Nov. 6, 2017  

Minutes from Oct. 18, 2017

Minutes from Oct. 18, 2017

SPJ Florida Board of Directors Meeting

7 p.m. | Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sun Sentinel Media Group | Deerfield Beach



Christiana Lilly, President

Abbi, Executive Vice President

Ryan (via chat), VP for membership

Emily Bloch, Vice President of Programming

Brendon Lies, Secretary

Chris Persaud, Treasurer

Dori Zinn, Immediate Past President

Brandon Ballenger, director (absent)

Michele Boyet, director (absent)

Chris Delboni (via chat), director

Aurora Dominguez, director

Richard Gaspar, director (absent)

John McDonald, director (absent)

Kerri-Marie Covington, student board member


Michael Koretzky, Region 3 Director

Jason Parsley, Sunshine State Awards chair

Brittany Ferrendi

QUICK UPDATES // REVIEWS 2 minutes each

Approve last meeting’s minutes

Dori makes motion to approve, Abbi seconds. All approve, motion passes.

Committee updates

Two minutes each

Membership (Ryan)

– Roster shows 127 for membership

– (Ryan) Working on a newsletter to send to those who need to renew their membership, trying not to make it spam-like. Kerri-Marie taking on 20, only a couple student accounts. Emails going out soon

– Post grad account (Christiana) is up to 3 years after they graduate, and honors the student rate.

– (Ryan) Am hoping to talk to Emily more about the Fake News Game Show, have some contacts at the College of Journalism.

Programming (Emily)
Two minutes each

Freelance Lunch (Chris)
– Went nicely, had 14 people show up. We got to know what each of us from Jupiter to Miami were working on, and what we want to do. Planning to put a form into the South Florida Freelance Group on Facebook about different publications to freelance at, what they look for, and what they pay. Most found out about the event through the Freelance Facebook page.

– (Christiana) There was a nice variety of people, videography, etc.

– Next time should take down names and information

Fake News Game Show (Emily)

– In Orlando we did an abridged version, and will be doing similar in Dallas. Slowed it way down for people to digest; there was talking, struggling to get questions in… Good number of questions is 5 and 5, especially with the college crowd, who you want to discuss stuff with.

– (Christiana) Questions that cause hiccups that were half and half questions, the trick slides that showed two right or two wrong. Does it count as all or nothing? Just little things to help brush up the show.

– We also did it at FAU as a sort of trial for FSPA; (Dori) Great that we did it at college venues, shows us more time constraints (Christiana) and maybe college students weren’t enjoying it quite as much at the faster pace

– (Emily) Ours went faster because we weren’t collecting notes between

– (Jason) Had a conference with FSPA; their organizer said it would be really great for students who are always looking for things to do with high school students

– (Christiana) You might have to do a cap on participants; also, can be tricky how to split people up into groups (Dori) I suggest no more than 4.

– (Christiana) Asian-American Journalists Association in Orlando reached out to us and they would like to work with us on an event, this might be easy

– (Emily) Someone up in Chicago wants to do Fake News Game Show as well

Florida Scholastic Press organization

– Nov. 4th; help would be appreciated, if you have sessions you want to help with; take first amendment cases session and mock press conference session; Abbi, Christiana, Dori, Brandon, Brittany and Koretzky are all presenting

– (Koretzky) Last year there were some issues with a few of the sessions; want to make sure you guys get what you need out of it; when you submit it all, we can go over it

Trans Panel

– (Brendon) We’ve already got a place set at Stonewall National Museum and Archives on Nov. 30, Raj is planning to join us. Rajee Narinesingh was a trans woman featured on the TV show Botched, and was much of America’s first glance at the trans community.

– We’ll be reaching out to Jazz Jennings, and we also have several strong local community leaders who are on board to join us for the panel!

Disaster Symposium

– (Christiana) SPJ FIU wanted to do a disaster symposium with SFBJA; had issues with time, location, panelists, etc; so they split ways. Told FAU and SFBJA no time to get into the nitty gritty of helping them set up for November, but look out for info

Holiday Mixer (Christiana)

Dec. 15 at Fire and Ice in Miami Beach with NAHJ, also want to do fundraiser for journalists in Puerto Rico, they need help

Under Fire (Koretzky)

– Will be delayed due to Irma until January or February; don’t want to schedule until we know what’s clear for other programming; won’t plan until after the convention; (Jason) January’s a good month (Koretzky) Ok, we’ll go with that date, a good slow time

– (Dori) It’s a good time with the news; it will still be relevant


(Emily) Zombie stories Fake News game show and other sessions at CMA on the Oct. 29; will be a good time, will update from Dallas

Scholarships (Christiana)
10 minutes
We have $1,000 to play with, so we put on the application request why you deserve it, what you’ll do with it, and a blurb afterward about how you used it and what you did

– We do have applicants already, our college one didn’t go so well. A middle school teacher reached out to us from Jacksonville, but we had to turn them down. We can send someone down to talk to them though!

– Brandon posted on a bunch of grant websites, let high school journalism groups know, that’s something else to support!

Student Chapters Network (Chris D.)
15 minutes

(Chris D). I made a few calls, specifically for the task force; Facebook wasn’t working too well; couldn’t get UM, Nova said they’ll be in touch – but FIU sounded positive, we might record a few minutes of their adviser on why SPJ is important; working on getting why SPJ is important to students made into a video.

– Chris D. spoke with Hailey, national student rep, and she’ll be getting involved, working with national to create a very simple guide for new student chapters. UCF has a new chapter president, she’ll be in touch in the next few weeks; Flagler is good news in St. Augustine, they’re extremely receptive to starting to work with us.

– (Christiana) One of our scholarship winners was interested in being a member there, might be able to get them started with other chapters… Also, Ted Spiker is a past adviser of mine, I can reach out to him.

– (Chris D.) Sharon is doing incredible job

– (Christiana) The deadline for the new chapter grants is coming up

– (Chris D.) We need to show them more of what we’re doing, so we’re holding off a little bit until we have something concrete.

New Voices (Jason/Ryan)
10 minutes

– Talking on a bill for the House of Representatives; we have Democrat and Republican support for that bill (on student journalist rights).

– (Ryan) Q&A with Melissa Gomez went up on the site

– (Ryan) I was invited to speak at a class on interpretation of news media at a 7th grade civics class about influencing government propaganda and bias; touching on fake news, but working on what isn’t too heavy; will get some milage for SPJ

– (Christiana) I can send you some past media we’ve used, showing what other kids have done to make history in journalism and the media

– (Ryan) Would be a great visual aid; I have to get a date, but will send details

Sunshine State Awards (Jason)
10 minutes

Mostly everything is updated in Slack; we are going over categories, and uploaded that to Slack; I sent it to NAHJ and they’re looking over it, and that’s it

– I reached out to most groups to help, and most didn’t respond. Finally ONA said no this year; SFBJA would have gotten our member rate if they wanted to help promote, and we offered to include them in the ceremony as we did with NAHJ, but not all members seemed receptive

– I love partners, and would love to partner with more people, so I’m always open

– We have the awards as well as the ceremony; next year it appears we might get a good deal because NAHJ is having their national convention in July, when we usually do it; we’re looking to piggy back and see if we can get free space at their hotel, which is really nice

– This year we found $500 in cash sponsorships, which is the first time we’ve gotten that

– Would be nice to have a meet-and-greet to work with other boards, gain reputation

2 minutes

– (Koretzky) Brandon actually went down to the Keys and filmed some footage from Hurricane Irma

– (Christiana) that would be good to use footage to make a video to show what we could do as journalisms; someone at the freelance mixer does footage for a good rate; good to get something up on the website soon, if anyone knows someone to help with footage let me know, otherwise we’ll have to outsource

Finance/Current financials (Chris Persaud)
5 minutes

We have spent $9,627.93 so far out of our  $26,600 budget; follow up in slack… scholarships is our second biggest budget, national and regional we still have about $2400 out of $3000 left to spend.

– Vanguard sent more paperwork to send them, that’s pretty much it

– Cash on hand,$20,255.43 follow up on slack

New Business
2 minutes each


– (Christiana) We are large chapter of the year!!

– We were also Circle of Excellence award winner for diversity AND communications!

– (Koretzky) According to one record a chapter won three times in a row but we’re the first to win four times in a row

– (Christiana) John is taking over twitter

– (Abbi) We have new brochures on the way; thank you to Brendon, Christiana, and Dori for their help on that


15 minutes each


– (Christiana) We were hit by a lot of hurricanes; Puerto Rico friends are suffering, keep them in your thoughts

– (Aurora) my entire family is there, it’s tough and there are a lot of small places on the island

– (Christiana) NAHJ started a fund for journalists in Puerto Rico, a big thing that they need is gas to run generators, which fuels their newsrooms; an estimate is until December $12,000 for gas on keeping a newsroom going

– (Aurora) talking to a freelance journalist in Puerto Rico; going to send emails and see how we can help journalists over there, most likely with expenses (Christiana) and maybe with a website host, since their websites go up and down

– (Jason) It would be great if someone on the national board of SPJ would be interested in helping; (Koretzky) you won’t get money out of national, but they have been sharing NAHJ’s calls for donations

– We can discuss ongoing ways to get donations, whether from national or other journalists; (Koretzky) the best way would be to be very specific on what you like, and if someone at the newsrooms could give an actual quote, and on Nov. 9 I’ll talk to the national board about a specific donation

– (Christiana) I have some sources in the Virgin Islands who are also hurting; (Dori) maybe donations through Facebook would be easier; (Christiana) will be most helpful if they can tell us exactly what they need.

Additional Notes
– (Dori) National convention felt bad for us about Irma

– (Jason) We did very good

– (Chris D.) as diversity fellows, you should develop something concrete, not just panels but something interactive, possibly something with virtual reality

Texas Hold’em

– (Koretzky) we got a hundred decks, you guys can see them; a quick national update, there’s a new selection committee and Emily Bloch is on it; we have a new SPJ President.

Abbi makes a motion to end the meeting, Emily seconds it. All in favor, and the meeting is officially over.

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