2020 New England Newspaper Convention Program

The 2020 New England Newspaper Convention will be held February 7th and 8th in Boston, MA. The two-day convention is jam-packed with workshops, training sessions, seminars and panels that address the latest developments, opportunities and obstacles that newspaper professionals are confronting. Choose from a custom-crafted curriculum of dozens of sessions that focus on intriguing topics pertaining to news, advertising, circulation, operations and new technology.

Let people know you are attending and feel free to live tweet during the event using the hashtag #NEnews

Venue >>

Boston Renaissance Waterfront Hotel
606 Congress Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
2020 Reservations Are Open

Friday, February 7, 2020
8:00 am – Coffee & Registration
9:00 am – Opening Session
10:30 am – Workshops
2:15 pm – Workshops
3:45 pm – Workshops
5:00 pm – Networking Cocktail Reception with casino theme
6:00 pm – Advertising Awards, Better Newspaper Competition
6:30 pm – New England Newspaper Hall of Fame Cocktail Reception and Dinner
Saturday, February 8, 2020
8:00 am – NENPA Annual Meeting (Open to all attendees)
9:00 am – Workshops
10:30 am – Workshops
Lunch on your own
2:15 pm – Workshops
3:45 pm – Workshops
6:00 pm – Networking Cocktail Reception
7:00 pm – Journalism Awards Banquet, Better Newspaper Competition

2020 Convention Program (Preliminary)

Keynote Presentation – Time to Get Your Swagger Back!
There is no question that digital disruption is affecting our audience and profits. However, are we living a self-fulfilling prophecy by moving our focus away from leveraging our editorial assets as a core revenue source? There is profit for publications when we focus on what we do best! Mike Blinder is a sales street fighter who has generated $100 million in multimedia ad sales. And last September he surprised the entire industry with his purchase of Editor & Publisher Magazine. Mike will dissect the latest research and data showing that we are still a great industry, with great products and a great future ahead. As long as we keep our eye on the ball!

New Business Models – What’s Next?
Should you consider a new model for your newspaper? Membership models, non-profit entity, advertiser–funded, digital only, investigative driven, collaborative, etc. What might be the most promising to help sustain the industry? Which will help strengthen relationships with audience? Will new models develop new revenue streams? What’s next? 

Filling Gaps In Local Coverage With Student / Newsroom Collaborations
A growing number of colleges and universities are partnering with news outlets to cover local communities. For universities, this experiential opportunity serves as a pipeline for students to enter the field. For newsrooms, this partnership serves to fill critical gaps in news coverage. This panel will examine various methods of college and community media partnerships, the benefits and considerations, and the sustainability of partnership models in our current media landscape.

Building Better Sources
Tips from well-sourced reporters ranging from cops and courts coverage to business and entertainment reporting. How to build great sources that help you break new news. 

Reporting On Immigration Far From the Border
From how your local police dept. is or isn’t working with ICE to refugees living in your community, immigration issues and the stories of immigrants are increasingly a big part of the daily news cycle. But what resources can you tap to peel back the stories of these immigrants and how federal policies are impacting your city or town? A panel of reporters on the front lines of immigration reporting in New England will share their tips and secrets.

Building Audience and Revenue
A panel discussion on digital subscriptions and other new initiatives and strategies newspapers are (or should be!) pursuing.

Words Matter
From gender-neutral pronouns to how we write about immigrants, suicide, mental health issues and people who are just different than us, the words we use matter. Learn how to be more inclusive in your writing, while avoiding cliches and stereotypes to get a better story.

Obstacles and Opportunities Of Social Media As A Reporting Tool
Social media has become a vital part of news gathering. A panel of reporters and editors who have experience using social media in their reporting will discuss the obstacles and opportunities that social media presents. Using Facebook, Instagram and other social media to track down sources and fill in vital pieces of missing information can be effective. There are also challenges to verify the information, such as how do we figure out whether even a verified user is actually the person tweeting?

Covering Cannabis: effectively & responsibly reporting on New England’s expanding marijuana markets
The cannabis industry intersects with many different beats including business, health, politics, technology and agriculture. What are the storytelling opportunities for your community? Where can you find reliable sources and data?  

Digital Sales Bootcamp
Fire up your staff and fuel sales in 2020! In this half day session your sales staff will learn what digital products your local advertisers are buying and why. What are these products and how to compete with them. How to consult with potential clients on their digital spending and how affiliation/purchase from their local news organization benefits them in ways buying from national companies doesn’t.   

Tools for Election 2020 Coverage
Learn about tech tools to find, analyze and visualize information in a way that makes your job easier and better engages your community. Use Google Trends to see what people are most interested in and how they are searching for it. You will also get tips on detecting misinformation and keeping your data secure. No coding necessary!

New and Successful Ways To Manage Sales Reps
Greg Swanson will share the secrets of his success in managing sales reps in the modern world….even managing salespeople from a distance. Highlights include: Using peer to peer management, productive text management, focusing on audiences, not products, non-monetary ways to motivate your team, how to get your manager out of the small stuff, and more. Attendees will be supplied with a free secret weapon that they can use, a free sales pipeline tool, and a free prospecting tool to take home.

Possibilities and Pitfalls of Alternative Funding
Seeking and utilizing “alternative funding” for projects has become more common in some newsrooms, and has long been part of the business model for public media. Panelists from The Boston Globe, Connecticut Public Broadcasting, The Ground Truth Project, and The New Hampshire Union Leader, will discuss their experiences and challenges with these revenue streams. Presented by the New England Society of News Editors.

Making Public Records Work For You
A panel of seasoned journalists who have successfully fought for access and used public records to unearth public interest stories will share tips on how to get info. What should journalists know about the public records law and how they can shine a light on things the government would rather keep hidden.

How To Be A Better Storyteller
Tips from NENPA-member editors and reporters on good storytelling techniques and, specifically, how to turn a breaking news story into an immersive story.

Legal Issues: Libel, Invasion of Privacy and Other Legal Questions
Top New England First Amendment lawyers will discuss Libel, Invasion of Privacy and other recent court decisions that impact newsgathering and publishing in a modern era.  Bring your questions. We have solutions.

Podcasts: Tell Better Stories with Audio
Take your audio storytelling to the next level. The producers of The Day’s crime podcast “Case Unsolved” will discuss storytelling and production techniques for creating compelling audio stories. We’ll look at what to record, how to record it, and how to put it all together with writing, narration, music and editing.

Collaborative Reporting: Crossing divides for better journalism
In the past several years, dozens of media outlets across the country have started bridging institutional divides in order to work together on projects big and small in an effort to provide the local coverage their communities desperately need and deserve. In this session, you will learn more about how to work collaboratively across newsrooms, niches and mediums to pool resources in order to produce high-quality journalism your audiences and communities can trust; how The Granite State News Collaborative in New Hampshire has grown from a partnership of four newsrooms to 17; and, practical tips for how to organize a collaborative project.

Effective Interviews:  Planning and Execution
So many stories produced in print and online depend heavily on getting the right information your readers want and need to make proper decisions.  Are you a Lapdog or a real Bulldog when it comes to getting information? Learn how to get to the bottom of the issues and to work your sources.

More session information to come, including…. 

Alternative Funding and Grants 

Photography – The Year In Review and How To Do Better

Newsletters and Email Marketing 

Game On: How To Up Your Sports Writing

Diversity and Leadership In The Newsroom

How to Incorporate Academic Research Into Your News Reporting

Creating niche products for new and loyal audiences

How to get the most out of your intern

Creativity and collaboration in leadership

Video Storytelling

For more information please contact Christine Panek at 781.281.7284 or c.panek@nenpa.com.