MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
JULY 16, 2011
MARRIOTT HARBOR BEACH RESORT, FT. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Hagit Limor 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 16, 2011, at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
In addition to Limor, the following were present: President-Elect Darcie Lunsford; Secretary-Treasurer John Ensslin; Immediate Past President Kevin Smith; Director at-Large Bill McCloskey; Region 12 Director Sonny Albarado.
Also in attendance was SDX Foundation President Steve Geimann.
Staff members in attendance were Executive Director Joe Skeel and Associate Executive Director Chris Vachon.
MEETING MINUTES APPROVED
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Albarado, respectively, the committee approved the minutes from the January 8, 2011 Executive Committee Meeting.
President Limor supplied an update. She reported that membership is steady. Limor talked about the press release put out by SPJ on checkbook journalism and she feels that there are some upcoming opportunities for partnerships with other journalism organizations.
Limor reported that Communications Chair Lauren Bartlett is requesting money for the committee from SPJ for a promotional project. Bartlett plans to ask the SDX Foundation for money too, but feels it would be better to have support from SPJ before making a request of the Foundation.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Lunsford, respectively, the committee approved $500 for the Communications committee.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Lunsford, respectively, the previous motion was amended to $1,000.
Limor brought forth a suggestion from At-large Director Lauren Bartlett to create a Regional Director Coordinator position. Bartlett suggested that this person would hold the Regional Directors accountable for their required duties. The committee thought it would be helpful to have a resource/go-to person for the Regional Directors.
Upon proper motion and second by Ensslin and McCloskey, respectively, the committee approved the concept of the SPJ president being enabled to appoint a Regional Director Coordinator each year.
Foundation President Steve Geimann reported that the Pulliam Editorial Fellowship received 29 applications (six from editorial writers) for 2011. For perspective, 20 applications were received in 2010 and four in 2009.
The Foundation made a $2,500 donation to the Missouri Press Association, in order to assist journalists, as a result of the tornado that affected Joplin, Mo. Local chapters also contributed to the cause and the Press Association received $68,000 in total.
Geimann reported that giving from Foundation board members to the Foundation is not 100%.
The amount of estate gifts increased from 2010 to 2011.
Finally, the endowment is up $300,000 and now stands at $11 million.
Executive Director Skeel reported that he is gathering information on leasing the upstairs of the headquarters building in order to generate more revenue.
Membership revenue is $2,000 off its budgeted amount for the current fiscal year. Unrestricted money sits at $300,000 and Skeel projects to end the year at $225,000-$250,000 in unrestricted money. Expenses have been trimmed by $110,000.
Skeel wanted the committee to begin thinking about its membership make-up. Currently, seven of the 23 SPJ board members are working full-time journalists. The board make-up is a reflection of the overall membership make-up. Are we an organization for journalists or journalism?
Work continues on the project of creating an option for members to auto renew their dues annually, or possibly even monthly.
Planning for the joint RTDNA/SPJ conference in New Orleans is progressing along well. Actual revenue has exceeded budgeted revenue for the event. It is too early to give an indication of registration numbers. Super Session speakers are NPRs Andy Carvin, CBS News Jeff Fager and a CNN personality to be announced. CNN is sponsoring the Opening Night Reception this year.
Not much has occurred regarding the 2012 event, but this meeting is taking place in the 2012 convention hotel. The Executive Committee indicated that they are pleased with the property.
LIVING ON LESS PROGRAM
The Entertainment Industries Federal Credit Union (EIFCU) is developing a program called Living on Less. The program will coach and teach financially challenged people from the newspaper and music industry how to live on less as a result of layoffs and lower wages. The EIFCU is asking for SPJ to support its program. The Executive Committee indicated it would support such program.
Upon proper motion and second by Ensslin and Albarado, respectively, the committee approved chapter status for the following:
University of Albany
SPJs Bylaws Chair, Bob Becker, submitted a memo to President Limor regarding bylaws amendments.
To make it unambiguous in Article VI, Section 4 that when, as this year, vacancies occur in the president and president-elect positions, both positions will be up for election at the next convention.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Ensslin, respectively, the change was accepted.
To amend Article IX, Section 3 to permit chapters to pick delegates to act on the chapters behalf, even if no chapter members attend the convention.
A friendly amendment was accepted that indicates a delegate can represent only one chapter.
Upon proper motion and second by McCloskey and Ensslin, respectively, the change was accepted.
To amend Article V to permit establishment of one or more virtual chapters into which national members would be put if they are too far from a bricks and mortar chapter or there is no active chapter in the members state.
Upon proper motion and second by Smith and Albarado, respectively, the proposed change will be taken to the SPJ board of directors.
To designate a home chapter for an SPJ member who joins more than one chapter so the member is counted only once for the purpose of apportioning convention delegates. Although the board voted not to send the one-member one-vote amendment to the floor, it wanted to address the home chapter issue.
Upon proper motion and second by Smith and McCloskey, respectively, the proposed change will be taken to the convention delegates.
There were many technical correction amendments recommended to the bylaws from the Bylaws Committee.
Upon proper motion and second by Smith and McCloskey, respectively, the corrections were accepted.
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 Albarado, respectively, Mead Loop, was awarded the Distinguished Teaching in Journalism 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 Ensslin and Smith, respectively, Asra Q. Nomani & Barbara Feinman Todd, were each 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 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 Ensslin and Smith, respectively, Richard Goehler, Grover Cleveland Hall and Lane DeGregory 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 Smith, respectively, Burlington Free Press and Mark Prendergast were awarded First Amendment Awards.
HISTORIC SITE IN JOURNALISM
The recognition honors individuals, news organizations and places of national historic journalism interest.
Upon proper motion and second by Ensslin and McCloskey, respectively, Silverton Standard & the Miner, Silverton, Colo., 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 Lunsford and Smith, respectively, Rebecca Baker, New York Deadline Chapter was awarded the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award for large chapters.
Upon proper motion and second by Ensslin and Smith, respectively, Linda Petersen, Utal Headliners 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 Smith, respectively, Tara Puckey, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, 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 Ensslin and Lunsford, respectively, Region 2 Director Brian Eckert, 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 Ensslin and Lunsford, respectively, Anne Geggis; Samantha Turley & Marcus Constantino; and The Wall Street Journal staff were awarded Sunshine Awards.
WELLS MEMORIAL KEY
The officers went into executive session to select Al Cross as the winner of the Wells Memorial Key. Upon choosing a winner, the officers exited executive session.
The meeting was adjourned on July 16, 2011 following the discussion of the Wells Memorial Key.