Chapters Receive Grants for Ethics Week Programming

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Staff Report

"Minimize harm." It's been referred to as one of the pillars of responsible journalism in the SPJ Code of Ethics, and it will be the theme of the Fifth Annual Ethics in Journalism Week, April 22-28.

SPJ chapters, leaders and members have set aside this week as a time to place special emphasis on discussions and activities that support responsible reporting.

Ethics in Journalism Week began in 2003 and continues to grow. This year, the Society awarded grants to 15 local chapters to host events during the week. The grants represent a combined total of more than $11,500. In addition to the programming activities, SPJ will distribute pocket-size versions of the Code of Ethics; recognize and honor outstanding ethical activities at the local level; and seek opportunities to speak publicly about responsible reporting.

Ethics Week is funded by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. The Foundation supports the educational programs of the Society of Professional Journalists and serves the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism.

For more information about Ethics Week, contact SPJ at spj@spj.org.

Below are summaries of the winning chapters' programs. Additionally, contact information is provided, so members can share best practices.

Region 1: Ithaca College will hold a forum on the pitfalls of Internet journalism, and how to harness properly the impact it can have. Contact: Ryan Parkhurst, (607) 274-3403 or rparkhurst@ithaca.edu.

Region 2: To focus on how media can improve their performance in crime coverage to minimize harm to victims, the Washington, D.C, Pro Chapter will hold a panel discussion. Contact: Bob Webb, (703) 329-1960 or rewebb@aol.com.

Region 3: South Florida Pro Chapter will hold an Ethics Hold'em tournament to teach ethics in an unconventional way. The tournament will feature three divisions: print, broadcast and university. Contact: Michael Koretzky, (954) 292-7515 or michael@koretzky.com.

Region 4: The Central Ohio Pro Chapter will present a panel of newspaper executives who will discuss actual cases where readers have complained that they have been harmed unnecessarily by news coverage. Contact: F. Michael Lorz, (614) 443-1877 or mlorz@rrcol.com.

Region 5: The Bluegrass Pro Chapter will hold a workshop for journalists on dealing with the families of victims following a couple of tragic accidents (ComAir Flight 5191 and mining deaths) that occurred in the area.

Contact: Liz Hansen, (859) 622-1488 or Hz. hansen@eku.edu.

Region 6: The Minnesota Pro Chapter will partner with the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota. The groups plan to invite the parents of Dru Sjodin to speak to journalists and members of the community about how the media handled the coverage of their daughter's abduction and murder. …