Attendance: Sheila Mullowney, Newport Daily News, president; Scott Pickering, East Bay Newspapers, vice president; Mark Murphy, Providence Business News, treasurer; Linda Levin, URI, secretary; Larry Sasso and Ron Scopelliti, Your Smithfield Magazine; John Howell, Beacon Communications; Bryan Lucier, Northeast Independent; Marcia O’Brien, The R.I. Catholic, and Kristen Cyr, Community College of R.I. Guest was Tom Zorabedian, associate dean, College of Arts and Sciences, URI.
From Dean Zorabedian: He reported the total raised for all the endowments for the URI Department of Journalism endowments is about $380,000, most of which has come in since the fundraising initiative was begun. The URI Journalism Scholarship (formerly the one started by RIPA) has about $26,400 (after URI Foundation fees taken out), with about $12,000 out in pledges: $5,000 from East Bay; $4,000 from Newport Daily News; $3,000 from RI Broadcasters. The RI Media Group Scholarship Endowment (formerly Journal Register) has about $ 43,000 in it. Also, there is $1,750 in the Speaker Fund. He suggested moving all funds currently in the lecture fund and the speaker fund to other funds--perhaps the Scholarship Fund--as they are not doing anything now and not accruing interest. The board will discuss this at a future meeting.
Minutes of Previous Meeting: Approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Murphy said the account has $17,273.86. Dues notices will go out soon.
Contest/Hall of Fame: Pickering said there were fewer entries than in recent years, but the awards went to a wider range of publications. He asked for the winning entries in PDF or digital file to show at the banquet.
Public Records Legislation: Howell said as of last week the Senate bill had not been introduced, but he said Senator Lenihan, the sponsor, will take care of it. Howell said the police chiefs are on board with the amendments relating to police information except they want the release of narrative reports to be available within three days not 24 hours as the amendment now states. He noted this is a compromise that the sponsors accept.
Scholarship: The deadline is today. Sasso suggested allowing students who apply to do so via e-mail if they choose. Levin suggested raising the amount of the scholarship from $1,000. Lucier and Betty Cotter, editor of South County Independent, will select the winner. (Later, via e-mail the executive committee of the board agreed to give two scholarships of $1,000 each.)
New Business: Mullowney said the Sunshine Week panel expenses for interpreters were $388 which was split with ACCESS/RI. Pickering moved approval; Murphy seconded.
R.I. Interscholastic League: Discussion by editors of their policies relating to coverage of high school sports events. Levin suggested this as a topic for Journalism Day next fall; Pickering said an immediate meeting with editors and sports people is needed because local sports championships are coming up. Pickering; Lucier; O’Brien, and Brian Pernicone, sports editor of the South County Independent, will look into this.
A discussion of Journalism Day at URI next fall was postponed to the next meeting.
Cyr and Sasso presented a slate of officers who will take office at the banquet in May. They are: Pickering, president; Murphy, vice president; Levin, secretary, and Lucier, treasurer. Approved.
A brief discussion was held on a Professional Development Day co-sponsored with the American Press Institute (API) for a cost of under $2,000. It will be placed on the agenda of the next meeting.
A URI student has scanned into the RIPA website the Hall of Fame members. Mullowney said she will continue to work on the website after she leaves office as president.
Levin said a photo exhibit from the Associated Press focusing the AP’s new book Breaking News is on display at the URI Library until mid-May.
Upcoming Meetings: Friday, June 13, Bristol Phoenix; and Friday, Sept. 12, Westerly Sun. Both will begin at 9 a.m.
Linda Levin, secretary