Proposed bylaws changes - Memo to members from Charlotte Hall

Note to members from 2008-09 ASNE President Charlotte Hall on proposed bylaws changes.

To: ASNE Members
From: Charlotte Hall

I am writing to tell you about proposals for important changes to ASNE. The board of directors at its midyear meeting unanimously recommended several revisions in ASNE's bylaws that will allow our organization to broaden its membership, expand the board and change our name.

We will hold a membership meeting at the ASNE convention April 26-29, 2009, at the Fairmont Hotel, Chicago, during which the changes will be discussed and voted upon.

The proposals brought forth by the board recognize that the business of journalism, no surprise to you, has changed and that ASNE also needs to change to better serve our members, our industry and our craft.

We are all way beyond ink on paper, and so the word “paper” would disappear from our name to reflect better what we do today and where we are going. Our new name, pending your approval, would be American Society of News Editors. This change maintains our valued brand, ASNE, and our logo, ASNE Leading America's Newsrooms.

To assure a robust future, we also need to broaden our base of members. Thus, our proposal includes offering full membership to editors of news Web sites, including those without a print product, as well as leaders in journalism education and journalism foundations. More and more, news organizations are not defined by “daily.” Thus, this requirement would be removed from membership requirements.

Another change would allow the board, from time to time, to appoint two additional members to ensure that the board reflected the breadth of our mission. A number of other technical changes would be made to allow us to take advantage of technology for electronic meetings and voting.

An FAQand a complete copy of the bylaws with proposed changes identified in RED are available for download.

Four separate votes will be required at the April meeting:

  1. The change of our name in Article I.
  2. Changes in Article II that provide for extending membership to editors of news Web sites, as well as leaders of higher education journalism programs, journalism training organizations and journalism foundations. Removing the “daily” requirement for newspaper members. Extending equal rights and privileges, including voting, to retired members.
  3. Changes in Article III making it possible to expand the board of directors by up to two members for a specific period when proposed by the president and approved by the board.
  4. A change in Article VI, Section II, allowing special meetings of the membership to be held by electronic means.

Feel free to call any of the officers, board members or Executive Director Scott Bosley if you have additional questions.

Thanks for your thoughtful consideration of these changes.