SPA Executive Committee’s June Newsletter

SPA Executive Committee’s June Newsletter

SPA Executive Committee’s June Newsletter

Hi pals!

Welcome to the first newsletter from the new team! And I know, I know.. June is (technically) over. Well, apart from here in Norwich where its been extended for one more day so I can send this out to you all. Ssh.

Your exec committee have been doing their best busy-bee impressions this month and sorting out all kinds of SPA-related goodness. From appearing at conferences to appointing regional officers to asking you all for your SPANC17 feedback: you name it, we’ve been on it. And with deadlines and revision put aside for a few months and summer well and truly here, its the perfect time to think about your – and your publication’s – future. Whether that’s a shiny new redesign, an internship or work experience, or just brushing up on your FOI skills, we’ll be here to support you every step of the way.

If you’ve got any questions, or have something you’d like to be included in the next newsletter, drop me a line on or tweet/DM @JessicaFKeyes. You can find contact details for the rest of the team here, or as always we’re all floating about on the SPA FB page, ready to share our nuggets of student media wisdom. (Note to self: chicken nuggets at SPANC18..? Y/N….)

– Jess

Exec Committee 2017-2018

Seeing as its the first newsletter, we though we should introduce ourselves. Here we are, in all our post-#SPANC17 hungover glory, (L-R):

Megan Baynes – Marketing & Events Officer
Conor Matchett – Development Officer
Dan Falvey – Chair
James Chesson – Digital Media Officer
Jessica Frank-Keyes – Membership & Communication Officer
All the news that’s fit to print…

You can read more from our exec committee about what we’ve all been up to since being elected below, but here are the highlights:

***#SPANC17 Feedback Form***

“The day might be grey but you know what will cheer you up… a survey! Do you have strong opinions about the SPA? We want to hear them. The new team really want to continue making the SPA the best it can possibly be this year, and we want input from you guys on how to do it. Please take two minutes to fill out this feedback form – it’s all anonymous but it’ll help us know exactly what you guys want from us this year.”

– Megan (Marketing & Events)

Fill out the google doc here.

***NUJ London Freelance Salon***

“Last year’s SPA regional officer for London, Zaki Dogliani is putting on a fantastic workshop in a couple of weeks time as part of the NUJ’s London freelance branch. On Thursday July 13th there’s a workshop on how to make journalism pay and there will be two experienced guest speakers: Emmy winner David Quantick (Veep) and broadcaster/commentator Remona Aly.

– Dan Falvey (Chair)

Get tickets and find out more here.

***70% off Positive News – the constructive journalism magazine***

“Positive News is the magazine for good journalism about the good things that are happening. A beautifully designed, intelligent and inspiring read, it’s leading the way in the new field of ‘constructive journalism’. As editor-in-chief Sean Dagan Wood explained when he spoke at the SPA National Conference, this approach is about rigorous reporting that focuses on progress and possibility.

“You may have got your hands on one of the back issues of Positive News that were available at the conference, and now Positive News are offering the latest issue (#89) of the magazine at a generous 70% discount exclusively for SPA delegates.”

– Positive News.

To get your copy, visit and use the discount code SPANC. (Offer expires 7 July.)

Dan Falvey – Chair

“Well, what a month! There’s been a general election, the tragic incident of the Grenfell Tower fire, the excitement of the start of the Lions Rugby tour, and of course for many of you the end of the university academic year. And through it all there’s been some fantastic journalistim produced (take a look at the Splash Sunday articles to seen just a few examples.)”Over the last month we’ve been very busy here at the SPA. As we all begin to settle in to our new roles the executive committee have started work on plans which will improve how we can help our members. I hope by the end of July our work will speak for itself and you will be able to see exactly what we have all been working on as an organisation since being elected at SPANC17.

“At the very start of this month the SPA sent a panel (including myself) to Byline Festival in Sussex to run a workshop on getting started as a freelance journalist. I’m pleased to say that this was a success and plenty of people came and got involved. This was the festival’s first year and they gave a discounted ticket price for all SPA members. If you weren’t able to make use of the discount this time round, we are hoping as an organisation we can work with Byline to get a similar discount at next year’s festival as well as putting on a similar workshop.

“In the meantime, if any of you have any questions about starting out as a freelancer, please feel free to send me an email ( and I will happily answer your questions or direct you to another member of the panel!”

– Dan

Jessica Frank-Keyes – Membership & Communication

“Throughout June I’ve been getting the ball rolling on Splash Sundays. Sharing the content the SPA’s member produce with as many other students and publications as possible is a huge part of my role – and I want to publicise the work you’re most proud of.

“Whether that’s your sports pages, a investigative feature, arts, music and fashion journalism – or illustrations, photography or hard news, send me the content that you want shouted from the rooftops and I’ll do my best to make sure it’s getting the appreciation it deserves.

“I’ve also been making a start on updating the SPA’s membership list. We’re looking to differentiate further between memberships for individuals and publications, with separate perks offered for students and for papers, so watch this space!”

– Jess

Conor Matchett – Development

“This month has been focused mainly on recruiting the new Regional Officers for the 2017/18 year. Many congratulations to all who were appointed and I am very much looking forward to working with all of you over the coming months.”Also in June I have begun initial discussions with organisations about increasing the SPA’s ability to provide training to our members. Watch this space over the next few months and hopefully something very exciting will be announced!”

– Conor

James Chesson – Digital Media

“Throughout this month I have been working on re-designing the SPA website. Some minor changes have been applied already, such as replacing the newspaper background image with a plain background, giving the website a cleaner appearance. The majority of the changes will go live in one go at some point within the next few weeks.”The planned changes include: switching to a wider layout to make the most of the space available; swapping the current turquoise accent to another colour; making the education resources on the website more prominent and easier to find; making the Splash Sundays (the new version of Flash Fridays) appear on the homepage; and finding space for adverts from our sponsors to appear on the website. I have also been working on creating a section of the website in which member publications can directly upload links to their work, so that we can showcase a wide variety of all the brilliant content you create.

“Finally, remember that part of my role as Digital Media Officer is to provide technical support, so if you have any problems with your websites, feel free to drop me an email at and I’ll do my best to help.”

– James

Megan Baynes – Marketing & Events

“Since being elected I’ve been working to improve the sponsorship package the SPA advertises to sponsors. I’m hoping by improving what we offer we can get more money to help fund the SPA year round.”The changes include: a general price increase for some of the top tier packages; increasing the number of sponsors for regional conferences from 1 to 3; adding adverts to website to generate more year round revenue.

“Now that the sponsorship package has been finalised I’ll now be looking for sponsors to take up our fantastic offers! I have also been trying to find work experience placements exclusively for SPA members. So far we have one day shadowing in a national newsroom, but more on that soon.”

– Megan

Want to be featured in the next newsletter?

Front page you’re particularly proud of? Your paper’s anniversary? Shiny new redesign? Get in touch with with and we’ll share your news, events and successes with our members across the UK and Ireland.

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