Board Minutes – 12/2011

Chicago Headline Club

Board of Directors meeting

Fri. Dec. 16, 2011

President Stephen Franklin called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. Present: Kristen Schorsch, Suzanne McBride, Howard Dubin, Fabiola Pomareda, Abdon Pallasch, Odette Yousef, Flynn McRoberts, Beth Konrad, Susan S. Stevens, and by phone Alden Loury, Rumanna Hussain, Rob Elder, Aimee DeBat.

Susan was asked to be acting secretary and accepted. Still need a permanent secretary, also several committee chairs.

President’s report: Steve knows someone who might do the FOI directory of officials in the 5-county area, which will be funded by the McCormick Foundation access grant. He also is looking for someone to do the upcoming FOI website of news about local, county and state government. These will be paid positions. We’d also like to do a list of experts for the website.

Discussion of U.S. District Judge James Zagel’s decision to not require Tribune and Sun-Times reporters to disclose notes of interviews with Cellini trial jury. Steve and Beth already have been quoted in the papers. We decided to issue a statement, saying it’s not good enough for the ruling to have been because the judge didn’t think the notes contained anything important. Susan will draft statement and send it to Steve, Alden, Abdon and Beth to OK before distribution. (Done Sun. Dec. 18.)

Programs: the Sun-Times Pulitzer winners drew about 30 people for a panel discussion. Abdon noted it was the first time all three were together to talk about it. Susan did an article that’s on

We have planned and need to publicize:

–Jan. 24 We will co-sponsor with the Northwestern student chapter a pre-election program with the Knight News Innovation Lab at Medill’s downtown campus.

–Jan. 25 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. We will co-sponsor with the Loyola student chapter an appearance by Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. Regents Auditorium in Lewis Towers, 820 N. Michigan Ave.

–A “boot camp” will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a Saturday in February or March, with a Google presentation and Rob Elder on the use of social media in reporting. We hope to have this at the Google office.

— Also in February, FOI training with the Illinois Press Association and Chicago-Kent College of Law, at Kent.

— Scribe Aid has been delayed until warmer weather.

Brian Pitts has declined to be Program Committee chairman. Odette has agreed to step up.

Executive Director’s report: Aimee sent a copy of the Lisagor mailing to board members to check. She will send it soon. She has input all of the information needed for online judging. New this year because it will be possible with the online conversion: a single entry can be submitted in multiple categories. Additional fees will be charged.

            Lisagor entry deadline: Feb. 8.

            Next year, we will add a criminal justice category.

            SPJ will pay for 400 mailings, we have to pay for the rest.

            Speaker for banquet was discussed. Ira Glass will be asked.

Website: Jon Seidel reported via Aimee that he and Steve met to discuss updates. Jon is highlighting member services and adding internals.

Watchdog grants: We agreed with Kristen’s recommendation to give freelancer John Wasik $1,500 for a probe of the cosmetics industry. Wasik is a veteran journalist; we hope to inspire more newcomers to apply for this Driehaus Foundation funding for independent investigations.

Meeting adjourned at 10:40 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan S. Stevens

Immediate past president