Jul. 25, 2012  

Minutes From July 11, 2012


SPJ Board of Directors Meeting

7:30 pm, Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Panera Bread | Fort Lauderdale

The Board

Michele Boyet, president                                        Devin Desjarlais, director

Jason Parsley, executive vice president            Rebekah Monson, director

Brandon Ballenger, treasurer                             Cassie Morien, director

Rachael Joyner, secretary                                     Lucy Reed, director

Dori Zinn, membership vice president               Gabriel Tyner, director

Lynn Walsh, programs vice president               Sergy Odiduro, director

Michael Koretzky, past president                     Gideon Grudo, student members

Excused: Gabriel Tyner can’t make it; Lucy Reed has a work event.

Board Members Present: Michele, Jason, Brandon, Rachael, Dori, Michael, Devin, Sergy, Gideon, Lynn, Cassie, Rebekah; guest Bill Whiting, scholarship chair



1. Approve last month’s minutes

ACTION: Brandon made a motion to approve the minutes from the last meeting, seconded by Gideon. All approved.

2. Sunshine State Awards Thank you to everyone who attended, and to all of you who helped with the event and reading/passing out of the awards. // Quick SSA financial update – Brandon
– Our net profit from the event was higher than last year’s: $14,023 (2012 event), $11,553 (2011 event). Brandon said the difference was due to the fact that we used a less expensive venue and charged more for late entries this year.

3. SPJ National Chapter Grants – We can apply for $500 (Aug-May) for a program/event – Michele
– Michele was put on a committee for SPJ national that is awarding local chapters grants of up to $500 for an event. Michele passed around an information sheet that gave more details about how to apply for a grant. She suggested that the board think of some program ideas we could pitch for the grant. If we entered, she would abstain from her vote on the committee.




1. Zine Party: One Night StandKoretzky

Koretzky’s proposal for the event:

1. Meeting on the beach in Hollywood. I’ve visited several beach motels that will give us a comfy, low-rent suite on the water for $225.

2. I want to get two suites, so there will be two teams of 10 pros, each working on a zine of their own.

3. Both zines are PDFed and go online, and we’ll vote on the best one.

4. If you pay for the hotel, I’ll spring for food from my regional account.

5. This will start at 2 pm Saturday, July 21, or some other Saturday before the middle of August, when hotel rates creep up. It will end whenever everyone’s done with their work.

– After a brief discussion, the board decided to hold the event on Saturday, August 11. Koretzky would like the board to all come. Michele suggested that everyone from the board recruit a journalist they know for the event. Rebekah said that we should also open it up to all of our membership. All agreed. The board discussed some more marketing ideas. Rebekah said that this kind of event would be attractive to freelancers because they usually work alone.
– Koretzky requested $500 from the board to cover the cost of the two hotel suites where the event will be held. He will use money from his SPJ regional account for food and drinks.

ACTION: Dori made a motion to approve Koretzky’s for $500; seconded by Cassie. All approved.

2. Partnering with the SPLC // Request for $500 for “compliance audit”  –Koretzky
Koretzky explained how the money would be used:
Colleges’ responsibility to inform the public about crime on campus, including sexual assaults and other violent crimes, is widely misunderstood, leading to systematic under-reporting. To promote public awareness of colleges’ disclosure responsibilities, and get student journalists more actively engaged in checking behind their colleges’ numbers, the Student Press Law Center seeks to organize a “compliance audit” of Florida universities during October 2012 in partnership with student reporters in each community. Reporters working on the project will compare the complaints colleges receive against the crimes they actually report to the public, and examine how colleges do (or don’t) train those outside of the police department to report crime. The results will be publicized in the SPLC’s print and online publications in addition to each college’s student media.

– Michele asked how it will benefit our chapter. Lynn added that she wants to know what our SPJ chapter members could do to support the program.
– Koretzky said that our chapter will get great publicity, and if this program goes national, we will be credited as starting the program. He said that our members can help by covering this story once the reporting is done.
– Cassie wanted clarification that it will be possible to get the info they need during the audit. Do the schools have a loophole to avoid reporting this kind of information? Koretzky said that the Clery Act requires all crimes committed on college campuses to be reported.
– Koretzky requested $500 to cover part of the cost of the investigation. He will put up another $500 from his SPJ regional account.

ACTION: Dori made a motion to approve the $500 for the investigation; seconded by Rebekah. All approved.

3. Region 3 Regional ConventionKoretzky
– After talking to some of the groups our chapter worked with for the diversity meet up, Koretzky learned that we should hold the event in Miami to get Hispanic journalists and other diversity groups involved.
– The board discussed what time of year to hold the convention. Koretzky would like to hold some awards, like the Green Nightshade Award and the Sunshine State Awards, during the convention. He would like to have the event at the University of Miami, because it would be less expensive. Bill Whiting suggested reaching out to FIU also.
– Koretzky’s goal is to break even with this event, and he doesn’t need any money right now. He will talk to the other groups our chapter is working with to see what date works for them. We are shooting for early June.

4. SPJ National Convention | http://excellenceinjournalism.org — Michele
When: Thursday, Sept. 20 – Saturday, Sept. 22.
Where: Marriott Harbor Beach
Price: $195 for members (by Aug 28)

Convention involvement ideas from Chris Vachon at SPJ National

–Chris asked about interest in manning a desk, I said we could do it virtually…
Answering local questions/suggesting places via Twitter using #EIJ12

–Information for the Program book and the website… you seemed interested in this so here are the particulars:
We would need this by July 16 (I asked if we could revise this deadline – what works for us?)
and I am envisioning this as two lists….
1) Places to go in the evening, either for dinner or drinks or merriment and
2) Things to do in the area.
It is helpful if the lists contain addresses and phone numbers and one sentence descriptions.
If you have some better ideas for these lists, please holler, we are open to ideas.
Does that due date seem realistic?

–Solicitation of auction and/or tote bag items

–Any interest in holding a chapter recruitment event/opportunity at some point during EIJ12 and you will let me know after the board meeting

–Hosting a get-together of Pulitzer-prize winning journalists

They are setting up one for the Sun Sentinel and I suggested reaching out to Lynn regarding TV newsrooms…
–Are there any other newsrooms we should consider for a tour?

Questions for discussion: Who wants to go? How can we get involved? (See idea list above.)
– Michele explained that the folks from national called our chapter to see if we wanted to be involved in the event. She would like to have a local presence at the convention.
– Lynn said that SPJ Generation J, a committee of young-new journalists, will be holding sessions during the convention. They are also doing a “Gen J Night Out”
– Michele said we are partnering with Gen J for this event, making it our September meet-up.
Gideon suggested that we also combine this event with the student night out he was planning to have during the convention. Michele asked for suggestions of places to go.
– Bill Whiting said that we did not get any applicants for our chapter’s training grant. He suggested using the money from this award to send two local, professional journalists to the national convention. The board thought this was a great idea.

ACTION: Jason made a motion to allocate the money from our training grant to two journalists for the convention; seconded by Rebekah. All approved.

– Michele said that one of the requests from the convention planners was to create two lists of local hotspots. She will create a Google doc that the board can add to.

– They also need help with broadcast tour locations. Lynn already gave the convention planners a list. Michele only wants to help if we have good ideas.
– Michele said that we should take responsibility of manning the virtual help desk. The board agreed.
– Gideon suggested holding an Ethics Hold ‘Em event during the convention. The board said yes. Gideon asked if the chapter would put up money for prizes.

ACTION: Michele made a motion to approve $100 for prizes for the Ethics Hold ‘Em Event; seconded by Jason. All approved.

– Michele would like to take the opportunity to pay for people to attend the convention because it is local. The board decided not to spend any more than $2,000 for this. We will have an email vote to decide how much to spend once we see what was budgeted for the national convention this year.

5. Sunshine State Awards Committee for 2013 — Jason // Lucy

– Jason asked that we have a committee meeting in the next few months to discuss next year’s event. It is our only money-making event, so we need to make it great. Lucy has volunteered to be the committee chair again. Rebekah suggested making the Sunshine State Awards Committee update a regular meeting agenda item. Gideon, Dori, Rebekah and Cassie volunteered to be on the committee, along with Jason and Lucy.
– Jason discussed the need for having other income-generating ideas to increase the chapter’s annual revenue. One suggestion: Creating a media directory. Another idea: Holding a journalist/law event – journalists get in free and attorneys pay. The Houston SPJ chapter does an event like this every year that is very successful. The board liked the idea. Lynn said she would help.

6. First Amendment Foundation // Finalize donation request – Jason
– Jason has been in contact with Barbara from the foundation. The foundation agreed to co-sponsor a meet-up on media law with us on October 16 in Fort Lauderdale. The foundation is holding events across the state, which we will co-sponsor at no cost to us. Jason suggested that we renew our membership with the foundation, and then it will only cost $10 for SPJ members to attend the event Oct. 16 event, instead of $20. Barbara also agreed to come to any of our events in the coming year.

ACTION: Rebekah made a motion to approve renewing the membership for $250; seconded by Devin. All approved.

7. Future of the Meet-upsplans for the rest of the year? — Michele // Rebekah
– Michele offered congratulations to Rebekah and the others who have helped put together the meet-ups this year, which our chapter has held nearly every month.
– The remaining meet-ups our chapter is holding this year:
August – Zine Party
September – Convention, event with Gen J
November – Build your own blog event (held at Miami-Dade College)

8. Next meetingBack to Boca Raton the beginning of September?
– Michele would like to hold a special meeting at the end of this month or the beginning of next month to discuss the convention stuff. The board’s next regular meeting will be in September.

New Business –
– Lynn – She may need help critiquing resumes for the convention, and she will be reaching out to the board. Lynn also asked for blog submissions talking about why we love our jobs. She needs them by next Wednesday. This is marketing for the Gen J sessions at the National Convention.

ACTION: Rachael made a motion to adjourn the meeting; seconded by Rebekah. All approved.

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