Board Minutes – 02/2005


Chicago Headline Club
Board of Directors Meeting

February 23, 2005

President-Elect Meg Tebo called the meeting to order at 12:05 p.m.

Present: Meg, Molly McDonough, Michelle Stevens, Abdon Pallasch, Deb Cohen, Casey Bukro, Jason Jedlinski, Mary Wisniewski, Steve Rynkiewicz and Susan S. Stevens.

Minutes of the last meeting were approved as read.

Meg said a 5-member slating committee will be named next month. Send your suggestions.

Bylaws committee came up with changes which it will OK the following week, then circulate. One change is major, and will align CHC with SPJ in terms of officer qualifications. Other changes are minor. A special April meeting will introduce the changes to members; a May membership meeting will vote on them.

SPJ’s 2005 convention: note that it has been changed to Oct. 16-18, back a week.

2006 convention: Molly met with SPJ Executive Director Terry Harper and President-Elect Christine Tatum to discuss the 2006 convention. Brownlee Awards will be folded into the opening reception and a Brownlee Series educational track will be included in the professional development workshops. Details about revenues and venues need to be worked out.

Raw Voices, which promotes teens in media arts with workshops, asked us for $1,000. Abdon moved to give them $500. Passed.

Regional Conference here in April will have broad-based programs. Rich Roth and Barb Iverson are organizing it.

Internships-scholarships: Paula Brien needs professionals to judge. Also, let her know any changes you’d like.

FOI program: McCormick Tribune Foundation requested input on FOIA activities and help on a program in the fall. (Meg contacted them after the meeting and will meet with them March 9.)

PRN: Howard Schlossberg is working on the annual series, which PR Newswire wants to expand. Perhaps not all will be at “sunrise,” to accommodate suburban attendees.

Ethics: Casey reported an updated Web site, thanks to Howard Dubin’s staff, with downloadable poster and wallet cards: A mailing of 5,000 went out last month, resulting in 13 calls last week alone.
David Ozar was interviewed on NPR. Transcript and audio at Quill will run an article in April. Ozar will speak in New York in April. Casey will submit the quarterly report to the SDX Foundation, a heavy funder. I will send it on to CHC board members when Casey finishes it.

Casey was turned down in his request for $1,000 for an Ethics Week program. Meg suggested we link with Columbia College, which will have a group attend “Story” at the Goodman, based loosely on Janet Cooke. Jason suggested a program on bloggers, maybe with Jim Romensko and Eric Zorn.

Ethics in Journalism Awards: two nominations were submitted. Casey asks for board member suggestions – by March 4. Abdon suggested Anna Davlantes of Channel 5, who was threatened. Jason suggested John Kass of the Tribune, who reported on the threat to Anna after a threat to his own family.

Lisagor: Steve reported 870 entries. We are trading with five chapters. Call Steve if you would like to judge. Judith Miller of the New York Times agreed to speak at the banquet.

Richard H. Driehaus Foundation: Molly will meet with the executive director to discuss an investigative reporting award tentatively called the Watchdog Award. Driehaus wants to give us $15,000 the first year and $10,000 the next four years in exchange for making the award. The Driehaus board still has to OK it, and Molly believes time is too tight for this year’s Lisagor Awards. The money CHC would receive could be used for watchdog reporters who need help with such things as legal fees and FOI-related expenses. We would need to set up extensive criteria and hire an administrator, Molly said.

Membership: Jason reported more than 80 new members since fall for a total of 450 (which puts us up to where the numbers were when yours truly was membership VP). Jason asked that our mail service do some clerical work at $15 an hour. Motion that we agree to pay for up to 10 hours a month for six months, with the helper coming back to us if the work amounts to more than 10 hours. We will re-visit the matter in six months. Passed.

Web design: Jason will bring proposals to the next board meeting and will chair a committee. Deb will help. Anyone else interested?

Treasurer’s report: Howard sent a statement with total assets $136,155.90, EAJ Grant for the Ethics AdiceLine of $16,694.30 and SPJ pro development grant of $350. He notes the influx of Lisagor Entry money put us to our highest point of the year, as it does each year.

Programs: we had 35 people at the Dick Devine brown bag. Molly moved that we send Devine a letter that asks him to reaffirm that assistant state’s attorneys can talk to reporters. Abdon will draft the letter.

Gridiron: Mary was appointed chair of a committee to possibly revive the show.

Youth Communications: Molly said we got no response to our offer of $2,000 to help pay for an alumni event to reorganize the group. We will give them until March 31 to accept.

Meeting was adjourned at 1:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens