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From the President
Planning, Leadership Surmount Difficulties

Richard J. Levine
In my first report as president a year ago, I wrote, �At a time of great challenge for the newspaper industry, my fellow directors and I remain committed to building well on the superb work done by the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund since its birth.�

With the benefit of hindsight, it�s clear that I didn�t fully appreciate the dimensions of the problems facing the newspaper business or the threat those problems would pose to the vital work of the Fund in 2006.

The sale and breakup of Knight Ridder, Inc., the nation�s second biggest newspaper publisher and largest employer of Newspaper Fund interns in recent years, the sale of six Ottaway Newspapers and the effect of declining circulation, advertising, and profits on newsroom budgets combined to make 2006 the most difficult year for the Fund since it was established a half century ago.

By December, when the 2007 interns were selected, the Fund had emerged strong if not unscathed, a result of good planning, firm leadership, some new approaches and a lot of hard work. Still, the year underscored that with communications technologies rapidly reshaping the newspaper business the Newspaper Fund must continually find new ways to promote careers in journalism.

As 2006 unfolded, we were well-served by our decisions to strengthen the board and to develop a three-year strategic plan. Even before the long-range plan was completed, we moved to implement one of its main recommendations � �secure and increase funding for our college programs and seek closer ties� with newspaper organizations.

A grant from Yahoo! News helped offset the losses in traditional newspaper internships by enabling the Fund to establish a new online editing internship program in 2007 for 12 students, who will get residential training in Web journalism at Western Kentucky University.

Another big factor in keeping the Fund vibrant in tough times was the staff�s effort to reach out to hundreds of newspaper editors across the country on an individual basis in search of support for internships. A daily flood of letters, emails and phone calls from Newspaper Fund Executive Director Rich Holden and his colleagues helped immensely. They didn�t give up. And editors, cognizant of the Fund�s sterling reputation and the importance of training new talent, came through.

In the end, the Newspaper Fund was able to award 104 internships for 2007, down only slightly from the 112 awarded in 2006. Equally gratifying was the fact that the applicant pool from which these interns were selected was as talented and as large as any in the past.

The current wave of problems besetting newspapers hasn�t dampened the interest of the nation�s brightest and best in a career in journalism. And as the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, it remains dedicated to its mission of strengthening a free press by encouraging young people of all races and cultures to go into journalism.

Thank you for your continuing support.


Richard J. Levine
  
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