Florida Society of News Editors meeting Minutes from meeting at Lynn University on Oct. 15, 2012

Florida Society of News Editors meeting Minutes from meeting at Lynn University on Oct. 15, 2012


Mark Russell, president

Frank Denton

Manny Garcia

Bob Gabordi

Jim Baltzelle

David Carlson

Dennis Ryerson

Phil Lewis

Ken Irby

Chris Porter

McNelly Torres

Mike Wilson

Cory Lancaster

Gil Thelen, executive director


Mark Russell, president, welcomed Ken and Phil to the meeting and the FSNE board.


Mark, welcome and thanked Lynn for good treatment.


Minutes of July meeting: approved unanimously


Mark offered a tribute to long-time board member and vice president Mike Connelly for his work on the board and his contributions to Florida journalism.


Treasurers report:

Gil and Bob reported on finances. FPA had a tremendous computer crash two months ago, no line items details, about $103,621.89 in our account. Gil asked to continue internship program for $100 month to help with web site and breaking news. Year over year down less than 4,000.It was moved and seconded to approve the Treasurer’s report. It was approved unanimously.


Legislative report:

Gil reported participating in legislative meeting of Florida Press Association. At the top of the FPA priority list is legislation providing citizens the right to speak at public meetings. That is required because a court ruling saying that while meetings must be public, there is no inherent right by citizens to speak. Beyond that, Gil reported, that Sandy D’Alemberte and Barbara Peterson are working to oppose usual attempts to create additional exemptions to open records laws.


Gil also offered insights into how FSNE is represented by D’Alemberte. He are represents us as a lobbyist and the Press Association.  Confusion over that relationship has been cleared up, he said.


Contest Committee report:

Chris Porter said the contest web site is up. Ken Irby will join committee. He said we are looking for good out of state judges.


Frank asked if we pay an honorarium and Gil offered that he believes that we should Mike agreed we should “sweeten the pot if we can.”


Gil suggested a budget of up $2000 and to allow the committee to decide how the money is distributed.


It was moved and seconded to allow for the $2000 and it was approved unanimously.


Student contest report: Phil will join Bob on student contest. Rick Hirsh and Dennis Ryerson were suggested as being able to help out.


Sunshine committee report:


Dennis reported on meetings in which he said Barbara Peterson will join forces with Integrity Florida and others with a stake in open records and open government meetings. They are proposing a Sunshine symposium at St. Petersburg College next March.


It was suggested that we sign on as a sponsor and support the symposium and encourage editorial boards to do so, too. The symposium would represent very diverse groups from very different philosophical backgrounds.


Gil: These very organized groups allow us to broaden our reach and importance. He said the First Amendment Foundation is facing its own financial issues. Although we are often aligned on issues, he said we need to be clear that we are separate organizations and have our own issues.


Dennis reported Sunshine week is March 10-16 in 2013. A discussion ensued about getting the content out earlier this year. Mark said news operations need the content 7 to 10 days out He suggested early deadlines


State decoded report:


Mark offered highlights of Rick Hirsh’s report. He is working with Waldo, major bugs have been fixed. Barbara has applied for grants. ,Rick has asked the board for $500 to reimburse a share of the money that FAF has paid.

Gil said he will ask members to link to the site.

A motion was made and seconded to pay the $500. It was unanimously approved.


Other business:


  • Mark Russell suggested replacing Mike Connelly on the board with Doug Ray of Ocala. His appointment was unanimously approved. Frank Denton will replace Mike on the FAF board representing FSNE as he is already a member.
  • Gil: The annual convention with FPA will be just outside Orlando, and it will just be a Florida convention. It will be at the J.W. Marriott July 18-20. Convention programming committee will get going right after the January meeting in Tallahasse. Dave Carlson agreed to help on convention programming.
  • Mark and Gil said that Connelly wanted to create newsroom training for how to get public records. There was a discussion about the right type of training and that the training be skills-focused, not focused on access issues. McNelly said there is a lot of appetite for this. Lot of young people do not have the faintest idea how to use data. Mike suggested such training at the conference.


Meeting was adjourned.