Category Archives: Training

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


SPJ Rio Grande Offers Scholarships To IRE CAR Bootcamp

In a continued effort to improve the state of journalism in New Mexico and West Texas—and to serve our members—the Rio Grande Chapter of SPJ is offering scholarships for two journalists to attend the IRE CAR bootcamp in Columbia, Missouri on August 6-10, 2017.

We will reimburse successful applicants for airfare/travel, meals, five nights of lodging, and the CAR bootcamp fee, up to $2,500, once the training has been completed.  

To apply for the scholarship, you must be an SPJ member. To join online, visit:

To read more about the bootcamp, visit:

In fewer than 600 words, let us know:

-Who you are and where you work (or where your work is published) and how attending the bootcamp will improve your reporting

-How you’ll give back to your community of journalists and in New Mexico and West Texas and share what you’ve learned

-Your SPJ member number

Please also provide a letter of support from your editor or news director. Or, if you’re a freelancer, a letter of support from an editor who works with you often and knows you well.

Send your letter to,, and by May 20.

We’ll announce the two winners by June 1.

A few notes:

– Your SPJ membership must be current as of May 20, 2017. This scholarship opportunity is for members only. If you need to renew, you can do so online:

-Rio Grande Chapter board members are not eligible to apply

-This scholarship is made possible through funding from the Thornburg Foundation.\

Border Rights Training For Journalists – Sign Up Now!

Can U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents really seize and go through your phones and other devices at an international border crossing?

What about at the U.S. Border Patrol inland checkpoints along roads in southern New Mexico and west Texas? Or at other locations within the 100-mile zone along the U.S./Mexico border where you might encounter agents while doing your job? What are your rights to photograph and/or record CBP and Border Patrol operations?

Recent changes in Washington mean journalists should learn about these issues and how to protect themselves and their sources. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Rio Grande Chapter and ACLU are holding a know-your-rights training for journalists on Saturday, March 25, from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Las Cruces. The training is open to journalists and journalism students only. There’s no cost to attend.

Join us! Email SPJ-Rio Grande board member Heath Haussamen at to register and get more details. Please include your name, phone number, email address, and where you work or go to school.