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SPEECH President's Message

by Janine Unsoeld

Summer is here! While many are chugging along in their chosen professions, working to meet necessary deadlines, some are piecing it together, desperate to make ends meet. Somewhere in-between, many South Sounders are taking the time to hike, bike and camp, garden, cook, and can extra produce, campaign, visit with family and friends, attend or organize community events, build trails, watch The Olympics, and take vacations. I'm doing quite a bit of those activities and chances are, you are too.

Summer is supposed to be a time to relax and do some of these things. Soon enough, change will be in the air.

Looking toward those times ahead, SPEECH is eager to follow through on the conversation we started at our 22nd annual membership meeting/birthday party last March about local media issues.

SPEECH will be working with faculty member Nancy Parkes at The Evergreen State College, who is teaching a journalism program in the fall called, "Shaking it Up: From Journalism to New Media." She has 25 half-time students. In winter, students will have the option to do an internship for an additional four credits (10 hours a week) or an additional 8 credits (20 hours per week). In a recent email, Parkes asked me if I would like interns. Would I?! Yes!

What an opportunity for SPEECH! It will take a great deal of effort but we will soon be meeting and interviewing students to discuss their interests and our needs. "I really want to put students with people like you who are doing a great community service with solid journalism," wrote Parkes in her email. Thank you, Nancy! SPEECH looks forward to working with you and your students.

Whether these positions are paid or unpaid remains to be seen. While SPEECH does not currently have a specific fund set up to pay for regular or investigative journalism, we are on the cusp to again discuss this possibility. Please join us in this conversation. If you are not already a SPEECH member, we encourage you to become one, and you will receive the Green Pages as part of your membership. If you need more convincing, go ahead and read one or two books by Evergreen graduate Robert McChesney about the takeover of our democracy by corporate media. In a nutshell, he says we all have a responsibility to pay for critical, investigative media and if we don't pay for it, it's not going to happen.

As an organization, SPEECH has many positions that would provide anyone a great opportunity to contribute to the community in a meaningful way. Additionally, some current volunteers and board members are ready to move on to other endeavors. It would be nice to start a transition team for key positions, including president and treasurer, and develop a Green Pages staff that includes associate editors with expertise in key subject matters and feature writers. Positions in advertising, bulk mail and distribution, membership contact, and database entry are also key to running a successful publication and organization.

Our monthly board meetings are open to SPEECH members and the public. Subject to change, future board meetings are currently scheduled for Sundays at 5:30 p.m. at Media Island, 816 Adams St. SE, Olympia, on August 19, September 16 and October 21. Call me at 791-7736 or check our website at www.oly-wa.us/greenpages to see if there's been any change to these dates. We look forward to seeing you!

Janine Unsoeld is president of SPEECH and can best be reached at (360) 791-7736 or through her local news blog www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com.

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Updated 2015/01/07 21:14:22