2024 New England Newspaper Convention Program

Friday, March 22 beginning at 11:00 am
Keynote: The Power of Collaboration with ProPublica Editor-in-Chief Stephen Engelberg

Stephen Engelberg

In these resource-scarce times, collaboration among news organizations is an imperative. From its very first days, ProPublica has worked with colleagues at every level of the news media, from national newspapers to local television. They’ve had 100s of partners and learned a few things along the way about the keys to making it work.  The biggest lesson Stephen Engelberg has learned is that “You can’t communicate too much or too often”.



Friday, March 22 beginning at 11:00 am

Keynote: The Power of Collaboration with ProPublica Editor-in-Chief Stephen Engelberg
Friday, March 22, 1:00 pm three sessions

Part One: The Paid Readership Imperative – Building Audience
Tim Griggs, Blue Engine Collaborative

A collaboration between NEACE and NENPA on two back-to-back sessions bringing together experts on building and retaining online subscribers led by Tim Griggs, founder and CEO of Blue Engine, a company successfully working with publishers to grow digital business.

Writing headlines for readers
Bill Ostendorf, Creative Circle

What do readers want from your next headline? Or caption? Or page one refer? Bill Ostendorf will cover all three of these critical elements that can help make or break your readership. Learn how important these elements are along with some proven techniques that will help you dramatically improve the readership of your stories. These are simple tips and insights you can put to work today. A must seminar for copy editors, news editors, reporters, designers, and top managers.

Journalism Fundamentals: Interviewing techniques and sources
Panel: Dugan Arnett, Boston Globe; Jenifer McKim, GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting, and Emily Sweeney, Boston Globe

In the heart of every compelling news story lies a well-conducted interview. Join us for an enlightening session that explores the cornerstone of journalism: interviewing techniques and cultivating reliable sources. Whether you’re a seasoned reporter or a budding journalist, mastering the art of interviewing is essential for uncovering stories, gaining insights, and delivering accurate and engaging news content. Led by Boston Globe reporter Emily Sweeney and a panel (Dugan Arnett, Boston Globe, Jenifer McKim, GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting) of experienced journalists and interviewing experts, this session will delve into the essential skills and strategies needed to conduct effective interviews and build strong relationships with sources. Presented by the New England Society of News Editors.

Friday, March 22, 2:30 pm three sessions

Part Two: The Paid Readership Imperative – Holding Onto Subscribers

Following Tim Grigg’s presentation, John Harrison, vice president of Customer Experience at Wallit, will lead a discussion among Gary Lavariere, chief revenue officer at The Berkshire Eagle, Tim Dwyer, publisher of The Day in New London, Conn., Jim Falzone, publisher for CNHI’s North of Boston Media Group, and Allie Ginwala, audience engagement editor at the Concord Monitor on what is working at their operations. Learn more about this special program.

InDesign Tricks and Techniques for Newspaper Production
Jeff Potter, The Commons

So many editors and designers who work in Adobe InDesign just don’t have any idea about some of the capabilities, tools, and features that this software hides in plain sight. Are you one of them? Come and take a peek at a newspaper template that has saved Jeff Potter, editor of The Commons in Brattleboro, Vermont, hours of time each week. Come and learn some of the ways that you, too, can build your pages with efficiency, consistency, and precision. And if you’re a power user, come and share your tips and tricks as well.

Journalism Fundamentals: Access to Public Records and FOIA Requests
Panel: Ethan Genter, Vineyard Gazette, Rich Saltzberg, freelance journalist, Justin Silverman, NEFAC,
and Emily Sweeney, Boston Globe

Transparency is the cornerstone of democracy, and journalists play a vital role in holding public officials and institutions accountable. Join us for an essential session that delves into the fundamentals of accessing public records and navigating the intricacies of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Whether you’re a seasoned investigative journalist or a novice reporter, understanding how to obtain and leverage public records is essential for uncovering stories of public interest and promoting government accountability. Led by Boston Globe reporter Emily Sweeney and other experienced journalists (Ethan Genter, Vineyard Gazette and Rich Saltzberg, freelance journalist) and legal experts (Justin Silverman, NEFAC), this session will provide practical guidance and actionable tips for journalists seeking access to public records at the local, state, and federal levels. Presented by the New England Society of News Editors.

Friday, March 22, 3:45 pm two sessions

Why branded content should be your premiere advertising offering this year
Bill Ostendorf, Creative Circle

Creative Circle built the industry’s first native or paid content platform for the St. Petersburg Times in 2010. With deep editorial roots, Bill Ostendorf, president of Creative Circle, was skeptical of paid content, but now he’s a believer – as long as media companies do it right. “What seven years of doing this with the Times has taught us is that there is a big need and a big opportunity here for newspapers,” says Ostendorf. “And some of the benefits and revenue potential is not from the paid content itself.” He’ll share his experience launching paid sites and offer tips on how to get started and how to get it right.

Journalism Fundamentals: How to be your own copy editor
Charles St. Amand, Suffolk University

Attention all writers, reporters, and editors! In the fast-paced world of journalism, the ability to self-edit is an invaluable skill that can elevate your work from good to exceptional. Join Charles St. Amand for a hands-on session where you’ll learn essential copy editing techniques and strategies to refine your writing and ensure accuracy, clarity, and consistency in your journalistic endeavors. Presented by the New England Society of News Editors.

Friday, March 22, 6:00 pm
Cocktail Reception

First chance to interact with NENPA board members, speakers, and attendees, before the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame Dinner. Included with Convention registration.

Friday, March 22, 7:00 pm
Hall of Fame Dinner

The Hall of Fame honors newspaper industry heroes whose talent, hard work, and exceptional accomplishments inspire all New England journalists. Join us in congratulating, honoring, and celebrating this year’s four new inductees. Purchase tickets for the dinner.

2024 honorees:
❖ George Brennan, The Martha’s Vineyard Times
❖ David Brooks, Concord Monitor
❖ Frank Dingley, Lewiston Evening Journal
❖ Melvin B. Miller, Bay State Banner

The Westin Waltham
70 3rd Ave
Waltham, MA 02451


Saturday, March 23, 9:00 am three sessions
Introduction to AI Tools
Mike Reilley, JouralistsToolbox.ai, University of Illinois-Chicago

We’ve been using AI tools for years and haven’t even realized it. However, the influx of tools flooding the market in 2022 and early 2023 raises opportunities as well as ethical and legal concerns. In this combination presentation/workshop, Mike Reilley will approach AI with “cautious curiosity” and learn how to harness the tools to save you time and work. We’ll work with MidJourney and Adobe Firefly to create photo illustrations; basic editing tools; writing prompts and updates to tools such as Google Gemini, ChatGPT, Claude, and others. We’ll also explore some pitfalls of AI tools and the legal/ethical issues surrounding them. Participants will get a handout with links to tools and other resources.

Innovative Strategies for Monetizing Newsletters in 2024
Adriana Lacy, Brandeis University, Adriana Lacy Consulting

In an era where digital content reigns supreme, understanding how to effectively monetize newsletters is key to unlocking new revenue streams for news publishers and media executives. This session presented by Adriana Lacy delves into the latest trends, technologies, and strategies for enhancing newsletter profitability in 2024. Join us to explore cutting-edge approaches, including personalized advertising, subscription models, and content partnerships, tailored to elevate your newsletter’s value and drive financial growth. Gain insights from industry leaders, learn from success stories, and leave equipped with actionable strategies to transform your newsletter into a powerful revenue generator.

Video: short-form storytelling for the newsroom
Tim Rasmussen, Boston Globe

Join Tim Rasmussen, Senior AME for visual journalism+news product design at the Boston Globe as he explores the rapidly evolving landscape of video journalism, focusing on crafting compelling narratives within the constraints of short-form content. From breaking news to feature stories, learn techniques to engage audiences quickly and effectively. Discover strategies for leveraging visual elements, pacing, and narrative structure to deliver impactful stories that resonate in today’s fast-paced media environment. Presented by the New England Society of News Editors.

Saturday, March 23, 10:30 am two sessions

Data Journalism Fundamentals
Mike Reilley, JouralistsToolbox.ai, University of Illinois-Chicago

Mike Reilley will cover data scraping web pages with Google Sheets, and scraping PDFs with Tabula and PDFtoExcel.com. Building graphics with Flourish.studio. Before the session, participants should set up a free account at https://flourish.studio/. They also should download free Tabula software here: https://tabula.technology/. Participants will get a handout with links to tools and other resources.

Photojournalism, and photo editing
Angela Rowlings, Boston Press Photographers Association, independent photojournalist

Join award-winning photojournalist Angela Rowlings for a dive into the world of photojournalism and photo editing! Discover the power of capturing moments that evoke emotion and convey powerful narratives. Learn essential photo editing techniques to enhance your images and bring your stories to life. This session offers invaluable insights and practical tips to elevate your craft.

Saturday, March 23, 12:00 pm two events

Film Screening and Discussion: BAD PRESS
an unprecedented story about the battle for freedom of the press and against state-censored media

BAD PRESS is an enthralling, edge-of-your-seat nail biter that unfurls with the energy and suspense of a political thriller. Imagine you lived in a world where your only reliable news source became government propaganda overnight. That’s exactly what happened to the citizens of the Muscogee Nation, the fourth largest Native American tribe, in 2018. One defiant journalist refuses to accept this flagrant act of oppression. As brave as she is blunt, veracious muckraker Angel Ellis charges headfirst into battle against the corrupt faction of the Muscogee National Council. Learn more and watch the trailer.

Join us to watch the film, followed immediately by a Q&A and discussion with Angel Ellis, director at Mvskoke Media, and Becca Landsberry, executive director of the Native American Journalists Association.

Yankee Quill Awards Luncheon

This celebration honors five extraordinary individuals for their
lifetime of achievement and distinction in New England Journalism. The Academy of New England Journalists will present the prestigious Yankee Quill Award to this year’s inductees. Purchase tickets for the luncheon.

Saturday, March 23, 2:00 pm three sessions

Fact-checking and the election
Mike Reilley, JouralistsToolbox.ai, University of Illinois-Chicago

During this session, Mike Reilley will introduce you to hands-on tools for fact-checking election-related content: Google reverse image search, Tineye, WatchFramebyFrame for videos, Fact-Check Explorer, and much more. Participants will get a handout with links to tools and other resources.

Investigative reporting
Panel: Noah Bombard, MA Executive Office of Housing and Livable
Communities; Antonia Noori Farzan, The Providence Journal; Michael Gagne, The News-Times; Chris Larabee, The Greenfield Recorder; Tiffany Tan, VTDigger; Christopher Wheelock, Sun Journal

This session dives into the world of investigative journalism. Learn how to develop leads, conduct interviews, utilize public records, and navigate legal issues. VTdigger reporter Tiffany Tan leads a panel (Noah Bombard, Mass. Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, Antonia Noori Farzan, The Providence Journal, Michael Gagne, The News-Times, Chris Larabee, The Greenfield Recorder, Christopher Wheelock, Sun Journal) of investigative journalists who will share their tips and tricks for crafting impactful stories that make a difference. Walk away ready to tackle tough stories in your own community.

Two Revolutions in the Newsroom: Mobile Storytelling and Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Mario R. Garcia, Garcia Media

In this presentation, Dr. Mario R. Garcia will discuss the challenges facing editors transforming their news operations to become mobile-first operations, while also ushering in Artificial Intelligence and the important role that it already plays in various aspects of gathering and creating content. Case studies and examples will illustrate the best approaches for incorporating the changes brought about by mobile first and Artificial Intelligence, the subject of Dr. Garcia’s newest book: AI: The Next Revolution for Content Creation (2024).

Saturday, March 23, 3:45 pm one session
What’s Working in Community News
With Authors Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy

Join us for an engaging session exploring the dynamic landscape of community news and the innovative strategies being employed to address the challenges facing local journalism. In an era marked by the proliferation of news deserts and the decline of traditional media outlets, this session will delve into the vital role of media startups in filling the void and revitalizing the Fourth Estate at the grassroots level. Led by journalists and authors Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy who recently released the book, “What Works in Community News: Media Startups, News Deserts, and the Future of the Fourth Estate,” a groundbreaking study of the journalism startups that are solving the local news crisis one community at a time.

Saturday, March 23, 6:00 pm

Cocktail Reception

Our largest reception of the year is open to convention attendees, speakers, and guests attending the Awards Banquet. Included with Convention registration.

Saturday, March 23, 7:00 pm

Journalism Awards Banquet

Our largest celebratory gathering of the year where we reveal the results of the annual New England Better Newspaper Competition!  Purchase tickets to the banquet.