I’ve been an IRE member and regular attendee at IRE’s annual conferences since the 1980’s, when I was a TV news director. In those early days of my participation, I was one of the few news directors there.
Since then, attendance has skyrocketed, and that’s great for IRE, the industry, and the communities those journalists serve.
There are great journalists on the IRE Board, and I would never claim to be their equal. But I believe the primary job of the board is NOT journalism, but management and oversight of the organization.
That’s where I think I can help, given my management experience as a news director (12 years at two different stations), and, for the last 28 years, as owner of my own business as an agent for on-air television anchors, reporters, and meteorologists.
I also publish a weekly newsletter about news management changes which is widely read among television executives, giving me great relationships with decision makers.
I want to bring those management skills to the board.
But that’s not the only reason.
I have long believed that IRE needs to do more fund raising, including legacy and planned giving.
For the last 30 years, I have been married to a professional fund raiser, who is now the EVP of the Indianapolis Zoo where she oversees development, among other things.
I’ve learned a lot about fundraising though osmosis, via dinners with donors. And members of Karen’s team have advised IRE executives and board members over the years on how to improve IRE’s fund raising efforts.
Here’s why that’s important. If we raise more money, we can do more things and keep costs down since so many members pay their own way to conferences and training. And we need to make sure IRE is fiscally sound as journalism faces many challenges in the years ahead.
And, obviously, diversity is important. I’m proud to say that I left both newsrooms I oversaw (WTOL-TV in Toledo and WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, MI) with more diverse staffs that I inherited. IRE needs to continue to grow diversity among its membership and increase training in diverse newsrooms.
That’s why, in 2020, my wife and I established the Rick Gevers-Karen Burns Diversity Fund for College Journalists through IRE. It’s designed to send IRE trainers to HCBU and ASI campuses and others to help develop more diverse investigative journalists.
As someone who’s been involved in IRE for almost 40 years, I’m obviously committed to the organization.
I look forward to the opportunity to help IRE grow, and would appreciate your vote.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Brian M. Rosenthal, The New York Times: I heartily nominate Rick Gevers as a candidate for the IRE Board. I met Rick in my capacity as Board Treasurer, because he has been a major supporter of our organization. I was immediately impressed by his intelligence and his passion for IRE and for investigative journalism in general. He is not like many of the candidates who run for the Board, and I personally think that’s a good thing. His experience in the industry, in management and in fundraising would be a tremendous asset for the Board, and for all of our members.
Nicole Vap, CBS Innovation Lab: I would like to nominate Rick Gevers for the IRE Board of Directors. I have known Rick for many years. He’s always been a staunch supporter of IRE and has encouraged many of his clients to become active members. Rick’s unique skillsets would greatly benefit this organization. His experience both as a News Director and as business owner give him a background that would serve the financial goals of IRE. Fundraising can be an ethical dilemma for many working reporters who join the board, and Rick would be free to focus on the organization’s financial future. And his work experience advocating for investigative journalists fits with IRE’s journalistic and training ideals.
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