ASNE-APME 2014: Opening ceremony

By Ball State University APME & ASNE Convention Team
More than 300 editors packed the opening session of this week's converged media conferences expecting to hear Chicago Mayor Rahm Emauel. But that did not happen.

Rahm canceled at the last-minute, explained David Boardman, president of the American Society of News Editors. Instead, Chicago Tribune Columnist John Kass stepped in.

"He had a chance to talk to 300 editors and he blew it," Kass said. "I think it's clear he isn't going to be on Hillary's ticket."

Three media organizations teamed up this year to present a joint conference. Besides ASNE, the Associated Press Media Editors and Associated Press Photo Managers are sponsoring this week's sessions that range from tips on management to learning new tools to gather news and how to measure audience.

This year's convention theme, “Fast Forward,” was presented with all three of the organization presidents at the podium. “We must stand together,” said APME President Debra Adams Simmons.

Kass's remarks touched on the serious nature of the conference. He reminded the editors gathered in the Chrystal Ballroom to think of why they are in the news business.

Kass described Chicago where a "strong man" system of government rules. He reminded editors they are to look out for the average man.  "The watchdog function of every newspaper is of primary importance."

While empathizing with the financial challenges of the business, Kass asked editors to remember that it isn't the money or the online clicks that drive what he does. "Let's not forget what we do. We belong to the reader."

The conference runs through Wednesday at the Chicago Hyatt Regency.