National Press Club

In a Changing Market, News Organizations Need Freedom to Innovate, Journalists Tell NPC Forum

November 3, 2008

MILWAUKEE – The editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says he is able to succeed because the paper's local ownership gives him the ability to make changes quickly and to concentrate on what he thinks will work.

Marty Kaiser, the paper’s editor in chief, said he could make the decisions to keep an emphasis on investigative reporting and to make quick changes to take advantage of the Internet because he did not have to wait for approval from a corporate headquarters.

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Panelists See Need for New Products, Models in Journalism

October 31, 2008 | By Gil Klein

DES MOINES, Iowa – New thinking in how to attract advertisers will be essential to regenerating the income necessary to keep quality journalism alive, leading news executives said at a National Press Club forum at Drake University Wednesday.

“The business model is clearly broken,” said Laura Hollingsworth, publisher of the Des Moines Register, part of the Gannett Co. that announced this week another 10 percent cut in personnel.

Supporting quality reporting and investigative projects is the essential piece of what the company is doing, she said, but it is only one piece.

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Reporters Getting Burned with New Technology, Panelists Say

October 29, 2008 | By Gil Klein

COLUMBIA, Mo. – News organizations are burning out reporters by demanding that they use more and more different types of technology to tell their stories, leading journalists said at a National Press Club forum at the University of Missouri Monday.

Yet there is scant evidence that this new technology is bringing in enough revenue to save journalism jobs and support the news business, they said.

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Sprint's OK, But Don't Regulate Internet, CEO Says

October 27, 2008 | By Jerry Bastarache

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told an Oct. 24 NPC luncheon that despite the Wall Street meltdown, his company has a positive cash flow and "plans to revolutionize the wireless industry," but he warned against moves toward "net neutrality" proposed by some Democrats.

"Regulating the internet has horrendous implications," the 33-year veteran of AT&T told the crowded ballroom.

Reacting to current economics, he said a friend told him the financial nosedive is worse than divorce. "I lost half my wealth but still have my wife," which brought gales of laughter.

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It's a Rebuilding Time for Papers, Panel Says

October 27, 2008

SPOKANE – With the latest round of staff reductions, Gary Graham, the new editor of the Spokane Spokesman-Review, hopes he has hit “ground zero” and can start regrouping and rebuilding the newspaper staff, he told a National Press Club Centennial Forum here Thursday.

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Nader Calls on Liberals, Progressives to Make More Demands on Obama

October 27, 2008 | By Mark Schoeff Jr.

Ralph Nader does not agree with the right-wing of the Republican Party on any issue. But he does admire the way that it makes GOP presidential nominees pay attention to their agenda.

The liberal and progressive portions of the Democratic Party don’t make the same demands of their candidates for the White House, which sets back the causes that have inspired Nader to run as an independent candidate for the third election in a row.

“Votes have to be conditioned,” Nader said at an Oct. 24 Newsmaker.

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Billy Joel Dazzles Sold-Out Luncheon Crowd

October 24, 2008 | By Richard Lee

He was supposed to talk about celebrity endorsements of political candidates at his sold-out Press Club Luncheon appearance on Thursday, but Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and pianist Billy Joel dispensed with all that right away in two or three comments. And he wasn’t there to endorse anybody for president, either, although he recently performed at a fundraiser for Barack Obama. He went straight for the questions, of which there were many, from Club President Sylvia Smith and an audience full of long-time fans.

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Freedom of Information Hurt by Newspaper Revenue Losses, Panel Says

October 23, 2008

SEATTLE – All types of news media depend on a robust newspaper industry to take the lead in defending freedom of information against state and local government, leading Oregon journalists told a National Press Club Centennial Forum here Tuesday.

And when newspapers can no longer afford those legal costs, they said, the public’s access to information suffers.

“We’re spending less on legal fees,” said Ryan Blethen, associate publisher of the Seattle Times and a member of the fifth generation of the family that has run the Times since 1896.

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Concentrate on What You Do Best, Panelists Say

October 22, 2008 | By Gil Klein

PORTLAND – News organizations cannot be all things to all people, even if they have the technology to provide it, leading Oregon journalists told a National Press Club Centennial Forum here Tuesday.

Instead, they said, to attract an audience in this time of turmoil in the news business, they must concentrate on being the most authoritative voice in those areas they do best.

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Filibuster-proof Senate Possible, Agree Schumer, Ensign

October 22, 2008 | By Bill Miller

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and his Republican counterpart, John Ensign, R-Nev., agreed at a rare NPC breakfast "luncheon" Oct. 21 that Democrats likely will add to their Senate majority in the Nov. 4 election.

But will Democrats win the required 60 seats that would enable them to override a GOP filibuster?

Neither campaign chief would predict. Using the same words, both said, “It is possible.”

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