February 2 Meeting Minutes

February 2017 BABJ meeting minutes

Location: Boston University

Meeting in session at 7:06 pm

I. Chapter calendar

Networking event with black and Latino legislative leaders hosted by Mo Cowan.

Event will take place at 5 p.m. on Feb. 23 at Mintz Levin
– These leaders want to get to know BABJ so think of this at a meet and greet networking event.
– We will set up Eventbrite to gather RSVPs for event. Will also put together bios of journalists attending the event for legislative leaders.

BABJ/BU panel on covering Trump as a journalist of color
Event will take place 6-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 16 at BU
– We’re reaching out to journalists who covered the campaign to be panelists for this event

Student workshop
Event will take place 10-1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15 at BU
– A two-part workshop featuring resume review + session on tips for young journalists navigating the workplace.
– Sherrod Blakely suggests we have a checklist of things to go over with students.

II. Revisions to the board, bylaws

Bylaws update
– Our efforts to move BABJ forward with a new exec board and strong
foundation for long-term success are underway. The exec board has spent
time reviewing, editing and updating the chapter bylaws.
– Key changes to bylaws were around board positions and whether to
change or keep some positions
– We will share our finalized bylaws with the membership and move to formally adopt them at our next chapter meeting

Exec board update
– The exec board has crafted a list of board positions and duties that we
believe is a good structure to carry BABJ forward.
– We will share that document with the membership.

Elections timeline
– We plan to hold elections in the fall after the national convention (likely in
– This gives us enough time to carry out some solid programming and put
a process in place for elections and voting.
– The idea is to promote elections after the NABJ convention, put together
list of candidates, vote and then have the new board shadow the old board
for the last two months of the year. This will allow for onboarding and a
smooth transition for the new board to fully takeover in the new year.

III. Adjournment & Announcements

NABJ call for proposals for national convention
Deadline for NABJ workshop proposals is Feb 15 (midnight)
Details and guidelines for proposals can be found here: https://www.nabjconvention.com/abstract.cfm

Medill professor Ava Greenwell is this year’s program chair for the national convention. She joined our meeting via conference call to discuss workshop proposals and what NABJ is hoping to do with programming.

Here are some notes from what Ava had to say:

– The theme this year is “Power Up and Break Through.” Ava says they’re looking for innovative new ideas for workshops at the national convention. (Some ideas: gaming and hacking, training sessions to help people get specific jobs, etc.)
– They want different perspectives and different people for the panels.
– NABJ has intergenerational membership so we want to be as relevant as we can to all of them
– We’re looking for quality not necessarily quantity.

What does a proposal need to entail?
– You need to be an NABJ member to submit a proposal
– Have a well fleshed out idea of the panel
– NABJ is open to different formats. It doesn’t have to be a panel. It could be a talk back session or Ted-talk style session. Just think about if NABJ could do something different that could be effective for the audience.
– Be sure to have all the contact information for your panelists
– The key is to make sure the proposal description is complete. And make sure the panelists are really the best experts on the topic.
– Make sure you contact potential panelists ahead of time and confirm they can actually do it.
– NABJ is thinking about possibly streaming some sessions and having sessions that are skills based
– NABJ hasn’t settled on tracks at this point, but is open to all ideas. We want to be more cutting edge in terms of some of the workshops, but we also want to do some writing workshops.
– The more specific you can be with your proposal topic/description, the better.
– You can collaborate with other people to put together a workshop proposal.
– See online guideline for more info (link above)

NABJ Region 1 conference
Will be held March 31-April1 in Philly (Annenberg School of Communication at UPenn).
Theme: Diversity, Innovation and Technology.
Opening reception at WHYY. Most programming will be on April 1.
– Hotel: Warwick??
– $25 for NABJ members by March 1. $10 for student members.

Tip from Melanie Morris: If you plan to go to Philly check out Bolt Bus, which offers $1 fares. So book early.

Question raised about hosting Region 1 conference in Boston
– Conferences tend to be planned 9-12 months in advance
– We should look to pitch Boston as the next location for the Region 1 conference

IV. Questions, concerns and feedback
– There’s a Black Twitter conference in New York on Feb. 25. Hosted by the NABJ Media Institute on Black Twitter.