Apr. 18, 2010  

Minutes of April 6, 2010

Meeting Notes
April 2010 Board of Directors Meeting
SPJ South Florida Pro Chapter

Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 7 p.m.
South Florida Business Journal

1. Roll Call

Roll called. All members present, except Julie Kay, Sam Terilli (teaching a class), Paola Iuspa-Abbott (sick), and Lucy Reed (out of town). Meeting started at 7:15 p.m.

2. Approval of Feb. 2 Minutes

ACTION: Jason made a motion to approve the last meeting’s minutes. Dori seconded the motion. Vote was taken by voice. Motion carried unanimously.

3. Committee Updates

Bylaws. (Darcie Lunsford) Had a conference call in Feb. Sam wrote a best practices draft. Their goal is to be thorough and take their time because this bylaws revision will have an impact on future boards for years to come. Trying to be specific but flexible. Jason and Darcie have been talking since the conference call. They plan to have a draft of the revised bylaws at our next meeting. Darcie handed out a review of the key bylaw changes:
1)    Revision of the electoral process – use of electronic voting, creation of an official ballot, allow for direct nominations from outside the nominating committee
2)    Creation of a student board seat; addition of a 13th pro board seat – Talked about having a student liaison who comes to the pro board meetings. Would probably be a non-voting member.
3)    Purging all outdated and conflicting articles
4)    Financial safeguards that limit spending and contractual obligations that president/treasurer can enter into without full board approval
5)    Clarification of membership eligibility and expansion of categories to be in line with national practices

Finance.
(Tim Dodson)
– Our tax return was filed by the deadline. The chapter posted a loss of $5,000+.
– $18,560 came in from the Sunshine State Awards.
– They’ve begun to flesh out a 2011 budget that will be voted on in June.
– Our 12 month CD matured, and Tim recommended that we transfer it out to the savings account because we don’t know what the new interest rate will be. Darcie said to go ahead with that plan.
– Summary of the money we have: checking account – $37,908.60; savings account – $12,149.45; CD – $33,077.59
– Discussion over the Sunshine State Awards ceremony. For the student award, we should decide what the “monetary award” we mention should be.

Programs. (Sergy Odiduro)
– Had to push back the Haiti program because of a snafu with the facility. (Michael Koretzky) They are now pushing it back to September. They are meeting with UM over the summer to nail down a date and the details. All the dates they wanted in the spring/summer have already been booked. The UM studio is really nice and worth waiting for. UM is the best bet because the crew and everything is included. The event is going to be a discussion inside and an outdoor festival with food and music. Still waiting to decide on speakers; will move forward once they get a solid date.
– FIU wants our chapter to be involved with their communications week. We’re looking to get involved next year. They want someone from our chapter to go down and speak. They are very open to whatever we want to do. Sergy will stay in contact.
– Sergy is also speaking with someone from Media Bistro to see how SPJ can become involved with the site.

Membership. (Dori Zinn)
– We’ve had 17 new members join this year. Last year we had 29 the whole year. We now have 140 members total – just 10 shy of getting another delegate seat at the national convention.
– The committee was discussing local chapter dues. We aren’t getting our chapter dues checks from national. (Michele Boyet) Everyone in the region isn’t collecting chapter dues. There is no drop down menu right now on the website for it. No one knows they are supposed to pay.
– (Darcie) Dori needs to talk to national about why we are not getting our chapter dues.
– (Dori) We need to make it easier for people to register and renew online. It is a national issue.
– (Koretzky) He and Darcie need to bring it up at the next national board meeting.
– Lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of collecting local dues. Darcie decided to make it  an agenda item for the next meeting.

Student Affairs/Scholarship. (Michael Koretzky)
– Not enough people are applying for the Sunshine State Scholarships – we’ll be lucky if we get 25 applicants. He would like someone else with more time to be in charge of this scholarship program. We need to revamp the process to get more people to apply.
– He suggests that we continue to pick out-of-state judges because it makes the scholarship program more reputable – no conflict of interests.

Awards. (Tim Dodson/Julie Kay)
– We had 700 entries, very close to the previous year. All have been sent out to be judges. Expect them back by April 23. We are judging three out-of-state areas. One is finished – we are working on two.
– (Koretzky) We should meet this year and discuss insights we gleaned from sorting the entries – i.e. categories to eliminate or add.
– (Tim) We need to take our system online like the one used by the SPJ chapter in Western Washington. He wants feedback from the judges who used it to see how they liked it.
– Have three potential venues for the Sunshine State Awards dinner – the Art and Culture Centre, the theater down the street, the antique car museum. The last one is out because it is too expensive.

Professional Education. (Paola Iuspa-Abbott) – No update because Paula was out sick.

Marketing. (Michele Boyet)
– Discussed marketing for Will Work for Food program.

Fundraising. (Lisa Lucas)
– Looking into finding venues that would donate their space for free. Lisa will communicate with Tim via email on this.
– Mentioned the summer journalist camp as a way to bring in revenue. She will bring a proposal to a future board meeting.

Ethics. (Oscar Musibay)
– Overview of a new program we’ll be hosting on media ethics. The aim is to engage the community in what they produce and consume. The goal is to come to some kind of consensus on how the public can participate in the process of accountability. We have applied for an SDX grant of $2,500.
– WPBT has already agreed to partner with us. The three-program series (called Crisis of Conscience: How to hold media accountable) will be in a 30-min., issue-style format. Plan to have journalists and citizens sitting on a panel for discussion.
– First topic – How community news could save journalism. Second topic – restoring credibility. Find out what people want. Do they want truth or the reinforcement of their own ideas? Third topic – Advocacy journalism: Opinion or news? Explore Fox’s model vs. CNN’s.
– They plan to have one session in each of the three counties we serve. The goal would be to listen to what the public says. No dates set yet. Still working on securing the grant. Please email him with ideas for possible participants.

FOI. (Bill Hirshman)
– There are two bills (one good, one bad) sitting before the state legislature right now that are of interest to journalists. Open government act (a good bill) – it combines the open meetings and open records laws to give them more heft. Trying to do away with or reduce the fees. Requires Sunshine Law training for all elected officials, to cut through ignorance. Increases enforcement penalties. This bill is stuck in a house committee. We should send strong letters to the speaker of the house and a key committee chair holding it up. Time is a factor. ACTION ITEM: (Darcie) Bill should draft a letter and sign by Darcie to send.
– The other (negative bill): Our own local legislature wants to seal forever records that have been expunged. Bill will draft a letter for this too.
– We have a lobbyist – the First Amendment Foundation. We have a bill from them for $265+  in membership dues. ACTION ITEM: (Darcie) Let’s go ahead and pay it.

Diversity. (Arlene Satchel)
– Introduction of the new chair of the diversity committee, Arlene Satchel. She said to send any ideas her way.

4. Grant request from Journalists in Transition for $447.50 to attend a grant writing workshop – Lisa Bolivar-Jacks, JIT
– They wanted money for one of them to attend a week-long grant writing seminar in West Palm Beach, so they can start going after grant money.
– Discussion focused on whether it was a wise use of funding during a tight budget year, especially given the fact that JIT hadn’t spent any time looking into grant writing training options. They received an email about the workshop and thought it would be a good idea to send someone. (Jake) What has JIT done since its founding one year ago? (Lisa Bolivar-Jacks) We’ve held a seminar for 25 to 30 people and became incorporated. (Michele) What does the money you are requesting pay for? Is this a good price for this kind of thing? (Koretzky) The Junior League grant library (near FAU) offers free grant writing courses. I’d be happy to go with you. We don’t know much about this organization offering the grant writing seminar you want to attend. We should vet it and maybe look into sending someone from JIT and SPJ next cycle. (Rachael) Training someone from JIT in grant writing is a good idea, but I don’t see the urgency to jump on this seminar. JIT should research more what is out there. I bet there are more cost-effective options. (Darcie) We just don’t have the money right now to spend on something like this. ACTION ITEM: Suggestion was made that JIT vet several grant writing programs and come up with a more-informed proposal. They had very little information about this workshop and the company hosting it. No funding granted at this time.

5. Sponsorship of May 20 national SPJ FOI program (request up to $200 max)  – Michael Koretzky/Sergy Odiduro
The chair of the SPJ National FOI committee is visiting 40 SPJ chapters. He is swinging by our area. Koretzky wants to hold his FOI event at FAU for cheap for 25 people. He thinks it would be good to do this event to curry favor with national since it is a national event.

ACTION: Motion by Rachael Joyner to approve the money with a rider that the presenter has to tailor the event to the needs of our local constituents, which will be determined by our chapter. Jason Parsley seconded. Motion unanimously after a vote by voice.

6. Report on SPJ regional conference in Orlando and the First Amendment Free Food Festival at UF – Michele Boyet
– Both events were very successful for our chapter.
– More than 300 attended the FAFFF at UF. Plan to expand the FAFFF to a community level – perhaps with an event held in Montgomery, Alabama, in the middle of five colleges. We also want to make it a regional event. Has only been done at colleges so far.
– Darcie requested a write up on the event for our website.
– During the SPJ regional convention in Orlando (attended by Rachael, Dori, and Michele on behalf of the chapter), we secured regional funding for our chapter’s Will Write for Food program   and planned FAFFF in other parts of the region. Michele was also appointed as the assistant regional director for our region.

7.Boca Media Summit update / regional SPJ student chapter – Michael Koretzky and Jake Cline

– Twenty-four students from Palm Beach State College, FAU, and Lynn attended. Jake and Koretzky believe we will get a SPJ student chapter by the end of the year. Some pros were there critiquing clips, such as Kevin from Boca Magazine. Jake is going back to speak to Palm Beach State College soon. Jake also spoke to the Lynn advisor in depth.

8.Project Invictus Update (Saturday, April 24) – Jason Parsely/Michael Koretzky
– Jason emailed an article from Colombia Journalism Review about the program to the board, so they would have a better idea about what it was.
– He’s securing a location tomorrow.
– Anyone who wants to go should email Jason. He’s also asked the board to recommend other journalists who would benefit from the event.

9. ONA Parachute Training Update — Michael Koretzky
– (Darcie) It was a great program – good bang for the buck. Got great feedback from attendees.
– Should look into doing future programs with ONA.

10. Grant request for $1,200 to hold a second Will Write for Food event in September. Michele, Michael, and Rachael have secured two matching grants already. – Rachael Joyner
– Short overview of the plans for the new event – Will be more of a scholarship program. Student journalists will apply and 20 will be picked to participate in the weekend program.
– The total budget for the event is $3,600. The bulk of the money is needed to fly in out-of-state students and put all the participants up in a hotel for two nights.
– Matching grants were pledged from SPJ regional and the Florida College Press Association. Our chapter will only have to put in 1/3 of the money.
– If the program goes well, we plan to make it a national event. All participants must be SPJ or FCPA members.

ACTION:
Lisa made a motion to approve the full funding amount requested for the event. Dori seconded. The motion went to a voice vote and passed unanimously.

11. New Business
Time Limit on Committee Updates. (Rachael) Committee updates should be limited to 5 minutes to be timed by the secretary. Longer items should be put on the agenda so the president can budget the proper amount of time. All agreed.

Event Write Ups for Website. (Rachael) When  our chapter holds events, the person in charge of the event is responsible for doing a small write up on it for our website. These should be sent to Tim to post. This should also include a photo when possible.

Mike McQueen Scholarship. (Darcie) Our chapter has a $630 scholarship from Mike McQueen’s widow, the AP bureau chief who recently died of cancer. We need to give out the money to someone. Discussion on how to distribute the money: (Koretzky) We should give the money to a non-traditional journalist. We should partner with other journalist organizations and create a selection committee (one person from each org.) that will decide who the winner should be. (Darcie) We should consider ways to make this a yearly scholarship. (Jake) McQueen was into public service journalism, so maybe we should help fund a journalist who is working on that kind of project. (Lisa) We should ask the Associated Press to match the grant.

ACTION: Jason made a motion to adjourn the meeting. It was seconded by Jake. All approved.


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