After a year ‘off’ because of COVID, press association executives gather for 2021 convention

Former Kentucky New Era news editor, Julia Hunter, conducts session on ‘Philanthropic Journalism and Non-Profit Models’


Julia Hunter, former Kentucky New Era news editor, is now with the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and conducted a session on “Philanthropic Journalism and Non-Profit Models” for the state press association executive directors who attended the NAM Convention in Madison, WI, last week.

The directors of 29 newspaper associations from across the United States and Canada attended 98th annual Newspaper Association Managers Convention held last week at The Edgewater Hotel in Madison, WI. The event kicked off Tuesday with a golf outing at Trappers Turn in Wisconsin Dells and concluded Friday night with a banquet. Programming included sessions on management, public notice legislation, remote work, team building, collaboration, revenue building, technology and philanthropic journalism, during which WNA Membership & Communications Director Julia Hunter discussed fundraising opportunities for newspapers and highlighted the Wisconsin Community News Fund.

Others elected to leadership positions during the NAM conference were vice president Laurie Hieb, executive director of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, and secretary Mark Maassen, executive director of the Missouri Press Association. Phil Lucey, executive director of the South Carolina Press Association, was elected to serve a three-year term on the NAM Board. Continuing directors are Brian Allfrey, executive director of the Utah Press Association, and Susan Patterson Plank, executive director of the Iowa Newspaper Association.

Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association Executive Director Steve Nixon becomes immediate past president. Layne Bruce, executive director of the Mississippi Press Association, serves as the organization’s clerk.

Founded in 1923, NAM is a coalition of state, provincial, regional and national North American trade associations serving the newspaper industry.

More about Julia Hunter

Julia joined the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville fresh out of college as a reporter. She was there from 2007 to 2010, serving the last year at news editor.

She won the Best Investigative Story/Series in the 2008 KPA Contest for a story about the Oak Grove Police Department. She and KNE editor Jennifer Brown participated in a 2009 KPA Winter Convention program, moderated by Al Cross, on “How they did it – how papers did big reporting projects.”

Julia still has her fingers on the pulse of newspapering in the Bluegrass. She’s currently Hoptown Chronicle’s ( engagement editor and has been involved pretty much since the start of this news outlet. Her good counsel convinced Jennifer Brown in the spring of 2019 to apply for 501(c)(3) status. She designed the Chronicle’s website and also reports and edits local stories, and she advises the Hoptown Chronicle board members on donor relations.

Julia also collaborates with Jennifer on the Chronicle’s coronavirus coverage. Jennifer sent me a story we published this weekend about the next threat to nursing homes as an example of Julia’s involvement with the Chronicle.


State press association executives from across the U.S. and Canada were in Madison WI last week for the 98th annual Newspaper Association Managers convention.

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