Statutes of the Sustainable Journalism Partnership 

Statutes of the Sustainable Journalism Partnership 

Adopted by the Constituent Meeting, June 1, 2022, in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Article 1: Name and place  

The name of the organisation is the Sustainable Journalism Partnership (abbreviated SJP). It is a non-governmental organisation based in Kalmar, Sweden, and is as such operating under Swedish law. 

Article 2: Purpose 

SJP’s aims and objectives are to: 

a) Function as a global forum where journalists, media researchers, sustainability researchers, media developers and entrepreneurs, in an informal and deliberative environment, develop knowledge and practice about the relationship between journalism and environmental, social, and economic sustainability: in research, education, business and journalistic practice. 

b) Define the new research area of sustainable journalism. 

c) Develop models and operate action research projects based on the concept of sustainable journalism for the benefit of journalistic reporting, business models, and education.

d) Promote and encourage events, research, and good practice related to sustainable journalism.

e) Assist members who need support in processes, activities and funding related to sustainable journalism. 

f) Stimulate links between relevant national and international organisations, media companies and authorities within and between the public, private sector, and civil society. 

g) Promote dialogue, cooperation, and collaboration between members. 

h) Stimulate scientific publication in the research area of sustainable journalism. 

The need for a Sustainable Journalism Partnership stems from two concurrent global crises:  

  • Society’s sustainability crisis, related to climate change, poverty, armed conflicts, gender inequality and crumbling democracies. 
  • The sustainability crisis of journalism, which stems from a drop in advertising revenues, fierce competition from global social media companies, media capture, shrinking space for freedom of expression, disinformation, and the public’s declining trust in the media. 

We at the Sustainable Journalism Partnership believe that these crises are intertwined. A sustainable society – environmentally, socially, and economically – requires journalism that addresses the sustainability challenges facing society. And the sustainability and continued relevance of journalism, both as a practice and a business, in turn depends on its ability to meet these challenges. 

Based on this logic, we see a clear need to expand the traditional role of journalism to include what we call sustainable journalism: independent, economically sustainable journalism that not only safeguards and promotes democracy, but also enables a sustainable society. 

Article 3: Resources 

For the association’s activities, resources can emanate from: 

3.1. Annual membership fees (regulated at each Annual Meeting) 

3.2. Donations from public or private individuals or organisations 

3.3. Grants from public or private institutions 

3.4. All other sources that are permitted by law and suitable for non-profit activities. 

These resources shall be used in accordance with the purposes of the association described in Article 2. 

Article 4: Membership 

The association has two categories of membership: individual membership and institutional membership. 

4.1. Individual members must meet the criteria of 4.6 and 4.7 below. People who wish to become members apply for membership via the form on SJP’s website. 

4.2. Each individual member has one vote. 

4.3. Institutional members must meet the criteria set out in 4.6 and 4.8 below.  

4.4 Institutional membership gives the right to 10 individual memberships. Each individual membership is considered as an individual SJP member and has one vote. 

4.5. Institutions applying for membership must fill in the application form on SJP’s website. The application must be submitted by a person who is a signatory of the organisation. 

4.6. Members agree to operate in accordance with SJP’s overall aims and objectives. 

4.7. To qualify for individual membership, the applicant must be engaged in scientific research, education, business, support or practice related to sustainability and journalism. 

4.8. To qualify for institutional membership, the organisation must be engaged in scientific research, education, business, support or practice related to sustainability and journalism. 

4.9. Applications for both types of membership are reviewed by SJP’s Board. The Board approves individuals who meet the criteria according to 4.6 and 4.7 and organisations that meet the criteria according to 4.6 and 4.8. 

4.10. The membership fee is suggested each year by the Board and decided by the Annual Meeting (see § 5) by a simple majority decision. 

4.11. The approved applicant for SJP membership, regardless of whether it is individual or institutional, must pay the Annual fee agreed at the latest Annual Meeting for the membership to take effect. 

4.12. The membership is valid for the whole calendar year (1 January to 31 December) and no refund of any part of the fee will be given if a member wants to leave the association during the said calendar year. 

4.13. Members who left the association have no rights to part of the association’s assets. 

4.14. SJP’s Board has the authority to exclude a member if a person or institution is found guilty of ethical misconduct or criminal activity. Members who have been excluded from the association have no right to any part of the association’s assets nor have any say in SJP’s affairs. 

Article 5: The Annual Meeting 

Every year, SJP organises an Annual Meeting. The Board decides the exact date and time, notifies the members, and provides a draft agenda at least 30 days before the Annual Meeting through electronic messaging. The Annual Meeting should be held at the latest in October.  

5.1. Decisions made during the Annual Meeting are considered valid regardless of the number of SJP members present. 

5.2. Each individual member present at the Annual Meeting has one vote. This also applies to the members who are part of an institutional membership. Physical or secured and approved online attendance at the Annual Meeting is required to be eligible to vote. 

5.3. All members can propose matters to the agenda. This must be done in writing no later than 20 days before the Annual Meeting. 

5.4. The Board shall discuss and publish the final agenda no later than 14 days prior to the Annual Meeting. No other matters may be addressed during the Annual Meeting. 

5.5. The Annual Report and the Auditor’s Report shall be distributed to members no later than 7 days prior to the Annual Meeting. The Board shall bring printed copies of the documents to the Annual Meeting for inspection and post them on the SJP’s website in the section “for members only” after the meeting. 

5.6. Prior to the Meeting, the Board recommend a member to chair the Annual Meeting. The approval of the proposed Chairperson of the Meeting is made at the Annual Meeting by a simple majority decision. 

5.7. Matters are routinely decided by a simple majority vote by members attending the meeting.  

5.8. Decisions on amendments to the association’s dissolution of the association require a two-thirds majority of the members present at two consecutive Annual Meetings. 

5.9. Voting is handled by openly voting yes or no for everything that does not require a secret ballot. If the result is difficult to interpret, the voting is repeated by show of hands. A secret ballot is made upon request of a member at the Annual Meeting and approved by show of hands by a simple majority.  

5.10. The Annual Meeting elects members of the Board. The Board shall have 5-10 members, of which at least five are ordinary members and a maximum of five are deputy members. The Annual Meeting elects Chairman separately and all other Board members jointly. After the Annual Meeting, the elected Chairman calls for a Board meeting and the members decide on their respective functions. The following functions must be appointed: 

a) President, elected for three years, with a maximum term of office of 6 years 

b) Vice President, elected for one year, with a maximum term of office of 4 years 

c) Secretary, elected for one year, with a maximum term of office of 4 years 

d) Treasurer, elected for one year, with a maximum term of office of 6 years. 

e) Another regular member is elected for one year with a maximum term of office of 4 years. 

f) If more than five members of the Board are elected, Deputy Board members are elected for one year with a maximum term of office of 4 years. Deputy Board members have a right to vote only if they substitute one of the ordinary Board members at a Board meeting. The Deputy Board members can substitute any of the ordinary Board members but the President.
 

5.11. In the event of a tie for the President of the Board position, the voting is reversed for the two best candidates. In the event of a standstill, the Chairman of the meeting has a casting vote. 

5.12. Minutes from the Annual Meeting shall be written by the SJP Secretary. The draft minutes are reviewed and signed by the Chairperson of the meeting and the two attestants. The adjusted minutes shall be handed over to SJP’s President and Secretary. The Secretary ensures that the minutes are published on SJP’s website in the section accessible only to members. 

5.13. Minutes of the Annual Meeting must be kept, checked, signed, attested, and posted within 14 days after the Annual Meeting. Only summaries of SJP Meetings are made available to the public. The President and the Secretary shall keep copies of the minutes. 

5.14. The agenda for the Annual Meeting must at least include the following items for the minutes: 

  1. Opening of the SJP President 
  2. Election of Meeting Chairperson 
  3. Election of Secretary at the meeting 
  4. Examination of whether the Annual Meeting has been convened in accordance with the Statutes 
  5. Establishment and approval of the voting list 
  6. Approval of the proposed Agenda 
  7. Election of two tellers 
  8. Election of two attestants of the meeting minutes 
  9. Presentation of the Annual Report 
  10. Presentation of the Auditor’s Report and approval of the Annual Report 
  11. Decision on discharge from liability for the Board Members 
  12. Election of Auditor and Deputy Auditor for the next year 
  13. Determination of the membership fee for the next year 
  14. Election of three members of the Nomination Committee for the next Annual Meeting 
  15. Election of the President of the Board 
  16. Election of other Board members 
  17. Matters notified in writing to the Board by members, according to 5.5 

Article 6: The Authority of the Board 

6.1. The Board is authorized to carry out all measures necessary for the conduct of affairs, business and routine activities affecting SJP, in accordance with the purposes set out in Article 2 a-h following the provisions of these articles. 

6.2. Legal documents are binding when they have been signed by the President and another Board member. 

6.3. The Board may convene an extraordinary Annual Meeting if necessary. Notice shall then be sent out to all members at least 30 days before the Meeting. 

6.4. The Board shall, in collaboration with the Nomination Committee, ensure that proposals for new Board members are distributed to all members no later than 30 days before the next Annual Meeting. 

6.5. Board members perform their respective assignments voluntarily and are not personally compensated from the association’s funds. 

6.6. Decision-making in the Board takes place by simple majority vote. In the event of an equal number of votes, the President has the casting vote. Deputy Board members have a right to vote only if they substitute one of the ordinary Board members. 

6.7. The Board shall meet at least four times a year. The President is responsible for calling the Board. 

6.8. Minutes shall be made at all Board meetings. A summary of the meeting minutes is published on the SJP’s website in the section “for members only”. 

Article 7: The Financial Year 

The association’s financial year runs from 1 January to 31 December. 

Article 8: Auditor and Deputy Auditor 

An Auditor and a Deputy Auditor are appointed to audit the association’s accounts and administration. They are elected for one year and can be re-elected without a term of office. The Board proposes suitable candidates and the nominees are elected at the Annual Meeting. The association’s accounts must be kept in accordance with Swedish law and sound accounting practices. 

The Annual report must be received by the auditor no later than 30 days before the Annual Meeting. The auditor and/or deputy auditor shall complete their review of the previous year’s administration and submit the Auditor’s report to the Board no later than 7 days before the Annual Meeting. 

Article 9: Amendments to the Statutes 

9.1. Amendments to the articles of association require a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting at the Annual Meeting at two consecutive Annual Meetings at least 60 days apart. 

9.2. Proposals for changes can be initiated by all members of the association, in which case the proposed change must be submitted in writing to the Board 60 days before the Annual Meeting. Amendments are published together with the publication of the Annual Meeting’s agenda. 

Article 10: Dissolution of the Organisation 

10.1. The Sustainable Journalism Partnership (SJP) is dissolved if two thirds of the members at two consecutive Annual Meetings so decide. 

10.2. The proposed resolution must be submitted in writing and signed by at least ten members of at least two different institutions (a total of ten). 

10.3. The proposal must explicitly mention the reasons for dissolution. 

10.4. The Board, with members who requested the dissolution, discuss the proposal.  

10.5. If the proposal remains after discussion, the President sends the proposal for dissolution to the members together with the notification of an extraordinary Annual Meeting. 

10.6. If the first Annual (?) Meeting accepts the proposal, another Annual Meeting is called, but not earlier than 60 days. If this Annual Meeting also decides that the association shall be dissolved, the decision will be implemented, and the Board will be instructed to proceed in accordance with articles 10.6 and 10.7. 

10.7. Upon dissolution, assets and rights are assigned to a non-profit organisation or a legal organisation person in public law who pursues purposes similar or equivalent to those formulated in Article. 2. Assets cannot be returned to the founders or members of SJP, nor be used for anyone’s private benefit or personal gain. 

10.8. The Board invites nominations. A third Annual Meeting elects the organisation that will take over SJP’s rights and assets. This Annual Meeting may not be convened earlier than 60 days after the last Annual Meeting.