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Board of Directors Meeting Minutes May 10, 2018


New Hampshire Press Association Board of Directors

Meeting Minutes — May 10, 2018


Board of Directors: Thursday, May 10, 2018, a regular board meeting was called to order via phone conference call by President Vanessa Palange at 1:03 p.m.


In Attendance: In addition to Ms. Palange and Executive Director Phil Kincade, the following board members were in attendance: Howard Altschiller, David Brooks, Chuck Douglas, Heather Henline, Carol Robidoux, David Saad, Trent Spiner and David Tirrell-Wysocki participating for portions or all of the call, as individual schedules permitted.


Absent: None


A quorum of membership was present.


Approval of Minutes: The previous meeting’s minutes were submitted for approval by Ms. Henline, secretary, pending any corrections from the board. Mr. Altschiller made a motion to approve, and it was seconded by Ms. Palange The motion carried unanimously, and any submitted changes would be made by Ms. Henline prior to the final filing of the minutes.


Treasurer’s Report by David Brooks: Mr. Brooks indicated not much had changed with regard to our accounts, since the previous board meeting. He reported we still have a balance of approximately $5,700 in the account. He also said he and Mr. Kincade still were discussing dues and payments methodology to work on a plan to move that process forward. Board members expressed a desire to see billing go out and dues start to come in from the membership.


Executive Director’s Report Phil Kincade:

  • Invoices — Mr. Kincade reported his main priority is to distribute invoices for dues to the membership and he is working with Mr. Brooks to coordinate this initiative. The invoices have been printed for distribution. Mr. Brooks also is going to work to establish a PayPal option through our website, for ease of payment for our membership.
  • Seminar/Workshop — The proposed Londonderry High School workshop for journalism students that had been set for May 25 at the high school now has been postponed until the 2018-2019 school year. The concern expressed by the school’s journalism program advisor was it would have been too rushed to put something of quality together by the expedited May time line. Instead, moving this to next year will hopefully enhance the hands-on experience for the students, and Mr. Kincade reported the board’s continued support next year will be appreciated.


Committee Reports:

Legislative — Trent Spiner, chair: Marsy’s Law did not pass in late April. The House voted, 284-51, against the amendment. The measure needed the support of 235 of the state’s 391 representatives to advance and be placed on the November ballot for voters’ consideration.


Mr. Saad previously reported the House passed SB 555, to establish a Right to Know Law Ombudsman and Citizens Commission, referring the matter on to Finance. He also noted Right to Know New Hampshire was removed as an advisory member of the board, explaining it is predominantly seen as an equal right’s group for the public and other factions believed they didn’t have the same representation.


The committee update was it came out of Finance with comments and concerns about the costs associated with funding the establishment of an ombudsman approach to hear RTK appeals. Ultimately it was put before the full House and this time was voted down 212-103, with opponents contending it was unnecessary and costly.


Mr. Saad also provided updates with regard to House Bills 1786 and 1788, both potentially impacting the state’s Right to Know laws and the accessibility and affordability of access to public records. Both bills were still pending action from the Senate, with the former bill prohibiting costs and the latter looking at a potential 10-cent-per-page copying fee to standardize the process.


Mr. Spiner also added that, as part of the process, Mr. Saad worked with Right to Know and a committee to evaluate similar laws in other states and how they make the process faster, easier and less expensive with regard to judiciary review for appeals. This is being evaluated through the Committee on the Judiciary and the Media, with three members being proposed from the court system and three from the media.


Content Sharing — Vanessa Palange, chair: Ms. Palange introduced Ms. West, with InDepthNH, at the April board meeting. Ms. West was interested in helping to develop a content-sharing platform, and Ms. Palange indicated she would follow up with her prior to the June board meeting.


Also, Ms. Palange referred to an email from Ms. Robidoux, proposing a collaborative project for any NH media interested in participating in a grant-funded Solutions Journalism Network Beacon Project. That project then was slated for the new-business portion of the meeting.


Contest — Heather Henline, chair: Ms. Henline updated that the follow-up meeting discussed in April did occur with Ms. Palange and Mr. Kincade, and the decision was made to move forward with utilizing the Associated Press contest model. Under that model, the contest would reflect the body of work members created from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018. Tentatively, the call for entries would be open from January to February 2019, judging would occur in March and April, and the awards banquet would occur in May or June.


The next step then would be to move forward with formation of the contest categories and rules, with Mr. Kincade taking the lead on that portion of the project. Ms. Henline then would arrange a meeting with NH AP contact Dwayne Desaulniers and the group to review any additional questions and to keep the process moving forward to get NHPA into the next contest cycle.


Motion to Accept Committee and Other Reports: This was made by Mr. Douglas and seconded by Mr. Brooks. It carried unanimously.


Old Business:

  • Seminar/Workshop — Mr. Tirrell-Wysocki confirmed the proposed Londonderry High School workshop for journalism students was postponed until spring 2019.


New Business:

  • Collaborative Project — Ms. Robidoux suggested sharing with our membership a collaborative project for any NH media interested in participating in a grant-funded Solutions Journalism Network Beacon Project, with a focus on Democratic Renewal. The project also has potential support from the NH Charitable Foundation in the form of a $30,000 grant.


In addition to Ms. Robidoux and, she indicated the following are involved: Nancy West;; Phil Vaughn, Sarah Varney, Dawn DeAngelis of NHPTV; Cynthia Farrar, Purple States; Liza Gross, Solutions Journalism Network; and Dr. Kristen Nevious, from the Marlin Fitzwater School of Communications. 


Discussion so far has been around covering addiction through a Solutions democratic renewal lens (role of government responsiveness and citizen initiative, in NH and elsewhere, etc). Those interested in learning more would be invited to attend a media boot camp/summit in the next few weeks to discuss how the collaborative would decide on and share content. Ms. Robidoux indicated she would share those dates, once solidified, and encouraged board members to read her email, check out the provided links and direct any questions to her. 


Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at approximately 1:43 p.m., on a motion by Mr. Dougals. It was seconded by Mr. Brooks and carried unanimously.


Next meeting: Our next meeting is scheduled for a conference call at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 14. An agenda will be forthcoming.


Respectfully submitted,

Heather Henline

New Hampshire Press Association



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