MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SIGMA DELTA CHI FOUNDATION
OCTOBER 29 AND 30, 2007
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Steve Geimann presiding, the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation was called to order at 2 p.m. on Monday, October 29, 2007, via a telephonic conference call originating in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In addition to Geimann, the following were present: Vice President Robert Leger; Secretary Irwin Gratz; Treasurer Howard Dubin; Past President Todd Gillman; Director Mac McKerral; Executive Director Terrence G. Harper; and Associate Executive Director Julie Grimes.
GRANT FOR CONSIDERATION
Geimann reported that the meeting was convened to consider an emergency grant request from the SPJ Northern California Pro Chapter to support the Chauncey Bailey Project. The project is a broad-based journalistic collaboration formed to continue the investigative reporting efforts of Chauncey Bailey, the Oakland Post editor who was killed earlier this year. The request seeks $20,000 to pay for Web site development, travel, document searches and acquisitions, student stipends and reporting fellowships for the project.
The grant proposal states, The chapter believes that this project will creatively demonstrate to professional peers, as well as to journalism students and the public, how collaborative work on such fast-breaking and critically important news stories can be done. Investigating the murder on a local street of a colleague because of his journalism certainly is central to SPJs mission of defending the right of a free press to inform the public about wrongdoing without intimidation. It also underlines the vital but sometimes perilous path that good journalism can entail.
The chapter is especially proud that the collaboration involves students at three Bay Area journalism schools, who are doing investigative work under the tutelage of experienced reporters. These students will also be involved in the production of a multimedia Web site that can be used as a teaching tool in classrooms.
Committee members reviewed the grant request and raised questions about other project funders and the stipends described in the grant.
Geimann agreed to obtain additional information from the grant contact person and report back to the committee during a second teleconference meeting on October 30.
COMMITTEE IN RECESS
The committee recessed at 2:50 p.m. and will reconvene at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 30, 2007.
GRANT DISCUSSION CONTINUES
The committee reconvened at 11 a.m. EDT, on Wednesday, October 30, 2007.
Geimann reported on his conversation with Linda Jue, a member of the SPJ Northern California Pro Chapter and the grant contact. In answer to the committees questions about the grant, no other groups have yet made direct financial contributions to the project. In-kind commitments, including Web site hosting, have been obtained. Stipends will be used primarily for supporting the work of the executive editor and the two lead investigative reporters. To date, those individuals have volunteered their time, and without these stipends, their work would continue to be uncompensated.
Upon a proper motion and second by Leger and Gratz, respectively, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation approved a $20,000 grant to the SPJ Northern California chapter to help launch a collaborative investigative journalism project to continue the work of murdered Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey as part of a commitment to the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press. The SDX Foundation challenges other journalism organizations, publishers and broadcasters interested in the public's right to know to match, and exceed, its grant in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration in an important investigation of Bailey's work. This grant will support an initial records search, data collection and source interviews along with a share of the costs to build a Web site relying on the latest technologies to share results of the work with journalists and the public. Funding also will provide fellowships for professional journalists on leave from their positions to participate in the project, along with limited stipends for college students from the Bay area joining the project.
McKerral abstained from the vote.
Geimann declared the meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.