Feb. 26, 2018  

Minutes from Feb. 21, 2018

Minutes from Feb. 21, 2018

SPJ Florida Board of Directors Meeting

7 p.m. | Wednesday, February 21, 2018

FAU University Press Newsroom | Boca Raton



Christiana Lilly, President

Abbi Perry, Executive Vice President

Ryan Dailey (via chat), VP for membership

Emily Bloch, Vice President of Programming

Brendon Lies, Secretary

Christopher Persaud, Treasurer

Dori Zinn, Immediate Past President

Brandon Ballenger, Director

Michele Boyet, Director

Aurora Dominguez, Director

Brittany Ferrendi, Director

Richard Gaspar, Director

John McDonald, Director

Kerri-Marie Covington, Student Representative


Michael Koretzky, Region 3 Director

Jason Parsley, Sunshine State Awards chair


QUICK UPDATES // REVIEWS 2 minutes each

– Vote to add Brittany to the board. Christiana votes to approve, all say I. The motion passes.

– Approve last meeting’s minutes. Dori makes motion, Christiana seconds, all approve. The motion passes.

Ryan is not here, so we’re moving past membership.


Programming (Emily)
Two minutes each


Freelancer Lunch (Chris and John)
– A couple people turned out and asked about it later on; Dori suggested theming the next one to have more purpose. One guest returning, one was there for the first time.

– (Dori) Maybe we can add the events to a newsletter

Fake News Game Show in Tallahassee (Ryan)

– Had a huge crowd show up at the game show; gave the winners Starbucks gift cards (came from the budget he was given to spend). Since we’re up in Tallahassee, Ryan is thinking of aiming more at students next time since the demographic was older. He used the same template that we’ve been using, and it was a success.


Fake News Game Shows across the US (Emily)

– We’re up to about 10 advisors across the country interested in hosting this event; we’ve been on phone calls constantly, they’re really excited. Everywhere from Northwestern to Stanford, a little bit of everything. I’ll have a better list after initial talks.

Spring Training: Pitch an All-Star Story (Emily)
– I just started templating an email to editors to put on a radar, but will have to circle back. I want to do it in April, and instead it would just be a “baseball thing” instead of spring training, but depends when we’re doing the spring press panel. Probably will be before May.

CMA Spring Convention (Emily)

– We’re headed there in less than two weeks, March 7 thru 10, Fake News Game Show again as well as the women’s work panel will be there; I’m not sure if we’ll have the manpower to live stream, but we’ll have a massive representation there of SPJ

Panel with Press Forward (Christiana)

– I spoke with a woman Carolyn, and Jason spoke with them as well… founded by people who worked with Matt Lauer and others, some were assaulted in the newsroom, etc… so these journalists said they want it to stop. Gretchen Carlson is on the board, so Carolyn said give her a week or two to see who can join and should be represented, like law, arrest, harassment definitions, someone from Press Forward. Another thing we’re working on is a Zoom webinar session, but this affects the timing because the grants are due April 1, it can’t be a retroactive grant so we’d have to use it before the grants are applied. We’ll come back to this.

– Koretzky: talked to Carolyn recently, court members would be accessible.

Under Fire (Koretzky)
– I’ve emailed Florida NRA, national NRA, Gun Club of America, no responses and no thank you’s. I don’t think they want to hear from journalists, so I’m looking into sources… please feel free to set me up. Someone who knows a gun range would help. I can’t call a gun range myself because we’re gonna have funds, but we’re not going to fund a gun range.

Region 3 Conference

– We’re not going, it’s 9 hours away… our regional director says we’re excused. Originally it was going to be in Savanna, so that would be only 6 hours away, but plans changed to Charleston and it’s just not feasible anymore.

Scholarships (Christiana)
10 minutes

– Senior high school and Robertson high school have received grants; by the end of the year they have to write reports on how they use the money; they’re completely underfunded, all they wanted to buy was a microphone for radio, but the FCC doesn’t even use the same type of radio, so they need a new system.

– Just launched this week, so we’re mailing out newspapers and we’ll see what happens with that!


Student Chapters Network
15 minutes

– Ryan will be meeting with students at FAU, has been going back and forth about setting something up.

New Voices (Ryan/Christiana)
10 minutes

– Melissa Gomez interviewed Christiana:
Made an interview on how grateful she was, used an anecdote about how the principal told her she’s not allowed to write anything bad about the school or the principal… it’s a high school in Sarasota. So her story is how students are getting turned off from journalism.

– Updates from Frank LoMonte:

He said basically a lot of the legislators don’t understand that there’s a problem, or why students deserve first amendment rights, so they don’t get excited about it… He’s trying to get with the Orlando sentinel to do more op-eds, and to do surveys on high school censorship, believing that will help with hard data. He said nobody currently seems to know about school journalisms and they don’t care.

Sunshine State Awards (Jason)
10 minutes

– Awards Launched… Please promote! This is our only money-making program of the year. This enables us to put on all the other great programs for free.

– The awards are in full swing, I’m sure you’ve seen some of our facebook posts and tweets. Help us spread the word by tweeting and re-posting. This is the only way that we make money in SPJ florida, which means all the programs that you do, this funds. So even if you can’t be on the committee, the least you can do is share.

– March 5 is our first deadline, $5 per entry; members get their second entry free.

– Teachers, tell your students and they’ll have lower entries; also go to your departments and ask if they’d help students enter. One new category is for outstanding new journalist, who has been writing for three years or less… Also disaster reporters have a category to show off what they’ve done.

– This year we also completely revamped the television division; the broadcast division in the past maybe hasn’t done well because we’ve approached it from a print angle rather than a video angle; New suggestions from Greg Fox helped us expand the category and he’ll be helping us manage the entries.

4 minutes

– Since the last meeting I haven’t done much, but I’d like to do an e-blast to promote it. I’m ready to do the event, but we have 5e months before I move. I’m willing to train someone, but if no one’s going to take over, we could look into selling the drone. Maybe even to someone within SPJ. 

– Koretzky: there’s still a national grant with $1,000 to do a national grant tour, so if we don’t use that money before then we have to return it to SPJ. Maybe a sunshine state tour, since that would also qualify under the grant.

– Christiana: you guys on the drone committee should come up with a game plan. If you do this tour in Florida, it can be like your big send-off.

Finance/Current financials (Chris Persaud)
10 minutes

– (Chris) As of tonight, SPJFL has $10,632.35 in its checking account and $2,215.46 in its savings. We have so far spent $18,850.88 of our $26,410.00 budget.

– We should be credited with everything back on our card from whoever scammed us. Bank of America says they still don’t know why; we spoke with a manager, and they sent this company a request to verify they authorized a request from our account, but after two tries the company never responded so we had to have the manager call central bank. They have to give it until March, but then after that they should be able to credit it.

– (Christiana) On my side, I’ve been dealing with Vanguard; they said we don’t even have an account, so they said there would have been a banker to say they authorize the transaction and say they allow funds; but bank of america refused to sign. So we Fed-Exed a check, but it arrived too late; Tim has been severely underpaid for as much as he’s helped so far with our issues over this. He’s been individually authorizing our spending at this point.

– Once all is settled, we can just open a new account; but we could leave in just enough to keep the old account open at bank of america, so whenever the missing $48,000 is returned, we should just do a transfer to whatever our new bank is.

– (Christiana) Our whole thing is that we’re trying to just get our money back and then switch banks, but maybe just switch. Chris, you’re recommending BB&T? Are you guys confirming that you would be willing to move, what would we need in a bank?
– (Dori) and could we do what we need to do at BB&T, or do they need like 7 people there to manage finances? (tone of exaggeration)

– (Christiana) They are pretty good, on Slack we mentioned some statistics on banks.

– (Dori) So we’ll do an online vote, so we can discuss more.

– (Christiana) I’m going to make a deadline; everyone read information on the banks by monday, ask questions, talk to Chris, and by Monday we’ll take a vote. Monday end of day.

2 minutes each



– Mark of Excellence: online judging was a success recently!

– News from John McDonald: Next week me and my husband will be moving to washington state; Jason may have connected me with a local journalism chapter, so I intend to join, and welcome help getting introduced to that region. (Christiana) Thank you so much John for handling our local freelance… he typed out an official resignation letter, that anyone may see. (John) I think this is a wonderful organization, I made a lot of friends. (Brittany) Motion to accept john mcdonald’s resignation…. Christiana seconds, most say I, one nay… not unanimous, but the motion passes. We’ll miss you, John.


10 minutes

Stoneman Douglas shooting and SPJ (Koretzky)

– Doing interview with MSD reporters

– (Christiana) Lulu, you’ve been covering it, would you like to say anything? (Lulu) It’s been chaotic… the story is repetitive, you have to call them out for it. Like Rick Scott using the same exact speech, a pre-prepared mass shooting speech that he uses every time. So I tweeted that and wrote it out. (Christiana) Boca high school also just did a walk-out today… they had signs, they just walked out.

– (Koretzky) SPJ’s president director said he needs to do something for the students… so he said they’re gonna give SPJ students free memberships… and free registration to their conventions at Baltimore. Not paying for, just sending. This was the same day as the shooting that he wanted to announce. So instead I want to talk to you guys on ideas of what to do. What I thought we could do is work with the student newspaper at the Stoneman Douglas High School called The Eagle Eye, they could print out a magazine… we could be their advisors for writing, photography, editing, design, and we could get national to pay for the printing of the issue. So this would be the students’ chance to do a fully funded tribute. I spoke with the advisor before, he dealt with a lot of stories… they still want to do something, but they don’t know what. Maybe some of what they write could even be picked up by the Sentinel. If we set this up now and go into the newspapers to ask what can you do for these students, we could get them more support for their voices. If you guys are interested in helping…

(Dori) So I guess first steps is to see if they want that, and then we could see what we can do about mentorship and supporting, and also find out how much printing would be to get funds from national. (Christiana) I did reach out to the advisor, and just say that we’re interested in helping… when you have a moment to talk, let us know…. We can reach out for more info on when and how this is gonna work.

(Koretzky) We’ll have to help with the process, so the students don’t get lost in the process… someone with editing, design, etc. We can talk to the Sun Sentinel to see if they’d also be interested in doing it as an insert. Who would like to be the face of the operation?

– (Emily, Dori, Michele) raise hands

– (Koretzky) then I’ll get information, it’s most important that you guys are all supportive.

– (Emily) another suggestion is if we could help the students with a town hall.

The Meeting Commences
Brittany makes a motion to end the meeting, Abbi seconds it. All in favor, and the meeting is officially over.


Minutes approved at April 26 meeting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

… " /> … " />