November 7 Newsmakers Luncheon

Community Reflection, National Connection: The Power of Local Journalism and the Media

Join us on Thursday, November 7, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. for our Press Club of Southwest Florida luncheon at the Tiburon Golf Club.

11:30 a.m. Registration
11:45 a.m. Buffet lunch begins (please note earlier time)
12:15 p.m. Program begins

Join us as Cindy McCurry-Ross and Jigsha Desai discuss local journalism and media trends, innovations, concepts, and models. They will share their belief in the vital importance of local news coverage in Southwest Florida and offer insights into how locally rooted media strengthens communities, grows business, and inspires hometown solutions – all while fueling a nationwide network.

Please note: Because the GateHouse Media (New Media Investment Group) acquisition of Gannett announced a few months ago is still in negotiation, our speakers are unable to speculate about, discuss, or answer questions specific to this merger until after it is closed.

Cindy McCurry-Ross

Cindy McCurry-Ross is Florida Editor of the USA TODAY NETWORK, which includes The News-Press, the Naples Daily News and four other news sites in Florida. She is in the 31st year of her career with the network. Nearly 20 of those years have been in various positions at The News-Press, where she started as a business reporter in 1988. She has served as editor of The (Salinas) Californian and the Gainesville (GA) Times. Before returning to paradise four years ago, she had been executive editor at The Daily Advertiser of Lafayette, LA, regional editor for Gannett Louisiana, and an executive with Gannett Co. Inc.’s corporate news team. Cindy is a graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. She is passionate about the First Amendment, community journalism, and the role of free speech and press in our democracy. She loves Southwest Florida for all that is unique about our paradise – the evening skies, the gators, the beaches, the restaurants that serve grouper or anything mango, and the diverse mix of transplants, native Floridians, and people from all over the world. Cindy is married to husband James, who is retired; she has a daughter who is a physical therapist in Jacksonville.

Jigsha Desai

Jigsha Desai is the Director of the South Florida Digital Optimization Team for the USA TODAY NETWORK. She oversees a team of planners and producers who work with newsrooms in Naples, Fort Myers, Brevard County, and the Treasure Coast. Her team’s main goal is to grow audience. She is passionate about the connection our stories have with our audience. Jigsha moved to Naples in March 2013, after spending 11 years in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Knoxville News Sentinel. She was named one of ‘25 under 35’ Next Generation Publishing Leaders in Editor and Publisher’s 2011 edition. She was previously an SPJ Diversity Fellow, a CNN Digital Media Fellow, and a Newspaper Association of America Minority Fellow. In 2013, Jigsha was invited to give the Dorothy Kirsch Lecture at Temple University, her alma mater. She was in the 2017 class of Gannett’s Emerging Leaders program and is a graduate of the 2015 class of Leadership Collier. Jigsha was born in Zambia, Africa, and moved to the U.S. in 1998. She became an American citizen in June 2005 and wrote about the experience for the Knoxville News Sentinel. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her young son and husband, cooking, reading, exploring Southwest Florida, and traveling across the country to visit her family. She may be found on multiple social media accounts under the username @jigsha.

Buffet lunch served ~ Cost: $35 members, $45 guests, $10 students

To reserve and pay for your ticket click here

Or to pay at the door, e-mail

Reserve through Eventbrite or send an email to Use this email to indicate if you have special dietary requests (vegetarian, gluten-free).

Should you reserve and later discover you cannot attend, please notify Rhona Saunders at or call 239-450-1215. If you fail to cancel prior to the event, you will be billed for the lunch you reserved. Members may also reserve and pay in advance on Eventbrite. Tiburon Golf and Country Club is located at 2620 Tiburon Drive, Naples.

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