Lineups ready for 2004 elections.
Vanessa J. Gallman
Several years ago, I felt as if I had stumbled into a parallel universe: a convention full of journalists who gathered around a piano with official NCEW songbooks.
But I soon learned that harmony, collaboration, and friendship were simply hallmarks of this organization. And that works to the benefit of members, if not to souls unfortunate enough to overhear the singing ritual. The advice and support I have received from NCEW members proved invaluable in tackling my job as editorial page editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
And I'd like to think I have made worthwhile contributions while on the board, as co-chair of the Diversity Committee and as director of the Minority Writers Seminar.
Before this first editorial page job, I worked as national correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers, assistant city editor at The Washington Post, metro editor at The Washington Times, founder of the University of Maryland at College Park's student-staffed Capital News Service, and the Knight Ridder internship program with Florida A&M University.
If elected onto NCEW's leadership ladder, I would work to strengthen outreach efforts to college students and minorities, to increase membership and convention attendance, and to raise NCEW's profile among national media groups.
If not chosen, I would do the same.
Helping hands and new ideas are always welcome here--reason enough to sing NCEW's praises.
It is of course a wonderful honor to run for secretary of this marvelous organization, more so to run with someone I like and respect as much as Vanessa.
To me, as for so many other members, NCEW has been and remains the most nurturing and stimulating source of professional support I've experienced. I've been welcomed, befriended, guided, and taught, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it all.
I've had the good fortune to attend every convention since 1993. In Philadelphia I was part of the team bidding for the 1997 convention, which we hosted in Madison. (The marching tubas remain Haslanger's responsibility.)
I served as chair of the Broadcast Committee, then was elected to the board in 1999. For the past three years I've chaired the Futures Committee and worked with a team of fellow members overseeing our strategic planning efforts. Last year I was elected to the NCEW Foundation board, on which I currently serve as rice president. I have also served as associate editor of The Masthead for the past six years, which really means I've had a front row seat observing the work of some of the most talented journalists this organization can boast of having as members.
I had my hand in helping to organize the first couple of Hechinger seminars and attended the first. And I've served as John Nichols' grip and best boy on three trips to New Hampshire for generally cold, snowy, and memorably enlightening liaisons between editorial writers and presidential candidates.
So I've tried to suck the marrow out of NCEW and I've gotten a mouthful. And sure, Id be honored to hop on the ladder and climb.
As a writer of editorials for broadcast I've been most interested in the convergence opportunities in the world of opinion, in particular how we use the breadth of available media sources to present authentic editorials and opinion pieces. I'd like to see the organization, through new partnerships and collaborations, grow into a more prominent role as a resource drawing attention to editorials and to those who write them as important voices in public discourse. And I'd like to establish the NCEW Foundation as a fundamental responsibility of membership to enhance the efforts of those of us seeking to build the Foundation. For many of us NCEW is about trusteeship and giving back. I like that. And yes, my wife Nan comes as part of the deal: asset number one.
Candidates for the board
Frances Coleman Frances Coleman is editorial page editor of the Mobile Register in Alabama.
When asked whether I would be willing to stand for election to the NCEW board, I hesitated only a moment before thanking my caller, noting that it was flattering to be nominated but admitting that having run unsuccessfully in two previous elections, he should know that he was speaking to the Harold Stassen of editorial writers. Perhaps what I lacked is a campaign slogan.
So here it is: If elected, I will serve. If not elected, I will still serve, if asked. It won't be easy to get rid of me.
Since returning to editorial writing in broadcasting after many years doing other things, I have enjoyed a warm welcome and fellowship extended by colleagues at NCEW, including a chance to chair our small but lively Broadcast Committee, and, most recently, to serve on the NCEW Foundation board as treasurer.
Before joining Cablevision eight years ago to write and broadcast editorials, I had worked for many years as a television executive with Gannett Broadcasting, and earlier with the CBS Broadcast Group. During the 1970s, I wrote editorials and presented them at WCBS-TV in New York City, after having written editorials previously for The Charlotte Observer, and the (short-lived) Suffolk Sun. At WCBS-TV, I was very active with the National Broadcast Editorial Association (serving as its president in 1974) before it merged with NCEW.
The two years I spent teaching at Louisiana State University prompted my interest in building bridges between NCEW and major journalism schools. Sadly, the craft is largely overlooked in journalism education these days. I would also like to see NCEW develop a daily Internet newsletter concerning the craft, perhaps in association with a center devoted to opinion journalism at a major university.
That's my platform. But I'm not promising anything.
Glenn Kranzley, 56, has been the editor of the opinion pages at The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania since 1997, the year he succeeded Van A. Cavett. Kranzley has been an NCEW member since 1990. He served on the Journalism Education Committee and has led critique groups at the past three conventions.
Kranzley's career of thirty-five years has all been in daily newspapers. He has written editorials ever since he was the managing editor at The Daily Collegian, Penn State's student newspaper, in the late 1960s. Writing in those turbulent and passionate times set him on the path to fulltime opinion writing. From 1969 through 1985 he worked at the former Globe-Times in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He won several statewide awards and filled in writing editorials when the boss (John Strohmeyer, Pulitzer Prize winner in 1972) went on vacation. He went to The Morning Call in 1986, became a fulltime editorial writer in 1989, and took over the section in 1997. Editorials by him and his staff have won several state awards. In 2003, The Morning Call won first prize for overall opinion page excellence in the Newspaper of the Year contest of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation.
Kranzley has taught college courses in all phases of journalism and has been a member of the adjunct faculty at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania since 1989. At The Morning Call, he has several years of experience as a mentor in an in-house development program to retain high-potential employees. He also has served on the company's executive committee since 2001.
As a board member, he would work to improve member services in the area of coaching and mentoring for editorial writers. Specifically, he would explore the development of a system of on-line writing critiques for NCEW members.
Doug MacEachern has been an editorial writer and columnist for The Arizona Republic for five years. He came to the Republic in 1999 from the suburban competitor, the Tribune Newspapers of the East Valley and Scottsdale.
With the Republic, the largest daily newspaper in the Southwest, MacEachern has focused on urban development issues, specifically sprawl, and the cultural improvement of downtown, which has been his particular passion since he moved to Phoenix in 1980. In addition, MacEachern has editorially analyzed forest preservation, tribal gaming (both locally and nationally), and terrorism. He has written most of the Republic's editorials regarding the Iraq war.
MacEachern had been with the Tribune papers for twelve years as a part-time editorial writer, a fulltime columnist, a part-time editor of investigative news projects, a part-time researcher and writer of his own special projects, and a news analyst. In his earlier days with the Trib, MacEachern reported political news, mostly from the state legislature in Phoenix. Prior to that, he covered political issues for the alternative weekly New Times in Phoenix for nearly four years. He said he considers those "days in the desert" to have been good training for writing editorials in that he "learned how not to be fair or kind to the wicked."
MacEachern has been a member of NCEW since 1999, attending his first convention in Denver. There, he also had a great seat for a Rockies-LA Dodgers game that, in Rockies fashion, ended something like 18-16. In addition to the Denver convention, MacEachern has attended the Providence convention in 2003 and the State Department briefing organized by the NCEW for mid-May. Also, he has performed some membership retention outreach in 2004, telephoning NCEW members who have drifted away and cajoling them to think again.
I can think of a million things I'd rather devote three hundred words to than me. But we all draw the short editorial writing straw sometimes.
NCEW membership has taken me to two conventions, one UN briefing, two State Department briefings--including one I arranged--as well as to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Uzbekistan. Each of these adventures has proved valuable--not only for the information I gleaned but also for the fellowship I developed with other opinionated scribes.
NCEW trips have brought me contacts to tap and friends to cherish. If elected to the board, I would continue to seek ventures that can broaden all members' horizons--and try to raise Foundation money so writers from small shops can have more of these opportunities. I started my newspaper career in Flagstaff, Arizona, so I know how tight a budget can be and how difficult it can be to spare someone from a small staff.
But I also know that every editorial writer gets better by getting out of the office and sees a bigger picture by getting out of town. In this profession I consider the greatest graduate school in the world, all of us should have the opportunity to do in-person research instead of constantly trying to make sense of things from a distance--often a great distance.
I've been the associate editor of the Detroit Free Press editorial page since the summer of 1998. Before that I was a suburban bureau chief at the Times-Picayune for 3 1/2 years and jack-of-all trades at the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff for about the same time. I'm also the youngest of eight kids, so I know how to play well with others. Just don't ask my brothers and sisters if they agree.
When I went to the Seattle convention in 2000 with instructions from my boss to pitch Chicago as the site for the 2004 convention, long-time members kept commenting on how brave I was to be doing that.
I remember sort of nodding and wondering what the heck they were talking about. True, my only previous contact with NCEW had been a memorable 1999 NCEW trip to Russia, but what kind of courage did it take to make a convention pitch on behalf of a world-class city?
Well, now that the convention is upon us--and me--I understand with a chilling clarity that "getting the convention" meant I was in charge of it. Because of the generous and competent support of those who understood that--primarily Lynnell Burkett and Sheri Virnig--we're going to offer you all a great convention in a great city.
I grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a degree in Russian, which ultimately got me into Journalism. My first major byline was a series of articles I wrote about a student visit to the Soviet Union.
I've been at the Tribune, where I've had twelve different jobs, since 1975. The best were Wall Street correspondent in the New York bureau in the late 1980s, associate managing editor/business in the early 1990s, chief economics correspondent in the Washington bureau in the late 1990s, and, since 1998, member of the editorial board specializing in business and economics.
If elected to the board, I hope to help wherever needed and, particularly, to make sure that anyone pitching a convention site understands what the heck she's getting into.
EDITOR'S NOTE: One of the key events at an NCEW convention is the election of new leadership. Members at the business meeting in Chicago on Saturday, October 2, will choose a new secretary--either Vanessa Gallman or Neil Heinen--to start the climb to the NCEW presidency in 2008. Three also will De elected from among six candidates to succeed board members Harry Austin of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Joy Haenlein of Stamford, Connecticut; and David Holwerk of Sacramento, California. For those who cannot be present for the voting, absentee ballots can be obtained by contacting NCEW Headquarters at 3899 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||Convention 2004|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2004|
|Previous Article:||Censorship, or legitimate church discipline, at Baylor University?|
|Next Article:||Wrigley Field beckons members.|