Meeting Minutes for Sept. 15, 2009

Society of Professional Journalists
Minnesota Pro Chapter
Chapter Meeting
Sept. 15, 2009
KSTP TV, 3415 University Ave., Saint Paul
Board members present: Scott Theisen, president; Sarah Bauer, president-elect; Nicole Garrison-Sprenger, past-president; Amanda Theisen, treasurer; Jeff Achen, secretary; Sarah McKenzie, Alyssa Ford, Joan Gilbertson, Karen Lundegaard; Justin Piehowski, Art Hughes, Andrew Tellijohn and Jane Kirtley directors.

I. Reports

II. Upcoming programs

a. Board discussed the upcoming “Comment Conundrum” panel event Sept. 29 and Intern night Oct. 22. There was also discussion of a grant opportunity from SPJ National for programs. Board Member Jane Kirtley suggested bringing journalists and author Chris Hedges to the University of Minnesota and making that an SPJ sponsored event, possibly a book signing too. This could possibly be tied into the grant program.

b. Board Secretary Jeff Achen recommended video interviews with guest speakers and prominent journalists as content for the chapter web site. One possibility is to have testimonials from these speakers as to the importance of supporting SPJ.

c. Board Member Jane Kirtley, who sits on the SPJ National Ethics Committee, updated the Board on ethics changes. There is the possibility of a summit to rewrite the code of ethics, grants to allow local chapters to hold what have previously been “Ethics Week” events “as they concieve them”, and that these ethics changes are all still in the talking stages.

d. The Board discussed hosting more social mixers for membership. One has been planned for Oct. 12 at Memory Lanes/Flashback Cafe, 2520 26th Ave. S. Minneapolis at 6 p.m. Membes of the technology committee have agreed to update the chapter’s Facebook and Twitter pages with event information.

III. FOI update

a. Board member and FOI Committee Chair Jane Kirtley provided an update to Freedom of Information issues. On the matter of cameras in the courtroom, Jane said a pilot program is exploring the impact of cameras on witnesses and victims in court proceedings. The program will run 18 months starting this year.

IV. Committee Assignments reviewed. (updates in bold)

a. Programming – Alyssa Ford & Sarah McKenzie, co-chairs; Scott Theisen, Karen Lundegaard, Amanda Theisen, Jeff Achen members. Karen Lundegaard was suggested as an additional member.
b. Finance/Fundraising – Amanda Theisen, chair; Joan Gilbertson, Scott Theisen, Nicole Garrison-Sprenger, members.
c. Membership – Sarah Bauer, chair; Scott Theisen, Art Hughes, Andy Tellijohn, members.
d. FOI – Jane Kirtley, chair; Art Hughes, member
e. Page One Contest/Judging – Sarah Bauer, chair; Karen Lundegaard, Amanda Theisen, Jeff Achen, Alyssa Ford, Nicole Garrison-Sprenger, members.
f. Page One Event Planning – Joan Gilbertson, chair; Karen Lundegaard, Alyssa Ford, Sarah Bauer, Sarah McKenzie, members.
g. Student Chapters – Amanda Theisen, chair; Joan Gilbertson, Andy Tellijohn, members.
h. Technology – Jeff Achen, chair; Sarah Bauer, Scott Theisen, Justin Piehowski, members.
g. Scott Theisen, president, created a new committee: Communications – Nicole Garrison-Sprenger, chair; Sarah McKenzie, member.
V. Membership goals

a. New SPJ National President Kevin Smith has set a goal of 1,000 new members.

b. There is discussion of whether or not to recruit citizen journalists.

c. The Board also discussed the need to get more of our chapter’s members involved in our committees.

d. Board Secretary Jeff Achen mentioned initiating a video promo project for membership in cooperation with Chuck Olson.

VI. Region Six report

a. Board Treasurer and Region Six Director Amanda Theisen said the Region Six Mid-west Journalism Conference is scheduled April 16-17, 2010.

VII. Online actions taken via email since last board meeting:

a.    Past-president Nicole Garrison-Sprenger posted notice Sept. 11, 2009 that the final 2009 ranking by SPJ National of our chapter is 4 stars. Four-star chapters would receive a 35 percent discount off the price of registration for two delegates to attend the national convention. Four-star and three-star chapters would be recognized annually in Quill and awarded a certificate at the national convention. Such chapter would also be recognized at regional conventions. Typically, any extra bags from the national convention would be divided first among four-star chapters, then to three-star chapters. Unfortunately, we have no leftover bags from this year’s convention. Improved chapters (those making the step to the three- and four-star level) will be recognized at the national convention. SPJ Headquarters will finance one chapter mailing (i.e. newsletter, regional conference information) for four-star chapters.

b. President-Elect Sarah Bauer posted on Sept. 3 that our domain name has expired and needs to be renewed with

c. President Scott Theisen moved that the chapter reimburse the Silha Center $250 for expenses related to the Town Hall program. Joan Gilbertson seconded. Jane Kirtley, Director of the Silha Center, recused herself from the discussion and vote. The motion passed with 7 yes votes and 0 no votes.

The meeting adjourned.
Respectfully submitted by Jeff Achen, secretary
Oct. 9, 2009