American Society of Newspaper Editors is planning to remove "paper"
from its name and expand its membership to include editors of
online-only news Web sites and journalism educators. (see the release)
Of course, this isn't the first time that a professional society has changed its name in response to changing technology. An example I'm particularly familiar with is the association that began life in 1943 as the "National Microfilm Association" or "NMA." In 1969, in response to a broadening in the technologies used by its members, the association changed its name to the "National Micrographics Association." Then in 1983, as the NMA's members began to focus more and more on digital, non-image data, the association changed its name to "Association of Information and Image Management." Apparently, the association is once again in the process of changing its name. In the future, they will be known as the "Enterprise Content Management Association."
The American Society of Newspaper Editors is planning to remove "paper" from its name and expand its membership to include editors of online-only news Web sites and journalism educators. (see the release)
Had the NMA insisted on sticking to the old "microfilm" name, it surely would have closed its doors years ago. Certainly, it could not have been seen to be working in the interests of its members... Each time the old "NMA" changed its name, it was in recognition that the scope and range of opportunities for its members had grown. I'm sure many in the newspaper business will see the loss of "paper" in the ASNE name to be a loss for the industry. Hopefully, they will learn, as have the members of the NMA, that this kind of name changing is a good thing -- a very good thing.