The annual New England Newspaper Conference is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Natick, Mass., and will feature a mix of speakers who are industry experts; roundtable and panel discussions; luncheon and dinner awards events; and vendor exhibits.
Speeches by Terrance Egger and Vince Johnson focusing on innovative revenue-generating opportunities will highlight the morning sessions of the conference.
Egger is chief executive officer and publisher of the Philadelphia Media Network, parent company of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com. His topic is “Funding the future of journalism – exploring alternative business models in newspapers.” Egger’s speech will touch on a decision earlier this year to donate the Philadelphia Media Network to a newly-established nonprofit media institute. He also will discuss alternative business models to finance the news industry in the future and how newspapers are employing imagination and experimentation to develop profitable new ideas. Egger also will forecast what he thinks is in the news industry’s future.
Johnson, publisher of the Forsyth County News of Cummings, Ga., and winner of the 2016 Mega-Innovation Award, judged by Harvard Business School’s Innovator-in-Residence, will speak on “Change your culture, now! This 100-year-old triweekly became a champion of innovation – here’s how.” The Forsyth County News has changed from a traditional local newspaper into an innovative, expanding local media company. Johnson will discuss how the staff there changed the News’ culture, products and reputation in the community, with new products, more effective engagement with its audience, and new revenue streams. He’ll provide tips on how other news organizations can also create a culture of growth and innovation.
Three roundtable discussions on issues important to newspaper executives, managers and journalists will follow those speeches.
The roundtable topics are:
• “New Revenue Ideas – what’s working at local papers, what’s not,” sponsored by the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s Marketing and Ad Council and led by some of its members who are advertising directors. The discussion is designed for participants to take home new ideas for generating revenue and for sharing success stories.
• “Recent trends in covering the opioid crisis,” sponsored and led by the New England Society of News Editors. The discussion will focus on new approaches to telling stories and going deeper into what lies behind the drug problem. Journalists will share the trends they are seeing and will talk about stories they’ve worked on in the past year.
• “Latest legal and ethical issues for the newsroom,” sponsored and led by the New England First Amendment Coalition. Questions to be explored: Can the public and the press videotape police without fear of arrest? Why are reporters and photographers being blocked from coverage at public events? What can we do to fight the anti-media mood not only in the presidential race, but in our hometowns?
The New England Newspaper Awards Luncheon will be highlighted by presentation of the following honors: the New England Newspapers of the Year; the Publick Occurrences Awards; Allan B. Rogers Editorial of the Year; the Bob Wallack Community Journalism Award; the AP Sevellon Brown Journalist of the Year; the Morley L. Piper First Amendment Award.
The conference will close with the other prestigious awards event, the New England Academy of Journalists’ Yankee Quill Awards Dinner. A cocktail reception celebrating NESNE’s 60th anniversary will precede the Yankee Quill dinner.
Yankee Quill Award recipients are Edward Achorn, vice president/editorial pages, The Providence (R.I.) Journal; Maura Casey, editorial writer at The Hartford (Conn.) Courant and The New York Times; Brian McGrory, editor of The Boston Globe; and Lincoln McKie Jr., formerly publisher of Journal Transcript Newspapers, based in Revere, Mass., executive editor of The Sun of Lowell, Mass., and managing editor of the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, Mass. A posthumous award will be given in tribute to Sarah Josepha Hale, a 19th century poet, writer and magazine editor from Newport, N.H., as a historic figure in journalism. More details about the Yankee Quill Awards is available here.
In between the awards events, the afternoon sessions are part of the New England Society of News Editors Conference.
Those sessions are:
• “Trends in the news business as seen through the eyes of the Nieman Journalism Lab,” featuring Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University.
• “Social media mayhem,” a panel discussion that will include Ernesto Burden, vice president of digital for Newspapers of New England, based in Concord, N.H., Bill Kole, news editor for New England in The Associated Press bureau in Boston; and Matt Carroll, research scientist at the MIT Media Lab. Emily Sweeney, a reporter at The Boston Globe, will be the moderator. The panel will explore the latest trends and developments in social media and ways reporters and editors can get the most from social media platforms.
The annual business meeting of the New England Society of News Editors will be held after those sessions. The 60th anniversary celebration of the society during a reception beginning at 5 p.m. will feature light refreshments, entertainment, and a display of NESNE memorabilia
The price for the all-day conference, including the awards luncheon, is $99 a person. Admission for awards luncheon alone is $69 a person. Please click here to register for the conference.
The separate price for the Yankee Quill Awards dinner is $75 a person. Registration for the awards dinner is available here.
Advertising, promotional, and sponsorship opportunities are available for the conference. For more information about those opportunities, please click here.