The first of these changes IRE's rules to allow student members to vote. Currently students and associate members do not have voting rights. IRE's Board of Directors met in June and voted unanimously to extend voting rights to students. That change must be approved by membership to be enacted.
The next redefines what a "professional member" is, to better reflect the way the news business has changed and crucial new roles have been created.
Currently professional membership is defined as "persons substantially engaged in reporting and/or editing." The proposed definition defines professional membership as "persons substantially engaged in news gathering presentation or production."
The other two ballot items are more procedural in nature. The first removes a sentence that defines who can vote (this is redundant to the previous section that membership is being asked to change to give student voting rights) and because it only applies to in-person voting. The second clarifies that the Executive Committee of the IRE Board can take votes by phone or electronically, as opposed to being in person.
The language for each ballot item is below. The membership meeting will be held in connection with Lightning Talks and the Phil Meyer Awards presentation on Friday at the conference. There will be no online or absentee voting for these measures, as the Articles of Incorporation require in-person voting for measures that change the Articles.
In all cases IRE Board members support these changes unanimously.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact IRE Executive Director Mark Horvit at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-882-1984.
1. Members will be asked to change the definition of "professional" membership:
Current: Section 5.01…The Professional class shall be limited to persons substantially engaged in reporting and/or, editing.
Proposed Change: The Professional class shall be limited to persons substantially engaged in news gathering, presentation or production…
2. Members will be asked to allow students to vote in IRE elections:
Current: Section 5.01... Neither Associate or Student members shall be eligible for the voting rights which are reserved to the other classes of members. (Amendment adopted 6/7/08)
The proposed revision removes students from that clause.
Proposed Change: Associate members shall not be eligible for the voting rights which are reserved to the other classes of members.
3. Members will be asked to remove the following wording from the Articles:
Current: Section 5.02. Voting Rights. Each Professional, Academic, or Retired member of the Corporation who is present in person shall be entitled to one (1) vote upon each question voted upon at all meetings of the members without regard to his or her class of membership.
Proposed Change: To remove Section 5.02 from the Articles of Incorporation.
The change is recommended because the section is redundant and to remove any mention of “in person” voting. IRE has allowed absentee voting or many years, and now allows online voting.
4. Members will be asked to clarify the rules to allow the Executive Committee of the IRE Board of Directors to vote by phone or electronically.
Current: Section 9.01.. affirmative vote of the majority in number of the members of the Executive Committee, present in person or by proxy.
Proposed Change: affirmative vote of the majority in number of the members of the Executive Committee, present or by proxy.