CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Do you know which newspaper won the West Virginia Press Association’s 2020 Newspaper of the Year Award? Or, which newspapers earned General Excellence awards in 2020?
You will on Friday.
The WV Press 2020 Convention goes live on Friday at 12:01 a.m. and you can see it here on WVPress.org.
When the Coronavirus forced WV Press to cancel its in-person convention, the staff started working on some type of a virtual or online event. After a summer of struggling with ZOOM meetings and Facetime conversations, WV Press developed a new plan: Convention at your convenience.
The 2020 WV Press Convention is a hosted-page on WVPress.org featuring a mix of pre-recorded video presentations, photos, news and participation activities. It can be viewed at the office socially distancing with coworkers, after work at a social-distanced gathering or at home with family and friends.
Don Smith, executive director of WV Press, said, “It only makes sense the Coronavirus, which has changed almost every aspect of life this year, would dramatically impact the Press Association’s annual celebration. This convention will be different. We can’t be together, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, celebrate or enjoy convention. We are presenting the 2020 Convention for viewing at your convenience and comfort. Do convention on your schedule and in your own style.”
Smith said if there is a positive side to not having convention at a location, it’s the fact that every newspaper and all their employees can enjoy an online event.
The page will feature numerous videos:
— Newspaper of the Year
— General Excellence Awards
— Advertising awards
— Editorial awards
— Adam R. Kelly Award
— National Newspaper Week
— West Virginia Press Association Foundation Interns
There is one live element, on Friday, at 7 p.m. WV Press will host a ZOOM call for all newspaper employees.
“The best part of any convention is socializing. Since 2020 has been the year of the ZOOM Happy Hour, we thought we would try a Zoom Social Hour for convention. Honestly, this is our most challenging segment. We know broadcast quality is questionable in may areas. Many of our employees have to work on Friday. Not everyone will be able to make it, but we hope some will,” Smith said. “It’s chance to say hello, congratulate the winners and see some familiar faces. The ZOOM link will be emailed to all publishers, editors and ad directors to share with employees. If you don’t have it on Friday, email me at [email protected].”
Smith said the hosted page format will allow each newspaper to schedule one or departmental events to watch convention and celebrate. “We hope more people enjoy convention this year. They can do it at their convenience and comfort and in their own style.”