Meeting Minutes: February 5, 2018

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Monday, Feb. 5, 2018
7 p.m.
Louise’s Trattoria
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Bluestein called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.

Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Tom Bray, Sarah Favot, Richard Hendrickson, Kathryn Mora, Navid Nonahal, Alice Walton, Robi Wax, Julia Wick, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser

I. Approval of minutes from the Jan. 13 board retreat
Bellman moved to approve the minutes. Windsor seconded. Nonahal, Hendrickson, Walton abstained. Approved.
II. President’s report – Bluestein
Bluestein reported she received a request from Solutions Journalism Network to partner to co-host a workshop with them on Monday, May 21. Board members wanted more information on the organization and will look into it on their own time.
Bluestein reported she is still in conversation with a potential new board member to replace America Arias.
Bluestein reported that board members Bellman, Walton, Streifler, Bowen, Mazza and Bray, in addition to regional director Matt Hall and director-at-large Lauren Bartlett and former SPJ-LA board president Leslie Simmons attended a reading of All the President’s Men at LA City Hall. A photo was posted on our website and social media accounts.
Bluestein reported the Chapter issued a statement on Jan. 31 about impending layoffs at SCNG. Favot reported we received a lot of engagement on our social media accounts reacting to and promoting the statement.
Bluestein reported she received a note from Holden Slattery, of The Chronicle of Social Change, who applied to attend the Scripps Howard Leadership Institute in New York, noting that his employer would pay his expenses.

III. Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson
Windsor moved to receive the Treasurer’s Report. Nonahal seconded. Approved.

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees
a. Awards –Streifler and Marcellino
No report.
b. Banquet – Walton
The banquet is on March 1. She encouraged members to RSVP if they have not yet done so. Walton said we have 56 RSVPs. So far, ABC7 and Voice of OC have purchased tables and three organizations have purchased program ads. Those who cannot attend may buy a student ticket that Walton will assign to a student who wishes to attend. Walton said Mottek is looking for more banquet sponsors.
c. Courts – Marcellino
No report.
d. Diversity –
No report.
e. Ethics – Bellman
No report.
f. FOI – Zahniser
No report.
g. Generation J – Bluestein
No report.
h. Membership – Nonahal
Marcellino wanted to give an update on our membership from National, but she reported there have been some technical issues. It looks like we have a number of new members who have recently signed up. The committee is also working on a function on our website for National members who are not members of our Chapter to sign up for our Chapter and pay dues. Once Marcellino has an updated list, the committee will send handwritten notes welcoming new members and going forward, notes will be written on a regular basis to welcome new members.
i. Nominations – Bray
No report.
j. Regional Conference – Hendrickson and Favot
Favot updated the board about the Regional Conference. She reported we are still looking for a Mark of Excellence speaker and a closing speaker and welcomed suggestions from the board. Bluestein will begin to seek sponsorships to offset costs. Walton will be creating the conference website.
k. Scholarships – Saxton
No report

V. Old Business
a. Chapter Insurance – Bluestein and Nonahal
Bluestein gave a presentation on the insurance quotes we have received for chapter insurance. Zahniser moved to purchase insurance. Zahniser will work with Stephanie on possibly getting an additional quote. She will come back to the board with a final recommendation that will take place via an email vote. Bellman seconded. Approved.

VI. New Business
a. Local news apocalypse – all
The news of the new editor Jim Kirk being hired trumped a statement about the LA Times written by board members, but not released. The Chapter will consider releasing another statement regarding the leak investigation to encourage the company to come clean about the investigation.
b. Mixer in March – Zahniser
Zahniser reported about his idea discussed at the retreat to address the media apocalypse and instill some hope and inspiration for reporters who’ve recently been laid off. Zahniser said the people he’s reached out to so far do not want to discuss their lay-off experience. The Association is available March 8 and March 15. Zahniser will ask about The Association’s availability on Wednesdays. Instead of focusing on individuals, Zahniser has another idea to discuss the cuts at the LA Weekly, LAist and SoCal News Group. Zahniser will continue to work on it to secure panelists.
c. Google News Lab training in September – Bluestein
Bluestein reported Amara Aguilar is available Sept. 5 at USC to conduct a Google News Lab training. We will be able to customize the training for our members.

VII. Adjournment
Windsor moved to adjourn at 8:38 p.m. Marcellino seconded. Approved.

Next board meeting: Monday, March 5 at 7 p.m. at Louise’s Trattoria

Respectfully submitted,
Sarah Favot

Highlights from SPJ/LA’s Regional Conference: Photos from the Mark of Excellence Luncheon

During the Region 11 conference, the Mark of Excellence Awards luncheon was held where student journalists are honored for outstanding work.

Region 11 covers Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands and Nevada.

Here are the winners that were announced.

Here are some photos taken by Clare Calzada from the luncheon.

USC Annenberg School of Journalism students.

Duanli Zhu, a student from USC Annenberg who won the Best All-Around TV Newscast category.

Megan Janetsky and Johanna Huckeba, finalists in the online news reporting category. They are from Cronkite News/Arizona PBS.

SPJ Region 11 Director Matt Hall with students.

SPJ Region 11 Director Matt Hall with a student.

SPJ/LA board member Frank Mottek, who emceed the luncheon.

SPJ Region 11 Director Matt Hall with students.

Highlights from SPJ/LA’s Regional Conference: Photos from Saturday’s Program

During SPJ/LA’s Region 11 Conference, Saturday, April 28 was filled with speakers and panels.

We held nine panels on covering immigration, freelancing, data reporting, covering sexual harassment allegations, reporting on disasters, writing, reporting on homelessness, investigative reporting for broadcast and covering the LGBTQ+ community.

The speakers included USC Professor Robert Hernandez, Stephen Galloway, executive features editor at The Hollywood Reporter, and Harriet Ryan, L.A. Times investigative reporter, who was our closing speaker.

Here are photos that were taken by Clare Calzada throughout the day.

USC Journalism Professor Robert Hernandez gives the opening remarks.

NBC National Correspondent Miguel Almaguer and Marcus Yam, L.A. Times photographer on a panel about covering disasters. Frank Girardot, CEO of Pegasus Communications moderated.

Fox 11 anchor Elex Michaelson and ABC 7 reporter Veronica Miracle talking about covering disasters.

Steve Padilla, foreign-national enterprise editor for the L.A. Times, talks about writing.

Eileen Truax, freelance journalist, Daniela Gerson, CSUN journalism assistant professor, and Leslie Berestein-Rojas, KPPC reporter, speaking at a panel on covering immigration.

Leslie Berestien-Rojas, KPPC reporter and L.A. Times reporter Cindy Carcamo on a panel about covering immigration.

Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil and Michael Fleeman, both freelance journalists on a Freelancing 101 panel. SPJ/LA board member Roberta Wax moderates.

Mekahlo Medina, NBC4 reporter, talking to an attendee after the panel on covering the LGBTQ+ community.

L.A. Times reporter Tre’vell Anderson moderates the panel on covering the LGBTQ+ community.

Marqueeda LaStar speaking to an attendee at a panel on covering the LGBTQ+ community.

KPPC Investigative Reporter Annie Gilbertson on a panel about investigative reporting for broadcast.

Carla Hall, L.A. Times editorial writer, on a panel talking about covering homelessness.

Union Rescue Mission board chairman David Dow, Tom Waldman, director of communications Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and Carol Sobel, private attorney speaking about covering homelessness.

Harriet Ryan, L.A. Times investigative reporter, gives the closing remarks.

Highlights from SPJ/LA’s Regional Conference: Tips on Data Reporting

L.A. Times senior writer Doug Smith. (credit: Clare Calzada)

One of the panels offered at SPJ/LA’s Region 11 Conference at the Universal City Hilton was a session on data reporting.

The panelists were Los Angeles Times senior writer Doug Smith, L.A Times digital editor Ryan Menezes, and KPPC’s data reporter Aaron Mendelson.

Smith walked the audience through how he used data to report on the city’s plan to build housing for those experiencing homelessness in city-owned parking lots.

Here is Smith’s presentation.

Menezes talked about how he uses data science to do data reporting. He talked about projects on crowded homes, campaign donations to gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom from the cannabis industry, the city’s controversial deferred retirement option program.

Here is a link to Menezes’ presentation.

KPCC data reporter Aaron Mendelson and L.A. Times digital editor Ryan Menezes.

Mendelson spoke about his investigation into behested payments made to Mayor Eric Garcetti from “individuals, businesses and foundations, some of which have won sizable contracts and crucial approvals from the city in recent years.”  He also gave six tips when using data.

Here is a link to Mendelson’s presentation.

Highlights from SPJ/LA’s Regional Conference: Photos from Friday night’s reception with Linda Deutsch

SPJ/LA kicked off its Region 11 Conference with a reception Friday evening featuring retired  Associated Press reporter Linda Deutsch.

Deutsch “held court” and spoke about her storied career. She talked about covering the March on Washington in 1963 early in her career to covering some of the biggest trials of the century, including the Manson murders, the O.J. Simpson and Menendez brothers trials and Michael Jackson’s child abuse trials.

Below are photos taken by Clare Calzada at the event.