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MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
JULY 24, 2010
WORLD WAR II MUSEUM, NEW ORLEANS
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 9:10 a.m. on Saturday, July 24, 2010, at the World War II Museum in New Orleans.
In addition to Smith, the following were present: 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.
Others in attendance were SDX Foundation President Steve Geimann and RTDNA Chair Mark Kraham.
Staff members in attendance were Executive Director Joe Skeel and Associate Executive Director Chris Vachon.
MEETING MINUTES APPROVED
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and McCloskey, respectively, the committee approved the minutes from the following executive committee meetings:
January 16, 2010
May 26, 2010
President Smith supplied an update on the shield law and shared with the group that he hand-delivered letters to senators. Smith wrote an op-ed piece regarding the shield law and it was picked up by approximately 40 newspapers.
Smith provided an update on his travels; SPJ committees and he mentioned that there is a possibility of revivals of the following chapters: Central Florida, Atlanta, Maryland and Charlotte, N.C.
Executive Director Skeel reported on the budget stating that through May 30, the salary line item shows a surplus of $79,000; however, there is a revenue shortfall of $87,000 (most due to awards falling short of projections). Because restricted and unrestricted monies are combined in the FY2010 budget, much of the surplus may very well be restricted cash that will be used for programs before the end of the fiscal year.
Membership is growing at a slow, but steady, pace as it has increased by about 4 percent since January 1. 2,300 journalists were trained through 72 programs coordinated by headquarters.
Improvements to the headquarters building continue as a new roof and exterior paint are in place. Later in 2010, a new boiler and fresh blacktop on the parking lot will be added to the list of improvements. Next year, the building will see interior painting and new carpet.
Plans for the Vegas convention are coming along well. Rob Curley from the Vegas Sun will be the keynote speaker. There are many great sessions planned with high caliber speakers. The website contains lots of convention information and registration is open.
Planning for the joint RTDNA/SPJ conference is progressing along well. The day prior to the July executive committee meeting, a day-long meeting took place with RTDNA representatives at the Sheraton New Orleans. The joint conference has been named Excellence in Journalism.
Vachon explained there is a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Marriott Harbor Beach Resort, which is offering a promotion which includes no attrition and no food and beverage minimum in the contract. As a result of this promotion, a site visit was conducted and the staff recommends this property for the 2012 convention. RTDNA participated in the site visit and their board will be discussing this property for 2012.
Upon proper motion and second by Limor and Aeikens, respectively, the committee recommends taking the Ft. Lauderdale location for the 2012 convention to the SPJ Board of Directors for board approval.
QATAR CHAPTER APPROVAL
Paperwork submitted by an interest group at the Northwestern University in Qatar was reviewed and discussed by the executive committee.
Upon proper motion and second by Limor and Aeikens, respectively, the committee accepted the Qatar Chapter as a new SPJ campus chapter.
PARTNERSHIP WITH BOB SHAPIRO
A draft proposal from Bob Shapiro, a military liason, was reviewed and discussed. His document proposes that an agreement be created between journalists, as represented by SPJ and other organizations that may follow its lead, and the military, as represented by the U.S. Public Affairs structure at ISAF in Afghanistan. The agreement proposes that the press stretch the embargo period a little bit, in return for getting complete and thorough information from the Public Affairs Officers.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Aeikens, respectively, the committee voted not to endorse the Shapiro proposal.
A draft proposal from Dot News was submitted for SPJs reaction. Some individuals are working to create either a non-profit or for-profit entity that would create a .news address for online journalism which would include a set of minimum journalistic standards that would be monitored.
Dot News seems to be in its very early stages of development and as a result, the executive committee felt it was too early to weigh in on the proposal.
SPJs Bylaws Chair, Bob Becker, submitted a memo to President Smith which included model chapter bylaws. The bylaws template will be helpful not only to new chapters, but also to existing chapters looking to update/review their chapter bylaws.
The new model bylaws will be available on the website and announcements of their development will be made available through Leads, the Leading Edge, Scripps Leadership Institute and as chapter leaders contact SPJs Membership Coordinator.
HELEN THOMAS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
In June 2010, Helen Thomas stepped down amid pressure from Hearst Publications for speaking out against Israelis. SPJ has an award named after Helen Thomas. After the incident, SPJ received many emails expressing peoples opinion about whether or not the SPJ award should continue to be named after Thomas. The committee reviewed the emails.
The committee discussed the topic and chose to take no action.
The committee reviewed a memo from Robert Leger and Dave Aeikens outlining two approaches for putting together a centennial-plus history of SPJ. The first approach would be to hire an editor and four to six writers. The second approach would be to hire a journalism historian.
The executive committee gave its support of the project and recommended that Leger continue pursuing options with the intent of bringing back firm recommendations to the full SPJ board in October.
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.
No award winner was selected.
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 Limor and Lunsford, respectively, Richard Hendrickson, 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.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Albarado, respectively, Bill Shorty, was awarded the Ethics in Journalism Award.
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 Smith and Aeikens, respectively, Sydney Schanberg, Ernie Pyle and Bob Steele were made 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 Lunsford and Limor, respectively, Herschel Fink, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, Detroit; Carol Rosenberg, The Miami Herald; David Cuillier, University of Arizona 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 Lunsford and Limor respectively, David Perlman was awarded the Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement.
HISTORIC SITE IN JOURNALISM
The recognition honors individuals, news organizations and places of national historic journalism interest.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Ralston respectively, White Hall in Richmond, Ky. was selected as the Historic Site in Journalism.
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.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Limor respectively, John Dycus, Fort Worth Pro Chapter was awarded the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award for large chapters.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Ralston respectively, David Nicklaus, St Louis Pro Chapter was awarded the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award for small chapters.
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 Ralston, respectively, Jenny You, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was named the 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 Aeikens, respectively, Region 9 Director John Ensslin, 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, David Andreatta, Democrat and Chronicle, was awarded a Sunshine Award. Upon proper motion and second by Limor and Ralston, respectively, Jill Riepenhoff & Todd Jones, The Columbus Dispatch, were awarded a Sunshine Award.
Upon proper motion and second by Albarado and Aeikens, respectively, The Advocate was awarded a Sunshine Award. Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Aeikens, respectively, Charlene Charlie Padilla, Southern California Public Radio, was awarded a Sunshine Award.
The officers went into executive session to select Irwin Gratz as the winner of the Wells Key. Upon choosing a winner, the officers exited executive session.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m., July 24, 2010.