Monday, July 23, 2007

From Ideas to Action- Scripps Institute 2007

Six weeks after the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute in Indianapolis on the Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus, our local efforts to step up professional development, keep government open and promote ethical newsgathering are just now hitting.

For most college chapters, the Society of Professional Journalists chapter activity is rather low this time of year.

At the moment, I’m preparing for a planning luncheon for our chapter officers.

Topping that agenda will be the plans/goals that I drafted for the chapter following the Institute, which took place the first week of June. The key word is “drafted.” These strategic goals are only ideas that the officers and the chapter’s other co-adviser need to embrace even before putting the vision before the entire chapter membership for a vote.

Leadership styles and management strategies were among the topics on which we focused during our three days at the Scripps Institute. It was refreshing to see how many other journalists had the leadership style as I. But, it’s just as important to realize htose leadership styles in the other chapter officers.

Just as important as the strategies, goals and vision for our chapter is having a firm understanding of the national organization and where it’s going.

One of the highlights of the Scripps Leadership Institute was the question-and-answer session with the top national SPJ officers. President-Elect Clint Brewer (from the City Paper in Nashville) delivered a “State of the SPJ” address and took questions from Institute attendees.

Caring about the future of journalism is a reason why one might be involved in SPJ. The Scripps Institute helped me get a view of how we can make this all-important organization even better.

The Institute wasn't all work. We had a little "play" time on Friday night as I had a chance to go "duck-pin" bowling for the first time. Sue Porter from the Scripps Howard Foundation probably bowled better than I.

It may have taken six weeks fro me to write this summary of my experience. But, my enthusiasm for what I do as an SPJ co-adviser is no less intense now than it was when I attended the Institute last month.

Now the real work begins.

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