SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Monday May 1, 2017
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Christina Cocca, Sarah Favot, Richard Hendrickson, Elizabeth Marcellino, David Zahniser
I. Approval of minutes from April 3 board meeting
Postponed until the June 5 board meeting
II. President’s report – Bluestein
a. Bluestein reported she attended the annual journalism advisory committee meeting at Santa Monica College on April 20. She said it was a worthwhile meeting that included professional journalists and journalism educators.
b. Bellman participated on an April 19 panel about fake news hosted by Nonprofit Communications and Media Network. Bluestein was asked, as chapter president, to attend, but was unable to go due to a family funeral. Bellman filled in as the chapter’s representative.
c. Bluestein gave a recap on the Regional Conference she attended hosted by the San Diego Chapter on April 28 and 29. Bluestein attended along with Linda Bowen and Richard Saxton. During an informal gathering of SPJ chapter leaders on Friday, regional director Matt Hall explained proposed changed to reduce the size of the national board. There was also a discussion about our chapter hosting the reginal conference next year. On Saturday, a keynote speech was given by Lynn Walsh, national SPJ president. Each breakout session on Saturday had three different sessions to choose from and there was a luncheon to present the Mark of Excellence awards to college students. NPR’s Kelly McEvers gave a speech to end the presentation-portion of the conference.
d. Bluestein reported that Favot and she met to go over the Chapter’s annual report, which is due May 30. She will reach out to committee chairs to ensure we haven’t missed any events to be included in the annual report this year.
III. Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson
a. Hendrickson reported the Bank of America balance as of April 1, 2017 was $37,270.45 and as of May 1, 2017 was $37,116.85. A total of $506.38 is outstanding in uncashed checks. The balance on the books as of May 1 is $36,610.47. The Morgan Stanley balance as of May 1 is $71,782.58 which includes a gain of $190.14 from the previous month.
Vote to accept the financial report postponed until the June 5 board meeting.
b. Henrickson reported that two people have already reviewed our annual financial report (both are members of SPJ who are not on the board as required). He is now seeking a third person, as per the requirements from national.
IV. Standing Committees
a. Awards – Moore/Streifler
b. Banquet – Walton
c. Courts – Marcellino
Marcellino is waiting to hear back from RTNA on court access issues in federal court.
d. Diversity – Arias/Nonahal
e. Ethics – Bellman
· Plans for June 22 event
Bellman reported that Joe Saltzman from USC will be a panelist. Bellman needs to secure a location. The board discussed possible panelists and topics to be discussed about the issue of journalists as advocates.
f. FOI – Zahniser
· Re-cap of April 5 investigative reporting (FOI) panel at USC
Zahniser reported Hendrickson and Bellman put together a successful event. About 65 people attended.
g. Generation J – Bluestein
· Mentoring Santa Monica College J students
Bluestein reported Santa Monica College faculty asked her if board members would be interested in mentoring students from the college. Bluestein also reached out to the college to see if they are interested in starting a student chapter there.
h. Membership – Nonahal
i. Nominations – Favot
j. Scholarships – Audi
· Scholarship application deadline: June 9
V. Old Business
a. Media literacy event in May
Marcellino reported the event will be May 17 at LA City College. Jim Newton with UCLA Luskin School, Evan George, of KCRW, and NBC4’s director of integrated media Kelly Whitney will be panelists. Tammy Audi will moderate, if available. Marcellino said the college won’t provide AV equipment for free. It will cost about $180 to rent. Bellman said he believed because the event is in two weeks, this vote constituted an “emergency” under the bylaws, which would allow the board to vote without a quorum.
Bluestein declared an emergency.
Hendrickson moved to authorize Marcellino to rent AV equipment for up to $250 (which will Marcellino will pick-up and set-up and return herself) for the media literacy panel that will take place before the next regularly scheduled meeting. Bellman seconded. Approved.
b. Mega-mixer—July 12
Bluestein reported that Richard Saxton is working on this.
VI. New Business
a. Regional conference in Spring ‘18
Bluestein reported that she would like to form an ad-hoc committee to plan the conference. She believes that members who work on the banquet should not work on the conference because the events will be within a few weeks of each other. Bluestein said that we should offer 2-3 panels for each session. Hendrickson and Bellman offered to be on the ad-hoc committee. Bluestein and Wax have said they will be on the committee.
Members suggested that Bluestein send board members agendas and schedules for previous regional conferences, so we can be informed when we are making decisions about our conference at the next board meeting. Favot will call hotels in the Universal City, Glendale and Burbank areas to get estimates for about 150 attendees. Tentative dates are the evening of Friday, April 27 and all day Saturday April 27.
b. Recording/broadcasting via social media future panel discussions
Bluestein raised the question of whether we should broadcast our panels on Facebook Live and/or post recordings to our website. Board members agreed this should be done whenever possible.
VII. Next board meeting: June 5 at Louise’s, 7 p.m.