Greetings from PSNE! 2012-13 is proving to be another year of significant change for our industry, and consequently another year of change for PSNE. Highlights of projects and changes include:
Conference planning: Planning has begun for the 2013 PA Press Conference in Harrisburg. Mark Luckie, manager of journalism and news at Twitter and former national innovations editor at The Washington Post, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker. The overall conference theme will be along the lines of “learning from the pros” and panels will focus on developing digital knowledge and skills. PSNE is attempting to coordinate conference panels and speakers with the PAPME and the PAPBA (Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters).
Plans also include a digital helpdesk staffed by a “geek squad,” to answer digital or technical questions of attendees throughout the conference. Another new feature will be the opportunity for conference attendees to go on an organized tour of the new state judicial center, governor’s mansion or similar site. Ced Kurtz of the Post-Gazette is heading the conference committee.
Keystone awards contest: With the reduction in print frequency planned by the Patriot-News and possibly others, as well as digital audience growth coupled with print circ declines, PSNE needs to make significant changes in the categories and divisions in the Keystone contest. Up to now, we have divided competitors into divisions based on daily and weekly publication and circulation numbers. Also the contest categories (for instance, headline writing) have remained print platform-focused with some online add-ons, which will need to change to reflect the type of work that more journalists actually are doing.
We are planning a major overhaul for the 2014 contest (which recognizes work done in 2013). We plan a few small changes for the 2013 contest. New rules for the 2014 contest will need to complete by September 2013. Sandy Clark of the Phila. Inquirer is heading the contest committee. We will coordinate this effort with the PNA’s new contest review committee.
PSNE legal status: With Teri Henning’s assistance we are continuing the process of dissolving the 501(c)(3) status or legal entity of PSNE to clear up IRS and state legal issues.
Ethics code: John Murphy of the Scranton Times-Tribune is leading an effort to review/collect newspaper ethics codes from around the state, and devise a model ethics code for PSNE as a resource for newspapers that lack ethics codes or have codes that have not kept pace with the digital revolution. This addresses PSNE’s mission to “help editors maintain the highest standards of journalism, improve their craft, adapt to change…” It also will help differentiate journalism from citizen blogging/tweeting.
Open records: Ernie Schreiber of the Lancaster New Era will be helping us come up with an overall legislative strategy for strengthening the Right-to-Know Law, so that we can be proactive in advocating the changes we want, rather than reactive to a range of piece-meal efforts by others trying to weaken the law.
Membership:We are seeking a new member for the western part of the state to replace Wendy Warren, who left philly.com for a job in Virginia.
Editor, Public Opinion, Chambersburg, Pa.