Jan. 20, 2017, minutes

NINA minutes

Dickerson called to order at 10:02 a.m.

Guest: Jonah Nink, editor in chief, Stargazer, St. Charles North

Present: Dan Campana, Jason Akst, Roger Ruthhart, Rick Nagel, John Etheredge, Jim Fuller, Penny Wiegert, Pat Szpekowski, Wally Haas, Tom Parisi, Kathy Balcazar, Margarita Mendoza, Eric Olson, Shelley Hendricks

Absent: Stan Zoller, Tom Martin, Jim Slonoff, Tammie Sloop, Diane Dungey, Jeff Rogers

Minutes: Akst sent them to Dickerson and Ruthhart. We will review them in March.

Treasurer’s report: No report.

Executive Secretary report: Hendricks will get plaque invoice to Akst. BGA event: Interest? Akst will call to see if BGA wants to move it to fall.

President’s report: EIU letter response from president … put it on file for future letters of support. Dickerson will bring materials for this file next meeting. Committee appointments on agenda. List of board members and ends of terms.

Training committee: Event Feb. 23. Dan was a huge help putting event together. Please RSVP ASAP. How do we get the word out? Contact PIOs in coverage area. State’s attorneys.  Let’s make a goal of 50 people to attend the Working the Beat session. Hendricks check room capacity.

Outreach committee: Met earlier today. Everyone needs to be administrator of the FB page. Everyone feel free to post, especially when it gets slow. We should have at least one post a day, preferably 3, 4 or more. Only post on the even-numbered hours. Subject matter: Trending topics of interest to journalists, journalism education news, how-to material such as lists. We can post original content.

We need to migrate email list to Gmail. Two major dist lists: 1 for board, 1 for membership. Need to make NINA more about gaining individuals than media orgs. Networking, best practices, career development. Hendricks will compile a list. Share info with her to build list. List will be used to distribute newsletter. Nagel will get a template going w/MailChimp or Constant Contact. Kathy says that committee members are reaching out to people to grow membership. Each member needs at least 1 new member.

Education committee: Annually approve funding for the program. We gave $1,000 away last year. Nagel is donating $150 to the NINA scholarship fund. Ruthhart moves to approve $1,000 scholarship ($150 from Nagel). Wiegert seconded. Motion carries on voice vote. Ruthhart and Zoller presented at  Northern Illinois high school journalism program this spring at College of DuPage. Ruthhart suggests working with the NIU Communication Department to help attract students. Will wait for new chair. Also we could adopt a high school newspaper for a year.

Contest committee: Will use last year’s committee findings and determine whether  we need to come up with recommendations for next contest year. There was some support for keeping the same categories and adding a specialty category such as election coverage.There could be subcategories. Topics to be discussed at a committee meeting include whether we are are we trading with Southern Illinois group and how to get bigger papers to enter.

Old biz: Dickerson contacted Don Craven, general counsel to the Illinois Press Association, who sent articles of organization for NINA. We are in good standing. He has been filing this every year; however, the  2016 filing is out of date. Dickerson will send info along to get it updated. Dickerson will investigate TIN number for Akst to help satisfy questions for the department.


  • Board prez col. RR year in review
  • Nagel story: Rhino story with photo from Jay.
  • Scholarship info
  • Feb event
  • Managment/leadership
  • Website: Need to update new members on website.
  • NINA members go out to speak by the end of Feb. All members should speak to students.
  • Bylaw update: Review membership bylaws. Who’s a journalist? Look at IPA criteria. Rules to exclude membership. Jay will look into it. Jay will talk to any membership applicants that are odd.
  • Printing: WIll try to reduce and bring in.

Adjourn: 11:35 a.m.