Registration open for Winter Institute

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North Carolina's newspapers only gather once each year, and we've planed a full-scale conference program we guarantee will be worth the investment of your time and money.

Relocated to the heart of downtown Raleigh at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, you'll find more than 80 restaurants, bars, clubs, an ampitheater, the performing arts center, galleries, museums and more within a three block radius. Newly completed rennovations to the hotel will guarantee your every comfort and rooms are available both before and after the conference for the very low rate of $149 a night.(Just mention the NC Press Association group when calling.)

However, none of that compares to the program we've got lined up for you...

On Thursday, March 9, we'll hold our traditional Legislative Briefing with NCPA Lobbyist John Bussian at 9:30. Plus, there's the potential for a surprise keynote or two, so stay tuned... 

By the time 11:30 rolls around, we'll be ready for the Advertising Awards Luncheon, a plated luncheon featuring the presentation of the Best Ad Contest awards to winners. (Early bird tickets for that event are $35)

We'll follow lunch with the start of our amazing educational sessions around 2 p.m. thanks to a grant from the NC Press Foundation.

  • Our afternoon Advertising Track features "Unlocking the Digital Revenue Puzzle" with John Jordan, McClatchy's director of digital ad revenue. Jordan will take everything McClatchy has learned in this arena, and then downsize it and scale it so that even the smallest NC community newspaper can execute results. Our second session in the advertising track features nationally-known newspaper design expert Bill Ostendorf, founder of Creative Circle Media. Ostendorf will tackle "Digital Ad Design."

  • The Editorial/Reporting Track will be delivered by our friends at Associated Press, and the topic is "Secrets of Successful Multiplatform Journalists." It's not enough to write well anymore, you need to be great at everything - from photos and videos, to audio, to social media, to large-scale digital multimedia projects. Delivered in a workshop-style format, our presenters will include Tim Rogers and Allen Breed. "The New Dash/Body Cam Regulations and How are the Courts Handing Them" will follow. Lead by NCPA General Counsel Amanda Martin, along with Jeff Welty from UNC's School of Government, this is a session every reporter and editor should attend.

  • Finally, our Publishing/Management Track features two great programs devoted to HR issues. The first, "An Overview of HR Issues in Newspapers: Overtime, Independent Contractors and More," will be taught by Bruce Clark,JD. Clark, the CEO of Capital Associated Industries, runs a membership organization dedicated to helping employers with HR issues and challenges. He's considered among the foremost HR experts in our state. Our second session is "Unionization Trends in SE Newspapers" and will be led by prominent labor law/newspaper attorney Michael Zinser, principal of the Zinser Law Firm in Tennessee.

Following the education program we'll have eight cash bars open on the Esplanade as we get ready for our News, Editorial & Photojournalism Contest Awards Banquet. This three-course plated meal replaces the reception you've been accustomed to in more recent years. (Tickets are priced at $45 per person or $450 for a table of 10 if purchased before Feb. 17; after that date, the price will increase $10.)

But the great educational sessions and our conference don't end there! The morning of Friday, March 10, we'll kick things off with our Annual Meeting ... and another special "eye-opening" guest keynote. Included in the agenda for the Annual Meeting this year is a vote on proposed bylaws changes to NCPA. You can learn more about that here.

Following that, the meetings of the Communities and Dailies Associations, which will now include two more educational sessions:

  • The NC Association of Community Newspapers will host "Improving your Newspaper's Design and Layout," taught by newspaper design expert Bill Ostendorf, founder of Creative Circle Media.

  • Associated Dailies of NC will host a very special presentation, "Scaling Down the Knight-Temple Table Stakes Project for NC Dailies" The Knight Foundation study, conducted with Temple University, explored how to digitally transform large, legacy newsrooms (the Dallas Morning News, the Miami Herald and the Philadelphia Media Network). This presentation will look at how the results of that study, completed this fall, can be scaled down and applied to smaller NC daily newspapers. Our session presenters include Tom Rosenstiel, API; Jennifer Preston, the Knight Foundation; and Arlene Notaro Morgan, Temple University.

Come noon on Friday, you'll be on your way home, loaded with ideas, information, new contacts, and of course, your contest awards. You can find the registration form here You can also download and print the complete schedule under "Attachments" on the right of this page.