We seek answers to this question: How do rural communities sustain journalism that supports democracy?

 All sessions in the Meeting House will be livestreamed on YouTube


Thursday, June 2

Arrivals; dinner on your own

Friday, June 3

Arrivals continue

Noon: Opening lunch, West Family Dwelling Cellar (walk to the left after leaving the Welcome Center)

1:15   Summit begins at Meeting House (walk to the right after leaving the Welcome Center)

Opening remarks: Why we’re doing this and what we hope to accomplish

Al Cross, director and professor, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues

Dr. Jennifer Greer, dean and professor, College of Communication and Information, University of Kentucky

1:30   The state of America’s community newspapers and their journalism

Penelope Muse Abernathy, visiting professor, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University

(All sessions will include a period for questions, answers and discussion among participants)

2:15   Reports from leaders of the community newspaper industry

National Newspaper Association President Brett Wesner and former president Robert Williams

Tom Silvestri of The Relevance Project, an effort by the Newspaper Association Managers group

3:00   Putting local philanthropy in your business model

Nathan Payne, recently editor of the Traverse City Record-Eagle, on how community foundations can help

Jody Lawrence-Turner, executive director, Fund for Oregon Rural Journalism

Dennis Brack, publisher, the Rappahannock News, Washington, Va.

4:00   Converting your newspaper(s) to nonprofit status

Liz and Steve Parker, former owners and still operators, New Jersey Hills Media Group, on their recent conversion

4:30   Roundtable discussion to relieve any pains of unexpressed thoughts

5:00   End of formal programming for the day

6:00   Reception in the West Family Dwelling Cellar

6:45   Dinner in the West Family Dwelling Cellar

Saturday, June 4 in the Meeting House

8:45   Light continental breakfast

9:00   Good journalism is good business, but how do we make people want local news?

Editor-Publisher Marshall Helmberger, the Timberjay, Tower, Minn.

9:30   How two community newspapers are adapting to change

Publishers Bill Horner of the Chatham (N.C.) News+Record and Terry Williams of the Keene (N.H.) Sentinel

Discussion moderated by Buck Ryan, associate professor, University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media

10:15   Innovation at other community newspapers

Tony Baranowski, Iowa Falls Times-Citizen, with Jim Iovino, director, NewStart, West Virginia University

11:00   National funders discuss help for rural journalism

Kim Kleman, Report for America

Jonathan Kealing, Institute for Nonprofit News

Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro, Columbia University, co-founder, National Trust for Local News

Noon   Box lunch in the Meeting House

Speaker via Zoom: Dink NeSmith of Community Newspapers Inc. and The Oglethorpe Echo, staffed by journalism students of the University of Georgia’s Grady College

1:00   New business models for community newspapers, and a plan to test one

Dr. Teri Finneman, University of Kansas

2:00   What other research is needed to help community journalism?

Bill Reader, Ohio University, and Clay Carey of Samford University, author of The News Untold: Community Journalism and the Failure to Confront Poverty in Appalachia

3:00   Roundtable discussion, open-ended; wrap-up by Al Cross and Jennifer Greer

6:00   Informal dinner at Trustees’ Table

Sunday, June 5: Departures

CONTACTS: Al Cross, Summit director 502-682-2848

Tracie Hutchison, dean’s staff officer 801-696-4606

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