The future of newspapers in America will be the topic of a daylong conference today at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library's Center for Public Affairs near Simi Valley.
The conference, "Do Newspapers Have a Future?", will feature a keynote address from Allen Neuharth, the founder of USA Today. Neuharth is also chairman of the Freedom Forum, one of the nation's largest private foundations. All seats for the free conference have already been reserved.
Along with a discussion after Neuharth's speech, the day includes a panel discussion titled "The Tabloid Republic," and another titled "On-Line or On Your Doorstep: The 21st Century Newspaper."
The tabloid panel will include Ian Calder of the National Enquirer, Meg Greenfield of the Washington Post, Todd Lindberg of the Washington Times, and Lyn Nofziger, Ronald Reagan's former press secretary.
"Putting on a good conference is a little like putting on a good dinner party," said library Director Richard Norton Smith. "You want people with diverse and interesting viewpoints."
The participants were chosen with the hope that their divergent and sometimes provocative opinions about newspapers would produce a lively discussion, Smith said.
"The hope is that it all produces more light than heat on the subject," he said.
Another panel discussion after Neuharth's keynote address will be centered on the role newspapers will play in a world of increasingly varied sources for news. That panel includes Jim Cannon, a former national affairs correspondent for Newsweek magazine; Adam Clymer of the New York Times; David Cook, editor of the Christian Science Monitor; and Charles Brumback, chief executive officer of the Tribune Co.