SPJ 2020 Journalism Conference • Sept. 12-13, 2020



Koretzky’s withdrawal a wrinkle in board election

By Billy O'Keefe

By Sommer Ingram
Sunday’s opening business session started with an unconventional call for a more productive board of directors.

 

 

Michael Koretzky, SPJ director-at-large, said the board isn’t meeting the needs of members, urged delegates to force the board to make drastic changes, then withdrew his candidacy.
“Face it: if I win, and the board doesn’t buy what I’m selling, it isn’t going to matter anyway,” Koretzky said. “If there’s going to be any change, it’s going to come from the delegates, and I think it should. Delegates are the most important people in SPJ, not the board members, not the president, and not a dwindling membership.”
After the opening business session, Jeremy Steele (top) and Michael Koretzky (above) civilly discussed the actions and direction of SPJ’s board of directors. (Photos by Carolina Hidalgo / The Working Press)

After the opening business session, Jeremy Steele (top) and Michael Koretzky (above) civilly discussed the actions and direction of SPJ’s board of directors. (Photos by Carolina Hidalgo / The Working Press)

Jeremy Steele, outgoing region 4 director, said Koretzky’s statement was unnecessary and offensive.
“It’s healthy for organizations to have members who question the mainstream way of thinking, but I take offense when he says it’s a do-nothing board,” Steele said. “Koretzky has great and innovative ideas, but he’s never put forward a proposal to the board for any of the things he’s criticizing.”
The remaining candidates for director-at-large are Lauren Bartlett and Holly Fisher, both whom have had extensive experience in SPJ and aim to keep the organization at the forefront of a changing industry.
Koretzky’s name is still on the ballot. Sonny Albarado and John Ensslin are running for secretary/treasurer.
Darcie Lunsford, current SPJ secretary/treasurer, is running unopposed for president-elect. She stressed the importance of consistency, accuracy and reliability to set true journalists apart.
“No matter how much chaos is forming around us, professional journalists don’t compromise our ethics,” Lunsford said. “We seek the truth and report it. We act independently, beholden only to the public’s right to know.”
While taking on new entrepreneurial efforts and developing technological skills, journalists can’t lose sight of the profession’s core values, Lunsford said.
“These core values define us as journalists, they make us relevant to America and vital to our democracy,” Lunsford said. “It doesn’t matter about the medium—the tradition of telling stories will prevail.”
Kevin Hurd of St. Cloud State University, Michael Elter from the University of Memphis, Tara Puckey from Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis and Andrew Seaman from Columbia University are running for two student representative seats. Puckey and Seaman are incumbents. Taylor Mirfendereski of Ohio University was nominated from the floor.
“We face many issues as journalists—a shift in the way our readers, listeners and viewers get their information,” Hurd said. “But there will always be a job for us, and that is to provide people with accurate, honest reporting. This responsibility doesn’t change, even if the platform does.”
Delegates will vote at the closing business meeting on Tuesday.




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