Interested in Being a PRNDI Board Member? Elections Happening in June

May 22, 2019

Being on the PRNDI board is a great way to support public media journalists across our industry. And look, we’re not going to pretend it doesn’t take some time, but it’s professionally and personally gratifying, and fun, too!  If you’ve ever thought about running, we want to give you all the information you need to decide -- including which positions are up for a vote.

“We've spent a lot of time this year thinking about how PRNDI should evolve to better reflect how public radio is evolving. The proposed name change is a big part of that,” said Alicia Zuckerman, Editorial Director at WLRN in Miami and current PRNDI President. “As I've met so many of you from all over the country, it strikes me that we come from different experiences and perspectives, and we care about many of the same things. That's what the board should be. This is a pivotal moment in our history, and if you're part of this board, you'll be guiding who we are and where we're going.”

One of the main tasks of the seven-member board is to plan PRNDI’s great conference every year.  The board works together to bring some of the best in the industry together for this gathering that supports public media journalists and the radio stations where they produce their important work.  But that’s not all this dynamic board does for the public media. If you’re curious about how much time it takes and how it might benefit you and your station, here are some basics:

  • Each board member is asked to serve a two-year term.

  • That person may be re-elected to another two-year term in that position, serving a total of four years in that position.

  • For the small, medium and large station representative posts, the board member must be someone who supervises the news operation at their station.

  • Three other board positions, treasurer and the two at-large positions, require only that candidates work at a PRNDI member station. A person from any size station and holding any newsroom job is eligible to run for one of these positions.

“I would encourage people interested in being on the board to run,” said Johnathon Reaves, News Director at KASU in State University, Arkansas and PRNDI’s small station representative. “I am excited for the future of this organization.  I love PRNDI and this is a way of giving back.”

Here’s some insight into the time commitment required for being a PRNDI board member:

  • Each board member is required to attend an annual planning meeting over five days. It’s usually in November, in the host city for following year’s conference. For 2020 that will be Seattle. PRNDI pays for the board member’s travel, lodging and meals. During the meeting, board members will participate in strategic planning for the organization, annual planning, and planning for the upcoming conference.

  • The board meets virtually once a month for an hourly call where we discuss all PRNDI business.

  • Each board member is expected to chair one of PRNDI’s committees.  The current committees are communications, awards, sponsorship, conference, membership and identity.  Those committees can change.

  • Each board member volunteers to organize several conference sessions or events for the upcoming conference.

  • All board members are expected to attend annual conference and oversee pre-conference training sessions. PRNDI will pay for the board member’s conference registration, the board member’s home station is asked to pay for travel and lodging while at the conference.

“It’s been a privilege to be on the PRNDI Board and help shape the conferences and discussions around the future of local news and community relevance on public radio,” said Bill Dorman, News Director at Hawaii Public Radio and outgoing at-large member of the board. “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of other board members—a dedicated group of inspiring professionals who are also a lot of fun.”

Four positions on the PRNDI board will be open for election at the 2019 PRNDI business meeting:

  • Large station representative

  • Small station representative

  • One at-large representative

  • Treasurer

“I recommend running for the board to anyone who wants to make a positive contribution to public media — especially if you feel like your voice isn’t being heard in the industry,” said Rachel Osier Lindley, Statewide Coordinating Editor for the Texas Station Collaborative and PRNDI’s outgoing treasurer. “By being on the board, you can help shape the future of public media journalism. The treasurer position is perfect for anyone who likes business reporting, or just wants to keep their number-crunching muscles active.”

Prior to this year’s election, PRNDI members will be considering a bylaws change that would alter the size classifications for member station categories.  If passed, the new size designations would be as follows:

  • Small stations: 1-5 total news staff (currently 1-3)

  • Medium stations: 6-15 total news staff (currently 4-7)

  • Large stations: 16 or more total news staff (currently more than 8)

Members will vote on this bylaws change before considering candidates for open board positions, so if the change passes, those new category sizes would be reflected by the incoming board members.

“If you’re considering running, talk to a current board member. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. The PRNDI board is an excellent opportunity to deepen your leadership skills while making a difference,” said Lindley.

Those interested can contact PRNDI Elections Chair Naomi Starobin: nstarobin@whyy.org.

Board elections will take place during the PRNDI Conference at the annual business meeting: Saturday June 15, 12:15 p.m. in the Constitution Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Washington.