MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
JANUARY 14, 2006
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Dave Carlson presiding, the meeting of the executive committee of the Society of Professional Journalists was called to order at 9:23 a.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2006, in the Publisher's Conference Room at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee.
In addition to President Carlson, the following were in attendance: President-elect Christine Tatum; Secretary-Treasurer Bruce Cadwallader; Vice President for Campus Chapter Affairs Mead Loop; Region 3 Director Holly Fisher; Region 12 Director Clint Brewer; Executive Director Terry Harper; Associate Executive Director Chris Vachon and Associate Executive Director of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Julie Grimes. Sonny Albarado, local SPJ member and news editor at The Commercial Appeal attended portions of the meeting.
ASIAN JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION
Carlson reported that the Society has had a significant impact on the Asian Journalists Association during its visits to Korea over the past three years. The Association has invited SPJ to be an associate member. There are no dues. Regarding travel requirements, we are invited to attend the Association's conference but not required.
Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and Tatum, the committee voted to join the Asian Journalists Association as an associate member.
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
For the ad hoc committee for programs and services, Carlson has appointed past president Ray Marcano as the chair. He wants to appoint SPJ "neophytes" to serve as committee members. The role of the committee is to evaluate SPJ's offerings when it comes to programs and services.
The committee discussed incorporating Jon Marshall's NewsGems, a blog highlighting good journalism, as one of SPJ's member benefits. Tatum has been in communication with Marshall who has indicated that the cost to SPJ would be $12,500 per year for use of the content. It was suggested that this might be rolled into the Quill budget by having Marshall pen an article in every issue that draws from his blog.
Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and Fisher, the committee directed Harper to pursue a partnership with Marshall and NewsGems.
Harper discussed the status of JournalismTraining.org, managed by SPJ and funded by the Knight Foundation. Harper indicated that SPJ was in the process of applying for a tie-off grant that would cover the program for two more years. After that, SPJ would be expected to absorb the project into its operations. Harper asked the executive committee to commit to continuing JournalismTraining.org, regardless of continued funding from Knight, the reasoning being that the site has enormous long-term potential for the Society and the journalism profession.
Upon proper motion and second by Loop and Tatum, the committee voted to continue to support and manage JournalismTraining.org, regardless of continued funding from the Knight Foundation.
SPJ AWARDS PROGRAMS RECOMMENDATIONS
The committee reviewed a list of recommendations from Awards Committee Chair Guy Baehr to improve SPJ's selection process for individual awards.
Through a series of motions on the many recommendations contained in Baehr's report, the following procedures for individual awards were adopted:
1. Committee chairs send up to three nominations to the Headquarters by the established deadlines. These nominations will be added to the master list of other nominations, made by the public, received at the Headquarters.
2. The full list of nominations will be sent to the committee chairs and a 30-day research process begins. The committee chairs should be on the lookout for any potential problems that might not be reflected in the nomination letters/materials.
3. At the end of the 30-day research period, committee chairs send their list of finalist recommendations to the Headquarters.
4. The finalist list will be posted in the "members only" section of ww.SPJ.org for a 30-day comment period. Only SPJ members will be able to leave comments. Anonymous comments will not be accepted.
5. The comments will be compiled by staff and distributed to the appropriate committee. If any comment raises a concern, the chair should research this comment before any final decision is voted on by the executive committee at its summer board meeting.
Carlson will be sending a letter to committee chairs regarding the changes to the awards nomination process.
OCEAN COUNTY COLLEGE TASK FORCE
The Society issued a press release critical of Ocean County College for removing its longtime newspaper adviser. The college has complained about the release and asked for a letter of apology.
Upon proper motion and second by Cadwallader and Brewer, the committee agreed to the following course of action:
• Carlson will send a letter to the college indicating that its complaint had been reviewed.
• The letter will indicate that the Society is awaiting the results of the task force assigned to investigate the matter before taking any further action.
• The letter will further indicate that the Society is reviewing its news release guidelines.
REGIONAL CONFERENCE ASSIGNMENTS
The following regional conference assignments for officers were agreed upon:
Region 5, Indianapolis, Ind. Cadwallader
March 31-April 1
Region 1, Newark, N.J. Loop and Gratz
Region 2, Washington, D.C. Carlson
Region 6, Minneapolis, Minn. Cadwallader
Region 10, Kennewick, Wash. Carlson
Region 11, Pasadena, Calif. Tatum
Region 12, Memphis, Tenn. none
Region 3, Athens, Ga. Carlson
Region, 4, Cincinnati, Ohio Cadwallader
Region 7, St. Louis, Mo. Tatum
Region 8, Oklahoma City, Okla. Carlson
Region 9, Denver, Colo. Tatum
SATELLITE CHAPTER APPROVED
Upon proper motion and second by Loop and Tatum, the committee approved a request to create the Orange County Pro Satellite Chapter.
PROVISIONAL CHAPTER STATUS
Upon proper motion and second by Loop and Tatum, the committee granted provisional chapter status to the SUNY Oswego Campus Chapter.
There was discussion of the mentor program that has been proposed by the projects committee of the SDX Foundation.
Upon proper motion and second by Fisher and Tatum, the committee voted to move forward with the proposed mentor program after the ethics campaign and the speakers bureau have been implemented.
There being no further business to come before the committee, Carlson declared the meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.