01-08-2023 Valley of the Sun Pro SPJ Chapter Board Meeting Minutes

Meeting of the Society of Professional Journalists, Valley of the Sun Pro Chapter, Jan, 8, 2023

Jan. 8, 2023, 10 a.m.

Started: 10:08 a.m.

Attendees: Tim Eigo, Mark Scarp, Teri Carnicelli, Deb Krol, Nicole Greason Absent: None


  • Secretary’s report/approval of minutes from Nov. 13, 2022 – Board action: Moved (Deb) and seconded (Teri) — unanimously approved.
  • Treasurer’s report – Teri reports our investments with Russell Life Points/Northwestern Mutual as of Jan. 5 gained $234.12 in the past quarter, to $17,682.89. Our checking account as of the same date contained $4,397.67, compared to $4,574.68 on Nov. 10, 2022.
  • Mark’s Mighty Minute! – Nothing for this meeting

Old Business

  • Past event: “Get Freelancing!”, tips for freelancer success, Changing Hands Bookstore, Nov. 16 – About 11 attendees. Alan Korwin did a very good job providing plenty of insight and tips.
  • Past event: Political reporters round table on election 2022, Dec. 6 (via Zoom) – About 15 attendees. Great panel discussion of the issues, the people, the stories and the personal impact on the journalists of covering the Nov. 8 Arizona midterm elections. Board members talked about how to attract more media people to events.
  • Past event: Holiday Mixer, Dec. 7, FEZ on Central – About 25 attendees. A few people who went joined SPJ. Attendees board members spoke to said they enjoyed being there and some plan to attend future events. We were grateful for the turnout given we put it together much more quickly than in previous years.

New Business

  • Update on the status of the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona: Mark gave a report on how the coalition president, Morgan Loew, was to speak with former coalition attorney Dan Barr (Barr just left Perkins Coie Jan. 3 to become Kris Mayes’ chief deputy attorney general) on the future of the coalition’s relationship with his old firm. The ASU law school’s First Amendment Center has been discussed as a possible alternative with which the coalition could merge.
  • SPJ Nominating Committee seeks members: Tim is now chair of the national Nominations Committee and asked board members to suggest nominees to join him on the committee, perhaps from California. A few names were discussed.
  • Ricky Vasquez presentation pitch: The chapter received a solicitation from a speaker who wanted to make a presentation to our members about dealing with stress in journalism. He would charge us $400 (a discount from his usual rate of more than $2,000). The board agreed not to have Vasquez speak, but instead promote a similar webinar offered free Jan. 17 by the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University. Tim and Mark will promote the Harvard event in the newsletter and e-blast.
  • Possible presentation by Chris Kline, CEO of Arizona Broadcasters Association, on state of Arizona media: Mark asked Chris to prepare a 30- to 40-minute presentation on Arizona media consumers’ habits as a guide to journalists selecting story topics. We’re looking at a day in mid- to late February after the Super Bowl. Mark is to hear back from Chris about possible dates,
  • Program ideas: Board members discussed ideas for programs in the spring about:
    • Ethics for April
    • Covering school shootings (with panelists including school PIOs who are former journalists as well as journalists who cover schools, cops/courts, general assignment). Perhaps other Valley j-groups could join us.
  • Proposal to draft letter to city of Phoenix re police officer arresting Wall Street Journal reporter: The Arizona chapter of NABJ has sent a letter to Phoenix police protesting an officer’s alleged treatment of a Wall Street Journal reporter who was asking bank customers questions for a story about banking outside of a north Phoenix bank. The Journal’s editor-in-chief has also sent Phoenix police a letter of protest. Board members decided not to also send a letter, given NABJ had already done so.
  • Freelancers’ meetup “Get Freelancing!” writers’ group, Jan. 18: Alan Korwin and one of the Nov. 16 attendees, Terri Thornton, have organized a meetup of Nov. 16 attendees and others at a Scottsdale restaurant. It could be the first of many such meetups and the possible start of a chapter Freelancing Committee to advise the board on and help produce freelance-related programming.
  • Launch of revised e-newsletter via Mailchimp: Tim started sending the newsletter via MailChimp for the first time in December. Board members reported receiving it and liking how it looks.

PROPOSED NEXT MEETING: Sunday, March 12, 2023, 10 a.m.

Adjourned: 11:38 a.m. (98 minutes)

Respectfully submitted,

Mark J. Scarp, Chapter Secretary