SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Monday April 3, 2017
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Sarah Favot, Elizabeth Marcellino, Irene Moore, Frank Mottek, Navid Nonahal, Lori Streifler, Robi Wax, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser
Called to order by Bluestein at 7:13 p.m.
I. Approval of minutes from March 6 board meeting
a.) Bellman moved to approve the March 6 board meeting minutes. Seconded by Wax. Nonahal, Windsor, Zahniser and Mottek abstained. Approved.
II. President’s report – Bluestein
a.) Bluestein reported the Santa Monica College Journalism Department reached out to her to see if she wanted to participate with their annual advisory committee on April 20 where they bring in professional journalists to discuss their curriculum. Nonahal said the students could be encouraged join our chapter as students. Board members encouraged Bluestein to attend.
III. Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson
a. Bluestein reported on behalf of Hendrickson. The Bank of America balance as of March 1, 2017 is $35,530.89 and as of April 1, 2017 is $37,270.45. A total of $10.08 is outstanding in uncashed checks. The balance on the books as of April 1 is $37,260.37. The Morgan Stanley balance as of April 1 is $71,592.44 which includes a gain of $44.12 from the previous month. (Need to say who moved to accept the report and who seconded it.)
IV. Standing Committees
a. Awards – Moore/Streifler
Nothing to report. Wax suggested we start discussing awards in July.
b. Banquet – Walton
Nothing to report
c. Courts – Marcellino
· Update on federal courts was sent via email by Marcellino.
Bluestein reported on behalf of Marcellino and gave an update. Bellman said our attorney offered to make himself available if needed. We will be posting the local rules for federal courts on our website to serve as a resource for reporters covering the courts in LA.
d. Diversity – Arias/Nonahal
Nothing to report
e. Ethics – Bellman
Nothing to report
f. FOI – Zahniser
· Re-cap of March 16 Sunshine Week mixer with L.A. Times reporter Ben Welsh at the Redwood Bar & Grill
Zahniser reported that Welsh provided detailed information to 18 attendees about the CA Civic Data Coalition. The event was timely because they are working to make CAL-Access, the state’s campaign finance website, more user-accessible. He said they think it’ll be another year before something is ready. Welsh said he’d be happy to come back to us and do training opportunities to promote the new site.
· April 5 investigative reporting (FOI) panel at USC
The next event is in two days. Hendrickson and Bellman planned the panel discussion and Bellman will be moderating. Panelists will be Matt Doig , the LA Times’ newly hired investigations editor; Joel Grover from NBC4; Alexandra Berzon, the Wall Street Journal’s investigative reporter; and Vince Gonzales, a journalism professor at USC. We have more than 40 RSVPs. Nonahal suggested sending another press release tomorrow. Bellman has some sample questions and said he’s open to suggestions from board members for questions that he should ask the panelists about where investigative journalism is today, what’s its value and importance, ways to improve it and how is it changing.
g. Generation J – Bluestein
h. Membership – Nonahal
i. Nominations – Favot
j. Scholarships – Audi
Audi is planning for a June 9th deadline and vote on the awardees in July at our board meeting. Nonahal suggested the initial news release should be sent by mid-April.
V. Old Business
a. Media literacy event in May
Marcellino reported she reached out to LA City College and they are very interested in allowing us to host an event there. The board discussed the best format and talked about drawing students and members of the public to the event
b. Ethics event in June
Bellman proposed looking at whether reporters should stay out of politics on their personal time, in light of the resistance movement that has formed since the election with the Women’s March, for example. The discussion would explore whether news organizations have hard rules and enforce them, and/or monitor social media posts or if any organizations explicitly make it clear that journalists can take part in these events. Mottek suggested SAG AFTRA in Mid-City as a possible venue.
c. Professional development event
Bluestein said we could push this event to the fall since we are focused on Ethics and Media Literacy events. Wax suggested we could do another video editing type event that Mike Fleeman hosted last year. Streifler mentioned an event that AAJA is doing an event on new to mid-career journalists.
Bluestein suggested doing something for freelancers, which are usually popular. Mottek suggested social media tools training.
VI. New Business
a. Mega-mixer—July 12
Bluestein reported that Saxton is looking at locations and is planning this event for July 12.
b. Bluestein reported that Linda Bowen suggested a panel about the survival of local reporting.
c. Streifler suggested that Craig Newhope as a banquet speaker. Mottek suggested Willow Bay of USC.
d. Wax reported the 8-Ball Foundation, which gives out donations to struggling journalists and journalism students, has requested to send letters to our members advertising what they do in an effort to solicit donations. Anyone who donates money is considered a “member” of the foundation. Wax has been on the board for three years. Streifler is also on the board.
Bellman moved to allow 8-Ball Foundation to mail our members. Nonahal seconded. Wax and Streifler abstained.
VII. Next board meeting: May 1 at Louise’s, 7 p.m.
Marcellino moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:39 p.m. seconded by Zahniser. Approved.