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!

2008     2009     2010      2011     2012     2013     2014     2015     2016    2017     2018

2013 Meeting Minutes

December 6th, 2013- The Providence Journal

In Attendance: Mark Murphy, Providence Business News, president; Paul Spetrini, Independent Newspapers, vice president; Nancy Kirsch, Jewish Voice, treasurer; Linda Levin, URI, secretary; and Karen Bordeleau, Sue Areson and Alan Rosenberg, Providence Journal.
Minutes of October Meeting: Approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Kirsch said there is $18,949.41 in the treasury. Beginning balance was $19,235.84. Income was $116.50 for prorated 2013 dues and full 2014 dues from Newport This Week. Expenses were $182 for pizza for Journalism Day at URI, and $220.93 for domain name registration for ripress.org for five years and a one-year protection plan. Kirsch said she will send out dues notices for 2014 in January. The board asked that she look into putting part of the treasury into a cd at Citizens Bank so it can earn some interest.
Journalism Day: Levin said it went well. The board discussed some ideas for next year’s programs, including an interactive exercise and having feedback sheets at the end of the events. Asking journalism professors what their students would be interested in also was suggested. Levin said she is compiling a list of all the Journalism Day topics since it began in 1986 and will share it with the board, and she will include the mission statement for this annual event.
Hall of Fame: At the October meeting, the board discussed guidelines Levin had put together for Hall of Fame nominations and election procedures. Changes the board would like included: A potential inductee into the Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame must be 55 years or older; the person should have made “significant contributions to journalism through reporting, editing, photography, design, or education; or led innovative changes within a news organization, or advocated for the First Amendment.” The onus is on the nominator to spell out in a written nomination why a person meets these criteria and should be in the Hall of Fame. The board also agreed that there should be a maximum of three inductees annually. Levin said she will redo the nomination and election procedures for a final vote at the next board meeting.
Contest: Spetrini said he is waiting to hear if the Idaho Press Club will judge the RIPA contest again. He said the contest committee (members are Mullowney, Spetrini, Areson, O’Neill, Francis, Keegan, Levin, and Christine O’Connor) will meet to discuss changes in eligibility and contest categories. Murphy said he hoped the changes are ready for the board to approve at the January meeting. Some suggested new categories were community engagement stories and digital presentation. 
Open Meetings: It was suggested at the October board meeting that Steve Brown, the head of the RI ACLU might write an op-ed piece on the state of open meetings in the state to be given to RIPA member newspapers to run, if they choose. Murphy will handle this.
Website: Spetrini said that now that the domain name has been renewed (see treasurer’s report), Sheila Mullowney, editor of the Newport Daily News, would like to work with RIPA and some of her staff to have Word Press as the website program with Creative Circle continuing as the host. Spetrini said he would work with her. 
Next Board Meeting: It will be at the offices of Providence Business News, 400 Westminster St., Providence, at 9 a.m. on Friday, January 10.

Submitted by: Linda Lotridge Levin, secretary

October 18th, 2013 - East Bay Newspapers

September 13th, 2013 - Rhode Island Monthly

In Attendance: Mark Murphy, Providence Business News, president; Nancy Kirsch, Jewish Voice, treasurer; Linda Levin, URI, secretary; Sue Areson and Alan Rosenberg, Providence Journal; Sarah Francis, R.I.Monthly; John Pantalone, URI; Larry Sasso, Your Smithfield Magazine; and Tracey O’Neill, freelancer.

Minutes of June Meeting: Approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Kirsch said there is $18,643 in the treasury.

Annual Contest: No update. Murphy said he will try to bring together some ad people to discuss an advertising contest.

Banquet: Kirsch said the O Club at Quonset has been booked for May 2, 2014.

Scholarship: A short discussion was held on the possibility of connecting the scholarships to student internships. No conclusion was reached.

Hall of Fame: Levin said she is almost done with updating the rules and the nomination form. She will present this at an upcoming meeting. Pantalone, the chair of the journalism department at URI, said now that the department has moved to Rodman Hall, the RIPA Hall of Fame, now housed in the Chafee Building, eventually may need to be moved. No action taken.

RIPA Files: Levin said she is sorting through the association’s files since 1985. The board asked that perhaps topics from previous journalism days at URI and the press clippings about them could be posted on the RIPA website. No decision was reached on what to do next.

High School Journalism Day: Pantalone said he would like to resume this. He said an event to raise money from alumni for the Levin Journalism Scholarship at URI will be held on October 24, and at that event, he said he plans to reactivate the alumni advisory board, which could, as it did some years ago, organize and run a high school journalism day at URI. This could be done in cooperation with RIPA.

Journalism Day at URI: It will be Thursday, November 14, in the Memorial Union Ballroom, with the press association supplying panelists and paying for a pizza and soda lunch. Panel topics discussed included online ethics and plagiarism; creating your own job if you can’t get a traditional news media job after graduation, and the role of editing online news stories. Pantalone and Levin will put this all together.

New Business: The ACLU has asked RIPA to join in protesting closed meetings of the state Board of Education when it discusses the NECAP testing issues. The RIPA board agreed to release a statement on this supporting the ACLU’s stand. Suggestions for the wording of a statement included: “In the spirit of transparency, the NECAP issue is of great importance to parents, students and teachers throughout the state and discussing anything behind closed doors eliminates all the stakeholders in the debate. These issues must be discussed in an open setting; otherwise, this is an attempt to make an end run around the Open Meetings Law.” Murphy, Areson, and Levin will work on the statement and release it after discussion with the ACLU. Areson reported that The Journal is pursuing an appeal with the attorney general’s office on the refusal of state General Treasurer Gina Raimondo's office to release certain records.

Next Board Meeting: The meeting will be October 4, at a place to be announced. (Please Note: This date since was changed to October 18 and will be held at the East Bay Newspapers’ office at 1 Bradford Street in Bristol.)

Submitted by: Linda Lotridge Levin, secretary

June 7th, 2013 - Newport Daily News

Attending: Paul Spetrini, photo-journalist, vice president; Nancy Kirsch, Jewish Voice, treasurer; Linda Levin, URI, secretary; Sheila Mullowney, Newport Daily News; Karen Bordeleau and Sue Areson, Providence Journal; Chris Keegan, Northeast Independent; Liz Boardman, South County Independent; Tracey ONeill, freelancer, and Sarah Francis, R.I. Monthly.

Minutes of April Meeting: Approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Beginning balance was $23,783.09. After banquet and contest expenses, the balance is $18,613.09.

Contest: Spetrini, who ran the contest, said the rules need to be clearer on the entry form, especially relating to the number of entries per category and multiple bylines. A discussion was held on giving honorable mentions. The board approved giving one honorable mention only in categories with 15 or more entries. Other questions that were discussed but not resolved were: including a category for freelance writers; allowing reporters who write for several newspapers owned by the same company to enter multiple pieces in one category, and adding a publication of the year award. Mullowney, Spetrini, Areson, O’Neill, Francis, Keegan, and Levin volunteered to be on a contest committee to update and clarify the rules and talk about some of the issues from this meeting.

Banquet Update: Board members said that in general those who attended liked the new format.

2014 Banquet: Kirsch has reserved the O Club at Quonset for May 2, 2014.

Scholarship: Boardman suggested posting some of the scholarship winner’s work along with the contest winners’ works at the banquet. Board agreed.

Hall of Fame: Levin said she is putting together some clearer rules and a nomination form which she will present to the board for approval in the fall.

Old Business: High School Journalism Day: Will be placed on the September meeting agenda, along with the website update and an advertising contest.

Next Board Meeting: It will be Friday, September 13, at 9 a.m. at Rhode Island Monthly on Allens Avenue in Providence.

Submitted by: Linda Lotridge Levin, secretary

April 12th, 2013 - Providence Journal

In Attendance: Mark Murphy, Providence Business News, president; Paul Spetrini, GoLocalProv.com, vice president; Nancy Kirsch, Jewish Voice and Herald, treasurer; Linda Levin, URI, secretary; Larry Sasso, Your Smithfield Magazine, and Alan Rosenberg, Providence Journal.

Minutes of March Meeting: Approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Kirsch said the balance is $23,783.09.

Contest Update: Spetrini said the names of the winners have been sent to their newspapers. The board discussed issues relating to deadlines for entering work; entering your work after you have left a publication; dividing up some of the larger categories, and whether or not to have honorable mentions. The discussion will continue at the June meeting.

Banquet Update: After a discussion of the final costs for the audio/visual and photographs and the appetizers at the banquet, Rosenberg moved to authorize spending up to $3,000 for all three but spend as little as necessary. Approved. The board worked on the logistics for the awards. Cocktails will be 6 to 7 p.m. At 7, the guests will move into the dining room and the awards for photography/design will be handed out. Salad will be served at 7:15. At about 7:30, the first Hall of Fame member (Martha Smith) will be inducted and miscellaneous/features awards will be given out. At about 8:10, the entrees will be served, followed by the second Hall of Fame award (Rick McGowan) and half of the news awards. Following dessert and coffee, the third Hall of Fame member (the late Joe Goodrich) will be inducted; the scholarship will be awarded, and the other half of the news awards will be given out. Rhode Island Monthly will print the program; Kirsch will give the O Club the serving schedule.

Hall of Fame Update: The plaques are being made, and the inductees (or family) have been notified.

Scholarship: So far, there are four applicants.

Advertising Contest: Murphy said there was no progress on that.

Website Update: Chris Barrett and Levin continue to work on this.

Legislation: Murphy said he received an email from Steven Brown, the director of the RI ACLU, saying there are some bills relating to closure of records. Levin will find out more.

Officers for 2013: The current slate was nominated and will be voted on at the banquet.

Next Meeting: Friday, June 7, at 9 a.m. at the Newport Daily News.

Submitted by: Linda Lotridge Levin, secretary

March 1st, 2013 - Rhode Island Monthly

Present: Mark Murphy, Providence Business News, president; Paul Spetrini, GoLocalProvidence.com, vice president; Nancy Kirsch, Jewish Voice and Herald, treasurer; Linda Levin, URI, secretary; Sarah Francis and John Palumbo, R.I. Monthly; Larry Sasso, Your Smithfield Magazine; Sue Areson and Karen Bordeleau, Providence Journal; Sheila Mullowney, Newport Daily News; Russ Olivo, Woonsocket Call, and James Bessette, East Greenwich Pendulum.

Minutes of January Meeting: Approved.

Treasurer’s Report: The balance is $18,982.22. Income since the last meeting was $1,455 for membership dues, and expenses were $133.57.

Contest: Entries were due today.

Banquet: Levin will send a Save the Date e-mail to members next week and a flyer with details in early April. Palumbo will print programs and signs and will find an AV company to set up screens and a projector to show winners’ work at the banquet. He said he got a quote of about $700 for AV work. He also wants to hire an outside photographer to do publicity shots of winners for their newspapers to run. This should cost about $500 or so. The board asked Palumbo to include in the programs the names of all past Hall of Fame inductees along with the text from the plaques for this year’s inductees. Spetrini suggested breaking up the awards and inductions rather than doing it all after dinner. He also wants all winners in a category to come to the front at one time to get their awards. He will do a power point of the winners’ works. The board approved all of the above. Kirsch will handle the menu. Mullowney moved to keep the price of the dinner at $30 or less per person. She also moved that the board spend a total of up to $2,000 total for AV and a photographer and for appetizers before the banquet. The board approved.

Scholarship: Liz Boardman, managing editor of Independent Newspapers, chair of the committee, has sent out the scholarship announcements.

Idaho Press Club Contest: Spetrini says he has some judges lined up and needs more. He will send the entries via e-mail this weekend. Deadline for judging is March 10.

New Business: Sunshine Week: Murphy said the New England First Amendment Coalition (NEFAC) is holding a program in late March. He said anyone who has access to public information stories to share should let him know. RIPA Website: Levin will be working with Chris Barrett to update the site.

Next Board Meeting: Friday, April 12, at 9 a.m. at The Providence Journal, 75 Fountain St., Providence.

Submitted by: Linda Lotridge Levin, secretary

January 11th, 2013 - Jewish Voice & Herald

Attending: Mark Murphy, Providence Business News, president; Paul Spetrini, GoLocalProvidence, vice president; Nancy Kirsch, Jewish Voice and Herald, treasurer; Linda Levin, URI, secretary; Sarah Francis, R.I.Monthly; John Pantalone, URI; Larry Sasso, Your Smithfield Magazine; Sue Areson and Alan Rosenberg, Providence Journal, and Tracey O’Neill, freelancer.

Minutes of December, 2012 Meeting: Approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Kirsch reported no change in the previous balance of $17,660.79. She will send last year’s dues cover letter to the board to approve before she sends it out with this year’s dues notice.

Contest: The contest entry forms will be sent out within a week or so, and the deadline for entries is February 15. RIPA will accept tear sheets of the entry or the full-page PDF but with the story or photo attached and a written confirmation that the entry has not been altered. Spetrini said all winners eventually must provide tear sheets to be displayed at the banquet. He said the Idaho Press Club is finalizing their contest entries which will be online for RIPA to judge. He expects to get them by February 1, and we will need volunteer judges.

Banquet: The banquet is Friday, May 3, at the Quonset O Club.

Scholarship: Liz Boardman, managing editor of Independent Newspapers, has agreed to handle the scholarship this year.

Hall of Fame: The committee is meeting Thursday, Jan. 31, at 2 p.m. at Rhode Island Monthly. Any RIPA member can attend and vote. Nominations should be sent to Len Levin at Lenlevin5@hotmail.com

High School Journalism Day: Pantalone said he is working on getting speakers to go to local high schools and talk about journalism and the First Amendment.

Digital Membership: Since Spetrini has moved from a print newspaper to a digital publication, the board agreed that there is precedent for him to remain on the board as vice president until his term ends.

Next board meeting: Friday, Friday, Feb. 15, at 9 a.m. at R.I. Monthly on Allens Avenue, Providence.

Submitted by: Linda Lotridge Levin, secretary