In Donald Trump’s eyes, “the press” is a vile, lying scourge that’s destroying America.
Lynn Prowitt and Michelle Turk love their profession so much, they’ve revitalized the dormant Connecticut Press Club.
Neither woman is a political reporter. But they welcome them — and anyone else who considers him or herself a journalist — into their revitalized organization.
Prowitt once wrote work for the Washington Post. But the bulk of her writing life has been in the health and food fields, as a magazine editor, freelancer, web developer (dLife, a Westport-based diabetes site) and book author.
Turk just returned from her Columbia Journalism School 25th reunion. She’s been a freelancer (parenting, education, women’s health), PR person, Quinnipiac University instructor, and founder of the cleverly named A Bloc of Writers.
The women met 2 years ago, at a content marketing seminar. With similar interests and experiences, they hit it off.
Back in the day, Turk recalled, she had been a member of the Connecticut Press Club. It thrived, offering panels, workshops and networking with agents and TV personalities.
But as membership aged — and the leaders concentrated on events like sit-down dinners — it failed to attract new members.
When Turk clicked on the club’s website to get re-involved, the home page was all about vitamins — in Chinese. It had been hacked, and no one noticed.
The president gave Turk her blessing to try to revive the group.
An email blast produced a frustrating number of bounce-backs.
Then Prowitt offered to help. Together, they’re reaching out to a broader, younger audience.
The goal is to help professionals — and those aspiring to be — “be a journalist in today’s world.” With blogging and multi-media platforms — and the need to not just write, but post photos and videos — Prowitt says, “this is not the same one we were brought up in.”
Recent events focused on podcasting and how to monetize blogs. Though it’s called the Connecticut Press Club, most attendees came from Westport, Fairfield and Norwalk.
Looking ahead, Turk and Prowitt plan meetings addressing social media for writers, and book publishing. This fall, Columbia University professor and Times columnist Samuel Freedman will talk about the future of journalism.
The big moment recently was a reception — not a sit-down dinner! — at the Boathouse restaurant, featuring special guest (and Westporter) Jane Green.
Winners of the Connecticut Press Club’s Communications Contest were announced. Categories included editorials, features, columns, headlines, page design, photos, websites, speeches and books.
The Connecticut Press Club casts a wide net. They want all journalists — in every form of media.
And that’s not fake news.
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