Journalists learn how two reporters turned their stories into a book
Authors Bryan Gruley and Bill Vlasic talked with Detroit journalists Feb. 27 at Crain's Detroit Business. Gruley, at left, is a reporter-at-large for Bloomberg News. His third Starvation Lake mystery, The Skeleton Box, was published last year.
Vlasic is the Detroit bureau chief for the New York Times. He authored Once Upon A Car, the story of the downfall of the Big Three and was the coauthor of Taken for a Ride, about Daimler-Benz’s takeover of Chrysler Corp. The event was sponsored by SPJ Detroit.
Photos by Eileen Harned
SPJ Detroit honors journalists Al Allen and Ron Dzwonkowski
Al Allen, 28-year broadcast reporter for Fox2 TV, and Ron Dzwonkowski, a retired Detroit Free Press editor,were honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at its annual awards banquet on April 17 at the San Marino Club in Troy.
Dzwonkowski, a Michigan journalist since 1972, joined the Free Press in 1984 and retired last year after working as a reporter, columnist, editorial page editor and associate editor. He has won national awards and contributed to Pulitzer Prize-winning entries and served as Michigan Press Association president and a mentor to hundreds of journalists. Allen, who joined the WJBK television news team as a reporter in 1984, retired last December after roles including general assignment, city government and lead reporter on FOX 2's morning show. His career began with 16 years in radio news, starting in Little Rock, AR, in 1969. Moving back to Detroit two years later, he worked as reporter and news director at WCXI-AM and WGPR-FM. then as news and public affairs director at WJLB-FM. He has won numerous awards as a broadcast journalist.
The chapter also presented Excellence in Journalism Awards and three scholarships. Proceeds from the event fund the journalism scholarships presented annually by the chapter.
"These are challenging times for our ever-changing industries and without your efforts – and in the case of the winners we’re honoring tonight – your work, we could not continue the build on the efforts on which the Society of Professional Journalists was founded," said SPJ Detroit President Walter MIddlebrook of the Detroit News.
Michigan Coalition for Open Government joins fight for public accountability
Coalition can provide access to Knight Foundation grants to assist in legal battles over open meetings, access to public records
Michigan has some of the nation’s weakest requirements for government ethics and accountability, but a new statewide organization can help journalists and citizens gain access to public records and meetings so wrongdoers can’t hide.
The Michigan Coalition for Open Government was launched Monday, March 11, at the start of Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. SPJ Detroit is a founding member of the Coalitions and Cindy Goodaker is our board representative.
MiCOG offers journalists, citizens and others interested in open government the opportunity to get financial help for legal fights against public officials or governments that don’t comply with Michigan’s open records and open meetings laws. It’s an important new tool to keep government accountable.
MiCOG will be able to recommend significant freedom of information, open meetings and public access legal cases to the National Freedom of Information Coalition for financial support through a $2 million Knight Foundation grant. The coalition also wants to promote and protect transparency and accountability in state and local governments and create educational programs and information for statewide use.
Individuals may join for a $25 annual membership fee, while students can join for $10.
“Citizens and journalists are having greater difficulty obtaining public documents from government agencies, deterred by long delays in responses and high fees,” says MiCOG President Jane Briggs-Bunting, an author, media attorney and former Michigan State University School of Journalism director. “Most individuals and smaller news organizations don’t have the resources to mount legal challenges. MiCOG can help with that.”
Michigan received an overall grade of “F” and ranked 44th out of the 50 states in a 2012 state integrity investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International. It flunked in the categories of executive accountability, judicial accountability, political financing, legislative accountability, lobbying disclosure, ethics enforcement agencies, and redistricting, among others, and got a “D” for public access to information.
Reprints of SPJ Excellence in Journalism Awards are available to the award winners or their organization. The $10 cost includes printing and postage.
For information on how to order, e-mail email@example.com
Terek, Jones are SPJ's Journalist,
Young Journalist of the Year
SPJ Detroit honored excellence tonight as awards were presented to the area's top print, online, radio and television journalists.
Donna Terek of the Detroit News was named Journalist of the Year and Ross Jones of WXYZ-TV is Young Journalist. Click here for more information on these awards. The Chapter presented $3,500 to journalism students through the Larry Laurain Scholarship program. Click here to read about this year's winners. Excellence in Journalism awards were also presented. Click here for a complete list with placing and judges' comments.
Click here to see a sample of
Click here to see a sample of
Photo by Eileen Harned Photography
Journalists from Republic of Georgia visit Detroit
A delegation of journalists/media professionals from the Republic of Georgia visited the Detroit area in late April and early May. Members of SPJ Detroit took part in their tour of the WXYZ-TV studio on April 30. The visit was sponsored through the Library of Congress' Open World Leadership Program through the International Visitor’s Council Detroit. Colleen Clement and Jack Harned of SPJ Detroit answered questions from the journalists and the group watched the live noon news broadcast.
SPJ Detroit Board Members re-elected
Congratulations to Cindy Goodaker of Crain's Detroit Business, Mike Ramsey of The Wall Street Journal, Tom Stanton of U of D Mercy, Jerome Vaughn of WDET and Ann Zaniewski of the Detroit Free Press. All were elected to two-year terms on the SPJ Detroit board of directors. For more information on all 13 board members, click the "Meet Our Board" button below.
Sports talk kicks off SPJ Detroit Third Thursday
Brad Galli of WXYZ-TV, Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press and John Niyo of The Detroit News were guest speakers at SPJ Detroit's premier Third Thursday event Sept. 19. If you missed this one, mark your calendar now for Oct. 17 at the Anchor Bar and get to know other Detroit-area journalists in a relaxed setting. Details of the October event will be posted soon through the SPJ Detroit Facebook group. Or, e-mail Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org to add your name to our contact list.
Join us for 'Show the Love'
Luther 'Badman' Keith and his Blues Band will be live at PJ's Lager House on Tuesday, Nov. 26, for this media mixer and benefit. Tickets are $20 at the door. Help us spread the word! Please post and forward the flier.
Wayne State scholarship will honor
the memory of Ben Burns
Ben Burns was well-known in Detroit journalism circles - He is a former president
of SPJ Detroit and he was honored with our lifetime achievement award
Now, Wayne State University is starting a scholarship fund in his name.
FOIA: How Free is Information in Michigan?
SPJ Detroit has invited three experts to answer your questions!
Thursday, Dec. 12
Registration at 8 a.m. at Crain's Detroit Business.
Jane Briggs-Bunting, president of Michigan Coalition for Open Government
Robin Luce Herrmann, a partner in the Butzel Long law firm
Lisa McGraw, public affairs manager for the Michigan Press Association
Free for members of SPJ Detroit, $5 for students with valid ID.
Questions? Call 586-306-2035.
SPJ Detroit's Excellence in Journalism contest is now closed.
Michigan Bar offers award for journalists
Applications are now available for the Wade McCree award, offered annually by The Michigan Bar Association to honor journalists whose work promotes the advancement of justice.
From their brochure: "Judge McCree was dedicated to advancing greater understanding of the role of a free press in a free society. During a remarkable career that included service as a federal judge, professor of law, and solicitor general of the United States, he touched the lives of millions of Americans. Judge McCree was an early and dedicated supporter of the establishment of the Advancement of Justice Awards. The awards were renamed in 1987 to honor not only him, but also those who receive the Wade H. McCree Jr. Awards for the Advancement of Justice."
Entry deadline is Feb. 7.
Good luck to all who entered!
Winners will be notified by e-mail when the judging is complete.
Final results will be announced at our banquet
April 16 at the San Marino Club in Troy.
Plan to join us!
Mark your calendar ...
Plan to join us April 16!
Reservations can be made here after March 15.
Help us spread the word. Print and post the flier at right.