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Joe Biden, Jack Hanna among several to speak at ONA convention

Brittany Schock / Asst. photo editor

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and wildlife expert Jack Hanna and Pittsburgh Pirates owner and president and CEO of Ogden Newspapers Bob Nutting are the headline speakers at the Ohio Newspaper Association’s annual convention.

The ONA conference is set to start Wednesday at the Hilton Columbus near Polaris Fashion Place. The conference concludes Thursday.

Dennis Hetzel, executive director of ONA, told The Lantern the purpose of the convention is to generate discussions among the leaders in Ohio’s print journalism regarding current ongoing issues which range from how to sell more internet advertising, to the role of editorial pages in today’s digital age.

“It’s really an opportunity for the people in Ohio’s newspaper industry to come together, learn a little bit, check out things with their colleagues,” Hetzel said. “We have panels with all kinds of subjects and hopefully get some ideas they can take home and put to use.”

Hetzel said one of the reasons for Biden’s visit might be the role Ohio plays as a key state in the March 6 Ohio primary.

“Ohio’s going to be a very important state politically, so I somehow imagine that is part of the decision-making process that happened in his office,” Hetzel said.

This will be Biden’s second visit to Ohio in a month, after his visit to Gahanna Lincoln High School on Jan. 12.

Aside from the vice president, Hanna is set to share his experience with the media regarding the release of exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio, in October.

The convention will kick off with a reception Wednesday afternoon and panel discussions and presentations are set to begin Thursday.

Also on the roster of events, ONA will announce the winners of its weekly and collegiate newspaper contest. The Lantern is a member of ONA and placed in all eight categories of the collegiate contest.

Hetzel said although the topics discussed at the convention might change every year, the general reason for hosting the convention never changes.

“We try to come up with topics and panels that are relevant to the issues that everybody’s dealing with today,” Hetzel said.

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