SPJ Open Letter To NMSU President

President Garrey Carruthers  (see his response below)

The Society of Professional Journalists Río Grande Chapter is alarmed and disappointed by the efforts of New Mexico State University administrators to weaken the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA).

Draft changes circulated by university leaders would significantly limit the public’s access to information about institutions they fund with their own tax dollars. Such changes would leave New Mexicans less informed about their government and remove vital safeguards against abuses of power.

For example, draft amendments we have reviewed would give law enforcement broad discretion in determining whether certain public records should be kept secret.

While couched in concerns about privacy and due process, we believe this would give law enforcement too much leeway in deciding what the public has a right to know. That, in turn, would give law enforcement too much room to skirt oversight.

We are similarly alarmed by a proposal that would allow public institutions to withhold records pertaining to complaints alleging civil rights violations by those same institutions. This proposal is also couched in concerns about due process.

We believe secrecy should be the exception rather than the rule.

IPRA is strong because it is simple.

Journalists and the general public rely on this accessible law each day to better understand the institutions that serve them.

We urge New Mexico State University to abandon these proposals before they go any further and instead join us in calling on lawmakers to bolster the public’s right to know by holding accountable those institutions that flout this vital law.


The Board of Directors of the Society of Professional Journalists Río Grande Chapter

Response from President Carruthers

Thank you for your comments. I will take them under advisement as we work with the legislature. Our biggest issue may be the inordinate amount of staff time we have to use to ferret out, in some cases, thousands of pages of documents. I am sure, at a minimum, you would support legislative changes that would allow us full cost recovery to provide all of these documents. It seems your biggest concern is restricting information from police files. I get it!

Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Office of the President
New Mexico State University
P. O. Box 30001
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001
Phone 575-646-2035
Fax 575-646-6334

NMSPJ Condemns Barring Of Reporter From Press Conference

On January 20, Mayor Richard Berry called a news conference to discuss the selection of an independent monitor to oversee reform at the Albuquerque Police Department. City staff sent an announcement to various news outlets, including New Mexico Political Report. That news organization sent Margaret Wright, an established local journalist, to cover the news conference. Wright was barred from the news conference by an APD officer. She offered to show identification as well as proof that she’d been invited. The officer refused to look at any of it and barred Wright from attending.

Wright asked the Rio Grande Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for a comment on the matter. The board of directors issued the following statement:

A free, diverse press is an essential component in an informed democracy. If Mayor Richard Berry’s administration is going to send out news releases inviting news organizations to news conferences, the mayor and his subordinates must allow those news organizations’ journalists to attend when they show up.
That’s not what happened on January 20.
The Rio Grande chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) strongly condemns the mayor’s arbitrary barring of journalists from important news events that impact the community.
The practice runs a grave risk of giving the public the perception that it is used to keep out members of the press that the city doesn’t like. Powerful government officials should not be allowed to pick and choose which reporters cover them.

Note: NMSPJ President Andy Lyman also works with New Mexico Political Report. He was not involved in the drafting of this statement.


Rio Grande Sun Hiring Reporter

The Rio Grande Sun, an 11,000 paid circulation weekly newspaper in Northern New Mexico, seeks an energetic city reporter who shudders at meetings but will look behind the curtain.

In March 2014 one city council race was decided by a coin toss. One of the contestants was charged with child abuse one week earlier. In December another city councilor resigned because he was facing assault and battery charges after pistol whipping a man, then shooting at his departing vehicle.

We’re looking for someone to bring strong reporting and writing skills, work ethic and flawless AP Style. We are known statewide as strong advocates of open records and in-depth, broad, accurate investigative work. You will routinely ask for (and sometimes fight for) documents related to great stories found anywhere in city hall and its many departments. This is a political hot bed of fascinating stories. Several large pay raises would come quickly in the first year to a performing person who wants to write news the way it was taught 20 years ago. Good compensation package including health, vacation, sick and profit-sharing plan.

Please submit resume to Robert Trapp at mnged@riograndesun.com

KOB Hiring Video Editor

KOB TV in Albuquerque is hiring a video editor. Qualifications include one year of experience editing videotape for daily newscasts or related field. Must have proficient knowledge of  Beta SX editing equipment. Final Cut Pro (V.7) and some AVIDexperience is helpful.  Strong understanding of television news and production.  Some prior shooting experience as a photographer helpful. Must be a motivated self-starter that is able to work at a fast pace and meet strict deadlines.  Must be willing to work weekends, nights, extremely early morning hours, holidays and overtime when needed. Must be able to perform duties and maintain professionalism  under extreme deadline pressure. Reasonable typing skills needed.  We love people who love news!

Responsibilities will include, but not limited to: Video Editing Television news stories that meet a journalistic standard of accuracy, balance and ethics. Operating Beta videotape decks/digital NLE editing equipment and Mac/Windows computer software. Must be proficient with Final Cut Pro (V.7). Take/send feeds from field trucks, NBC, and other news organizations. Archive video daily. Must be able to manage time effectively to meet strict deadlines. Help clean and maintain edit booths and equipment including excellent computer file management. Strong communication skills with reporters/anchors/producers/fellow editors is crucial. Perform other reasonably related duties as assigned by supervisor.

The following physical requirements are typical, but not all-inclusive: Climb stairs.  Full mobility is necessary to move quickly around the newsroom. A large portion of the work is done in a very confined area. Some of the work is sedentary and requires lifting and carrying of record material and tapes to file.  Reaching and bending to file and/or retrieve records. Much of the work is performed in the newsroom and in a very confined work area.


Job# 2-15
4 Broadcast Plaza SW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Fax: (505) 764-2505
Email: apply@kob.com
No Telephone Calls Please

KOB Hiring Master Control Operator

KOB TV in Albuquerque is hiring a master control operator. Qualifications include at least one year of experience in broadcast Master Control or strong proficiency with technical systems. Working knowledge of a wide variety of audio and video equipment.  Knowledge of FCC requirements in a broadcast facility. Ability to handle on-air switching of program materials utilizing manual and computerized systems. Good concentration to maintain flow and accurate timing of on-air programming.  Ability to work efficiently under pressure and handle technical difficulties in a calm manner.  Reliability, quick thinking, strong technical skills, and common sense are critical to success in this position

Responsibilities will include, but not limited to: Coordinates and monitors the video and audio portions of on-air programming.  Maintains station log to ensure the station’s output meets FCC technical requirements.  Sets up and cues videotapes and programs on video servers for smooth transitions from program to commercial to station break. Controls program flow and timing.  Adjusts video and audio levels.  Operate video servers and computerized control systems as required. This is a fill-in position. Hours and shifts will vary (including holidays, weekends, and overnight).

Physical requirements: Must be able to perform the essential functions of the job. The Company will make reasonable physical accommodations to facilitate the ability to perform essential job functions.

The following physical requirements are typical, but not all-inclusive.  Work requires manual dexterity to manipulate button controls for on-air programming.  Hand and eye coordination control flow of on-air programming.  Must be particularly calm under pressure, alert and capable of making quick decisions.  Observes normal safety precautions while working in the master control room.


Job# 1-15
4 Broadcast Plaza SW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Fax: (505) 764-2505
Email: apply@kob.com
No Telephone Calls Please

Sangre de Cristo Chronicle Seeks Managing Editor

The Sangre de Cristo Chronicle, an award-winning weekly newspaper in the mountain resort town of Angel Fire, N.M., has an immediate opening for a Managing Editor. The selected candidate will plan and edit the newspaper, write news and feature stories, take photographs and paginate the newspaper, among other duties.

Qualifications: Must have a combination of experience and education that is equivalent of: Bachelor’s degree, two years of experience as an editor, reporter or photographer in a news organization, and two years of management experience. Must be deadline-oriented, able to upload the newspaper to the web, and have strong organization, leadership and communication skills. Must be able to bend, lift and carry up to 15 pounds occasionally; have hearing and vision within normal ranges and good eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity to operate a computer keyboard effectively; and be able to sit for long periods.

Apply with cover letter and resume by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 16, 2015, to:

Ellen Goins
General Manager
Sangre de Cristo Chronicle
3403 Mountain View Blvd.
Angel Fire, NM 87710

or email egoins@sangrechronicle.com

Panel Offers Tips On Covering Legislative Session

Roundhouse floor

Hey Journos and Politicos,

Are you planning on covering the New Mexico Legislature next year? If it’s your first time or even if you just need a refresher, come listen to our terrific panel of experts who will offer tips from their years of experience covering the Roundhouse.

This panel is for anyone interested in how the Legislature works, but it’s also a great resource for reporters who don’t work in the Albuquerque or Santa Fe areas, but may want to cover issues related to their home town.

When: December 16, 2014   from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Communication and Journalism Building Room 256 – on the UNM campus in Albuquerque (NW corner of Yale and Central)

Cost: $10   (Free for students)

Can’t be there in person? You can watch live online through Google +  or on YouTube.

This program is presented by the Rio Grande and University of New Mexico student chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. It will be moderated by Matt Grubs, KRQE special assignment reporter, and include the following panelists:

Dan Boyd – Albuquerque Journal
Gwyneth Doland – New Mexico PBS
Dede Feldman – Former state senator
Matthew Reichbach – Formerly of NM Telegram
Steve Terrell – Santa Fe New Mexican

Taos News Hiring Sports Editor

The sports editor is a one-person department responsible for covering local high school and community sports. This position involves: game and event coverage, including timely posting on our website; taking photos; writing features and news stories; laying out pages; and undertaking multi-media projects including video and audio slideshows for the website. Applicants must have a strong knowledge of sports and outdoor recreation; great reporting, photography and time management skills; and experience with the web. Weekend and night work are expected.

This is a full-time position with full benefits: 401-k plan, medical/dental, vacation/holiday pay, plus spa membership.

Come live, work and play in one of New Mexico’s most beautiful cities with a thriving arts community and unlimited outdoor recreation opportunities. Email a resume, three clippings, and three samples of photos to editor@taosnews.com. No phone calls.

Chase Those Hard News Blues Away At The SPJ Holiday Party

Holiday_Party_Breaking_NewsWeb1Did that PIO put a lump of coal in your open government stocking? Shake it off and join the Rio Grande and UNM Student chapters of SPJ for a holiday party at the Albuquerque Press Club. If you’re interested in having some snacks to go along with your imbibing — or in Midwest parlance, you want to bring a “dish to pass” –  please contact Megan Kamerick at megankamerick@gmail.com. It’s a great way to ensure the clown in this picture will never come to your house. Otherwise, no promises, and he might come with Grumpy Cat.
Bring your friends and let’s rage against the dying of the light with good cheer!

Who: Society of Professional Journalists – Rio Grande Chapter

What: See above

When: Friday, December 5 at 6 p.m.

Where: Albuquerque Press Club, 201 Highland Park Cir SE

Why: You need at least one place to wear that ugly sweater

Apply For An Investigative Reporting Grant

The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is calling for applications for grants to support independent investigative reporting.

The typical grant is $5,000. Qualified grant expenses include out-of-pocket costs such as travel, document production and equipment rental. Small stipends may be considered as a part of the grant.

The next deadline for applications is Thursday, January 15, 2015 – 5pm Washington DC time (EST).

FIJ is currently accepting proposals for domestic and overseas investigations. To get more information and apply check out FIJ’s website.