August 16, 2014

COMJIG minutes 2014

Here are the draft minutes from our meeting in Montreal. They will not become final until next year's meeting in San Francisco. Please let me know of any corrections.
- Doug

Minutes, Community Journalism Interest Group
Aug. 8, 2014

Convened 7 p.m.
Dianne Garyantes, vice head/programming called the meeting to order in place of IG head Eileen Gilligan, who could not attend because of health issues. A total of 13 people, including officers and guests, attended.

Minutes 2013
These were discussed. A suggestion was made to ask Barbara Selvin to do a post on the COMJIG blog about her experience at the ISWNE meeting.

A correction was suggested: page 2, "future sites," line 3 change to "in Santiago, Chile."

Moved and seconded the minutes be approved as corrected. Passed unanimously on show of hands.

Garyantes asked whether we should consider raising yearly dues from the current $10. Apparently AEJMC was asking groups to pose the question. After some discussion there was no motion to change the current levels.

As of July 31, 2014, COMJIG had a credit of $1,664.67 in AEJMC's accounting.

Garyantes reported membership at 86, a slight increase from last year. There should be better numbers by Sept. 30 once AEJMC goes through conference registrations.

Research chair Hans Meyer reported we received 15 papers and eight were accepted, for just over a 50% rate. He says there were nine really good papers, but it was decided to accept only eight to keep the acceptance rate near 50%. There were 17 reviewers, and each paper got at least two reviews.

Awards were presented for the top faculty and student papers. Checks and plaques were not immediately available but will be forwarded to the recipients, Patrick Ferrucci of Bradley for the top faculty paper and Joseph Kasko of South Carolina for top student paper. Each received a certificate at the meeting.

Community Journalism journal
Garyantes reported Vol. 3 of the journal came out today. Note the special call (also posted on our blog) for papers on international perspectives on community journalism. Sept. 2 deadline and March 15 publication. Will be published both in Community Journalism and Grassroots Editor.

Next year
Garyantes said the theme of the meeting in San Francisco, Aug. 5-9, will be "Global Bridges." So think in those terms for panels and papers.

Need to think about panels early – we'll put out a call with a Sept. 30 deadline because AEJMC will want our thoughts by mid-October. Look for panels that can be attractive to other divisions or IGs.

A discussion ensued about several panel possibilities. Those include tools for community journalism, community journalism internships and their challenges both in getting students interested and then getting them ready, and a PF&R panel on homeless/street papers since San Francisco is home to the oldest such paper (noted by audience member). Individuals will hopefully pursue such initiatives in time for the call.

Southeast Colloquium
Garyantes and Meyer noted it will be in in late March with an early December submission. We were unable to participate last year. A discussion ensued and it was the general consensus that we want to participate in 2015 because it is a fertile ground for getting graduate students interested in our IG. The colloquium will be at Tennessee-Knoxville, and several people volunteered to represent COMJIG, as it is within easy driving distance.

The new research chair will need to pursue.

David Gordon said it would be June 24-28 at Missouri-Columbia. He said he expects a scholarship to be available. There was discussion. We will put it on the blog and listserv seeking someone to attend. Will need to know by February or March.

Update from Council of Divisions
Garyantes said the council reminded everyone of the regional conference planned for Santiago, Chile, Oct. 15-17, 2015, and National News Engagement Day this coming Oct. 7. The COD hopes everyone will be involved.

Other discussions
Meyer suggested that when possible we consider using #communityjournalism in tweets. He said it is used more widely than just #comjig and by other groups, so it may widen our brand.

Garyantes called on Doug Fisher to discuss some suggestions he had circulated among the officers. Fisher noted there are many times to promote COMJIG as a home for research, especially among grad students. For instance, while doing Job Hub interviews, he has noticed several candidates with work fitting nicely into our research agenda. Many did not know of COMJIG. Their eyes lit up when he noted the number of papers we get compared with, say, Mass Comm and Society. He asked all COMJIG members to be alert to these opportunities because "community" is showing in a lot more research and solid research submission numbers make our renewal efforts easier.

Officers 2014-15T
he following slate of officers was proposed:
Dianne Garyantes, Rowan, head
Hans Meyer, Ohio, vice head/programming
David Schreindl, Dickinson State, research chair
Clay Carey, Samford, professional freedom & responsibility (PF&R) chair
Al Cross, Kentucky, teaching standards chair
Doug Fisher, South Carolina, secretary/membership/communications
Joseph Kasko, South Carolina, graduate student liaison

There were no further nominations from the floor. The slate of officers was moved and seconded, and it was approved unanimously on a show of hands.

Talk by Penny Abernathy
Abernathy, author of Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability and the website, presented a summation of her research and book and some of the ways community news outlets must change to be successful in the digital age.

She said the website has a special section with teaching tools for professors and that a case study from her work has been made available for free on Columbia University's journalism case studies site.

Adjourned 8:40 p.m. and members retired to COMJIG's off-site social.

Respectfully submitted,

Douglas J. Fisher
Aug. 8, 2014

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