PRSA local update: For those who can't attend Anita Foster and John Hoffmann's presentation on the American Red Cross response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita at the Greater Fort Worth PRSA November meeting, here's another chance -- the Dallas PRSA meeting the next day. More at prsadallas.com/nov05_lunch.html.
PRSA local update II: A cross-section of Star-Telegram journalists -- reporters Anna Tinsley (city hall beat), John Gutierrez-Mier (social services), Jan Jarvis (health care) and Heather Landy (retailing beat); editors Kristin Sullivan (AME/Arlington), Steve Kaskovich (AME/business) and Lee Williams (Fort Worth metro editor); and columnists J.R. Labbe, Bud Kennedy and Mitch Schnurman -- will expound on many things journalistic at PRSA's first Members Only Editorial Forum, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Petroleum Club. The reporters panel will be at 8:30, editors at 9:30 and columnists at 10:30. Registration is at 8; Bill Lawrence will moderate. The forum is open only to chapter members and is free, although a donation to the Goodfellow Fund would be appreciated. The regular monthly luncheon follows. RSVP by noon Nov. 4: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRSA local update III: Watch your mailbox and inbox for details on "Life in the Fast Lane: Navigating Your Way to PR Success," the 2006 PRSA Southwest District Conference, sponsored by the Greater Fort Worth and Dallas chapters, March 2-3 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Fort Worth. Anyone interested in being a presenter, contact Tracy Sturrock at email@example.com or Ashley Wesson Antle at firstname.lastname@example.org. ... The year's last PRSA Education SIG social will be 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Central Market, I-30 and Hulen Street. Buy lunch downstairs, then head upstairs to the community room.
SPJ national update: Don't like the reporting? Make the writers stay home; teleconference with soldiers staged; and on the dangerous frontiers of real journalism. White House reporters object to new restrictions on the number of journalists allowed to go on advance trips to foreign countries to be visited by the president. The new limits halve the number of media people permitted to go, and the writers say this curtails their ability to prepare for the overseas excursions. More here. ... It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Oct. 13 were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and the vote on an Iraqi constitution. The White House defended the video conference, saying that the military personnel were expressing their own thoughts, but one senior military commander told Fox News that he's outraged by the way the young were coached, and others pointed out that despite Pentagon spin attempts, the soldiers clearly were given answers that had been "drilled through" -- in the words used by Allison Barber, deputy secretary of defense for internal communications, on a tape that captured her 45-minute practice run of the event. More here and here. ... "I recently traveled to Iraq and China, where many journalists are paying a very high price for trying to inform their audiences. These are societies with no experience of a free press. Yet I met many Iraqi and Chinese reporters who intuitively grasp the Jeffersonian notion that freedom requires an informed public and a press that serves as a check on official power. How ironic that, in the United States, the very idea of the Fourth Estate as a guard against abuse of power is under attack. This irony becomes even more pronounced when one observes the risks many journalists from Iraq, China and other developing countries take to uncover their stories. ... " More here.
SPJ national update II: Show them the money; and blogs, local TV muddy bombing story. More than 120 people e-mailed Connie Schultz by mid-afternoon Oct. 13 after she published a column headlined "For Future Journalists, It's Cash Not Causes." The Plain Dealer of Cleveland writer quoted numerous j-profs, one of whom told her: "We're losing so many hard-news students to public relations, advertising and marketing. They just want to make money." More here and here. ... The college town of Norman, Okla., has struggled to separate fact from fiction in the apparent suicide of Joel Henry Hinrichs III, who blew himself up 100 yards away from a packed football stadium Oct. 1. Several bloggers tried to connect the dots in the case and speculate that the 21-year-old OU junior was a suicide bomber under the influence of Islam. The blog reports affected local news coverage but also presented inaccuracies. More here.
SPJ national update III: Feeling safe?; U.S. generals see need for reduced presence in Iraq; good intentions gone bad; and papers ignore Pentagon, mark 2,000th U.S. death in Iraq. A four-month ABC News investigation found gaping security holes at many of the little-known nuclear research reactors on 25 college campuses across the country. Among the findings: unmanned guard booths, a guard who appeared to be asleep, unlocked building doors and, in a number of cases, guided tours that provided access to control rooms and reactor pools that hold radioactive fuel. More here. ... The American generals running the Iraq war said in congressional testimony last month that the presence of U.S. forces is fueling the insurgency, fostering an undesirable dependency on American troops among the nascent Iraqi armed forces and energizing terrorists across the Middle East. For all these reasons, they said, a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops is imperative. More here. ... Newsweek's Baghdad bureau chief, departing after two years, had a few final thoughts. They aren't that pleasant. More here. ... Several top U.S. newspapers treated the 2,000th American military death in Iraq as a major milestone Oct. 26. The New York Times even used that officially disapproved phrase in a headline at the top of a page. USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post all carried special features. More here.