I’m a firm believer in building relationships – that’s a lesson I learned from my many years as a publisher. The unique relationships with readers, advertisers, elected officials, local leaders, worthy causes and the entire community are the real value of newspapers. It is what our business was built upon, and ultimately our future depends on our ability to maintain and build those relationships,
In April, the Association board recommended for approval at the annual meeting at convention a new direction with respect to membership for the IPA. It gives us the ability to reach outside our industry to build additional relations.
The regular membership remains the same; what was the Associate membership was renamed Allied; and a new definition for Associate membership give us the ability to reach out to those who want relationships with our member newspapers.
Additionally, we’ve created an academic membership to build upon the already strong relationships we have, especially through the Foundation, with journalism educators and students. Having more future journalists as part of the Association is critical, as they are, after all, our future.
Before the change, we had 443 general newspaper members, one digital and two personal members.
I’m happy to report that we now 457 general member newspapers with the addition of 22nd Century Media and The South Suburban News. We also have our first Associate member – the Illinois Farm Bureau. (Check out the Member Spotlight on the Illinois Farm Bureau on Page 16 of this edition.)
Over the next few months, we’ll be reaching out to prospective members in every category.
Below is a definition of the new member classifications.
REGULAR MEMBERSHIP (voting member)
Includes establishments engaged in publishing a newspaper in the State of Illinois, or in states bordering Illinois, provided that such newspapers can verify a substantial circulation and commitment of resources in Illinois. Must qualify as a legal newspaper in State of Illinois.
ALLIED MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member)
Includes any firm, corporation or organization engaged in furnishing machinery, supplies or services to publishers, or commercial printing establishments, in the State or otherwise, and is interested in the promotion of the interests of the newspaper industry.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member)
For non-allied businesses, association or organizations who wish to cultivate or extend a relationship with the newspaper industry in Illinois. The classification includes those entities that want to establish and maintain contacts with the decision-makers at more than 400 publications statewide.
ACADEMIC MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member)
Any high school, college, university or other campus newspaper or digital edition published by full-time students as well as associations representing them.
DIGITAL NEWS MEDIA MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member)
Digital News Media membership shall apply to an organization that posts news and information of a local character, using digital media that may include the internet, websites, mobile and tablet technology within the State of Illinois.
PERSONAL MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member)
Open to individuals not employed by a member newspaper or by an organization which otherwise would qualify him/her for membership in another class.
HONORARY MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member)
Honorary membership is awarded by the Board of Directors to people who have distinguished themselves in the Illinois newspaper industry.