Change has come to ASNE and kudos are due Executive Director Scott Bosley, the members and leadership who didn’t blink. Score one for reality! ASNE–the American Society of Newspaper Editors will become the American Society of News Editors, dropping “newspaper” from its name. In addition, the group will open membership to leaders of online news providers and leading journalism educators. In a letter to members announcing the results, ASNE President Charlotte Hall states that this change will allow “us to reflect the fact that we serve editors who are leaders in delivering news on multiple platforms in addition to newsprint.” According to ASNE, 74 percent voted in favor of the new name and 86 percent in favor of extending membership to editorial leaders of online only news enterprises and leaders in journalism education, including deans, directors and endowed chairs.
ASNE, founded as the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1922, is the main organization of the directing editors of daily newspapers in the Americas. The organization, with some 600 members, is leading efforts to protect First Amendment rights and enhance the free flow of information, to promote the newspaper´s role in providing information necessary to the informed practice of citizenship, to encourage innovation and celebrate creativity in newspapers and the new media environment, to drive the quest for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and news content, and to bolster media credibility and improve high school journalism.
Joining the list of media associations curtailing traditional face-to-face gatherings this year The American Society of Newspaper Editors announced it has canceled its 2009 convention originally scheduled for April 26-29 in Chicago. Citing the difficult times faced by its members, ASNE’s leadership “concluded that the challenges editors face at their newspapers demand their full attention.” With a nod to the electronic age which is giving newspapers so much trouble, ASNE will hold electronic votes on bylaw changes that would drop “paper” from its name and expand its membership to include editors of online-only news Web sites and leading journalism educators. This is the second time since its founding that ASNE has foregone holding a convention. It also canceled its convention during the last critical days of World War II in 1945. As ASNE President Charlotte Hall noted “This year’s circumstances are quite different than in 1945. This is a uniquely stressful period in our business as we face both structural change and deep recession.” ASNE reported annual revenues of $1.02 million and assets of $613,045 in 2007. Magazine Publishers of America called off its Annual Magazine conference scheduled for October in Boca Raton and reported they will replace it with an innovation focused event at a date and location to be announced. “The cancellation of this year’s AMC is in response to the difficult economic climate facing all businesses, including the magazine industry,” MPA president Nina Link said in a statement. “We recognize that this year our members are looking at a variety of ways to achieve savings, which would include curtailing certain discretionary travel and hotel expenses.” Tough times. Courageous choices. Sensible outcomes, we hope.