Black newspaper owners meet in Minneapolisby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association are attending the group's summer convention in Minneapolis.
The organization represents more than 200 newspapers owned by African Americans. The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and Insight News are co-hosting the convention.
Insight News publisher Al McFarlane says black-owned newspapers are feeling the same economic pinch that other papers are feeling.
He says convention workshops will include discussions about some of the industry's big challenges, like how to make money through the Internet.
"We, like everybody else, are concerned about the impact of the coming digital age. We're newspapers, but we know newspapering today and in the future means more than just our print editions," said McFarlane. "As we speak, there's a major workshop on online strategies, online advertising."
McFarlane says black-owned newspapers reach 15 million readers each week, and they have the benefit of serving a unique audience.
"We have a special relationship with a specialized market -- therein some insulation," he said. "Our community values and needs the access we provide them."
The convention will also include a town hall meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, which will focus on health care reform.
The convention runs through the weekend.