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The 2018 ASNE-APME News Leadership Conference kicks off in less than nine weeks! For two full days at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, we'll address the latest innovations in content and technology, leadership strategies, new business models and more. Check out the schedule and sign up now to join us Sept. 11-12!
Five things you don't want to miss: 

1. Big J Track: Comments: A Path to Subscribers
In recent years, the level of nastiness on comments on stories have left editors tormented about how to handle them, with some news organizations ditching comments from their site all together. But in the past year, as subscriptions became a more important part of the revenue stream, publishers found some interesting data. It turns out subscribers are far more likely to comment on articles or read the comments themselves, making them a critical selling and retention tool. And then a new open-source commenting system, funded by Knight Foundation, was released, decreasing costs for publishers and improving moderation. So where does that leave us now? 
Confirmed speakers: Andrew Losowsky, project lead, The Coral Project; Jim Simon (moderator), managing editor, Honolulu Civil Beat; and Talia Stroud, director, Center for Media Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin
2. Diversity Report
Join us for the release of the annual ASNE diversity survey. We'll examine the representation of diverse backgrounds/experiences in newsrooms and news coverage and provide tips on recruitment and retention. Join top officials from the Maynard Institute for a truncated version of its highly sought-after Fault Lines training program and learn how its diversity framework can help your staff produce better journalism.
Confirmed speakers: Meredith Clark, assistant professor, University of Virginia Department of Media Studies; Teri Hayt, executive director, ASNE; Evelyn Hsu, co-executive director, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education; Karen Magnuson (moderator), editor and vice president of news, Rochester (New York) Democrat and Chronicle; Martin Reynolds, co-executive director, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education; and Hollis Towns, executive editor/vice president of news, Asbury Park Press
3. Innovation Track: Does Local Opinion Still Matter?
In one word: Yes. How can you focus your opinion writing on issues that are critical to your community and make changes? What are the new digital storytelling techniques, other than narrative argument, that you can use to state your case?
Confirmed speakers: Rick Christie, editorial page editor, The Palm Beach Post; O. Ricardo Pimentel, editorial writer and columnist, San Antonio Express-News; and David Plazas (moderator), opinion engagement editor, The Tennessean
This session is sponsored by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism and Philadelphia Media Network.
4. Big J Track: Newsroom 2020: Legal Hotline Live
This is your opportunity to get any information you need about the critical legal issues facing journalism today in a free-wheeling conversational format. ASNE Legal Counsel Kevin Goldberg, after introducing ASNE's new and improved Legal Hotline, will lead editors as we discuss your own concerns, as well as the trending topics he's seeing in his work for ASNE and elsewhere. The increase in lawsuits stemming from inadvertent, unauthorized use of photos and the growing trend of retaliatory lawsuits filed against FOIA requesters are just two of the possible topics for this lively discussion that focuses on the issues you want to learn about. 
5. Book your hotel room, book your hotel room
We strongly encourage you to book your hotel room as soon as possible to get the $219 nightly rate in the ASNE-APME room block at the onsite hotel at the conference center.  
Currently, our block is sold out for the night of Sept. 12, though there are still rooms available at the hotel outside of our block. If your reservation includes the night of Sept. 12, then the online registration system won't let you reserve a room. Instead, please call 512-404-1900 and reference the program name "ASNE-APME" to book any stays that include the night of Sept. 12