NINA Board minutes
10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 7, 2012
Northern Star Office, NIU-DeKalb
Present: (12) Larry Lough, Marc Colosimo, Jim Killam, Jim Slonoff, Sharon Boehlefeld, Kathy Gresey, Roger Ruthhart, Jason Schaumburg, Penny Wiegert, Jason Akst, Dirk Johnson, Wally Haas
Guests: Shelley Hendricks, Patrick Boylan
Absent (6): Randy Swikle, John Etheredge, John Puterbaugh, Lonny Cain, Jeff Wisser, Nick Swedberg
Three board seats are open.
Schaumburg called the meeting to order 10:05 a.m.
July 20 minutes were approved unanimously. (Wiegert motion / Ruthhart second)
Slonoff reported balances of $10,084.27 in checking and $5.94 in savings. The checking balance reflects expenses of $800 in scholarships to high school seniors and $1,000 in scholarships to NIU students; and revenue of $335 in dues and miscellaneous conference fees.
Executive Secretary’s Report
Johnson reported that plans are set for the Oct. 18 Fall Conference. Keynote speaker will be Andy Shaw, president of the Illinois Better Government Association. Annual awards will be announced, along with the winner of the NINA Excellence in Journalism Award. The 50th anniversary event will be held at the NIU Convocation Center, with dinner to precede the program. The event will cost $15 for NINA members and employees of member organizations, and $25 for others. This reflects the NIU Department of Communication’s offer to subsidize the cost in order to keep prices down.
Schaumburg said the task force retreat is set for 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28 at the Northern Star. This involves eight board members and will focus on NINA’s mission and how the organization should be structured to meet that
Lough reiterated Fall Conference plans for Oct. 18 at the Convocation Center.
The evening’s program is:
6-7 p.m. cash bar
7 p.m. dinner
7:45 program, with keynote speaker Andy Shaw
Killam will put together a music/slide show for the evening, to mark NINA’s 50th anniversary.
Resource Committee / Communication Coordinator
Killam will produce the fall newsletter and have it ready to be mailed and published online by late next week.
The board discussed how to notify the winner of the Excellence in Journalism Award, which carries a $1,000 prize. At issue was whether to notify the winner in advance or to name finalists in advance and then announce the winner at the banquet. Ruthhart moved that the board notify the winner in advance and invite him/her to the dinner and to speak briefly about the winning work. Motion was approved 11-1.
After the banquet, Killam will send a press release to various trade publications about the contest and the winner.
Patrick Boylan, publisher of the Welles Park Bulldog in Chicago, asked NINA to write a letter to the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor regarding a Freedom of Information Act dispute between the Bulldog and the Chicago Public Schools. The dispute is over whether Local School Councils are public bodies and subject to Illinois’ open records law. The board’s consensus was to not write a letter because it would have no bearing on the Attorney General’s action, but to encourage the Bulldog to go ahead and file an opinion request with the Public Access Counselor, cc’d to NINA President Schaumburg. Boylan will keep in touch with Schaumburg as this process moves forward.
Boylan also suggested that NINA consider developing resources to improve objectivity and professionalism of online publications. He’s also talking with the Chicago Headline Club about this, and will keep NINA informed about progress.
Next meeting: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, prior to Fall Conference at Convo
Adjourn 11:10 a.m.