Meeting Minutes: July 11, 2016

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Monday, July 11, 2016

7 p.m.

Louise’s Trattoria

10645 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Joel Bellman, Christina Cocca, Sarah Favot, Michael Fleeman, Khalil Garriott, Richard Hendrickson, Frank Mottek, Navid Nonahal, Lori Streifler, Jeff Wald, Alice Walton, Roberta Wax, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser.


I.               Approval of minutes from June 6 board meeting

a.     Wald moved to approve, Wax seconded. Walton abstained.

II.             President’s report – Nonahal

a.     The board will need to vote on the delegates to go to the national convention. Anyone interested will notify Nonahal by the end of the month. Votes can be via email.

III.           Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson

a.     Hendrickson said we have not yet been billed for the chapter’s taxes. Payments from the other organizations that joined the Mega Mixer are in process. The contributing groups including SPJ/LA will each pay about $181. Two of the groups said they did not have the budget to contribute. Peschiutta paid up front for the event but the board is reimbursing her as well as collecting payments.

b.     Bank of America balance as of 6/1/16 is $38,466.26. Balance as of 7/1 is $39,956.27. Balance on books as of 7/1 is $40,396.53. Morgan Stanley balance as of 6/1 is $70,608.52. As of 7/1, balance is $71,130.61, an increase of $522.09.

c.      Windsor moved to receive the report, Zahniser seconded. The motion carried.

IV.            Standing Committees –

a.     Awards – Marcellino – No report

b.     Banquet – Walton– No report

c.      Courts – Marcellino

i.     RTNA and SPJ/LA are working together to try and insure that broadcast stations are granted appropriate access to the downtown criminal arraignments court. The court PIO has reached out to the judge who says he grants access when there is no objection raised by the defense based on issues of identification. Marcellino is hopeful that the conversation will be sufficient to prompt a change — as the stations allege there was a broader denial of access — but are monitoring the situation.

d.     Diversity – Hendrickson – No report

e.     Ethics – Bluestein/Hendrickson – No report

f.      FOI –Zahniser – No report

g.     Generation J – Bowen – No report

h.     Membership – Saxton

i.     Ad hoc membership committee – Marcellino/Nonahal – No report

ii.     Hendrickson said a new member notified him that he joined and paid local chapter dues but was not put on our correct mailing list. This has since been resolved, but he did not receive any of our releases for about six months. The board may consider extending his membership for the same amount of time at no cost. Nonahal will reach out to Linda Hall regarding this.

i.       Nominations – Bellman – No report

j.       Scholarships – Audi – No report. Audi will email an update in August.

V.              Old Businesss

a.     June 11 video editing workshop recap – Fleeman/Bluestein

i.     Fleeman and Windsor said the video editing workshop went well, and all RSVPs plus an additional two people attended. Fleeman said he had to turn away about 20 people, so the board may host another one of these workshops. The majority of attendees were SPJ/LA members.

b.     July 6 mega mixer update – Peschiutta/Walton

i.     Walton said the mixer was crowded and response was great. Hendrickson said it looked like at least 100 people came. Two attendees did not end up making it to the area we reserved because of the stairs and no elevator option at the venue.

VI.            New Business

a.     Tentative dates for upcoming mixers at the Redwood:

i.     Aug. 3

ii.     Sept. 7

iii.     Oct. 5

iv.     Nov. 2

b.     Streifler said national is offering the film “Spotlight” at no cost to chapters to show for an event, but the dates were preset by national. Nonahal reached out to check on date flexibility, and she will work on clarifying whether we can put on this event.

c.      Mottek mentioned that SAG-AFTRA is interested in possibly working together with SPJ/LA organizing a reporter safety workshop or presentation.  Nonahal suggested September. Mottek said he would check on availability.

VII.          Next board meeting: Sept. 12 at Louise’s, 7 p.m. – No board meeting in August.

VIII.        Adjournment

a.     Windsor moved to adjourn, Wald seconded. The motion carried, and the meeting was adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,

Christina Cocca


Meeting Minutes: June 6, 2016

SPJ/LA Board of Directors June Meeting Minutes

Monday, June 6, 2016

7 p.m.

Louise’s Trattoria

10645 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Christina Cocca, Sarah Favot, Michael Fleeman, Khalil Garriott, Elizabeth Marcellino, Navid Nonahal, Lori Streifler, Jeff Wald, Roberta Wax, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser.


I.               Approval of minutes from May 2 board meeting: Wald moved, Windsor seconded. Zahniser abstained. The motion passed.

II.             President’s report – Nonahal

a.     SPJ national conference, Sept. 18-20, 2016 in New Orleans:

i.     Windsor moved to have Bluestein represent the chapter as a delegate at the conference, with the chapter covering travel, hotel and conference registration expenses. Wax seconded. The motion passed.

ii.     Garriott asked about attending as another delegate sponsored by the chapter. Nonahal said if the chapter covers his expenses, the same would have to be extended to all other board members who attend the conference as delegates. She added that the chapter bylaws restrict the chapter’s budget to cover one person. In response to Garriott’s suggestion that the chapter made a profit at it’s annual banquet and that it could afford paying for additional delegates, Nonahal suggested that additional money would be better spent going toward scholarships, events and workshops for members. Marcellino suggested considering a more open-ended system regarding the chapter paying for additional delegates’ expenses to conferences in the future. Nonahal agreed for the board to have a future discussion as to whether the chapter should cover more than one delegate’s registration fee, which is $230 for 2016.

iii.     Bellman asked how many board members have attended national conferences in the past. Wax said as many as five have attended, but the chapter only paid for one member. Nonahal said the two delegates, herself and Bluestein, split the costs for the SPJ regional conference. Garriott asked if the chapter would cover his registration fee out of the cap total of about $1,000, and Nonahal said if so, the same would need to be offered to other board members attending the 2016 national conference as delegates.

iv.     Zahniser said the board should be willing to consider changing circumstances, such as employers not covering conference costs like previous years. He suggested the chapter to pay half of the registration fee for up to three board members who attend the national conference as delegates in addition to the sponsored delegate. Bellman agreed with covering half of the registration costs as an investment, but not adding a precedent. Zahniser said the board should discuss a policy change at the January retreat.

v.     Zahniser moved for the chapter to cover half of the 2016 SPJ national conference registration fee, which is $115, for three board members, in addition to Bluestein. Bellman seconded. The board voted in favor. Motion passed. Wax moved that additional board members whose partial registration fee would be covered by the chapter would have to attend the conference as delegates. Windsor seconded. The board voted in favor. Motion passed.

b.     Chapter’s annual report – Nonahal thanked Cocca for completing the annual report and said that it has been submitted to national.

c.      Chapter’s 2015 taxes have been completed by Hendrickson and Nonahal and have been turned over to the chapter’s CPA for filing, Nonahal said.

III.           Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson (via email)

a.     Nonahal presented the report in Hendrickson’s absence, as well as bank statements. Nonahal said Walton has received all the money outstanding from the banquet sponsors.

b.     BofA balance of 5/1 is $24,425.80. 6/1 is $38,466.26. Balance on books as of 6/1 is $40,380.52.

c.      Bellman moved to receive the report, Windsor seconded. The motion passed.

IV.            Standing Committees

a.     Awards – Marcellino

i.     No report.

b.     Banquet – Walton

i.     No report.

c.      Courts – Marcellino

i.     Marcellino said courts are rolling out an electronic case management system so journalists will have easier access to court documents, at least for civil cases.

ii.     Marcellino said an arraignment court judge in downtown LA has been blocking media with cameras. The PIO is looking into this and Marcellino will follow up.

iii.     The location for interviews may be changing at the courthouse.

d.     Diversity – Hendrickson

i.     No report.

e.     Ethics – Bluestein/Hendrickson

i.     No report.

f.      FOI –Zahniser

i.     No report.

g.     Generation J – Bowen

i.     No report.

h.     Membership – Saxton

i.     Ad hoc membership committee – Marcellino/Nonahal

1.     Marcellino sent “thank you” emails to everyone who attended the banquet. Nonahal said a follow-up email will go out.

i.       Nominations – Bellman

i.     No report.

j.       Scholarships – Audi

i.     Nonahal reported on behalf of Audi: The deadline for this year is Aug. 5 so that the students would be rewarded before the new school year. Nonahal said the board should vote via email since the board does not meet in August.

V.              Old Business

a.     May 4 karaoke mixer update – Peschiutta/Walton

i.     Nonahal thanked Peschiutta for organizing another successful mixer and reported that the turnout was great. Windsor has a beautiful voice. Nonahal apologized for singing out of tune.

VI.            New Business

a.     June 8 karaoke mixer, Redwood – Peschiutta/Walton

b.     Video editing workshop, June 11 – Fleeman/Bluestein

i.     Fleeman said about 30 people have RSVP’d for the event, which is over capacity for the space. Nonahal suggested holding another one of these workshops since the response was so great.

c.      Peschuitta is sending out a letter to other journalism organizations for a mega mixer. Streifler suggested considering a different venue than the last mega mixer.

VII.          Next board meeting: July 11 at Louise’s, 7 p.m.

VIII.          Adjournment

a.     Bluestein moved to adjourn the meeting in memory of Keith Goldstein, who was the board’s distinguished journalist in 2014. Windsor seconded. Meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Christina Cocca

SPJ/LA Seeks Nominations for Annual Distinguished Journalist Awards

Did you read, see, listen to or click on a great news story this week? Maybe it’s time to recognize that reporter, broadcast anchor or editor for a career’s worth of great stories.

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is seeking nominations for the chapter’s 2016 Distinguished Journalists Awards and 2016 Freedom of Information Award.

The five journalism categories are:
  • print: 90,000+ circulation;
  • print: less than 90,000 circulation;
  • television broadcast;
  • radio broadcast; and
  • digital media.
Nominees may include reporters, news anchors, behind-the-scenes writers, editors or producers. Awards recognize a body of work rather than an individual story.

The Freedom of Information Award honors a non-journalist who has helped promote First Amendment issues. Previous winners have worked in the legal profession, academia, government and nonprofit organizations.

Nomination forms or emails with the relevant information must be submitted to Elizabeth Marcellino at no later than Friday, October 21, 2016.

Awards will be presented at the annual SPJ/LA awards banquet in January 2017.

Nomination forms can be downloaded here: SPJ/LA Distinguished Journalist Nominee

Elizabeth Marcellino, SPJ/LA

SPJ/LA and the L.A. Press Club Present: Horror Stories from the Campaign Trail

The Greater L.A. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Los Angeles Press Club will present a night of scary stories from the world of politics on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at the Redwood Bar and Grill in downtown.

Speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

When:  Wednesday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.

Where:  Redwood Bar & Grill, 316 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Parking: There’s construction on Second Street in front of the bar and on Broadway. You can park at the lot on Hill Street.


RSVP for SPJ/LA’s Panel Discussion: Exploring Sexist and Racist Media Coverage of the Summer Olympics

A reporter asks Pia Sundhage, the head coach of the Swedish women’s football team, about her ability to coach a men’s team. Michael Phelps’ silver medal takes top billing while Katie Ledecky’s world-record medal is relegated to a subhead. A newspaper tweets that “Phelps shares historic night with African-American” in reference to Simone Manuel’s historical gold medal.

These are just a few examples of how media coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics at Rio seemed to come from a mindset that might have prevailed at the 1932 summer games. What was that so? Have we learned nothing over the years about the need for racial and gender sensitivity? Was there more insensitive and discriminatory coverage this year or did it just seem like it because of social media? How does such coverage affect the public? What can be done to improve sports coverage in the future?

These are among the questions to be exploredThursday, Sept. 22, 2016 by a panel convened by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the 90-minute program will begin at 7 sharp.

Panelists will be:

Jackie Pepper, a sports journalist who produced short-form videos for Yahoo Sports during the Olympics and has also produced content for USA Today and NFL Network.

David Wharton, lead Olympic reporter for the L.A. Times and affiliated newspapers who went to Rio early to cover IOC meetings and write a blend of features, issue stories and, of course, lots of Ryan Lochte.

Marcella DeVeaux, Ph.D., a tenured Associate Professor of Journalism at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and a Depth Psychologist. As a media    expert, and diversity consultant, she grapples with unconscious bias in media, education and the workplace.

The moderator will be:
Stephanie Bluestein, Ed.D., a veteran reporter and assistant professor of journalism at CSUN.

When:  Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Where:  USC, Wallis Annenberg Hall Room 106, 3630 Watt Way, Los Angeles 90089. Parking available in Lot A ($12)

Enter campus on the east side of Vermont Avenue across from 36th Street, and the garage on the right just inside the campus. Pay $12 to park, then walk down Downey Way, away from the gate, to Watt Way. Turn left on Watt and walk to Childs Way. Wallis Annenberg Hall is on the corner on the right.

Cost: Free to the public


Contact:  Richard Hendrickson