August 19, 2006

Unofficial 2006 meeting minutes

COMJIG minutes 8/4/06 San Francisco
These are unofficial and subject to change until ratified at the 2007 meeting.
Attending: Peggy Kuhr, Kansas, vice chair; Eileen Gilligan, SUNY Oswego, PF&R; Doug Fisher, South Carolina, secretary; Bill Reader, Ohio, research; Al Cross, Kentucky; Liz Hansen, Eastern Kentucky; Les Anderson, Wichita State; Mary Alice Bascone, East Tenn. State; Ken Smith, Wyoming; Jack Rosenberry, St. John Fisher; Jock Lauterer, COMJIG head, North Carolina.

Lauterer, presiding, calls meeting to order at 8:34 p.m. He thanks people for attending given other conflicts and cross memberships. As outgoing head, thanks everyone for making it possible in past two years and reviews the goals set at the first meeting:
• To invigorate and inspire educators in community journalism – we’ve done that with our past two years of programming.
• To open a national dialogue – judge for yourself.
• To foster and reward academic work – thanks Bill Reader for doing that. While we need more papers, we have had high quality.
• To move the field forward by supporting and affirming great teaching and research and mentoring young academics – we are discovering more people doing work related to COMJIG.
• To make a positive difference in the profession of community journalism, significant and practical research – we can make a difference there and I hope we are.
Notes that in the State of the News Media 2006, not one word about the nation’s thousands of community newspapers. That reinvigorates our mission.

Thanks other current officers: Chris Martin, teaching chair; Eileen Gilligan, PF&R; Doug Fisher, secretary; Peggy Kuhr, vice chair; Bill Reader research.

Lauterer proposes slate of incoming officers: Kuhr, head; Reader, vice; Jack Rosenberry, research; Al Cross, PF&R; Liz Hansen, teaching; Gilligan, secretary. Second: Ken Smith. Approved voice vote no dissent, and Kuhr takes the pica pole as new head.

Minutes from San Antonio (taken by Hansen). Moved for approval: Cross. Second: Reader. Approved, unanimous voice vote.

Kuhr: we need bylaws. Lauterer suggests we research and borrow from others. Kuhr “do not reinvent the wheel.” Next year COMJIG comes up for three-year review. We will need the bylaws for that. Reader and Kuhr will research and adapt.

Kuhr expects reduced number of chips for programming next time. Every year a third of the organizations go down in the number of openings they have.

Proposed convention cities for 2010: Ken Smith says the two top seem to be Denver and Portland, Ore. Anaheim, Reno, Honolulu, Phoenix, San Diego among others. Discussion – people prefer to be in the city. Denver seems to have the edge. Also possible return to San Francisco. San Diego opposed, as is Phoenix.

Kuhr: 2007 will be all-electronic paper submissions. Possible increase in dues for that.
Electronic archives still being discussed at AEJMC. Doug explains that arose from his question to AEJMC about how papers this year that were submitted electronically would be put into archive if they were revised. AEJMC says submit CDs to HQ. Reader says he has compiled all the submissions on a CD, though without revisions, and will also submit the permission slips.

Reader: Says Paula Poindexter asked for feedback, and he raised this problem that if you don’t have a high reject rate, your research is not perceived as good. We had six papers and accepted five because reviewers said they were good. We should not have to reject 50 percent of papers to have “good” research. He hopes that with this acceptance rate, we will get more graduate students. Kuhr encourages everyone in COMJIG to encourage others to submit. Reader: Our one paper rejected was from overseas and was rejected for English problems (hard to understand).

Current membership 93 members according to Lauterer.

Kuhr asks for input on goals.
Discussion about communication. Reader suggests a postcard twice a year. Also wants AEJMC to allow access to e-mails. For now, will work through existing listserv at UNC.
Liz Hansen: We had about 35 people at annual COMJIG meeting last year. But we also advertised a topic – teaching community journalism. Suggests that would be a draw. Lauterer said John Hatcher had a topic this year “Are we eating our young?” but then took a new job and could not come. Doug encourages getting the RSS feed from the blog and that all officers should file the blog.

Programming ideas:
• Suggestion about pressure on community papers to go online.
• Reader notes the bigger groups like API are beginning to recognize small papers.
• Reader: Something on other types of community journalism not connected to the mainstream media.
• Lauterer: Follow-up with RTV-J on community radio and TV.
• Doug suggests hooking up with J-lab. Its New Voices program has a lot of community radio and other projects.
• Kuhr: possible hookup with Chris Waddell and the Anniston Star program – wants especially to hear from students.

Kuhr: Do we need a paper newsletter? Sentiment was widely against that. No formal vote.

Reader: Possible informal COMJIG meeting at the yearly meeting of the U. Alabama/Anniston Star project. Informal for now; possible formal later.
Kuhr: We are trying to improve our diversity. Important for AEJMC but also because there are a lot of community papers. Please encourage people to join.
Reader: Suggests in D.C. appointing liaisons to various groups and organizations such as SPJ, PRSSA, NNA, etc. Hansen also suggests agricultural journalists.

Reader moves adjourn. Second Ken Smith. Approved voice vote. 9:43 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Doug Fisher, outgoing secretary

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