Georgia SPJ student chapters hold events in November

Student Chapter News

SPJ GSU presents, “How to put the ME in your social media”

SPJ Georgia State presents, “How to put the ME in your social media,” on Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m., at SIDEBAR, 79 Poplar Street, Atlanta. RSVP for this FREE EVENT.  SPJ Georgia Professional Chapter is one of the sponsors for this event.

Are your social media profiles career-ready? You can bet employers are gonna check you out. A Careerbuilder study found 40 percent of hiring managers look up candidates – nearly half of those have passed on making a job offer because of something unseemly they found.

Join SPJ Georgia State for a social media workshop that will give you …

  • A professional portrait. Our experienced photographers will light you, shoot you and send you a couple to choose from. We’ll put your selfies to shame.
  • Professional bio and about pages. Hiring managers will tell you what they look for – and what they cringe at. Learn not to burn yourself.
  • Professional writing advice. Say more with less. Journalists whose job is to to write tightly will show you how – especially helpful when you only have 140 characters to play with.

All Georgia State journalism students and professional journalists are invited to attend.

For more information, contact Leah Jordan, SPJ GSU president, at


SPJ Kennesaw State hold free screening of “A Fragile Trust”

a-fragile-trust-j-blair-at-the-new-york-timesSPJ Kennesaw State University student chapter presents the FREE screening of “A Fragile Trust,” at Kennesaw State University, Thursday, Nov. 13, at 5 p .m., at the Social Science Building, Room 1019, 402 Bartow Avenue, Kennesaw, Georgia  30144.  Map of Kennesaw State University.

All KSU students and professional journalists are invited to attend.

For more information, contact Ellen Eldridge at


SPJ Georgia Professional upcoming events

Freelancing seminars coming in 2015

The blueprint of journalism is changing. Professional journalists will continue to produce top-notch writing and multimedia work with high standards (SPJ Code of Ethics), but the professional is shifting to include more freelance or independent journalists. Young and seasoned journalists are preparing themselves to become self-employed businesses with a marketing plan, branding techniques and social media expertise.

SPJ Georgia is ready to help journalists evolve into the word of freelance or independent journalism. In 2015, SPJ Georgia will be offering freelance seminars that will supply journalists the skills they will need as they move into this new journalism market. Topics to be covered include:  branding and marketing as a freelancer, tackling the business aspect of freelancing and finding your clients with effective pitches and queries.

Watch for the 2015 freelance seminars in upcoming SPeachJ newsletters.

In the meantime, check out SPJ National’s websites for freelancers:  “Dealing with rejection”


SPJ Georgia/SPJ East Tennessee plan joint event in March 2015

SPJ Georgia and SPJ East Tennessee want journalists to meet in beautiful Chattanooga, Tennessee, in March 2015, for a joint event covering social media and mentoring young journalists.

It may be time to refine your social media skills as part of your current job or maybe starting up a new freelance or independent journalist business. Also, mentoring young journalists is what the Society of Professional Journalists is all about! Let’s help escort them into the new evolution of professional journalism with advice, opportunities to intern and encouragement to succeed.

Keep your eye on SPeachJ for details on this first time event with SPJ East Tennessee!



Freelancers are the future of global journalism, local pundit wins First Amendment case

Ruksana Hussain
Ruksana Hussain

Continuing from my last column before the national conference in Nashville, my first time at an SPJ conference was quite the experience. I am still reviewing my notes from EIJ 2014 and putting in place some great pointers I learned. Of course, not every session was right up my alley but it was certainly worth my time and money, given I was attending as a freelancer.

It’s a great time at SPJ when we have, at the helm, a freelance journalist, Dana Neuts, as our President. Our Region III Director, Michael Koretzky, is a freelance journalist as well. And the latest issue of Quill shares many stories of freelance journalists and several resources available to all members of SPJ. Bret Schulte shares places for finding the story while Genevieve Belmaker’s stories highlight freelance journalists and the risks they take amidst conflict reporting. …

Closer home in Atlanta, freelance journalist George Chidi faced charges of stalking and ‘causing a scene’, and a temporary protective order as a result, for simply asking questions addressed at Dekalb County Commissioner candidate Tim Owens, at public forums. Sure enough, the First Amendment trumped and Mr Chidi is back to his job as a journalist, and one he is darn good at – he pens stories for PeachPundit, AJC, Inc and more. SPJGA Pro member Sharon Dunten followed events closely and has remarks and coverage here.

Freelancers do form a large part of the journalistic community, especially considering the recent layoffs at several big media companies across the country. Global opportunities for work and research were one of many interesting sessions geared toward freelancers at the convention as was Koretzky’s enlightening and entertaining session on freelance foul-ups. Both can be heard as audio podcasts on the conference recap here.

Michael Fitzgerald, Chair of the SPJ Freelance Community, hosted a session on freelance dream gigs (featuring Atlanta-based freelancer Paul Kvinta) as well as presented at the ‘So you want to be a freelancer’ session where his co-presenter Rebecca Aguilar mentioned MuckRack as a solid tool for journalists to use not just as a portfolio site but to also connect with fellow members of the media. If you don’t have a MuckRack profile then the latest issue of Quill has a digital media feature on how to make the most of it. The story says 25,000 journalists currently use that platform so maybe high time you joined the party?

Share your profile here if you’d like, and do tell if you have resources to share with your colleagues in Atlanta. Now go forth and conquer!

Ruksana Hussain is a board member of SPJ Georgia and is a professional freelancer. 


SPJ Georgia spotlight

Adina Solomon

Adina Solomon, SPJ Georgia pro member, travels to England during her vacation from teaching English to French students in France.

Adina Solomon, SPJ Georgia co-founder and pro member, is living her dream to teach English to students in France.  For the next school year, Solomon will be living and teaching in the central area of Limousin – in the small town of Gueret.  Link to Solomon’s blog here to follow her European journey.

SPJ Georgia is looking for our next SPJ Georgia member spotlight.  SPJ Georgia wants to introduce its professional members to the state of Georgia and beyond.  Email to be spotlighted or to nominate some.  



SPJ National offers 6-month waiver

TransitionalMembership_Ad small (1) copySPJ members and chapters are the lifeline to the Society of Professional Journalists.

It has been painful to watch our SPJ Georgia members, our friends, who have lost jobs as a result of the economy and drastic industry changes.  In an effort to help through this rough time, the SPJ National is now offering a six-month dues waiver to current members who have been laid off as a result of these unfortunate circumstances. To see if you qualify for the waiver, and to submit a request, please download this form and return it to SPJ headquarters. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity.

Also, check  and SPJ Georgia social media websites frequently.  We list new job listings all the time on Facebook and Twitter.

We need each other more than ever.


SPEACHJ Breaking News

When breaking news about a journalist or journalism is occurring in Georgia (or nationally), the SPeachJ Breaking News will be covering it.  The breaking news will be email blasted immediately to our SPJ Georgia members and SPJ Georgia social media.  If you have news about a journalist or journalism occurring in Georgia that needs to covered in SPeachJ Breaking News, contact or call  Sharon Dunten at (317) 410-7217.  The journalist does not need to be a SPJ or SPJ Georgia member.  We are advocates for all journalists.


Become a charter member of SPJ Georgia

YOU CAN JOIN SPJ Georgia as a charter member and further your journalistic ambitions and the industry in Georgia. For more information, email or call (317) 410-7217. Would you like to receive a SPJ Georgia Directory?  SPJ Georgia members please email


SPJ Georgia board meeting review

  • SPJ Georgia board to support for SPJ GSU and SPJ KSU student chapters and events
  • SpeachJ will start spotlighting SPJ Georgia members on a monthly basis
  • Board voted to to give journalism students an opportunity to write for SpeachJ
  • Freelancing event planned for February with Lindsay Gladu, SPJGA social media coordinator, in the leadership position
  • March joint event with SPJ East Tennessee in the works for middle March
  • Some new members of the 2015 SPJ Georgia board members announced
  • 2015 SPJ Georgia board members are invited to attend the next two SPJ Georgia board meetings
  • SPeachJ Breaking News and SPeachJ Express will be introduced the SPeachJ website in November

The next board meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m. at the Hudson Grill in Brookhaven. Please contact if you want to attend the meeting. Please note that all records are open to SPJ Georgia members upon request.




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