Storied foreign affairs reporter to speak at leadership summit

February 12, 2018

WASHINGTON—Lally Weymouth, senior associate editor of the Washington Post, will be the keynote speaker at a special dinner that will conclude the 2018 NNA Community Newspaper Leadership Summit. This year’s summit is set for March 14-15 in the Washington area. The dinner will be held at the National Press Club.
Weymouth has enjoyed a storied career since 1977, when she got her start in journalism as a freelance reporter and contributing editor for publications including The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Atlantic Monthly and Parade. She later served as special diplomatic correspondent for Newsweek during her family’s ownership of the magazine, which was then a property of the Washington Post Company. Weymouth is the daughter of late Washington Post publishers Philip and Katharine Graham. Her brother Donald Graham and eldest daughter Katharine also served as publishers of the paper. Weymouth was portrayed by Alison Brie in Steven Spielberg’s recent Academy Award-nominated movie, The Post.
She has been writing about foreign affairs since 1986 and has conducted provocative interviews with a wide range of foreign heads of state, including South Korea President Moon Jae-in, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Italy’s former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. In addition to the Post, she currently contributes as a writer for Foreign Policy magazine.
The Summit will kick off on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 14, as delegates begin to arrive at the Crystal City Marriott, which is once again the host hotel for the Summit. The group will head for dinner that night to Queen Amannisa, one of the few restaurants in America serving authentic Uyghur cuisine, which blends Middle Eastern and Chinese flavors.
The following morning, delegates will be briefed by NNA Public Policy Director and General Counsel Tonda Rush on federal issues of vital importance to community newspapers in the 115th Congress, including postal issues, newsprint tariffs and association health plans.
Publishers will also hear a briefing on the current state of the North American newsprint market from Tony Smithson, vice president of printing operations for Bliss Communications Printing and Distribution Center, Janesville, WI. Smithson has worked in newspaper production management for 28 years. After a career with Gannett Co. at newspapers in Richmond, IN, White Plains, NY, Springfield, VA, Miramar, FL, and Louisville, he joined Bliss in 2008. He purchases newsprint on behalf of his company, which publishes four daily newspapers and more than 100 weekly, monthly and specialty publications. In 2017, Bliss’s Printing and Distribution Center produced over 60 million copies of its various publications.
Following the briefing, delegates will head en masse to Capitol Hill for pre-scheduled meetings with their representatives in the U.S. House and Senate. The dinner at the National Press Club featuring Weymouth will be an elegant way to cap a busy day of events.
“Before attending the NNA Summit, I had no idea I could be part of the political process,” said Susan Rowell, NNA president and publisher-regional manager of The Lancaster News/Carolina Gateway. “It has helped me build critical relationships with my elected representatives and their staffs that I need to raise awareness on issues affecting my business.”
Please visit NNA’s website at for more information and to register for the summit.

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