Doland, Roberts Step Up to Board Duties

There’s good news to report. The chapter board is filled out at last, with key positions filled and ready to move ahead to make NM SPJ an important force in New Mexico journalism.

First, Gwenyth Doland, who had originally volunteered to serve as program chair, has agreed to step into the challenging position of Vice President-Development. In that role she will oversee membership growth, fund raising, job postings, and reach-out to other organizations. Gwenyth is the editor of the New Mexico Independent.

Next, board member Dennis Roberts has agreed to take over the Programs chair, with the support of other chapter officers. Dennis is a long-time member who served as president of the former New Mexico chapter, so he knows his way around the state’s journalism community.

Thanks to both of you.

Tweet! Tweet! @nmspj

By Betsy Model, president

TwitterLogoEarly birds know to tweet and the SPJ New Mexico chapter does too!  Want faster notice of the latest job postings, fellowship offers, contest opportunities and news critical to journalists in New Mexico?  Follow us on Twitter at @nmspj .  News and updates will continue to be posted here on the chapter’s website as well as weekly email blasts, but for instant news that can impact your career, look for Tweets that can change your paycheck.

Thanks for Gwenyth Doland for setting up this Twitter account for us. Gwyneth says that Tweeting will link our chapter with many journalists who are potential members, so it could be an important tool in the chapter’s progress to becoming a leading light in New Mexico journalism.

Board Plans Ways to Make Chapter a “Hub”

By David L. Brown, VP-communications

The board of the New Mexico Chapter met Thursday evening, February 25 via conference call. The board has set out on an aggressive path aimed at making our chapter a prime force in New Mexico journalism. A number of ideas were discussed, including strategies to expand membership, create worthwhile programs, raise funds, and generally increase communications between members and the journalism community.

The following members participated in the board meeting: Betsy ModelDavid L. Brown, Gwyneth Doland, Staci Matlock, Dennis Roberts, Christina Durano, Dan Vukelich, Bill Diven, and Pilar Armstrong. Region 9 Director John Ensslin attended as a guest.

Betsy Model, president, announced that with the agreement of SPJ National, the West Texas media market is now considered part of our chapter’s territory. We announced here last week that veteran El Paso journalist Tim Roberts has joined our chapter, and we hope to attract many more members from the West Texas area. El Paso journalists are located a daunting 750 miles from their nearest Texas SPJ chapter in Houston.

Dan Vukelich reported on conversations he had with about 20 journalists in the state, both members and non-members, to explore how SPJ NM can best serve the needs of the profession. He said those he spoke with are interested in networking opportunities, a “bridge to the real world” as he put it. They also want continuing education programs, even simple “brown bag” lunch meetings to learn about tools, tips and trends. It was suggested that meetings could be recorded as videos and linked on our website to allow others to share the experience.

Dan is developing a survey based on his research. He said he wants SPJ NM “to be a hub, not a spoke in the wheel of New Mexico journalism.” This is a good metaphor for the goals the board is setting for our chapter.

The board also discussed the idea of developing a “co-op” advertising model, where ads could be traded between our chapter website and those of media and other organizations. This would benefit both parties and build awareness of SPJ NM. Gwyneth Doland, editor of the New Mexico Independent, offered her organization to become the first participant.

Gwyneth has also taken the lead to establish a Twitter account for our chapter. We can soon be Tweeting each other, an especially timely and valuable form of communication, especially for “Jobs & Gigs” opportunities. See details in the next post.

Bill Diven raised the point that there are a number of photojournalists in the state, and that many reporters are required to produce stills and even video when covering stories. He suggested that programs relating to these visual skills might be a good way to extend our reach into this area while helping non-photographer members cope with these new demands.

John Ensslin gave a brief Region 9 report, including a plug for the Regional Conference to be held in Denver April 9-10. More details on this will be coming soon, so watch this site and make plans to attend if you can.

John also announced that he is running for a seat on the SPJ national board as secretary-treasurer. Good on you, John! Voting will take place during the national convention in Las Vegas, NV later this year.