Category Archives: Member Showcase

Showcase of recent work by NM SPJ members.

We want you to see what real news looks like. Join us Oct. 17.

It’s your turn to ask the questions.

In an era of debate over the media’s role, SPJ Rio Grande is gathering several of its members to share information about how they do their jobs with the public. Our discussion will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the Student Union Building at the University of New Mexico, Mirage/Thunderbird Room.

Each member of our panel will share one thing they want the audience to know about how they work, but no presentations; the majority of this event will be questions from the audience. Come with curiosity, and leave knowing more about how journalism in New Mexico gets done.

See our panelist lineup below.

Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students. Register today.

For additional information, contact SPJ Rio Grande board member Rachel Sams: rachelbsams at gmail dot com.



Monica Braine, senior producer, Native America Calling

Gabrielle Burkhart, reporter, KRQE

Megan Kamerick, KUNM Morning Edition host; freelancer in audio, print and TV for outlets including NMPBS

Dan McKay, Capitol Bureau, ABQ Journal



Rachel Sams, editor-in-chief, Albuquerque Business First

Excellence In Journalism Conference

By: Anthony Herrera, SPJ member

Being a quiet individual is hard when immersing yourself into a conference like the Excellence In Journalism, but at the end you will be filled with pride knowing that you stepped outside of your comfort zone in order to get answers to questions that have been eating away at your soul.

I attended EIJ seeking answers to questions about my future and the future of media and at the end I felt at ease on both subjects.

The future of media, according to different discussions presented at the conference, can be seen through two lenses, the need for more interaction between journalists and the people in the community and the need to be its own watchdog to ensure truthfulness and strong ethics.

The communal aspect that SPJ encouraged calls for allowingmore information about the journalist to be provided to the audience, to put a face to the words in a sense.

This would be fascinating to see play out, especially in New Mexico. I think that many organizations already implement this by having discussions that are open to the public.

Another aspect of the conference I enjoyed and truly benefited from was the vast array of graduate schools from around the United States.

Granted, many of my peers and influences have given mixed reviews about attending graduate school for journalism, but it helped me further analyze the pros and cons of attending a graduate program.

Throughout the conference I attended about 15 different discussions that were moderated by fascinating and influential individuals. The topics ranged from education, immigration, producing news, podcasting and healthcare reporting.

Anthony Herrera is a senior at the University of New Mexico


New Member Welcome – Tom O’Connell

Tom O’Connell worked in publishing in New York City for 10 years, mostly as a copy editor and writer for national consumer magazines, including Entertainment Weekly, Spin, Self, Stuff, Celebrity Living Weekly, Penthouse, Vanity Fair, InStyle, WWE and Details. In 2006, he moved to Albuquerque, N.M., where he worked as a staff reporter for New Mexico Business Weekly before leaving to launch the editorial consulting company Executive Ink, whose clients have included The New York Times Co., the London Times, Fast Company, Stratus Energy Group,, the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the University of Southern California. He continues to provide a number of editorial services to a wide-ranging clientele, and enjoys calling his own shots outside Cubicle Land.