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Here Is Your Future of Journalism, Right Here (Updated!)

Updated: Apr 15

Well, it’s April, which can only mean one thing: It’s time for the Region XII Conference of the Society of Professional Journalists in Little Rock!

This year’s eagerly anticipated event will include appearances by journalistic hotshots like AP Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier, Pulizer Prize-winning reporter Tom Hallman Jr. of the Portland Oregonian and numerous local luminaries. Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times! Gwen Moritz of Arkansas Business! Others!

And me! I’ll be chipping in on a panel titled “The Future of Journalism” along with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Web guru Conan Gallaty and Zack Stovall, Web content chief for the Arkansas News Bureau. What fun! It’s at the Holiday Inn Presidential Conference Center at 9:35 a.m. on Saturday.

If you’re curious, here’s my sneak preview of what “The Future of Journalism” will look like:

Ha ha ha, no, I’m just kidding, it won’t really look like that. I mean, you won’t actually SEE the Angel of Death walking toward you; you’ll just kinda feel his icy grip on your shoulder and know it’s time.

UPDATE: And then there’s this documentary about what happens when laid-off newspaper staff go to work for an up-and-coming blog operation (H/T Lannie Byrd). But watch out! It has a dirty word in it, so don’t let Kane Webb watch it or he might have a coronary:

UPDATE: Also on deck: The inimitable Lance Turner, who promises he’ll neither pitch recipes nor talk about “American Idol,” and you’re damn straight that I’m gonna hold him to it.

More details at jump, including contact info for registration.

From Arkansas Society of Professional Journalists President Andrew “Il Duce” Demillo:

There’s still time to register for this weekend’s regional conference in Little Rock, and plenty of reasons to attend. I hope you can join us for an exciting lineup of panelists at this year’s event.

Get a chance to see:

➤ Associated Press Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier at Saturday’s awards luncheon ➤ Pulitzer Prize Winner Tom Hallman of the Oregonian at Saturday night’s dinner ➤ The Arkansas Times’ Max Brantley, FOI expert Rick Peltz and state Representative Steve Cole discuss the Arkansas Legislature’s moves to close the list of concealed handgun permits to the public Evie Blad of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Gwen Mortiz of Arkansas Business and Mark Ballard of the Baton Rouge Advocate offer tips on how to cover the economic meltdown and the federal stimulus from a local angle. ➤ The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s online director Conan Gallaty,’s blogger David Kinkade and Zack Stovall of Stephens Media share their thoughts on the future of journalism and how the Internet has changed our industry.

Activities begin with a reception Friday night. There will also be a tour of the Clinton Presidential Library, résumé and clip critiques and a silent auction of journalism memorabilia (featuring signed editorial cartoons from the Democrat-Gazette’s John Deering and a signed book by Bob Woodward). We’ll also be announcing the regional Mark of Excellence winners and the Arkansas AP Broadcasters Awards at Saturday’s luncheon.

Registration prices have been lowered to $40 for students and $60 for professionals. You can either register in advance using the attached form, or register on site at the hotel.

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