NNA Foundation awards full convention registrations, scholarships for training

Aug 1, 2022

The famous Lombard Street in San Francisco is pictured here. Vibrant San Francisco will be our host city for the NNAF’s 136th Annual Convention & Trade Show. On the agenda, Friday night is set as a free night to tour the city. Click here to view more information about the Annual Convention & Trade Show.

For the second year running, the National Newspaper Association Foundation is awarding a scholarship to a newspaper showcasing editorial excellence and also seeking training at the Annual Convention & Trade Show.

On May 11, 2022, the foundation sent out a call for nominations (self-nominations included) of newspapers that showcased editorial excellence who also wished to attend the convention for training and meeting peers. The Board of Directors received two deserving submissions, thus awarding both the Fort Bend Herald of Rosenburg, Texas, and The Taos (New Mexico) News.

Fort Bend Herald Executive Editor Scott Willey and Taos (New Mexico) News Creative Director Karin Eberhardt are now making plans to attend.

Scheduled for Oct. 6-8, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, the convention will address pressing business objectives of community newspaper owners, publishers and senior staff with educational sessions and peer sharing activities. Also, participants can experience San Francisco during time scheduled to enjoy and explore the city.

Willey nominated the Herald, writing, “The Fort Bend Herald is based in Rosenberg, Texas, about 20 minutes from Houston. We publish three times a week — each Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Herald in one form or another has served surrounding communities since 1892. Because we are located within a major metropolitan newspaper's coverage area, The Herald has survived and thrived due to its hyper-local news content. We cover local governments, county governments and three school districts with dozens of campuses in a dozen local communities. We write feature stories on local folks that the larger metropolitan daily wouldn't even consider writing about. Those feature stories include, My Mom Wore a Badge, about a local woman who was the first female police officer in the community; and Bidding a Fond Farewell to a Feathered Friend, about a local resident who mourned the loss of his friendly rooster. Yep, a rooster. “He was my friend, as much a friend as I've had with any human,” the resident lamented.

Willey continued, “The Herald reporters live in the area schools. We publish hundreds of photos of school children and thousands of students' names each year. Our sports writers provide the only local team coverage in the area. The local metro daily rarely writes about teams in The Herald's coverage area unless the teams are deep in the playoffs.

“The Herald also has a strong editorial voice. Our editorials have taken firm stances on many issues. ... Our readers know they can turn to The Herald's editorial pages and know we do not pull our punches. We pat many, many people on the back in our editorials. We trumped their successes, and we blow the horn on scoundrels.”

Taos (New Mexico) News Publisher Chris Baker nominated the News, writing about an annual public service project, Tradiciones.

“Tradiciones — or Traditions, in English — is an important project and a labor of love for the staff at The Taos News,” Baker wrote. “Through this special section, the newspaper preserves the legends, roots and arts of culturally rich Northern New Mexico and recognizes the contributions of community-minded individuals. Last year was the paper's 21st year of undertaking this project.

“The state of New Mexico also noted the significance of the stories and photos we've gathered about Taos County's three cultures by including Tradiciones in its historical archives.

“Tradiciones is also one project in which we heavily involve the community. We gather a committee of people from Taos County to nominate and select ‘Unsung Heroes,’ that is, individuals and sometimes couples who do good work quietly and without desire for recognition. Last year, among those chosen were a river rafter who is a staunch advocate for the Rio Grande River, a woman who started a food bank in an impoverished village and a woman who does art projects during the summer for children living in Taos' trailer parks.

“The committee also makes nominations for Citizen of the Year. The paper's department heads make the final selection. Last year's choice for Taos' Citizen of the Year was a man who donates his time helping with a local food bank and works tirelessly for veterans.

“Other stories include a Taos Pueblo man who is encouraging his tribe to grow corn, the buffalo herd at Picuris Pueblo, the loss of our grasslands, chile ristras and the artistic nature of Earthships.

“We end this project with a free community event in the fall that draws hundreds.

“The Taos News is a community newspaper. To me, as its publisher, that means the news we report is meant to give our readers the information they need to make good decisions. We also share stories that celebrate what makes Northern New Mexico a remarkable place to live in our Tradiciones section.”

View the 2021 section here

Convention attendees will have the option to attend flash sessions — industry peers leading discussions on timely topics in admin, advertising, circulation, digital and editorial — and four breakout sessions.

The NNAF Convention Committee also rewards being friendly each year. Be sure to say hello, shake a hand, fist-bump or what-have-you — there will be a Mr. or Ms. X counting how many interactions they have. The 136th person to greet him or her will win $136!

View the agenda and registration at https://www.nnafoundation.org/convention.