SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Monday March 6, 2017
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Present: America Arias, Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Sarah Favot, Richard Hendrickson, Elizabeth Marcellino, Irene Moore, Richard Saxton, Lori Streifler, Alice Walton, and Roberta Wax.
Bluestein called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.
i. Approval of minutes from Jan. 7 retreat and Feb. 6 board meeting
a. Wax moved to accept the Jan. 7 retreat minutes and Bellman seconded. Approved.
b. Wax moved to accept the Feb. 6 minutes and Bellman seconded. Approved.
ii. President’s report – Bluestein
a. Bluestein mentioned Bellman’s two appearances on KCAL 9 on Feb. 18 and Feb. 25 representing the chapter discussing the president’s efforts to destroy a free press and limit news outlets’ access to the White House. The links were shared on our social media accounts. Bluestein will send the links to national’s Ethics Committee chair and FOI Committee chair and will include the appearances as part of our annual report.
b. We received an inquiry from someone who wanted to become a member of our chapter, but while registering online, the form noted that potential members had to be working as a journalist or journalism educator 50 percent of the time. Bluestein reached out to national who said it was OK for her to join as a professional member. We should address at national as the role of journalism/journalists in society has become part of a larger discussion and as more people have taken an interest, we should be more inclusive in our membership. There was consensus that the 50 percent requirement should be removed.
c. Bluestein received an email from Daryl Cagle, a syndicated editorial cartoonist, who has just joined our LA Chapter after being a longtime SPJ member. He is interested about programming opportunities.
iii. Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson
a. One amendment was proposed to change FB “push” to FB “boost”
b. Hendrickson reported the BofA balance as of Feb. 1, 2017 is $28,772.17, and as of March 1, 2017 is $35,530.89. A total of $59.88 is outstanding in uncashed checks and $1,831.86 in invoices are due in accounts receivable. The balance on the books as of March 1 is $37,302.77. The Morgan Stanley balance as of Feb. 1 is $71,548.32 which includes a gain of $15.80 from the previous month.
c. Hendrickson reported it appears as though we’ll be able to fund our scholarships without dipping into Morgan Stanley account.
d. Hendrickson has started emailing the first pages of our bank statement along with the Treasurers’ Report every month
e. Streifler moved to receive the Treasurer’s Report with the noted amendment, Walton seconded. Approved.
iv. Standing Committees –
a. Awards – Moore/Streifler
i. No report
b. Banquet – Walton
i. No report
c. Courts – Marcellino
v. Walton reported some concerns that Peschiutta detailed in an email about issues in downtown federal court. One has to do with access to public documents in the Baca trial that are not online in the PACER system. The judge’s clerk said the judge would not accept a letter from ABC7 seeking to resolve the issue. KPCC, KFI, Daily News and ABC7 reported problems getting access to the documents. There is a secondary problem with the U.S. Marshals who provide security in federal court. There were complaints about marshals threatening to confiscate cell phones in court even though they were shut off. There have also been issues with conducting interviews in hallways and with bringing equipment into the court. Peschiutta has reached out to RTNA of Southern California. Marcellino has reached out to the Marshals before regarding the equipment issue and thought it had been worked out because she hadn’t heard of more problems. Marcellino said she’d reach out to RTNA of Southern California and reach out to Peschiutta. Hendrickson suggested that Marcellino reach out to our attorney for advice.
a. Diversity – Arias/Nonohal
· Re-cap of Feb. 23 immigration panel event
i. Arias reported there were about 65 attendees, as more people attended than RSVP’d. During the discussion portion of the night there was a good mix of attendees including students and non-journalists, which made for a good conversation because people were genuinely curious about our industry. There was a huge interest in just talking about journalism in general. Arias sent a thank you letter to Sarah at the Association who helped organize the event and also provided microphones. The panelists were happy with the event. Their parking and drinks were paid for. The Association was happy to work with us again. The venue felt intimate and good for panel discussions. Arias did notice the venue doesn’t have signs, so she stood out front to direct people inside.
b. Ethics – Bellman
i. No report.
c. FOI – Zahniser
i. On Thursday, March 16 during Sunshine Week we will have a mixer with L.A. Times data editor Ben Welsh at the Redwood Bar & Grill from 7 to 9 p.m. to discuss the California Civic Data Project and talk about campaign finance records. He will speak for about 15 minutes and then open it to a Q&A.
d. Generation J – Bluestein
i. No report
e. Membership – Nonahal
f. Nominations – Favot
g. Scholarships – Audi
vi. Old Business
vii. New Business
a. Hendrickson reported our April event will be an investigative reporting and FOI panel on Wednesday, April 5 from 7- 8:30 p.m. We have a reserved Room 106 at USC Annenberg with panelists being the new Investigations Editor at the LA Times, Joel Grover from NBC4 and an investigative reporter at the Wall Street Journal. Bellman will moderate. Bluestein is working on getting a USC professor to join the panel. A press release about the event will be forthcoming.
b. Professional Development event in May
Marcellino suggested having a media literacy event in May and has reached out to LA City College to see if they have space available and is waiting to hear back. Marcellino believes this event should be more public oriented.
Suggested dates for the media literacy event were a Wednesday or Thursday sometime in the first two weeks of May.
Bluestein suggested a professional development for journalists as a separate event.
c. Ethics event in June
Bluestein reminded the board we have it scheduled on the calendar and we should begin to think about ideas for the event.
Hendrickson suggested a topic related to fact-checking.
d. SPJ Regional Conference is April 28 and 29 in San Diego. Bluestein reported the first 25 people who register for the conference can attend a free Google Tools seminar. Bluestein and Saxton said they will attend. The website is up if board members want to see the scheduled program.
viii. Next board meeting: April 3 at Louise’s, 7 p.m.
Hendrickson moved to adjourn at 7:55 p.m. Seconded by Marcellino. Approved.