Press Association Meetings & Minutes

The Rhode Island Press Association meets once per month from September-June at the offices of our member organizations. In addition to covering the business of the press association, including discussing matters related to the annual awards contest and banquet, these meetings serve as an opportunity for our orginzations to touch base with one another to discuss all of the issues they are currently facing in the world of Rhode Island journalism. 

Meetings typically last 90 minutes, with coffee and refreshments provided by the press association. Our meetings are open to all active, associate and honorary members of the press association. 

Active members of the press association are individuals who are active employees of publications qualified for membership in the Association. Associate membership is available to individuals from newsgathering organizations, feature syndicates, public relations and advertising agencies; and individuals, firms or corporations engaged in servicing or supplying the Rhode Island print media. Associate membership is also open to faculty members in journalism, writers, graphic artists and photographers, whether active or retired. 

Lastly, honorary members may be elected at any regular meeting for reasons deemed appropriate. Persons inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame are automatically made honorary members for life. 

Interested in attending a meeting of the Rhode Island Press Association for the first time? Contact us!

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2010 Meeting Minutes

December 10th, 2010- Providence Business News

In Attendance: Scott Pickering, Patch.com, president; Mark Murphy, Providence Business News, vice president; Jill Rodrigues, East Bay Newspapers, treasurer; Linda Levin, URI, secretary; Karen Bordeleau, Providence Journal; Larry Sasso, Your Smithfield Magazine; and Nancy Kirsch, Jewish Voice and Herald.

Minutes of Last Meeting: Approved.

Treasurer's Report: Rodriques said the paperwork to officially make her the treasurer is completed and ready to file. She said there was no change in the treasury. Dues notices go out in January.

Contest Committee: Online entries now will be accepted if they have not been altered since their initial online publication and are certified as such by the editor. A person now can enter only one multi-bylines story per category which counts as the person's single story entry in that category. The board rejected a suggestion to change winner and second and third awards to winner and up to four finalists. The board voted to divide the Reporting on the Environment and Science category into two separate categories. Contest entry deadline is February 12.

State Police Proposals: State police will hold a hearing on December 16 on policy changes regarding the police section under the Access to Public Records Law. They include restricting some arrest report information and accident reports. Pickering said he is worried that once the state police approve these new regulations, local police departments will begin to adopt them, making it more difficult for reporters to get information. He encouraged board members to attend and testify at the hearing.

Bylaws: A major change to the bylaws was presented: eligible electronic news organizations could join RIPA as full/corporate members. Pickering said this must be circulated to all member organizations in the association and then be voted on at two consecutive board meetings.

Next Meeting: On Friday, January 7, at 9 a.m. the Jewish Voice and Herald, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence.

Submitted by: Linda Lotridge Levin, secretary

November 5th, 2010 - Rhode Island Monthly

Attendance: Scott Pickering, patch.com, president; Mark Murphy, Providence Business News, vice president; Linda Levin, URI journalism, secretary; Larry Sasso, Your Smithfield Magazine; Nancy Kirsch, Jewish Voice and Herald; Jill Rodrigues, East Bay Newspapers, and Sarah Francis, R.I. Monthly.

Treasury Report: Treasurer Bryan Lucier has resigned to take a position with the R.I. DOT, and no report was available for this meeting.

Election of New Treasurer: Rodrigues volunteered. Levin nominated; Kirsch seconded. Elected unanimously.

URI Journalism Day: Levin reported the panels and food are all set for Thursday, November 18. She said she will send out campus parking information for those attending.

Contest: Committee has not met. Members are Murphy, chair; Sasso, Rodrigues, Francis, Kirsch, Karen Bordeleau of the Providence Journal, and Liz Boardman of the South County Independent. Murphy said he will find judges for the 2011 contest.

New Business:

High School Journalism Day: Levin said she, her work study student, and an alumnus are working on plans. The board decided rather than incorporate a complex contest into the day’s activities, a Best High School Newspaper Award would be given. Members of the RIPA board and URI faculty will judge the papers.

Bylaws: Pickering is getting a committee together to study possible changes to the bylaws.

Taxes on Newspapers: Several publishers are looking into the possibility of such a tax that has been suggested by the incoming governor, Lincoln Chafee. The board expressed its concern about this issue.

Next Board Meeting: Friday, December 10, at 9 a.m. at Providence Business News.

Submitted by: Linda Lotridge Levin, secretary

April 9, 2010 - Bristol Phoenix

In Attendance: Scott Pickering, East Bay Newspapers, president; Mark Murphy, Providence Business News, vice president; Bryan Lucier, Northeast Independent, treasurer; Linda Levin, URI, secretary; Larry Sasso, Your Smithfield Magazine; Sheila Mullowney, Newport Daily News; Nancy Kirsch, Jewish Voice and Herald, and Rick Snizek, RI Catholic.

Minutes: Board approved the minutes of the March 5 meeting with correction that this meeting was set for April 9, not April 2.

Treasurer’s Report: Lucier said treasury has $19,705.67. That includes $1,990 in contest fees.

Banquet/Contest: Lucier reminded the board that reservations for the banquet, May 7, Friday, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Warwick, should be sent to him at editorial@neindependent.com. The cost is $30 a person. Murphy said he has received from the New Jersey Press Association all but a few contest category results. He will be notifying newspapers of the results. Murphy will put together a slide show of the winners to be shown during the awards ceremony. Lucier, scholarship chair, said he has received three entries. Levin asked that John Palumbo, publisher of RI Monthly magazine, be recognized in the banquet program for his help in producing the Hall of Fame plaques.

Access to Public Records Legislation: Pickering said he testified at the State House earlier in the week in favor of amendments to the state’s APR Act. He said the legislation has been returned to the House Judiciary Committee for more study.

Election of Officers: Mullowney as immediate past president polled the current officers, and they agreed to remain in their positions for one more year. Approved by the board. Kirsch asked the board to consider developing a list of the duties of each officer.

New Business: Kirsch suggested the association think about doing something next year for Law Day in Rhode Island. Levin said that since the Providence Journal is no longer running the annual high school newspaper contest, perhaps RIPA and the URI Department of Journalism which used to judge the contest would be interested in bringing it back. Sasso suggested an informal meeting with high school newspaper advisors to see if they are interested. Levin said the winners could be announced at High School Journalism Day at URI which has not been held for several years. The board liked the idea. Levin will have the department’s work study student compile a list of advisors and give it to Mullowney. The contest and journalism day would be held in the late spring of 2011.

Next Meeting: June 4, Friday, at the Newport Daily News at 9 a.m.

March 5th, 2010 - The University of Rhode Island

In Attendance: Scott Pickering, East Bay Newspapers, president; Mark Murphy, Providence Business News, vice president; Bryan Lucier, Northeast Independent, treasurer; Linda Levin, URI, secretary; Larry Sasso, Your Smithfield Magazine; John Howell, Beacon Communications; Sheila Mullowney, Newport Daily News, and Kristen Cyr, CCRI and past president of RIPA.

Minutes of Last Meeting: Approved with previous minor addition.

Treasurer’s Report: Lucier said the treasury has $17,465.67 after he paid $1,000 to Creative Circle to manage the association’s website. A total of $2,540 in contest fees came in along with another $700 in dues.

Contest: Murphy, contest chair, said there were 449 entries this year, more than last year. The New Jersey Press Association will judge the entries. Cyr and Lucier will put up the displays of winners at the banquet.

Sunshine Week: The plan from the last board meeting to bring local open government “heroes” to URI to be honored during Sunshine Week was postponed until next year because of a lack of nominees and too little time to put together the program. Mullowney encouraged editors to begin making a list of nominees for next year.

Election of Officers: Mullowney will put together a slate of officers to present for a vote at the next meeting.

Scholarship: Lucier said he has received no applications so far. The deadline is April 2.

Next Board Meeting: It will be Friday, April 9, at 9 a.m. at the Bristol Phoenix.

Submitted by: Linda Lotridge Levin, secretary

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