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You'll find food, fun, a few facts in Philly.

THE PROGRAM FOR THE 1993 convention is shaping up slowly, but we don't have as much to report as we'd like to. Blame it on early deadlines for The Masthead. By the time you actually read this, we'll be much farther along.

In the spring Masthead we disclosed basic plans for the convention, which will be at the Sheraton Society Hill here in Philadelphia on Wednesday through Saturday, September 8-11.

We reported on what the planning committee was up to. It's a real committee, we emphasized, holding meetings and assigning tasks -- that sort of thing. We told you that some of the costs are being underwritten by our bosses -- The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, NCEW president Ed Jones's Free Lance-Star, The News Journal in Wilmington, The Morning Call in Allentown, The Patriot/The Evening News in Harrisburg, Bucks County Courier Times, and others.

We told you the hotel is right in the middle of the historic district, so you'll be able to walk to the Liberty Bell and all those other neat places. (The spouse tour will visit the beautiful and historic Brandywine Valley.) And we filled you in with rudimentary plans for the program.

NBEA past president Anne Brophy Putney has been invaluable in making arrangements, lining up facilities, talking with folks at the hotel and elsewhere. Lacking the time (and talent), I don't know what I'd do without her.

The Inquirer's Don Kimelman has been working on the program, which is being designed to strike a balance between fun and the kind of substantive stuff we need to justify the whole thing to our bosses.

I'd like to tell you more about the speakers, but at this writing things aren't quite pinned down. We're working on big-name speakers for the closing dinner Saturday night at the hotel and the Thursday night reception/dinner party at Franklin Institute, underwritten by Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.

The Saturday luncheon program at Old Original Bookbinders (across the street from our hotel) will be about editorial cartooning, prepared and presented by the Daily News's Pulitzer Prize-winning Signe Wilkinson, accompanied by the Inquirer's Pulitzer Prize-winning Tony Auth. Individually, they are provocative and outrageous; together, much more so.

As we told you last time, the Thursday luncheon speaker will be Penn dean Kathleen Hall Jamieson, whose analyses of press coverage of presidential elections have made her a nationwide TV personality.

At the opening reception, you'll be treated to a unique welcome to Philadelphia from one of the city's most offbeat pols, Thacher Longstreth.

The panels are coming together, too, thanks to Kimelman and his boss, Inquirer editorial page editor Dave Boldt.

Mayor Ed Rendell, who will welcome us at the opening session on Thursday morning, has agreed to stay and participate in a panel titled "Can our cities be saved?" (I'll bet Ed thinks they can.) One of the other panelists, we hope, will be from the Clinton administration. That will be followed by a panel on "Ending welfare as we know it."

After lunch Saturday and before the afternoon professional seminars, Boldt is planning a panel with a title that's longer than a Rich Aregood editorial: "Reinventing American democracy: Can citizens' juries, national issues conferences, town meetings -- and more intelligent newspaper coverage -- make Americans love politics again (and maybe even understand what's going on)?"

Professional workshops will round out the afternoon. Bob White of the Minneapolis Star Tribune is putting one together on editorial department management and financing; the other remains open, as of this writing.

Sorry so much of this is sketchy, but watch for the fall edition of The Masthead. By then the program should be complete, and we'll have advice for you on how to dress and the best places to eat and what's going on in town that week.

See you in Philadelphia.

NCEW member Don Harrison is deputy ediitor of the Philadelphia Daily News opinion pages and chair (reluctantly) of the 1993 convention.
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Title Annotation:National Conference of Editorial Writers' 1993 annual convention in Philadelphia
Author:Harrison, Don
Publication:The Masthead
Date:Jun 22, 1993
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