Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Minutes from the Dec. 10 board meeting

SPJ Pro Board Meeting, Dec. 10. 2009

Outgoing president Jenn Rowell called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, at Mellow Mushroom in Prattville. Members present were: Dennis Pillion, David Joyner, Jill Nolin, Meredith Cummings, George Daniels, and Jenn Rowell. Not present were: Abigail Morrow and Matt Stanley.

The Board elected officers by unanimous vote:

Dennis Pillion, President
David Joyner, President-Elect
Jill Nolin, Treasurer
Meredith Cummings, Secretary

Rowell said she would send information to the board about accessing the SPJ Pro Web site, as well as other social media information.

Rowell asked for the board to submit names for a student representative to serve on the board.

Rowell talked about upcoming programming and took ideas for programs. Some of the programming money is from a grant for chapter programming given by the national SPJ Board.

The Regional Conference will be held March 19-20 in Orlando, Fla., hosted by the University of Central Florida.

Rowell passed out information about the SPJ Green Eyeshade Awards. Deadline for submissions is Feb. 19, 2010.

Rowell reminded the board that Steve York, president of the Louisville (Kentucky) Pro Chapter, is looking for competition judges.

Rowell discussed the new 2010 initiative for recruiting and membership and encouraged board members to help sign up new members.

The board discussed a possible FOI traveling information session to talk to reporters around the state about freedom of information and first amendment issues.

Rowell reminded the board that the Regional Conference would most likely be held in Alabama in March of 2011, so planning a site for the Convention should be a priority.

The first week in June is the Scripps Leadership Institute. President Dennis Pillion will attend.

The Board scheduled a conference call meeting for January 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Meredith Cummings, Secretary, on Dec. 14, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chapter Bylaws


Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

Article I--Definitions

Section I "Chapter" as used herein shall refer to the Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Section II The name of the chapter shall be the "Alabama Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists."

Section III "Meetings" as used herein shall mean regularly scheduled or special meetings authorized by the Board of Directors.

Article II--Meetings

Section I--There shall be at least eight board meetings of the chapter each year, the times and places to be fixed by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors also shall be authorized to call meetings of the chapter.

Section II--Notice of meetings shall be sent by e-mail to the recorded address of each member of the chapter at least seven days in advance.

Section III--There may be special or designated meetings for special occasions or for initiations, the time and place of such meetings to be determined by the Board of Directors.

Section IV--For the transaction of chapter business at any meeting, a quorum shall consist of no less than three-quarters of the board.

Article III--Officers

Section I-- Only professional members shall be officers of the chapter. The officers of the chapter shall be: President, President Elect, Secretary and Treasurer, and they shall perform the functions customarily associated with such titles. Each of these officers shall be elected by the Board of Directors from among its newly elected and incumbent members (except that the secretary and treasurer, because of the specialized nature of their duties, may be selected from the membership at large) at a combined board meeting of incumbent and incoming board members and shall assume office July 1. These officers shall serve for one year or until a successor has been elected. The retiring secretary is to notify National Headquarters immediately of the names of the new officers and date they take office. Each of these officers shall be elected during the meeting immediately preceding the July-August summer recess, shall take officer immediately.

Section II--At least two months before the meeting at which the annual election is to take place, the President shall appoint a committee of three professional members to nominate officers and directors from the professional membership to be voted upon at the last meeting before summer recess. Professional members also may make nominations for these positions from the floor at the time of election.

Section III--The President is authorized to appoint such committees and/or committee chairmen as he/she deems necessary.

Article IV--Board of Directors

Section I--This chapter shall have a board of directors of nine elected voting members, including incumbents who have been elected or appointed to office as defined in Article III, Section I. It shall also have one board-appointed alternate members, who shall vote only when fewer than 8 elected members are present. Considered ex-officio voting members of the board will be the secretary and treasurer, if elected from among the general membership; and the immediate past president.

Section II--All chairs of regular standing committees shall be entitled to make motions connected with reports of their committees or areas of responsibility, to participate in related discussions and to vote according to the provisions of Article IV, Section I.

Section III--Except for Board members sitting because of immediate past presidency or incumbency in chapter officer, directors shall be elected to serve two-year terms, one-half elected annually. The nominating committee shall present its report at a prior Board meeting at which time other nominations may be made. Thereafter it shall serve as an election committee to count ballots, to certify results at a subsequent Board meeting, and to recommend as to matters of term, or to fill out unexpired terms.

Section IV--The President of the chapter shall be Chairman of the Board and shall preside at Board meetings. In case the President is unable to attend, the Vice President, or officer appointed by the President, shall preside in his/her place.

Section V--The Board of Directors shall be responsible for these basic functions: (1) Membership and attendance; (2) Chapter meetings; (3) Professional programs; (4) Planning; (5) Convention representatives; (6) Cooperation with National Headquarters in all matters furthering the programs and goals of the Society. This shall specifically include submission to National Headquarters of membership rosters and financial and other reports required.

Section VI--Vacancies among officers or Board members due to death, resignation or other cause shall be filled by a majority vote of the directors present at any meeting at which a quorum is present.

Article V--Membership

Section I--All professional members in good standing with the National Society shall be eligible for professional membership in this Alabama Pro Chapter.

Section II--Any professional member may submit for nomination the name of a proposed new member and it shall be the duty of the chapter's Board of Directors to determine whether the nominee is eligible for membership under the By-Laws of the National Society. Nominees for professional membership shall be approved either by a majority vote of the chapter's professional members present and voting, or by a majority vote of the chapter's Board of Directors.

Article VI--Convention Attendance

Section I--The chapter shall be represented at each National Convention by a delegate and an alternate elected by the chapter and in good standing with the National Society. The delegate and alternate shall be professional members.

Article VII--Dues and fees

Section I--The amount of local dues to be paid by each member of the chapter shall be fixed by the Board of Directors, subject to ratification by the professional membership. Professional members shall pay dues at the beginning of each calendar year, or, if they join during the year, shall pay dues on a pro-rata basis for the remainder of the calendar year.

Section II--At the time of initiation, a local initiation fee, to be determined by the chapter's Board of Directors, may be assessed. Local dues and initiation fees are in addition to those payable to the National Society.

Article VIII--Amendments

Section I--Amendments to these By-Laws may be proposed at any meeting of the Board of Directors or of the general membership and be put out to a vote, either by mail or e-mail ballot or at a subsequent meeting, ordinarily the following one. To become effective they must receive a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors present, if the proposal originated at a directors' meeting; or, a majority of the members present and voting if the proposal originated at a meeting of the general membership or was referred to the general membership by the Board of Directors.

Section II--The By-Laws may be amended at any time by the written or e-mail ballot or the consent of a majority of the voting members of the Board of Directors or of the general membership.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dreary industry news

A friend sent me this link on Twitter yesterday, after I had posted a Mencken quote about there being no happier people than energetic young journalists. It was a quote on the wall at the Newseum and while I have a hard time being that energetic and motivated anymore, despite being a young journalist, I wanted to write it down as a reminder.

But, this is still interesting information.


Friday, September 11, 2009

WordCamp Birmingham announces keynote speakers


Sept. 10, 2009 acnatta[AT]gmail.com / 205-276-6585


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The keynote speakers at WORDCAMP BIRMINGHAM will be Matt Mullenweg, creator of WordPress, and Esra’a Al Shafei, one of its most important proponents. The two join a roster of presenters from the region and across the nation.
“We’re thrilled that Matt could attend despite his extremely busy schedule,” says André Natta, WordCamp organizer. “And having seen Esra’a speak at Social South [in August], I know her presentation will touch hearts and minds.”
Mullenweg developed WordPress, a popular software package used for blogging, Web sites and content management. In 2007, PC World named him one of the “50 Most Important People on the Web” (he was reportedly the youngest on the list at age 23).
Al Shafei is the director of Mideast Youth, a human rights organization. The 22-year-old student campaigns for freedom of speech and religion from her home in Bahrain, organizing protests, social media campaigns and more using the group’s Web site, Mideastyouth.com.
WordCamp Birmingham is a two-day homegrown conference with seminars on WordPress and blogging. The event takes place Sept. 26 at Innovation Depot and Sept. 27 at Shift Workspace, both in downtown Birmingham. Tickets are $40 for the weekend.
Event sponsors include AL.com, Birmingham Ad Network, Bright House Networks, Campaign Monitor, Innovation Depot, Microsoft, Shift Workspace, Skribit, The Terminal, UAB School of Engineering and Woo Themes.
For more information and to register, visit http://wordcampbirmingham.org.
André Natta is available for interviews to discuss first steps to blogging and WordPress. Contact him at acnatta@gmail.com or 205-276-6585.

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WordCamp Birmingham, http://wordcampbirmingham.org

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

We have a new logo!

Thanks to my pal Billy at SPJ HQ.

Check it out!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back from Indy!

Alright ladies and gentlemen. Here's the beginning of what I'm sure will be many updates from Indy.

The 2009 SPJ national convention was time well spent, even if I did have to drive 8 hours up and 8 back...felt like more. But hey, when else will I pass through the southern countryside on my way to journalism shenanigans.

I'll admit I didn't make it to as many sessions as I'd have liked, meetings, networking, planning and getting arrested by Sheriff Leadingham slowed me down a bit. Still, very productive and very busy weekend.

First off, I've been elected Regional Director for Region 3, which includes Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. That means we've got a new president coming soon since I'd have to be more than my already admitted level of crazy to pull that off.

Our former RD, Darcie Lunsford, is now the secretary/treasurer.

We've got some fresh Alabama blood in the chapter now too, I've been recruiting and found a few up in Indy. It's shaping up to be a good year for the chapter.

Some programming ideas are in the works, we'll be applying for a grant from HQ soon and get some fundraising underway.

Atlanta is next on my list of pro chapters to get up and running so here's early notice of a mini-regional event out there sometime this fall or spring. I'll keep you updated and there will be carpooling opportunities.

Alright, last tidbit for now. If you haven't heard, 'bama is on tap to host the 2011 Region 3 Conference, so I'll be calling on y'all for ideas of locations, dates, programs, etc. The 2010 conference is in Orlando in March. I'll post details as I get them.

For more about Region 3, check out the new Facebook page (SPJ Region 3) and the new Google group at http://groups.google.com/group/spjregion3

Any questions, comments, suggestions, etc, feel free to contact me, rowell83[at]gmail.com

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Twitter isn't just for those techie types anymore...

Interesting post on major news being broken on Twitter lately.


I'll admit I hesitate to put upcoming stories on Twitter before they're published, to avoid being picked up by local competition. But, I've been doing it more and more. If the story's done, it's done.

Plus, the author of this post has a good point, Twitter has a broader reach than my small capital city paper does on a good day. Even if I don't have thousands of followers, my followers have followers and news spreads quickly that way. It's like a game of telephone, or high school.

I'm a newspaper girl through and through, but Twitter is a useful tool for journalists and we'll be having an SPJ session to discuss that very soon.