Paulson assumes ASNE presidency, calls for innovation and inclusiveness
You'll see some of the most dramatic change in the history of the organization in the coming 12 months,” First Amendment advocate and former USA TODAY editor Ken Paulson told members Saturday in San Diego on the final day of ASNE's annual convention. A proposed bylaws change that will expand membership, a wide range of national and regional training opportunities and an even great emphasis on news leadership, regardless of platform, were among the initiatives cited by Paulson.
Veteran editor and First Amendment advocate Ken Paulson has become ASNE's 82nd president, promising accelerated change for the organization that represents America's newsroom leaders.
“You'll see some of the most dramatic change in the history of the organization in the coming 12 months,” Paulson told members Saturday in San Diego on the final day of ASNE's annual convention.
“Our future can be captured in two words: Membership and Mission.”
“Just as the news business has been turned on its ear in the past decade, ASNE has also changed – dramatically and irrevocably,” Paulson said. “ASNE will never again be what it was.
“But it can be better,” he said. “Our most diverse, inclusive and innovative years are still ahead if we couple the passion of our past with the engagement and inventiveness we embrace today.”
Paulson said the organization's six committees would quickly focus “on the make-or-break issues that will define the future of ASNE.”
That includes partnerships with “like-minded organizations to share resources and reach,” he said. “That means partnering with journalism associations, foundations, America's universities and high schools, First Amendment organizations and many others. We cannot stand alone.”
He noted proposed bylaws changes to expand membership, which were approved Saturday by ASNE's board and which will be put to a full membership vote in the coming months. They will “allow us to recruit not just the top editors in a news organization, but also those a bit lower on the ladder, who aspire to run the place one day. In short, for talented journalists all across this country, ASNE needs to be the leadership track.
“This new generation of ASNE will continue to recruit leaders, but not just leaders of newsrooms,” he continued. “We're also inviting the thought leaders of American journalism, people whose perspectives will enhance our own.
“ASNE also needs to strive for greater visibility,” he said. “On the big journalistic issues of the day, whether that's Wikileaks or newsroom ethics, people need to know where we stand. We need to give voice to our values.”
He added: “We also need to continue the good fight for a shield law, open meetings and open records, and maintain our commitment to diversity in America's newsrooms.”
Paulson's remarks came at the conclusion of the four-day gathering, which was held in conjunction with the midyear meeting of the Inter American Press Association, which represents newsroom leaders from throughout the Americas. The two groups held a variety of joint sessions, including a luncheon featuring former Mexican President Vicente Fox and another with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
The ASNE convention was packed with programs focused on issues and trends confronting newsroom leaders. Experts discussed everything from how to monetize digitized content to how to grow audiences through social media. Top editors offered tips on how to manage online reader comments, strategies for attracting audiences through mobile devices and how to expand and deepen coverage through collaborations with other news organizations or university journalism programs.