Members to vote on bylaws amendments, dues structure

Maine Press Association members will vote on amendments to the organization’s bylaws and a new dues structure during the business meeting (8:45 a.m.) at the 2022 conference.

The bylaws amendments would require “Regular Members” to follow the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics; add “advocacy newspapers/websites” to the list of organizations that can become “Associate Members”; and fold the “Affiliate” category of membership, for vendors that work with members, into the “Associate” category.

Another change involves a seat on the board set aside for an appointee of the University of Maine Department of Communication and Journalism. The amendment would open the seat to a journalism faculty member at any postsecondary institution in Maine. The membership would elect this individual, as they elect all other board members.

The new dues structure would replace an approximately 10-year-old structure based on a newspaper’s open rate and standard column width. The growth of digital-only members and newspapers that publish less than once a week led the board to research alternatives and recommend a structure based on each member’s number of employees.

Each change addresses issues that have come before the board in recent years. After the 2021 annual meeting, Maine Press Association President Chris Crockett established and chaired an ad hoc committee to review membership categories and criteria. The committee met several times during the 2021-22 year and proposed most of these amendments, which the board of directors approved in August.

The amendment regarding the University of Maine seat follows the departure of the board’s last university representative in the spring. The university has not appointed a replacement and the board agreed to open the seat to all colleges and universities in the state, in order to draw from a deeper pool of candidates.

Bylaws amendments and dues changes are subject to a vote of the “Regular Members” — the 45 newspapers and websites that comprise the Maine Press Association’s core membership. Each Regular Member has one vote and should designate one person to cast its vote. Read the bylaws amendments and see the new dues structure below.

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