Chicago Headline Club Board Minutes: Nov. 3, 2017

Board of Directors meeting
Fri. Nov. 3, 2017

President Ben Meyerson called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. Also present: Flynn McRoberts, Jason Martin, Patrick Boylan, Rob Elder, Susan S. Stevens, and by phone Kristen Schorsch, Alejandra Cancino, Howard Dubin, Dann Gire, Mike Ewing and Brandis Friedman.

October minutes: approved as corrected, with the “other” in the treasurer’s report changed to “total assets.” Those minutes are attached.

President’s report: Ben said we have had good traction on our statement about the shutdown of DNAInfo and Chicagoist, with Crain’s and Rob Feder both picking it up. We are offering those displaced employees free admission at our educational programs through 2018. We also will open the programs to others laid off. Discussion about reimbursement for Lisagor entries: we will not because it would be hard to track.

Treasurer’s report: Pat said our main expense was $3,800 to BetterBNC for the Lisagor contest. Total assets as of Nov. 1, 2017: $91,063.00,
We discussed eliminating our $20 annual local dues. It would reduce our income by about 6 percent. We could do it on a trial basis. The proposal was tabled.

Membership: Brandis said she and Mike are trying to redesign the membership brochure for a 5×7 postcard, highlighting benefits. She would like it done by Dec. 1.
Ben said he was continuing to discuss quick-swipe technology with SPJ headquarters for faster member signups.

Programming: Alejandra said Dann was still trying to secure the movie by Dec. 1.
She suggested a DNAInfo program of some kind. Email her with your suggestions.

FOI: Ben said the FOIAFest committee had a conference call to work on details. All the facilities are reserved at Loyola. Committee will send postcards to promote it. Committee hopes to get Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post as the keynote speaker. They hope to involve ProPublica.

Lisagor: Ben is working with Sara Harvey on the entry mailer, and expects it soon. If all goes well, it will be back from the printer before Thanksgiving for mailing. Susan said the mailing list needs updating. Patrick thinks he has the returns from this year. Ben will consult with Stan Zoller on that.

Lifetime Achievement Awards: Email your nominees to Flynn, Rob and Ben to add to their list of possibilities.

Watchdog: Jason has all the documents ready for the annual award. A panel of three academics and former journalists will review the submissions.

For a watchdog grant, he has a proposal for finishing a documentary on Chicago State University finances. He will circulate information to the board so it can vote next month.

Website: Mike said he will revisit it as he and Brandis work on the flyer, with the aim of making it better attract new members. Ideas? Email Mike.

Foundation: Susan moved that the board give the CHC Foundation $6,000 so it can increase the one scholarship and two internships to $5,000 apiece, up from $3,000. It will better serve students and heighten the profile to attract more entries. Board approved.

Priscilla Ruth MacDougall declines to host the summer fundraiser, the Brownlee Party, in 2018. It brings in about $1,000. CHC Foundation board rejected using a lakefront pavilion in Evanston. Susan suggested a CHCF Night at Millennium Park, asking maybe $10 for a raffle or something. Other ideas are sought. Brandis said she will work on other ideas.

Chicago Journalism Association banquet: Ben, Stan, Jason and Susan will attend to build bridges with potential new members. Pat will reimburse. Susan will call CJA President Allen Rafalson to try to learn what he will say, and will report back to Ben.

Illinois Eavesdropping Law: A concerned Bloomberg reporter brought up the issue of all-party consent for recording. Board discussed it, but took no stand.

NICAR conference: coming here in March. Kristen asked if we could sponsor something like a happy hour. Updates to come.

Meeting adjourned at 10:18 a.m. Next meeting: Fri. Dec. 1 at Bloomberg.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens, secretary