Columbia, Mo. (Jan. 9, 2003) — Veteran newspaper manager Brian L. Steffens, 53, has been named executive director of the National Newspaper Association, the nation’s largest association of community newspapers. The Board met January 8 in Columbia. The appointment follows NNA’s relocation and a year-long transition from suburban Washington, D.C. to the Missouri’s School of Journalism. NNA represents more than 3,000 small daily and weekly newspapers.
Steffens, a longtime editor and media manager, has served as senior vice president and editor for Editor & Publisher Company; editor of Quill magazine, published by the Society of Professional Journalists; associate director of New Directions for News, the nation’s leading think tank devoted to exploring new forms of journalism and business models for the news industry; and has 20 years newspaper leadership experience at such papers as the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union and Miami Herald. In his consulting work, Steffens has completed newspaper industry assignments for the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, American Press Institute, U.S. State Department, Society of News Design, National Press Photographers Association, and Advanced Interactive Media Group and its Classified Intelligence Report.
NNA President Jeff David, publisher of the Livingston Parish News in Denham Springs, La., expressed his confidence in Steffen’s ability to lead the association. “NNA was very fortunate to find a person with Brian’s varied experience in journalism who had relocated to Columbia just before we moved our headquarters there. He’s done a terrific job managing our move over the last 12 months as Interim Executive Director, and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with him.”.
Journalism School Dean, Dean Mills expressed his approval of Steffens’ appointment. “We think Brian’s experience in both journalism and journalism organizations makes him the perfect leader for this exciting NNA-Missouri venture,” Mills said.
Steffens was named interim director last February, when NNA began its move from the Washington area to the Missouri School of Journalism. His appointment was confirmed at NNA’s quarterly board meeting here last week.
In other NNA news, the organization’s upcoming Government Affairs Conference, March 19-22 in the nation’s capital, is expected to attract presidential candidates. Also planned is a White House briefing at the Old Executive Office Building; additional briefings at the State Department and the Pentagon; a lunch with Congressional leaders at the Library of Congress; and tours of the International Spy Museum and the embassies of Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and the consulate of Taiwan.
NNA President David appointed James Sterling, the School of Journalism’s Community Newspaper Management Chair, to the Board of Directors to head up new efforts in continuing education for NNA members. Sterling is a former publisher of papers in southwest Missouri and a former newspaper broker.
Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association is the voice of America’s community newspapers. NNA represents and serves owners, publishers, and editors of America’s community newspapers. Through its partnership with American PressWorks, Inc. in Arlington, Virginia, NNA works closely with policy officials to create a legal and regulatory environment conducive to the growth of community newspapers.
NNA also provides business and educational programs and services to improve the quality, reach, and relevance of community newspapers throughout the country. NNA’s member services, including its national convention, national contests, and monthly industry newspaper Publishers Auxiliary, are managed from its headquarters in the Missouri. School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. American PressWorks was founded in 1997 by two former NNA executives.
Updated: February 26, 2020