President’s Annual Report to the Members
Each year the PRNDI board holds a retreat to plan the annual conference and set the organization’s goals for the year ahead. Among the initiatives in the works (or already achieved) as a result of that meeting are:
- The PRNDI Board is working to stay ahead of the curve in our ever-changing media industry. With that said we are asking membership to consider a name change. We propose the organization be called Association of Public Media Journalists. We believe the “R” in PRNDI is now shortsighted as we are producing content across a variety of platforms. And the “ND” is limited in scope. We believe a name change will allow us to become a more inclusive organization, and place us on a more solid path toward the future as the premiere trade organization for public radio journalists, helping us grow membership, conference attendance and standing in the greater journalism community. We will be presenting this proposal for a vote at the annual conference.
- PRNDI is keenly aware of the need to increase editorial capacity across the public radio system. With that in mind, in early January 2016, we crafted and presented a proposal to CPB for funding for a training and certification program, an on-line editor’s guide and related projects. The proposal did not receive funding, but the organization remains committed to looking into other opportunities to help increase editorial capacity.
- PRNDI has been consistent with holding webinars. Participation for at least a couple of them hit record numbers this year.
- PRNDI completed a census of the membership. We've always asked station members to self-report which category they fit into — small, medium, or large — based on the size of their news staff. For the last couple of years, we've asked stations to specify the actual number of full-time news staffers. For the census, we counted the numbers on membership forms and conference registrations first. Then we contacted stations for which we were missing numbers. Finally, we compared the numbers we had to those provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The final tally? PRNDI represents over 1,100 full-time working journalists at local public radio stations! Over and above that, we also represent more than 200 part-time journalists. And that's not even counting the individuals, students, educators, and network staffers among the membership. Having an accurate count of the number of journalists we represent is important for securing sponsorships and for simply making sure our voice is “heard in force” in the journalism community and beyond.
- PRNDI also teamed up with NPR to take an inventory of call-in shows and news magazines. We think compiling such a list could help in developing future collaborations between stations, and between NPR and Member stations.
- PRNDI offered conference scholarships this year to help stations with limited means afford participation. We did not receive any applications for those opportunities.
- We are continuing the “grow the membership” campaign. Our membership committee remains committed to doing outreach and taking other steps to expand our membership base.
- PRNDI has added a new category to our annual awards competition – podcast. We also created a new division for extra-large stations.
- The 2017 Conference will take place in Miami, FL.
Among the items not achieved that were on the 2014 and 2015 list of goals:
- Explore forming a 501c3. PRNDI is currently a 501c6, which limits our ability to apply for grants. (We’re still a bit behind on this, but it’s still a goal).
- Google hangouts by station size. Board members that represent station size will each do one per year.
- Reporter Fly-in (training).
- Develop an on-line and printed brochure to market the organization and raise its profile.
- PRNDI is planning to provide training for its board of directors to strengthen the organization and its productivity.
- Share tips of the week from the PRNDG with membership through social media.
Our membership stands at 120. We were at 112 last year at this time.
PRNDI has continued to provide regular webinars.
Topics covered in webinars this year included:
- Webifying Radio Scripts for the Web
- Management Dilemmas
- Ramp Up Your Digital Strategy with Insight from Science Friday
- Newscasting Tips with NPR’s Korva Coleman
- Award Entry Hints and Tips
- Photo Pop
Attendance for at least a couple of these webinars hit record numbers. Your thoughts on our webinar schedule and future webinars are most welcome.
PRNDI continues to partner with the National Endowment for Financial Education, NEFE, to offer an award and scholarship. We have also partnered with NPR on webinars, as well as on the talk show/news magazine survey. PRNDI also continues to explore potential collaborations with PRPD.
PRNDI has led vocal coaching sessions for public radio and other journalists across the country, including in Minneapolis, MN; Indianapolis, IN; New York, NY; Orlando, FL; Lincoln, NE; and Philadelphia, PA. We also provided vocal coaching to students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. And we have already been selected to present a vocal coaching session at the RTDNA/SPJ Excellence in Journalism Conference in New Orleans, LA this September. These sessions help to raise PRNDI’s visibility and reputation as an organization that helps to strengthen the journalism industry.
PRNDI rolled out brand new pre-conference training this year, including a new session on investigative reporting and another on editing. Last year, we launched a series of “on demand” training opportunities at the annual conference. The a la carte service includes everything from news management and editing mentoring to vocal coaching. We’re pleased to report that a few stations took advantage of our vocal coaching program this year. We’re also happy to report that our training and certification program for news managers is back for a third year, and will continue next year in Miami.
PRNDI was represented at the PRPD conference this year to network and raise the organization’s visibility. If you are aware of any events you think PRNDI should be present at, please let us know.
PRNDI has had bi-weekly calls with NPR’s Director of Collaborative News Coverage, and remains committed to working with that team to help foster projects that benefit membership. If you are aware of any issues you think PRNDI should lend its voice to, please inform us.
As previously stated, PRNDI is proposing a name change. We also developed a proposal to increase editorial capacity across the public radio system. While it didn’t secure funding this year, we hope to continue to push the effort.
Registration for the 2016 conference is at a record 198 (as of 6/9/16), up from 157 last year.
We continue to do very well with conference sponsorships and exhibitors. We have secured a total of $29,450 in sponsorships and exhibitor commitments to help offset costs, just $2,650 shy of last year.
We continue to be in good shape. As mentioned above, the steady support of sponsorships and exhibitors at the conference is very much helping to keep us on solid financial footing.