Ior the student applicants
and Ior the iudges.
'We think that it provides an ease oI entry.¨
Rochester said. 'Participants no longer have to
ship everything that they want to enter.¨
According to Rochester. the competition is
open to college iournalism students only. oI both un-
dergraduate and graduate levels. For SPJ members. the application Iee is
$9. but non-members will be required to pay $18 to submit their entries.
Rochester said that regional frst. second and third-place winners will
receive a certifcate Ior their award. while national winners will receive a
plaque. as well as a discounted ticket to the Las Vegas national conven-
tion. where their
award will be an-
She said that
a Mark oI Excel-
lence award has
the potential to
signifcantly help
student iournalists
Inside Inc.
Page 2: Commentary News
Page 3: Internship Info
Page 4: Scripps Shoutout
Page 5: From the Editor
A publication of the Ohio University
Society of Professional Journalists
&'$(%)%*&+##!, ($"&
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with Iuture iob and internship opportunities.
'I think being able to put on your resume that you won a national com-
petition like this really sets your resume apart.¨ Rochester said.
Ohio University 2009 alumna Emilie Schneider was surprised to fnd
out that she had received a Mark oI Excellence award. As a reporter Ior
!"#$%&'(. her then-editor Matt Zapatosky had entered one oI her articles
in the 'breaking news reporting¨ category. Schneider said that she Iound
out about her achievement through Twitter.
'I had these people direct messaging me saying congratulations. and I
said. Congratulations Ior what?`¨ Schneider said.
The article. which detailed the breaking news story
oI a Baker University employee who was threatening
to commit suicide inside the university establish-
ment. won frst place Ior breaking news reporting in
Region 4. The article was then sent to the national
level Ior competition. although it did not win Iurther
Schneider said
that she believes
that the Mark oI
Excellence award
has helped her
in her iournalistic
endeavors outside
oI OU.
'I`ve defnitely
promoted the
award when I`ve
gone on iob interviews.¨ Sch-
neider said. who now works as a Ireelance writer Ior both
a magazine and a non-proft agency in New York City. 'It`s
another way to promote yourselI and market yourselI. Any
award you get puts you on a higher peg than someone else.¨
She also said that the award served as a boost Ior her conf-
'It was really exciting. I think it established. Hey. maybe I am good at
this.`¨ Schneider said.
According to the national SPJ Web site. entries will be iudged based
upon 'accuracy and completeness. adherence to high iournalistic stan-
dards and creative use oI the medium`s unique capabilities.¨ among other
criteria. More inIormation about Mark oI Excellence award entries. as
well as the online application Iorm. can be Iound at The
deadline Ior all entries is Jan. 27.
Schneider said she highly recommends that students apply Ior the Mark
oI Excellence awards. particularly because the Iorm is convenient and
doesn`t take a long time to fll out.
'The truth is. you don`t know unless you try.¨ Schneider said. 'II you
don`t put yourselI out there. you`re not going to get back anything.¨ #
Today, 5 p.m.
Curriculum Conversation
National SPJ convention gives student journalists a chance to compete with their 2009 media samples.
A publication of the Ohio University
Society of Professional Journalists
. c
No. this isn`t the interview that will land you a iob or internship. but
in many ways. it`s iust as important. Every iournalist needs these skills
to gain story inIormation. quotes and contacts. Although sitting down
with a stranger and asking him or her questions can be daunting. here are
some tips that will help you round out a story with stellar sources.
1. Plan accordingly.
Depending on when your deadline
is and where your source is located.
it may make more sense to conduct
your interview by phone. However.
when possible. schedule an in-person
Speaking Iace-to-Iace with your
source provides infnite possibilities
Ior little extras you can add to your
story to make it come alive. Meeting with a source in person also helps
in terms oI building a proIessional relationship with that person.
Whether you interview by phone or in person. be sure to make an
appointment. Don`t assume your source is going to be Iree; take the
initiative and ask to schedule a time. For in-person interviews. be careIul
to dress in an appropriate manner. II you`re speaking with a student.
wearing a suit may make him uncomIortable; however. iI you`re meeting
with a proIessor. you probably don`t want to show up in ripped ieans or
2. Know your subject.
Do your research beIorehand. Your source will give you inIormation
and quotes that will complement your article. but you never want to go
into an interview knowing nothing about your topic. Having some initial
Iamiliarity with your subiect will reinIorce your proIessionalism and tell
your interviewee that you`re serious.
3. Develop note-taking habits that work for you.
Some reporters take notes at the speed oI lightening and preIer to
hand-write their notes during an interview; others like to record inter-
views to obtain as much inIormation as possible. II you do choose to
record. make sure to ask permission at the beginning. As a general rule.
take notes no matter what.
Batteries can die or a recorder can malIunction without warning. and
iI you don`t have hand-written notes to back you up in the event oI a
glitch. you`ve wasted your source`s time and you have nothing to add
to your story. In addition. transcribing a recorded interview later takes
much longer than the actual length oI the interview.
II you get in the habit oI always taking notes. the benefts can be
Iar-reaching. II something newsworthy happens later on in your career
and you don`t have your recorder with you. you won`t panic and become
useless instead. you`ll be able to pull out your trusty notepad and crank
out a true breaking story.
4. Have a list of questions. but be willing to deviate.
It`s important to go into the interview with a list oI questions you
want answered and Iacts you want to learn. It`s not going to look good
iI you`re not prepared and iI you
get nervous or Iorget your place. you
have a nice. printed list to Iall back
However. you also want to be
aware and responsive oI your sur-
roundings. II your source brings up
an unexpected point while answering
your third question. don`t move on
to number Iour like a trained robot.
Follow up. Ask him to elaborate.
You may get your best inIormation Irom a question you hadn`t planned
on asking ahead oI time.
5. Start out with easy questions.
You may be nervous going into an interview. but keep in mind that
your source could be iust as nervous. II you start out with simple ques-
tions. your source will relax and when you move on to the tougher
stuII later on. he might be more inclined to give you straight answers.
And more oIten than not. those introductory questions will provide you
with valuable background inIormation.
6. Cultivate a standard set of closing questions.
There are several things you need to do at the end oI every interview.
Perhaps most important is veriIying your source`s name and title. Write
the interviewee`s name down and have him look at it to make sure it`s
spelled correctly. II you`re speaking over the phone. have your source
spell out his name. and then spell it back. Spelling a source`s name
wrong is one oI the worst mistakes you can make. so double-check even
with the simplest names. Ask your source Ior his oIfcial title as well.
It`s also a good idea to request any Iurther comments or sources. It`s
okay to ask your source outright iI there is anything you didn`t ask that
you should have. And interviewees oIten will have contacts who can
give you Iurther inIormation Ior your story. so ask Ior that too. Finally.
make sure you have a phone number or e-mail address Ior your source so
that you can Iollow up with any Iurther questions or clarifcation.
7. Don`t forget to say thank you.
Your source is doing you a Iavor. Make sure you say thank you in
person. when the interview is over. but it doesn`t hurt to also drop him
a note later on an e-mail works thanking him again. It`s very likely
you`ll be calling upon this person again Ior another important story in
the Iuture. #
These tips will improve your interviewing skills, whether you're writing your frst story or just want to spice up your technique.
°lf your source brings up an unexpected
point while answering your third
question, don't move on to number four
like a trained robot. Follow up."
A publication of the Ohio University
Society of Professional Journalists
With 30 diIIerent television production programs.
the prestigious Academy oI Arts and Sciences
Internship program is open to all Iull-time college
students who are interested in television or
Each year. the Academy picks 30 students Irom
across the country to participate in a hands-on
experience in the Hollywood industry oI Los
Angeles. CaliIornia. Activities include developing
commercials. documentaries. sports production.
entertainment news. and many more.
The Academy usually receives about a thousand
applications each year. but do not let the large
applicant pool discourage you. II selected as a
fnalist. you are asked to submit a videotaped
interview in response to questions posed in the
notice oI fnal candidacy. Winners are then notifed in late May to mid-
II you are picked as an intern. you will arrive in late June or mid-
July to begin working Ior a Iull eight weeks with the host or designated
supervisor assigned to you. There is a host in
virtually every type oI television channel. Past
hosts include CBS. HBO. Cartoon Network and
E! Entertainment. The program emphasizes an in-
depth approach to all aspects oI the flm industry
and encourages students to get as involved as
Last year`s interns worked on shows such as
'Greek.¨ 'Melrose Place¨ and 'Brothers.¨ The
privilege oI being selected oIIers not only an
impressive internship to put on your resume. but
also valuable experience in the industry.
One oI the biggest draws oI this internship is
the $4.000 stipend students will receive Irom
the Academy oI Television Arts & Sciences
Foundation. which is allocated every two weeks.
However. Iood. housing and transportation are not supplied. so you must
set up arrangements prior to your stay.
The application deadline is March 15. 2010. For more inIormation. go
to #
Academy of Arts and Sciences provides students with hands-on broadcast, television work.
. c
When What Who Where Why How
Social Media,
PR Internships
Athens, OH
Send resume
and references to
Work locally,
use journalism
skills and make
a difference
Contact Melissa
Silverstein at me-
Spring 2010
Brooklyn, NY
Blog about
feminism and
pop culture
Women &
Visit http://
Work with
students in
other felds
San Francisco,
Summer 2010 Journalism
Report on theatre
and culture in
New York City
Autumn 2010
A publication of the Ohio University
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lnc. reporter Sarah Grothjan asked students about their experiences with one of journalism's newest media.
The advent of Mark Zuckerberg`s Facebook somewhat kicked Tom`s
MySpace creation to the curb; but wait, it only took a few quick tweets
from Twitter to whet the audience`s appetite for a new networking in-
novation. In the world of cyberspace, new media outlets are created, up-
dated and obsessed over on a regular basis.
This social networking craze leaves media control in the hands of any-
one with an Internet connection and computer access. But why stop at
utilizing social networks created by Harvard grads and computer gurus?
With sites such as Blogger and Weebly, social network creation can fall
into the hands of anyone.
Blogging is like the new pick-up line. No, really. Have a beauty blog?
Make friends by sharing your secrets with the quick exchange of your
URL. Better yet, show employers your blogging sites to give them a
quick taste of your writing style, creative thought and savvy web design.
Blogs have become the new key to the door of opportunity. It is cheesy
but true. According to freshman journalism major Mark Emery, 'Blog-
ging has made news easier to break for media outlets and it is easier to
access for consumers.¨ Breaking Internet coverage has made its way to
the forefront, making understanding the Internet a necessity for aspiring
Students of the J-School have been encouraged to create blogs as a
possible portfolio for future employers. Freshman journalism major Anna
Moore was spurred to create her blog when 'J101 Professor Stewart told
[her] that blogging and using computers will be vital to [journalists`] ca-
Moore is the creator of a food and fun blog, one of the many interesting
and helpful self-published works that have been authored by journalists at
Ohio University. It is a quick and simple task to create a blog. Not only
is it an interesting way choose writing topics that feed your personal inter-
est, it is also a vital insider that could aid in landing future employment. #
Food & Fun Blog English Class Blog
Relationships Blog Sports Blog Experimental Blog
Professional & Collegiate Level Sports Blog
'I`ve only had a few blogs so far, and they were
responses to a commencement speech, on a writing
textbook and a story about Obama. I think blogging
is a positive new media that will only get bigger as
time goes on.¨ -Mark Emery, freshman
'Well, my blog was pretty much created from my
own boredom. In my blog, I am basically a guinea
pig of a science experiment. Latisse is a product that
helps re-grow eyelashes but has some unruly side
effects if you use it incorrectly. My blog tracks the
progress of my lashes.¨ -Lauren Meister, freshman
'[Blogging] is a fun way to express your interests to
a larger audience. It makes me happy to have some-
one tell me they read my blog and are going to try a
recipe of mine. [I read] my friends` blogs and other
food, art and health blogs.¨ -Anna Moore, freshman
'Blogging allows people to share their thoughts
with anyone who owns a computer and has Internet
access. Thus, your ideas and opinions can be spread
throughout the world.¨ -Wes Mayberry, freshman
'My blog is all about sports from a girl`s perspective.
I may not know every detail of every sport from the
past 100 years, but the problems that face the sports
world still interest me. I always love to talk about
scandals or interesting gossip from ESPN.¨
-Megan Hickok, freshman
'My blog was basically birthed from not getting
a column position on the Post staff. I have three
published so far, but stopped over break and will be
starting them again. I am always surprised by the
friends who fnd them, read them and love them.¨
-Stephanie Doan, freshman
I love journalism. I really do. I love it so much I`ve decided to dedi-
cate my life to working with it and promoting it. In some ways, I almost
have begun to think of it as a person. But sometimes, I swear, journalism
makes my blood boil.
As valuable as journalism is, it has idiosyncrasies that are deplorable
to me - as a book lover, an optimist and a generally moral person. How-
ever, journalism has this infuriating habit of overrid-
ing any and all of my objections by providing proof,
over and over again, that its drawbacks actually are
what make it unique, necessary and valuable.
In the spirit of belated Heath Ledger homage-
giving, I had hoped to reference - cleverly, I might
add - one of his earliest, and best, movies by listing
ten things I hated about journalism (get it?). How-
ever, after extensive review, I could think of only
three things - further proof, I guess, that journalism`s
downsides really are worth it.
Disgust-worthy quirk (or DWQ) #1: Timing
My frst dispute with journalism is its timeline.
It doesn`t matter what article you`re writing - you never, ever have as
much time to work on it as you want. I`m sure I`m not the only one (I
hope I`m not the only one) who looks at my article in the paper next day
and says, 'That was my lede? Seriously? I could have thought of ten bet-
ter ideas,¨ or, 'I can`t believe I didn`t include that one quote!¨
I`m a perfectionist. Every time I read through an article - even when
I arrive at the point at which I have it memorized - I fnd something else
that can be changed. That characteristic makes for good copyediting re-
sults, but when I`m in reporter mode, it can be annoying. If I could have
a month to work on each article I write, I would be a very happy camper.
But - I`m going to be using that word a lot - journalism`s timeli-
ness is one of its most important features. A comprehensive book about
earthquakes and an article written about an earthquake that happened
yesterday serve two very distinctive roles.
Lesson learned? My pique at having to turn around an article in a day
or two - or less - means the public gets to have its questions answered
and its fears dispelled that much sooner. Plus, the skills that allow me to
write on deadline will serve me in just about every area of my life.
DWQ #2: Negativity
Will Rogers once said, 'I hope we never live to see the day when a
thing is as bad as some of our newspapers make it.¨
He`s not the only one to express this sentiment. More often than not,
breaking news notifes the public about a natural disaster, a national trag-
edy or any manner of heartbreaking event. Many newsworthy things that
happen in the world are negative. Now, I`m not going to mince words
A publication of the Ohio University
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. c
lnc. co-editor and columnist Rebecca McKinsey discusses the things she hates to love about journalism.
- this stinks. It doesn`t matter how big a break a story is; sad breaking
news is never fun to write.
But, again, we have to look at the positives. Journalists have a very
important job in the midst of a tragedy - to get the information out to the
public so that questions can be answered and misconceptions clarifed.
Whether we`re covering a sad story or not, we have that responsibility to
uphold, and it`s a weighty one.
A barrage of sad or disappointing news also can
have a positive peripheral effect. When we fnally
do get to report on - or read - a happy, exciting or
delightful bit of news, the experience is that much
DWQ #3: Inconvenience
Now, I`m not selfsh or silly enough to write about
the inconvenience subjected on journalists by their
feld. If a journalist objects to having an article oc-
casionally take the place of sleep, meals and (for
students) class time, he should pick another job.
However, the inconvenience sometimes posed to
sources is one that bugs me on occasion. Maybe I give my sources a
little too much credit, but in my mind, they`re doing me a huge favor.
They take time out of their day to sit down with me, answer my oft-inane
questions and - most of the time - supply me with well-thought-out,
eloquent quotes that make my article (and me by association) look good.
So when I go from pages of notes reaped from a 45-minute interview
to an article that includes no more than two or three lines from those
pages, I can`t help but think that my sources have been gypped just a bit.
When I start to fret about this, it helps to think about the small - the
very, very small - number of times I have been on the other side of an
interview. Reading an article that quotes you is actually pretty exciting.
It doesn`t matter if you talked the reporter`s ear off for half an hour and
only ended up with a quote or two in the fnal product. It`s still a thrill.
Now, I`m sure this excitement wears off after a while. At any rate,
I`ve never have a source call me and ask why I didn`t quote him more.
In fact, the letters to the editor I`ve received on occasion from grateful
sources only drive the point home: My sources are, more often than not,
passionate about the subject on which I`m writing. Any mention of their
names is going to make their day.

So what do we have here? After rehashing my biggest complaints
about journalism - and soundly being put in my place - I have to admit
that, as corny as it sounds, the ends justify the means in this case. The
timing, negativity and inconvenience that pop up in the world of journal-
ism all play a deeper role in making journalism stand the test of time and
- hopefully - continue to be essential far into the future. #

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