Apr. 20, 2016  

Minutes from April 11, 2016


SPJ Florida Board of Directors Meeting
7 p.m. | Monday, April 11, 2016
Panera Bread | Boca Raton


Dori Zinn, president PRESENT

Christiana Lilly, executive vice president PRESENT

Jason Parsley, membership vice president PRESENT

Michele Boyet, programs vice president PRESENT

Christopher Persaud, treasurer PRESENT

Abbi Perry, secretary PRESENT

Brandon Ballenger, immediate past president PRESENT

Megan Fitzgerald, director EXCUSED

Andrea Richard, director PRESENT

Michael Schottey, director PRESENT

John Sotomayor, director EXCUSED

Dina Weinstein, directorPRESENT

Betty Wells, director EXCUSED

Rachel Wang, student member PRESENT


Michael Koretzky, Region 3 Director | Dan Evans, Associate Professor, FIU | Emily Bloch, FAU



Approve last meeting’s minutes — Dori makes a motion to approve the Feb. 9 meeting minutes, Christiana seconds, all in favor.

Committee updates

    1. Membership (Jason) – Since last meeting, Jason has doubled our membership – 212 members right now. A couple of years ago, we were just the South Florida chapter and now we are the FLORIDA chapter. We were able to convert 130 “stranded” people to our chapter. Next initiative is to reach out to people who need to renew.
    2. Programs (Michele)
      Chapter Meetup (Michele) — Chapter had a meetup in February. How was it? Is another one in the works? Went really well. Had about 15 people attend outside our core group. There is definitely interest in PBC – next time we host a meet up there, we’ll try doing a program.
      #BlackLivesMatter panel (Christiana) — Webinar was on Feb. 23. Video archive available on spjflorida.com Unfortunately, the founder of the movement dropped out at the last minute but the other two panelists were great. We had about 35 people attend with great participation.  
      Jason Taylor Poetry and Leadership Conference (Dori/Abbi) — Was Feb. 13. We presented 3 sessions. Two sessions on the First Amendment and a 1/2 session on a mock press conference (the other half was on the First Amendment). Great turnout the kids were very receptive and engaged the entire time.
      Dave Barry (Christiana) — An Evening With Dave Barry is this Thursday! Please check our Facebook and promote! Bal Harbour location.
      Spotlight (Dori) — SPJ is sending us the movie to showcase to journalists and the public. In contact with city of Pompano Beach. Where else can we show it? Broward/Palm Beach? Living Room Theatre in Boca (FAU), Cinema Paradiso (Ft. Lauderdale and Hollywood), Olympia Theatre (Miami), Downtown Lake Worth
    3. Scholarships (Christiana) – Split into regions and tackle college department heads and promote the scholarship. Last year we had 16 applicants – right now we have two but the deadline isn’t until June 1.  
    4. Student Affairs (Megan)
    5. Sunshine State Awards (Jason) – 899 entries this year, the most ever! This year we are not piggy backing on any other event for the awards ceremony – it will be its own event.
    6. Drone (Brandon) – Brandon went to Ohio for regional conference – hosted three sessions with about 30/40 people in each. He heard good feedback from the organizers. Will present at the Region III conference as well. Grant application is in – SDX approved $1,500 so we would have to match $1,500 (we already voted on this).
    7. Financials (Chris) – Checking – $10,441.33; Checking – $28,567.37; Savings – $32,470.28. TOTAL – $71,478.98


Region 3 updates (Dori) 2 minutes

  • Larry Peterson award — Region 3 has a new award for professional and student journalists. Dori is helping Region 3 Assistant Director with organizing. Ceremony in October in GA.
  • Haiti News Project (Jason) — SPJ GA is working on this.

Howard S. Dubin Award (Dori) 2 minutes

  • Asking to send in your nominations for Jason by THIS SUNDAY, April 17. Check Slack for a laundry list of awesome things Jason has done. Sidenote: Jason is running for National Director at Large.  

Jobs Page (Chris/Dori) 2 minutes

Finalized and launched new jobs page in early April! Please share with anyone looking to hire journalists within the state and anyone looking for a job. Remember posting and browsing is all free.



Press credentials in South Florida (Dan Evans) 5 minutes

Evans is a professor of journalism at FIU and a former board member for SPJ Los Angeles and LA Times employee. How are press credentials handled? Can FIU expand the South Florida News Service to more media outlets across the region? Dan’s background is mostly digital and he wants to make FIU’s a bonafide newsroom – open to anyone, not just journalism students. His goal is to have people actually pay students for their work. By treating them like professionals, they learn that they should never work for free, that they can make money off of journalism and it will give Dan a little bit of authority. Similar to a student publication, only Dan is the editor. He wants a large/variety pool of stories to choose from – anything that the Beacon would cover, this publication would NOT. They would cover as far as anyone is willing to go. Depending on how many scholarships he gets, he could potentially pay reporters in mileage. How much money? A minimum for a name scholarship is $2,500. A starting staff of 9 (including Dan), producing 3-5 stories a week. SPJ will help promote this.

SPJ Florida @ EIJ16 (Dori) 5 minutes

Christiana submitted a session about mass shootings to present at the SPJ National Convention in September. They (SPJ National) said they wanted it to be more on the lines of crime – naming shooters in crime. Dori’s suggestion is to keep it about mass shootings and to have at least one member of No Notoriety be a contributor. We would have to pay their way — they might be willing to pay part of their own way. What’s the value to bring them to a national event rather than a local one? They would only be presenting for about an hour. Abbi makes a motion to approve up to $400 to send a member of NN to EIJ 2016 conference – Christiana amends the motion to approve up to $400 to put together a panel on responsible coverage of mass shootings at the conference. Passes.

Brandon and Koretzky are also presenting.

Koretzky Time

  1. Muslimedia — Spoke with the Council of American-Islamic Relations about a DC keynote at the ACP fall convention. Topic: How journalists should cover Islam, abroad and in our own backyards. Does SPJ Florida want to co-sponsor it?
  2. MediAtlanta — The Region 3 conference will be a partnership with CMA’s fall convention. How involved does SPJ Florida want to get? Would love speakers.
  3. Board bitching — I head to New Orleans this weekend for the spring board meeting. Anything SPJ Florida wants me to say or not say? Already on the agenda – Membership discussion – Jason emailed a lot of members unaffiliated to get them to join our chapter but SPJ Florida said he couldn’t do that.

Dori makes a motion to end the meeting. Brandon seconds. All in favor.


Minutes were approved at the June 12 SPJ Florida board meeting.

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