January 2000 Region 6 Report

Region 6 Director Dave Aeikens and Minnesota Chapter President Gary Hill met January 12 with national SPJ staff members Tammi Hughes and Liz Ellis at KSTP-TV in St. Paul.

The SPJ staff wanted to know about plans for the regional that features the SPJ Taishoff Broadcast Seminar. We provided them with details of our progress on what we are calling Journalism Festival 2000, a joint conference with SPJ, National Press Photographers Association, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

National plans to help us print brochures for the conference. A mailing will go out February 1 announcing the journalism festival and telling people how to arrange hotel accommodations. Another will got out March 1 that includes the registration form and full schedule.

The conference fees have been set. Students will pay $25; member professionals $45 and non-members $55. The fee includes two lunches and the opening night reception.

Ellis and Hughes said SPJ national headquarters is now fully staffed and staff are working on keeping the national Web page up to date, on improving a cumbersome membership tracking process and improving Quill magazine.

They are available to help you with questions about membership, programs, fund-raising and whatever else your chapter needs. The number is (765) 653-3333.

This year’s regional conference will offer the opportunity for 10 people to attend through a $200 fellowship thanks to grants from Region 6 and the Taishoff Memorial Fund.

There will be five fellowships available for student SPJ members who attend a college or university in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Five more will be available to students or journalists with no more than three years of experience at broadcast a organization.

Applications will go out in the next two weeks or so. Winners will be announced in March.

Those of you in student chapters with small bank accounts may want to look at these as a way to get students to the conference.

Chapters are required to do four newsletters each year. So far, I have only seen one from Madison, Wis. When your chapter does produce a newsletter, please send a copy to me, national headquarters and to national President Kyle Niederpreum.

Here are the addresses:

Tammi Hughes
16 Jackson St.
PO Box 77
Greencastle, In. 46135-0077

Kyle Niederpruem
Indianapolis Star-News
307 N. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, In. 46204
(800) 669-7827 ext. 9385

National Board member Mark Scarp of Phoenix has been appointed to a committee that will look at ways to restructure the national board, the convention and related issues.

If you have any ideas for him, you can reach him at mscarp@aztrib.com. As membership declines and some chapters struggle to stay afloat, this has become an increasingly crucial topic.

The Minnesota Chapter stepped up recently in a couple of Freedom of Information issues. After two cable-access reporters were arrested and had their videotape taken at a reception for public officials in a St. Paul suburb, the chapter wrote a letter saying it was wrong. Former FOI director Lucy Dalglish was quoted in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Also, President Gary Hill testified before the Senate Panel on Data Privacy Jan. 11. His comments can be found on the Minnesota Web page. www.mnspj.org

The chapter also responded when House Republicans offered new privacy laws. Hill was quoted in the two largest papers in the state and in an AP wire story.

Here is the place where chapters can share information about what they are doing. No chapters reported anything this month.

Dave Aeikens