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The recent controversy around the Gizmodo tech blog’s decision to purchase a “lost” iPhone prototype for the sake of a scoop renewed the debate about the ethics and viability of checkbook journalism in today’s aggressive and competitive news environment.

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites the public to join in a dialogue with a distinguished panel of experts to examine how this old dilemma is playing out in the brave new media world.


Panelists include:

  • Marc Cooper, contributing editor, The Nation.
  • Jon Healey, editorial writer, Los Angeles Times.
  • Sharon Waxman, founding editor/publisher, “The Wrap” website.

Joel Bellman, press deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, will moderate.


Panel Discussion: “Ka-Ching! Checkbook Journalism: An Old Dilemma for the New Media”


7:30 – 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 27


Omni Hotel, Bradbury/Rose Room

251 S. Olive St. Los Angeles, CA




$20 for SPJ members, $23 for non-members.  Light refreshments will be served.


Seating is limited, so please let us know whether you’re coming by Friday, July 23.  E-mail spjlosangeles@gmail.com or call the SPJ/LA hotline at (323) 259-3350.


Validated parking will be available for $12 on Olive Street, or limited meter parking on Grand Avenue.

Details about the event will be posted on our Web site, https://spjla.wordpress.com/

Panelists include: Marc Cooper, USC Annenberg Journalism School senior lecturer who serves as contributing editor to The Nation, as columnist for L.A. Weekly, and as a frequent contributor to The Atlantic; Jon Healey, an opinion writer and a member of the editorial board at the Los Angeles Times who created the Bit Player blog in 2006, and Sharon Waxman, award-winning journalist and author who, as a long-time observer of the entertainment industry, has covered studio sales and corporate mergers, the Academy Awards, the film festivals and the unusual personalities that make up Hollywood.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, 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.

The Los Angeles chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association will host its 21st Annual National Convention, “Back to the Future,” Aug. 4-7 at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa in Los Angeles. Participants will have access to AAJA’s Career Fair & Expo. In addition, special seminars will be offered by Online News Association, Microsoft and National Public Radio. For rates and event schedules, please visit http://www.aaja.org.

The Asian American Journalists Association is a nonprofit professional and educational organization serving Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by encouraging journalism as a career, developing managers in the media industry, and promoting fair and accurate news coverage. AAJA is an alliance partner in UNITY Journalists of Color.

We thank jurors for holding police accountable for violating the First Amendment rights of journalists covering the 2007 May Day rally at MacArthur Park. The jury’s decision upholds a founding principle of the United States and serves to protect journalists called on to act as the eyes and ears of the public.

Jurors ruled police interfered with the First Amendment rights of all three journalists — Fox 11 TV reporter Christina Gonzalez, Fox camerawoman Patti Ballaz and KPCC reporter Patricia Nazario. Jurors also found officers used unreasonable force when they struck Ballaz and Nazario with police batons from behind.

We commend these journalists for putting themselves in harm’s way in order to inform the public. They have shown great courage in acting to protect the First Amendment and hold police accountable in a public court of law.

As former LAPD Chief William Bratton reportedly said in the days following the rally, ‘clearly, something went wrong’ and police ‘should never be engaged in attacking anyone in the media.’

We hope the outcome of this case serves as a reminder to the City Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles Police Department to respect the vital constitutional rights of journalists as public servants.

SPJ/LA Automotive panel

The "Covering The Automotive Industry" panel was held at Edmunds.com Thursday, June 17 in Santa Monica. Panelists, from left to right, were: Mike Michels of Toyota, Chris Woodyard of USA Today, Richard Saxton - Moderator, Jeremy Anwyl of Edmunds.com and Chris Hosford of Hyundai. Photo credit: Shirley Thompson

The two-hour panel discussion had a wide range of topics. Panelist and audience members discussed: the complexity of the automotive industry, the wide choice of story topics, accessing resources for stories, how 2010 auto sales reflect a slowly improving U.S. economy.

The group also talked about: the top 10  things you should know about the auto industry, Toyota’s recall headlines, alternative fuel vehicles, how little car dealers and salesmen make, how car shoppers hunt hard to save $100 on a $25,000 purchase, how cars are part of everyone’s life and more. Approximately 30 people attended.

The panel adjourned in time to catch the deciding last 3 minutes of the Laker’s Championship win.

What Company Will be the Next Toyota?

SPJ/LA Hosts Panel on Covering Breaking Issues in the Automotive Industry

Automotive news is bombarding front page headlines. The Toyota recalls happened on the heels of last year’s General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcies and government bailouts. Join the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at this panel to learn how to cover the complex beat of automotive designs, defects, trends and technologies.

WHEN: 6-8 p.m., Thursday June 17

WHERE: Edmunds Inc.

1620 26th Street – Suite 400

Santa Monica, CA 90404

WHO: Panelists include:

· Jeremy Anwyl, CEO, Edmunds.com, a leading consumer automotive website.

· Chris Woodyard, automotive reporter, USA Today.

· Mike Michels, vice president, external communications, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.

· Chris Hosford, executive director, Corporate Communications, Hyundai Motors America.

Richard Saxton, freelance journalist, will moderate.

COST: The event is free. Light refreshments will be served.

RSVP: Space is limited; RSVPs are required. E-mail spjlosangeles@gmail.com or call the SPJ/LA hotline at (323) 259-3350.

PARKING: Validated parking will be available in the Edmunds parking lot.

Embrace your inner geek and join the Society of Professional Journalists for an evening of drinks and board games on Tuesday, May 25 at the Redwood Bar in downtown LA!

Scrabble out of your cubicle and come use your cranium!

Got something better to do? Balderdash!

Don’t miss it or you’ll be sorry!

OK, enough with the puns. Just come by and bring your favorite board game!

The mixer is free and open to all. Please let us know you’re coming by sending an e-mail to: spjlosangeles@gmail.com

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, 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.

WHAT: SPJ-LA’s May Mixer

WHO: No guest. Just games!

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25

WHERE: We’ll meet in the back room at the Redwood Bar and Grill, 316 W. 2nd Street in downtown L.A.; 213-680-2600. Street and lot parking is available in the area. The bar is close to the Civic Center Red Line Metro stop.

COST: It’s free fun for all! (You’ll have to buy your own drinks. Happy hour ends at 7 p.m. so get your drinks early!)