The Digital Journalist
NPPA Board: Budget, Officers and Awards
August 2004

by Donald Winslow

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (July 11, 2004)—At the 2004 annual NPPA board of directors' meeting, July 8-10 at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla., new national officers were elected, the board voted to reduce its size by nearly half (eliminating regional associate directors as voting members of the board), a new Code of Ethics that takes into consideration modern digital imaging was unanimously adopted, and honorary awards and contest winners' awards were bestowed.

In the closing business of the three-day board meeting, new national officers were elected Saturday before the awards program. Bob Gould of WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Region 4), was elected president, and Alicia Wagner Calzada, a freelance photojournalist from San Antonio, Texas (Region 8), was elected vice president. Sean D. Elliot of The Day in New London, Conn. (Region 1), was elected secretary, and T.C. Baker of The Victoria Advocate in Victoria, Texas (Region 8), was elected to the new position of treasurer.

Ron Stover of KARE-TV in Minneapolis, Minn. (Region 5), was elected as the Executive Committee Board Representative. Ray Meints (Region 9 director) of NETV in Omaha, Neb., and freelance photojournalist Michelle McLoughlin (Region 1 associate director), were elected to the Judiciary Committee. Todd Stricker of KSAT-TV in San Antonio, Texas (Region 8), becomes the NPPA past president. Board members Tony Overman (Region 11 director), Scott Utterback (Region 4 director), and Jeff Gritchen (Region 10 director) were elected to the Finance Committee.

During an evening of honors and recognition, photographer Dirck Halstead and William Pekala of Nikon were given NPPA's top honor, the Joseph A. Sprague Award.

Halstead's Sprague Award was "in recognition of his brilliant photography, personal bravery, innovation, and unselfish dedication to sharing his knowledge with younger photojournalists for almost half a century." Pekala's Sprague Award was "in recognition of his dedication to the NPPA and its many educational activities. When the need existed to support the NPPA, Pekala and Nikon were always first to step forward."

Also honored were Bob Lynn with the Joseph A. Costa Award, Shelly Katz with the John Durniak Mentor Citation, and Colin Crawford of the Los Angeles Times with the Jim Gordon Editor of the Year Award.

The NPPA board unanimously adopted an updated Code of Ethics for the organization and its members during the final day of its meeting. At the board meeting last year in Chicago, John Long of The Hartford (Conn.) Courant, chair of the Ethics and Standards Committee, requested board approval to expand the committee in order to modernize and revamp the Code of Ethics "from the ground up."

The new code is posted on the NPPA Web site at

On Friday, the board passed a resolution to reduce the size of the board itself. The 11 NPPA regional associate directors will no longer be voting members of the board. Only the 11 regional directors will be voting board members and have their transportation and housing costs for board meetings reimbursed by NPPA. The vote does not eliminate the position of regional associate director; associate directors will continue to serve and perform their duties and be elected by the members of their region.

Reducing the size of the board has been discussed for several years as one way to reduce the travel and housing costs of the annual meeting, which is a significant yearly expense, and to bring the board's size into conformity with other organizations the size of NPPA. The board reduction is also a means of streamlining some of the business functions of the organization.

In other board business, the annual NPPA convention is still "on hold" until a new format for the event can be presented. The board voted to fund the Business Practices Committee, and the Bylaws were sustained with a 5 percent contingency line-item restored to practice.

The board once again canceled a hardbound "Best Of Photojournalism" yearbook for the year, deciding instead to publish the "Best Of Photojournalism" contest-winning images in a special issue of News Photographer (as was done in January 2004). The board requested that additional funding be sought so that, eventually, the "Best Of Photojournalism" can return in the hardcover format. "The Best Of Photojournalism" Contest Committee reported that it is continuing its commitment to an expanded contest and to develop funding for the hardbound book.

The board approved a Labor Relations resolution to the Bylaws. The change allows the NPPA to comment on proposed labor contracts, which is a departure from the past policy, which historically prohibited such comment.

Several resolutions proposed by Mark Loundy were not passed by the board. "The discussion about them was robust," former national secretary, and now NPPA treasurer, T.C. Baker, said. "The resolutions were discussed by the board at length—but all of the Loundy proposals failed to receive approval. But the board expects all the issues raised by his resolutions to be revisited again in the very near future."

One of Loundy's resolutions called for amending the NPPA bylaws so that the organization could address specific labor situations. Although this resolution was not approved, another Labor Relations resolution was passed by the board that amended the Bylaws to allow NPPA to comment on proposed labor contracts. Previously, NPPA's bylaws had specifically prohibited such comment.

Loundy's three other resolutions, all of which were defeated, called for: hiring a full-time advocate to lobby for the economic interests of editorial photojournalists; forming an oversight committee for the advocate; and raising the dues to pay for the efforts.

NPPA executive director Greg Garneau, who also attended the board meeting, said Region 8 associate director and current NPPA vice president, Alicia Wagner Calzada, "offered amended versions (of two of the Loundy resolutions) that garnered some support, but it didn't quite get enough votes." Calzada suggested amendments to Loundy's resolutions changing the Bylaws and to the resolution about hiring an advocate.

Baker said, "Of the four Loundy resolutions, three of them built on a foundation that was set by the first resolution. After the first one was defeated, the others weren't as applicable, as they were pretty much dependent on the passage of the first one."

The new NPPA online store generated support from the board and its sales forecast received a modest boost, executive director Greg Garneau reported from the meeting. And the board approved a change in the Student Delegate election date to conform to the typical college school year calendar, making the election process for college participants more likely.

On the opening night of the meeting, the board voted to formally establish a legal defense fund, Todd Stricker reported. The fund already exists, but the resolution was passed in order to "firm up" the wording for the auditors and to guarantee that the money that members check on their membership form is set aside for the fund.

The board also approved making the Advocacy Committee a standing committee. "This means that work they have already started this year will continue in its current form," Stricker said.

Complete board and honors and award information is online at

© 2004 News Photographer magazine, The National Press Photographers Association, Inc