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Dr. Deborah T. Givens, chair of the Department of Communication at Eastern Kentucky University, was elected vice president of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors at the organization’s conference July 11-15 at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Givens photoAttendees came from England, Canada, Australia, China, Nepal and the U.S. In addition to programming about issues impacting the host region and best practices for newspapers, the conference annually includes a half-day critique session of the editorial pages of participating newspapers. Givens served as critique leader for one of the groups, which included editors from Georgia, Wisconsin, Oregon, Vermont and Australia. 

ISWNE also hosts an annual editorial/opinion writing contest that recognizes the best 12 submissions as members of the Golden Dozen, with the author of the best article from the 12 named the winner of the Golden Quill.

The keynote speaker at the conference was Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, who spoke about the state of journalism in England.

Givens was one of the cohosts of the conference when it took place at EKU in 2010 and has served on the board of directors.

Future conferences are scheduled for: 2019, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and 2020, University of Nevada, in Reno.

Givens is a former newspaper publisher and editor and founded and owned a weekly newspaper, The Butler County (Kentucky) Banner, and later purchased The Green River Republican, Morgantown, Kentucky.