The National Newspaper Association Foundation, long known as the sponsor of NNA News Fellows and Newspaper in Education programs, will become a much larger presence in the community newspaper industry if NNA members approve a proposal being completed by both the NNA and NNAF Boards of Directors this summer.
NNA President Matt Adelman, publisher of the Douglas (Wyo.) Budget, and NNAF President Reed Anfinson, publisher of the Monitor-News in Benson, Minn., jointly announced in June that task forces formed from the two organizations’ executive committees were working on a plan to enhance NNAF’s ability to serve the interests of community journalism and to sharpen NNA’s focus on member relations and public policy.
If the proposal is approved, NNAF will become the sponsoring organization for Publishers’ Auxiliary, Pub Aux Live! webinars, Better Newspaper Contest and an Annual Convention and Trade Show that will intensify its focus on educating journalists, publishers and the public on the value of community newspapers.
“Our boards are excited about the prospect of our new focus,” Adelman said. “By ramping up NNAF, we will open new funding opportunities and make our audiences more available for partnering of all sorts. Many inside and outside of the world of community journalism are concerned about the future of newspapers. This new direction will enable NNAF to become the hub of dialogue and education on that subject while maintaining our traditions of helping newspapers do their jobs in the best way possible during our challenging times.
“Meanwhile, NNA’s public policy agenda becomes ever more intense as we have dealt with the coronavirus legislation like Paycheck Protection Program and the CARES Act mandates. Our work with the Postal Service has branched out into several new directions. We have joined two new coalitions to work on redirecting federal advertising dollars to local newspapers. It began to be clear to our NNA Board that we needed full-time attention to our legislative work.”
NNA would continue to operate as a membership organization and would dedicate a portion of dues dollars to operational support for NNAF, Adelman and Anfinson said.
Anfinson said, “My priority as NNAF president has been on calling attention to the importance of local newspapers in democracy. It will give me great satisfaction to conclude my presidency with this new focus as NNA beefs up our work and raises it to a new level, and I look forward to continuing in leadership to help us reach our goals. Many in our world are passionate about raising the alarms about the losses of newspapers in today’s economy. It is exciting to be positioned to do more to enhance our ever-more-critical role as the clarions for democracy.”