Dallas Press Club president Tom Stewart has been on the receiving end of much of the outrage over the ongoing meltdown of the scandal-laden club. He sends this back. It’s long, so continued in the jump:
You make some real valid points … Here are just some personal observations:
1) Let’s not kid ourselves about why professionals have the chance to join either — $$$$ … IF you were a PC member, as a journalist your dues are $55 … Professionals pay nearly $300 — almost 6x the journalist member rate … Plus, most of the sponsorship money for events like the Katies are raised by people like me … How do I know? Personal experience … since 2001, I’ve rustled up close to $100k in sponsorship money just for the Katies … Why? Something about a conflict of journalists asking those they might cover to give money — appearances matter, so we just let the PR people do it … Apparently, we don’t have the same kind of high ethical standards the journalism profession does …
2) I agree on 2007 Katies … Cancel them … We don’t have our shit together anyways … I’ve recommended that to both Boards … 2006? Why not give some time to get the facts before you send everyone to jail? What? You don’t trust Aynesworth, Pederson, Payne and Miller to get the facts and tell the story? You don’t trust those reporters to get this story? But, you do trust the DA? Very telling …
3) Believe me, I’d love to resign. I’ve tried twice in the last 3 years (both times asked not to) and I strongly resisted taking the president position after EA resigned in March (BTW, she was elected as a media representative … NOT PR). I’m stuck in this nightmare until you courageous media folk come save an f-ing organization that is supposed to be your’s.
But, here’s the deal, I don’t cut and run. I’ve owned up to our mismanagement, apologized to members and laid out a plan to get at the facts. If members want me out, move on it (oh, but you’re not a member are you?). Until someone steps up and says “I’ll take it on” then I’m going to keep doing the best I can do. Sorry if it fails to meet your high standards.
4) 90% journalists on the board? I’m fine with that … Join the Club, pay your dues, make the motion … I’ll second it. I’ll give you my board seat, and I’ll still pay nearly $300 bucks so you can look down on me because I just do PR (which I don’t by the way).
5) Amen to your last point … All you guys sitting on the sidelines pontificating, if you really care, should get off the sidelines and join in the work … If you think its worth saving, then start working on it …
Meantime, I’ll keep the members posted on what the facts as we learn them, and trying to figure out a way to save the organization and the Katies.
Your pissed. I get that. I’m pissed too. I’m pissed and disappointed. But, mostly I’m just sad. We screwed up by trusting someone, and it appears that that trust was misplaced. We didn’t hold ourselves accountable to each other. And, that just sucks.
No one volunteers for duty like this. They volunteer thinking they’re giving a little something back to the profession and the community. We screwed that up too, and that’s just plain sad.