American Society of Magazine Editors

ASME Bylaws

I.   NAME

The name of this organization is American Society of Magazine Editors.

II.   PURPOSES

The purposes of the American Society of Magazine Editors are:

To bring magazine editors together for the exchange of information on matters of mutual interest.

To encourage and reward outstanding and innovative achievement in the creation of magazines and their content.

To disseminate useful information on magazine editing to magazine staff members and others.

To attract young people of talent to magazine editorial work.

To safeguard the First Amendment.

To work with other magazine professionals on matters of mutual concern.

To defend magazines against external pressures.

To acquaint the general public with the work of magazine editors and the special character of magazines as a channel of communication.

III.   PROGRAMS

To carry out these purposes, the Society will undertake such activities as the following:

The National Magazine Awards are presented each year in various categories to honor editorial excellence and encourage editorial vitality throughout our industry as shown by consistently superior performance in carrying out editorial objectives; innovative editorial techniques; noteworthy journalistic enterprise; imagination and vigor in layout and design; and excellence in online journalism.

The Magazine Internship Program, which serves the mutual interests of magazine editors, college students interested in magazine careers, schools of journalism and liberal arts colleges.

Periodic luncheons and meetings to hear editors talk about their magazines or others who have a message of particular interest to members.

Seminars for the discussion of problems directly concerning editors and the editing of magazines.

A Junior Seminar program to help less experienced editorial staffers succeed in magazines by expanding their knowledge and deepening their commitment to magazine journalism.

A two-day Magazine Workshop for junior editors to improve skills and knowledge of all aspects of editing and publishing.

An occasional all-day Editorial Conference, dealing with current interests and concerns of chief editors.

An Educator Seminar, which brings journalism educators to New York for a week of discussions with editors and other magazine executives.

An occasional meeting in Washington to provide a mutually useful dialogue between editors and government officials.

Sponsorship with Magazine Publishers of America of an annual conference.

And such other programs as the Board may from time to time develop.


IV.   MEMBERSHIP

There are two categories of membership:

Regular Members are the senior level editors, photography editors and art directors of qualified print and online magazines. Qualified print magazines are defined as magazines that are edited, published and distributed in the U.S. at least four times a year.  Editors of company publications and newsletters are not eligible.  Qualified online magazines must be editorial in nature – that is a site whose primary function is to inform or entertain rather than to sell products or promote a business. It must include a significant amount of original content and have at least one editor (producer) who makes key creative decisions about the content, tone and point of view of the site. If the site is part of a large corporate site or portal, the editorial component must be clearly delineated.

Associate Members are junior editorial staff members who are nominated for ASME membership by a regular ASME member in good standing.  The names of associate members must appear on the editorial masthead of a magazine, and they must have at least two years of magazine editorial experience.  Associates are non-voting members of ASME.  Associate dues will be set at half the regular membership price.

All members must agree to uphold the ASME “Guidelines for Editors and Publishers” and the “ASME/MPA Best Practices for Digital Media.”  Members who leave magazine editing may remain members for one year thereafter.  The Board of Directors reserves the right to extend membership.  Members who retire may remain members as long as they wish.

V.   SANCTIONS

The Board of Directors reserves the right to expel from membership in ASME any editor of a print or online magazine who willfully or repeatedly violates the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers.  The Board also reserves the right to declare ineligible for all National Magazine Awards any print or online magazine that willfully or repeatedly violates the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers.

The process for the above two actions is as follows:

  • The editor and publisher must receive, from an ASME representative authorized to send such letters, a violation notification letter requesting a response;
  • If no satisfactory response is forthcoming, a follow-up letter must be sent;
  • If there is still no satisfactory response, a face-to-face meeting with the editor and publisher of the offending magazine will be requested by the executive director and president of ASME;
  • If there is still no satisfactory response, the president of ASME may recommend to the ASME Board of Directors that the member responsible be removed from ASME;
  • Notice of the recommendation and an opportunity to request a hearing before the Board of ASME shall be sent registered mail to the member;
  • The Board of Directors shall give the member an opportunity to be heard in person if requested in writing within 30 days of receipt of the ASME letter;
  • The Board shall act upon the president’s recommendation at a meeting (following the hearing with the member, if requested) at which the president and/or the executive director shall present the grounds for the president’s recommendation;
  • Expulsion from membership shall require the vote of two-thirds of the Board of Director members present and voting but never less than a majority of all existing Directors;
  • The consistent disregard of ASME Guidelines will render a magazine or online publication ineligible for any National Magazine Awards for one year.  The procedure for rendering a magazine or online publication ineligible for a National Magazine Award shall be the same as that for expelling a member;
  • After one year following the ruling of the Board, the ousted member can re-apply for membership and will be re-admitted at the discretion of the Board.  The same procedure applies for a magazine deemed ineligible for a National Magazine Award.

VI.   ADMINISTRATION

The Society shall be governed by a Board of Directors and such officers and committees as may be necessary to carry out its purpose and programs.

a)    The Board of Directors shall consist of 16 members, including the elected officers.  Its members shall be elected by the members of ASME at their annual business meeting, upon nomination by the Nominating Committee, except for appointees replacing Board members who resign.  Such appointees shall be chosen by the incumbent President, with the advice and counsel of the board.  All members of the Board, whether regularly elected or appointed, must be members of the Society in good standing. They must be chief editors (whatever the titles) of a print or online magazine or hold a corporate editorial title with significant magazine responsibilities.  There shall not be more than one board member from any one magazine; and no more than two from the same publishing organization. A Board member who ceases to be a chief editor for any reason must resign from the Board within one year, or when the member's term expires, whichever comes first.  An officer who ceases to be a chief or corporate editor for any reason, can retain the office for four months, or when his or her term expires, whichever comes first.  Members of the Board shall be elected for a two-year term and may be elected for a second two-year term, unless elected President or Vice President.  Members who are appointed shall serve out the term of the member whose place they are taking, and can then be elected for a two-year term. Board members who miss three consecutive meetings, or a majority of meetings during a calendar year, will be asked to resign from the board.

b)    A President to lead the Society's programs, to preside at its meetings, to speak for it on public affairs and at meetings of the MPA Board of Directors, of which the incumbent President is an ex officio member.  The President shall be elected by the members at their annual business meeting, upon nomination by the Nominating Committee, for a one-year term, and may serve no more than two successive terms as President. Upon retirement from office, the President shall serve two additional years as an ex officio member of the ASME Board of Directors. 

c)    A Vice-President to act in place of the President whenever the latter is unable to perform the duties of the office.  The Vice-President shall be elected by the members at their annual business meeting, upon nomination by the Nominating Committee, for a one-year term, and may serve no more than two successive terms.

d)    A Treasurer to check on the financial records, to supervise the preparation of budgets and to report to the Board on the financial status of the Society. The treasurer shall be elected by the members at their annual business meeting upon nomination by the Nominating Committee, for a one-year term, and may serve no more than two successive terms.  The Treasurer shall work closely with the Executive Director on all financial matters.

e)    A Secretary to keep the minutes of the meetings, which may be recorded by the Executive Director.  The Secretary shall be elected by the members at their annual business meeting upon nomination by the Nominating Committee, for a one-year term, and may serve no more than two successive terms.

f)    An Executive Director to manage the affairs of the Society on a day-to-day basis, working closely with the officers, Board members and committee chairs.  The Executive Director shall be appointed by the President, with the approval of the Board.

g)    A Nominating Committee of five members, consisting of the immediate past President as chair, two members of the Society who are not on the Board of Directors and two members of the Board, the latter four being appointed by the incumbent President who shall serve in an advisory capacity.  The Nominating Committee shall nominate one candidate for each officer position and two candidates for each vacancy on the Board of Directors.  The Board shall then vote on a final slate for presentation to ASME members at their annual business meeting.

h)    Such other committees as may be necessary from time to time to carry out the programs and activities of the Society as determined by the Board of Directors.  The appointment of such committees' chairpersons shall be made by the President of the Society, with the advice and counsel of the Board of Directors, from among the members of the Society.

i)     The Society is affiliated with the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), but is independent in its governance (that is, it has its own Bylaws, membership, budget, programs).

j)     The Society will be housed in the MPA offices, with staff, office space and in-house services provided by MPA.  Details of this arrangement are agreed to by appropriate officers of ASME and MPA.

VII.   DUES

Dues in an amount to be determined by the Board shall be used to cover administrative expenses.  Costs of luncheons, seminars, conferences, etc., shall be borne by the participants.

VIII.   AMENDMENTS

To amend these Bylaws, a vote of both the Board of Directors and the ASME membership is required.  First, 3/5ths of the Board of Directors must approve an amendment by mail or at a meeting at least 30 days after written notification of the proposed Bylaw change; then the proposed amendment must be submitted by mail to the ASME membership and a simple majority of those returning ballots within 30 days must approve.

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