More than 60 members of the West Texas Press Association will be in Decatur next week for their annual convention at the Decatur Civic Center.
The theme of this year’s convention is “Dealing with Disasters.” The program will feature panel discussions Friday and Saturday designed to help journalists cover serious news incidents in their communities.
Friday’s program will be coordinated by Griff Singer, a longtime Texas reporter and editor and retired professor of journalism at the University of Texas in Austin.
The program is sponsored by the Association of Electric Companies of Texas, the Texas Press Foundation, the University of Texas School of Journalism and the Texas Forest Service.
Panelists will include Decatur Fire Chief Mike Richardson, Mark Engebretson, managing editor of the Lake Country Sun in Graford, Nick Harrison with the Texas Forest Service from Granbury, J. Lynn Lunsford with the Federal Aviation Administration and Kristen Tribe, news editor of the Wise County Messenger.
Beverly Ross, director of Wise County Christian Counseling, will speak at noon on how journalists interact with victims of trauma and why victims need to tell their story.
On Saturday, Messenger publisher Roy Eaton will coordinate a panel on “What happens when national news hits your doorstep.” Sheriff David Walker will keynote that panel that includes Hood County News Editor Roger Enlow and reporter Debbie Schneider and Messenger reporter Brandon Evans, photographer Joe Duty and Tribe. They will discuss recent major news events in Wise and Hood Counties that made national news. The program starts Thursday morning with a golf tournament at the Club at Runaway Bay followed by an evening reception at the antique car collection of Roy Eaton and available tours of the new Decatur Central Fire Station across the street. Dakota Burns will entertain at the reception.
The Messenger will host a reception and tour at its office Friday afternoon, and Friday night will feature a performance by Aledo Community News publisher Randy Keck, who is also a professional magician.
The convention will wrap up with a brunch at noon Saturday where awards will be presented to outstanding newspapers in West Texas.