Hello SPJ members! I hope you’ve all had a good summer and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.
Your SPJ New Jersey board had a very productive summer. Here are a few things we’ve been working on.
Friend of the court
This past weekend the board voted unanimously to join in an amicus or “friend of the court” brief in a lawsuit filed by John Paff versus Ocean County.
Paff is an officer with New Jersey Foundation for Open Government, an open records advocacy group with which New Jersey SPJ holds a permanent seat.
He sought a copy of a police dashboard video from a 2014 incident in which a police dog attacked a woman who allegedly failed to stop in a vehicle pursuit.
As one of our board members wrote, it is a relatively easy decision to join this case as a “friend of the court.”
To a person, our board believes it is important that police dashboard camera footage be a public record.
A step back in time
Our board had a productive meeting on Aug. 26 in Flemington. We met in perhaps the most elegant surroundings of any meeting in several years: the Doric House next to the Hunterdon County Historical Society Library.
The library had a wealth of materials about the 1935 Lindbergh kidnap-murder trial which took place in the courthouse just down the block and across the street.
For me, the highlight of the collection was a document signed by all the reporters who covered the trial, including one “Damon Runyon.”
Later Regional Director Jane Primerano led us on a walking tour to the now defunct Union Hotel where Runyon and the press corps stayed during the trial.
A new board member
During the meeting, we voted to confirm the appointment of Claire Regan as the newest member of our board.
Claire is a former editor for the Staten Island Advance who now teaches journalism at Wagner University.
She is a former member of the New York Deadline Club’s board of directors where she served on their scholarship committee. She helped Jane organize the most recent Region 1 Spring Conference in New York City.
Claire is a gifted graphic designer. She designed the beautiful medallions that the Deadline Club uses for their Hall of Fame. She also helped our chapter with designing brochures when New Jersey last hosted the spring regional conference in New Brunswick.
She fills the unexpired term of Maureen Nevin. Thanks, Maureen, for your service.
We’re a non-profit (again)
Our chapter received some good news recently from the Internal Revenue Service. We have been approved as a tax-exempt 501(c)6 organization.
What this means for us is that we no longer have to rely upon the national SPJ’s tax exempt status.…