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Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Way To Give Back to Journalism

National Press Foundation by National Press Foundation 0 comments

A Way To Give Back to Journalism
By Heather C. Dahl, NPF Board Chairman

As we start to ring down 2014, please consider making a year-end contribution to the National Press Foundation.

Journalism has afforded me so many opportunities throughout my career to serve my community by providing quality news coverage on the issues which affect people’s lives.

However, it was my sudden loss of my father three years ago when I was truly understood how much journalism has given me and my family. And this is why I give. Every Christmas I make a donation in my father’s honor, so other journalists can receive the training to succeed in a profession that has benefited my life and family in ways I could have never imagined when I stepped into my first newsroom. NPF is how I give back my incredible colleagues, peers, mentors, friends, and those just beginning their careers—it’s how I say thank you.

I encourage you to take a moment during this holiday season to consider the many ways journalism has benefited your life and join me in making a tax-deductible contribution here.

Your contribution will help NPF provide training and education for fellow journalists at no cost to them. This year alone, NPF hosted programs on cancer research, entrepreneurship in China, tuberculosis, obesity and retirement as well as dozens of webinars. See the richness of NPF programs here.

It’s been a true honor serving as your Chairman this year.

The National Press Foundation is a public, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) philanthropic organization committed to excellence in journalism.  The Foundation provides educational opportunities and support services to working journalists and recognizes and rewards outstanding achievement. The Foundation’s work is supported by contributions from media organizations, concerned corporations and foundations, program grants, and hundreds of individuals.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bloomberg team wins Thomas L. Stokes Award for Energy Writing

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A team of reporters from Bloomberg has won the Thomas Stokes Award for Energy Writing. The “Twilight of the Grid” series reports that the U.S. utility system is headed for obsolescence, driven largely by a rapid upsurge in renewable technologies.

Mark Chediak, Chris Martin, Ken Wells and Jim Polson wrote the series.

The three-part project opened by showing how the structure of the power grid makes it vulnerable to rooftop solar and cheaper renewables. A second piece works to explain the home-grown utilities called microgrids, which allow businesses and homeowners to cut the cord to their power company. And a final story looks at pushback from utilities in Hawaii and Arizona to cheap rooftop solar. They explore the politics by which conservatives join forces with environmental groups to advocate for expansion of solar power.

Signifying the stories’ reach was the social media buzz it created: According to editor-at-large Ken Wells, “Hundreds of tweets a day on Twitter and over 700 comments alone on on the utility blowback story.”

NPF judges said: “This Bloomberg series opens a window on a downside to green energy that few lay people had previously thought about. Extensive reporting facilitated compelling anecdotes that helped explain complex challenges to the centralized power grid. Particularly interesting were the residents, power executives and politicians who told the story of solar proliferation that is hobbling the legacy power industry in Hawaii, putting on the brakes in California and threatening similar effects elsewhere.”

The Thomas L. Stokes Awardwas established in the spring of 1959 by friends and admirers of the late Thomas L. Stokes, the syndicated Washington columnist on national affairs. It is given annually for the best writing on subjects of interest to Stokes, including energy and natural resources.

The Bloomberg team will receive $1,000 and a citation at NPF’s annual awards dinner on Feb. 18.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Paid Spring 2015 NPF Internship- Apply Today!

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The National Press Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free professional development programs to journalists to increase their knowledge of complex issues. NPF seeks an intern to assist staff with varied projects. Responsibilities include:

  • Assist the media team in the continued maintenance of National Press Foundation’s social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Assist the Digital Media Manager in video and audio production using the Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Complete research for special projects and compile metrics and data when needed.
  • Support Studio and Programs Manager with logistical planning for all journalist training programs.
  • Assist Director of Operations with planning and promoting the 32nd Annual Awards dinner.
  • Assist with all general needs of the National Press Foundation office.

NPF is looking for a candidate with an interest and/or background in journalism and digital media who is willing to take on diverse projects. This is a great opportunity for the right candidate to gain quality, hands-on work experience and be an integral part of our small staff. Applicants should be aware that this position involves a variety of tasks that are more administrative and desk heavy.  The intern should be self-motivated and eager to take initiative, and add personal detail and creativity to each task. Interns are welcome to attend any and all local NPF journalist training programs. The right candidate could be an upper-level undergraduate, graduate student, recent graduate or young professional looking to gain more experience.

Additional Qualifications Needed:

  • Interest in journalism required with journalism experience preferred
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Knowledge of and experience with Excel, Microsoft Office, Photoshop and Premier Pro / Final Cut 7.
  • Experience in CMS management and html a plus
  • Interest in business and digital marketing
  • Language skills a plus

NPF is looking for an intern to start sometime in January. Internship may last until July 2015 or may be extended into the summer should both the intern and NPF be agreeable. Part-time (at least 20 hours per week) or Full-time hours (40 hours per week) are available, with some flexibility possible. A stipend will be provided based on the work schedule established (typically $725 per month for part time work and $1450 per month for full time work).

To apply, please email a resume and cover letter to All application materials will be considered on a rolling basis until December 31, 2014.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

China: Old Business, New Business

by Sandy K Johnson 0 comments

Chinese entrepreneurs have startup fever, though the business landscape is just as attractive to venerable brands like IBM and Prudential.

To those who think China’s economy has hit a rough patch, Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter said in the Wall Street Journal, “What China calls a slowdown, the rest of the world would love to be able to experience.”

U.S. journalists talked with old and new business leaders during the National Press Foundation’s Journalist to Journalist (J2J) training in China.

Jennifer Xu, founder of Greenapple Health, saw potential in China’s highly regulated health care system. She said it isn’t unusual for doctors to treat 100 patients a day, for low salaries. She created an online platform to connect physicians with patients outside the system, charging patients roughly $17 for a 10-minute consultation with the doctor.

“The VC market is super hot now (in China). It’s the best time ever for entrepreneurs,” Xu said. 

Century-old IBM, which has been doing business in China for 30 years, recently cut a cloud-computing deal with Chinese Internet giant Tencent. Kim Xu, director of strategy for IBM China Group, said the company is opening up some of its technology to clients. “There is no clear boundary between competition and collaboration anymore,” she said, calling it instead a hybrid of "coopetition.” “The whole competition landscape is different today. Everybody is a possible candidate for partnership.”

Prudential, which has been in the financial services business since 1875, began working with China’s Fosun Group in 2011 to offer insurance to Chinese clients and recently expanded into a real estate joint venture. Fosun was created in 1992 by four new college graduates who built it into China’s largest privately owned company.

Mark Grier, Prudential vice chairman, said the partnership is based on trust and values. “As we got to know each other, we found a lot of common values -- high professional standards, high standards of business conduct, high standards of personal conduct, high aspirations for a successful business. So everything kind of clicked,” Grier said.

Fosun Chairman Guo Guangchang said the success of Fosun’s business with Prudential has persuaded his company to pursue more opportunities in the United States. “I’m very satisfied with the overall investment.climate in the US. It’s a very level playing field. It’s a very mature market,” Guo said.

Listen to the full audio from the session, Successful Global Partnership: A Conversation with Mark B. Grier, Vice Chairman of Prudential Financial Inc. and Guo Guangchang, Chairman of Fosun International

Prudential Financial provided funding for this program

Tagged J2J
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Buddy Can I Bum A (Electronic) Cigarette?

by Sandy K Johnson 0 comments

The $3 billion electronic cigarette industry is morphing so quickly it is difficult for scientists and regulators to keep up, according to tobacco expert Myra Wisotzky.

E-cigarettes were invented in China in the last decade and since then 466 brands of e-cigs in 7,764 unique flavors have been produced, she said.  E-cig use among young adults and teens doubled from 2008 to 2012.

Wisotzky told National Press Foundation fellows at the J2J Lung Health conference that e-cigs have evolved tremendously in the last four years.

“Initially they looked like cigarettes, only disposable. Now there are rechargeables, you can plug them into USB ports to charge them up, there are pen-sized, and tanks with a bigger battery with a bigger rush of nicotine and great big plumes of smoke,” she said. Wisotzky is a technical adviser on tobacco to the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.

She said the evolving e-cig technology is heavily targeted at youth. “This is for the younger generation that loves tech stuff.” As are those flavors: Gingerbread man, fruity pebbles, root beer, vanilla cupcake – many of which advertise “zero calories” to appeal to weight watchers. Some are sold in a 5-pack of primary-colored e-cigs that looks remarkably like a famous brand of crayons.

Science and safety research lag far behind the e-cig industry.

Are they safer than smoking tobacco? “They are definitely safer than smoked cigarettes but how safe we don’t know,” she said.

Can e-cigarettes become a gateway to smoking by hooking young people on nicotine? Or, are e-cigs helpful as a way to quit smoking? “The jury is still out on that, it’s not clear.”

What are governments doing? The U.S. government is moving slowly, on a regulatory track. Some governments, like Singapore, have banned e-cigs.

Are e-cigs less harmful than regular cigarettes? “Yes, they deliver less toxins than most cigarettes. But we don’t know the long-term effects.” And she said particles from the vapor could lodge deeper in a user’s lungs than regular cigarettes.

Wisotzky also said e-cigs are a distraction from other forms of tobacco. “It’s a foot in the door for the tobacco industry to be legitimized and we will keep an eye on it, but the main killer is tobacco smoking.”

Some resources for journalists: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, TobaccoFreeKids.

Tagged J2J
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