Midwinter Conference to stress importance of local journalism

The 2019 Texas Press Midwinter Conference and Trade Show will focus on the critical importance of community newspapers with the theme “Subscribe to Democracy: Community Journalism Matters.” 
The conference theme dovetails with a Texas Press Service campaign with promotional materials available to member newspapers free of charge.
The Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center is headquarters for the three-day conference featuring outstanding speakers; group sessions on current topics confronting community newspapers, including a legislative update as the 86th Texas Legislature opens; the annual TNF Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and banquet as well as other award recognitions; the annual trade show with top industry vendors; and a silent auction featuring items donated by member newspapers, associate members and friends of TPA. Proceeds go to the Texas Newspaper Foundation’s work supporting the Texas Center for Community Journalism at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. To donate auction items, contact Mike Hodges at mhodges@texaspress.com or 512-477-6755.
In addition to the Hall of Fame inductions, other TPA honors to be presented during the conference include the Golden 50 Award, honoring men and women who have displayed exemplary service and selfless contributions to journalism for 50 or more years; the Frank W. Mayborn Award for Community Leadership, awarded annually to a publisher or newspaper executive who contributed most significantly to the industry and his or her community over the past year; and the Fred Hartman Award for Excellence in Sports Writing, which will be presented this year in the less than 10,000 circulation category. Nominations deadline is Oct. 15 for these awards and the Texas Newspaper Foundation Hall of Fame. 
Among the speakers lined up for the event are Hearst Senior Vice President Leonard Millstein, a digital pioneer in newspapers; Middle Tennessee State University College of Media Dean Ken Paulson, former president of the First Amendment Center and the Newseum who writes on First Amendment issues for USA Today; and retired CBS News anchor and chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer, namesake of the Texas Christian University Bob Schieffer College of Communication and current Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center.
The event will be the first since members approved bylaws changes making the midwinter conference the sole annual meeting of the Texas Press Association. 
Registration forms are available on the TPA website's conference page. 
Deadline for registration is Jan. 3. Newspapers that have subscribed to and run two of the three TPS advertising networks – TexSCAN, Texas Display Network and Texas Online Newtwork – for the past calendar year will receive one complimentary registration, including meals and hotel accommodations covering the nights of Jan. 24-25. Ad Network participants should use the Ad Network/TexSCAN registration form, and hotel reservations are made for them by TPA. 
For non-Ad Network participating members, the TPA sleeping room rate is $129 per night. 
Hotel reservations for the conference must be made by Jan. 9. To reserve, call (940) 243-3799 and mention the “Texas Press Association” room rate. 
The conference schedule and more information about the programs and activities will be released in coming months.