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BPI's Leonard Eiserer: "We're the Rodney Dangerfield of publishing".

At the Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Assn.'s 1998 international conference, BPI chairman Leonard Eiserer told the audience that the association's mission statement needed expanding, to include among its goals "to enhance the image of our profession."

He cited a poll showing journalists ranking very low in prestige. "That's the publishing profession, so you can imagine where newsletters fit in. I look at our industry as the Rodney Dangerfield of publishing. It gets very little respect, and it deserves much more respect. It's not appreciated for the service we offer business.

"One of the goals of the next 20 years should be to change the mission statement and to add to it to enhance the prestige of the newsletter profession and individual newsletter companies."

Eiserer has put his money where his mouth is, having donated thousands of dollars to the Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation.


NEPF has followed Eiserer's suggestion in a variety of ways: running ads in the journalism trade magazines proclaiming, "Newsletters--The Purist Form of Journalism"; awarding scholarships to college students interested in newsletter careers; exhibiting at journalism conferences and conventions; and sponsoring college students to attend NEPA's annual international conference in Washington, D.C.

This year eight students attended the conference from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, accompanied by Prof. David Nelson, a member of NL/NL's Editorial Advisory Board. In addition seven students from Rowan University, Glassboro, N.J., attended.

Also at the June conference, a silent auction was held, offering the donated services of ten leading newsletter publishers to the highest bidder (typically an onsite, full-day consultation).

The $22,000 raised through the auction "will be used towards NEPF's mission to further excellence in specialized-information publishing through promoting the medium, while attracting and developing professionals at all levels," in the words of NEPA's Barbara Lancaster.

If you would like to donate to the Foundation, to help develop the next generation of newsletter reporters and editors, contact Lancaster at 703-527-2333.
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Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Jul 15, 2001
Previous Article:Fifteen years ago in The Newsletter on Newsletters.
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