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Home > About SPJ > Documentation > Meeting Minutes

OCTOBER 3, 2007

With President Christine Tatum presiding, the meeting of the board of directors of the Society of Professional Journalists was called to order at 1:19 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

In addition to President Tatum, the following were present for all or a portion of the meeting: President-Elect Clint Brewer; Secretary-Treasurer Dave Aeikens; Immediate Past President David Carlson; Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs Mead Loop; Directors at-Large Sally Lehrman and Molly McDonough; Campus Advisers at-Large Sue Kopen-Katcef and Neil Ralston; Campus Representatives John Patrick and Erin Smith; Regional Directors Holly Fisher, Kevin Smith, Richard Roth, Ron Sylvester, Travis Poling, Deb Hurley, and Sonny Albarado. Staff members present included Executive Director Terrence G. Harper, Associate Executive Directors Chris Vachon and Julie Grimes; and Editor Joe Skeel.

Upon proper motion and second by Hurley and Katcef, respectively, the board approved the minutes of the May 19, 2007 and August 30, 2007 board of directors meetings.

Grimes pointed out that all board members were involved in one way or another in the process of developing a strategic plan for the Society. It can now be used as a guide for the board and a plan for success. She covered the three main areas of the plan, including the master document, broad goals and current year goals.

Brewer asked the board to review a recommendation from Diversity Committee Chairwoman Sally Lehrman for additions to the inclusion section of the strategic plan. Brewer indicated that the board would discuss and vote at a later date.

Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Smith, respectively, the board endorsed the strategic plan.

It is added parenthetically to these minutes that at a subsequent board meeting held on November 1, 2007, some of Lehrman’s suggestions were added to the plan. The plan, as amended on November 1, 2007, is available on the Web.

Bob Becker discussed his recommendations with respect to SPJ’s procedures for reviewing and approving LDF grant requests and signing on to amicus briefs. Bob recommends that SPJ checklist be created for handling such matters. In addition, he suggested that SPJ develop a set of guidelines for requests to sign on to amicus briefs separate from current LDF grant request guidelines. The board took no formal action on Becker’s recommendations although it did agree by consent to expand the committee that votes on these requests to include the President; President-Elect; Secretary-Treasurer; Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs, and chairmen of the Freedom of Information and Legal Defense Fund committees.

Tatum proposed a policy requiring anyone posting to SPJ’s blogs to register. The policy would not require a person to share his or her real name, but it would require at least a working e-mail address. As a result, it would be much easier for SPJ to identify problem posters. The policy would continue to allow members and non-members to post comments on SPJ blogs.

Upon proper motion and second by Poling and Albarado, respectively, the board approved the above proposal subject to the Society’s adopting a privacy policy and terms of use for the Web site.

Brewer discussed the merits of a having a statement on SPJ’s involvement in business matters affecting journalism to be used in guiding the board in certain situations. The group discussed the idea of getting input from members on this topic. Regional directors would be responsible for soliciting input from chapters in their respective regions

The survey content should come from a committee consisting of a representative from the diversity, ethics, and FOI committees, along with appointed board members.

Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Carlson, respectively, the board authorized Brewer to appoint a committee to develop questions for a survey on media business issues. The survey questions will be presented to the board for approval.

Tatum requested the board’s input on the location for the first academies.

Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and McDonough, respectively, the board approved Chicago, Greensboro, N.C., and Los Angeles as sites for the Citizen Journalism Academies.

There being no further business to come before the board, Tatum declared the meeting adjourned at 3:51 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3, 2007.

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