Here’s a sampling of some the events our chapter has hosted recently. If you have an idea for an event you’d like to see, please get in touch. Check our Latest Updates page for information on upcoming events. 

The Ariel Castro Case: Covering a Sensitive Story in the Age of Twitter – April 2014

We hosted a joint event with the Cleveland SPJ Chapter to have a discussion with some of the journalists who covered the discovery of the three women who had been held captive by Ariel Castro in Cleveland after they went missing a decade ago. The panelists included Leila Atassi, reporter for The Plain Dealer; John Kosich, reporter for WEWS-TV; and Tom Moore, news anchor for Newsradio WTAM 1100.  We spoke with the panelists via Skype and had the chance to ask them how they covered the story with social media and about any ethical challenges they had to overcome.

SPJ Sunshine Week Featuring Pulitzer Prize Winner M.L. Elrick – March 2014

Each year, SPJ and journalists recognize Sunshine Week as a time to promote and advocate for open records and open government. This year, we hosted journalist M.L. Elrick at a bar in downtown Lansing to have him speak about those issues and many others facing journalists. Elrick is best known for being part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that broke the Kwame Kilpatrick text messaging scandal story that eventually brought down the former mayor of Detroit.

Journalists and P.R. Pros: Friends or Foes? – January 2014

As most of our members are located in the state capital in Lansing, public relations professionals and journalists interact frequently on a daily basis. So we brought the two sides together for a panel discussion to hash out differences and figure out how best to improve communication. The panel featured two of our working SPJ journalists and two former journalists who now have PR jobs with the state government. We had a good mix of both journalists and PR pros attend, as we partnered with the Central Michigan chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).