By MIRANDA PLOSS
Candidates running for the NABJ executive board presented their platforms and discussed what changes they feel are needed in order for NABJ to once again flourish and be the powerhouse organization it should be at NABJ-Chicago’s chapter meeting May 20.
In attendance were presidential candidates Sarah Glover, social media editor at NBC Owned Television Stations and Mira Lowe, senior editor for features at CNN Digital, along with vice president/broadcast candidates Dorothy Tucker, WBBM-TV reporter and WVON-AM talk show host and Galen Gordon, a coordinating producer at ESPN. Incumbent VP-Broadcast Dedrick Russell was unable to speak during the meeting due to technical difficulties with the conferencing equipment.
Each candidate focused on one idea they believed would rejuvenate NABJ in the eyes of members, along with current and potential sponsors. Although the candidates differed on how NABJ should adapt to keep pace with the evolving field of journalism, they all agreed major changes are needed. The major speaking point among the candidates was NABJ’s financial
The major talking point among the candidates was NABJ’s financial troubles and how they are affecting not only members’ outlook on the organization but the views of sponsors as well.
Tucker, during the Q&A, passionately stated: “I think we should take the credit cards away from the president!” She said NABJ should operate like a corporation, that executive board members should spend their own money and be reimbursed if the organization deems those expenses just.
Glover, Lowe and Gordon agreed with Tucker on the need for fiscal responsibility, saying the monetary issues have led to loss of sponsors over the last few years.
Glover stressed the need for transparency within NABJ, stating that if elected, she will implement an annual financial report that will be available not only to members but to interested sponsors.
Lowe, in stating her own approach, said: “One of NABJ’s biggest challenges as we know is raising money, and part of the reason it’s hard for us to raise money is because we have all this internal drama, and the internal drama gets communicated outwardly. While we are dealing with our governance issues, we also have to go out and build alliances and build relationships.”
Gordon suggested lack of presence was NABJ’s major issue with sponsorship and believes updating the national website and creating a database to connect NABJ’s network of members to employers and applicants will increase the organization’s relevance to new members and sponsors.
Throughout the night the candidates addressed questions from members, stressing that they each want to work hard to make sure NABJ is known the world over as a respected, powerful and passionate organization.