RTCA Bylaws

RTCA BYLAWS (As amended January 28, 2021) 

ELECTION PROCEDURES

a) Any active member may be nominated by petition of twelve active members. All nominees must be certified by the president of the Association or a designee no later than three weeks prior to the second Wednesday in December.

b) Nominating petitions shall be posted on the Gallery website. The Executive Committee shall give adequate notice of the election, the candidates and the procedure to the members.

c) The annual election shall be held on the second Wednesday and Thursday in December.

d) All active members are eligible to vote. Voting will be by secret ballot under the supervision and control of the Gallery staff. A member must vote in person. There will be no absentee ballots.

e) The ballots will be counted under the supervision and control of the Executive Committee as soon after the polls close as practicable. Ballots with more votes than the number of candidates to be elected shall not be counted. If candidates are tied for the last committee spot, a runoff will occur. A tie on the position of chair will be settled by a runoff or coin flip that must be determined by majority vote of the committee.

f) A vacancy on the Executive Committee shall be filled by the candidate from the same election as the member who left the board and who received the highest number of votes but who was not elected. If a candidate from the same election is not available, or if the candidate receiving the highest number of votes is not available, the Committee may select a ‘replacement member’ from the most recent, or a previous election, or a candidate who received fewer than the highest number of votes.

Whenever possible, a vacancy on the Executive Committee shall be filled by a candidate who ran for the Committee in the same election as the vacating member, and who received the highest number of votes but was not elected.

The ‘replacement member’ shall only serve out the term the vacating member would have served if she or he had remained on the Committee.

In any event, the Committee should maintain an odd number of members to avoid the potential gridlock of ‘tie’ votes.

If the chair vacates his or her term before it’s up, the candidate with the with the second most votes in that chair’s election will become chair. If that person is no longer able to serve, it will proceed down to the next highest vote getter.

g) An Individual can only serve two consecutive terms. In order to serve again, the individual must wait one election cycle before running again. 

h) The Executive Committee moved that no two individuals from the same organization may serve simultaneously on the same Executive Committee. Any question of eligibility will be reviewed by the Executive Committee sitting at the time the question arises. If the sitting member of the board changes jobs, moving to an organization which already has a representative on the board, then that person shall not be required to relinquish his/her position, and is allowed to complete the rest of his/her current term.

LEGAL COUNSEL

Indemnification of Committee Members. To the fullest extent permitted by law, the Committee shall defend, indemnify and hold members of the Executive Committee of Correspondents (“Committee Members”) harmless from and against any and all liability, actions, claims, demands, loss or expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) caused by or arising out of any action, failure to act, performance or utterance by a Committee Member in the performance of the Committee Member’s responsibilities or duties, provided that such action, failure to act, performance or utterance was done in the course of and within the scope of the Committee Member’s role as a Member of the Committee; except, however, that the Committee’s indemnity shall not apply where a Committee Member has committed fraud or intentional misconduct, or where a Committee Member fails to cooperate fully with the Committee in the defense of any claim, demand or action. A Committee Member shall give the Committee prompt written notice of any claim, demand or action and cooperate fully in the Committee’s defense of any such claim, demand or action. In the event a Committee Member settles any claim, demand or action for which indemnity is provided without the prior written consent of the

Committee, the Committee shall be released from any and all liability under this indemnity clause. Committee Members also have a right to be represented by separate counsel at the Committee Member’s own expense.’ (As amended, December 12, 2003)

OFFICERS & SUBCOMMITTEES 

The Executive Committee has established the following officers:

  • Chair
  • Vice Chair
  • Secretary 
  • TASC Liaison
  • Treasurer 

The Executive Committee has established the following subcommittees:

  • Accreditation
  • Dinner – to support the Dinner Chair, who is the previous year’s chair 
  • Rules – must include Vice Chair
  • Social Media/Website

CREDENTIALS 

TERMS

“unaccredited organization”: any new organization not currently holding valid Gallery credentials 

“complete application”: an application that has been signed, dated, and completed, including all relevant information on the required form(s).

“notified”: including but not limited to contact by letter, telephone, fax, e-mail, or in person.

“revoked or renewal denied”: refused for renewal or returned to applicant without credentials granted; in general, any other outcome resulting in the individual or organization constructively being denied Gallery credentials

NOTICE TO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF SUBMITTED APPLICATIONS FROM UNACCREDITED INDIVIDUALS OR ORGANIZATIONS

The Executive Committee’s Accreditation Subcommittee shall be notified whenever a freelancer not associated with an accredited organization, or an unaccredited organization as whole, submits a completed application for Gallery credentials. If any member of the subcommittee objects within seven (7) business days to the recommendation or action of Gallery staff or the Gallery director, the matter shall be referred to the Executive Committee as a whole.

REVOCATION OF CREDENTIALS

Once the Executive Committee has granted credentials to a freelancer or an organization, said credentials shall not be revoked, or renewal denied, except by the Executive Committee. Gallery members whose status appears to have changed shall be referred to the Executive Committee along with an explanation in writing of the reasons for referral.

REJECTION OF APPLICATIONS

Rejected freelancers or organizations shall be notified in writing or by email that they may appeal the decision to the Executive Committee. If the Executive Committee, in turn, rejects the application, the Executive Committee must inform the unaccredited freelancer or organization or revoked member that they may appeal the decision to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration or the Speaker of the House.

RECORD KEEPING

In addition to the minutes of each meeting, the gallery staff shall maintain case files of the freelancer(s) or organizations seeking accreditation that receive a hearing on the record before the Committee, or whose credentials were rejected or revoked. Individual case files shall be made available to Committee members upon request or as the need arises. For purposes of preserving the record, and instructing future committees on our past precedent, the case file shall include the following:

  1. Name(s) of each individual and organization seeking credentials
  2. Any correspondence or documentation that was submitted in support of, or in opposition to, the application 
  3. Recommendations or objections, if any, made by the relevant Gallery staff on the handling of the request
  4. The reasons for the Gallery staff’s recommendation or dissent
  5. A notation as to the disposition of the case
  6. If applicable, a written statement by a designated member of the Executive Committee detailing the Committee’s reasons for the decision as reflected in the minutes
  7. The date and year of the decision

APPLICATIONS FOR CREDENTIALS

Credential applications shall request e-mail addresses or relevant websites where work of the members may be posted. If a member or applicant’s work is posted on more than one website, that member or applicant should be instructed to indicate the website(s) where his or her work is most frequently or prominently displayed. Additional information may be requested of Internet-based applicants and/or those freelancers or organizations, which claim to post a significant portion of their news service on a website. This information will be requested in the form of a supplement to the revised credential application. 

VOLUNTARY SUBMISSION OF INFORMATION

Submission of this information by the members may be deemed as optional and voluntary. Current members having active credentials, may submit their e-mail addresses and websites to the Galleries prior to the submission of their next renewal application.

CREDENTIAL APPLICATION APPROVAL OR RENEWAL

The Executive Committee may consider e-mail and website information as relevant to the granting of credentials to any individual or organization that purports to post news coverage on the Internet. This information may also be used to assist future Executive Committees in determining admission rules for online news organizations.

INFORMATION USE & PRIVACY GUARANTEES 

The Executive Committee reserves the right to, and may from time to time, send messages and information to the membership via email based on the information provided. 

This electronic mailing list may not be used for any purpose other than issues directly related to Gallery business. This list may not be sold, bartered, or traded to any other entity. This list, in part or whole, may only be shared with individuals, or organizations deemed essential to Gallery or Executive Committee business, and then, only given the express consent of the Committee by majority vote.