Political insiders panel to be featured at 151st Convention

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There are less than three months until Missouri Press Association members will travel to Springfield for the 151st Annual Convention and Trade Show and discuss the future of journalism in the state.

This year’s convention’s theme is “Headlining Tomorrow,” and many of the panels and speakers will be focusing on how newspapers can prepare both their business and personnel for the future. Included in this year’s panels is a Saturday morning general session titled, “Politics 101, the Insiders Game!”

Featured on the panel will be a group of the state’s top political advisors, including Jon Ratliff of Palm Strategic Group, Travis Smith of Axiom Strategies, James Harris of the J. Harris Company and Joe Lakin of Victory Enterprises. MPA Executive Director Mark Maassen sees this panel as an invaluable opportunity for members of the press to learn more about Missouri’s political machine.

“Given the outcome of last year’s presidential election and being as this is an off-year for national and statewide politics, we thought it would be interesting to hear from the people who actually guide political campaigns,” Maassen said. Each of the panelists has made a name for himself in big-budget political races. Collectively, they have represented everyone from statewide office seekers to presidential candidates.

“Certainly there has been discussion nationally about the media’s role in elections,” Maassen said. “By offering a panel like this, we want our members to learn more about the way political dialogues are changing and how they can better adapt to this new political scene.”

The Politics 101 panel is being held at 10:15 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, just before the Better Newspaper Contest awards lunch. Holding the session at this time will allow reporters and editors coming for the awards luncheon who come early to sit in on the panel’s discussion. More agenda and registration information about this year’s Convention can be found here.

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