February 8, 1999 Meeting Minutes

Members Present
Dave Aeikens, president; Steve LeBeau, president-elect; Mike Knaak, treasurer; Kathleen Hansen, secretary; Judith Borger, Karen Boros, Jim Durkin, Mark Neuzil, board members

Thanks to Jim Durkin for hosting the meeting and providing refreshments.

Regional Program Report
The SPJ Regional/ National Press Photographers Association meeting on April 16 and 17 is starting to come together. Dave Wertheimer sent out program and registration information to a number of NPPA members via e-mail just before the February 8 meeting.

Karen Boros suggested changing the topic for the session she is responsible for. The group agreed. She will line up some recent j-school grads to talk about getting their first job. She will find two and Hansen will find two. Borger will ask Don Wyatt to moderate (he later agreed). Gary Hill is working on the panelists for his session (he has lined up Paul Hannah, Lucy Dalglish and Bill Babcock and contacted Bill Tierney). Aeikens is lining up the CAR panel and will do the session with Deb Hurley on “Building Your Chapter.” (NOTE: Hurley has withdrawn. We need a replacement). Hansen has the MN student chapter working on doing the second “Building Your Chapter” session. Rob Daves has agreed to do the Ventura Polls session. Other panelists suggested were Dean Barkley, Nancy Zingale and someone from the Voter News Service. LeBeau said he will ask Barkley; Neuzil will ask Zingale; Hansen will ask Pyle.

Knaak reported that the funding group has raised $500 each from the St. Cloud Times and the Rochester Post-Bulletin, and $300 from the Mankato Free Press. Together with the $500 from the NPPA, that brings the total raised to $1,800.

Thill will try to get postcards out by February 15 to members and to newsrooms in Region 6. The formal program (in tri-fold registration form) will be sent by March 1.

Knaak and Aeikens will try to get the right mailing lists from national in time for these mailings.

Monthly Programs
The discussion about what direction to go in future programming was deferred until the next meeting, when more members will hopefully be present.

Presidency and Elections
Steve LeBeau has resigned as president-elect due to his job as press secretary for the Lieutenant Governor.

Aeikens will ask Thill and Maxwell to serve on the elections committee. Hill has been asked to step in as president-elect, due to his long-time affiliation and excellent institutional memory. He is thinking about it.

All officers (except Aeikens), and Kupchella, LeBeau, Borger, Durkin, Neuzil and Dalglish will have to decide if they are going to run for reelection. Terms expire on June 30. Durkin and Neuzil indicated they may not run again.

FoI Report
The chapter had a very busy month. Aeikens submitted several letters for the file, including exchanges between SPJ and the officials involved in the Bancroft case. Aeikens is trying to set up a meeting between SPJ officers and Weaver and Olson. City Pages carried an article about the Bancroft case.

Officials in Rochester also received letters regarding treatment of photographers who were prevented from taking pictures of King Hussein’s arrival at the airport in Rochester. Dave Pyle from the Associate Press also wrote in protest.

On legislation moving through the Minnesota legislature, SPJ officers sent letters saying a bill to make the names of feedlot owners private was bad; and that a bill to make dates of birth of victims and witnesses to crimes private was also bad.

SPJ sent letters to Senators Harkin and Wellstone thanking them for their efforts to keep the impeachment trial deliberations open to the public.

Aeikens sent a press release to all newsrooms saying that when the Information Policy Task Force issues its report SPJ officers are available to comment.

Woedele has agreed to sit down with SPJ officers to discuss the governor’s position on information access. Aeikens will follow-up on that with a letter proposing a time and place.

Finance Report
Knaak reported that the chapter’s current balance is $11,016.71

Thill will send out notices on the regional meeting to members.

Media Guide
Boros and Neuzil reported on the meeting between SPJ members and the Coon Rapids printer interested in taking on the job. Advertising sales would be solicited by the printer, who would keep the proceeds. SPJ would keep the proceeds from sales of the book. The Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce has an interest in possibly making the book available to their members. Boros gave the Chamber 11 boxes of the old guide to prime the pump. There are 14 boxes left in Boros’ possession. One box was given to the governor’s office. The woman who agreed to do the data entry for the next edition has been promised a contract.

This has to be discussed when Kupchella is at a meeting.

Membership Report
The SPJ table at the MNA conference was a success in generating visibility and interest. Many journalists from outstate weeklies took brochures; people who were already members appreciated seeing the group represented at the conference. Total expenses for having the table were $250.00.

The raffle box was opened. All entries will be added to the recruitment list. The free membership winner was John Mattson from the Thief River Falls Times. The two T-shirt winners were Brady Slater from the Austin Daily Herald and Twyla Ring from the North Branch Post Review. Ten media guide winners were:

Diana Tschew from the Lack County Echo, Margo Ashmore from the Northeaster North News, Doug Terfehl from Sun Newspapers, Sharla Bengston from the Wood Lake News, Mary Eislinger from the North Branch Post Review, Rose Jankirk from the Spring Valley Tribune, Mike Marsnik from the Stillwater Gazette, Laurie Carlson from Lillie Newspapers, Sue Webber from the Sun-Post and Mary Erickson from the Monticello Times.

Page One Contest and Banquet
Borger and Maxwell have made the judging arrangements. The board passed a motion to use Incentive Services for the plaques, certificates and folders again this year.

Borger reported that there was an issue about how to handle the actual judging. After discussion the board agreed to “farm out” the entries to appropriate experts in each category.

Hansen will send a letter to LeBeau who will deliver it to the governor issuing the invitation to appear as the keynote speaker for the banquet. We will shoot for May 25, 26 or 27. The group agreed to try to get the Radisson Metrodome for the dinner.

Next Meeting
The next meeting will be Monday, March 8 at 6:00 at the Star Tribune.