May 01, 2008 11:11 ET

SPJ to Launch Citizen Journalism Academy in Chicago

INDIANAPOLIS, IN--(Marketwire - May 1, 2008) - The Society of Professional Journalists will launch the first of three Citizen Journalism Academy programs May 17 at DePaul University in Chicago.

The workshop will teach citizens how to practice accurate and ethical journalism. The Society aims to help participants understand how such practices could increase reach and reputations within a specified community and around the world.

"As people are practicing journalism through blogs, Web site production and interaction with sites maintained by mainstream news organizations, they're contributing to the daily news cycle while influencing how community members get their news and perceive the world around them," said SPJ President Clint Brewer. "SPJ sees this as an opportunity to help citizen journalists by arming them with the tools they will need to be an effective citizen journalist or community watchdog."

Topics in these one-day workshops will explore:

-- Journalism ethics. The new-media landscape is rife with dilemmas for
   anyone wanting to report accurately, fairly and outside the bounds
   of special interests.
-- The basics of media law. The same longstanding laws concerning libel,
   slander and access to people and information apply to 21st-century
-- Access to public records and meetings. Public information can add
   substance and value to every news story. But knowing where to look
   for it can be tough.
-- Standard and responsible reporting practices. With media ethics and
   law in mind, how else should news-gatherers approach sources?
-- The use of technology. We'll show you an array of tools you could
   start using -- or continue using even more effectively.

The program will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost to attend the Citizen Journalism Academy is $25, which includes lunch and course materials. For more information about this program or to register, visit Please note, the registration deadline is May 3 and seating is limited.

Other upcoming Citizen Journalism Academy workshops include Greensboro, N.C. on June 7 and Los Angeles on June 28.

Funding for this program is provided by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) public foundation organized for the purpose of supporting the educational programs of the Society of Professional Journalists and to serve the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation's largest and most broad-based journalism advocacy organization. SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For further information on SPJ, please visit

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Clint Brewer
    (615) 301-9229
    Email Contact

    Beth King, APR
    Communications Manager
    (317) 927-8000 ext. 211
    Email Contact