Watch board of publishers: official minutes from Dec. 2, 2016

Winter Meeting of the Watch Board of Publishers

Watch Board of Publishers

Friday, December 2, 2016, 3:00PM

Frazee Room, University of King’s College

 

Voting Members:

John Sandham – Publisher of the Watch

Fadila Chater – Member-at-large

Lianne Xiao – Member-at-large

Zoe Brimacombe – Financial vice-president

 

Non-Voting Members:

Kristen Thompson – Co-Editor in chief of the Watch

Hannah Daley – Online editor of the Watch/Scribe

Ross Andersen – Student

Kyril Wolfe – Student

Charlotte Sullivan – Chair

Trent Erickson – Student

Jonah Mullen – Student

Daniel Wesser – Student

Julia-Simone Rutgers – Student

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar – Student

Hannah Soroka – Student

Danna Deutsch – Student

Brennan McCracken – Student

Avi Jacob – Co-Editor in chief of the Watch

Gabriel Goodman – Student

Abigail Trevino – Student

 

Regrets:

Maddie Johnson – Treasurer of the Watch

Piper MacDougall – Member-at-large

 

Call to order at 3:06PM.

 

The chair recognizes that the meeting is taking place on unceded traditional Mi’Kmaq territory.

 

  1. Adoption of Agenda

 

The agenda is adopted.

 

  1. Adoption of Minutes from October 14th, 2016

 

There are no official minutes from the last meeting. The chair and publisher are to create a summary of minutes to be distributed.

 

  1. Oral Reports of Board Members

3.1 Report of the Publisher

John Sandham said he is glad to see so many people at the meeting and thank you to everyone in attendance.

He said it has been a crazy few weeks. The November issue of the Watch came out. The executive hired a copy-editor and treasurer since the last board of publishers meeting. The Watch is now up to date on paying all contributors for the November issue. All outstanding ones will be paid before leaving for the winter break.

All of the Watch executive is planning to head to the NASH 79 Conference in January in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He said it will be helpful not only with the work of the Watch but as the executive moves forward in their professional careers.

So far this year there have been theatre reviews; this year moving from having King’s students review them and instead students from the Dalhousie theatre school so that there is not any inherent bias in the reviews.

If anyone would like to speak to John about anything being done or published by the magazine, his office hours will be 12:30pm to 1:30pm on Monday, December 5 next to the KSU office in the link.

 

3.2 Report of the Editorial Team

Kristen Thompson said it is exciting to see so many people in attendance.

The “writers crisis” has been improved and students have come forward saying they want to contribute. She said she is grateful for the amount of writers and where the magazine will go in the future.

She said the Watch has started working on their January issue and there have been some really great stories coming forward and she is looking forward to seeing where those go.

Her office hours are Thursday from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. The other co-editor-in-chief, Avi Jacob, has her hours on Fridays from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. Kristen said that anyone can send them a message if they would like to speak privately outside of office hours.

 

3.3 Report of the Treasurer

John Sandham speaking for treasurer Maddie Johnson said the magazine has always been in a strong financial position and has had extra change each year.

He said the executive has been working on streamlining the process for paying contributors so that they get paid at the end of each month and get one cheque including payment for all contributions if they contributed multiple times.

So far the Watch has used about half of the budget that was allotted for contributors this semester.

Watch staff received the first half of their honoraria this week. The other half will be distributed at the end of the term in April.

 

Zoe Brimacombe said she is uncomfortable that it is the second meeting and they have not passed a budget yet. She asked if it would be possible to meet an additional time before the winter break to ensure it is passed.

 

Lianne Xiao asked if exact numbers could be presented.

 

John Sandham said currently there is not a copy of the budget in the room but it could be shown later.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar asked how much the staff honoraria is.

 

John Sandham answered that it is in the Watch’s bylaws and stated that the publisher receives $800 for their entire term, the treasurer receives $700, the editors-in-chief receives $1000 each for their entire term, and the online editor receives $800 for their entire term.

He said a public copy of the Watch’s constitution will be available during the next recess for anybody who wants to see it.

 

3.4 Report of the Financial Vice-President

 

Zoe Brimacombe said she has nothing to report. She said she is excited to be at the meeting and hoping to see the budget soon. She stated that she sits on board as part of King’s Students’ Union as a general voting member.

 

3.5 Reports of the Members-at-Large

 

Fadila Chater said she has nothing to report.

 

Lianne Xiao said she has nothing to report. She stated that she was voted to this position before she was elected journalism representative within the King’s Students’ Union, so she is sitting solely as a student.

 

Zoe Brimacombe moved to recess for ten minutes from 3:18pm.

Motion passes.

 

Session recommenced at 3:28pm.

 

Zoe Brimacombe moves to amend the agenda by adding an item 4.3 that the 2016/17 budget be adopted as proposed.

Motion passes.

 

  1. Action Items

4.1 BIRT David Swick be elected to the Watch Board of Publishers as faculty representative.

Moved by John Sandham.

            Motion passes.

 

David Swick is currently not in attendance, but John Sandham spoke to his credibility and nominates him to the position. He said he has been working as a journalist for years and has expertise in the ethics of journalism.

 

Lianne Xiao asked if there are any other contenders.

 

John Sandham said that King’s journalism professor Fred Vallance-Jones has held the position for years. John emailed him about the position for this year and got no response. He also mentioned Terra Tailleur, a journalism professor, and said that she is busy with the master of journalism students right now so she is unable to occupy the position.

 

Move to fill the blank by unanimous consent.

 

4.2 BIRT Adrian Lee be elected to the Watch Board of Publishers as professional media representative.

Moved by John Sandham.

      Motion passes.

 

John Sandham nominated Adrian Lee for the position. He said he is a digital editor for Maclean’s magazine, has won a Digital Publishing Award and is a King’s journalism graduate. He said Adrian would give the Watch great insight into the professional world of journalism, connecting with King’s alumni and helping with advertising.

 

Kyril Wolfe asked if anyone else was considered for the position.

 

John Sandham said the Watch considered many people. Last year’s online editor Emma Clayton Jones was considered, however, Adrian Lee has occupied the position for many years.

 

Ross Andersen said that he believes Adrian Lee would be a good choice for the position based on a personal relationship with him.

 

Zoe Brimacombe asked if is he based in Halifax.

 

John Sandham said he is not, but he is willing to Skype or call into meetings with two week’s notice.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar called a point of order.

 

He said quorum has not been reached as previously believed as quorum requires two thirds of all members be in attendance.

 

It is questioned if Charlotte Sullivan is counted toward quorum.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar raised the point that she is not part of the board; she is the chair but not a member of the board, meaning there are only four voting members in attendance and quorum was not met.

 

Zoe Brimacombe moved to recess until quorum is established.

Motion Passes.

 

The motion to recess is out of order as quorum was in fact established. All previous actions stand and pass.

 

4.3 BIRT the proposed 2016-17 budget be adopted.

Moved by John Sandham.

      Motion passes.

 

John Sandham said the budget is pretty much what it is each year. He said there is always more alloted for contributor payments than is needed each year. The Watch switched to a new website server and charges for that are reflected in the budget.

The Watch paid dues to the Canadian University Press, but the invoice is not included in budget. John Sandham said he can make the invoice viewable following the meeting. For printing, the magazine goes to etc. Press Limited in Halifax.

He said the Watch is also required to set aside $500 for any writers who want to submit freedom of information requests in relation to any stories they may be working on.

 

Zoe Brimacombe asked what bigger projects can be done with the additional money that is within the budget, about $7022.97.

 

John Sandham said the Watch had been talking for years about getting insurance that would cover the magazine if something such as a libel case were to come up. That is something that happened this year and comes from the leftover funding.

He said the Watch is also open to discussion about what can be done with it. He said it’s been recommended by past executives that a $5,000 surplus is kept in the budget. He said that in the past the magazine was in the red, and there was also an issue with the levy being released a couple of years ago and so the Watch did have to run on that surplus for quite some time in order to pay contributors and printing fees.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar asked where the insurance cost is represented.

 

John Sandham said it will be added and the budget posted online at a later date.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar asked if John Sandham could speak to anything else within the budget.

 

John Sandham said there is nothing new to discuss.

 

Zoe Brimacombe asked if there is an estimate for Canadian University Press fees and insurance.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar asked if it is a few thousand or hundred for insurance fees.

 

John Sandham said it is a few hundred.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar asked if the Watch hires an accounting firm to do unaudited financial statements.

 

John Sandham said no. The Watch does a final statement that will be put up at the end of the school year.

 

Lianne Xiao asked when John Sandham was made publisher.

 

John Sandham said it was at a general meeting in March 2016 along with the editors, excluding Kristen Thompson who was elected at the beginning of the 2016/17 academic year.

Zoe Brimacombe said she would like to amend the proposed agenda by introducing a line for insurance.

 

John Sandham said a motion can be made to recess for two minutes so he can go to the Watch’s office and get exact numbers.

 

John Sandham moved to recess for two minutes from 3:50pm.

Motion passes.

 

Session recommenced at 3:52pm.

 

John Sandham said that the Watch’s insurance is media liability insurance and costs $500.

 

Canadian University Press fees for 2016/17 amount to $260.82.

 

Charlotte Sullivan asked if that will change the bottom line.

 

Now, total expenses for the semester equal $6998.82. It is expected to be $12, 613.57 for the year.

Less expenses = $7,022.97.

 

Zoe Brimacombe and John Sandham moved to add adopted budget to the budget.

Motion passes.

 

Charlotte Sullivan asked if there is any further debate to adopting the budget.

 

Item 4.3 is adopted.

 

  1. Discussion Items

 

5.1 Financial Update

John Sandham said it was summarized earlier during the financial report and asked if there were any other questions.

 

5.2 Advertising Update

 

John Sandham said the Watch is working with a company based in Calgary. He said they have provided the Watch with advertising and revenue with FYI Doctors in Halifax to the amount of $135 for a full page advertisement for the last two issues. John Sandham said that daVinci college intends to advertise next issue of the Watch.

 

5.3 Insurance Update

 

John Sandham said the Watch has insurance now. He said it is essential for publications to have this kind of insurance as it protects publications if they end up in hot water legally.

 

5.4 New Funding Avenues

 

John Sandham said he has nothing to say about this. Adrian Lee and David Swick will likely be able to speak to that in the next board of publishers meeting.

 

5.5 Design Review

 

Kristen Thompson said since taking over the Watch as editors she and Avi Jacob wanted to make it their own and play with the design. She said they tried a couple of avenues. She said purely following the design of the November issue it is something they thought they could be happy with and will most likely be sticking to that in the future.

 

John Sandham said every year new editors make subtle changes to make the magazine their own and that it is nice to see Kristen Thompson and Avi Jacob embracing that.

 

Zoe Brimacombe asked to clarify if there have been two or one print issues of the Watch since the last board of publishers meeting.

 

John Sandham said there has been one.

 

Zoe Brimacombe said she was aware that when the last edition came out there was some response to the cover photo and there was a response from the Watch that came from it.

 

Avi Jacob said that with regards to the cover the editorial staff stand behind it. She said there was concern from the student body after publication and the Watch did also speak with Kim Kierans and David Swick and others parties to make sure there was no breaking of the rules.

 

Kristen Thompson said the cover photo was part of her own art project that come out today and is a piece about how students feel about these words being on their bodies.

 

Lianne Xiao asked if there are any existing guidelines for what is chosen by editors to be published as part of the Watch.

 

Avi Jacob said it is all in the ethics code and what was published is within the guidelines and the Watch did consult with the ethics professor. She said that it is not harming to the person on the cover as she is 100% behind it. Avi Jacob said the feedback behind it will be helpful moving forward.

 

Lianne Xiao asked if written guidelines would be helpful.

 

Fadila Chater said speaking on behalf of editors, they had assured her that they had taken the most ethical path towards publishing the image on the cover. The photo is part of a larger art project Kristen Thompson has done and it’s about discrimination, stereotypes and hurtful words that people have heard in the media. She said Kristen Thompson’s intentions are honourable and good, and the people that Kristen Thompson spoke to about this project assured her that they agreed with the way that she published them and the way that she did them herself. Fadila Chater said this is an artistic piece. She said Kristen Thompson spoke to victims and other people who would give her some insight on the ethical decisions. Fadila Chater said the Watch has good intentions and is working to make sure that they uphold ethics and values of the school.

 

Kyril Wolf asked if the ethics guidelines and guidelines for issues are up for review by the executive of the Watch or if there is a committee for that.

 

John Sandham said the ethics code is something that the Watch has worked on in the past few years as there was not one before that. He said the current code was taken, he does not believe verbatim, but was created out of the King’s journalism school’s code of ethics.

 

Lianne Xiao asked if concerning the amount of student feedback, if there any real concrete decisions that are going to be coming out of the feedback.

 

Kristen Thompson said all things will come out of useful feedback. She said personal attacks are not being taken seriously.

 

John Sandham said to please come see members of the Watch executive in person. He said 140 characters is something the executive cannot deal with. He said they need face to face conversations to fix the issues together with the students.

 

Zoe Brimacombe said John Sandham and Kristen Thompson are valid in saying having conversations in productive way is necessary. She said that so many members being at the meeting means they are interested in how the Watch works. She asked if things are being done in the best way right now. She said having office hours available is good, but maybe having an alternative person to come to if students are uncomfortable going to the executive would be possible. She said there is a desire to engage and be critical, but she does not know if it is set up to be happening in the best way possible.

 

John Sandham said he is comfortable asking David Swick if he would be willing to take that on.

 

Charlotte Sullivan said she is comfortable speaking with people as well.

 

Gabriel Goodman asked if public meetings are only for the contributors.

 

Kristen Thompson said the Watch has already a contributors’ meeting for the January issue in November and probably the next meeting will be in January. She said there is talk about having another one since there is such a large gap between assigning stories to contributors and the story deadline.

 

Gabriel Goodman asked if there is not then a public meeting.

 

John Sandham responded saying there is a general meeting in March.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar said there was no answer to Lianne Xiao’s original question. He said it sounded like maybe it was implied there has not been any useful feedback.

 

John Sandham said that things may be getting away from the issue. He said what was being gone into is not part of design review.

 

  1. New Business

6.1 BIRT the Watch editorial team will host a public post-mortem discussion of the November 2016 issue in January 2017 in the Wardroom.

BIFRT the chair of the Watch Board of Publishers mediate and chair the meeting.

BIFRT there be an anti-harassment officer present at the meeting.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar proposed a motion 6.1 stating: “BIRT the Watch editorial team will host a public post-mortem discussion of the November 2016 issue in January 2017 in the Wardroom.”

 

John Sandham said there were originally plans for a town-hall meeting but the Watch was advised against it by the administration.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar asked why the Watch went to the administration.

 

John Sandham said they go to those available to them.

 

Lianne Xiao asked why a town-hall.

 

Kristen Thompson said it was so students could bring their concerns to the Watch personally.

 

Hannah Soroka asked if such a meeting were put on, would the Watch participate.

 

John Sandham said he could not confirm at this time what the Watch would or would not do. He said the original plan for a town-hall meeting held by the Watch was advised against by Kim Kierans as it has the potential to become an unsafe space based on some of the responses the Watch had received.

He said he was told by Kierans that if such a meeting were to happen it would be the responsibility and the choice of the King’s Students’ Union.

 

Zoe Brimacombe speaking as a representative of the King’s Students’ Union on the board of publishers said she had not heard anything about a town-hall being a responsibility of the King’s Students’ Union.

She said it does not make sense to her in that the Watch is independent of the King’s Students’ Union and that is for the best because the Watch can report on the King’s Students’ Union objectively and the only relationship is collecting and giving out the levy and the position on the board of publishers.

She said there is not a connection based on content and she is not sure why that meeting would be held by the union.

 

Gabriel Goodman said he would not be satisfied with only a representative of the Watch going to the meeting. He said he and many others want to speak to the editors and would not be satisfied with that.

 

Kyril Wolfe said the Watch does not necessarily need to hold such a meeting itself. He said he does believe that as a news oriented organization they should have a fair bit of distance from hosting this forum themselves because they’re the determinators of their own content.

 

Hannah Soroka said she was confused about something. She said earlier it was implied that a lot of the online comments were not long or expansive enough to be included as criticism, but asked how the Watch would like readers to make comments if the Watch wants their comments to be part of the discussion

 

Zoe Brimacombe asked for a point of order to remind everyone to direct their statements to the chair, Charlotte Sullivan.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar said he was going to ask something similar to Hannah Soroka. He brought up item two of the Watch bylaws, “OBJECTIVE”. He asked what avenues there are to hold the executive accountable and why the Watch does not see that as their role and how they would like to be held accountable.

 

John Sandham said regarding December 1, the Watch had a response from another contributor in relation to the op-ed titled: “Deplorable: How I came to cast my vote for Trump”.

He said they need to be fair, balanced, and refrain from personal attacks. He said it is something all good publications do, and the Watch does encourage these submissions.

He said if office hours don’t work for anyone, they can send any of the executive an email to set up a meeting.

 

Ross Andersen said he thinks post-mortems are a good way to deal with this. He said he thinks that journalists connected to the Watch are being seen as an association in some of their actions and that some contributors might not agree with the ideology when representing the Watch.

 

Julia-Simone Rutgers speaking in favour of Jacob Baker-Kretzmar’s motion for a public forum discussion to be held said she hears in the room voices asking for the Watch to be accountable in a public forum and that seems to be the best way. She said having a public discussion where everyone can participate would be useful.

 

Kyril Wolfe said he echoes the concern that online discussion does not open up accessibility to students in the Watch’s constitution. He said the meeting does not need to be held by the Watch itself, and that the King’s Students’ Union would be a good host. He said having one not controlled by the Watch would mean it could be properly moderated.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar said it is problematic for it to be assumed that the King’s Students’ Union is the best way to go. He said that if other societies had their own public forums and it was suggested that the King’s Students’ Union hold it it would be laughed down.

He said the King’s Students’ Union is not involved in content of the Watch. He said that from the options that have been presented so far, it sounds like there are no other options for public feedback. He said it would be valuable for right now and more than just once a year in reference to the Watch’s yearly general meeting in March.

 

Fadila Chater asked if a public meeting could be held in a cooperative manner by both parties.

 

Kristen Thompson said she thinks it would be the best way and important that it be represented that way even though the two are not linked.

 

Kyril Wolfe said that the Watch is a member within the King’s community at large. He believes that the King’s Students’ Union should be a part of some sort of public forum.

 

Danna Deutsch asked for clarification on how much the Watch is representative of King’s at large. She asked if the Watch has some sort of obligation or anything the the King’s student body. If so, she thinks a public meeting is entirely appropriate.

 

John Sandham said the Watch aims to be representative of the King’s community. He said the Watch is not beholden to any party or organization and is independent.

 

Gabriel Goodman said it is principle to separate the Watch from the King’s Students’ Union. The two groups cannot be merged.

 

Julia-Simone Rutgers said there is a document that exists to respond the Kristen Thompson’s statement and the first clause states that the two are linked but only in one way, the two being the Watch and the King’s Students’ Union.

 

John Sandham said the document that was spoken of by Julia-Simone Rutgers, with the Watch’s new constitution’s approval in March, was rendered invalid when the new constitution came in. Before that there were two separate documents.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar asked if the King’s Students’ Union was given one year’s notice of the constitution changes.

 

John Sandham said the Watch had been working with members of the King’s Students’ Union. He said he believes Zoe Brimacombe was there for most of it.

Zoe Brimacombe said that it is a non-issue.

 

Fadila Chater said in reference to reconciliation between the Watch and the public that they trying to find some sort of way to put forth the reconciliation but too much focus is being put on on who is responsible for it. She asked how it can be done in a way that is not going to divide anyone. She said everyone wants to find some sort of reconciliation to stop the tension that is going on. She asked if anyone had ideas on how to merge it.

 

Ross Andersen said everyone in attendance is a member of the student body. He agrees that everyone is are here to serve the students and he does not think the Watch is by any means diverting the responsibility for what is being published.

 

Kyril Wolfe said he does not think there is a need for the Watch to hold the public meeting. He said there needs to be some sort of moderating organization. He said the King’s Students’ Union could be one or the university administration at large. He said this is about the Watch right now with the rest of the King’s community and that there really only are two options for the moderators and who can bring forward the reconciliation.

 

Zoe Brimacombe said as a member of this meeting she can see that there are people that want to talk and this meeting is not the best place. She said the relationship between the Watch and the King’s Students’ Union is a purely financial relationship. She said the Watch’s funds are remitted through the King’s Students’ Union and she sits on the board of publishers as a King’s Students’ Union representative and most of the levied societies have a King’s Student’ Union representative on their board. She said there really is not a collaborative aspect in terms of content or administration.

 

Hannah Soroka said she thinks a public meeting would be a way of showing the King’s community that the Watch is interested in representing them, but she does not think there should be a moderator.

 

Kristen Thompson said to make it clear, the Watch did have the intention of holding a conversation and the only reason it was taken off the table was the faculty recommendation because it was thought that it would not be a safe environment for some involved according to administration.

 

Brennan McCracken said speaking in favour of the motion that he agrees with a lot of what Hannah Soroka said and he does recognize that the Watch goes to the for recommendation, but he does also want to recognize that the Watch works independently.

He said he does recognize that there are concerns for safety, but however sees it as the student body wanting to have a conversation about the editorial direction of the publication.

 

Avi Jacob said part of reason the Watch went to Kim Kierans was because of the concerns of the executive of the Watch of being able to go to class and walk through the halls without attack due to prior incidents, and the safety of the executive and writers. She said the concern was behind some Tweets, private messages and in-person encounters.

 

Fadila Chater said the Watch has made great efforts to apologize and seek feedback and the Watch has constantly told people if they have any issues to please come talk to them.

She said in her opinion the nature of the online comments was completely unproductive and she voices concern over whether those concerns would be kept silent through a public discussion.

She said people are at this meeting because of some negative things. She said it is a matter of the nature of things that have been received in the past and she wants to make sure that everyone does stay safe.

 

Charlotte Sullivan said she would be comfortable moderating such a discussion.

 

Kyril Wolfe said he would like to say from a journalistic standpoint that if there were to be controversial comments made such that there needed to be measure taken to ensure safety, that that measure would not read that things happened and the Watch tried to keep control of their meeting, it would be that Watch tried to silence people. He said that is why there needs to be a moderator outside of the Watch.

 

Brennan McCracken asked if other people would feel satisfied with Charlotte Sullivan moderating. He said he personally does not feel like she would bring bias.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar said he does not know how he feels about having any third party host a post-mortem like this. He said it sounds like there are concerns about content of the meeting. He said that the intent of his motion was to have discussion and there would be a conversation that could be held between the students and the Watch executive. He said the idea of the event is to be feedback for them, not a formal meeting moderated by someone. He said the point is for it to be a conversation.

He said he wants to express confusion and disappointment that the Watch executive seems reluctant. He said he thinks the concerns are valid and could be mitigated. He said he thinks there have been great examples in the past, like how at the Fountain memorial lecture there was an active listener. He said he thinks there are other things rather than a moderator that could be done to make it safe. He said he is disappointed that the Watch does not seem to want to have this conversation.

 

Trent Erickson asked Charlotte Sullivan if she is a member of the King’s Students’ Union.

 

Charlotte Sullivan said she is an independent as chair.

 

Kristen Thompson said she is sorry for the hesitation in believing that the student body would only hold productive feedback. She said safety in these types of conversations is crucial. She said mental health is also crucial. She said that besides this meeting the Watch has no proof that people attending a public meeting could reflect themselves in a productive manner.

 

Kyril Wolfe said he sees no issue with Charlotte Sullivan moderating. In reference to Jacob Baker-Kretzmar’s statement, he said the reason for a moderator is purely so that there can be a constructive conversation. He said it is there to make sure that if someone goes out of order it can be kept or someone can say it is not in fact out of order and that it is just a difficult question and the Watch needs to answer it. He said that is why it is important to have an independent person.

 

Daniel Wesser asked for clarification. He said they are looking to have an opportunity for the student body to come forward and speak with editors of the Watch. He said they are looking for the student body to be able to voice their concerns but you Jacob Baker-Kretzmar does not want action items to come out of that. He said if you are not looking for specific action items to come out of it, what is it that would be achieved out of that. He said what is the point without it.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar said he just meant that there did not necessarily have to be a “Roberts Rules” style of structure to pass motions. He said it does not need to be set up formally. He said listening to people talk about it, he thinks it might be helpful to have Charlotte Sullivan moderate.

 

Danna Deutsch said she would like to say that if tweets are not being counted as constructive she does not think it should be taken as an indicator that positive conversation cannot be had. She thinks it should be indicative that people want to have that conversation.

 

Zoe Brimacombe moves an amendment to the motion by adding two clauses.

 

BIFRT the chair of the King’s Students’ Union mediate and chair the meeting.

BIFRT there be an anti-harassment officer present at the meeting.

Amendment passes.

 

Zoe Brimacombe said she hears what is being said in the room and that a public meeting has the opportunity to come to not be a safe space. She said currently Charlotte Sullivan would be a good person and she thinks having an anti-harassment officer present would be helpful with concerns if the space was becoming hostile.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar said he is very strongly in favour of this amendment.

 

He moved a small amendment to have it say the watch board of publishers head would moderate rather than an employee of King’s Students’ Union moderating the event.

 

BIFRT the chair of the Watch Board of Publishers mediate and chair the meeting.

BIFRT there be an anti-harassment officer present at the meeting.

Amendment passes.

 

Kyril Wolfe said he motivates in favour of the amendment and said he would be very glad to say those in attendance can come to an agreement about this.

 

Moving back onto the motion itself, Ross Andersen said he thinks based on the conversation those in attendance know what would come out of a public discussion.

He said he thinks it is clear and prevalent what the student body’s reaction is and he can see it being a tense conversation at times. He said he cannot really see the student body being too nice or charismatic about the reaction of the Watch and he thinks it would become a bash session.

 

Julia-Simone Rutgers said that as somebody who has not trusted the student body to make comments, she understands the need for emotional security. She said that she does, however, think it is a broader conversation to be had rather than a one on one.

 

John Sandham said that it is a broader conversation and many things are coming out of it. He said he would like to speak against the motion.

He said is not the Watch’s responsibility to hold a public meeting. He said that other publications open up the option for responses and the Watch encourages them so that everyone can work together and not stand divided like things are now.

 

Kyril Wolfe said that since he has been on the receiving end as of late, he does respect the idea that it could be difficult to maintain a productive atmosphere. He said he suggests that if a conversation takes place one of the chief aspects be that the Watch first be allowed to give remarks and other speakers can then bring up their concerns.

 

Zoe Brimacombe speaking in favour of the motion said that she thinks the Watch’s constitution does outline having a contributors’ meeting after each edition and holding a meeting with all members of the community is a stretched version of that, especially since the students could become writers and they pay a levy.

Kristen Thompson said that if at any point attacks are made she will not be attending, no matter what is voted on at this meeting.

 

Fadila Chater said the Watch is a journalistic entity. She said they have taken the means to apologize and hold themselves accountable for the content being produced.

She said the feedback from Kristen Thompson’s apology was not productive and was more of an attack on her character although she took every chance she could to show sympathy and defend her choice and heard the discussion and rage the community had.

Fadila Chater said as a journalistic organization the Watch is doing the most it can do in holding themselves accountable. She said journalism organizations do not hold these discussions, but after this meeting she believes it will be productive as long as it is known that there will be no personal attacks, will be moderated, and people are willing to discuss, not debate, what was published.

She said the Watch is trying to be open towards discussion. She said people can contribute. She said the Watch published a response to Kyril Wolfe’s opinion piece from somebody who was concerned about it. She said she feels like in order for everyone to reconcile whatever is going on the discussion would be best.

 

Danna Deutsch said she understands the difficult position that the editorial team is in and she is in favour of having a discussion with the active listener.

She said that as someone who has been following the controversial issues with the Watch, the implication that anyone can write an alternative opinion is not really a fair option.

She said she has lost faith in the ability of the Watch to handle these subjects in a way that is respectful . She said genuine accountability and criticism could be had to regain some faith in the Watch.

 

Kyril Wolfe said he thinks part of the problem is that the responses most of the time have been charged or disrespectful in manner and most of the concerns have not been productive. He said the November cover photo is one that can bring up, but concerning this week he said he had to work hard to make sure he put forward something that was as chargeless as possible. He said most disagreements were with the content, and he has no issue with that. He said that dealing with things in a respectful manner is necessary.

 

Julia-Simone Rutgers said speaking in favour of the motion that in all of the conversations today and in the attendance of the meeting and in the things that have been said on Twitter, that she thinks the Watch would be doing a disservice to the community if a public meeting were not held.

She said a one-on-one discussion is not safe for everyone. She said that the Watch is a student publication and it is accountable to its students and it is clear they want to have this conversation.

 

John Sandham said he truly believes that you cannot negate how someone feels about something. He said he does want to reiterate that the Watch is sorry to those who are offended by something they published. He said the Watch executive is learning. They are students.

He said that he believes in all this however that they have acted in a professional way. He said the editors spoke to survivors of sexual assault and asked their opinions before publication and they said they saw nothing wrong with it.

He said as a journalistic outlet the Watch has done everything it can to respond to this by proposing responses, reminding people they can meeting with members of the executive during office hours or through a scheduled meeting.

 

John Sandham moved to limit the debate.

Motion did not pass.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar called a point of order stating that there are still people on the speakers’ list. There is still productive conversation happening.

Charlotte Sullivan ruled in favour of continuing discussion.

 

John Sandham moved to recess for five minutes.

Motion passes.

 

Session is now recommenced.

 

Zoe Brimacombe said she wants to emphasize the spirit with which she added the two amendments.

She said a public discussion should not be a place for personal attacks or hatred and that the intent of the motion is to get feedback for the Watch.

 

Gabriel Goodman said that concerning how everybody can publish in the magazine, the problem is also what is not published and that is something that is an editorial decision.

He said that if the Watch will not publish what some people have to say then it does not start conversations.

 

Fadila chater said there are standards and guidelines that help decide what goes through for publication. She said if the Watch decided not to publish something it does not meet the standards of the guidelines for the Watch then that is fine and fair.

 

John Sandham said that the Watch’s guidelines and ethics code are online and available to view.

 

Gabriel Goodman said in response to Fadila Chater that the public no longer believes that it is that way.

 

Kristen Thompson said that generalizations like that are not effective. She said the Watch has had people come forward saying they want to start contributing following the response to the November cover photo.

 

Jacob Baker-Kretzmar said that he wants to point out a distinction that is missing in the tone that the responses have been in. He said that he thinks it is true that the discussion at the meeting and in general has become charged and he thinks it is important to make a distinction between comments that are emotional and charged and what is dangerous and controversial.

He said that there has been an enormous amount of feedback, both hurtful and productive, emotional and not. He said he thinks it is important that comments can be emotionally charged and they can still hold validity without causing harm or putting anyone in danger.

He asked if other journalists in the room agree that the Watch has done as much as they need to to address the issue and done so ethically and said they obviously believe they have.

 

Abigail Trevino a first year student, contributor to the Watch and a journalism student who participated in Kristen Thompson’s photo project.

Said that she has some insight into the cover as well. She said she has been following the whole controversy from the beginning, read the apology, read some of the tweets and has watched this meeting go, and said she thinks it has been unproductive.

She said she thinks the Watch did fulfill their burden in finding out who this would effect and how. She said they also have a rigorous set of ethical guidelines.

She said had her own questions when the cover came up and she went to the editors and they were helpful. She said they said they were open to publishing responses. She said they have made it aware that they have hurt people’s feelings, and that the cover was not handled in the best way.

She said she does not see the point of the public meeting. She said she understands that there are concerns about it.

 

Julia Simone-Rutgers said that as a journalism student and a contributor, she believes that the Watch did as much as they needed to beforehand and that she thinks that that was a very productive move and it was their due diligence, but she thinks that people have made it clear that the responses to the Watch’s decisions have not been heard or held accountable for in a way that is satisfactory to the public.

She said she does not think that is doing due diligence. She said that if the public is saying this is not enough that she thinks the Watch’s responsibility is to respond to that.

 

Fadila Chater said to speak to ethical processes, specifically to the cover, she wants to reiterate that she believes the Watch met the standards that are set out by Canadian journalists to minimize harm, hold people accountable, and make sure that everyone’s voice is heard.

She said that they consulted people to find out if it would be seen negatively.

She said that Kristen Thompson has apologized for the content that was created, and the response that people had to her apology made her look like the was not apologetic and was insincere. She asked how does the Watch, as a journalistic organization after constantly apologizing and holding themselves accountable for their actions, how do they correct the situation in a way that does not exceed their duties.

She said that holding a meeting is in her opinion unnecessary considering the charge of the concerns and the Watch’s journalistic responsibilities and what those entail. She said she does believe that the Watch can come to a conclusion that they can move forward from, but also could do so in a way that makes sure students would not feel offended or hurt. She said she does not think a meeting hosted by the Watch would lead to a productive talk considering the nature of the charged words.

 

Brennan McCracken asked what role members-at-large have in content of the Watch.

 

Charlotte Sullivan said there is none.

 

Brennan McCracken asked that none of them speak to it as though they do.

Lianne Xiao said to John Sandham’s point that negating feelings is not good. She said that it is the responsibility of journalists to hold other journalists accountable and this meeting is necessary to do so.

 

Ross Andersen said as a journalism student he has full trust in what the Watch does and what they publish.

 

Trent Erickson said that he believes the Watch acted ethically. He said that he thinks that the proposed discussion meeting could be productive in a certain way but not in the way those in attendance should want it to be.

 

Returning back to non-journalists in attendance.

 

Hannah Soroka said she wants to speak to prior discussion on ethics. She said she has read the ethics code. She said she would also like to talk about the cover and speak for herself, not others, and said here was an apology but that is not what brought her to this meeting.

She said she knows of the principles to be balanced, fair, accurate, and honest, but what actually brought her to this meeting is that she has found a number of inconsistencies with the most recent issue and the ethics code and was wondering if that could be looked at again under the banner of the ethics code.

 

Avi Jacob said in reference to an earlier point that yes Twitter responses can be emotional but she believes that it should be made a point that people have approached and attacked members of the Watch in person due to tweets they saw calling the executive racist, sexist, and nazis. She said she believes that it should be taken to point that some of the people in attendance were some of the people making the comments on Twitter and retweeting others.

 

Zoe Brimacombe said that she hears a desire for a discussion that is bigger than this meeting, Twitter, individual meetings, or office hours, and that she feels like there is interest in having that.

She said in principle she is in favour of this motion. She said it is exciting to see general members at this meeting and people wanting to be part of Watch and that she does not think that is a bad thing.

She said that the executive members are elected members and it should be that they do their work and take feedback, and she feels that they are elected because their contributors and students feel like they can trust them.

She said that she believes that from what she has heard a public meeting can happen and the she thinks that the way it can be framed is the directive of the Watch executive. She said that that conversation could be had and can be done in a way that the executive believes is most productive to the Watch. She said she does not believe it would be a space intended for anything other than feedback.

She said that everyone wants the Watch to publish articles that represent the student body, but it just sounds like more people want to give feedback.

 

Trent Erickson said there are two possible goals to fix in his mind. The first is the lack of faith people have in the Watch right now and the second is, moving forward, changes to ethics and editorial work.

He said the first would help public perception on the magazine and make people feel as though they are being heard properly. He said with the second that by rehashing it in a public way people would feel heard, but nobody would be hearing anything new.

He said people also cannot get into expecting the Watch to change with this public discussion. He said newspapers are not beholden to their readers. He said the Watch has the same journalistic aspirations. He said he feels like the small size of King’s and the fact that contributors know personally who they are writing about, that is a thing that has to be worked around.

He said the discussion would be helpful purely on a basis of perception, but in terms of the values of the Watch it would not and should not change anything.

 

Kyril Wolfe said that he personally agrees that there needs to be a forum for the motions of everybody to be expressed, but he said he guesses what is lost on people in terms of charged responses is that it is one thing to talk about your emotions and the effect but using those as grounds for attack is not proper. He then started reading some of the Twitter responses aloud.

Zoe Brimacombe asked for a point of order. She said she thinks the conversation is off the topic of the motion.

 

John Sandham said he believes that those in attendance have talked in circles about this issue. He said the Watch has acknowledged how people feel about the issue. He said the Watch has apologized on behalf of the executive and the magazine and those in attendance have put forward motions that they believe would offer a solution.

 

John Sandham moves to vote on item 6.1.

Motion passes.

 

In regards to motion 6.1 a tie vote has been reached. In the case of a tie, the chair of the board rules.

 

Charlotte Sullivan said that in light of conversations occurring within this meeting and the pre-existing feedback, she rules that this motion passes.

 

Charlotte Sullivan asked if there is any other new business.

 

John Sandham moved to further consult with the Faculty Representative of the Watch board of publishers/administration to determine if proceeding with the post-mortem is a good idea in relation to item 6.1.

Motion does not pass.

 

Charlotte Sullivan said this contradicts the motion of item 6.1, which had just passed, which requires the post-mortem to go forward regardless of any potential consultations.

Therefore, this motion cannot be added as ‘New Business’.

 

  1. Adjournment

 

Lianne Xiao moved to adjourn.

Motion passes.

Meeting adjourned at 5:37PM.