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April 2012 Press Club board minutes

April 11, 2012, San Mateo Daily Journal office

PRESENT: Darryl Compton, Marshall Wilson, Dave Price, Laura Dudnick, Melissa McRobbie, Peter Cleaveland, Ed Remitz, Jon Mays. ABSENT: Kristi Blackburn, Antonia Ehlers

The meeting was called to order at 6:42 p.m. The board approved the minutes for January, February and March.

FINANCE REPORT: Darryl Compton updated the board on its finances, saying there was not much change from last month. Membership is down but the board is still in good shape financially. The press club received 440 entries for the awards contest this year, down from 523 last year but still up from 353 the previous year. The main reason is a decrease in the number of entries in the broadband/web category this year. Marshall Wilson suggested stepping up outreach to newspapers.

OPEN BOARD SEAT: The board still has one open seat, and several names came up as possible candidates to fill the seat, including Jamie Casini, a former board member; Mario Dianda of the Palo Alto Daily News; Joanne Bracco of Parenting on the Peninsula; and Elaine Larsen of the Pacifica Tribune. Marshall Wilson will approach them about their interest and invite them to a meeting.

HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM CONTEST: The number of entries dropped from 459 to 419 this year. Eleven schools are participating. Contest entries were all submitted online except in the overall excellence and general layout categories. The board discussed the awards themselves and decided to offer first-, second-, and third-place awards rather than first place and honorable mentions. Marshall Wilson will act as master of ceremonies for the awards presentation, and Laura Dudnick will present the awards. The board will show a video at the event promoting its High School Journalism Boot Camp.

HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM GRANT PROGRAM: The board approved a draft of a summary written by Marshall Wilson of the press club’s new grant program for high school journalists. The program will allow journalism teachers or advisers to apply for small grants for equipment, training, public records document fees, or costs associated with student participation in journalism workshops, conferences or other educational opportunities.

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM: The board has not received any applications yet for its scholarship program. The deadline is April 15 and the board hopes to receive some last-minute applications.

CONTEST JUDGING: Darryl Compton reminded board members that judging needs to be done as soon as possible for the Press Club of Cleveland, Ohio, Excellence in Journalism Contest and the local High School Journalism Contest.

AWARDS DINNER: The board discussed the idea of combining daily and weekly newspaper entries in certain categories for its awards contest. The suggestion arose because some categories have only one or two entries. The board will discuss the idea further at a future meeting. The ticket price for the banquet will increase from $50 to $55, and Laura Dudnick offered to approach a contact about a possible wine donation. The board discussed details of a tribute to former board member Micki Carter at this year’s banquet.

ANNUAL PICNIC: Darryl Compton floated the idea of having the annual press club picnic at his house in September. Dave Price also suggested putting together a night when local journalists can meet for drinks. Both ideas will be discussed in more detail at future meetings.

SAN MATEO COUNTY HISTORY MUSEUM: Marshall Wilson spoke with Mitch Postel, president of the San Mateo County History Museum, who said he has acquired boxes and boxes of decades-old news photos that came from the archives of the San Mateo County Times. He is seeking help in sorting through the photos and identifying the people and places in them. There is also an idea to create a “History of Newspapers on the Peninsula” exhibit. The board will inquire about the possibility of scanning the old news photos so they can be viewed online.

The meeting was adjourned shortly after 8 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Melissa McRobbie, Board Member

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