Board Minutes – 09/2007

Board of Directors meeting minutes
Sept. 19, 2007

President Kristen McQueary called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. at Bloomberg’s Chicago office.

Present: Kristen, Kathy Catrambone, Howard Dubin, Howard Schlossberg, Esther Cepeda, Melisa Goh, Dawn Reiss, Phil Kadner, Bonnie McGrath, Jane Hirt, Abdon Pallasch and Susan S. Stevens.

Minutes for Aug. 22, 2007 were approved with these corrections:
1. Phil Kadner was present
2. Freelance events will be ongoing activity, but not necessarily monthly
3. Ethics award was not given the past year, not two years

Treasurer’s report: Howard Dubin said $115,000 is in the treasury. The Brownlee kickoff brought in about $600 to the CHC Foundation for internships. We can take care of all our financial needs at the moment.

Freelance: Dawn said Jane Hirt of Red Eye, Jackie Fitzgerald of the Tribune and journalists from the Sun-Times and Chicago magazine will join two freelancers as presenters at the first session at 7 p.m.Oct. 2 at Columbia College. She expects about 50 people. Event will be free.

Programs: Kathy said Nate Hernandez was still working on venues for the Brownlee Series development sessions. Dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at Holiday Inn Mart Plaza for our six honorees. Awards are ordered. Event needs to be publicized.

First Amendment Forum: Herb Kraus set it for noon Thursday, Nov.1 at Loyola’s downtown campus, 13th floor Deane Hall in Lewis Towers, Michigan & Pearson. CHC will kick in $150 toward 75 box lunches. We co-sponsor with Chicago Journalists Association, International Press Club and Loyola University School of Journalism.

Students & Scholarships: Jane said Jon Seidel drafted a new call for mentors. Internships are being planned.

PR Newswire: Kristen talked with Mike Mannino, who confirmed they are canceling their agreement with us as of Jan. 1, 2008. This will cost us about $4,000 a year in lost revenue for our internship program. Howard Dubin will call Mike about continuing the training sessions, but limiting them to quarterly.

Lisagor: Kathy said help is needed. Melissa will work on promotions; Howard D on finances; Susan will seek judges at the national SPJ convention. Kristen said that the award categories should be reviewed and tweaked where necessary. Melisa offered to suggest changes in the online categories.

FOI: Phil reported on the status of the public access counselor’s independence. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has two concerns: 1. If she backs any legislation, Gov. Rod Blagojevich will probably veto it; and 2. The form of the office. Phil encouraged her to try to do something now – before she leaves office. He suggests a survey of media outlets – about what they’d like to have the public access counselor take on (to counteract foes, such as municipalities). Public Access Counselor Terry Mutchler will come up with basic questions and meet with the Illinois Press Association. If Illinois develops a Public Access panel, Phil believes its members should have staggered terms to avoid politics and a full-time attorney and staff to conduct administrative review hearings and issue binding rulings.

NFL: Kristen sent a letter opposing requiring press photographers to wear advertising. She said CHC reaction might have been to slow, but it was good practice. If you see anything that we should respond to, e-mail Kristen immediately.

SPJ Convention: Kristen, Howard Dubin and Susan plan to attend. Anyone else? If there’s anything you think we should talk to SPJ about, let us know. Dawn said something needs to be said about the freelance committee, which has caused a number of people to quit SPJ and some to ask for the return of their convention registrations. Dawn said SPJ President Christine Tatum admitted she lied about consulting freelancers regarding the National Geographic issue.

Court Access: Abdon said he met with the chief federal judge and might have a plan of action by our next meeting. Kristen asked Abdon to alert us if he sees an opportunity for us to write a letter or hold a forum. Howard D said it should be addressed at the 1st Amendment Forum. Abdon said he would try to talk with Herb.

Next month’s meeting: Kristen will try to get a more doable time and date because three board members cannot make Wednesday meetings. However, she wants to continue meeting every four weeks.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens