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The Catholic Academy Board of Directors has taken an important step toward the incorporation of the Academy into the Catholic Press Association and is now seeking feedback from academy members. The Board voted on November 14 to favorably report to the Academy membership a proposal to merge with the CPA. The board vote was six in favor and three opposed. The vote follows a series of meetings and discussions with the leadership of the CPA that began in St. Louis during the Catholic Media Conference in June.
Academy members are being asked to answer a single survey question below and/or email their thoughts to Academy President David Hains.
The move toward the incorporation of the CA within the CPA is driven by the convergence of communication channels that is happening across the globe. Print, broadcast and public relations were once separate entities within Catholic organizations. But those functions, that now also included the Internet and social media, have merged in many Catholic organizations.
Catholic Academy President David Hains describes the joining of the two groups as, "A great opportunity for professional development for communication directors and others who are associated with the Academy."
Tim Walter, Executive Director of the CPA is also enthusiastic about the merger. “The CPA's board of directors is supportive of this transition and encouraged by the discussions held. Our two organizations have a long history of working together at the Catholic Media Conference and with over 100 communication professionals already in the CPA we believe we can accomplish much more under this new structure,” said Walter.
Under the proposal put forth by a board committee that worked with the CPA, Catholic communicators will have a special affinity group within the CPA that will facilitate more professional development and networking than either organization currently offers. The affinity group will also use a listserv as a networking device to solicit advice and opinions from fellow communicators.
The affinity group would include Catholic communicators who are already CPA members, new members from the CA and Catholic communication directors and others who will be targeted in a membership drive. The resulting affinity group is expected to be much larger than the existing Catholic Academy. The professional development programs that reside within the Catholic Academy – such as the webinars and podcasts – will continue under the new CPA umbrella.
Dues and Voting
Depending on what CA members want out of joining the CPA they will have several options. About one quarter of the CA members are currently members of the CPA. The incorporation won’t change their status within the CPA. CA members who are not in the CPA can join the CPA as an Affiliate Member for $47, if the dues are paid before the end of March 2017. Affiliate status gives the member access to all CPA benefits but does not include voting privileges.
If the CA member is involved with an existing Publisher Member, such as contributing articles and columns to a newspaper or online site, the option of joining as a Staff Member is available, with early sign-up dues of $22. Staff Members have voting privileges.
Publisher Members pay dues based on the circulation and frequency of their print publications, and range from $343 to $2500. Digital only publishers are currently in the General Publisher category and pay a flat fee of $891. Most CA members are expected to join as individuals at the $47 or $22 price noted above.
The CPA website has a complete breakdown of its membership categories and contains contact information for CA members who may have questions.
Gabriel Awards and other details
The Academy and the CPA would act as co-presenters of the Gabriel Awards during 2017 and the CPA would take over the awards in 2018.
The CPA may also consider changing its name in the future. The Catholic Press Association is a strong brand that has existed for more than a century but the convergence of different forms of media and the decreasing use of hard-copy presses makes the existing name somewhat antiquated. The CPA has pledged to explore naming options as its demographics evolve.
The Academy’s sole employee, Sue West, will work with the CPA as a consultant on the Gabriel Awards. President Hains said of West, “Sue has done a superb job for the Academy for decades and has been instrumental in the success of the Gabriel’s.” If the incorporation of the Academy into the CPA receives final approval the Academy will close its Dayton, Ohio office in mid to late 2017.
Congratulations to all of the 2016 Gabriel Award Winners