Meeting Minutes: November 6, 2017

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Monday Nov. 6, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Louise’s Trattoria 10645 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Christina Cocca, Sarah Favot, Elizabeth Marcellino, Navid Nonahal, Richard Saxton, Julia Seifer, Lori Streifler, Alice Walton, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser

Bluestein called the meeting to order at 7:14 p.m.

I. Approval of minutes from the Sept. 11 and Oct. 9 board meetings
Favot moved to approve the minutes from the Sept. 11 board meeting. Windsor seconded. Saxton and Nonahal abstained. Approved.

Walton moved to approve the minutes from the Oct. 9 board meeting. Windsor seconded. Zahniser, Nonahal, Bellman, Saxton, Cocca, Seifer and Streifler abstained. Approved.

II. President’s report – Bluestein
Cocca reported on issues that we’ve been having with our website. Via email on Oct. 15, board members approved Cocca to spend up to $250 for GoDaddy to fix the problem. Cocca reported that the charge ended up being $239.99.

III. Treasurer’s report – October Treasurer’s Report
Bluestein reported on the amended Oct. 1 Treasurer’s Report. The BofA balance as of Sept. 1, 2017 was $31,786.41 and as of Oct. 1 was $30,362.09. There were no invoices owed or due, so the balance on our books was also $30,362.09. The Morgan Stanley balance as of Oct. 1 was $72,395.69, which includes a loss of $161.53 from the previous month.
Zahniser moved to receive the October Treasurer’s Report. Bellman seconded. Approved.

Bluestein reported on the Nov. 1 Treasurer’s Report. The BofA balance as of Oct. 1, 2017 was $30,362.09 and as of Nov. 1, 2017 was $30,164.11. There were no invoices owed or due, so the balance on our books was also $30,164.11. The Morgan Stanley balance as of Nov. 1 was $72,427.36, which includes a gain of $31.57 from the previous month.
Zahniser moved to receive the November Treasurer’s Report. Bellman seconded. Approved

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees
a.) Awards –Streifler
The Awards Committee presented their slate of recommendations for the Chapter’s 2017 Distinguished Journalist Awards. The committee presented three candidates for each awards category. The board discussed the recommendations and cast secret ballots for each category. The following journalists will be honored at our March 1 banquet:
Print circulation less than 90,000: Kim Masters, editor-at-large Hollywood Reporter
Print circulation more than 90,000: Robin Abcarian, columnist at Los Angeles TimesBroadcast Radio: Sharon McNary, reporter at KPCC
Broadcast TV: Miriam Hernandez, reporter at KABC-7
Digital: Norberto Santana, founder, publisher, columnist at Voice of OC
FOI: Kelly Aviles, of Californians Aware

Windsor moved that the Chapter gives a special recognition to Rob Eshman, former editor-in-chief/publisher of the Jewish Journal Bellman seconded. Marcellino abstained. Approved.

b.) Banquet – Walton
No report

c.) Courts – Marcellino
No report.

d.) Diversity – Arias/Nonahal
No report.

e.) Ethics – Bellman
Bellman discussed Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger’s blackout of the LA Times and suggested the Chapter send an open letter from SPJ calling out Disney’s actions. Bellman moved that the Chapter send an open letter to Bob Iger protesting Disney’s punitive actions directed at the LA Times based on its news coverage of Disney’s relationship with the city of Anaheim. Nonahal seconded. Seifer abstained. Approved.

f.) FOI – Zahniser
No report

g.) Generation J – Bluestein
Bluestein reported that her idea for starting a Lunch with a Journalist program will be put on hold until after the Chapter hosts the Regional Conference next spring due to the time commitment needed in planning for the conference.

h.) Membership – Nonahal
No report

i.) Nominations – Favot
Favot thanked board members for all of their suggestions for potential board members. She has a commitment from two people who are willing to run and is looking to secure two more. The elections will be held in December.

j.) Regional Conference– Hendrickson and Favot
Bluestein reported that Mike Reilley of Google News Labs needs a three-hour time slot to present at the Regional Conference. The board members discussed potentially having him present on the Friday afternoon before the conference, but ultimately decided to plan a separate event from the conference with Mike Reilley sometime next year.

k.) Scholarships – Audi
No report.

V. Old Business
CSUN Journalism Day – Bluestein
Bluestein reported CSUN hosted a High School Journalism Day with L.A. Times High School Insider staff that attracted nearly 300 high school students, more than ever. It was very well run. The Chapter’s $500 donation for Subway sandwiches was greatly appreciated.

VI. New Business
Directors & Officers Insurance
Bluestein reported she received a quote for coverage. Nonahal and Wax will also be seeking quotes. Bluestein will reach out to the board’s attorney Jean-Paul Jassy for clarification about the quotes. The issue will be discussed at the next board meeting.

VII. Board Retreat—Jan. 13 at the home of Wax.

VIII. Next board meeting: Monday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.

IV. Adjournment
Saxton moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:45 p.m. Favot seconded. Approved.

RSVP for the Distinguished Journalists Awards Banquet hosted by the Greater L.A. Chapter of SPJ

LOS ANGELES – Don’t miss your opportunity to support local journalism by attending the 42nd annual Distinguished Journalists Awards dinner hosted by the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on March 1, 2018.

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available. SPJ/LA presents the Distinguished Journalist awards to members of the profession who demonstrate good news judgment, a strong sense of ethics and a passion for getting the story right. Honorees have achieved a record of career accomplishments.

This year’s Distinguished Journalist honorees are: Kim Masters, editor-at-large of The Hollywood Reporter; Robin Abcarian, columnist at the Los Angeles Times; 89.3 KPCC reporter Sharon McNary; ABC7 Eyewitness News reporter Miriam Hernandez; and Norberto Santana, founder and publisher of the Voice of OC.

The Freedom of Information award will go to Kelly Aviles of Californians Aware, a nonprofit organization dedicated to open government, free speech and protected reporting.

MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff will be the speaker at the dinner.

Sponsorship opportunities and program ads are available. The three levels of sponsorship are:

Platinum ($5,000): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, event signage, logo included on banquet website and in emails, one complimentary table at the event.

Gold ($2,500): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on banquet website and in emails, five complimentary tickets to the event.

Silver ($1,500): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on banquet website and in emails, two complimentary tickets to the event.

You can also support SPJ/LA by purchasing an ad in the banquet program:
Back cover of the program: $500
Full page inside program: $350
Half-page inside program: $250
Quarter-page inside program: $150

If you can’t make it to the banquet, please consider sponsoring a student. For $80, your donation will cover a journalism student’s attendance at the event.

The awards banquet will be held March 1, 2018, at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets for the event are:
$100 for SPJ/LA members
$140 for non-members
$80 for students
Tables of 10 are available for $1,000
A no-host cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

To make a reservation, contact Alice Walton at AliceMWalton@gmail.com or (310) 595-5612.

SPJ/LA Announces Newly Elected Board Members

Sandy Mazza, Tom Bray and Julia Wick.

LOS ANGELES – The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists elected five members to serve three-year terms on the group’s 15-member board, beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Sandy Mazza, city reporter for the Daily Breeze, and Tom Bray, senior editor at the Southern California News Group, were newly elected to the board.

Three incumbents were reelected. They are: Roberta Wax, freelance writer; Frank Mottek, business news anchor for KNX 1070 Newsradio; and freelance journalist, Richard Saxton.

Julia Wick, freelance journalist and former editor-in-chief of LAist, was elected to a two-year term to fill a seat vacated earlier this year.

SPJ/LA Announces MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff as Speaker for the Distinguished Journalists Awards Banquet

LOS ANGELES – MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff will be the speaker at the 42nd annual Distinguished Journalists Awards dinner hosted by the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on March 1, 2018.

Soboroff is a Los Angeles-based MSNBC correspondent and anchor who reports across NBC News and MSNBC.

Most recently he was a part of NBC and MSNBC special coverage of major news events, including the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the opioid crisis, the solar eclipse, the Charlottesville attack, Hurricane Irma, the Global Citizen Festival and the Las Vegas mass shooting.

In addition, Jacob hosted two hour-long MSNBC original documentaries in 2017, The Trump Equation, about the factors that led to President Trump’s victory, and One Nation Over Dosed, about fentanyl, the drug fueling America’s record-breaking overdose death rate.

In 2016, Jacob was part of the network’s group of “Road Warriors,” traveling across the nation to cover the 2016 election and the 2016 Republican and Democratic conventions.

During the campaign, Variety said Jacob’s “dispatches from around America have the vibe of a hipper, latter-day Charles Kuralt — commiserating with a hover boat driver in the Everglades and an ice fisherman atop a lake in New Hampshire, or riding a bike with an immigrant ‘dreamer’ to get her to confide how it feels to meet other immigrant children on the campaign trail.”

Before joining MSNBC in 2015, he hosted a variety of projects for platforms including Vanity Fair, YouTube, Participant Media, The Huffington Post, MTV, AMC, NBC, CNN, PBS and NPR.

This year’s Distinguished Journalist honorees are: Kim Masters, editor-at-large of The Hollywood Reporter; Robin Abcarian, columnist at the Los Angeles Times; 89.3 KPCC reporter Sharon McNary; ABC7 Eyewitness News reporter Miriam Hernandez; and Norberto Santana, founder and publisher of the Voice of OC.

The Freedom of Information award will go to Kelly Aviles of Californians Aware, a nonprofit organization dedicated to open government, free speech and protected reporting.

The chapter will also recognize Rob Eshman, former editor-in-chief and publisher of the Jewish Journal.

SPJ/LA presents the Distinguished Journalist awards to members of the profession who demonstrate good news judgment, a strong sense of ethics and a passion for getting the story right. Honorees have achieved a record of career accomplishments.

The awards banquet will be held March 1, 2018at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets for the event are:

  • $100 for SPJ/LA members
  • $140 for non-members
  • $80 for students
  • Tables of 10 are available for $1,000

A no-host cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

To make a reservation, contact Alice Walton at AliceMWalton@gmail.com or (310) 595-5612.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available, as are program ads to congratulate this year’s honorees.