Board: using Amazon-AOJ link helps our $
By Miriam Pepper
Shoppers! Have we got a deal for you. Shop Ďtil you drop and help AOJ make money.
Hereís the deal: AOJ is an Amazon affiliate. Anytime you need to buy a book or a whatnot, head to opinionjournalists.org * and click on the Amazon link under Additional Links at the left. Amazon will pay AOJ 6 percent of whatever you purchase -- IF you enter Amazon via AOJ.
And by shopping, youíre helping secure your organization that provides the listserv, website with Masthead articles, annual meetings and Beyond Argument.
Thatís the big ticket item from the AOJ spring board meeting. It is one with potential to help the organization overcome the reduced dues (only $75 now!) and generally challenging times. So shop on!
On other matters:
The organization is budgeted to lose $50,000 this year. We need more** new members, donors and other revenue, and all ideas are welcome. Ship them to a leader such as David Holwerk.
Spread the word on the membership deal to colleagues, university journalism professors and university editorial page editors. The name change, Association of Opinion Journalists, is an open invitation to nontraditional opinion writers, too. Itís up to us to spread the word and grow the organization.
The annual State Department briefing on April 23 was well attended, helped by the timing link to the board meetings and AOJ Foundation aid of up to $200 to help cover travel expenses. Given the good turnout, the State Department is likely to continue making the day happen for us.
Plans are firming up for the Orlando conference Sept. 20-22. The new condensed program (saving members the expense of a longer hotel stay) will feature a raft of good speakers on global, national, political and craft issues. Plus, watch for news on a wine tasting and the usual camaraderie.
Masthead is now available for public viewing on the website. The board agreed that comments on the discussion list*** are private unless permission is sought for attribution. That said, the Internet is somewhat ungovernable, so caution is always recommended.
Small group discussions via phone trees are forming now and should allow AOJ to launch the first groups by summer. This new member benefit will match up editors/writers with similar interests to meet monthly by phone or group Internet chat to discuss matters of common interest: design, management, projects, staffing, et al. Itís a riff off the listserv, but more intimate and direct to help editors negotiate issues of todayís work. If interested, notify Bob Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Miriam Pepper (email@example.com).
Want to travel internationally and learn? AOJís International Affairs committee, led by Jonathan Gurwitz, is investigating the possibility of a Cuba trip. Funders will be sought to help defray the costs. State Department limits on spending by U.S. citizens will help keep costs in check, too. Contact Gurwitz if you have ideas on possible financial assistance.
Remember the AOJ contest is launched. Enter online until June 1. This contest, unlike one we wonít mention****, will give awards to the top Opinion Journalist and Top Opinion pages in two circulation categories. Entries are a modest $25 for members.
Civilitas-AOJ is a work in progress, available for members to review online. The idea is to help members promote problem-solving by citizens. Itís about strong arguments, fairly argued, not necessarily nice-nice. Join the effort and discussion online.
Miriam Pepper (photo left, with Jay Jochnowitz at State Department) is vice president for the editorial page at the Kansas City Star, secretary-treasurer of AOJ (and thus on the ladder toward presidency) firstname.lastname@example.org
* NCEW.org also works, sometimes with a slight delay for redirection.
** (After this article was written, AOJ leadership reported that membership has been rebounding, back up to 260 and rising.)
*** (Our list is at Google Groups, open only to AOJ members, has 201 and about 180 messages a week. It is a discussion list, or listserver or list service or listserve, but not the trademarked brand Listserv. People widely use "listserv" as a generic term for all such lists and some sources say that is OK, the trademark holder does not, nor does the Associated Press Stylebook --JM.)
**** Discussion on our list turned up indications that editorial writing and one other category have been the most frequently omitted from the P----zer P--z- awardees.
The Masthead, spring 2012, (c) Association of Opinion Journalists
This page published at http://opinionjournalists.org/masthead
5/15/12 5:10 p.m. cdt