Conference generated energy

Oh, the things you will learn. Sometimes, with all the hustle and bustle of life and work, I get stuck in a rut of doing the same ol? thing over and over again.

Last month was anything but that for Lindsey and me, though. We got out of our routine and drove to Columbia, Mo., for the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors Conference, where we heard from world-renowned journalists on subjects that ranged from investigative journalism to simple ways to incorporate video onto your website.

We had the newspaper critiqued as well, and as always, we will tweak and play with certain things as we learn about this flowing world of media.

This year, we even had a friend from Alberta, Canada, follow us home from the conference to see our operation, compare ours with his, and continue our in-depth discussions on what we can do to improve our products.

Beyond all that, though, the one thought that I had reinforced was the idea that newspapers and journalism aren?t going anywhere.

Not only are weeklies from all over the world thriving right now, many have competition in small communities that some would say don?t have the base for it.

Yet, here we stand. Years after the radio, television and Internet were supposed to wipe our existence off the map, we continue to publish what is happening in our communities.

Not only that, at 30 years old, I wasn?t close to the youngest person at the conference excited about our industry.

I hung out with some savvy old vets for sure, but many of the attendees were 23- to 35-year-olds who had taken over newspapers and wanted to learn and just happen to be as excited as I am.

What Lindsey and I learned at this conference?more than all the things we can do in this industry?is that there is an excitement for it.

A boost of energy and excitement is good for anyone. So for that, I am glad we took the time to take in a truly great conference.

Joey Young is publisher and majority owner of the Free Press and Kansas Publishing Ventures.

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