Writer's Week
Oct. 11, 2021
Deadline for next edition: Oct, 15, 2021
Cliff Anthony

A tribute to SPJ member Jim Sheeler

I first came to know Jim Sheeler through the pages of The Poynter Institute of Media Studies’ The Best Newspaper Writing. Included in this anthology were excerpts from Jim’s 2006 Pulitzer-winning series Final Salute that was first published in Rocky Mountain News in Denver. It was required reading in my Features Writing class at Lorain County Community College. Halfway through the session, one student rushed out of the classroom so others wouldn’t see her tears. Such was the power of Jim’s storytelling.

The series was crafted into a book of the same title, and it landed on the National Book Award’s finalist list for non-fiction in 2008.
I met Jim (pictured left) by chance at a writer’s workshop hosted by Case Western Reserve University in 2011. By then, Jim had switched from the newsroom to the classroom. The Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing position at Case brought him from the University of Colorado, where he taught journalism. And the Texan made Chagrin Falls his home.

In 2013, SPJ invited Jim to speak about his award-winning series. The standing-room-only crowd at Hofbrauhaus Cleveland on Chester Avenue was in rapt attention as Jim made his PowerPoint presentation that showed a rarely seen facet of the Marines. The Defense Department has a unit called the U.S. Marine Casualty Assistance Calls Officers. Its tasks include knocking on the doors of the fallen soldiers’ homes, breaking the harrowing news to the survivors, accompanying the casket and standing guard until the soldier is laid to rest.    

Jim and photojournalist Todd Heisler, now with The New York Times, shadowed Marine Maj. Steve Beck of the unit to chronicle the heart-wrenching stories of the grieving families — a pregnant wife who stayed at the funeral home with her husband’s casket, a young boy who hugged the video of his father and a man who dug a grave for his childhood friend. All along, the Marines stood stoically, masking their grief.

As Jim narrated, a middle-aged colleague behind me sniffled. He was not alone. Many eyes in the audience swelled with tears. 

At the end of the presentation, Jim passed around a white glove worn by a Marine Casualty Assistance Calls officer. The glove was frayed and had holes, which, Jim explained, resulted from holding the rifle during the many three-gun salutes in honor of the fallen soldiers.

Jim displayed the same passion for storytelling during his two visits to LCCC. Here again, he captivated the packed audience of students and faculty with his gift for storytelling.

Jim shared the secret to his success: He wanted to be a videographer before taking a pen and a reporter’s notebook. He looked at people through a videographer’s lens and told their stories with words.  

He also authored "Obit: Inspiring Stories of Ordinary People Who Led Extraordinary Lives," and contributed to a book about obituary writing titled "Life on the Death Beat.”

Here’s a glimpse of Jim’s generosity. During his second visit to LCCC in 2017, the college offered a $1,000 token gift. But he urged LCCC to donate the money to his favorite veteran’s charity. He also gave signed copies of "Final Salute" to journalism students for free.

Jim passed away at age 53 on Sept.17.

I, for one, lost a great friend. SPJ lost a great supporter. Journalism lost a great storyteller.

Cliff Anthony
Past President, Cleveland SPJ
How to find what you want
Coming events are typically listed below. Let us know about any future events of interest to journalists by contacting us here.
Job seekers, find opportunities below the Coming Events.
Students, scroll down past the jobs for internships and, when we have information about them, scholarships. If you know of any we haven't listed, please let us know at the link above.  
Professionals working in journalism: Fellowships, when we hear about them, are below the internships. Again, let us know about others at the link above.

This newsletter goes out to members two days earlier than to subscribers who are not SPJ members. This gives our members first crack at opportunities listed here. If you're not yet a member of SPJ but thinking about it, click on the link below for some reasons.

Cartoon Commentary
Check out the newest section of Writer's Week, featuring editorial cartoons designed by SPJ Cleveland's own board member, Sterling Haynes. Each newsletter will feature a new cartoon.


WOIO 19 News is searching for a dynamic, engaging meteorologist to join Cleveland's First Alert Weather team.

Analyze raw scientific data, models, and other available and relevant information to create an accurate weather forecast for our 22-county viewing area. Create a compelling, conversational presentation of weather forecast for broadcast, streaming, digital and social media audiences. Accurately forecast and track severe weather utilizing IBM/WSI Max systems. Communicate with news staff to inform editorial decision-making. Write, report, research and edit Science School feature stories. Possible fill-in news anchoring.

  • Meteorology, atmospheric science or related field.
  • AMS seal preferred.
  • 3-5 years of experience as a broadcast meteorologist required.


WOIO 19 News is seeking two full-time Bilingual MMJ/Anchor/Producers to serve our Telemundo channel and Cleveland's only daily Spanish speaking language newscasts.

19 News is looking for someone with the passion, drive and skill to help this unique product grow in the market. Candidate must have excellent writing, reporting, producing and on-air presentation skills and must be technologically proficient. Must be willing to train for operation of a cutting-edge content delivery system. Must be able to lift/carry video equipment and be capable of shooting, writing, editing and posting multiple stories daily on air, online, on mobile technology and on social networking websites all under tight deadlines. Must be a good, creative writer, have an inquisitive mind, very strong journalist, great communicator and a positive leader inside and outside the newsroom.

  • Bilingual journalism skills a must.
  • Applicant should have a minimum of 2 years experience.
  • Must be equally skilled on both sides of the camera.
  • Experience with newsroom computer systems preferred.


GIE Media, a B2B media company serving a wide range of industries, is seeking an associate editor. The ideal candidate will have a bachelor's degree as well as two to four years of experience in content development. Magazine or newspaper experience is preferred, and experience in B2B is a plus. A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or a related field is preferred.
Job duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Writing news stories and features for the group’s website and print magazine.
  • Editing/proofing the monthly publication, e-newsletters and digital copy.
  • Contributing to social media websites and creating content for multimedia platforms (includes hosting podcasts, creating photo galleries, etc.).
  • Assisting with creation of custom content for clients.
  • Some travel for trade shows and other industry events is required.
Submit a cover letter, resume and three published clips to bcoccitto@gie.net.


Cleveland.com is looking to add a Business Reporter and an Education Reporter to our newsroom.

Every candidate should have a proven track record of identifying, reporting and writing top-notch investigative pieces that promote social engagement. The ideal candidate puts forth story ideas, enjoys engaging with readers and publishes video pieces from a mobile phone. The Reporter is critical to our organizational success and is charged with covering news for the state's largest news website. The right candidate understands the importance of breaking news quickly and accurately, is versatile and can add depth and a human perspective to news stories. Candidates should be able to balance day-to-day news coverage with longer-term enterprise projects.


Responsibilities include anchoring hard-hitting PM weekend newscasts and reporting of hard news, enterprise and investigative content for weekday newscasts. Expectations include researching, writing, producing and reporting hard news content for TV and all digital platforms, and a high level of social engagement. Must be highly skilled in the delivery of unscripted breaking news for TV, OTT and all platforms.

  • Minimum three years experience as a broadcast news reporter with at least some fill-in anchoring in a medium to large market commercial TV station.
  • Spanish language reporting and anchoring skills a plus.


Responsibilities and requirements:
  • Anchor live newscasts as assigned and assist in production and writing of broadcasts.
  • Must be community-oriented, engaged in social media and supportive of daily digital media goals.
  • Anchor unscripted reports on OTT and/or a 9 a.m. newscast on TV.
  • Must be enthusiastic about field anchoring and breaking news reporting.
  • Able to research, produce and report promotable stories with minimal supervision.
  • Generate viable and original story ideas on a daily basis.

  • Minimum three years experience as a broadcast news anchor and reporter at a commercial TV station.
  • Knowledge of the Cleveland area preferred.
  • Strong presentation skills on all platforms, strong writing and ability to create hard-hitting content with an edgy style.


WOIO 19 News is looking for its next Morning Executive Producer. We seek a creative leader to build hard-hitting and memorable broadcasts for the 4:30-7 a.m., 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. news blocks. The ideal candidate will be a news junkie, full of creativity, with strong leadership skills. The successful candidate must know how to create great newscasts that are fast and friendly while meeting the highest standards of journalism.

  • Lead newsroom operation during highly competitive morning daypart.
  • Supervise overall production, writing and on-air direction of newscasts during shift.
  • Administer directives of News Director and implement news department policy through individual broadcasts.
  • Assist in hiring, scheduling and evaluating producers, associate producers and on-air talent.

  • Management position requiring 3-5 years of news line producing and previous news management.
  • Excellent people skills and news judgment.
  • Able to make multiple decisions under intense deadline pressure.
  • Knowledgeable about and be able to demonstrate contemporary production skills with a vision for creative live storytelling.
  • Knowledge and understanding of libel and privacy law.


In order to address the most critical needs of our clients, RSM has established the Security and Privacy Risk Consulting group, comprised of more than 150 professionals dedicated exclusively to serving the cyber security needs of our clients.

We are seeking individuals with polished technical writing skills to supplement our field consultants with the role of translating highly technical output from automated and manual assessment methods into terminology appropriate for client business and risk management executives. The Technical Writer acts as the conduit of information between external resources and our consultants. The Technical Writer’s primary role is to create reports and other collateral for external consumption.

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Preferable major of English, Communications or a similar related technical field. Master’s degree highly desired.
  • One to three years’ experience developing technical content.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand technical topics.
  • Experience coordinating with and incorporating input from multiple sources, including SMEs, peers and editors.
  • Experience completing multiple projects simultaneously, on time and with minimal direct supervision.
  • Strong proficiency with Microsoft Office, specifically Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Visio a plus.
  • Professional editing and proofreading experience.
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite or Acrobat a plus.
  • Experience in or with information security industry a plus.


  • Edit and publish the City Record.
  • Edit white papers and content for the company.
  • Edit and publish newsletters.
  • Create content and marketing.
  • Work on social media.
  • Edit webpages.
  • Work with team on nonprofit projects.
  • Work with team to create policies and procedures.

  • Proficient use of Adobe, Word, Excel, pdf manipulation and video publishing.
  • Excellent copy editing skills, including grammar, syntax, content, spelling and proofreading.


  • Prepares and delivers learning activities in order to achieve course outcomes.
  • Prepares course materials such as syllabi, homework assignments and handouts.
  • Evaluates and grades students’ class work, laboratory work, assignments, papers and examinations.
  • Maintains and submits student attendance records, grades and other required documentation by specified deadlines.
  • Available to students for coaching.
  • Periodic meetings with supervisors, division, or college, relative to teaching duties and training and development.

  • Master’s degree in Journalism/Mass Communications or related field with at least 18 graduate-level course hours in Journalism/Mass Communications.
  • Professional experience with news writing, social media, and mass communication styles.
  • Minimum of 5 years recent professional experience in the journalism field.
  • Teaching experience.


WTWH Media is seeking to fill the position of Associate Editor in the company’s Robotics Group. The successful candidate will possess the unique combination of strong writing skills, high standards for quality, and a creative streak. The candidate should also possess the ability work both independently and directly with team members, as well as build strong relationships with other departments in the company and collaborate with them.

  • Bachelor's degree in journalism, communications or related field, or professional journalism background.
  • Knowledge of robotics and automation technologies, products, and services a plus.
  • Proven work experience as an Assistant Editor or similar role.
  • 2+ years’ experience in content creation or editing, including online publishing.


  • Provides timely and useful information to commuters planning their drives to and from work, as well as to those already en route, by maintaining contact with external sources of information or by observing traffic from air or land vehicle.
  • Announces the latest accidents and traffic delays.
  • Reads traffic reports, commercials and public service messages to listeners; canvasses local, state and national traffic news to determine significance and prioritization.
  • Identifies, researches, and creates copy regarding traffic to feature during on-air shift; finalizes content using digital audio editing software.
  • Manages gathered information: keeps all the facts straight, makes sure details are accurate and current and tracks any changes.
  • In designated Hub stations, gathers and provides coverage for stations in multiple cities/locations.

  • 4+ years’ experience in on-air radio experience.
  • 4-year college degree, preferably in Broadcast Journalism or Communications.


We’re currently taking applications for stringers in the Ohio River Valley (eastern Ohio and/or western Pennsylvania).
Drilled News stringers will cover stories such as: ​
  • The effects of the fossil fuel industry and its operations (refineries, wells and drilling sites, pipelines, petrochemical plants, etc.) on local communities.
  • The sector’s impacts on local and regional workers, economies, and politics.
  • Practices in the siting or regulation of fossil fuel and petrochemical projects.
  • Anti-protest legislation and laws.

​We encourage you to let us know if you have any of the following skills and experience, although they are not required in order to apply:​
  • Audio reporting for radio or podcast.
  • Fluency in a language other than English that’s relevant to the region you’re applying for.
  • Working effectively, cheerfully, and cooperatively on a fully remote editorial team​.
To apply, send your resume, a cover letter, and links to at least three and at most six clips to jobs@drillednews.com.


The publishers of Cleveland Magazine, Ohio Magazine, and quite a few other publications in the region offer a variety of internships ranging from editorial (all written content) to design and photography. Dates to apply vary, and so do postings, so check regularly.
Writer's Week is a service of the Cleveland Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. 

This newsletter is produced by
Editor: Jacqueline Mitchell, senior editor at GIE Media
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Phelps, multimedia journalist

Contact us: Please send news items and job & internship postings to

Chapter President: Stefanie Valentic