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Home > About SPJ > Documentation > Meeting Minutes

NOVEMBER 19, 2006

With President Christine Tatum presiding, the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists was called to order at 8:39 a.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2006, in the Tammen and Bonfil Rooms at offices of the Denver Post in Denver, Colo.

In addition to President Tatum, the following were present: President-Elect Clint Brewer; Secretary-Treasurer Dave Aeikens; Vice President for Campus Chapter Affairs Mead Loop; Region 5 Director Richard Roth; Region 10 Director Nathan Isaacs; and Executive Director Terrence G. Harper. Also in attendance were Sigma Delta Chi Foundation President Steve Geimann; Associate Executive Directors Christine Vachon and Julie Grimes; Quill Editor Joe Skeel; Web Administrator Billy O’Keefe; and Diversity Committee Chairwoman Sally Lehrman.

Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Brewer, respectively, the executive committee approved the minutes from its June 17, 2006, and November 8, 2006 meetings.

Tatum discussed her idea to create a Legal Advocacy Network. The network will aim to build more collaboration/discussion between the journalism and media-law communities. The network also will aim to connect journalists with legal help quickly. Lawyers supporting the network will agree to take calls and make appropriate referrals. Lawyers supporting the network will be invited to post blog items, white papers, briefs and other legal information they think it’s important for journalists to know. Contact and biographical information about each lawyer will be posted in this section. Lawyers will pay SPJ a fee be included in the network.

Tatum is evaluating committee sizes and is working toward a goal of approximately 15 members per committee. Committee chairs are being encouraged to form sub-committees to work on specific projects. Chairs are submitting action plans to Tatum for review and, in addition, they are submitting content for the Web, as well as a succession plan. The action plans also can be used to measure the effectiveness of our committee leaders. Roth and Isaacs will draft a proposal to create term limits for committee chairs.

The committee discussed an inquiry from Ray Hanania to incorporate the National Arab American Journalists Association into the Society, possibly as a section of membership. The committee requested a formal proposal be submitted to them which would include specifics of the agreement between the two organizations.

Skeel presented information on creating a digital version of Quill. The digital version would have an opt-in/opt-out feature and for this initial phase of Digital Quill, we will opt-in all student members.

Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and Aeikens, respectively, the committee approved a four-month trial period to produce a digital version of Quill for student members. Any savings realized through the digital version will be invested in content upgrades only.

The committee reviewed proposed grant requests from SPJ committees to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation and made the following recommendations:

— Diversity Outreach renewal: The committee recommended that this grant be forwarded to the Foundation
— FOI Training for Ethnic & Community Media: The committee recommended that this grant be forwarded to the Foundation
— Dark Dozen research project: The committee recommended that this grant be forwarded to the Foundation with the stipulation that the other organizations mentioned participate financially.
— Talking Circles Reborn: The committee recommended that this grant not be forwarded to the Foundation. Lehrman suggested approaching the Native American Journalists Association to fund this research.

The Society will be granted $50,000 in unrestricted matching funds if it raises $100,000 through new and increased giving to SPJ or the SDX Foundation by May 31, 2007. New SPJ memberships count toward the goal. Thus far, $73,000 has been raised. The goal is to have 100% participation from both boards.

The committee decided upon the following timeline for the previous day’s strategic planning session:

— The wording of the goals will be cleaned up by Dec. 1.
— The goals will be distributed to the board by Dec. 15.
— The goals will then be distributed to the membership.
— The objectives for the goals will be formulated based on the feedback from the board and the membership.
— The goals will be presented to the board in May.

Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and Isaacs, respectively, the committee directed that the goals be referred to the full board for comment according to the above timeline.

There being no further business to come before the board, Tatum declared the meeting adjourned at 12:42 p.m. on Sunday, November 18, 2006.

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