Board Minutes – 07/2000


Chicago Headline Club
Board of Directors Meeting

July 15, 2000

PRESENT: Marsha Barancik, Anna Marie Kukec, Howard Dubin, John Carpenter, Casey Bukro, Christine Tatum, Molly McDonough, Diane Monk, Ed Cooper, Pat Kosar, Sue Stevens, Rob Hess, Mary Myers, Tom LaPorte. Also, John McClelland and Jim Burke.

CALL TO ORDER: Barancik called the meeting to order at 8:55 a.m.

SECRETARY’S REPORT: The minutes for the June 21 board meeting were previously e-mailed to board members. Marsha moved to accept the minutes; seconded by Dubin. Approved by voice vote.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT: Barancik said the next meeting of the Lake County Journalists Association will be Monday, July 17, at Dan Friedlander’s office in Gurnee. This group wanted direction for its organization and research on other satellite clubs. Bukro offered that SPJ has a description of what satellite groups are. Some want to pay national dues and others don’t. Tatum stressed that they should pay national dues. Hess offered that at least the core leadership should be SPJ members; Dubin agreed. Barancik added that at next month’s meeting, we would further discuss and vote on our relationship with the Lake County Journalists Association as a satellite of the Chicago Headline Club.

Barancik also reported that efforts behind the marketing and partnership with various organizations are very intensive. Every week, she is meeting with newsroom leaders at newspapers, trade associations and other news outlets. She wants to make it clear to them that the Chicago Headline Club can be used as a tool. Co-sponsoring events, such as with First Tuesday, can draw hundreds of people. Building this partnership will help us to link with other organizations and avoid struggling to produce programs.

PROGRAMS: McDonough proposed a programs committee that would meet monthly and consist of Chicago Headline Club members. The committee would develop programs focusing on professional development, ethics and networking. She would like to attract new members and place a notice in an upcoming issue of Chicago Journalist. One co-chair would arrange Brown Bag programs and recruit speakers; another co-chair will handle After Hours/Networking events and recruit those speakers. Other committee members would handle publicity; media coverage in Chicago Journalist and the Web site; membership and chapter liaisons.

BEHIND THE BADGE: Cummings was absent, so McDonough provide flyers for the September 23 program. Early registration is $15 for members, $20 for non-members and includes continental breakfast. She suggested that we work together to market the program and act quickly.

MEMBERSHIP: Tatum has drafted three versions of a letter inviting journalists to become new members. They are addressed to 1999 attendees of the Lisagor banquet; the 2000 attendees; and the Lisagor winners. Methods of enticing new membership included an offer of a free Lisagor entry when a current member can convince at least one other person to join the club. About 250 letters will be mailed.

FOI: In Bob Roberts’ absence, Barancik said she would provide a copy of his report via e-mail.

ETHICS: Bukro introduced Jim Burke, chair of the Center for Ethics Outreach Advisory Board. He offered a draft proposal for a marketing plan. Dubin suggested that wallet-sized cards be prepared with the hotline number and Web site address. Tatum added that the program should not be used as a whistleblowing tool. Hess added that workplace issues should be addressed separately from ethics issues. Kosar noted that the program should be involved in issues involving the journalist’s relationship with the public.

CHICAGO JOURNALIST: Barancik wants to establish a plan to make the Chicago Journalist an offshoot of the Web site. The cost of the publication is a concern, and we are still looking at various options. She would like Monk to continue to be its editor. Its publication frequency and its printer will be examined. Monk added that she has adhered to her budget. Dubin said that we could pay someone to update our Web site, instead of leaving the burden to Steve Rynkiewicz. Kosar was concerned that many members may have access to the Internet at work, but cannot use it unless it is strictly for their jobs. McClelland added that both members and non-members should be part of this strategic plan, and audience research is needed. He also agrees with Dubin that Chicago Journalist is costly to produce. We also should look at how it relates to the club mission. The board should be ready by October with a decision so an agreement can be made by November. By December, they can start producing the product the board wants.

Myers said that Chicago Journalist should be relevant to the people in the newsrooms whom we are trying to attract as members. She doesn’t think that’s the case today, and questions the relevancy of the current columnists, particularly those who are PR people, have to working journalists. Myers added that we need to focus the Journalist on issues that people in the newsrooms are dealing with, and we need to be more edgier to become a “must read.” Hess noted that we are spending half of our Lisagor funds to produce the newsletter. Its time has past, and we must budget and focus on what’s more important to our members and our online efforts. Barancik added that we would continue to discuss this at the next board meeting.

MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY: Stevens said they are still updating information.

ADJOURNMENT: Tatum moved to adjourn the meeting; Bukro seconded. Motion passed by voice vote. Meeting was adjourned at 10:50 a.m.

Submitted by Anna Marie Kukec

Loyola University Chicago Headline Ethics Partnership Prepared by Jim Burke, Chairman Center for Ethics Outreach Advisory Board 847-949-6998; e-mail

Proposal for Marketing Plan
The purpose of this proposal is to draft an effective method for creating awareness among Journalists of a joint effort between Loyola University, Chicago Center for Ethics and The Chicago Headline Club to promulgate ethics in journalism. The four month, pilot program has three elements: 1) a phone line available to journalists into which they may call for ethics advice regarding their role as journalists. This advice might be used in news quotes or might be private conversations with trained ethics experts from Loyola University and Chicago Headline Club about how a journalist might handle a news story. 2) The formation of a joint committee made up of Loyola University ethics people and journalists to receive experience reports that emerge from the phone line use. The committee will form the advisory team whose role is to a) respond to calls to the phone line, b) conduct an ongoing evaluation of the phone line and c) consider the issues handled so that team learning can take place and 3) development and presentation of ethics training is anticipated to be offered to the advisory team. This training will begin in September, 2000 and the phone line established shortly after training takes place. Each call coming to the phone line will be handled by a member of the advisory team. The advisory team member will respond to the caller and will report the content and answer back to the full team. This information trail will create a learning experience and greater expertise in handling future ethics issues. The phone line will be established as soon as possible following training of the advisory committee. The telephone number will be given to journalists on a mailing list provided by the Headline Club.

Journalists will be asked to call the phone line and register before use. The registration will require the journalist’s name and media affiliation and a brief statement of how the journalist will use the line.