Local journalism, a bedrock for informed and successful small communities, is under threat. More and more towns are losing their local news sources to the economic upheaval facing the news business and dramatic changes in the ways people get their information. We know that when a trusted local news operation leaves a town, taxes increase, bond rates worsen and community economic development suffers. Radically Rural seeks to provide ideas, solutions, and models for news organizations and communities to ensure the financial health of those operations so that residents can stay informed.

Who Should Attend: Journalists, community leaders and organizers, law- and policy-makers and government leaders.

SESSION ONE

What’s at Stake? Newsrooms increase online readership – and revenue – using data

September 24 | 9:00 am – 10:45 am

What causes a non-reader to subscribe? What can be done to better retain existing readers? Who is having success among small news operations using research? And how are reporters and editors leading the effort? With traditional advertising in sharp decline, community news organizations are using research and data to find ways to increase paid readership and membership. Answers to all these questions and more are provided by an expert panel led by Amy Kovac-Ashley from the American Press Institute.

Moderator: Amy Kovac-Ashley, Vice President and Senior Director of American Press Institute

Panel Discussion: Autumn Philips, Managing Editor of Post & Courier; Liz White, Publisher of The Record-Journal; Les High, Publisher of The News Reporter

SESSION TWO

Transformation: Rural news breaks out in all sorts of new ways

September 24 | 11:00 am – 12:45 pm

Digital start-ups, non-profit and co-op ventures, radical new thinking at small news organizations – new journalism models with promise are springing up across the country, suggesting ways these can be replicated at the small-town level. Kristen Hare of the Poynter Institute and a panel of innovators present new models of news and ideas that we can all take home.

Moderator: Kristen Hare, Reporter for Poynter Institute

Panel Discussion: Larry Ryckman, Editor and Founder of The Colorado Sun; Les Zaitz, Editor and Publisher of the Malheur Enterprise; Jim Iovino, Assistant Professor of Media Innovations of West Virginia University, Tamika Moore, Managing Producer of Red Clay Media

 

SESSION THREE

Crazy Good – 50 ideas that will make a difference

September 24 | 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

It’s back! A romp through some of the best ways to increase audience and revenue from some of the game-changing news organizations in the country. We present a lively show and tell on tactics, techniques and products (including examples of outstanding COVID-19 coverage). You will leave with a magazine profiling new approaches and ideas. Looking for an ROI on attending Radically Rural? This is it.

Speakers: Linda Conway, Executive Director of New England Newspaper and Press Association; Terrence Williams, President of The Keene Sentinel 

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners

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