New Hampshire Press Association Board of Directors
Meeting Minutes — Aug. 9, 2018
Board of Directors: Thursday, Aug. 9, 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, Chuck Douglas, Heather Henline, Trent Spiner and David Tirrell-Wysocki, participating for portions or all of the call, as individual schedules permitted. Also joining on the call was Nancy West, with InDepthNH.org.
Absent: David Brooks, Carol Robidoux and David Saad
A quorum of membership was present.
Approval of Minutes: There was no July 2018 meeting, because of a lack of a quorum. The previous meeting’s minutes were submitted for approval by Ms. Henline, secretary, pending any corrections from the board. Mr. Spiner 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 was absent. The financials were addressed by Mr. Kincade as part of his report below.
Executive Director’s Report Phil Kincade:
- PayPal — We now have a fully functioning PayPal account that is lined to the NHPA bank account, the purposes for which are to accept the payment of dues online through our website. This also will permit other future online payments by members, to include the upcoming contest, where entry fees will apply.
- Newsletter sign-up web page — Our website www.pressnh.org, now has a button on the homepage where anyone may sign up for our newsletter. The newsletter is compiled and distributed by Mr. Kincade, with input from the board and membership.
- Radically Rural event in Keene — Terry Williams in Keene is working with this year’s Radically Rural event, set for Sept. 27-28. It’s is an annual two-day summit that will bring together 500 people who are passionate about creating vibrant, robust rural communities and are eager to learn, connect and lead the charge. As part of that, five program track feature topics will offer strategic opportunities for transformation in rural communities. One of the topics is: journalism. This will highlight building a base for strong local news reporting in rural areas; dealing with fake news in rural communities; and “building your own print and digital newspaper.”
- New Jersey Press Association – Production Point — Mr. Kincade indicted he received an inquiry from the New Jersey Press Association about the digital content platform Production Point. He asked the board whether anyone had utilized this platform and could provide input to be shared with NJPA.
Legislative — Trent Spiner, chair: Given the recent failed attempts by the Legislature to pass Right to Know legislation to strengthen laws in the state, Right to Know NH and the ACLU have started a legislative study to evaluate future attempts to impact change. The three different areas of evaluation are: creating a specific venue for RTK cases to be heard before specially trained judges who are experts in this area; changing the court system in which RTK cases are heard from superior to circuit court; and creating a master special mediation program.
The update from Mr. Spiner was the group has a number of requests for information out to a number of think tanks and court systems to gather data. The entire committee is set to meet again in October to review the materials with a goal of making a final recommendation for proposed changes by the end of 2018 or early next year.
Content Sharing — Vanessa Palange, chair: Ms. Palange deferred to Ms. West, who provided an update later in the meeting, under an item of old business.
Contest — Heather Henline, chair: Ms. Henline indicated a change in the services The Associated Press ultimately was able to provide for our contest necessitated the committee in moving a different direction. The decision had been made to then move forward with the Illinois Press Association and its Advanced Contest Entry System (ACES).
Mr. Kincade was going to pursue this and work with Ms. Palange to sign the contract Ms. Henline forwarded them from ACES to begin our project. Mr. Kincade also was going to move forward with sharing our proposed contest categories with the membership, as a newsletter item, to seek feedback. The contest only is successful if our members want to participate it and we have entry fees to cover the associated costs.
Motion to Accept Committee and Other Reports: This was made by Mr. Douglas and seconded by Ms. Palange. It carried unanimously.
- Seminar/Workshop — Mr. David Tirrell-Wysocki indicated the Oyster River journalism workshop will take place Sept. 18. Faculty for the event has been secured, including three NHPA members, and they are awaiting funding sign-off from the charitable fund.
The new workshop structure would consist of four sessions in the morning: reporting; video and photos; sound for online or radio use; and the First Amendment. This would be followed by lunch. Then, in the afternoon, the focus would be on combining the skills from the morning to enter into planning sessions for live coverage of a news-making event. This likely would be a political candidate speaking to the students. The immersion teams then would be responsible for producing on deadline a print, video and/or audio coverage package.
- Collaborative Project — Ms. West updated the board about the recent NH News Cooperative meeting in conjunction with grant opportunities presented by Solutions Journalism. She announced the NH work group has been awarded a $45,000 grant to move forward with the project. She cited Ms. Robidoux as being instrumental in helping to move this along. The funds will be used for a part-time managing editor position, for which applications will be accepted. However, they may not be engaged to pay reporters.
For background, those who attended the meeting identified two issues of potential investigative collaboration: a focus on suicides and suicide prevention, given the recent increase in the numbers; and the heroin drug overdose as well as general substance abuse epidemic in the state.
Those attending the meeting wanted to see an editorial board established to determine the structure of how such a partnership would work, who would participate in the effort, how it would be managed, etc. Then, an editorial direction would be set by the board and forms of funding would be sought for the project. The consensus was to have a representative from Solutions Journalism come in person to meet with the interested parties to look at a potential collaboration and to move this project forward. The funds were successfully obtained, as outlined above.
- Annual Meeting — Mr. Kincade worked with the board to set this year’s annual meeting of the membership for Oct. 25. More details will follow, as available. He also will work to seek the interest of those who may want to run for office.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at approximately 1:51 p.m., on a motion by Ms. Palange. It was seconded by Mr. Altschiller and carried unanimously.
Next meeting: Our next meeting is scheduled for a conference call at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13. An agenda will be forthcoming.