ASNE convention, April 8-11, 1997

RESTON, Va. — The nation's newspaper editors will gather in Washington, D.C., April 8-11 for their annual examination of current developments and challenges of editing daily newspapers.

RESTON, Va. — The nation's newspaper editors will gather in Washington, D.C., April 8-11 for their annual examination of current developments and challenges of editing daily newspapers. While in the nation's capital, members of the American Society of Newspaper Editors will hear from leading newsmakers, including President Clinton; Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright; U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla.; Thabo Mbeki, executive deputy president of South Africa; and Astronaut Shannon Lucid.

ASNE, with 870 members, is an organization of directing editors of daily newspapers. Some 750 registrants will attend the annual convention, held at the J.W. Marriott Hotel. The meeting will mark the beginning of ASNE's 75th year. Robert H. Giles, editor and publisher of The Detroit News, heads ASNE. Tim J. McGuire, editor and senior vice president of new media for the Star Tribune, Minneapolis, chairs the Convention Program Committee.

The gathering opens Tuesday afternoon, April 8, with a session called “Are We Editors Any More? Seeking Re-Enchantment.” The evening's reception will be the first viewing of the Newseum, the world's first museum dedicated to the past, present and future of news.

Wednesday's sessions will begin with a keynote breakfast. ASNE President Giles will deliver an address, to be followed by U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts. The luncheon speaker is Astronaut Shannon Lucid, who has spent the most time in space of any American. The highlight of the afternoon will be a visual presentation of the best content ideas for newspapers. The evening reception will be held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, where the Jewels of the Romanovs will be on display.

Following committee meetings on Thursday morning, findings of two major ASNE surveys will be presented. First, the Newsroom Workforce Survey, a look at newspaper employees, their careers and their attitudes. Next, a look at competitive strategies based on the public's use of media. Also that morning, editors will discuss the state of the newspaper business and the challenges that it faces. The luncheon speaker Thursday will be Secretary of State Albright. One afternoon session will look at the “guilty-until-innocent” tone recent events in the news have taken, including the Richard Jewell case. Thursday evening's reception and dinner will be held at the National Building Museum. The night's entertainment will be “Letters to the Editor,” an original production by the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble of Pennsylvania. The play is an entertaining portrait of community drawn from 200 years of actual letters to newspapers. South African Executive Deputy President Thabo Mbeki and Benjamin Bradlee, Washington Post vice president-at-large, will discuss the future of South Africa on Friday morning. President Clinton will speak at the start of the luncheon, and afterward, cartoonist Scott Adams will speak. Following this luncheon, the convention will be adjourned.

During the course of the convention, discussions will be offered on a number of news topics, including the restructuring of local, state and federal governments. Other sessions will focus on newsroom operations, newspaper content, and improving newspaper writing. Editors can visit ASNE's hands-on computer lab throughout the week to sample the latest developments in online publication.

Also during the convention, the Society will release its annual employment survey, which sets the benchmark for progress in minority employment in the nation's newsrooms. ASNE will also honor the previously announced winners of this year's Distinguished Writing Awards and Jesse Laventhol Prizes at the Friday luncheon. A daily convention newspaper, The ASNE Reporter, will be produced by a multicultural staff of college students. Much of their work will be available on ASNE's website.

During convention week, ASNE members will elect eight members of the board of directors and the board will elect new officers.

The ASNE Convention Press Center is in the Commerce Room of the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington (1331 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.). These are the hours that the Press Center will be open during the convention: Tuesday, April 8, noon-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday, April 11 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.