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Media: EWA Eliminates Dues, Searches For New Head

A little birdy tells me that the Education Writers Association is making some changes to deal with the new world order including beginning the search for a new executive director (dibs!) and eliminating membership fees and traditional firewalls between journalists, advocates, and PR professionals.  They've also just launched a new stimulus tracking site called EdMoney.org.

DartboardAs many know, Longtime ED Lisa Walker announced her intention to retire several months ago, and EWA has been trying to figure out what to do next.  So -- even as the Times and other victims of the free Internet are considering putting back its paywall -- EWA decided that opening up membership and eliminating dues was the way to go (as well as all the now-usual "social media" stuff like forums and Facebook pages).

It's also interesting to note that they're conducting a national job search rather than simply anointing Linda Perlstein to the job.  Perlstein is the public editor there, a part time gig turned fulltime gig and apparently a big success in terms of helping newsroom reporters survive in a world without editors and time to think.  There's supposed to be a job posting up within the next 48 hours. 

These are big changes for the professional association, but are they  too little, too late?  There's no merger with Hechinger, though at least the two organizations won't be overlapping so much as they were in the past. And there's no guarantee that EWA will be able to replace the lost membership revenue or make itself the hub for education media that it (and everyone else) wants to be. It's a crowded field out there and EWA has  little experience creating and managing a social network.


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