By Danielle Katz, RTDNA News
At RTDNA's opening business session at Excellence in Journalism 2017, Chairman Vincent Duffy brought the meeting to order with the tap of a pen, after forgetting his gavel.
Duffy joked about the unusual opening, but went on to talk about the past year during his second term as chair, before handing over the gavel to Chair-Elect Scott Libin.
RTDNA’s membership has reached its highest levels of the past ten years – around 1,300 members total and five new corporate members. RTDNA also launched a new member portal at the end of July, and a third of its members have started using it.
Duffy said his biggest task this year was finding a replacement for outgoing executive director Mike Cavender and setting up the transition with incoming executive director Dan Shelley.
“Really excited about the future with Dan. I think Mike has left us on solid financial footing for the association, and Dan’s going to be the perfect guy to carry us forward,” Duffy said.
RTDNA also created the Voice of the First Amendment task force this year. Duffy said this was a response to what has happened in the U.S. politically and led to aggression toward journalists.
“This is sort of a way that RTDNA can push back and defend journalism and the work of journalists and also educate the public about the importance of the work that journalism does,” Duffy said.
Duffy said he’s looking forward to getting the task force adequately funded and doing more work defending the First Amendment.
“Journalism doesn’t have enough defenders anymore. I think for whatever reason there are a lot of people in our country who consume a lot of media and believe that since they do that, they know how to do journalism,” Duffy added.
Watch more of Duffy's thoughts on the past year: