By Holly Edgell | August 31st, 2009
There is a lot to report from the 100th anniversary convention in Indianapolis! For chapter leaders, I will be sending you more detailed information over the coming week. Here are some broad strokes:
Changes to the the ranking and reporting procedures for professional chapters. The star system remains in place with a few key changes designed to allow pro chapters a bit more breathing room:
1 – The requirement for “meetings” changes to “activities,” which leaves room for more creativity in programming.
2 – A pro chapter can keep its head above water in the two-star category by sending a delegate to EITHER a regional or national conference in a given year.
3 – A waiver option applies to any chapter which — for legitimate reasons — cannot send a delegate to the national conference. Chapters should apply to the regional director for the waiver.
4 – Regional directors will do quarterly “check-ins” with chapters. This is so that the RDs can keep better abreast of chapter activities and spot trouble areas early. Chapters will still be required to submit their annual reports.
Omaha, here we come! Attendees at the regional business meeting agreed that Omaha and Creighton University would be great for the 2010 regional conference. We are looking at dates in March. Because there is no pro chapter in Nebraska, I’ll be calling on our other pro and student chapters to help come up with programming ideas (including finding panelists and speakers). Headquarters staff will be able to help with logistics. Ideas should focus on multi-media and career in addition to SPJ’s other missions.
Teaming up with RTNDA for 2011 Convention. SPJ and the Radio Television News Directors Association (soon to be renamed the Radio Television Digital News Association) will hold a joint national convention in 2011. Two cities under consideration are Orlando and New Orleans, but the destination is by no means final.
Executive Director Search. The search continues for a successor to the late, great Terry Harper. The search committee has narrowed things down to 20 candidates and will futher winnow the list in September. After that the full board of directors will get to Q&A with the finalists via conference call. The committee hopes to have someone in place by October. I understand we got a very high caliber of applicants.
Future of Journalism Committee. President Kevin Smith is committed to bringing SPJ to the forefront of the discussion of this issue. He’s formed a great committee with the task of developing the organization’s leaders into the leading go-to experts. I sat in on a meeting and I can tell you there are some great ideas and work already perculating.
Jobs and Career Support. The board unanimously approved my idea to beef up our offerings to members in this area via our national web site. The “Career Toolkit” (working title) would offer a blog where members can share their concerns, success stories, questions. Guest bloggers from the employer and recruiter ranks are also part of the plan. Also, there would be guides and links to help members use free tools for navigating the world of multi-media, developing e-portfolios, mastering social media, and other resources. I also hope we can include a resume and cover letter clinic, and a career advice e-hotline with a rotating group of volunteer experts. If any members out there have ideas for this project, please let me know! Especially if you have a story to tell that would make a great blog entry.
National web site. The headquarters staff is doing an overhaul of the site to better serve the needs of members, with easier access to members-only features and greater interactivity.
Also from the the conference…
Lots of great ideas and resources for fresh programming that will pull in new members and keep current members excited and committed to your chapter. Stay tuned!