Board Minutes – 12/2009

December 4, 2009

Board Minutes

Board members present: Susan Stevens, Howard Dubin, Ken Davis, Micah Maidenberg, Tony Noce, Beth Konrad, Hilary Fosdal, Stephen Franklin, Steve Edwards, Abdon Pallasch

A correction to the November minutes was made Beth Konrad has not yet visited Crain’s to promote the Lisagor Awards.

Approval of the November minutes.

The Chi-Town Daily News wrote the Chicago Headline Club a letter explaining how their Watchdog grant funds were spent and included an itemized breakdown of their research expenses. Chi-Town Daily News expects to deliver a report using the research gathered using their Watchdog grant on March 8, 2010.

The Headline Club has never given a Watchdog grant to a group who did not produce coverage or a publication of some nature.

This year’s Watchdog grant giver has requested that more grants in smaller denominations are given out to journalists. Watchdog grants are typically given to freelancers for aid in research or to fund the release of documents. Smaller grants valued at $1,500 totaling $15,000 will be given out this year. The goal is to give out all the money so the CHC can go back to the donor and ask for more money.

The Watchdog Committee still needs to be formed. David Protess has decided not to join the Watchdog Committee, but Connie Fletcher has been added.

Shoshi Mabina sent in her updated resume which included her volunteer work with a political candidate. Until her candidate loses she will hold off being on the board. Bonnie McGrath is a political candidate in a judicial race and will hold off being on the board until the spring election. Wes Bleed is also working for a political campaign and will be taking a leave of absence from the board.

The AP bureau chief, George Garties, volunteered himself to be a board member. The board members nominated him and look forward to his attendance at the January 2010 meeting. The board is continuing to seek ethnically diverse candidates to recruit for the board.

Beth Konrad has requested a bylaw committee be created in order to review and update the Chicago Headline Club bylaws.

Susan Stevens informed the board that the new shield law includes 30 amendments. The definition of what a ‘journalist’ is has come into question. Susan will write a letter to Senator Durbin restating a wider definition of who should be considered a journalist.

Tony Noce has spoken with the organizers of the Silver Circle to ensure that our banquets do not coincide on the same dates as they did in 2009.

Sorting for the Lisagor Awards will take place at Kathy Catrambone’s residence and not at the Tribune Towers.

The Lisagor Awards is still seeking a local news celebrity to act as the keynote speaker.

All board members agreed to replace the silent auction with a raffle. Beth will review the bylaws to make sure that this is permissible as there was some question as to whether gambling was permitted at a Headline Club function.

Kathy Catrambone reported that 17 individuals have signed up for the third and final DMTI course on blogging. Overall the response to the workshops from the journalism community has been positive and the club has earned $500 from each session. A survey will be created by the programming committee and sent out to participants to get a better idea of how to improve future workshops and get input on what digital skills attendees are most interested learning.

Susan Stevens constructed a letter containing the CHC’s position on the use of confidential sources which is in support of the recent action taken by the Stevenson High School student newspaper.

Roderick Drew of the Chicago Police Department is expected to announce the new media credential rules on 12/4/09. Susan Stevens wants the rules to be distributed throughout the journalism community as quickly as possible for comments and reaction. Amendments to the proposed rules will take place during a city council meeting in February.

Micah Maidenberg reported that the first major membership mailing went out. Over 1,600 brochures were mailed.

Hilary Fosdal attended the FTC workshop in Washington DC title “How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?” and will post content on the website detailing her experience.

Hilary Fosdal informed the board that SPJ’s Digital Media Committee, which she is the chairwoman of, will be collaborating with Chicago’s Google office to create a free workshop for journalists on Thursday, January 21, 2009 from 6-8pm. More details will be available shortly and placed on the CHC website.

Howard Dubin reported that little has changed with the CHC’s financial situation.

Lisagor sorting sessions have been scheduled for Saturday, January 30, 2010 and Sunday, January 31, 2010. Non-English language judges will be necessary and Beth Konrad will look into finding such persons as needed.

All Chicago Headline Club board statements will be vetted by board members through e-mail for the sake of efficiency.

The Programming Committee is schedules to have Jim O’Shea speaking on the Chicago News Cooperative enterprise on January 21, 2010. More details will be available in the coming weeks and posted on the website.