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Networking and new ideas

August 8, 2013 - Craig Howell
I've never been much for big, suit-and-tie events. To be honest, I'd much rather find some time to relax in a comfortable T-shirt and some jeans, maybe sitting out on the porch. But, it's a big part of the job and I've built great relationships over the years. Professionally, at least for the newspaper industry in West Virginia, the biggest networking opportunity is taking place this weekend. Even better, it's practically taking place in our backyard. Each year the West Virginia Press Association holds a convention where it presents awards recognizing the work of many of our state's newspaper writers, editors, designers and photographers. It's a great time to meet others in this business, make connections and share experiences and ideas. This year's event is at Oglebay, beginning tonight (Thursday, Aug. 8) and continuing through Saturday. It will include visits from area VIPs, awards presentations and a variety of seminars where attendees can hear from some of those on the cutting edge of what could be the industry's future and hear what other newspapers in West Virginia have been doing. It's no secret the print medium is at a turning point in its history. The fact you're reading this as an online blog on our website is enough proof of that. We're competing not just against other traditional media like television and radio, but also bloggers, social media sites and, for that matter, pretty much anyone with a smart phone and a Wi-Fi signal. We are constantly looking for new ways to bring our readers the news as old ways start to disappear. Whether it's websites, blogs, social media sites, a smart phone application or a tablet version of the newspaper, there are a lot of things being developed, new methods being looked at and ideas being formulated. The WVPA convention gives us all a chance to find out what we're doing, what has worked at one newspaper but not another, how to move forward and how to let our customers know of these new delivery methods. It is sure to be an interesting weekend at Oglebay, even if I do have to wear a tie.


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