Penny Abernathy to Keynote Day Two of the 2014 AAN Convention

UNC School of Journalism professor Penny Muse Abernathy will be the morning keynote speaker for Day Two of the 2014 AAN Convention in Nashville.

Abernathy, a former executive at the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, is the Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics. She focuses her expertise on developing 21st-century economic models that will improve the ability of journalists to produce news in the public interest. Her book, Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability, shows how newspapers can build community online and identify new opportunities to generate revenue.

Abernathy will be signing copies of the book after her talk.

In 2012, she worked with UNC colleague Ryan Thornburg to develop a business model for the Rural Open Block project, which was awarded a Knight News Challenge grant that year. The business model gives newspapers a way to generate revenue to offset the cost of publishing public affairs reporting at the grassroots level.

The morning session will begin with a brief welcome from AAN President Sally Freeman, Nashville Scene Publisher Mike Smith, and SouthComm CEO Chris Ferrell.

Other sessions today include:

  • Trends and Ideas in Niche Journalism with Melissa Bell (Vox) and Laura Amico (Homicide Watch)

  • The State of Mobile 2014 with Justin Ellis (Nieman Journalism Lab) and Wouter Vermeulen (Opera Mediaworks)

  • Big Ideas in the Future of Journalism with Gregg Zachary (Cronkite School)

  • Editorial Collaboration Models with Jo Ellen Green Kaiser (The Media Consortium) and Amy Kovac-Ashley (Georgetown University)

  • Legal Hotline Live! with AAN Attorney Kevin Goldberg

  • Audio on the Cheap with Michael O’Connell (It’s All Journalism)

  • Cover Design Cage Match with Elizabeth Jones (Nashville Scene) and Todd Bates (Creative Loafing Tampa)

  • Enterprising Interiors with Jandos Rothstein (Washington City Paper)

  • Thinking Like An Entrepreneur, Even When You’re Not One with Michael Burcham (Nashville Entrepreneur Center)

  • Free Speech Lunch: Freedom Sings Unplugged hosted by Ken Paulson (College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University). The free speech lunch is a ticketed event, pre-registration required.

  • See the full schedule here and don’t forget to follow the action live with the #AAN2014 hashtag.