Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Saturday is new deadline to register for economic-development conference for journalists, others

Saturday, Feb. 7 is the new earlybird registration deadline for "REWRITE$: Main Street, Media and the Recovery," an economic-development conference for journalists and developers from the public and private sectors at Jacksonville State University in Alabama March 5-6.

The conference will feature an outstanding lineup of speakers, including three keynoters with ties to both journalism and economic development: David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which owns Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. and Raycom Media, a group of television stations; Edgar Blatchford, a former mayor and state commissioner of commerce who founded a chain of rural newspapers, ran an Alaska Native Corporation, and now teaches journalism at the University of Alaska; and Jack Schultz of Agracel Inc. and Boomtown USA, a venture capitalist who writes and speaks regularly all over the U.S. about rural development.

Other speakers will include Brian Dabson, president and CEO of the Rural Policy Research Institute, who will discuss the rural economy, its prospects and key strategies for rural development; Will Lambe of the University of North Carolina, who will present real examples of successful small-town development; Vaughn Grisham of the McLean Institute for Community Development at the University of Mississippi and Lionel “Bo” Beaulieu of the Southern Rural Development Institute at Mississippi State University, who will discuss community-based economic development; Brian Mefford of Connected Nation, who will discuss the importance of broadband, which can spur rural development but poses challenges for traditional media; and several journalists, researchers, government officials and development financiers. The conference is supported by Jacksonville State, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority.

Full descriptions of the program and logistics are available, on the Web site of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, which is programming it by clicking here.

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