Winners announced in 2015 Headliners contest

The Utah Headliners are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s local journalism contest. This year’s competition proved especially strong, with 854 entries coming in from media outlets on all platforms.

Winners and finalists, along with the 2015 Honorees, were recognized Thursday night in Salt Lake City at a banquet at Frida Bistro.

Click HERE for a full list of winners.

Come party like a journalist

Please mark your calendars and join us Thursday, June 18, at 6 p.m. to celebrate the best of Utah journalism. 

The festivities at Frida Bistro, 545 W. 700 South, in Salt Lake City, will begin with a cocktail hour featuring margaritas, beer, wine, soft drinks, appetizers and an opportunity to mingle with journalists from across the state. A buffet of Frida Bistro’s sophisticated Mexican cuisine will be served at 7 p.m. followed by a presentation of the awards from the Utah Headliners contest, including this year’s Utah SPJ Honors. We are pleased to welcome the event’s emcee, Utah cinema “troll” and news veteran Darren Ewing.

Banquet tickets include the refreshments at the cocktail hour and dinner. Tickets are $25 for SPJ members and $35 for non-members. Tables of eight are available for purchase at the members rate. (To purchase tickets click here.)

Board Meeting Minutes – Oct. 16, 2014

SPJ – Utah Headliners
10-16-14 Board Meeting Minutes
Location: Jim Fisher Residence

Nate Carlisle, McKenzie Romero, Jim  Fisher, Emma Penrod, Eric Peterson, Sheryl Worsley, Joel Campbell, Tiffany Frandsen (UVU Student)

Meeting was called to order at 6:40pm
1. Approval of the minutes: Nate Carlisle made a motion to approve the minutes of the Sept. 27, 2014 Board Meeting. Sheryl Worsley 2nd.. unanimous approval

2. Finances Update. Tom is excused for illness. McKenzie summarized finance report update.
Check was cut for Ben Winslow for website reimbursement.
Seeking more affordable website hosting options.

3. Court Pool Update.. Sheryl Worsley provided report.
– New FTP site established for sharing court video pool – Chad Curtis, BYU-TV created and sent out the login and registration info to media members.
– Seeking legal counsel from Jeff Hunt and David Reymann on the issue of who should be able to participate in the established court pool.
* It’s our understanding that the court feels only established, registered media should be allowed to participate in pool.
* SPJ wants to protect freedom of the press and does not want to go down the road of the court deciding who is or isn’t a member of the media.
– Court Pool Members meet with legal advisors Tuesday 10/21 at 2PM at KSL.

4. Forest Service Letter Update presented by Nate Carlisle. The letter calls for a permitting process for commercial photographers/videographers that that will not impact journalists, Our concern is that the parks will want to impose fees on journalists covering stories in the parks
Nate summarized the message of the letter and passed it around.
Public Comment runs thru November..
Jim Fisher made a motion to approve the letter for signature and submit. Sheryl Worsley 2nd the motion. Passed unanimously.

5. Sponsorship of Visiting Foreign Reporter – Josh Smith, reporting for Stars & Stripes currently. Seasoned war/conflict correspondent.
12/1 – SUU Presentation
12/2 – SLC Presentation
Honorarium – SPJ should consider providing $250 (Honorarium was approved)
Free Event – no charge
Possible locations…SLC Library, KSL
Sheryl Worsley moved to sponsor Josh Smith’s presentation. Jim Fisher 2nd the motion. Passed unanimously.
* Outreach to college campuses… Emma is developing updated contact lists at Universities.

6. SPJ Utah Headliners Survey presented by Nate Carlisle
– Bottom line.. not many journalists know who we are and what we do and when we do it. A third of the respondents didn’t know we held an annual banquet. 94 Respondents. Nate summarized the survey results and provided digital and hard copies to everyone present. Most respondents were professional journalists who are interested in instructional seminars/programs.
Nate recommends everyone reviews the survey and sends feedback to board.
Establishing a task force to review/decipher survey results: Nate Carlisle, Emma Penrod & Jim Fisher with McKenzie Romero serving as an observer to the task force.

7. Blogger Training Session..presented by Eric Peterson.
Planning.. we need to secure location.. at the BYU Salt Lake Center. Joel says we have a reservation for 11/15. Time: 10am to 2pm – 3 x 50 minute sessions with lunch provided by SPJ Utah Headliners.
Alternate location: SLCC is a possibility.
Cost: We’d like to keep it under $150.
Type of classroom necessary – non-computer equipped is fine.
Estimating 15-20 participants.
Rosemary Cundiff, Utah Ombudsman is planning to attend.
Eric Peterson (introduction)
Grama/FOIA – Rosemary Cundiff
Research – Nate Carlisle
Ethics & Legal – Jim Fisher and Joel Campbell
Seminar will be open to all…Nate Carlisle will send out alerts/invite to media outlets.

8. Additional/Misc. Business…
– McKenzie will distribute the latest information provided by Regional.

Next Board Meeting: Thursday November 20th at 6:30PM at Salt Lake Tribune. McKenzie will alert members of exact location.

Jim Fisher moved to adjourn, Nate 2nd motion.
Meeting adjourned at 7:42

Board Meeting Minutes — Sept. 27, 2014

SPJ Board Meeting 9/27/14

In attendance:

George Severson, Sheryl  Worsley, Tom Haraldsen, Jim Fisher, Nate Carlisle, McKenzie Romero, Linda Petersen, Connie Coyne, Eric Peterson

1. Motion to approve the minutes of the last two meetings was made by Sheryl and seconded by Jim

All aye

2. Membership update – McKenzie

Our number of memberships is currently hovering in the 50s. However, there is growth in prospective members with students at UVU working to get a chapter going. Utah State has also expressed interest in building up its chapter again. Their charter is still valid.

3. Finances: Tom

Current balance is $6196.34. Tom said we are in much better financial shape than we were last year.

We need to cut a check of $26 to Ben Winslow for domain names.

4. EIJ:  McKenzie & Sheryl gave a report on the national convention

A motion to change the name from The Society of Professional Journalists to The Society for Professional Journalism died. Sheryl expects to see it again as the motion’s author Michael Koretsky is passionate about it.

A new national code of ethics was approved. Sheryl said there are just minor changes. (copy attached). Sheryl voted for it. The new version is online at

[Sheryl was a write-in regional 3 director candidate for RTDNA. She has accepted the position.]

5. Video Pool: Sheryl

Eric Johnson, a family law attorney, has been pushing for him and his associate Brian Godfrey to be allowed be part (and sometimes representative) of the media pool which shares video feed of court proceedings. The court has responded to his requests by closing family law cases to the pool. Godfrey, while not formally a journalist, was able to get a judge in the Uintah Basin to allow him to be designated as “pool” in a particular case which ended up being cancelled.

Court officials told Godfrey he needed camera equipment. He contacted KSL to ask them what equipment they used.

This has produced an unusual situation which court officials are at a loss to handle. There was some discussion on whether SPJ could come up with some guidelines. However, board members were reluctant of being put in the position of defining who is or isn’t a journalist, and were concerned that could make the chapter liable if those guidelines were questioned.

After much discussion, the board came to a consensus that instead of producing such guidelines, it would be best if Johnson and Godfrey address their issues with the courts and that SPJ should address the closing of family law hearings by the courts separately.

McKenzie made the motion to table the topic until after the media pool committee meets on Sept. 30. Sheryl seconded the motion.

6. Survey – Nate

Nate has prepared a survey to go out to all journalists in the state.  It asks for demographic info. and seeks feedback on how SPJ could help them.

Sheryl suggests adding “manager” to the occupation category. Nate will also add “freelance.” George suggested asking what topics they would like to see SPJ address but Nate was concerned about the survey being too long.

The survey will go out Oct. 1 with a deadline of Oct. 14. Nate will handle publicity. The survey will be sent to all those on SPJ’s mailing list, along with UPA, all news outlets, universities, broadcasters

Nate will report on the results at the next board meeting.

(Note: Nate later realized he had a scheduling conflict so the surveys were issued Sept. 30 and remained open through Oct. 13.)

7. Bylaws update – Connie

Connie presented board members with copies of a draft of updated bylaws. She suggests making as few changes as possible  and just updating the bylaws instead.

Some of the changes she’s proposing are

– a mechanism to add board members

– being able to nominate officers from the floor during a meeting for the election

– that board members can only miss two board meeting in a year without the approval of the president

-that board votes must carry by a majority of 50% +1.

8. Blogger training: Eric

Eric has put out feelers out with Utah Political Capital (3-4 likely to attend) Utah Politico Hub  (8-10 likely to attend). Both groups are interested. Most people we are targeting are along the Wasatch Front. The suggestion was made to film it and to also make it a webinar so we can send it out and post it on our website.

Some suggested topics that were discussed:

-doing things on the cheap

-how to get on media lists

– contact info. for PIOs

– Xchange

– legal liability (ethics)

– FOI, resources (tips, appeals); how to file a GRAMA request

We tentatively planned it to be:

Nov. 15, three 50-minute sessions over lunch (SPJ will provide food), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., BYU SL.

Eric will reach out to Libertas, other outlets.

9. Nate and Trent Nelson want to put on a photo & video workshop for professionals and aspiring professionals in the spring, possibly in March.

We discussed taking boot camp on the road to Cedar City. SUU has volunteered some cash if we do. No date was set.

Sheryl reported that RFCP is putting on an IFOIA webinar  in January. She suggested that we could record it and send it out to our membership.

In the interest of time, McKenzie suggested that everyone who had a program suggestion draft a program proposal and send it out to the board.

Nate suggested that SPJ needs to write a letter against Forest Service charging fees for taking pics in the wilderness. He will write it.

Tom was contacted by our new regional director Tom Johnson from New Mexico. He would like to get the regional director monies Headliners has been holding since Don Meyers resigned.

He wants FOI to be a big issue.

He is going to be out of the country for several months and needs an assistant R.D., Tom H. agreed to do it.

Our next board meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 16 at 6:30 at Jim’s house, 331 Argyle Court, SLC.

The meeting was adjourned.

Board Meeting Minutes — Aug. 14, 2014

In attendance: McKenzie Romero, Nate Carlisle, Connie Coyne, George Seversen, Linda Petersen, Sheryl Worsley, Tom Haraldsen.

Visitor: Eric Peterson – City Weekly

A motion was made to wait to approve minutes until our September board meeting (not everyone had a chance to review). Sheryl will prepare an addendum to be added of the June meeting (which was just a brief meeting before our awards reception.)

Membership update – McKenzie

We have 56 paid members currently. Sheryl just received a check from National for membership.

Financial update – Tom

We have a few small outstanding bills from the contest and the regional conference. Currently we have $7,148.74 in checking. While contest entries slightly lower than last year, we have more money than this time last year because we actually made money on the regional conference (a first!) thanks in large part to our sponsors. Tom will give a full report at our next meeting.

McKenzie heard from Don Meyers who is now in Yakima, Washington. He has some regional director money. He is going to send it to Headliners for “safekeeping.” (Someone called Tom Johnson is running unopposed for Region 9 director.)

A discussion ensued about why entry numbers have dropped. Possibilities are economics, i.e. news outlets are not paying for contests much anymore. There also may be a perception among some major outlets that there is not much competition.

Connie suggested reaching out to TV and radio to see what we can do for them and involve them in SPJ more. She volunteered to head up a subcommittee to come up with ideas.

Eric said he has been thinking about reaching out to more recently established blogs to help them learn about FOI, GRAMA, ethics and other issues. We discussed the possibility of sponsoring it as a possible Headliners program. Eric is going to flesh out the idea and bring it back to us in September. McKenzie asked everyone to come up with a program idea for next month.

Water symposium – Nate

After researching the issue, Nate has determined that it won’t be possible to put the symposium on this year. We had hoped to get grants from foundations but Nate said they’re only interested in dealing with nonprofits. UFOG, since it does not file yearly reports and has been largely inactive this last year, is not a strong possibility to partner with even though it has 501c3 status. The Utah Association of Latino Journalists just got approved for 501c3 status. It has taken two years. McKenzie and Sheryl are going to

Connie made the motion to table the symposium and pursue the chapter getting 501c3 designation. Sheryl seconded the motion. It was a unanimous vote of support.

Test the waters of how we partner with UFOG.

Excellence In Journalism (SPJ national conference) plans for McKenzie & Sheryl

Sheryl will be the delegate, because McKenzie has to leave early. The chapter will pay for McKenzie.

KSL is paying for Sheryl. Tom asked them to get contacts for our contest. Since delegates will vote on whether to change the code of ethics Sheryl asked everyone to read the draft of SPJ ethics codes and let her know how they feel.

Board members & responsibilities

Connie is the new membership chair. She is writing an email to encourage local journalists to get involved with SPJ and is testing it on the Salt Lake Tribune staff.  The email discusses the idea that journalism is in such a precarious position that people need to be more networked with other journalists through SPJ. The more that we stand together the stronger we are. SPJ puts you together with the ideas about journalism that are important in the state.

(Sheena McFarland will be back on board next month, Connie reports)

We recapped the decisions made at June meeting/ vote in officers

Past President: Sheryl Worsley

President: McKenzieRomero

Contest /Treasurer: Tom Haraldsen

Secretary/FOI – Linda Petersen

Ethics – Jim Fisher

Publicity – George Seversen

Student – Emma Penrod

Membership – Connie Coyne

Tom suggested that there should be a required minimum attendance for board members. The bylaws don’t address any attendance requirements. Sheryl made a motion that we include that requirement in the bylaws. Tom seconded the motion. Unanimous vote in support.

Connie & McKenzie will go through the bylaws and come up with recommendations.

In June the board voted Nate as vice president with the caveat that Nate accept. Nate is unable to accept the responsibility at this time.

McKenzie suggested George for the position of VP. Tom made the motion to nominate George for the position and Connie seconded it. Unanimous vote in support

With George moving into the VP position, that left the publicity position open. Nate volunteered to do publicity

Connie made the motion to approve Nate and Sheryl seconded it. Unanimous vote in support.

Next Meeting:  Sept. 27 – 10 a.m. George’s house

Congratulations, winners!

We’re proud to present the results of this year’s Utah Headliner’s local journalism contest! Thank you to all who entered — with several hundred submissions, competition was steep. Well done!

Special award recipients:
Clifford P. Cheney Service to Journalism- Carole Mikita, KSL
Roy B. Gibson FOI- Tim Fitzpatrick, Salt Lake Tribune
Quintus C. Wilson Ethics- Tony Semerand and Tom Harvey, Salt Lake Tribune
Don Baker Investigative Reporting- Tom Harvey & Robert Gehrke, Salt Lake Tribune
Josephine Zimmerman- the Catalyst

** Click here to download a full list of results **