CNPA/CSNE 11th Annual
Governmental Day in Sacramento
By Ras H. Siddiqui
of the afternoon panel
Bowen and John Chiang
The California Newspaper
Publishers Association (CNPA) and the California Society of
Newspaper Editors (CSNE) jointly held their 11th Annual Governmental
Day in Sacramento, California on January 31, 2007 headlined
by an event at the downtown Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel.
On hand to interact with close to 200 people working in the
print media (including a handful from NAM) were assembly members,
constitutional officials and members of the State Senate who
have recently been kicking off the New Year, either energized
by their victories during last November’s elections
or by the important debates that have already begun to shake
The CNPA is a nonprofit trade association representing the
daily and weekly newspapers of California . It consists of
CNPA Services Inc. (established 1992) to help accommodate
entrepreneurial ventures. It also includes the CNPA Foundation
(established 1993) which raises funds for journalism internships
and associated educational activities. The CSNE, founded in
1983, was created to promote professional journalism in California
and Nevada. Top-level editors from daily or weekly newspapers
populate its ranks along with journalism educators.
The gathering commenced with welcoming remarks by Harold W.
Fuson Jr. on behalf of the CNPA and CSNE President Mike Jenner
along with Thomas W. Newton, Jim Ewert and John O’Malley.
They were followed by a Greg Lucas (S.F Chronicle) moderated
bipartisan panel of California State Capitol’s recently
elected “Rookie” Assembly members, (from provided
list) Kevin de León (D), Ted Gaines (R), Mike Duvall
(R), Fiona Ma (D), Jean Fuller (R) and Curren D. Price (D).
A Constitutional Officer Panel followed which discussed a
number of issues with California Secretary of State Debra
Bowen and State Controller John Chiang. Both panelists stressed
the need to look towards changing current trends in news and
Debra pointed out some of the new avenues through which young
people are getting their news today and the new issues that
are coming to light from the use of the Internet. “The
world is changing dramatically,” she said. John pointed
to the various social phenomenon that need attention and shed
light on why only 24% of people elected are trusted by the
public to do the right thing. Debra came out in support of
the printing of multi-lingual voter information and ballots
for California ’s ethnic communities. Moderator Harold
W. Fuson Jr. certainly kept the humor alive through this segment.
The post-lunch Legislative Leadership Panel covered some hot
issues of the day, including prison reform, term limits, the
budget, redistricting and the latest hot button of health
care pressed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger amongst others.
Senate President pro Tempore, Don Perata could not make it
but Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D), Senate
Republican Leader Dick Ackerman, Assistant Assembly Leader
Rick Keene and State Senator Gloria Romero held an active
session. Dan Weintraub (Sacramento Bee) moderated this segment.
The day ended with a CNPA Executive Committee Meeting, Legislative
Appointments, a CSNE Meeting for members and friends and was
capped by a legislative reception sponsored by the McClatchy
Company at the State Capitol Rotunda.
The print media through the CNPA/CSNE here remains an essential
element in the politics of California and our nation. Just
sharing a lunch table with a diverse group of print media
professionals from The Black Voice News, the Westside Story
Newspaper, the Annenberg School for Communication at USC amongst
others yielded interesting insights. From “Medical Apartheid”
to Senator’s Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to the
relevance of the Rev. Jesse Jackson today and as to who did
or did not openly endorse Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger during
his last campaign, it was certainly an interesting sharing
of a meal. We know that the mixture of media and politics
is not a new cocktail and each needs the other in partnership.
This event provided more evidence of where we are headed in
California and if health care of the “Universal”
kind will ever touch our horizons here.