Last week, I heard from Jennifer McGill, AEJMC executive director. She informed me that the AEJMC board of directors had OKed our members’ desire to change the name of our division to “Newspaper and Online News Division.”
Thus ended three years of discussion — of mission and future as much as name. When we initiated the discussion through our division listserv, it was lively, to say the least. Many members were concerned that a new name would be seen as an abandonment of our focus on newspapers, an extension of a disturbing trend.
This past convention, when the division members agreed to authorize a vote on changing our name, we focused on one option: Newspaper and Online News. We felt that this maintained our traditional mission, while recognizing how newspapers have expanded their reach to include digital along with print.
After informing the Council of Divisions of our intent (with no objections), we put it to a vote of the members. Of the 185 members who voted, 73 percent (135) supported the name change. And now, when the new fiscal year begins, we will be known as the Newspaper and Online News Division.
As I mentioned earlier, we’re not abandoning newspapers (and I don’t think readers are, either). Instead, we want our division to grow in every way: in membership, in influence, and in service to newspapers.
At this point it seems like people in my position get all “let’s have a group hug” and thank everybody and everything. I’m tempted to do that, of course, because so many people helped and encouraged. But I won’t. Instead, I will encourage our members to keep up the good work and encourage you, if you are not already a division member, to join us and be a part of the good changes that are happening in our division.
Newspaper Division* Head
*–Remember, change not effective until Oct. 1.
The Newspaper Division’s Winter 11 Leadtime newsletter is here — possibly the last to carry the division’s original name.
As division head John Carvalho notes in the newsletter, 73 percent of voting members recently supported changing the division name to “Newspaper & Online News” — “both recognizing our division’s heritage and incorporating the changes that it has experienced.”
In other news, Leadtime has last-minute tips on meeting the April 1 deadline for conference papers, and details on the division’s program at the August event in St. Louis.
As Carvalho notes, the name-change decision goes to the folks at AEJMC headquarters and president Jan Slater, for the next step… which presumably at some point will include the official change on newsletter, blog and homepage nameplates.
(Your Web editor hopes we will keep this “http://aejmc.net/news” and the archival “http://aejmc.net/newspaper” address and not be ordered to shift to “/non” or “/naon,” lest someone think we are involved with non-news or the misspelled noon-news. )
From Susan Keith:
Do you have an idea for improving the teaching of newswriting, reporting or editing?
If so, enter it in the AEJMC Newspaper Division’s teaching competition, Teaching News Terrifically in the 21st Century, for the chance to earn recognition and a cash prize.
A prize of $100 will be awarded for the best teaching idea from each of three groups of teachers:
- full-time faculty,
- adjunct professors, and
- graduate students.
This year’s deadline is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time May 20, which should allow professors to enter ideas they used in courses during spring 2011. Attendance at the AEJMC convention in August is NOT required to receive the award.
For an application and more information, go to http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~susank/NWSP/TNT21.html or http://tinyurl.com/y3a8cm7