Bylaws of the NCGA Press Corps

Capital Press Corps Bylaws as adopted by simple majority Feb 2009

Article I. Name.

A. The name of the organization is the N.C. Capital Press Corps, also known as the Capital Press Corps.

Article II . Purpose

A. The Press Corps is organized for several purposes, including the promotion of open government and helping to facilitate the rigorous coverage of the General Assembly and state government.

B. The Press Corps by tradition also is also organized to host an annual social event known as the “Press Skits” or “Press Follies.”

Article III: Officers and committees

A. President

1. Duties and powers

a. The President is the administrator of the Capital Press Corps and as such is responsible for administering the finances, organizing meetings and carrying out such other duties as are necessary for the functioning of the group.

b. The President is responsible for issuing press credentials and assigning space in the Press Room in accordance with these bylaws.

c. The President may appoint such committees and subordinate offices as needed to carry out the function of the organization.

d. The President may correspond or meet with government officials and such other individuals as may be necessary to coordinate or advocate for press access to public records, meetings and spaces.

e. The President is empowered to organize and conduct the annual Press Skits night.

f. The President shall carry out such other duties as prescribed by the Standing Committee of Correspondents.

g. The President may establish rules of conduct or decorum for the press room. Such rules may be reviewed, changed or permanently rejected by the Standing Committee.

2. Selection

a. The President serves for approximately one year, from the close of the regularly scheduled legislative session through the end of the next legislative session. In odd number years, the term begins after the close of the long session. In even number years, the term begins after the General Assembly adjourns sine die.

b. The sitting president shall choose his or her replacement. That replacement shall be announced on or before the annual Press Skit night. If the Press Corps does not hold a Press Skit night, the President shall announce a replacement on or before the last day of session.

c. No President who has served a full term may appoint themselves.

3. Replacement

a. In the event that a President dies, resigns or no longer qualifies to hold press credentials as laid out by these bylaws, there is a vacancy in the office.

b. A president who is about to resign may appoint his replacement.

c. If a president leaves office without appointing a replacement, the Standing Committee shall meet to appoint a replacement.

d. Notwithstanding any other section, a President appointed as a replacement may appoint themselves to the office.

4. Emergencies

a. On such occasion as the President may be unavailable, the Standing Committee may appoint one of their members to speak and act on the group’s behalf.

b. On such occasions as the President may be unavailable for long periods of time or deemed unqualified for office, the Standing Committee may, by a two-thirds vote, remove the President and fill the vacancy.

B. Standing committees

1. The Standing Committee shall be comprised of all those who hold General Assembly press credentials whose organizations have been given permanent space in the General Assembly’s press room.

2. The standing committee shall meet at least once per year and that meeting shall be called by the president.

3. Notice of meetings of the Standing Committee shall be posted in the press room and distributed over the group’s e-mail list. For all meetings called to amend bylaws, 48 hours notices shall be given.

4. The standing committee shall have the following powers:

a. To amend the bylaws in accordance with Article VII.

b. To consider decisions of the President which may be overturned by a majority vote.

c. To make such other decisions as may be necessary for the operation of the Press Corps or required in these bylaws.

Article IV. Membership.

A. Membership of the Capital Press Corps shall consist of journalists covering state government full time who work for organizations whose primary business function is the collection and dissemination of general news and information.

1. All those who hold press credentials to cover the current session of the North Carolina General Assembly shall be deemed members of the North Carolina Capital Press Corps. Those who hold permanent credentials are permanent members, those who hold temporary credentials are provisional members.

2. No person may be a member of the Press Corps who does not qualify to hold press credentials under these bylaws.

3. Permanent members may be assigned permanent space within the Press Room. That space shall be reserved for the use of that member and their news outlet until such time as that outlet no longer maintains a reporter during session or until that outlet notifies the president that the space is no longer required.

4. Provisional members may use space in the Press Room on a first come, first serve basis. No person who does not qualify as a permanent or provision member may use space set aside for the press.

5. All members shall have equal access to space set aside for the press on the House and Senate floors and in committee rooms in accordance with the rules of the two chambers.

6. Notwithstanding any other section of these bylaws, a columnist, editor or editorial writer for a General Circulation publication or broadcaster shall be considered eligible for membership and credentials.

B. Credentials.

1. The President shall issue permanent credentials to members of the Capital Press Corps.

2. The President or his or her designee may issue temporary credentials to other members of the working press who would qualify as members in Article IV but who do not routinely cover state government.

C. Exclusions: The following are not considered members of the Capital Press Corps:

1. A lobbyist.

2. A person who works for an organization that’s primary focus is the promotion of public policy.

3. A person who works for a trade organization whose primary purpose is to advance the cause of that trade organization before state government.

4. A current or former member of the General Assembly.

5. A person who works for a political party or candidate.

D. Appeals: A person denied membership may appeal the decision to the membership of the standing committee.

Article V. Meetings.

A. Meetings may be held to discuss press corps policy, plan press corps skits or activities or to resolve any issues that may arise involving the Capital Press Corps.

B. Meetings may be called:

1. By the President.

2. By three members from different media outlets and all members must be notified.

Article VI. Finances.

A. The President shall maintain an account with the North Carolina Press Association and track expenditures and deposits to that account.

B. The President shall provide, upon request, a summary of the organizations financial status to any member.

C. The President may not, without the consent of the Standing Committee, operate the budget in such a way that it is out of balance and may not obligate the organization for any kind of debt.

D. The President shall provide upon request to the membership a statement on the organization’s finances.

Article VII. Ratification and amendment.

A. These bylaws shall become effective on a temporary basis, to be in effect until permanent bylaws are approved, upon approval of a majority of the members present of a meeting of the Capital Press Corps.

B. Until permanent bylaws are adopted, these bylaws may be amended by a majority of the members present at a meeting of the Capital Press Corps. After permanent bylaws are adopted, a simple majority shall be required to amend these bylaws.