September 1999 Region 6 Report

The 2000 regional conference is April 14 and 15 at the Sheraton Minneapolis Metrodome. I have sent a separate e-mail with more details you can send around and make into a poster.

Please promote the regional in your newsletters and other chapter correspondences. A complete registration form will be available after Jan. 1.

The regional will again be done jointly with the National Press Photographers Association. We are also looking at combining the regional with an SPJ nationally sponsored broadcast seminar, IRE and the Northwest Broadcasters Association to create a journalism festival. Stay tuned for more details.

Minnesota, Milwaukee and Madison Pros along with St. Thomas, Moorhead State and Marquette student chapters attended.

Delegates voted to donate $1,000 to National+s efforts to buy a new headquarters building in Indianapolis. About $4,000 now remains in the Region 6 account.

Delegates voted to require approval of the Milwaukee and Madison Pro Presidents and the Region Director for any checks written for more than $500.

In the future, when the RD is from Madison or Milwaukee, the Minnesota president will join the committee.

Delegates also voted to thank Anita Weier of Madison for her work as Regional Director.

Dave Aeikens of the St. Cloud (Minn.) Times was elected Region Director. He had 6 votes. Duchesne Paul Drew of the Star Tribune of Minneapolis had 3 votes. Drew has been appointed to serve on the national membership and diversity committees.

The Minnesota Pro Chapter has one of the most comprehensive media events calendars around on its Web page. ( Please free free to send your programs so they can be posted. E-mail items for the events calendar to Mike Knaak, the Minnesota chapter Web master, at

Region chapters won awards at national. The Minnesota Pro and University of St. Thomas student chapter were region chapters of the year. Congratulations!

Minnesota won the Circle of Excellence Award in the Freedom of Information category.

Cleveland was national large chapter of the year. Farthest North Chapter in Alaska was best small chapter.

Delegates pass resolution in support of policy

On Oct. 2 during last week+s national convention, SPJ’s board of directors adopted a policy limiting executive sessions, largely in response the outcry that followed the April 17 meeting in which the board weighed proposals to move SPJ headquarters to Indianapolis.

The board approved the move at a special (open) meeting in August, and closed on a property this month. Critics, including several former national leaders, said the action was inappropriate for a group that campaigns aggressively against closed meetings by government and public bodies.

In the future, meetings will close only for four reasons: Discussion of employment, discipline, compensation, resignation or performance of officials or employees who report directly to the board; consulting with attorneys on legal advice or litigation; considering real estate sales, leases or purchases; and complying with “a legally imposed requirement that matters be kept confidential.”

Two-thirds of the board would have to agree before a closed-door meeting can be held—a very high burden that advocates believe will serve as a potent deterrent.

Three days later, on Oct. 5, delegates to the convention unanimously approved a resolution from the Austin, Texas, chapter in support of the policy.

SPJ Business
National bought a new headquarters in Indianapolis. It is now trying to raise $1 million to pay for the $400,000 purchase and renovations. Plans are to move in next July.

The national board voted to start a new member category for college institutions.

That means student papers, broadcast outlets, magazines and on-line outlets can become SPJ members. More information will be coming out soon.

SPJ now owns a building in Indianapolis that will be refurbished over the next year to open in August. Donations for a $1 million capital fund-raising campaign are requested from members. So far we have raised about $125,000. If you have $50, $100 or $200 to donate toward the building fund, make checks out to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation in care of SPJ headquarters, 16 S. Jackson St., Greencastle IN 46135. This donation may be tax-deductible as a charitable donation; consult your tax adviser.

Three of the chapters in our region have Web pages. Check them out. They are very good and very useful.

Chapters without Web pages should consider it. It’s an easy way to communicate and be visible. If you want some suggestions for setting up a Web page. Please let me know.

As a requirement of keeping in good standing and to win the awards Minnesota Pro and St. Thomas won this year, chapter presidents must complete annual reports. They are not due until June. Your lives will be easier if you save the fliers, brochures and programs you create during the year and include them in your annual report.

The annual reports are used to judge how well chapters are doing and to provide ideas for other chapters. If you have a good idea that works, share it with another chapter.