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Reports from Journalists Training Organisation meetings

JTO AGM and Council meeting July 7, 2005

Attending both meeetings were: Mike Fletcher, Lincoln Gould, Tony Wilton, Jim Tucker, Grant Hannis (Jeanz rep), Clive Lind (new member, editorial development manager at Fairfax), Raewyn Rasch, Bruce Wallace, Kim Griggs (new member, representing freelancers), Janet Tyson.

The minutes of the previous meeting were held to be true and accurate.

Jim Tucker presented his annual report. He stated that the JTO was not in a strong financial situation and that measures must be taken to rectify this.

The financial records of the JTO are such that no annual accounts could be prepared in time for the AGM. A forensic audit of the financial records has been conducted and a Special General Meeting will be held once the accounts are ready. The auditor was able to report that at balance date assets totalled $63,730 and liabilities $75,046.

Among the remedial actions being taken the JTO is to relocate in Newspaper House. The JTO secretary recently left and will not be replaced. Instead, the JTO will share the NPA’s admin support services.

Council members voiced their concerns about the financial position of the JTO and various comments were made supporting Jim’s prompt action to improve matters.

Looking to the future, Jim has developed a strategic plan (summarised on the front page of the Jeanz website), in part to address concerns that its status as an Industry Training Organisation is endangered.

In other business, another journalism school recently passed moderation. New editions of Intro and Guide to Media Law were published, but Intro needs a major revamp. A new textbook on court reporting is also to be published.

Council Meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were held to be true and accurate.

Jim presented his report to the Council. He has virtually completed his initial consultation with all stakeholders and has produced a strategic plan for the JTO. As mentioned, this is summarised on the main page of the Jeanz website.

With sponsorship from various bodies, the JTO has held a range of training seminars for journalists, including reporting refugee issues, reporting Maori issues, and reporting the election.

The JTO has attracted some new members following the decision to communicate to members by email. A $10 discount deal is now available for new corporate members. Jim noted that the JTO’s records are unclear as to the total number of members or the details of the various forms of membership available. Jim is to rectify this situation.

The JTO presented the two $500 student awards at the Qantas Media Awards. The print winner was Yvette Wakelin from Wintec and the broadcast winner was Alexi O’Brien from the NZ Broadcasting School.

The redesign of the JTO’s website is now complete.

The JTO published a revised version of Colin James’ Covering Elections in June, sponsored by the Electoral Commission. A new edition of Kawe Korero is to be sponsored by the Mana Charitable Trust.

The meeting started at 9am and closed at 12 noon.

JTO meeting March 30, 2005

At the meeting were: Mike Fletcher (chair), Lincoln Gould, Shenagh Gleeson, Tony Wilton, Jim Tucker, Grant Hannis (Jeanz rep), Bill Southworth, Terry Brown, Bruce Wallace, John Stewart (new member, from TVNZ), Penny MacKinnon, Neville Gibson

The minutes of the previous meeting were held to be a true and accurate record.

Bill Southworth (outgoing executive director) and Jim Tucker (incoming executive director) presented a joint report to the council. Bill began by noting the staff changes at one journalism education provider. He went on to mention that 25 reporters attended a recent food writers' seminar run by the JTO.

The Electoral Commission has agreed to sponsor the publication of 1000 copies of the JTO handbook on MMP. Work on a court reporters' handbook is progressing.

A seminar for arts reviewers was also recently held, attracting 32 enrolees.

Work is proceeding on the rewrite of the photojournalism unit standards. The diploma should be available for journalism educators to provide by mid-year.

The JTO's moderation reports on two journalism education providers were tabled.

The JTO's website is currently being overhauled. The intention is for the site to have a more modern look, and papers and presentations from seminars will be available on the site. The work should be completed soon.

Jim mentioned that he recently spoke at the Community Newspaper Association's annual conference. He received feedback from the conference on the performance of various journalism schools.

Jim is to visit journalism schools and the industry over the next few weeks prior to preparing a strategic plan for the JTO.

The JTO's financial report was tabled. Following this, there was a discussion regarding the timing of both the AGM and the budget subcommittee's meeting.

Bill then discussed training of working journalists. With Massey withdrawing from offering such training, the JTO is considering other options for the delivery of such training. Jim mentioned that Fairfax is seriously considering introducing cadetships. It is possible that such cadetships could include journalism graduates.

The Qantas media awards were discussed. Few journalism students enter the student award. I made the point that, at least as far as Massey is concerned, I suspect this is because the application forms frequently appear when students have left the course for work experience. It was also noted that it is possible the number of awards will be rationalised.

Bill noted that Steven Price has established a Media Lawyers Association.

As this was Bill's last meeting as executive director, the Council thanked Bill for all his work over the years. Jim particularly congratulated Bill for the establishment of unit standards.

The meeting came to an end, with the next meeting scheduled for July.