Minutes of the Journalism Education Association Board Meeting

Minutes of the Journalism Education Association Board Meeting

Note: These minutes are not considered official until approved by the JEA Board of Directors at its next meeting.

Minutes of the Journalism Education Association Board Meeting

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hyatt Regency, Phoenix

  • President Jack Kennedy called the meeting to order at 8:37 a.m.
  • In attendance were:

Jack Kennedy, MJE, President and Executive/Finance Committee chair
Bob Bair, MJE, Vice President and New Adviser Outreach Committee chair
Susan Tantillo, MJE, Secretary and Awards Committee chair
Ann Visser, MJE, Past President and Convention Consultant
Bradley Wilson, CJE, C:JET editor and Technology Committee chair, Photography Contest Coordinator
Linda Puntney, MJE, JEA Executive Director
Connie Fulkerson, JEA Administrative Assistant
Mark Newton, MJE, Certification Commission chair
Lori Oglesbee Petter, CJE, Development/Curriculum Commission chair and Publications Committee chair
Anita Marie Wertz, MJE, Junior High/Middle School Commission chair
Norma Kneese, MJE, Multicultural Commission chair
John Bowen, MJE, Scholastic Press Rights Commission chair
Steve Matson, MJE, Region 1/Northwest Regional Director and Partnership/Endorsements Committee chair
Kathy Gaber, Region 2/Southwest Regional Director
Gary Lindsay, MJE, Region 3/North Central Regional Director
Wayna Polk, CJE, Region 4/South Central Regional Director and Scholarship Committee chair
Brenda Gorsuch, MJE, Region 5/Southeast Regional Director and Administrator Outreach Committee chair
Betsy Pollard Rau, CJE, Region 6/Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes Regional Director
Ron Bonadonna, CJE, Region 7/Northeast Regional Director and Membership Retention Committee chair
Javonna May Bass, CJE, Ad Hoc Board Member
Linda Barrington, MJE, NCTE Liaison/Assembly Director and Mentoring Program Committee co-chair
Julie Dodd, MJE, Scholastic Press Association Directors Liaison, Mentoring Program Committee co-chair
Logan Aimone, MJE, NSPA Liaison (For relevant portion of the meeting)
Albert R. Tims, Ph.D., NSPA Board President and Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota (For relevant portion of the meeting)
Aaron Manfull, MJE, New Media Committee chair
Gloria “Lori” Eastman, Nominations Committee chair
Reginald Ragland, CJE, Professional Media Advisory Council Liaison
Carrie Faust, MJE, Write-off chair — fall (For the relevant portion of the meeting)
Tom Gayda, MJE, Scholastic Journalism Week chair and director-elect for Region 6
Peggy Gregory, CJE, Phoenix Local Committee co-chair (For relevant portion of the meeting)
Christine Brandell, CJE, Phoenix Local Committee co-chair (For relevant portion of the meeting)

  • Absent:

Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE, JEA Listserv Liaison (Teaching JWire pre-convention workshop)
Joe Nations, Ad Hoc Board Member (Has resigned from this appointment)

  •  Approval of Minutes from St. Louis…Tantillo

Gorsuch moved and Lindsay seconded that the minutes from the St. Louis board meeting be approved as presented. Motion carried unanimously.Lindsay moved and Ragland seconded that the minutes from the St. Louis general membership meeting be approved as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

Kennedy reminded participants that all elected and appointed board members may make and second motions. Motions brought on behalf of a committee do not require a second. Voting members are the 16 elected board members: president, past president, vice president, secretary, five commission chairs, seven regional directors.

[Note: The semiannual report prepared for the Phoenix convention can be found at jea.org. Select the Conventions and Workshops tab, then CLICK HERE to get information on the spring 2009 convention in Phoenix, then scroll down under AGENDA to read the report online or download a PDF.]

  • Profit/Loss Statement, St. Louis…Puntney

Puntney reported shared income with NSPA is $478,885. The uncollected total at this time is $4,695 representing schools that have not paid. NSPA is working diligently to collect this amount. Note this is less than 1 percent of total income. JEA’s share of income, minus half of the uncollected balance, plus Write-off income is $262,946.98. Total shared expenses are $146,451.94, with JEA’s share $73,225.97. The hotel rebated a total of $31,884 toward use of the convention center. JEA’s share of that rebate is $15,942. As of April 13, NSPA has paid JEA $263,632, leaving no balance due JEA. St. Louis drew 5,027 delegates (4,587 paid).

Puntney noted the convention profit is historically consistent; however, basic costs stay the same whether a convention draws 4,000 delegates or 1,000. Aimone agreed and added that use of convention centers increases expenses, especially with AV costs. He reemphasized the hotel rebate for use of the convention center.

  • Quarterly Financial Statements…Puntney

Quarterly Profit/Loss Statement: The 2008-09 (July 1-June 30) overall JEA budget is based on projected income of $1,074,475 and projected expenses of $1,130,308 with the difference to be made up, if necessary, from reserve funds. As of April 11, 2009, Puntney reported JEA income of $534,519 and expenses of $651,717. The discrepancy is primarily due to poor investment performance and loss of interest on investments.

Puntney said, “We have money in the bank and we are doing fine.” To date Puntney has not had to transfer money from savings or investments.

Investments: JEA’s total portfolio value as of March 31, 2009, was $591,045.24. This compares to $790,114.76 on March 31, 2008, and $618,853.90 on Dec. 31, 2008. Puntney noted the portfolio’s value on Dec. 31, 2002 was $383,331.27, showing a gain of 2.84 percent over time since then. “Over the long run, we are as well off as anyone,” Puntney said, “and we haven’t lost our original deposits. It’s not time to panic but we are not putting in more.”

USB and Financial Advisor Thomas Monson sent additional handouts for board members regarding the economy and stock performance in general in the current economic climate.

  •  Headquarters Report…Puntney
  • Puntney called attention to the membership maps and statistics as of April 7, 2009. She said she is concerned about overall membership (2,347) and voting membership (2,122) being at their lowest point since spring 2004 (2,238 and 2,002 respectively). Puntney reminded board members of their responsibility to promote membership and urged Regional Directors to remind State Directors of their role in building membership. “We are at a critical point for our organization,” she said, “especially with media changing focus from print to broadcast and digital.”

Puntney distributed the online election report prepared by vote-now.com. Of 2,175 eligible voters, 616 (28.3 percent) voted. Past mail-in elections have brought in about 32 percent of eligible voters.

JEA’s first venture into online voting was viewed as mostly good by those who expressed an opinion when they had a chance to do so. Some voters said they were disappointed more weren’t running for all offices. Some reported frustration with the process itself.

For future elections, the list of eligible voters will be double-checked to be sure those who are eligible receive notification to vote and those who are not eligible do not receive notification. This should be a matter of members being coded correctly in the master database. Kennedy said the same problems would likely occur with a mail-in ballot because the database is the same whether voting online or by mail. He and Puntney agreed online voting likely revealed problems also existing with mail-in voting.

No board members indicated feeling disenfranchised, but Puntney would like the names of members who do feel this way so problems can be corrected for future elections. She said voters received three e-mails and a postcard about election procedure. These notifications stopped once the member voted. Those who voted after the first notice did not receive later notices.

Board members brainstormed ways to encourage more members to run for office.

–  Oglesbee Petter suggested members are reluctant to run against incumbents. She said this attitude needs to change. We need to encourage people to run even though they may not win the first time.

–  Bonadonna said there are many ways and levels for participation in JEA.

–  Rau said make sure candidates have a job description so they know what each position entails.

–  Rau said make sure members realize they CAN run for board positions.

–  Newton suggested Eastman present a session at each convention about getting involved in JEA and running for office.

–  Oglesbee Petter suggested using JEAHELP to call for involvement as she did when seeking Curriculum Commission members.

–  Dodd, Gaber and Faust agreed the personal approach makes a difference in deciding to get involved in JEA on any level.

–  Ragland suggested a discussion of term limits for board members. Kennedy said because this is a bylaw issue, it needs to be an agenda item.

Kennedy thanked and congratulated Eastman and her Nominating Committee for compiling a slate with contested offices on short notice.

Kennedy reminded all committee and commission chairs to submit updated membership lists to him and to Headquarters to build a database of members who are already involved in JEA on some level.

  •  Puntney reviewed the timeline at Kansas State for finding her replacement as Executive Director of JEA:
  •  Summer 2009 – generate job description
  •  Fall 2009 – officially announce the position and advertise
  •  Spring 2010 – interview and hire with idea of shadowing Puntney at the spring convention in Portland
  • July 1, 2010 – person starts work and Puntney helps advise over the summer on the fall convention in Kansas City

Currently, a hiring freeze is in place at Kansas State University, but Puntney said this is an essential position and she is flexible. She said she will not vacate the position until someone else can be hired. She vowed not to turn the position over to a graduate assistant.

  • Convention Updates…Aimone, Puntney

Phoenix: Gregory and Brandell welcomed board members to the convention. Gregory said Arizona State University has a live Web page covering the convention, a convention first, using high school students through its Stardust Foundation for posting constant updates. The Stardust program, housed at Arizona State University, is aimed at revitalizing high school journalism programs. It installs multimedia newsrooms in underserved high schools and supports the creation of student news Web sites. http://stardust.jmc.asu.edu/Stardust/Home.html .

Brandell urged board members to visit “America’s Historical Newspaper Display,” adjacent to the JEA Bookstore, where Charlie Smith shows his collection and shares stories. Smith is a former newspaper boy and has spent 76 years collecting newspapers from around the world.

Aimone reported 2,707 delegates (190 comps) registered for Phoenix as of April 13. Albuquerque in 1999 had the lowest attendance in 10 years with 2,613 delegates (2,392 paid). Aimone suggested a future board meeting discussion item of number of comps in proportion to paid delegates. Preconvention sessions are near capacity, translating both to additional revenue and additional education. Expenses for this convention are trimmed wherever possible with decreased adviser hospitality on Friday afternoon and elimination of the preconvention session continental breakfast. Puntney negotiated AV in the convention center down from $27,000 to $14,000 by taking a “bare bones and environmental friendly route.” JEA and NSPA avoided hotel penalties with both the Hyatt and the Wyndham although it was a struggle with the Wyndham. By shifting a few board members to the Wyndham, the groups met 80 percent of the block at both hotels.

At one point 96 percent of the block at the Hyatt had been reserved but due to cancellations that number fell to 86 percent. JEA and NSPA must find a way to convince convention attendees to use the convention hotels to avoid both organizations being hurt with huge financial penalties when 80 percent of the block is not filled. Delegates may save $10 a night by staying elsewhere but both organizations will suffer.

Newton suggested a survey to find out from advisers about their convention plans. Aimone said he will research what other groups do about tiered convention rates for those staying in the official hotel and those staying elsewhere. The room rate at both the Hyatt and the Wyndham included $6.50 per night that was returned to JEA and NSPA to defray the expense of the convention center rental.

Washington, D.C.: Valerie Kibler, CJE, Harrisonburg (Va.) HS, is the local chair with committee members from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The convention will be Nov. 12-15, 2009, at the Marriott Wardman Park with room rates beginning at $209.

Portland: The convention will be April 15-18, 2010, with all events at the Oregon Convention Center. Housing is split among four hotels with a penalty clause at each hotel for not filling its block: Hilton Portland and Executive Tower, Doubletree Hotel Lloyd Center, Portland Crowne Plaza, Red Lion Hotel. Information about each property and instructions for room reservations will be online at studentpressblogs.org/portland2010 once the link is established. The Hilton reduced its room rate to $175 and agreed to a reduced block. The other three properties each have room rates around $150. Erin Simonsen, Lakeridge HS, Lake Oswego, Ore., and J.D. McIntire, Sandy (Ore.) HS, are co-chairs of the local committee.

Kansas City: The convention will be Nov. 11-14, 2010, using the Kansas City convention center and the Marriott with a block of 750 rooms.

Upcoming conventions:

 Anaheim, April 14-17, 2011, Marriott

 Minneapolis, Nov. 18-21, 2011, Hyatt and Hilton

 Seattle, April 12-15, 2012, Sheraton

 San Antonio, Nov. 15-18, 2012, Marriott Riverwalk

Aimone said hotels are making attractive offers now during the bad economy.

  •  NSPA Update…Aimone

Aimone introduced Dr. Albert R. Tims, president of NSPA’s board of directors.

As the guidebook update process continues, Aimone reported the newspaper edition is complete with additions of evaluation for copyright infringement and use of photos and other images from the Internet. The multimedia edition debuts at this convention. It establishes national standards for online media.

An NSPA Code of Ethics, drafted by Randy Swikle, Illinois JEA State Director, debuts at this convention. It features seven principles and will be sent to all NSPA members soon.

NSPA is working on a way to expand online submissions for contests beyond photos.

Aimone announced one staff change effective in August when Mike Gesellchen, administrative assistant, will leave.

  • Mentoring Update…Dodd, Barrington

Highlights from Mentoring Matters, the committee’s printed and online report (available at jea.org under the Resources tab):

– 53 of 58 mentees are still involved. Only one left due to own choice. Others left because of administrative decisions. These administrators had agreed to support the mentoring initiative at the outset.

 – Success stories of gaining more freedom for advisers and students.

 – Will continue to track mentees after their two years in the program.

 – Mentors are teaching eight sessions in Phoenix targeting new and nearly new advisers.

– Program will have 10 to 11 new mentees with five to six new states beginning this summer. Training will be June 15-18 at Kansas State University. Only one scholastic press association has been able to find mentor stipend funding in its own state. [Note: By Saturday of this convention, Dodd and Barrington announced the following states as joining the program for 2009-10: Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington. Illinois and Wisconsin will each add a third mentor.]

– See Google map of mentee schools: http://tinyurl.com/mentee-map

– See video of mentee Terrill Korrell, Bear River HS, Grass Valley, Calif.: http://tinyurl.com/tkorrell

  • Write-off Update…Faust

Faust reported on behalf of the Write-off Committee:

– 1,105 contests in Phoenix, 40 percent of the delegates.

– request for summer meeting in 2009 to complete contest and judge sheet tweaking.

– request to eliminate radio news contest since it hasn’t had enough contestants at recent conventions.

– request to eliminate middle school contests due to lack of enrollment.

– request to include more contests for online-only contestants.

Faust moved and Barrington seconded to eliminate permanently the Radio News contest from the Write-off competition beginning with Washington, D. C. Motion carried unanimously.

Wilson updated the board on Write-off photography contests. He said the update to the Web site to include online submission of photography contests for the Write-offs is significantly behind schedule. There were problems getting payment to the vendor. Those problems have been resolved and work will resume the week after the convention. The site will allow for online submission of PDF files in other contests; however, the short-term plan is still for photo contests only. It will be working in time for the Washington, D.C. convention. No additional action is required.

Oglesbee Petter shared her concern about how unrealistic the design contests continue to be when they require students to draw layouts on paper instead of using computers.

Wilson said jea.org receives about 7,000 or more unique hits per month. On peak days, more than 900 unique visitors hit the site per day with an average of about 400 unique visitors per day. Visitors spend slightly more than two minutes on the site and view about three pages. The peak traffic increases right before each convention and spikes in the two days after the convention as people obtain Write-off results. While a significant number of visitors do come through search engines, about one third come directly to the site.

Wilson suggested commission chairs and others try to refer people to jea.org and have established links to other areas. Make jea.org a resource. We have enough hits on a regular basis now to consider selling advertising on the site or to give C:JET advertisers a “value-added” ad on the site. As we work on updating the site, this may be something we consider.

  • Scholastic Press Rights Commission Update…Bowen

On behalf of the Scholastic Press Rights Commission, Bowen moved the board approve and distribute the proposed prior review statement as its official policy. Motion carried unanimously.

Bowen explained this is the first rewording and update since 1990. It contains new sections to communicate positive educational aspects of students making content decisions and of not having prior review. It is positive in wording statements, “The administration should…” The policy will be e-mailed and posted to jea.org.

[Note: The policy is online at http://jea.org/wp/home/about-jea/statements/ . It is also available at jeapressrights.org by going to the news update in the top left corner. Additional materials to go with the statement on prior review are available at http://tinyurl.com/cxpfdz or http://jeapressrights.org/2008documents/2009newsupdate.html. ]

In conjunction with Kent State’s Center for Scholastic Journalism, the commission is working on both print and online versions of a brochure to emphasize this revised policy. The Center for Scholastic Journalism is looking for funding for the print version.

On behalf of the Partnership/Endorsements Committee, Matson moved that the board approve the proposal to partner with Kent State’s Center for Scholastic Journalism on a brochure about free expression. JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission will help provide content and CSJ will pay the costs of publication and distribution. Motion carried unanimously.

Bowen moved and Polk seconded to suspend the rules and move to a Committee of the Whole for purposes of discussing the adviser advocacy role of JEA. Motion carried unanimously.

Bowen explained three possible approaches JEA might take to carry out its role to help advisers under threat of prior review, under threat of censorship, and/or under threat of losing their advising positions. Each approach has some support from members of the Scholastic Press Rights Commission, but that group has not come together to recommend one approach.

– Create a new commission with the charge to focus on the rights and protection of advisers only, not on the rights and protection of students.

– Adopt the proposed Adviser Assistance Program modeled after the Adviser Advocate Program of College Media Advisers to be implemented by the existing JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission working with the existing JEA Certification Commission.

– Adopt the proposed Adviser Assistance Program modeled after the Adviser Advocate Program of College Media Advisers to be implemented by the new commission described in the first bullet point above.

Lengthy discussion of these options included reservations about the College Media Advisers program as a model, especially the step requiring investigation by members.

After a confusing motion which Kennedy ruled as improper because those voting on it failed to understand it, Kennedy appointed Bowen and the other four commission chairs – Oglesbee Petter, Kneese, Newton and Wertz – to study how JEA can best help advisers in peril and to report back at the board meeting in Washington, D.C.

  • Professional Learning Community…Newton

Newton distributed the committee’s report and reemphasized its mission: a pilot project exploring how to run a professional learning community when the participants are not in the same geographic area. He reviewed the committee’s timeline included in the report. The PLC will meet this summer to create a manual to expand the program. The group hopes to expand the PLC model within the next year. Anyone interested in the report should contact Mark Newton ( marknewt@comcast.net ).

  • Curriculum Commission…Oglesbee Petter

Oglesbee Petter reported successful recruitment of commission members using JEAHELP. The commission will meet in Phoenix. She has a draft of updated yearbook curriculum.

  • Multicultural Commission…Kneese

Nations has resigned because it has become impossible for him to attend conventions. Kneese is looking for a replacement. She would like to make materials created by the Outreach Academy available online, either through jea.org or through a link posted to jea.org.

Bass suggested opening up the mission of the Multicultural Commission beyond focus on racial representation to focus on broader socioeconomic and cultural issues. She suggested ethnicity is not so much the relevant issue as where one teaches.

In response to Bass’ concerns, Kennedy appointed a committee to explore the best direction for the Multicultural Commission. Members include all the current members of the commission, plus Visser, Ragland, Kennedy and a junior high/middle school representative to be named. Kennedy will appoint a chair.

  • Junior High/Middle School Commission…Wertz

Wertz expressed concern over eliminating junior high/middle school contests from the Write-off contest options.

  • Student Journalist of the Year…Polk

Polk reported receiving 30 state entries for 2009 and said she has 20 committee members. She is looking forward to paying scholarships directly to winners instead of having to wait for the student’s college or university to verify enrollment.

  • Awards Committee/Investigative Reporting/Cornerstone…Puntney, Tantillo

Tantillo said the Awards Committee will discuss how to encourage more qualified applicants for these awards. The committee meets Saturday at 11 a.m. Neither award will be presented this year due to a lack of qualified applicants.

  • New Media Award…Manfull

Manfull reported an increasing number of new media convention sessions. He has established a Web site linked to jea.org ( jeadigitalmedia.org ) and continues to update and develop the site. He sends weekly e-mail messages to JEAHELP with updated ideas and a reminder about the Web site.

Kennedy praised the work of Manfull and his committee for moving quickly with specific results.

Manfull would like to see JEA establish a New Media Award to be presented first in Washington, D.C., and then become an ongoing part of the awards program. Although his first proposal was for a student award, the board suggested JEA should focus on advisers as it does with the majority of its existing awards. Kennedy directed Manfull to refine his proposal.

  • Certification Commission…Newton

Newton reported on the commission’s winter retreat. The commission is working to align questions on both CJE and MJE exams with the Standards for Journalism Educators adopted by JEA and the Scholastic Journalism Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. In addition, the commission is revising the scoring guides and rubrics for both exams and MJE projects, creating and implementing a comprehensive training program for certification candidates, creating a comprehensive marketing plan for certification, updating all printed materials and the Web site to reflect all the changes. Anyone interested in Newton’s printed report should contact him ( marknewt@comcast.net ).

  • Membership Retention Committee…Bonadonna

The Membership Retention Committee is working on contacting all first-year members and those with lapsed memberships from the past three years. The committee will be doing this twice a year. Bonadonna said, “It is a work in progress.”

  • Professional Media Advisory Council…Ragland

Ragland updated the board on his progress as a liaison. He commended the local chairs in Phoenix for enlisting participation of local newsroom pros. He reported his roster of newsroom pros includes 62 people who can be approached in various areas of the country. For the Washington, D.C., convention he has contacted at least 20 featured speakers and judges, “a robust and aggressive” list of professional participants. Advisers interested in co-presenting a convention session with a newsroom pro should contact Ragland ( regrag96@hotmail.com ).

  • NCTE…Barrington

This fall’s NCTE convention (Nov. 19-24 in Philadelphia) will feature Carol Lange, CJE, and her team presenting their Intensive Journalistic Writing session along with Barrington and Jane Blystone, MJE and Region 7 director-elect, presenting an interactive learning session on podcasting.

  • Scholastic Press Associations…Dodd

Saturday’s SPA Roundtable from 10 to 11:50 a.m. (note time change from usual) will focus on solutions to problems created by current economic issues.

Dodd announced coming changes to three state SPAs:

– H.L. Hall, MJE, has retired as director of Tennessee HSPA. The association will move from Vanderbilt University to Lipscomb University in Nashville. Dr. Jimmy McCollum is on board as the new director.

– John Hudnall is retiring as director of Kansas SPA but will continue to teach at the university. Jeff Browne, former Director of Student Media at Colorado State University and 2006 recipient of JEA’s Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award, will take over as director.

– Due to budget cuts at the University of Florida, Florida SPA is on the verge of losing Judy Robinson, CJE, as its director. At this convention, Dodd is circulating petitions on Robinson’s behalf.


Wilson distributed his four-page flyer covering deadlines, publication dates, types of content and advertising information for issues in 2009-10 (http://jea.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/ratecard0910.pdf )

(Brief lunch recess to obtain food and return to consider the 2009-2010 budget.)

  • Budget…Kennedy

Polk moved and Lindsay seconded that the board accept the budget as presented by the Executive Committee. Motion carried unanimously as amended through discussion.

The difference, if any, between projected income and expenses will be made up by a transfer of funds from savings and investment. Throughout discussion of the 2009-10 budget, the board kept returning to its mission.

[JEA Mission Statement: The Journalism Education Association supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity.]

The board will revisit the budget at its meeting in Washington, D.C., to make sure it is still realistic.

Puntney reminded board members of the importance of the organization’s three main sources of income: paid attendance at conventions, annual memberships and bookstore sales.

  • Board transition…Kennedy

Kennedy thanked outgoing board members for their years of service and presented each with a specially selected, engraved letter opener. They are Susan Hathaway Tantillo, MJE, secretary; Kathy Gaber, Region 2 director; Betsy Pollard Rau, CJE, Region 6 director; Ron Bonadonna, CJE, Region 7 director. Their terms end June 30. Taking over on July 1 are Linda Drake, CJE, secretary; Ellen Austin, CJE, Region 2 director; Tom Gayda, MJE, Region 6 director; Jane Blystone, MJE, Region 7 director. Other board members remain the same for the 2009-2011 term.

  • The next regular meeting of the JEA Board of Directors will be at 8:30 a.m., Nov. 12, 2009, at the Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C.

Motion to adjourn at 3:50 p.m. by Newton, seconded by Oglesbee Petter.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Hathaway Tantillo, MJE

JEA Secretary

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