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Board of Directors meeting minutes Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018

Board of Directors: Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, a regular board meeting was called to order via phone conference call by President Vanessa Palange at 1:06 p.m.


In Attendance: In addition to Ms. Palange and Executive Director Phil Kincade, the following board members were in attendance: Trent Spiner, David Tirrell-Wysocki, Howard Altchiller, David Saad, Chuck Douglas, Matt Burdette for Heather Henline, Carol Robidoux and David Brooks. Ms. Henline joined the conference call several minutes in.


A quorum of membership was present.


Approval of Minutes: The previous meeting’s minutes were submitted for approval by Mr. Burdette, pending any corrections from the board. Ms. Robidoux made a motion to approve, and it was seconded by Mr. Altchiller. The motion carried unanimously.


Treasurer’s Report: No changes. The balance on the New Hampshire Press Association account is $5,702.


Executive Director’s Report by Phil Kincade: Mr. Kincade discussed the following agenda items:

  • Had a conversation with Jeff Bartlett and WMUR about the Right to Know law and doing something for the next legislative session. Mr. Kincaid will set up a meeting for March. Mr. Kincaid also is trying to bring WMUR on board as a member of the Press Association.
  • The Boston Beacon is a new monthly newspaper in New Hampshire. Mr. Kincaid said they are looking for support, and that the Association would assist wherever possible.
  • The new Press Association Facebook page is up and functioning. There are still some things to be ironed out. Mr. Kincaid will authorize Ms. Palange as a page administrator and will do so for other board members.
  • Jon VanFleet is working with his staff to file more Right to Know requests regarding police reports that will eventually be included on the Association’s website.
  • Invoices will be sent out next month.
  • Mr. Kincaid did have a request for the Association to take a stand on SB420 and an identical House bill on collectively bargaining in the school system and make that open to the public. It was decided that the Association should stick to the Right to Know issues for this year, and possibly take a look at expanding the reach next year.


Committee Reports:

Legislative — Trent Spiner, chair: Mr. Spiner talked about Marsy’s Law and how the amendment is written in regard to the release of the name of victims of crimes. The law is causing issues in other states, and one is looking at invalidating the law because of the way the laws were written so that the release of names were not permitted to be released to newspapers.

  • There was lengthy discussion about a bill concerning fees charged for documents released to newspapers, whether it by the page and what the ongoing commercial rate is, and what fees would/should be seen as acceptable for online documents. Information on SB395 will be sent out to the group.
  • SB555, the ombudsman bill, based on testimony at the most recent hearing, there was no objections. A conference call is scheduled for Friday to tighten up the bill from the few concerns that were raised.

Content Sharing — Vanessa Palange, chair: Very little progress. Ms. Palange will reach out to the current members of the New Hampshire Exchange to find out what is working and what is not and what they feel would be most helpful going forward.

  • Ms. Palange also noted she would talk with others about sharing crime press releases and sharing those, instead of everyone duplicating efforts.


Contest — Heather Henline, chair: Ms. Henline will send out an email for a meeting Thursday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m. to talk about contest and the Association’s options. The meeting will be at The Telegraph in Nashua and will be a lunch gathering, and members will come up with survey questions to distribute to member newspapers to gauge interest and possible categories.


Old Business:

  • Collegiate Press Contest — Only one category was sent to Ms. Palange. She will judge that category and send the information back to the Texas group.


  • Constitution Day Contest — The Association is not in a position to do this in 2018. Board members thought it would be wise to wait until next year so it could be more developed and planned out, especially in sharing the content generated by students and a way to recognize those who participate. A motion to table the issue until fall was made by Ms. Robidoux and seconded by Mr. Brooks. The motion passed unanimously.


New Business:

  • NENPA attendance — Mr. Kincaid inquired if anyone would be attending the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s upcoming meeting in Boston.


  • Judiciary in the Media Committee  — Mr. Spiner updated the group on the committee’s last meeting. The Committee sets guidelines for the court to set rules for the entire system. Also, there are openings on the Committee and suggestions were made for possible new members. Mr. Spiner will approach others to add them to the Committee, including reporters who are actively covering the courts.


  • Sunshine Week  — Mr. Saad talked about the upcoming Sunshine Week, March 11-17, and what was going to be done, including Right to Know New Hampshire. Additional discussion will be had with others on ways something can be put together to highlight the week.


A motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Altchiller and seconded by Mr. Brooks.


Respectfully submitted,

Heather Henline

New Hampshire Press Association



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