MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
JUNE 27, 2009
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Dave Aeikens presiding, the meeting of the executive committee of the Society of Professional Journalists was called to order at 9:05 a.m. on Saturday, June 27, 2009, at the Minneapolis Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and Limor, respectively, the board approved the minutes from the following executive committee meetings:
January 10, 2009
February 20, 2009
April 17, 2009
June 1, 2009
Aeikens reported that the recent Citizen Journalism Academy held in Minneapolis received positive evaluations from its attendees.
He reminded the group about the upcoming lobbying trip to Washington, D.C.
He acknowledged the absence of Executive Director Terry Harper.
MEMBERSHIP EXTENSION UPDATE
Eight members have taken advantage of the membership waiver since its inception in April. The extension has been promoted heavily and we will continue to promote it.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
An update on the following programs was provided: Narrative Writing Workshops, Newsroom Training Programs, Reporters Institute, Scripps Leadership Institute, Town Hall programs and Regional Conferences.
A report was received from the Regional Directors with a proposal for changes to the annual report and star ranking system.
Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and McCloskey, respectively, the executive committee accepts the Regional Directors recommendation of presenting the proposal to the board of directors for consideration.
The chair of the Nominations Committee, Clint Brewer, provided the slate of candidates to date:
President-elect: Hagit Limor
Secretary/Treasurer: Darcie Lunsford
VP Campus Affairs: Neil Ralston and Shoshi Mabina
Region 2 Director: Brian Eckert
Region 3 Director: Michael Koretzky
Region 6 Director: Amanda Theissen
Region 10 Director: Dana Neuts
Region 11 Director: Jodi Cleesattle
Region 12 Director: Sonny Albarado
At-Large Director: Bill McCloskey
Campus Adviser At-Large: George Daniels
Campus Representatives: Brittany Patterson and Stephen Taylor and Andrew Seaman
Some members had raised concern over a convention program about outsourcing prior to the meeting. The executive committee discussed the topic.
Upon proper motion and second by Brewer and Lunsford, respectively, the executive committee decided to remove the outsourcing session from the convention program. Kevin voted no.
A general overview of the convention was provided by Vachon.
Skeel provided an update on the Centennial Yearbook and the executive committee was informed that the Foundation was covering all the expenses for the book.
The Executive Committee discussed the status of the amount of money in the Legal Defense Fund and the concept of repurposing the conventions auction for the Harper Memorial Fund.
Upon proper motion and second by Smith and Limor, respectively, the executive committee indicated the money raised from the 2009 convention auction be directed to the Harper Memorial Fund.
The convention is scheduled for Oct 3-6 at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas (this is the same hotel where the SPJ convention was held in 2005, it just changed its name from the Aladdin to Planet Hollywood).
Vachon has had a couple of calls with the RTNDA Chair Stacey Woelfel to discuss some preliminary action items regarding the partnership.
HARPER MEMORIAL FUND
The committee has met a few times and has come up with some preliminary ideas about the purpose of the fund. So far the ideas are:
An award for professional excellence
An award for online enterprise reporting
Grants to help journalists attend our training programs
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SEARCH
A committee has been formed and they have been divided into two subcommittees:
Research and writing: Lucy Daglish, Ian Marquand, George Daniels and Kevin Smith
Job Search: Renee Petrina, Darcie Lunsford, Steve Geimann and Hagit Limor
The tentative timeline for the search was reviewed with the group.
The Executive Committee reviewed Harpers contract and discussed the fact that his contract includes the granting of 90 days of his salary in the event of his death.
Skeel and Vachon requested consideration of raises, due to the passing of Executive Director Terry Harper, from the FY08/09 budget.
The Executive Committee went into executive session to discuss.
Upon proper motion and second, Brewer and Smith, respectively, moved to the close the executive committee meeting.
The Executive Committee met to discuss pay increases for Chris Vachon and Joe Skeel and decided to award 4% raises to each, retroactively to January 1, 2009.
The Executive Committee decided to award each Interim Co-Executive Director a one-time bonus of $2,500 each, payable upon completion of those interim duties.
Upon proper motion and second, Limor and Smith, respectively, moved to reopen the executive committee meeting.
DAVID L. ESHELMAN OUTSTANDING CAMPUS ADVISER AWARD
The David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award honors individuals who have done an outstanding job serving as SPJ campus adviser and who have contributed to their chapters and the national organization over an extended period of time.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Ralston, respectively, Beth Konrad, Loyola University Chicago, was awarded the David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award.
DISTINGUISHED TEACHING IN JOURNALISM AWARD
The Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award honors an outstanding journalism educator who has made a significant contribution to the profession and/or journalism education.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Smith, respectively, Max Branscomb, Southwestern College, was awarded the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award.
ETHICS IN JOURNALISM AWARD
The Ethics in Journalism Award honors reporters, editors or news organizations that distinguish themselves in performing an outstanding ethical manner as defined by the SPJ Code of Ethics.
No award winner was selected.
FELLOWS OF THE SOCIETY
The highest honor the Society bestows upon a journalist is awarded for extraordinary contributions to the profession. Nominations are open to members of the journalism profession.
Upon proper motion and second by Limor and Lunsford, respectively, Nelson Poynter, Stanley E. Hubbard and Austin Kiplinger were made 2009 Fellows of the Society.
FIRST AMENDMENT AWARD
The First Amendment Award honors individuals and organizations for extraordinarily strong efforts to preserve and strengthen the First Amendment.
Upon proper motion and second by Smith and McCloskey, respectively, The Oklahoman/NewsOK.com; Detroit Free Press; and Marjie Lundstrom and Sam Stanton, Sacramento Bee, were awarded First Amendment Awards.
HELEN THOMAS AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
The Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement is presented to an individual or individuals for a lifetime of contribution and service to the journalism profession.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Ralston respectively, Robert Churchwell was awarded the 2009 Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement.
HOWARD S. DUBIN OUTSTANDING PRO MEMBER AWARD
The Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award salutes individual professional members who have made significant contributions to their SPJ chapter. One award may be presented to a member of a large chapter (75 or more members) and one from a smaller chapter (less than 75 members). Individuals must be nominated by their chapters board of directors.
No award winner selected.
JULIE GALVAN OUTSTANDING GRADUATE IN JOURNALISM AWARD
At the close of the college year, each campus chapter of the Society selects one graduate in journalism who is outstanding in his/her class on the basis of character, service to the community, scholarship, proficiency in practical journalism and significant contributions to their SPJ chapter.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Limor, respectively, Megan Peterson, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was named the 2009 Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism.
REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Regional Director of the Year Award honors individuals serving as an SPJ regional director for outstanding service to their region and the national organization during the preceding year.
Upon proper motion and second by Smith and Limor, respectively, Region 3 Director Darcie Lunsford, was selected as the Regional Director of the Year.
The Sunshine Award recognizes individuals and groups for making important contributions in the area of open government.
Upon proper motion and second by Limor and Lunsford, respectively, Project on Government Oversight, was awarded a Sunshine Award.
The officers went into executive session to select past Executive Director Terry Harper as the winner of the Wells Key. Upon choosing a winner, the officers exited executive session.
Upon proper motion and second by Limor and Brewer, respectively, the meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m.