MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
THE SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
MAY 26, 2010
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Kevin Smith presiding, the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists was called to order at 10:31 a.m. on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 via conference call.
In addition to President Smith, the following were present for all or portions of the meeting: President-Elect Hagit Limor, Secretary/Treasurer Darcie Lunsford, Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs Neil Ralston, Immediate Past President Dave Aeikens, Director At-Large Bill McCloskey, Region 12 Director Sonny Albarado,
Executive Director Joe Skeel.
Also on the call were Government Relations Committee Chairman Steve Taylor and Bylaws Committee Chairman Bob Becker.
FEDERAL SHIELD LAW, (SB448)
President Smith advised the committee of very recent developments regarding the federal shield law, SB448 Free Flow of Information Act. In particular, the latest definition of a journalist as set forth in SB448.
Taylor told the executive committee that the Government Relations Committee, despite reservations by some, had reached a consensus to support the new language in the bill.
President Smith then read into the record a comment by Government Relations Committee member Al Cross: Im especially troubled by the overly restrictive definition of substantial professional gain but this is what we have to accept to get a law, I will hold my nose and swallow.
Becker spoke in opposition of supporting SB448 due to its narrowly defined view of who qualifies as a journalist.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Lunsford, respectively, the committee after much debate voted to continue SPJs support of SB448. McCloskey abstained.
Skeel reported that SPJs grant requests to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation will be different than last years grant requests. SPJ will now be requesting 100 percent of the costs for each program. Before last year, SPJ did not ask for any of the indirect expenses, such as salaries and utilities, associated with programs. Last year, for the first time, SPJ requested a small percentage of the indirect expenses which was received favorably by the Foundation.
Additionally, the method that calculates the money available to the Foundation for grant giving is being done differently than in past years. The Foundation is still holding to their 5 percent giving policy; however, due to the change, the amount available this year for grant giving has increased by more than 50 percent. This is being done by using 100 percent of the cash that comes to the Foundation in the form of un-reinvested interest and dividends. In the past, only a small portion was used.
The Foundations grants and awards committee is holding their conference call in the near future in order to make their recommendations about grants to the full SDX Foundation board.
STUDENT CHAPTER IN QATAR
President Smith then asked for the executive committees consensus to allow plans and processes for an SPJ chapter at Northwestern Universitys campus in Qatar to move forward. The committee agreed.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Ralston, respectively, the committee adjourned the meeting at 11:20 a.m.