NPR Illinois Community Advisory Board Meeting
June 2, 2017
- Chuck Scholz, Chair
- Cindy Canary, Vice-Chair
- John Carpenter
- Bethany Jaeger
- David Kohn
- Brad McMillan
- Katie Broom (for Laurence J. Msall)
- Randy Eccles
- David Racine
- Eric Hadley-Ives
- Richard Schuldt
- Corinne Wood
11:30 AM Call to order
Welcome - Chuck Scholz
Board Terms and Structure
- Chuck Scholz resigns as chair
- Bethany Jaeger offers to succeed
- Board approves without objection
- Jaeger and Eccles will review current board terms and present potential paths forward at September meeting.
- The board cited the addition of Indivisible for the first 100 days of the Trump administration as excellent programming that encouraged deep civic discourse. Desire for program to continue but it was only planned to run through the 100 days. More forums like this are encouraged.
- Substantial reporting of the change of administration was appreciated by listeners. 100 Days coverage included aggregation on nprillinois.org.
- Budget coverage continues to be aggregated under the Past Due banner. Additionally, the newly strengthened engagement department has produced a state budget listening tour and brought in AARP as a sponsor. Three have already been produced in Springfield, Champaign, and Glen Ellyn. Eight more will occur with the next July 20 in Peoria. Even if a budget passes, there will be much to analyze including what is in the budget, what damage is done, how to heal, and whether this impasse will happen again next year. Each Illinois Issues Forum is recorded in video for edited airing and raw posting at nprillinois.org. The board emphasized the need for the coverage to find fresh reporting to avoid fatigue with things like photo essays and info graphs, to report the issue's relevance as the top issue in the state, to explain what a tax freeze would do, to explain the reluctance to increase taxes. If a budget does pass, how long will it take to heal, how much we'll be spending on debt service, and how have other states recovered from the budget being held hostage?
- Statehouse coverage of the budget has been good considering the staff vacancies. Brian Mackey, Dusty Rhodes, and Sean Crawford have made sure the budget and K-12 funding reform are receiving close scrutiny. NPR Illinois has been approved by UIS to fill four multimedia reporting positions that will increase coverage of the state. A recent BGA forum on statehouse coverage indicated NPR Illinois has one of only four full-time reporters stationed at the capitol. Other media may send reporters to the legislature as needed but this is significantly down from the 40+ reporters that used to hold the government to account. The board discussed that this is an opportunity for NPR Illinois and the UIS PAR program to improve coverage.
- The board noted the next election cycle will likely be the most expensive ever in Illinois as it is likely two businessmen will likely face-off and spend $100 million compared to the previous high of $15 million.
- The studios completed their 100 Expressions are exhibit on how Illinoisans felt about the first 100 days through art. The exhibit was a success with a well attended reception and many attendees through the six weeks the art was displayed. Highlights are posted at nprillinois.org.
- Threats continue as NPR Illinois is operating at 60% of its FY2015 state appropriation
- The Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) was discontinued
- CPB grants are proposed to be zeroed out in the next federal budget
- Membership donations are at a record high.
Next meeting will be September 1, 2017, 11:30 AM in Springfield.