“PRNDI is for news directors” — that’s what we’d been hearing. And it’s true. But we didn’t mean that to exclude other editors and news managers, or, for that matter, reporters, producers or anyone else who wants to participate in the professional development, discussions of our industry, networking and camaraderie that PRNDI is home to.
So, in September, we started to re-examine PRNDI’s bylaws — the document that outlines who we are, who we represent, and what we do.
To do much of the work, we put together a committee of stakeholders, which very deliberately includes a couple people who do not hold the “news director” title and who are not currently on the PRNDI board. And we talked to a lot of people out in public radioland about what they wanted to get from PRNDI and how they wanted to be able to be part of the organization.
What we got was confirmation that, especially in the absence of any other organization focused specifically on the craft of public radio journalism, PRNDI needs to be more inclusive. We also heard strong feelings about making sure that control of PRNDI stays with managers of station newsrooms and that we need to maintain the one-station/one-vote balance of power. We came up with a set of revisions to the bylaws we think accomplishes all that.
First of all, the revisions would clarify the organization’s mission with updated objectives:
“PRNDI is an association representing those responsible for the day-to-day direction, reporting, and editing of local public radio newsrooms. That includes, but is not limited to, news directors, broadcast and digital editors, and newsroom managers.
The mission of the association is to enhance news and information services and programming throughout the public radio system.
In performing its mission, PRNDI also serves reporters, producers, students, educators, trainers, and others in public media journalism.”
In lieu of the old, “active membership” and “non-voting membership”, the revisions suggest four categories for membership: station, individual, corporate, and student. Only designees of station members can vote or serve on the board.
And finally, the revisions would allow for station news personnel who may not be the one primarily responsible for the day-to-day direction, reporting, and editing of an entire newsroom to serve on the board as an “At-Large Representative” or as “Treasurer.”
These revisions have been adopted unanimously by the PRNDI board. To go into effect, the changes have to be approved by a majority of the membership voting during the business meeting at the annual conference in June or casting ballots ahead of time. These revisions are probably not radical, but we do think they are significant. So, please read them over, ask questions, and put your two cents in.
Email me, your Bylaws Committee Chair, with your feedback, firstname.lastname@example.org. Or find me during Bylaws Committee Office Hours on the Little America Hotel's mezzanine at the conference in Salt Lake, Friday, June 26, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.