NPPA Board Discusses BOP Contest, New Web Site Progress

By Michael P. King
NPPA national secretary

DURHAM, NC – NPPA’s board of directors held its annual mid-year meeting on Saturday, July 21, via conference call. The vast majority of the 10-hour meeting was spent discussing the future of NPPA’s Best Of Photojournalism contests for still photography, Web sites, photography editing, television news video, and television news editing. The discussion followed a meticulous report and presentation by BOP contest chair Terry Eiler

“We discussed – at length – a detailed plan for the revitalization of the Best of Photojournalism competition,” said president Sean D. Elliot. He added that details on the changes will be promoted later this summer.

The Board also – for the first time – was shown mock-ups of the new Web site, which is in the works and expected to launch later this year. Visitors can anticipate a much cleaner design and improved user experience at a site geared towards promoting and showcasing members’ work, as well as building community.

NPPA general counsel Mickey H. Osterreicher and advocacy committee chair Alicia Calzada briefed the board for about an hour on their continuing fight for photographers rights. Osterreicher has gone to Charlotte, NC, and Tampa, FL, to do training with law enforcement agencies in hopes of avoiding interference of photographers at the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions. Along with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, he also was a resource for journalists in Chicago during the NATO summit in May, including Joshua Lott, a freelancer for Getty Images who was arrested while covering protests tied to the event.

“You guys are the unsung heroes of the NPPA,” Board member Melissa Lyttle told Osterreicher and Calzada during the meeting. “We need to continue to stress to our members what it is you’re doing.”

Summer law intern Justice Warren was hired in June and has since been writing posts for NPPA’s advocacy blog, news releases, and doing some research work.

The Board received updates on the organization’s financials, showing that NPPA continues to weather the economy fairly well. In January, the boardpassed a $1.3 million annual budgetat its yearly business meeting.

“The NPPA is on-budget and doing fine as projected,” said Elliot. “I can’t emphasize enough how pleased I am with the Board’s professionalism and attention to detail. I’m glad we’ve made it to this point in the year with our budget still in order, and I’m looking forward to completing the Web site project.”

New board members Kainaz Amaria, Yunghi Kim, James Michalowski, and Bethany Swain took the oath of office at the start of the meeting. Amaria and Kim are both one-year presidential appointees to the board. Michalowski – the runner-up in the most recent Board election – assumed the seat made vacant by the election of Michael P. King to national Secretary. Swain was elected by the board to fill the vacancy created by the departure of J. Bruce Baumann in February. Both Michalowski and Swain have about 17 months remaining in their terms. Maddie McGarvey completed her term as student delegate. Student Committee chair Bettina Hansen is accepting nominations for McGarvey’s replacement.

The board is scheduled to next meet in person for a multi-day affair at the Annual Business Meeting, typically held mid-January at NPPA’s offices in Durham, NC.