Inland news

Inland opens membership to digital newspapers

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Virtual newspapers can now be real Inland Press Association members.

At the October Annual Meeting in Chicago, Inland's board approved a plan to create a new associate membership classification for online-only, or online-first, newspapers.

In remarks at the Annual Meeting, the outgoing Association President, Mike Gugliotto, said the board was "recognizing the evolution of our membership."

Another way Inland was responding to the digital transformation of news media, Gugliotto said, was in the composition of the association board itself. "We're adding digital natives from member publications to our board, broadening the horizon of our planning and programs."

Gugliotto wrote to all Inland members about the proposal in early October, soliciting their feedback. He said he didn't receive any negative comment about the idea.

Inland Executive Director Tom Slaughter said that Inland's bylaws allow the board of directors to create new classifications of associate membership and to set the criteria and dues for those members. Under the proposal approved unanimously at the board's Oct. 22 meeting, these new associate members must meet several qualifications. Among those, these members must: be principally dedicated to the dissemination of news; must follow standards and ethics of professional journalism; must be available to the general public; must be updated regularly; and must contain at least 50 percent editorial content and original reporting.

The board also voted to set dues for these online publications at the existing associate member rate, with the understanding that the rate would be reviewed from time to time as the association gains additional experience with these new member organizations.

Online members will have the right to vote on all matters that come before the membership, Slaughter said, just as do all other associate members.

For more information, contact Membership Director Patty Slusher (pslusher@inlandpress.org) or download membership application forms at http://www.inlandpress.org/membership/