Ethics in the Media – SPJ’S New Code of Ethics

SPJPicThe Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will join the student chapter at Ohio State University Thursday, Oct. 2, to host a free discussion about Ethics in the Media and SPJ’s new Code of Ethics, featuring Kevin Z. Smith, Central Ohio Pro board member, who recently received SPJ’s highest award for his leadership in revising the Code of Ethics for the first time since 1996.

Smith, the deputy director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at OSU, received the Wells Memorial Key at SPJ’s national convention in Nashville earlier this month.

The ethics event will be a discussion of media ethics and include professional and student journalists sharing real world examples of what they have encountered in the field.

It will be held on OSU’s campus in Room 106 of the Journalism Building, 242 W. 18th Ave., and will begin promptly at 6 p.m. Pizza and soda will be served.

This event is free and open to all!

(The closest parking garage is Tuttle Park, across from the stadium.) 


Posted in Chapter News

SPJ honors Central Ohio Pro’s Kevin Smith with Wells Memorial Key

kevinsmithKevin Smith, a member of our board and deputy director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at The Ohio State University, received the Wells Memorial Key Award, SPJ’s highest honor, at the national convention in Nashville last week. Congratulations, Kevin!

Outgoing SPJ President David Cuillier shared a lengthy list of accomplishments, but focused on Kevin’s stellar work on revising the SPJ Ethics Code, revised for the first time since 1996 and adopted by delegates during the closing business meeting.

Kevin joined SPJ as a journalism student 35 years ago and didn’t wait long to get involved in the news organization. A year out of school, in 1980, he helped start a local professional chapter in West Virginia and then joined the Society’s FOI committee as a Project Watchdog member, monitoring open meetings and records issues in that state.

In 1988, Kevin’s work earned him a position on the ethics committee. By 1991, he was named a Poynter Ethics Fellow. He served as vice chairman of the committee when SPJ wrote its first ethic book, “Doing Ethics in Journalism,” to which he was a contributing writer. He was awarded a second ethics fellowship by Poynter in 1993 and then took over as ethics chair in 1994 to began revising the Society’s ethics code, which was accomplished in 1996. He later added work to another ethics book for SPJ.

While working in academics, SPJ members elected him to serve an unexpired board term in 1997 as campus adviser at-large.

In 2006, he left the ethics committee to become Region 4 director, ultimately becoming SPJ president in 2010. Immediately following his presidency, Kevin returned to the ethics committee to begin his last four-year stint as chairman. It culminated last weekend at the Excellence in Journalism 2014 conference with the passage of the newest ethics code.

Kevin has lectured on media ethics all over the world and taught the subject on college campuses for 13 years. In addition, he has been a campus adviser at two universities (Miami University of Ohio and James Madison University), and served on the board of three local chapters. He has been a member of the SPJ’s sister organization, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, since 2008.

Posted in Chapter News

Farewell to a dear friend, colleague

It is with sadness that we report the death of oneLouis V. Fabro

of central Ohio’s most-cherished and revered

communicators, Lou Fabro, also a former president

of our chapter and a longtime SPJ member and

supporter. R.I.P., Lou.

Posted in Chapter News

Law and Media Conference

You are invited to attend the Ohio State Bar Association Law and Media Conference 2014.
Friday, Oct. 10, 2014

Ohio State Bar Association
1700 Lake Shore Dr., Columbus, Ohio 43204
(off W. 5th Ave., just W. of Rt. 33)
(614) 487-8585 or (800) 232-7124


  • Lawyers, journalists, judges and academics discussing hot media law topics;
  • CNN’s Martin Savidge, guest panelist in a plenary session titled “Data Privacy and the News: Hackers, Leakers, Journalists and Spies”; and
  • Concurrent seminar topics that include reporting on political mudslinging within legal and ethical limits, open meetings, accessing public records, mediating public records disputes, using digital analytics to measure audiences, Internet’s effect on journalism, native advertising, libel and “twibel” and the effect of online comments on news credibility.

Click here for more information or to register.

NOTE: Session materials will be provided in electronic form only. Please bring your electronic devices to access this information during the conference.

Sponsored by:
Ohio State Bar Association
Ohio Association of Broadcasters
Ohio Newspaper Association
Society of Professional Journalists, Central Ohio Chapter

This seminar is worth 4.5 CLE hours.

Posted in Chapter News

Research opportunity!

Ohio_logoRoy Enakshi, a Ph.D. Student at the W.E. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, is conducting an online survey regarding a data-mining tool that gives users a better understanding of their followers (demography and what they are interested in) to boost effectiveness of Tweets or Facebook posts. He and a fellow engineering doctoral student won the Scripps Innovation Challenge and are testing their Minimally Viable Product (MVP), as well as the market. Their online questionnaire will help them understand how communication professionals use social media, and whether they use any tools such as Hootsuite, etc.

Roy is applying for a grant to make the actual software, and this survey will help him with the research phase of his project. He asked that our chapter forward his contact info to our membership. If you are interested in participating in the survey, click here.

For more information about the Scripps Innovation Challenge, visit here.

Roy says the survey takes seven to eight minutes to complete. If you want to contact Roy, he can be reached at or 740.707.3722.

Posted in Chapter News

Keeping the Readers’ Trust

The Main Street Free Press Museum

in association with the Society of Professional Journalists, Central Ohio Chapter 

invite you to a free discussion Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, 7:15 p.m. during the annual Fredericktown Tomato Show

Keeping the Readers’ Trust

Featuring Ohio’s Last and First Newspaper Ombudsmen

• Ted Diadiun, The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Reader Representative since 2005 – and
the last newspaper ombudsman in Ohio

• John C. Long, Ombudsman from 1967-68 at

the Ohio Wesleyan Transcript and from 1995-96
at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, and director
of The Main Street Free Press Museum

First Baptist Church, Fredericktown, Ohio
22 E. Sandusky St., one block east of the Public Square
47 years ago, The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times appointed the first U.S. newspaper ombudsman, and the Ohio Wesleyan Transcript appointed the second – Ohio’s first. Over the next 40 years, dozens of U.S. newspapers and many more worldwide appointed ombudsmen to be more responsive to readers and to strengthen their trust. But in the past 10 years, as 18,000 U.S. newsroom jobs disappeared, many ombudsman positions were lost. What did and do the ombudsmen accomplish, and how are others continuing the mission?

The Main Street Free Press Museum one block north of the Square at Main and Second streets, is open for tours and letterpress printing demonstrations at 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and following the program. Refreshments available at the Fredericktown Tomato Show booths along Main Street throughout the evening

Posted in Chapter News

Four directors appointed to chapter board

Over the past three months, the board of directors made four appointments to replace members who resigned.

Three new directors were appointed at the board’s Sept. 9 meeting. They are:

Kevin Z. Smith, who brings more than 20 years of newsroom and journalism teaching experience to his new role as deputy director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at The Ohio State University. In addition, he has been a longtime leader in the Society of Professional Journalists, serving as national president in 2009-10. He has served as chairman of the national group’s Ethics Committee since 2010 and as aboard member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation since 2008.

Doug Buchanan, managing editor in charge of digital at Columbus Business First, where he directs the paper’s online news coverage and social media. He’s been with the paper for 15 years,starting as a banking reporter before working through several editing posts.

Jonathan Peters, a media lawyer and an assistant professor at the University of Dayton, where he teaches journalism and law. He blogs about free expression for the Harvard Law & Policy Review, and he has written on legal issues for The Atlantic, Slate, The Nation, Wired, PBS, and the Columbia Journalism Review. Peters returns to the board after completing his Ph.D. in journalism at the University of Missouri and returning to Columbus.

And a fourth director was appointed at the Nov. 11 board meeting:

Bruce Cadwallader is a long-time SPJ supporter and has held many chapter, regional and national positions with the organization. Cadwallader was chapter president in 1994-95, played a key fundraising role when the chapter hosted the national convention in 2000, and held various positions including Region 4 director and chair of the SPJ Legal Defense Fund. A former Dispatch reporter, Cadwallader now is associate director of communications for Franklin County Childrens Services.

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Notes from the 2013 SPJ national convention

Board member Phil Rudell represented the chapter at the SPJ national convention in Anaheim, Calif., last month. Here’s the report he filed with the board at its Sept. 9 meeting:

Discussions relating directly to the Central Ohio Chapter

I met with the Cleveland Chapter President Rodney Bengston and Cincinnati Pro Chapter President Tom McKee and hope those two leaders will be at the Oct. 5 awards breakfast. I reconnected with Ginny Frizzi, who is trying to revive the Pittsburgh Chapter, which is on life support. Region 4 has six active pro chapters: three in Ohio; Detroit: mid-Michigan; and Pittsburgh. Regional Director Patti Newberry is tasked with ensuring that number doesn’t drop. National SPJ has 7,500 members, down from 13,000 in the late 1990s.

Most of the regional meeting’s discussion concerned the April regional conference, so I offered broad outlines of what we are planning. Our plans in late August, when the Anaheim convention was held, weren’t as far along as they are now. Holly Edgell of Cincinnati offered to help with breakout sessions and I’m sure Kevin Smith will also assist.

Newberry singled out student chapters at OU and OSU for praise, awarding the Region 4 Student Chapter of the Year to the OU group. Their adviser, Nerissa Young, was at the national convention. I asked her to join our chapter, but she declined, noting she lives in Huntington.

In other business:

There was only one contested race in the election of national officers: SPJ voters elected Michael Periatt and Lindsay Cook as student representatives. There were four candidates. About 9% of eligible voters participated, which I think is appallingly low. It’s a reflection of the lack of competition. It was the second time that national officers were elected by membership instead of by delegates at the convention. I used Central Ohio’s two votes to weigh in on a variety of resolutions.

The defeated resolutions:

  • A poorly worded proposal to change the name of the organization to the Society for Professional Journalism. This came from Region 3 Director (and all-around gadfly) Michael Koretzky, which undoubtedly contributed to its defeat.
  • A measure defying restrictions on news coverage by government’s public-affairs officers. Director at Large Bill McCloskey pointed out that the public-affairs officers often have been able to help get stories published in tough circumstances and shouldn’t be the target of anti-censorship efforts.

Approved were resolutions:

  • Condemning censorship of high-school publications that print unfavorable information about schools.
  • Rejecting the federal government’s “national security interests” justification of the NSA’s snooping on Americans.
  • Opposing a restrictive definition of “journalists” in the deliberations by Congress on a national shield law.
  • Calling on national leadership to revisit the Code of Ethics for necessary updates or revisions. The current code was adopted in 1996.



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Law and Media Conference set for Oct. 4 in Columbus

LawandMediaConference2013Ohio journalists, lawyers, judges and academics are invited to attend to discuss media law issues at the 2013 Ohio State Bar Association Law and Media Conference.

The day-long conference, co-sponsored by the central Ohio SPJ chapter, will take place Friday, Oct. 4, 1700 Lake Shore Dr., Columbus.

Program topics include:

  • Plenary session about the lasting impact of a U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting student press freedom and current newsgathering challenges.
  • Problems and opportunities regarding access to government records and the current state of public records law in Ohio.
  • How does a journalist cover a school shooting or a juvenile crime?
  • How has the Internet affected journalism and how do journalists practice in this changing environment?
  • Media Law 101: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
  • Lawyers and journalists: how to improve interactions between the professions.

For more information about the event, download the complete program and registration form from the bar association.

Posted in Chapter News, Events Tagged with: ,

‘Who’s Watching Whom?’ set for Sept. 5 in Fredericktown

In the wake of the U.S. Department of Justice’s secret seizure of Associated Press phone records and the Edward Snowden-NSA leaks, the Main Street Free Press Museum is presenting the panel discussion “Who’s Watching Whom?” at 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 5 in Fredericktown.

Museum director John C. Long will moderate a discussion with Eva Parziale, AP regional director, and Timothy D. Smith, Kent State University media-law professor and former Akron Beacon Journal managing editor.

The program is free. It will be held at the First Baptist Church in Fredericktown, 22 E. Sandusky St., a block east of the public square.

The museum will also be open for tours at 6 p.m. Refreshments are available at the Fredericktown Tomato Show throughout the evening.

Go to for more information or contact Long at

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