SPJ Rio Grande Chapter Board Meeting
May 21 2015
On the call: Andy Lyman (chair), Megan Kamerick, Michael Marcotte, Jeff Proctor, Marisa Demarco, Elva Osterreich, Matt Grubbs, Tom Johnson, Andrew Oxford, Rachel Sams
Minutes from the previous meeting had already been approved and published
Membership report from Rachel Sams
● Rachel was not on the call but submitted this report via email ahead of Thursday’s meeting: Since our last meeting, we netted one new member, as five joined and four dropped off the roster. We’ve added a net total of five members year to date. Our goal for the year is 15; if we add three more by the end of June, we’ll be halfway there. Keep up your outreach efforts! One member dropped off the roster that I wanted to ask about David
Steinberg. I don’t know him, but I remember a couple of you did. Would someone who knows him be willing to reach out to him about reupping? Another member who dropped off the roster is Katherine Mozzone from KRQE, who I know and will reach out to about reupping.
One more note: I’ve been talking with Rory McClannahan of the Mountain View Telegraph about joining. He is president of the NMPA and wants to talk with us about SPJ having a mixer at the annual NMPA conference in the fall (it’s typically held at Tamaya out on Santa Ana Pueblo in late October.) I asked him for more specifics and when I get them, I’ll bring them to all of you for discussion.
Financial report from Mike Marcotte
● Andy is still consolidating bank accounts. The chapter’s finances are split with $110 in Guadalupe Federal Credit Union and $5375 in Nusenda Credit Union.
● The only expenditure since our last meeting has been $375 contribution to send Robert Salas (student chapter president) to represent us at the regional conference in Denver.
● Andy says he will follow up with the SPJ in Denver on our check for Top of the Rockies.
Communications report from Megan Kamerick
● Our website now features a “member showcase.”
● Marisa previously proposed FOIA Friday type events that would serve as skill shares for journalists and provide an opportunity to discuss story ideas as well as issues regarding access to public records. Megan said she now has a membership to the Albuquerque Press Club, which could serve as a venue for such events. Marisa said she will organize the first such event in June. Tom says
Susan Boe of NM FOG has expressed interest in participating. Jeff suggests a panel discussing this year’s changes to IPRA’s damages provisions (discussing, for example, “shaming in the post damages era of IPRA.”)
● Andy said Tristan Ahtone is receptive to participating in a panel on covering Native American communities and issues. Tom mentions freedom of information in tribes would be a particularly interesting and useful. It is suggested that we reach out to journalists who might have expertise in tribal records laws.
● Megan says she is also interested in developing a program jointly with JAWS.
● Tom suggests developing programs tailored to the needs of freelancers, such as connecting with industry conventions and diversifying multimedia skill sets.
● The Damon Runyon Award dinner in Denver could also serve as a model for our chapter, Tom said. Such an event could raise funds and draw prospective members while building name recognition.
● Andy suggests it could be particularly useful to have a workshop on shoestring budget multimedia production. NM SPJ has hosted a similar event in the past. Andy said he can help organize another such event.
Regional conference update from Tom Johnson
● Given how the regional conference has rotated from New Mexico to Utah and Colorado in recent years, it could be our turn to host again in April 2016, Tom said.
● Hosting the conference could require as much as $5,000, Tom noted. Denver reduced its costs this year by securing meeting space at area universities.
● Tom said the same could be done at UNM in Albuquerque. Accommodations would be a challenge, however, as there are not many quality hotels near campus. Santa Fe has several affordable hotels in walking distance, which could make it a better venue.
● There is support for New Mexico hosting the 2016 conference.
● Andy said he will solicit price estimates from a few hotels in the Albuquerque area. Tom said he will inquire about prospective venues in Santa Fe.
● Tom said attendance would be a maximum of 140 people. Dates in April 2016 can be flexible.
● Pricing information will be shared via email in approximately 10 days. The board will then decide whether to move forward with organizing the 2016 conference.
● Tom said the Utah chapter is interested in hosting if we are not but would like a response within the next two weeks.
● Message from Rachel: I’d like to discuss ideas for what SPJ can do on the issue of talented journalists leaving the profession and/or the state. This is a huge issue and one where we could potentially have a big impact. That could mean working with newsrooms on ways to retain and promote talented journalists; it could mean training opportunities, which could help people feel like they have a future here; it could mean an event bringing journalism leaders together to discuss ideas for how to address this; it could mean all of those things; or something else entirely. Not every talented journalist will stay in NM forever, or in the field forever. But I think NM can do better in terms of offering those people options if they do want to stick with it, and I’d like to start a discussion on how we can help.
● Megan followed up with IRE on workshop. She has not received a response.
Tom says he will follow up with IRE
● Mike notes the chapter is required this month to file materials for its annual audit with the national chapter. Mike said he has compiled the financial materials. Andy confirms all materials have been submitted.