FSNE July Meeting Minutes
July 2012 FSNE board minutes
Present: Cory Lancaster, Mark Russell, Jim Baltzelle, David Carlson, Mike Connelly, Frank
Denton, Dennis Durkee and Antonio Fins (conference call), Bob Gabordi, Manny Garcia, Chris
Porter, Gil Thelen, Mc Nelly Torres (conference call)
Meeting called to order by Lancaster at 2:01 p.m. July 5, 2012.
Approval of minutes from May board meeting. Russell moved that the minutes of the
November board meeting be approved. Carlson seconded. Minutes approved by voice vote.
Treasurer’s report and financial outlook. Thanks to an FPA computer crash, Thelan said
FSNE has no financial report since the end of March. “Our revenues are going to be continually
challenged,” Thelan said, and FSNE will need to continue to look at expenses, mentioning
the cost of the awards presentation and the $100-a-month cost of the web site intern. But we
have “enough reserves to go 10 or 15 years,” Thelan added. Lancaster wondered about raising
contest fees. Noting the drop in the number of convention attendees, she also wondered if FSNE
should consider having an awards banquet or luncheon in a central place such as Orlando. That
generated considerable conversation, with Denton noting the value of a ceremony.
New FSNE officers and extend Rick Hirsch term. Mark Russell becomes president on
Saturday, Mike Connelly vice president and Bob Gabordi secretary/treasurer. Lancaster suggested
extending Rick Hirsch’s term for a year because of the number of new members on the board.
Baltzelle added that there is a desire to have the Miami Herald’s Mindy Marquez join the board,
but it will be a year before that can happen. Carlson moved that Hirsch’s term be extended. A
chorus seconded. Approved with no dissensions on a voice vote.
Contest. Porter said there were about 100 fewer contest entries this year; he believes the cutbacks
were across the board. Porter said the system shows contest fees totaled $22,410, but FPA shows
only $17,650 collected, likely because of the system crash.
There was discussion about raising entry fees or dropping the $30 discount.
Baltzelle raised the possibility of adding college awards. There was a discussion about
what entries might qualify; Gabordi said he once had to write a letter for an intern contest
entry vouching how much of the work was the intern’s.
Porter said some categories – editorial cartoons, for example – had few entries because
many newspapers were using freelancers. Should entry be opened to non-staff? Baltzelle
suggested requiring a letter from editors vouching for the work. Carlson suggested
making it just “published in.”
Lancaster asked the contest committee (Porter, Wilson, Baltzelle, Torres, Fins, plus Russell said
he would join) to evaluate opening the contest to freelancers for work published in the newspaper,
and consider a college category.
Sunshine Week/legislative session future plans. Durkee said Sunshine Week is March 10-15,
2013. If we want to do a symposium again, Durkee said, Florida A&M has offered to be the host.
The First Amendment Foundation’s Barbara Peterson is thinking about an FOI meeting. Connelly
said two topics would be hot the next two-three years: the prospect of legislative action on open
government, especially given Speaker-designate Will Wetherford’s experience on the Open
Government Commission; and the Florida First Amendment Foundation’s planned endowment
drive. Connelly suggested the need to have every editor and publisher in Florida contribute to
the campaign. Thelan said FSNE should look to Peterson and Connelly for guidance on how
to approach Wetherford. Lancaster suggested discussing Sunshine Week suggestions at the fall
Presidential debate/Lynn University. Russell said the board meeting will be on Monday,
Oct. 15, a week before the debate at 8:30 or 9 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22. It is the last of three
presidential debates, with ABC as the pool network. Format and moderator not settled yet. Lynn
is interested in have a lunch with FSNE and having a round table before/after the meeting with
students. Lynn will also set up a way to display headlines from FSNE papers on the Lynn debate
Russell, Fins and Baltzelle will start working on panels that will be held in the week before the
debate, either Monday after the meeting or on Tuesday morning. The audience is likely to be
Lynn students and professors. Fins said two panels are being considered: one with cartoonists and
one about Hispanics and coverage of the campaign. Russell said if FSNE only does two or three
panels, it will be only a fraction of what Lynn is doing that week. Baltzelle raised the question
of developing a student project. Russell asked Fins to inquire about free signs at the Lynn event.
Russell asked who would be at the October meeting; everyone in the room raised their hands.
Writers’ Workshop. Fins asked for suggestions for speakers next year, especially on blogging.
He said how-to sessions were the best attended.
Statedecoded.com. Baltzelle said Waldo Jacquith would provide an update at the 8 a.m. Friday
session. Baltzelle said FSNE needs to decide how to show it off and encourage use of the Florida
Other business/board member comments. Gil Thelan asked volunteers to show up at the
ballroom at 9 a.m. Saturday to prepare for the awards presentation. A plaque and gift was
presented to Cory Lancaster as thanks for her work as FSNE president.
General membership meeting: 8:30 a.m. July 7, Destin.
Next board meeting: Oct. 15, Lynn University, Boca Raton.
Meeting was adjourned at 3:31 p.m.