Thursday, February 27, 2014

Share your experience from the Speed Networking event

Thanks for hosting SPJ and PRSA, Univision!
Earlier this month, SPJ joined forces with Public Relations Society of America's San Antonio chapter for something we called "Speed Networking." About two-dozen journalists and public relations professionals convened at Univision's fabulous new digs and, after snacking, we settled down to business and asked each other questions relative to our roles.

We could not have imagined how successful the evening would be, and really appreciate everyone who made it a great success! Turns out, we actually enjoyed the much so that it was hard to get everyone to stop talking and move on to the next question.

Treasurer Jerry Townsend emceed the event, and started us off with this question, directed towards public relations personnel: How do you choose which reporters to work with?

Here's the answer I got from a PR person seated across from me who works with food and beverage purveyors:
Group photo of Speed Networkers at Univision studios 
"I look at a reporter’s blogs and tweets to see where his or her interests lie. If I have a particular angle I want to work -- like for beverages, it might be craft beers, I look for reporters who focus on that aspect. Or if I want to pitch the health properties of a food product, I'll look for someone who writes on parent issues, something that appeals to moms."

I found this answer insightful and helpful, and wanted to share for anyone else who might have been curious about our event. For those who attended - What did you learn about the "other side?" Please share your experience in the comments section.

-SPJ San Antonio board member Jackie Jordan

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Announcing our SPJ Movie Event! Join us March 1 at CineFestival!

SPJ San Antonio members and area journalists, we’re thrilled to invite you to a local film festival event March 1.  

Journalist Ruben Salazar was killed by a white sheriff’s deputy while the reporter was covering an anti-Vietnam march-turned-riot in East Los Angeles in August 1970. No one was ever charged in the case, and numerous questions remain about whether the deputy followed department protocol when he fired a tear-gas missile that killed Salazar.

Salazar’s story is the subject of the documentary “Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle,” showing at this year’s CineFestival. The screening is at 1 p.m. March 1 at the Guadalupe Theater. Director Phillip Rodriguez will be on hand for a Q&A after the screening.

Tickets are $8, but all registered SPJ members get a $2 discount.

CineFestival director Jim Mendiola was familiar with Rodriguez’s work and knew he was producing a film about Salazar and his storied journalism career. So he jumped at the chance to bring the film to CineFestival once it was completed.

Born in Mexico, Salazar moved with his family to El Paso when he was still an infant. His journalism career began there and took him to the Los Angeles Times, where he would become a foreign correspondent and the first Latino columnist for a major daily newspaper. After working abroad, Salazar returned to Los Angeles to cover the Chicano community for the Times but then left to become news director at a fledgling Spanish-language television station.

But despite Salazar’s remarkable career and the unresolved issues around his death, Mendiola was surprised that so many members of the CineFestival jury were unfamiliar with the journalist’s life.

“Some very smart and engaged people on the panel had not heard his story before,” Mendiola said. “People walk away very surprised at this forgotten piece of history.”

It appears the film had an impact on the jury — the movie was named Best Documentary at CineFestival.

We at SPJ San Antonio are excited to invite you to attend this event, about an important journalist who died doing the work we all love. Please join us March 1, at the Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe Street.

For more information about CineFestival, click here: