At our February 19 meeting, the Press Club of Southwest Florida Board discussed a number of timely program topics including “fake” news (and what it really means), gun safety and human trafficking. This year, with leadership from our Vice President of Programs Mark Young, we are featuring current and somewhat controversial programs with a goal to educate and enlighten our members and guests. We hope you will be able to attend the March 1 human trafficking program, and plan to register today for the special April 5 evening program featuring Fortune Magazine Executive Editor Adam Lashinsky. Also, don’t miss the annual Honor the Free Press lunch at the Hilton Naples on Wednesday, March 14. Click accordingly on the links above for details and registration for these programs.
On the topic of member recruitment and retention, special efforts are being made to understand how we can better meet the needs of working journalists, engaging them in new ways, such as offering programs at different times of the day. Karla Wheeler, our Membership Chair, and one of our new board members, Rachel Pierce, are exploring opportunities for local journalists—including anchors, reporters and producers—to connect with, and learn from, experienced, but retired, journalists who now reside in Southwest Florida.
Bob Orr and Cary Barbor are taking the relatively new NPC Journalism Awards to the next level by expanding the award for emerging journalists in print and broadcast and adding a new category of photojournalism. Rather than presenting the awards in June, as was the case last year, it was decided to set up the application process for summer and present the awards at a lunch meeting in October. More information will be provided in the next few months.
If you know a student planning to major in journalism in college, be sure to share information about our NPC Scholarshjp program. Applications are due March 31. We are very proud of the current scholarship award recipients, who are doing well in their studies and in securing shadowing and internship opportunities. Scholarship Chair Connie Kindsvater has also been able to line up valuable opportunities to shadow journalists. We appreciate the willingness of Naples Daily News (Penny Fisher) and NBC-2 (Rachel Pierce) to offer these exceptional shadowing experiences for our student scholars.
If you wish to become more involved in NPC, we have many committee roles to fit your interests. Please let me or one of the NPC Board Members know, and we will provide information about the ways you can help us and we can help you.