Board Meeting Minutes — Sept. 27, 2014

Posted: 9th October 2014 by McKenzie Romero in Board Meeting Minutes
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SPJ Board Meeting 9/27/14

In attendance:

George Severson, Sheryl  Worsley, Tom Haraldsen, Jim Fisher, Nate Carlisle, McKenzie Romero, Linda Petersen, Connie Coyne, Eric Peterson

1. Motion to approve the minutes of the last two meetings was made by Sheryl and seconded by Jim

All aye

2. Membership update – McKenzie

Our number of memberships is currently hovering in the 50s. However, there is growth in prospective members with students at UVU working to get a chapter going. Utah State has also expressed interest in building up its chapter again. Their charter is still valid.

3. Finances: Tom

Current balance is $6196.34. Tom said we are in much better financial shape than we were last year.

We need to cut a check of $26 to Ben Winslow for domain names.

4. EIJ:  McKenzie & Sheryl gave a report on the national convention

A motion to change the name from The Society of Professional Journalists to The Society for Professional Journalism died. Sheryl expects to see it again as the motion’s author Michael Koretsky is passionate about it.

A new national code of ethics was approved. Sheryl said there are just minor changes. (copy attached). Sheryl voted for it. The new version is online at

[Sheryl was a write-in regional 3 director candidate for RTDNA. She has accepted the position.]

5. Video Pool: Sheryl

Eric Johnson, a family law attorney, has been pushing for him and his associate Brian Godfrey to be allowed be part (and sometimes representative) of the media pool which shares video feed of court proceedings. The court has responded to his requests by closing family law cases to the pool. Godfrey, while not formally a journalist, was able to get a judge in the Uintah Basin to allow him to be designated as “pool” in a particular case which ended up being cancelled.

Court officials told Godfrey he needed camera equipment. He contacted KSL to ask them what equipment they used.

This has produced an unusual situation which court officials are at a loss to handle. There was some discussion on whether SPJ could come up with some guidelines. However, board members were reluctant of being put in the position of defining who is or isn’t a journalist, and were concerned that could make the chapter liable if those guidelines were questioned.

After much discussion, the board came to a consensus that instead of producing such guidelines, it would be best if Johnson and Godfrey address their issues with the courts and that SPJ should address the closing of family law hearings by the courts separately.

McKenzie made the motion to table the topic until after the media pool committee meets on Sept. 30. Sheryl seconded the motion.

6. Survey – Nate

Nate has prepared a survey to go out to all journalists in the state.  It asks for demographic info. and seeks feedback on how SPJ could help them.

Sheryl suggests adding “manager” to the occupation category. Nate will also add “freelance.” George suggested asking what topics they would like to see SPJ address but Nate was concerned about the survey being too long.

The survey will go out Oct. 1 with a deadline of Oct. 14. Nate will handle publicity. The survey will be sent to all those on SPJ’s mailing list, along with UPA, all news outlets, universities, broadcasters

Nate will report on the results at the next board meeting.

(Note: Nate later realized he had a scheduling conflict so the surveys were issued Sept. 30 and remained open through Oct. 13.)

7. Bylaws update – Connie

Connie presented board members with copies of a draft of updated bylaws. She suggests making as few changes as possible  and just updating the bylaws instead.

Some of the changes she’s proposing are

- a mechanism to add board members

- being able to nominate officers from the floor during a meeting for the election

- that board members can only miss two board meeting in a year without the approval of the president

-that board votes must carry by a majority of 50% +1.

8. Blogger training: Eric

Eric has put out feelers out with Utah Political Capital (3-4 likely to attend) Utah Politico Hub  (8-10 likely to attend). Both groups are interested. Most people we are targeting are along the Wasatch Front. The suggestion was made to film it and to also make it a webinar so we can send it out and post it on our website.

Some suggested topics that were discussed:

-doing things on the cheap

-how to get on media lists

- contact info. for PIOs

- Xchange

- legal liability (ethics)

- FOI, resources (tips, appeals); how to file a GRAMA request

We tentatively planned it to be:

Nov. 15, three 50-minute sessions over lunch (SPJ will provide food), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., BYU SL.

Eric will reach out to Libertas, other outlets.

9. Nate and Trent Nelson want to put on a photo & video workshop for professionals and aspiring professionals in the spring, possibly in March.

We discussed taking boot camp on the road to Cedar City. SUU has volunteered some cash if we do. No date was set.

Sheryl reported that RFCP is putting on an IFOIA webinar  in January. She suggested that we could record it and send it out to our membership.

In the interest of time, McKenzie suggested that everyone who had a program suggestion draft a program proposal and send it out to the board.

Nate suggested that SPJ needs to write a letter against Forest Service charging fees for taking pics in the wilderness. He will write it.

Tom was contacted by our new regional director Tom Johnson from New Mexico. He would like to get the regional director monies Headliners has been holding since Don Meyers resigned.

He wants FOI to be a big issue.

He is going to be out of the country for several months and needs an assistant R.D., Tom H. agreed to do it.

Our next board meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 16 at 6:30 at Jim’s house, 331 Argyle Court, SLC.

The meeting was adjourned.

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Board Meeting Minutes — Aug. 14, 2014

Posted: 27th August 2014 by McKenzie Romero in Board Meeting Minutes
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In attendance: McKenzie Romero, Nate Carlisle, Connie Coyne, George Seversen, Linda Petersen, Sheryl Worsley, Tom Haraldsen.

Visitor: Eric Peterson – City Weekly

A motion was made to wait to approve minutes until our September board meeting (not everyone had a chance to review). Sheryl will prepare an addendum to be added of the June meeting (which was just a brief meeting before our awards reception.)

Membership update – McKenzie

We have 56 paid members currently. Sheryl just received a check from National for membership.

Financial update – Tom

We have a few small outstanding bills from the contest and the regional conference. Currently we have $7,148.74 in checking. While contest entries slightly lower than last year, we have more money than this time last year because we actually made money on the regional conference (a first!) thanks in large part to our sponsors. Tom will give a full report at our next meeting.

McKenzie heard from Don Meyers who is now in Yakima, Washington. He has some regional director money. He is going to send it to Headliners for “safekeeping.” (Someone called Tom Johnson is running unopposed for Region 9 director.)

A discussion ensued about why entry numbers have dropped. Possibilities are economics, i.e. news outlets are not paying for contests much anymore. There also may be a perception among some major outlets that there is not much competition.

Connie suggested reaching out to TV and radio to see what we can do for them and involve them in SPJ more. She volunteered to head up a subcommittee to come up with ideas.

Eric said he has been thinking about reaching out to more recently established blogs to help them learn about FOI, GRAMA, ethics and other issues. We discussed the possibility of sponsoring it as a possible Headliners program. Eric is going to flesh out the idea and bring it back to us in September. McKenzie asked everyone to come up with a program idea for next month.

Water symposium – Nate

After researching the issue, Nate has determined that it won’t be possible to put the symposium on this year. We had hoped to get grants from foundations but Nate said they’re only interested in dealing with nonprofits. UFOG, since it does not file yearly reports and has been largely inactive this last year, is not a strong possibility to partner with even though it has 501c3 status. The Utah Association of Latino Journalists just got approved for 501c3 status. It has taken two years. McKenzie and Sheryl are going to

Connie made the motion to table the symposium and pursue the chapter getting 501c3 designation. Sheryl seconded the motion. It was a unanimous vote of support.

Test the waters of how we partner with UFOG.

Excellence In Journalism (SPJ national conference) plans for McKenzie & Sheryl

Sheryl will be the delegate, because McKenzie has to leave early. The chapter will pay for McKenzie.

KSL is paying for Sheryl. Tom asked them to get contacts for our contest. Since delegates will vote on whether to change the code of ethics Sheryl asked everyone to read the draft of SPJ ethics codes and let her know how they feel.

Board members & responsibilities

Connie is the new membership chair. She is writing an email to encourage local journalists to get involved with SPJ and is testing it on the Salt Lake Tribune staff.  The email discusses the idea that journalism is in such a precarious position that people need to be more networked with other journalists through SPJ. The more that we stand together the stronger we are. SPJ puts you together with the ideas about journalism that are important in the state.

(Sheena McFarland will be back on board next month, Connie reports)

We recapped the decisions made at June meeting/ vote in officers

Past President: Sheryl Worsley

President: McKenzieRomero

Contest /Treasurer: Tom Haraldsen

Secretary/FOI – Linda Petersen

Ethics – Jim Fisher

Publicity – George Seversen

Student – Emma Penrod

Membership – Connie Coyne

Tom suggested that there should be a required minimum attendance for board members. The bylaws don’t address any attendance requirements. Sheryl made a motion that we include that requirement in the bylaws. Tom seconded the motion. Unanimous vote in support.

Connie & McKenzie will go through the bylaws and come up with recommendations.

In June the board voted Nate as vice president with the caveat that Nate accept. Nate is unable to accept the responsibility at this time.

McKenzie suggested George for the position of VP. Tom made the motion to nominate George for the position and Connie seconded it. Unanimous vote in support

With George moving into the VP position, that left the publicity position open. Nate volunteered to do publicity

Connie made the motion to approve Nate and Sheryl seconded it. Unanimous vote in support.

Next Meeting:  Sept. 27 – 10 a.m. George’s house

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Congratulations, winners!

Posted: 26th June 2014 by McKenzie Romero in Uncategorized
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We’re proud to present the results of this year’s Utah Headliner’s local journalism contest! Thank you to all who entered — with several hundred submissions, competition was steep. Well done!

Special award recipients:
Clifford P. Cheney Service to Journalism- Carole Mikita, KSL
Roy B. Gibson FOI- Tim Fitzpatrick, Salt Lake Tribune
Quintus C. Wilson Ethics- Tony Semerand and Tom Harvey, Salt Lake Tribune
Don Baker Investigative Reporting- Tom Harvey & Robert Gehrke, Salt Lake Tribune
Josephine Zimmerman- the Catalyst

** Click here to download a full list of results **

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Board Meeting Minutes – May 15, 2014

Posted: 23rd May 2014 by McKenzie Romero in Board Meeting Minutes
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In attendance: Jim Fisher, Trent Nelson, Sheryl Worsley, Linda Petersen, McKenzie Romero, Nate Carlisle, Lisa Carricaburu, George Severson, Tom Haraldsen

Minutes from the previous meeting were approved (Motion: JF, 2nd LC)

Water Symposium

In looking into getting grants for a proposed water symposium, we discovered Utah SPJ does not have nonprofit status. Sheryl approached Utah Foundation For Open Government President Linda Petersen about partnering on the symposium since UFOG is a 501(c)3.

Linda reported that her board supports the proposal as long as it involves an FOI component. Nate agreed to rework the proposal to reflect that and to email it to Linda to send out to her board.

Nate reported that the Radisson, the hotel that gave the best bid on rooms and conference facilities for the symposium, needs an entity that will back the reservation if we cancel. The symposium would be Nov.7. Board members were reluctant to make such a commitment now without knowing whether we’d get any grants. (Many are awarded June 30.)

Consensus was to have Nate tell the Radisson we aren’t ready to commit at this point. We will need to apply to the foundations and find out if we get the grants first.

Membership Update

Tom reported that we have $10,558.51in the checking account. Sheryl gave him a check for $270 for memberships received from national.Sheryl has applied to national for a $500 reimbursement for the regional conference.

McKenzie suggested she mail out a welcome letter to the new/returning members. Everyone agreed it would be a good idea.


The awards banquet is booked for June 26, at 6:30 p.m. (program at 7) at the Fort Douglas Officers Club.Sheryl will retain Isabella’s catering, the caterer we had last year. Lisa said the Salt Lake Tribune will provide the booze and she will get a bartender set up. Tickets will be $20 members; $25 non-members. We do online registration with PayPal – Trent will set it up.

At the last board meeting there was some discussion about eliminating the small individual trophies (at approx. $6.50 each) and go with all certificates to save money. However, McKenzie put it out on Twitter, and the response was that people really like them so the board agreed to keep them. The board decided to instead discontinue the posters listing the winners. (Motion: JF, 2nd TH – unanimous) They are proving to be unnecessary and that will save us $400.

Jim and McKenzie will do the printed program.

Lisa will plan the evening’s program.

Sheryl suggested Ethan & Alex, Amanda Dixon or Brian Martin for M.C. The board favored Ethan and Alex. Sheryl will contact them.

McKenzie will send out the “Congrats – you’re a finalist” email.

Sheryl reported that there are no nominations for the ethics award. Lisa said she will submit one.

For the contest, Tom suggests combining B and C categories next year because there’s so little participation in the B category. The board agreed to consider it before next year’s contest.

LDS Church recap:

The LDS church would not allow photographers on Temple Square during general conference. Lisa wrote a letter on behalf of the chapter asking them to reconsider, but they declined. Lisa then wrote M? Otterson, inviting them to a meeting so they could talk about the issue and get to know SPJ. Otterson declined but said he would be open to getting together. Lisa hasn’t had any luck getting together with them since, but she and Terry Orme have a meeting with them on Monday and she will try again to get something set up.

Sheryl received an email from Jeff Salt on his group’s lawsuit with Salt Lake City regarding access to records. He wants to come and give the board an update but after discussing it, the board decided to have him come back after the lawsuit is settled.


The legislature is going to have an interim GRAMA training, 9 a.m. May 21. Linda said she would go.

Sheryl? reported that there’s a proposed rule change before the records committee to extend the retention of records to seven years to match the statute of limitations on certain crimes. They’re taking public comment now.Lisa suggested SPJ comment formally, as well as each of us individually. Lisa said she would write to our members informing them about the proposed rule change and encouraging them to comment.

Issue with Xchange

When the courts shifted to a paperless system, they stopped providing the same access to probably cause statements that they used to.  Now requestors are charged $2.50 a page. Sheryl proposed that David Reymann and/or Jeff Hunt help us with this. Nate suggested we do it ourselves. The board agreed that was a better option. McKenzie said she would write the letter with Nate and Sheryl’s help, re: concern about the $2.50 charge to access those records.

(Motion: MR, second LC – All aye)

The board discussed not holding board meetings during the summer. All were in favor of that unless it is necessary to meet in July regarding the symposium.


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Board Meeting Minutes – April 17, 2014

Posted: 14th May 2014 by McKenzie Romero in Board Meeting Minutes
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Utah Headliners meeting

April 17, 2014, Salt Lake Tribune offices

Attendance: Emma Penrod, Tom Haraldsen , Chad Curtis, Connie Coyne, Jim Fisher, Sheryl Worsley, Lisa Carricaburu, Nate Carlisle (taking minutes)

Starts at 6:05 p.m.

Fisher motions and Curtis seconds minutes. Approved without objection.

Harold gives update on finances. Has a handout from SPJ Regional. Shows we netted $1,060.12 when last bills are collected. The Headliner’s current balance is$10,573.79.

Carricaburu says there are a couple expenses she has not submitted yet. They could equal about $60.

Review of SPJ Regional Conference held in Salt Lake City: Worsley said she was disappointed in attendance relative to what she felt were good speakers and schedule. Harold said he was disappointed in Colorado chapter. It sent $500 but not many people. Harold said he is considering running for Regional and if so would make effort to get Colorado more active. There was discussion that the students chapters at the universities in Utah may have gotten word late or the faculty was not so supportive. There was praise for the conference programing itself.

On Contest: 657 entries this year. The contest is down about $1,200 in terms of money compared to last year. Weakest division is Division B newspapers.

Banquet: Harold issued handout on suggested expenses. Discussion of whether Officer’s Club would be cheaper than what’s projected. Fisher said he would make some calls regarding Officer’s Club. Agreement from board it would pursue a June 19 banquet. Curtis motions and Fisher seconds to pursue June 19 banquet. (Note: This was discussed again later in the meeting.)

Harold warned we may need to be be discriminating in how much and how often we reimburse for conferences and trips.

Discussion of symposium. Concern that the Radisson would still want a drop dead date. Harold moves to authorize negations with Radisson for that date at those prices pursuant to having a cancelation date sometime after Sept. 1 Penrod seconded. Approved without objection.

Penrod suggested woman on Goshute Tribe to speak on Indians and water rights.

Temple Square access: Carricaburu recounts debate held with LDS Church officials over reporter and photographer ban and how the church insisted it was only Tribune driving issue. At one point Craynor said would let reporters on if not covering women protesting. Carricaburu raised idea of inviting officials to board meeting. General agreement reporters were previously allowed on Temple Square. Carricaburu made motion to write letter inviting them. Fisher seconded. Carricaburu will draft.

Grundwald court limitations.  General agreement that the board did not like the restrictions. Fisher motions for Carlisle to write letter. Coyne seconds. Passes without objection.

More on banquet. Venue is affirmed Officer’s Club. Carricaburu will call back and make sure June 19 is available. Will book same vendor as last year: Isabella’s in West Jordan. Yes, there will be alcohol and a bartender. Discussion of whether we still want to issue first-place trophies or just issue certificates. No decision. That is tabled for next meeting.

Worsley asked every board member nominate at least one person for a special award.

Fisher volunteers to make and print program.

Worsley will ask someone to MC the banquet.

Chapter financial report is due at the end of May. Worsley and Harold will review and submit that.

Next meeting May 15. 6:30 p.m. Fisher’s house: 331 N. Argyle Court in Salt Lake City.

Carlisle motions and Harold seconds to adjourn at 7:56 p.m.

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