November 1999 Region 6 Report

After some early concern from the National organization, it turns out the 1999 convention in Indianapolis was profitable. The organization made $39,571. Convention attendance was down, many believe because of the Sunday through Tuesday timeline, and national leaders feared SPJ would lose money.

The Region 6 conference in Minneapolis will now officially include programs from Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and National Press Photographers Association. In addition, the conference will also include SPJ’s Taishoff Broadcasting Seminar. The Taishoff and NATAS (the group that sponsors the television emmys) connections will allow us to bring in at least two well-known speakers from broadcasting. We are discussing a number of ideas. If you have one, please let me know.

The conference is April 14 and 15 at the Sheraton Minneapolis Metrodome.

It will feature the annual Mark of Excellence student awards, the IRE seminars, an opening night reception, plus programs for journalists sponsored by the SPJ, NPPA and NATAS.

In addition, national SPJ president-elect Ray Marcano will be on hand for most of the weekend.

We will also have our annual regional meeting. I would like to extend it from one hour to two so we can get a chance to discuss issues and the direction of SPJ in the upper Midwest.

All chapters are required to produce at least four newsletters a year and include them in their annual reports. I received a very nice one from Madison Pro Chapter last week. I would like to be put on every one else’s mailing list so I can keep up with what is going on in the other chapters. Dave Aeikens, 3125 Maine Prairie Road #303, St. Cloud, MN. 56301.

Member recruitment and retension is crucial to the survival of our organization. Chapters should appoint someone to serve as membership chair. That person is the one responsible for membership lists and applications. It is important to update new members and know who has let their memberships lapse so they can be contacted about renewing. Many members sometimes don’t realize they have let their membership lapsed.

The membership chair also provides membership information to prospective members. The chair hands our national or chapter specific brochures. This can be done individually, in newsrooms and for certain and each program.

The Region 6 Membership Chair is Duchesne Drew of the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. He can help chapters in the region with membership questions and ideas for recruitment. You can reach him at You can also contact me.

Minnesota is hosting a holiday party for journalists Dec. 14 at the home of President-elect Judy Borger.
St. Thomas hosted a program Nov. 11 to discuss how well the media handles diversity. About 25 people attended.
Madison hosted a brown bag forum Nov. 17 about the erosion of Freedom of Information laws.

Remember to send you program announcements to the events calendar on the Minnesota Pro Web page. and also send them to me.

Have a good Thanksgiving
Dave Aeikens
Region 6 Director