21 October 2016

CCMA board meeting minutes

10-21-16, Noon, Eastern Time

Members present: Mark Plenke, Barb Kingsley, Michael Chute, Richard Craig, Gretchen Macchiarella Biasotti, Stu VanAirsdale, Joe Wirt, Michael Longinow

Note: this meeting of the CCMA board was convened over conference call. Some board members were in California, some were in Washington, D.C. for the fall 2016 meeting of the Associated Collegiate Press. (These minutes were taken from a recording provided by Joe Wirt of CNPA.)

The recording began with informal discussion of contest rules and categories.

After informal discussion, Mark said he would give the call to order later. Because this is a long discussion, it’s the only item on the agenda. Mark said Michael Chute will take the lead on this.

Mark began with Richard’s comment about categories (two entries per category.) But will it be doubling the work for the judges? And would judges be up for twice the work?

Barb said if we had more judges, that would help.

Michael Chute asked about splitting a category between three judges. That helps with massive volume.

Richard said that when we were doing two per category, the adviser was the bottleneck anyway; it does seem like we’re putting this on the judges, not on the adviser.

Barb said that when we assign entries to judges, we can parcel them out: dailies, weeklies, non-weeklies. And weeklies would be the biggest group. Guessing 15 entries, now it will be 30.

And we’d need more judges.

Richard says he would be glad to spread the word to alums (as judges.)

Michael Chute said at the SE journalism conference, they didn’t allow any judges from that region, though they did make some exceptions (for big papers like the Miami Herald). He said he’s kind of uneasy about alums. He’d like to see CCMA move on to the Kentucky Press Association, Texas Press Association, though it’ll be harder to find double judges.

Mark said he doesn’t know why having more judges helps.

Gretchen said if you give the judges a rubric, that helps. That allows them to peel off some of the entries. It allows for multiple judges.

Mark said in Minnesota, (the student press association) would trade with another press association. We’d trade the work. But California is big. He wasn’t sure who CCMA would trade with: maybe New York? Texas?

Michael Chute mentioned the Rocky Mountain Association: draws from a number of states.

Mark said he will have the task of finding these judges. He asked if the board wants him to seek this out.

Michael Chute asked if we should we get Joe to help us find the judges?

Joe said CNPA has a deep database of judges in other states. They do this to avoid in-state inbred-ism. The earlier he can put the call out the better.

Mark said that would be helpful.

But Joe said CCMA shouldn’t let this (out-of-state CNPA group) be the bulk of your judges. If the workload has grown in any category, don’t count on these judges doing more than one.

Joe said that if CCMA doubles the judging, he wonders if there will be an expense at the other end. He also said to hit the judges with a big fat category up front. But give them lots of time to do it.

Gretchen said if we allow two entries per category, some schools sweep.

Michael Chute suggested making advisers make the call on what should be the entries.

Mark sugested a school could win only one prize per category.

Michael Chute noted that internally, at the publication, papers could could have a rubric.

Gretchen said she’s seen rubrics built with point scales for the judges. There were broad categories: visual and written. This helped the judges have a structure; they can override the rubric. But it helps them overcome their gut instinct. It’s helpful for new judges.

Michael Chute said for the SE Journalism Conference they had rubrics for judges with a likert scale. It was good for students. They could see how they did.

Michael Longinow noted that collecting data on judging gives CCMA something to look at over time.

Mark said that would be a lot of work (setting up the rubrics).

Michael Chute said he has existing rubrics from SEJC.

Gretchen said she has rubrics too.

Mark P: Call for the vote. If you’re in favor of using a rubric (for judging) say Aye. (Unanimous vote in favor.)

Gretchen asked if people pay more per entry.

Barb said no, it’s a flat fee.

Gretchen asked if we give out thank you cards or gift cards.

Barb said no, that we don’t have the budget for that. We give a hearty thank you.

Richard said we give a hearty handshake.

Mark P: All in favor of extending to two entries per category per school say Aye. (Sounded like a 4-2 vote)

Did roll call:
Gretchen: No
Michael Chute: No
Richard: Aye
Barb: No
Michael Longinow: Aye
Mark Plenke: No
Joe: Aye

Mark: 4-3 against the motion.

Stu voted Aye. 

Mark: 4-4 tie.

Michael Chute: By parliamentary rules, should the president vote? Or just break a tie?

Gretchen: Is there anyone else on the board not here?

Mark: Yes, there are people missing.

Barb: We don’t want to delay too long.

Mark: I’d like to hear from the rest of the board. But if the group votes in favor of limiting a school’s entries to one per category that folds in this vote and we break the tie.

All in favor of limiting schools to one per category, say Aye.

The motion carried.

Mark: So you can enter two categories, but each school can only win once per category.

Richard: If we set it up like this so a school drops from one category to another, do judges need to be told anything?
Michael C: We let the judges judge. Then we move ‘em up.

Mark: So Michael Chute had some concerns about people attending the event.

Michael C. said schools are entering the contest and never come to the conference. They pay a fee and it’s an easy way to win awards without coming. He suggests we make it so they have to come. If they miss it once, they’re put on notice. The organization is a community. They have to be involved.

Mark asked what Michael’s proposal was and he said if a school misses two in a row, they sit out a year.

Mark said that if, for instance, UCB wins but doesn’t show, we allow it but give a warning. But why would someone come to banquet if they can’t be in the contest?

Joe noted that one thing to consider is whether a school’s not coming is hardship or thrift. One could make the case that some schools can’t come. They’re broke; there’s no money in the budget.

Barb said a school really wants to, they could come or send someone. Richard mentioned that they have people who could come on their behalf.

Barb said she’s in favor of putting teeth into this: they have to send someone.

Mark noted that even if they come every other year, they’re eligible.

Michael Longinow suggested taking attendance at the event (at registration). See who’s there and start culling the plaques of those who aren’t there (to save time in the awards ceremony.) The slide show’s already made because we don’t know who’s coming and who isn’t.

Mark said a lot of time is lost waiting for people whose names are called and they aren’t there. So it would be good to streamline it. Names on the slide show come up even if they’re not there. Barb noted that there’s some instructional value to seeing the entries up on the screen. But they’re not called up.

Mark recapped: So starting next year, if someone doesn’t attend this year’s banquet, they’ll be told they can’t compete the following year.

Richard: If we just say they have to show up every other year. That can be the policy and we can allow leeway for special cases.

Mark: All in favor say Aye. It passes with two opposed.

Mark said the final area of discussion is categories of schools. The criteria has been frequency (of publication.) But it doesn’t meet the industry. To lump all newspapers into a category with papers that are once a semester, seems not fair.

There are so many variations: size of school? Size of newsroom?

Richard: newsroom enrollments go up and down. One year we had 23, the next year we had 7. How do you quantify that?

Barb: Editors, staff…

Mark: Weekly people have more of a chance to do stuff than dailies. The daily grind makes it harder.

Richard: I prefer apples to apples. If we do 3 days a week, we teach it that way. We were weekly, we’d have to teach it differently.

Gretchen: We’re seven days a week, or six days.

Mark: What do we do with community colleges, like Toni Albertson? But we already have it set up that 3 days a week is daily for purposes of classified ads.

But if you want to identify as daily, let them do that.

Barb: But there need to be criteria for what you print every day. You can’t just put up one story every day.

Gretchen: You want to be the biggest fish in a small pond.

Barb: So keep it to three days a week.

Mark: So leave it (at three times a week?)

Mark said he would send a follow-up email to everyone on the board to resolve the two-entry-per-category question and other unresolved contest issues.

Meeting adjourned at 1:20 p.m.

  • Minutes submitted by Michael A. Longinow, secretary