The annual meeting of the Chess Journalists of America was held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida during the U. S. Open Championship. Following are the minutes of that meeting, held on August 11, 2004.

Minutes of 2004 Annual Meeting of CJA
August 11, 2004

The annual membership meeting of the Chess Journalists of America was held August 11 at the Bonaventure Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Secretary-Treasurer Randy Hough presided in the absence of the president and vice president.

The limited number of attendees included Arnold Denker, Mike Goodall, Roger Gotschall, Myron and Rachel Lieberman, Robert Milisits, Tony Pabon, Don Schultz, and Ed Westing. Hough reported membership static at approximately 90, and assets increasing to approximately $5500 after the successful awards competition. A message from President Daniel Lucas and the names of the contest winners (both published elsewhere) were read. Freewheeling discussion on a variety of matters ensued.

Schultz proposed a gallery of distinguished chess journalists, with large plaques to be displayed at the Marshall Club, Mechanics Institute, and possibly the Hall of Fame. This was followed by the standard discussion of the misuse of the bequests of Fred Cramer and Fan Adams.

Proposals for awards for best publication under 500 circulation, and for best Internet news site, were favorably received. Pabon brought up the demise of School Mates (more appropriate for a USCF workshop), and Myron Lieberman observed that it had been helpful in outreach. It remains to be seen whether the new scholastic insert in Chess Life will fill the gap.

Myron Lieberman pointed to Orrin Hudson's recent appearance on the Tavis Smiley TV show, discussing how chess can make a difference in people's lives, as a good human interest story and public relations tool. Some participants expressed concern about USCF's track record in getting press releases out. The meeting adjourned after 50 minutes.

In view of the inclusion in the June Chess Journalist of the USCF Publications Committee report, which was critical of Chess Life in some respects, it may be appropriate for the Secretary to add that he subsequently had extensive conversations with Editor Kalev Pehme. (Perhaps because of poor internal USCF communications, Mr. Pehme did not arrive at the convention until two days after the CJA and Chess Life workshops.) Mr. Pehme generally acknowledged the validity of the concerns expressed by the committee, while (justifiably) pointing to his record of getting the magazine out earlier than has been the practice, and stressing his desire to balance the concepts of letting authors speak in their own voices and editing non-native English speakers for clarity.

Randy Hough
CJA Secretary

Posted 7-November-2004

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