Saturday, March 28, 2009

Press Club Meeting: Board & Officers Election

  1. Opening Remarks
  2. Treasurer’s Report
  3. Conference Discussion
  4. Contest Discussion
  5. Member Poll
  6. Election of New Officers
  7. Photo of New Board
  8. Adjournment
Conference Discussion
  • So much Alaska media is Anchorage-centric; it’s interesting to see how Anchorage frequently controls the narrative. With the demise of “AK” in particular, might a statewide theme be appropriate?
  • There are two audiences to the Press Club (traditional media and new media); should the club be changing into something new? Traditional journalists might not be as happy with the new direction.
  • When you’re the only reporter in a small community, an annual conference is a great opportunity to have your work reviewed and adjudicated, to interact with other journalists, and communicate.
  • Should we poll members to see what they think about a new direction?
  • There’s a huge value to the Press Club and the conference for those members who are not in Anchorage. Keep people more involved by having multiple smaller events rather than one big annual event.
  • What happened to the Polar Bear? It was supposed to be replaced by an e-mail newsletter.
  • There are a lot of basic responsibilities involved in the conference and the contest; it’s hard to get extra things done.
  • There are a lot of people who can’t be here today, so it would be nice to hear from the membership. The new media seminars were popular and helpful. The diversity of types of media this year was great and should be continued. The days of focusing on just one medium are over. You have to be agile.
  • For next year’s theme, we need to take a hard look at who we’re training for future jobs and what those jobs will be. What’s the potential for a job in this state and Outside?
  • Entrepreneurial journalism — how do you get the job done when the institution isn’t there? Grassroots journalism is becoming more important.
  • We have to look at the lack of diversity in Alaska’s press corps. What are the institutions that are reaching out to a more diverse audience? How can we get them involved?
  • This year’s organizers should be applauded for working through so many obstacles. The target is moving quickly.
  • Do we have a head count? This year is an anomaly, but do we have numbers from other years? Membership list has about 350 names.
Treasurer’s Report

About $15,000 in the account; that’s down somewhat from past years. We were expecting contest entries to be down, but they were comparable to last year (about $12,000). We’re working on getting reimbursements for volcano-canceled flights. This year’s conference cost less than $10,000.

The Senior Center is a great venue from a financial standpoint; the deposit is a few hundred dollars, and the banquet is the biggest expense. It’s been suggested that, if we want this venue next year, we reserve it now. Members have suggested this year’s conference was too early. This was the only time we had. Later in April is better (after the Legislature wraps up but before finals start at the University, keeping Easter in mind). The University might be a possibility if we want to change venues. It would be relatively easy. There would be a charge, but it wouldn’t be expensive. If a student club signs on as a co-sponsor, the facilities fee will be waived.

Contest Discussion
  • Should there be different categories for bloggers? Big blogs and small blogs? Currently there are no special categories for bloggers.
  • Should we assign two members to research what other press clubs are doing and come up with a model rather than reinventing the wheel?
  • Add a body of work category — five best articles? In addition to (or instead of) awards for specific articles?
  • Adding new categories means adding judges and increasing workload for board members.
Member Poll
  • Maybe we should establish a subcommittee to find out what members of the press want from the Alaska Press Club.
  • Could be done as a “webinar,” too.
  • What about the possibility of doing an online conference?
  • We seem to be more serious lately; we used to have fun.
Election of New Officers

Nominations for the 2009-2011 term:

Shannyn Moore
Tom Hewitt
Suzanna Caldwell
Will Morrow
Ben Stanton
Rindi White (current board member)

All candidates were unanimously elected to the board.

Election of officers:

President: Kathleen McCoy
First Vice-President: Dimitra Lavrakas
Second Vice-President: Shannyn Moore
Third Vice-President: Ben Stanton
Fourth Vice-President: Will Morrow
Secretary: John Creed
Treasurer: Rindi White
Membership Director: Aliza Sherman Risdahl


— Maia Nolan


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