Important revisions to PRNDI’s bylaws were adopted by the membership at the business meeting on June 27 at the annual conference in Salt Lake. They were adopted without objection. The revisions pave the way for PRNDI to be a more inclusive, bigger, and more influential organization in public media.
The bylaws are not, however, the most enthralling read -- though if you're into that sort of thing, here they are: http://prndi.org/prndi-bylaws.
Otherwise, here are some things to know:
1. The objectives explicitly reach beyond “public radio”.
At the meeting in Salt Lake, we wrestled with how to represent all the makers in our newsrooms (like including the digital people too), and how widely to open the tent (should we let public television or other non-profit media in?). There was consensus that our newsrooms are producing more than just radio. The discussion netted a change to the amended objectives, which now reference “public media” instead of “public radio” as the entities PRNDI represents and serves.
2. PRX can now be a member.
Instead of the old “active” and “associate” categories, the new bylaws lay out four more self-explanatory categories for membership: station, individual, corporate (that’s for PRX and the like), and student.
3. News people who are not “news directors” are now eligible to serve on the board.
The people who manage the day-to-day in public radio newsrooms aren’t necessarily called “news directors” anymore, but whoever does that work can be a station representative or president of the PRNDI board. And now, other public radio newspeople can run for at-large positions and treasurer! Only designees of PRNDI station members in good standing and only one designee from each station can run or serve on the board at a time.
4. It’s still one station, one vote.
As has been the case throughout PRNDI’s history, only station members have a vote, and only one designated person can cast that vote.
5. We didn’t change the name of the organization, maybe later.
We know that public radio is no longer just radio, and, as noted above, not all directors of news are news directors, but PRNDI still stands for “Public Radio News Directors Incorporated”. However, it’s fair to say the conversation about changing the name to draw more people to the organization and match the revised bylaws has begun.