Hispanic Journalism Organization Kicks Reporter Out of its "Open" Board Meeting

Discussion in 'Photography, Law & Travel' started by Carlos Miller @ PINAC, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is coming under fire from its own members after a reporter and a videographer were kicked out of an open board meeting during this week’s Unity conference in Las Vegas.
    Although this is mainly an internal political squabble, it is ironic considering the lack of transparency within one of the nation’s largest journalism organizations.
    But it’s also refreshing to see a young reporter taking a stand against media restriction in what was supposedly an open meeting.
    Unfortunately student journalist Nadia Khan stuck to the outdated media convention of writing about herself in the third person to avoid looking like she was, well, writing about herself.
    But she didn’t refer to herself in the third person when she sent out several tweets hashmarked #Unity12 after her and student videographer Joe Vazquez got kicked kicked out, ensuring that the issue became the talk of the conference on Tuesday.
    NAHJ President Michele Salcedo, an Associated Press political editor, came across looking like a dictator when she forbade board member Rebecca Aguilar from talking to Khan after the meeting, saying that only herself and the executive director can speak for the board.
    Salcedo also claimed that it’s in the organization’s policies and procedures not to allow reporters to cover its meetings or tweet about it, but it says nothing about that in its bylaws and the meetings have been covered by reporters in the past.
    Not surprisingly, the main reason for all the secrecy involves the use of organizational funds.
    Despite this obvious lack of transparency, the meeting was open to all NAHJ members. But that's because they know most members won't take time out of the convention to attend a boring meeting, unless, of course, you're there to cover it.
    Here is how Khan explained it in her article:
    Khan talks about the incident in the video below.
    A UNITY News reporter who had been assigned to live tweet the board’s discussions was asked to stop reporting and to leave the room. The reporter sent out three messages on the social media network before she left and waited outside the meeting room, at the request of her editor.
    The incident further enflamed board critics’ existing concerns that the NAHJ leadership has lacked transparency during its two years in power.
    Members discussed the UNITY News ejection on Facebook and Twitter, which have frequently hosted past debates about the organization’s future, finances, minutes and elections.
    Last year’s controversial board decision to lay off a majority of staff, including Executive Director Ivan Román, upset many members, but Salcedo insisted that tough financial decisions had to be made because of past excess and deficits that ran in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    During Tuesday’s board meeting, Salcedo said the board’s financial austerity measures led to $339,000 in net income for the organization.​
    Khan talks about the incident in the video below.

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