Athens, GA., Aug. 2, 2021 - The NPPA board of directors gathered on Saturday, July 31, 2021, for their regular bi-annual meeting. The packed agenda made for a productive meeting filled with robust discussion, which resulted in the unanimous adoption of four resolutions and the unanimous defeat of a fifth.
“I am honored to be part of a team that continues to step up unlike any I’ve been a part of. We have accomplished much in the first half of 2021 and that’s because this board never shies away from having the difficult conversations and open-minded approach to doing the hard work that enables real progress,” said NPPA President Katie Schoolov.
A big change voted on by the board at Saturday’s meeting makes it easier to form new student chapters. With the unanimous adoption of the resolution, a student chapter can now be formed by a minimum of three NPPA student members in good standing instead of five. In an effort to increase access for schools with small or no photojournalism programs, the resolution also opens up student chapters and events to student members not associated with a chapter’s campus, if chapter rules allow it. It also allows new Regional Student Chapters to be formed by a minimum of three student members and requires representatives from student chapters to attend one national or regional event every year.
“When I took on the role of Student Representative in December, my main goal was to make student chapters accessible to all student members. Today, that goal was accomplished. I'm excited to see student chapters grow and more connections be built among the student members, “ said NPPA Student Representative Sabrina Godin, who authored the resolution.
The board also unanimously passed a resolution that changes the name of the student contest to NPPA Student Visual Journalism Contest, making it more inclusive for new video categories we hope to introduce for student entrants in 2022.
The board also discussed a resolution requesting NPPA remove its signature from the Photo Bill of Rights. The resolution was submitted by longtime NPPA members Mark Loundy and Mark Hertzberg and was co-sponsored by several past presidents and current members. After 40 minutes of discussion, the resolution was unanimously defeated by the board.
Another resolution considered by the board was a new policy for letters to the editor and op-eds. It is meant to provide clarity around the editorial selection process and offer guidelines for those wishing to submit opinion commentary to be considered for publication. The policy was adopted unanimously.
Lastly, the board unanimously adopted new language to amend NPPA’s investment policy, after hearing from elected director Ross Taylor and treasurer Katie Diseroad about the need for investments and important checks and balances that need to be in place.
The board also got a mid-year budget report from Diseroad, as well as a mid-year report on important fundraising efforts from Strategic Planning Officer Sherman Williams.
General Counsel Mickey Osterreicher and Deputy General Counsel Alicia Calzada gave an impressive rundown of the last six months of advocacy efforts, including training sessions with journalists and law enforcement officers, webinars on drone use, continued work on the vitally important CASE Act, and other essential legislation such as CA SB 98, a drone lawsuit in Texas, and the Journalist Protection Act.
Vice President Oliver Janney gave updates about our preparations for celebrating NPPA’s 75th anniversary, and updates to our NPPA Live: Master Your Gear series of deep-dive sessions with Sony and Canon.
Schoolov gave updates about the “Continuing the Conversation” series NPPA is co-hosting on Twitter Spaces with other journalism ally organizations. Successful events have been held so far with the Asian American Journalists Association and NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. Next up, NPPA hopes to co-host events with the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the National Center on Disability and Journalism.
Our newest elected board member, Victoria Sanchez, put forth a request for members to post photos from the field while holding their NPPA member ID, with the tag #NPPABadgeTags. Look for a campaign later this year around these posts and a possible raffle.
The board will meet again in the winter, at which time elections will be held for two open board seats. Nominations will open in the Fall. Please watch for a member-wide survey, also coming in the Fall, as an opportunity to give honest and thorough feedback. In the meantime, the board and executive committee wish to thank all members for their continued support of NPPA.
NPPA board and guests at the Saturday, Aug. 2, 2021, meeting.