MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
JUNE 21, 2008
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Clint Brewer presiding, the meeting of the executive committee of the Society of Professional Journalists was called to order at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, June 21, 2008, in the board room at the E.W. Scripps Company in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In addition to Brewer, the following were present for all or a portion of the meeting: President-Elect Dave Aeikens; Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Smith; Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs Neil Ralston; Immediate Past President Christine Tatum; Director at-Large Sally Lehrman; Region 7 Director Ron Sylvester; Cincinnati Pro Chapter President Hagit Limor; Executive Director Terry Harper; Associate Executive Directors Chris Vachon and Julie Grimes; and Editor Joe Skeel.
Brewer updated the committee on SPJs efforts to pass a federal shield law. A meeting of the coalition of organizations working to pass the law may take place in July in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with SPJs visits to Capitol Hill. The coalition is working with Baker Hostetler who is working with Senator Cornyns office with respect to the definition of a journalist.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS REPORT
Harper updated the committee on the status of the staffing issues. The communications position has been filled and the Quill position will be filled in the next few days. The awards and administrative assistant candidates have been narrowed down and second interviews are scheduled; and one good candidate has been found so far for the development position.
The work on the strategic plan from the board meeting has been distilled and developed into goals for the 08-09 year. Those recommended goals will be presented to the full board.
A plan is being developed to upgrade the database that would improve functionality. Currently, the hosting of our server is being assessed as well as research is being done in regard to a unified login for members.
The programming portion of the convention is coming along. Most of the 60 programs are either fully developed or in some stage of development. Some of the big names speaking at the conference include Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Martin Fletcher, and Pulitzer-prize winners Tom Hallman and Brett Blackledge. The Opening Night Reception & Legal Defense Fund Auction will take place at the Hyatt. Current sponsors include: CNN, Cox Newspapers and United Business Media.
Upon proper motion and second by Tatum and Sylvester, the board approved the reinstatement of the Des Moines chapter; changed the chapters name to the Iowa Pro Chapter and declared the boundaries to be the entire state of Iowa.
The executive committee reviewed the revised document from Baker Hostetler for SPJs Web site and the group recommended some revisions. This item will carry over to the next board meeting.
The group brainstormed various funding options in order to provide training to new board members. The decision was made to provide training to new board on the Sunday of the convention. The first training session will be in Atlanta.
CINCINNATI PRO CHAPTER
The president of the Cincinnati Pro Chapter, Hagit Limor, provided an update on the chapter. According to Limor, the group addressed two challenges head on this year and has moved forward. The chapters membership has grown and recruitment has taken place to bring diversity to its board. The chapter has revitalized its programming efforts; launched an e-newsletter, Web site, MySpace page, and a blog; and the list goes on and on with all kinds of new and exciting endeavors undertaken by a great group of volunteers. The Executive Committee commended Limor and the chapter for its hard work.
CITIZEN JOURNALISM ACADEMY
The committee received a recap of the three programs held by SPJ. The programs took place in Chicago, Greensboro, and there is an upcoming program in Los Angeles with attendance ranging from 20 to 50 participants. Stories about SPJs CJA program was picked up by several news sources.
Before going forward with more citizen journalism programs, the committee feels they need to make a definitive statement about bloggers.
The group recommended that to hold successful citjo programs, SPJ needs to seek out established news organizations who have staff responsible for citizen journalists and user-generated content and incorporate those newsrooms into the program.
The chairwoman of the Nominations Committee, Christie Tatum, provided the slate of candidates as of June 21:
President-elect: Kevin Smith and Ron Sylvester
Secretary/Treasurer: Hagit Limor
Region 1 Director: Carolyn James
Region 4 Director: Jeremy Steele
Region 5 Director: Liz Hansen
Region 7 Director: Holly Edgell
Region 8 Director: Scott Cooper
Region 9 Director: John Ensslin and Don Myer
Region 10 Director: Scott Maben
At-Large Director: Michael Koretzky
Campus Adviser At-Large: Sue Kopen Katcef
Tatum is continuing to work to identify potential candidates. As a result, there may be some additions to the slate.
The budget that was presented to the board in May 2007 had a $17,000 deficit; the budget available for review at the Executive Committee has a small surplus. The change in the budget is the result of revenue generated through doing our Job Bank with Boxwood; an increase in professional development fees; and more accurate numbers for staffing. The next step for the budget is to review it with the finance committee and then the board.
SHIELD LAW UPDATE
Brewer informed the committee that the shield law is currently in flux, but it hasnt lost any ground, either. He is not sure that it will go to a vote as was originally planned. Baker Hostetler has been very helpful in this area and will continue to work closely with Cornyn as this unfolds.
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 Aeikens and Smith, respectively, Kathleen Wickham, University of Mississippi, 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 Smith and Lehrman, respectively, Lydia Chavez, University of California, Berkeley, 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 Smith and Aeikens, respectively, Glen Mabie, WEAU-TV, Eau Claire, Wis., 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 Lehrman and Smith, respectively, Al Smith of Lexington, Ky., was made a 2008 Fellow of the Society.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Sylvester, respectively, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, National Public Radio, was made a 2008 Fellow of the Society.
Upon proper motion and second by Smith and Ralston, respectively, Tim Russert, MSNBC, was made a 2008 Fellow 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 Aeikens, respectively, Toni Locy, formerly of USAToday, was awarded a First Amendment Award.
Upon proper motion and second by Sylvester and Aeikens, respectively, the Illinois First Amendment Center, was awarded a First Amendment Award.
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 Lehrman and Smith, respectively, Caryl Rivers, Boston University, was awarded the 2008 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.
Upon proper motion and second by Smith and Aeikens, respectively, Richard Hendrickson of the Cleveland Pro Chapter was awarded the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award (large chapter).
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Lehrman, respectively, Jean Ash of the East Tennessee Pro Chapter was awarded the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award (small chapter).
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 Ralston and Aeikens, respectively, Breanne Coats, Pacific Lutheran University, was named the 2008 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 Ann Augherton, Region 2 Director, 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 Aeikens and Ralston, respectively, Robert Faturechi, UCLA Daily Bruin, was awarded a Sunshine Award.
Upon proper motion and second by Lehrman and Sylvester, respectively, Teri Henning, Pennsylvania Newspaper Association General Counsel, was awarded a Sunshine Award.
Upon proper motion and second by Aeikens and Sylvester, respectively, Laurie Roberts, Arizona Republic, was awarded a Sunshine Award.
Upon proper motion and second by Smith and Sylvester, respectively, the committee approved the minutes from its January 19, 2008 meeting.
The committee went into executive session to select the winner of the Wells Key.
Upon proper motion and second by Sylvester and Ralston, respectively, the meeting was adjourned at 2:50 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, 2008.