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Online Journalists

Hi everyone,

Based on the current feedback, it looks like we all agree on one journalists should be a part of our organization.  Look at the changes made to the bylaws below, and please provide your feedback ASAP.  After thinking about this long and hard, I feel like what is written below would work out perfectly.  I don't think any changes would need to be made in the future.  I also feel as though this would keep “bloggers” from joining our organization.  Thoughts???



SECTION 1. CLASSES OF MEMBERS. The corporation shall have six (6) classes of members. The designation of such classes and the qualifications of members in such classes shall be as follows:

A. Membership in the Corporation shall be open to persons engaged in the reporting, writing, editing, and the broadcasting or electronic distribution of news for radio, television and/or cable radio and television, or the Internet and/or online news outlets serving the State of Illinois, to persons engaged in broadcast, and/or cable, or electronic news education at colleges and universities in the State and other persons interested in promoting the ideas of the Corporation.

Classes of Membership.

1 . Voting membership in this Corporation may be vested in those persons enumerated above who are primarily engaged in the reporting, writing, editing or broadcasting of news for broadcast licensees, cable radio and television stations, recognized news services or networks serving the State of Illinois. Provided, however, that persons so engaged and employed shall be headquartered in the State of Illinois or in metropolitan areas adjacent to the State of Illinois AND IS NOT ENGAGED IN OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES THAT CONFLICT WITH THE GOALS OF THE ORGANIZATION.

Voting membership in this Corporation may also be vested in those persons primarily engaged in broadcast, and/or cable, or electronic news education at colleges and universities in the State of Illinois, or students of those institutions who are interested in broadcast and/or cable news.

Jason.Parrott's picture

would again be about accountability.

Would it be up to the Board of Directors to determine the difference between an online journalist and a blogger? I don't know how you would put that into the code... because the phrase "subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors" can get pretty tricky.

Outside of that... I think INBA needs to embrace online journalists... as long as they work under the same standards/accountability as radio/tv/cable reporters, producers, and anchors.

Janice.Collins's picture

Here! Here! I concur.

Jim.Gee's picture

To address Jason's very valid question... Another part of the Bylaws (Art. III, Section 2) says that 2/3 of the Board has to approve any new member. This is how we "screen" potential new members right now. So there is a mechanism in place already to filter new members... you don't just automatically become a voting member if you click a few buttons on the website!


Rick.Koshko's picture

I wondered in another post how engaged the discussion is before the vote. What happens between "we have an application for membership from Joe Newsman" and "the motion to approve Joe Newsman as a new member carries"?

Rick Koshko
WCMY News Director

Jim.Gee's picture


I think in the past the discussion on approving new voting members has been limited in scope since we know the stations or universities they work for, and often someone on the board is directly familiar with their work. On the other hand, we've discussed applicant for associate memberships (those not in the broadcast news business) in more depth. There have also been times when we've postponed approval of someone because of a question of their current employment status-- obviously in the business, people change jobs quickly, and not always of their own accord.

It may be of note that the board always takes a separate vote on the list of new members, even though it votes to approve the rest of the officer reports as a block.

I have no doubt that the INBA Board will consider membership applications from online or new media journalists with great care, as we're charting new and unfamiliar waters. Of course, we'll be able to view samples of these people's work almost instantly, given its online nature.

-- Gee