MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
JANUARY 10, 2007
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Christine Tatum presiding, the meeting of the executive committee of the Society of Professional Journalists was called to order at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 via telephonic conference call originating from Indianapolis, Indiana.
In addition to Tatum, the following were present: President-Elect Clint Brewer; Secretary-Treasurer Dave Aeikens; Immediate Past President David Carlson; Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs Mead Loop; Region 10 Director Nathan Isaacs; Executive Director Terry Harper; Associate Executive Directors Chris Vachon and Julie Grimes; Editor Joe Skeel; Membership Manager Wendy Hoke; and General Counsel Bruce Sanford, Baker & Hostetler.
LEGAL ADVOCACY NETWORK
Tatum updated the committee on the progress made to date on the establishment of a Legal Advocacy Network as a service to members and a revenue stream for the Society. The network aims to build more collaboration/discussion between the journalism and media-law communities. The network also aims to connect journalists with legal help quickly. Lawyers supporting the network will agree to take calls and make appropriate referrals. Lawyers supporting the network will be invited to post blog items, white papers, briefs and other legal information they think it's important for journalists to know. Contact and biographical information about each lawyer will be posted in this section. The money raised by the network will be used for any number of purposes within the framework of legal advocacy and lobbying tied to media-law issues.
Tatum has drafted a solicitation letter and has provided it to Sanford for feedback. Tatum has designed an informational flyer for distribution at an upcoming conference of media lawyers. Mark Bailen, Baker & Hostetler, will distribute the information at the conference.
MEDIA EDUCATION SERIES
The Society has made available to members all aspects of the Media Education Series it will provide to Market Wire except the financial details. At least one member of the ethics committee Casey Bukro has requested this information. It has been Tatums preference not to release the financial details until proper procedures are in place. Sanford shared his thoughts that since this is a new venture for the Society, it would be appropriate to not provide the financial details until a track record has been established. Sanford indicated that while not releasing the information may conflict with the Societys aspirational values that it was in keeping with the organizations institutional interests.
Other members of the committee expressed concern that it has been SPJs practice to provide such details upon request and to not do so here would be inconsistent and open the Society to criticism. Barring any legal impediment, the information should be released.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Isaacs, respectively, the executive committee approved by a vote of 4-1 the following course of action:
The executive director will contact Market Wire to inform the company that the Society intends to make the financial details of the Media Education Series available to its members.
Within 30 days, the staff will create a rate card for the Speakers Bureau that can be used to market the program to other potential clients.
The executive director will contact Bukro on Jan. 15 to provide the financial details of the Media Education Series.
It was agreed that SPJ should develop some sort of procedures that state more clearly how the Society will report the financial details of deals it strikes with third parties, such as Market Wire. Aeikens and Isaacs agreed to work on crafting recommendations and proposals for the full boards review and discussion at its May 19, 2007 meeting.
THE JOURNALIST 2007
Harper provided an update on the staffing of the 2007 edition of The Journalist. Harper will continue as publisher and Skeel will serve as editor. Ad sales will be handled in-house by Jennifer Utsler. Harper will provide the publications/editorial plan to the full board by the end of the week. The executive committee went into a brief executive session with the executive director to discuss some personnel matters relating to The Journalist.
There being no further business to come before the executive committee, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2007.