Meeting Minutes for Oct. 27, 2009

Society of Professional Journalists
Minnesota Pro Chapter
Chapter Meeting
Date: Oct. 27, 2009
Location: Downtown/Southwest Journal, Minneapolis
Board members present: Scott Theisen, president;  Amanda Theisen, treasurer; Sarah McKenzie, Alyssa Ford, Andy Tellijohn, Joan Gilbertson, Art Hughes, Karen Lundegaard, and Justin Piehowski, directors

Absent: Nicole Garrison-Sprenger, past-president; Jeff Achen, secretary; Sarah Bauer, president-elect; Jane Kirtley director.

I.  Treasurer’s Report
-As of 10/26/09, Treasurer Theisen reported SPJ has a combined $30,336.19 in its checking account, savings account, and CD.  All pending expenses have been paid, including $999.27 to the Northwest Broadcast News Association to cover losses from the Midwest Journalism Conference.
-A. Theisen informed the board she has communicated with NBNA about         SPJ’s concerns about losses during the last conference.  She recommended     some changes, including making conference registration transferable but     non-refundable.  She will also talk to NBNA about having other organizations that participate in planning the conference contribute financially, as well.

II. FOI Update
-A. Hughes provided updates on the Open Meeting Act issue with the       Breckenridge School Board case brought up by WDAY-TV in Fargo.  Hughes     reported he has had conversations with WDAY’s news director, a reporter at the newspaper in Whapeton, a school board member, and the interim     superintendent.  Hughes will continue to monitor the situation, as the interim     superintendent will be done by the end of the year.
-Cameras in Courtroom:  A meeting is planned for Thursday, October 29th to     discuss the pilot project regarding cameras in Minnesota courtrooms.  Kirtley     had informed the board prior to the meeting she planned to attend and will     provide an update at the next meeting.
-Sela vs. Pulse mediation: Board members received an e-mail update on the     case from John Borger.  The case will likely be one of the first to highlight “first use” principles.  Borger said he’s standing by to file an amicus brief, if needed.

III. Programs
-Intern Night – McKenzie and A. Theisen reported that our Intern Night event     was a success.  Approximately 50-55 students from various colleges attended the event at KSTP-TV on October 20th.
-Bowling Night – S. Theisen reported minimal success at the Bowling Night     Social Hour event on October 12th.  Just six people attended, but fun was hadby all.  S. Theisen recommended more aggressive promotion if we plan more of these events in the future.
-November Event/upcoming events – The program committee will meet on Thursday, October 29th to sketch out upcoming events for the rest of the year     and into 2010.   Possible ideas include a panel or workshops on multi-media     journalism, covering the GLBT community, and a tour of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.  Committee will also start laying out plans for SPJ Holiday Gathering, sometime in December.
-Chris Hedges – Programming committee is still planning to invite Chris      Hedges to the area in the spring for an event, possibly in conjunction with the University of Minnesota.  A timeframe still needs to be laid out, but we’re     aiming for late April, possibly around Ethics Week.  S. Theisen said he was still waiting to hear from National SPJ on whether our chapter will receive a programming grant.
(Update: SPJ National has informed S. Theisen we did not receive a     programming grant.)
-Midwest Journalism Conference – Ford and A. Theisen are taking the lead on planning SPJ’s programs for the conference, set for April 16-17 at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington, Minn.  Tentative programs include a Friday morning session for freelancers, plus a session on the future of the newspaper industry.  A. Theisen is also looking for a keynote speaker for the Mark of     Excellence Awards luncheon on Friday, April 16th.

IV. Page One
-Wufoo Account – S. Theisen recommended the board upgrade its Wufoo     account and move our contest info from the Minnesota News Council’s     account. With a motion from Hughes, and a second from Gilbertson, the board     voted to spend up to $300 dollars to upgrade the Wufoo account and evaluate the spending needed six months from now.  The motion passed 9-0.

V. Membership
-S. Theisen gave an update on membership.  Chapter has lost about 20     members in the past few months because of non-renewals.  S. Theisen will     call a meeting of the membership committee in the near future to discuss recruiting more members and calling lapsed members to renew.  A discussion was also had about possibly inviting community journalists and bloggers to join the chapter.

VI. Other Business
-Next meeting is set for Tuesday, November 17th at 6:30 pm at the Star Tribune.

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

a.    On Oct. 13, Amanda Theisen moved that SPJ approves paying $998.27 to NBNA for the Midwest Journalism Conference losses. Jane Kirtley seconded the motion. The motion passes with 11 votes for and 0 votes against.

The meeting adjourned.
Respectfully submitted by Amanda Theisen, Treasurer
Date: Nov. 12, 2009