Each February NENPA produces a two-day convention in Boston that is literally jam-packed with workshops, training sessions, seminars and panels that address the latest developments, opportunities and obstacles that our members are confronting. Convention attendees choose from a custom-crafted curriculum of more than 40 sessions that focus on intriguing topics pertaining to news, advertising, circulation, operations and new technology. Each year the lineup of speakers attempts to address a full gamut of subjects that range from important updates regarding ongoing concerns to cutting-edge issues that our industry is grappling with. The program also includes basic instruction on publishing fundamentals, new tools and the day-to-day practice of our profession.

The centerpiece of the annual Winter Convention is the New England Better Newspaper Competition awards ceremony, at which we present hundreds of awards to deserving newspaper professionals from throughout the region for their extraordinary work in serving their audience, advertisers and communities. The awards recognize the outstanding coverage, commentary, community involvement and marketing activities that newspaper staffs throughout New England pursue day-in and day-out. We honor newspapers for the full breadth of their work — from the best news, business, feature and sports stories, to the best columns, editorials and photos in a wide range of print and digital categories, as well as the best ad campaigns and circulation sales promotions.  There are 75 award categories, and for each one we recognize newspapers in several different circulation tiers. Not only do we honor the very best efforts of our member newspapers, but we also display their entries for all to see, so that this award-winning work will provide bright new ideas and inspiration for our entire membership.

In October each year NENPA conducts a one-day conference for hundreds of top executives from the newspapers in New England. The day is typically centered on a theme that is especially relevant and timely for our members, and it includes several speakers, panels and sessions that each addresses a different aspect of the common theme. The conference is usually headlined by a well-known expert or luminary.

The centerpiece of the NENPA Fall Conference is our annual New England Newspaper of the Year awards luncheon at which we honor the very best newspapers in the region. This is a unique competition, because, unlike any other designation of this sort in the newspaper industry, the winners are judged by the audience. Panels of newspaper readers decide upon the winners.

The awards luncheon also honors the recipients of NENPA’s annual Publick Occurrences awards, the Morley L. Piper First Amendment Award, the Allen B. Rogers Editorial Award for the best editorial of the year in New England, the AP Sevellon Brown Journalist of the Year Award, and the Bob Wallack Community Journalism Award.

NENPA has an uncommon approach to the Newspaper of the Year judging and the follow-up session at the conference that presents an analysis of the focus group results epitomizes the two-pronged goal of the NENPA recognition programs – both to pay tribute to the star performers at newspapers in our region while simultaneously helping all of our members identify truly successful practices that they can adopt for their own publications.

nenpa-universityAlong with the wide assortment of professional development opportunities that are available to New England newspaper personnel at our annual convention, NENPA also produces a slate of high quality— yet low cost— training sessions that we conduct all throughout the year. NENPA’s training curriculum addresses mission-critical issues that are relevant for those who labor in all areas of the newspaper workforce; including news, advertising, circulation, production, promotion, new media and administration.

We offer many of the training sessions at NENPA headquarters on the suburban campus of Northeastern University in Dedham, Massachusetts.

We also take those same training opportunities on tour to locations throughout New England in order to make them most accessible and convenient for members. Seminars are conducted via webinar, too.

In every case, NENPA’s workshops are conducted by some of the most knowledgeable professionals serving the newspaper industry.