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President's Report for November 2018

By INBA President Josh Morgan
 
First and foremost, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  With Thanksgiving now behind us, I wanted to focus my report on preparing for 2019.  As I'm sure many of you know, or have been told, 2019 might be a little tight for commercial broadcasters when it comes to money.  Whether that is in the form of operating expenses or potential capital investments, 2019 will undoubtedly be a little less robust than 2018.  A billionaire and almost-billionaire race for Governor always helps, doesn't it? 
 
The reason I wanted to bring it up was because that doesn't mean the journalism has to suffer.  Sure, we would all like a few more resources to be able to accomplish some bigger projects in 2019, but that doesn't mean we can't be effective.  I am in the middle of building an operating plan for 2019 right now and my focus has moved from bigger projects to how to focus on the quality of content. Rather than 2019 being a tough year, I see it as an opportunity, and I would implore all of you journalists out there to take the same approach.  We can't afford to take a year off of important reporting because money is tight.  
 
Josh Morgan
Photo by Lee Milner
 
Of course, I know this idea hits close to home in Macomb, as Western Illinois University has cut off funding to Tri States Public Radio. Everything I just said above rings hollow when it's money that is truly the only thing standing in the way of quality journalism.  I spoke with our Executive Secretary, Rich Egger, the News Director at Tri States Public Radio, who told me TSPR had a very successful Giving Tuesday campaign in which they started a major fundraising effort to make up for the $660,000 in funding cut by Western Illinois University. Most importantly, Rich says the station will continue to exist. He says the full-time employees who remain with the station are determined to keep TSPR on the air and reporting important news
 
And the reporting they are doing, specifically the reporting on their own university, cannot be done without. Egger recently reported on OMA violations committed by WIU's Board of Trustees and administration. And that reporting continues today as the Attorney General's Office is reviewing other closed door meetings called to question by TSPR. You can see Egger's original report here .  Whether the money is tight for you in 2019 or you are literally fighting to stay on the air, this is a year where we can all step back and remember why we got into this profession and how important our jobs are to the people we serve. 
 
In other news, as they say, we are all set for our winter board meeting in January. We will be meeting on Saturday, January 12 at 10:30 a.m. at WEEK/WHOI in East Peoria.  This will be the first official board meeting with the new board and my first as president.  Of course, anyone is welcome to attend these board meetings if they have interest in joining us. I hear Peoria is beautiful in January!
 
And before I go, I want to thank Brian O'Keefe for leading a Giving Tuesday fundraiser on Facebook for the Illinois News Broadcasters Foundation.  A really great idea to help raise money for the foundation.  Thank you, Brian.
 
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!