For the past four-and-a-half years, Teri Hayt has led the American Society of News Editors as its executive director, steering training in newsroom leadership, fundraising and annual conventions during arguably the most tumultuous period in the industry. Six weeks into her new title at the News Leaders Association, she said there’s a lot more to be accomplished.
Hayt, currently the interim director of NLA, reflected on her experience at ASNE and the goals of NLA on Tuesday at the inaugural News Leaders Association Conference in New Orleans.
“You have these two wonderful legacy organizations that have brought so much to the leadership of journalism in this country and now you’re marrying these two,” said Hayt, whose career included for Ohio Gatehouse Media, and managing editor of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson.
NLA, she said, should use its reputation and existing programming from ASNE and APME as a “jumping-off point” for the new organization and for opening new programming.
She echoed thoughts earlier in the day from Nancy Ancrum, Editorial Page Editor, The Miami Herald, on how news leaders today go beyond the title of an editor. The new organization, she said, is opening doors for members who weren’t accepted before, like students.
“We’ve gotten very serious about opening the doors on our membership. That’s been kind of critical for us looking at the future,” Hayt said.
She termed the new NLA board is “a cross between legacy print, and online and education,” and the goal of the organization as “speaking with a bigger voice.”
Reflecting on her time with ASNE, she said she sees the contributions of the former organization every time she gets a call from a member with questions or when she helps connect members with each other.
“I will tell you one of the most rewarding parts of this job has been working with the membership and working with the people that are in the news organizations day in and day out … ,” Hayt said.
She said NLA needs to continually reflect on itself, on what it is about, on its outreach to new members, its new programs, its mission and vision statements, and how it is implementing them. But the question she urges the organization to ask itself is this: “What is your value proposition?”