SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Monday, Feb. 5, 2018
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
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
d. Diversity –
e. Ethics – Bellman
f. FOI – Zahniser
g. Generation J – Bluestein
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
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
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.
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