One of the finest organizations in community journalism is the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. It's a relatively small group, but what it lacks in quantity, it more than makes up with quality. It was founded to improve editorial standards and performance, but members also share information and opinions on business-side issues, since many of the editors are also publishers or general managers. They do much of that through a lively and informative list-serve.
Membership in ISWNE (which can't agree how to pronounce the acronym) is open to academics, at the standard rate of $60 a year, and several COMJIG members belong to the group. Some of us would like to establish a working relationship between the groups, and discussed it at the annual COMJIG meeting and last summer's ISWNE board meeting.
We have found the list to be a useful resource for teaching, research and service. If you want to join it, at no cost, send me an email by clicking here. I co-manage the list with Chad Stebbins, ISWNE executive director and COMJIG member (Missouri Southern), who is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At its meeting next week, the ISWNE board may discuss other ideas for expanding and deepening the relationship, including our participation in ISWNE conferences. The next one will be held July 10-14 in and around Green Bay, Wis., with headquarters at St. Norbert College. The group bases its conferences at college campuses to hold down costs. For more information, go to www.iswne.org.
If you have suggestions for developing this relationship, you can e-mail me, Chad Stebbins or Dave Gordon of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, who has been the point man in this effort and is an ISWNE director.