The WNPA Board, along with contest chairs, the membership chair and other volunteers, met Monday, Dec. 12, 2011, in Appleton to discuss the following items:
Doug Sundin was commended for ushering the Monthly Clip Contest into the digital age. Overall the first year has gone extremely well. While the clip contest will remain for published work only, there will be some minor changes for the 2012 contest year. First, just like in the year-end POY contest, entrants will not be prohibited from entering a single from a picture story in a singles category. WNPA will be reducing the metadata requirements on entries to ease the time burden and confusion of entering. We are also exploring ways of creating incentives for people to enter on a monthly basis.
The year-end POY contest will have a Feb. 29, 2012, deadline. Judging will be attached to (the Thursday and Friday before) the 2012 convention. That date is still TBD (see below). Due consideration was given to adding a special category for photographs related to the Wisconsin budget/recall/collective bargaining issues. The Board ultimately decided against adding such a category to this year’s contest. Contest chairman Michael P. King will still accept disc entries, but will be pushing for 100% online entry through AirDropper, the same system used to enter the monthly clip contest.
John Hart of the Wisconsin State Journal is WNPA’s membership chairman. WNPA will be moving our membership roster to a secure online database to better organize member contact information, their dues/contest/convention payments, and better communicate with our members. Hart and others will also be communicating with former members and non-members around the state to encourage WNPA membership and participation.
Because of two incidents in Milwaukee involving the arrest of photojournalists, advocacy has recently become a concern for WNPA. By issuing statements and sending letters of objection to the Milwaukee Police Department and other officials in city government, we were able to make an impact in how those arrests were viewed in the “courts of public opinion” which ultimately led to a sit-down meeting between the MPD and Milwaukee media outlets. The Board discussed streamlining its process for issuing such statements and letters in such cases with the goal of having response times of less than 24-48 hours. Eventually, WNPA wants to be more proactive than reactive in these matters. WNPA is already considering teaming up with the Madison-area chapter of Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) to host an evening with local law enforcement departments to discuss the good press-police relations in the Dane County region (with the emphasis on maintaining those good working relationships).
WNPA will play a significant role in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association’s 2012 Convention this coming February in Madison. Michael P. King of the Wisconsin State Journal will represent the organization on the Young Professionals Panel on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. That evening during the opening dinner reception, WNPA will present an audio/visual presentation featuring the best photojournalism from around the state. We will be soliciting submissions for this in the near future. During the Friday, Feb. 24 sessions, WNPA will lead a visual journalism panel.
Plans are being made for the 2012 WNPA Convention sometime in the spring in Milwaukee. Stay tuned for more details as they become available. As mentioned above, it will be a Thursday-Saturday affair as the contest judgings will be held in the days leading up to the convention.