2020 New England Newspaper Convention Program

The 2020 New England Newspaper Convention was held February 7 and 8 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 Convention Program

8:00 am – Coffee & Registration

Meet industry suppliers offering solutions, special offers and giveaways.

9:00 am – Opening Session

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!
Presented by: Mike Blinder, Publisher Editor & Publisher

10:30 am – 3:30 pm - Student Photo Review Sessions

To sign up for a session email c.panek@nenpa.com.

10:30 am – Workshops

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!
Presented by: Maggie Farley, Teaching Fellow Google News Lab


Using Research to Keep Politicians Honest

Public policy research is a powerful tool for holding government leaders and politicians accountable and fighting disinformation. In this presentation, journalists will get tips on finding the best research on their beats, differentiating between high-quality and low-quality studies, avoiding academic journal paywalls and explaining scientific and statistical terms to the public. Participants will leave the session viewing research findings through a more critical lens.
Presented by: Denise-Marie Ordway, Managing Editor Journalist’s Resource, a project of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
Carmen Nobel, Director Journalist’s Resource, a project of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy


Publishers Panel: Leading Innovative Initiatives

Despite the challenges that news organizations are facing, publishers are implementing new and successful ways to drive revenue, pursue new audiences and energize their teams. Join us for a stimulating panel discussion on revenue strategies that are working!
Presented by: Moderator Dan Cotter, Publisher Vermont Standard
George Arwady, Publisher and CEO The Republican.
Liz White, Publisher & EVP Record-Journal Media Group
Autumn Phillips, Managing Editor The Post and Courier


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.
Presented by: Moderator Tom Kearney, Deputy Managing Editor Stowe Reporter
Judith Meyer, Executive Editor Sun Journal, Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel
Melissa Hanson, Reporter MassLive
Mike Donoghue, President Vermont News First

12:30 pm – New England First Amendment Coalition Luncheon
2:15 pm – Workshops

Digital Sales Bootcamp (2:15 - 5 pm)

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. This session will cover a lot of material and runs from 2:15 – 5 pm.
Presented by: Greg Swanson, Chief of Business Development / Founder / Partner ITZontarget
George M. Dratelis, President Acropolis Interactive


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?
Presented by: Emily Sweeney, Staff Reporter The Boston Globe
Noah R. Bombard, Managing Producer for News MassLive.com


Legal Issues: Libel, Invasion of Privacy & Other Legal Questions

Top New England First Amendment lawyers will discuss Libel, Invasion of Privacy and other recent court decisions that impact news gathering and publishing in a modern era.  Bring your questions. We have solutions.
Presented by: Mike Donoghue, Vermont Press Association
Greg Sullivan, Esq. Malloy & Sullivan
Elizabeth Ritvo, Of Counsel Brown Rudnick


Follow the Money: New opportunities for funding

A changing news landscape means new opportunities for funding. Maria will talk about the different kinds of alternative funding that are out there for projects and collaborations.
Presented by: Maria Archangelo, Chief Revenue Officer Chalkbeat
Bruce Putterman, The CT Mirror
Todd Franko, Report For America

3:45 pm – Workshops

Digital Sales Bootcamp (continues)


Possibilities and Pitfalls of Alternative Funding: Grants, Projects & Ethical Considerations

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. Sponsored by New England Society of News Editors.
Presented by: Moderator Charlie St. Amand, Practitioner in Residence, Communication & Journalism Department Suffolk University
Heidi Flood, Strategic Lead, Partnerships & Outreach Boston Globe Media
Tim Rasmussen, Chief Content Officer Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network
Mike Cote, Deputy Managing Editor, Business New Hampshire Union Leader
Charlie Sennott, Founder, CEO & Editor, The GroundTruth Project Co-founder, Report for America


Newsletters and Email Marketing

Description coming soon!
Presented by: Nicco Mele, Managing Director Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation


Filling Gaps In Local Coverage With College/Newsroom Partnerships

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.
Presented by: Lara Salahi, Assistant Professor, Broadcast & Digital Journalism Endicott College
Nell Escobar-Coakley, Director of Multimedia Gannett
Kristen Nevious, Director Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce University
Paul Lambert, Student Franklin Pierce University

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
8:00 am – NENPA Annual Meeting (Open to all attendees)
9:00 am – Workshops

The Turn To Membership & What Makes It Different From Subscription

This session will introduce you to membership models for the support of public service journalism. You will learn what membership means in the context of newsroom sustainability, and how it differs from subscription. Membership is more than just a revenue strategy. It’s fundamentally about your relationship with your strongest supporters and more engaged readers.
Presented by: Jay Rosen, Director, Membership Puzzle Project


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.
Presented by: Scott Croteau, Managing Producer MassLive.com
Barbara Walsh, Journalist Pine Tree Watch
Josh Kovner, News reporter/writer, The Hartford Courant, Adjunct Faculty, University of New Haven


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.
Presented by: Peter Huoppi, Director of Mulitmedia The Day Publishing Company
Carlos Virgen, Digital News Director The Day Publishing Company


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.
Presented by: Steph Solis, State government and immigration reporter MassLive
Sarah Betancourt, Reporter CommonWealth Magazine
Greg Saulmon, The Republican.

10:30 am – 3:30 pm - Student Resume Review Sessions

To sign up for a session email c.panek@nenpa.com.

10:30 am – Workshops

Collaborative Reporting: Crossing divides for better journalism

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.
Presented by: Melanie Plenda, Director Granite State News Collaborative
Dawn DeAngelis, Vice President and Chief Content Officer Founding Partner, Granite State News Collaborative
Carol Robidoux, Editor & Publisher Manchester Ink Link
Kristen Nevious, Director Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce University
Stefanie Murray, Director Center for Cooperative Journalism at Montclair University


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.
Presented by: Mike Donoghue, President Vermont News First


Mind Mapping To Create Energy and Enthusiasm For New Products & Audiences

This fun and interactive program, lead by one of America’s leading motivational and leadership speakers will provide each organization with dozens of leads on content driven programs that will drive new energy and traffic to your web sites and organization! Be prepared to shake off the cobwebs, interact and have fun!
Presented by: Kevin L. McCrudden, President Motivate America


How To Get the Most Out Of Your Intern

Getting the most out of your intern means more than having them in the newsroom. Interns can be a valuable piece of the editorial puzzle while, in some cases, offering a perspective that might be missing from the room.
Presented by: Janine Weisman, Adjunct Professor, Journalism Faculty Adviser Roger Williams University
Angelo Lynn, Editor & Publisher Addison Press, Inc.
Will Richmond, Editor The Newport Daily News – Gannett

12:00 pm – Lunch on your own
2:15 pm – Workshops

NENPA Photojournalism Year in Review

We will discuss the NENPA Photojournalist’s work for the past year since la st conventions. This is a seminar discussion where I will critique the work and discuss how images are strong and lacking in composition, lighting and capturing the Who, What, When, Where, and possibly Why depicted in the images. We will also discuss the reasons photojournalist exist and their value in publications of today. Finally, time permitting, we will have an open discussion on the ethics of photojournalism and the responsibility of the photojournalist on the street covering their communities.
Presented by: Robert C. Holt lll, Photojournalist / Consultant Bob Holt Consulting


Game On: How to up your sports writing

Bob Ryan, drawing on his many years of experience, will talk about what makes a good sports column and what makes a good columnist. Ryan retired from full–time duty at the Boston Globe in 2012 following a 44-year career in which he covered the Boston Celtics for 14 years, wrote numerous features and was a columnist for his final 23 years. He also had a three decade affiliation with ESPN.
Presented by: Bob Ryan, Sportswriter The Boston Globe


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.
Presented by: Noah Bombard, Managing Producer for News MassLive
Cristela Guerra, Arts and Culture Reporter WBUR
Jeremy Fox, Reporter, Editor & Online Producer The Boston Globe and Associate Editor The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide


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.
Presented by: Greg Swanson, Chief of Business Development / Founder / Partner ITZontarget

3:45 pm – Workshops

Diversity In the Newsroom

A discussion about the importance of diversity and inclusion in our newsrooms and how it can improve or work as journalists.
Presented by: Carlos Virgen, Digital News Director The Day


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?
Presented by: Moderator John Voket, Associate Editor Newtown Bee
Kim Kirchner, Special Products Editor The Berkshire Eagle
Felicia Gans, Cannabis Reporter/Digital Producer The Boston Globe
Penny Overton, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald


Creative Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Most Fortune 100 Companies now have specialists dedicated to “Emotional Intelligence.” This program will lead you through the process of “Creative Leadership” and introducing Emotional Intelligence to your management and organization. Doing this will help incorporate millennials and introduce a more empathic management system, while also holding people accountable, which will increase performance.
Presented by: Kevin L. McCrudden, President Motivate America

6:00 pm – Networking Cocktail Reception
7:00 pm – Journalism Awards Banquet, Better Newspaper Competition

For more information please contact Linda Conway at l.conway@nenpa.com.

2020 New England Newspaper Convention Sponsor Showcase