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Deadline approaching for annual SPJ contest

Calling all entries for the 2010 Excellence in Journalism contest of the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

We’ve retooled the contest and moved entries online to make things easier for entrants. Although the Honolulu Star-Advertiser will not enter items in this year’s contest due to what it considers as a lack of competition, we hope for a rigorous contest.

The deadline for entries is March 15. E-mail Stirling Morita at if you need an account to make entries.

The awards dinner will be held at 6 p.m. June 24 at the Manoa Grand Ballroom in the Japanese Cultural Center, 2454 S. Beretania St., fifth floor. Seats will be $41 for an SPJ member and $44 for a nonmember. Tables of 10 can be purchased for $420. Call Huy Vo of Bright Light Marketing at 275-3014 for reservations. The deadline for reservations is 4:30 p.m. June 16.

Gitlin speech to highlight FOIA Forum

Todd Gitlin is a writer, sociologist, communications scholar, novelist, poet, and chair of the PhD program at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Join us to hear his presentation:

WikiLeaks: An Imperfect Shelter for a Perfect Storm
Wednesday, March 16, 2011, noon-2 p.m.
William S. Richardson School of Law, UH Mānoa

Media Council Hawai‘i, the Society of Professional Journalists, Hawai‘i Chapter, and the School of Communications, UH Mānoa will cosponsor this annual Freedom of Information Forum. March 16 is James Madison's Birthday (he would be 258). The week of his birth is celebrated as Sunshine Week, in honor of his commitment to a free press and freedom of information.

Todd Gitlin has written several articles for national and international distribution about WikiLeaks. He is one of 19 members of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism who have cosigned a letter to President Obama and Attorney General Holder opposing any prosecution based on WikiLeaks‟ release of government information.

The program will also feature a Hawai‘i “Sunshine” report on our state's record of open government, transparency, and freedom of information.

Also, MCH will honor its Fletcher Knebel Excellence in Journalism awardee, Rick Daysog of the Sacramento Bee (formerly of the Honolulu Advertiser). This award honors Mr. Daysog for his use of the Freedom of Information Act in his reporting. The program is free to the public. For those wishing lunch (veggie options available), there is a $15 charge. Reservations are necessary. RSVP by e-mail at or by phone at 596-2121.