Organizations’ changes meet digital age challenges

Though there are times when a group avoids tough decisions by mucking with minutiae,  there are situations in which the times demand that an organization embrace the challenge. A couple of significant moves by major national associations reflect bold action to adapt to signs of the times.

NCTA – The National Cable Television Cable and Telecommunications Association voted last month to rebrand itself.  (–-internet-television-association)

The organization has adjusted in the past, possibly hanging on to the NCTA for stability. When NCTA came to be in 1951 it was the National Cable Television Council that soon morphed into the National Community Television Association. Reflecting the organization’s commitment to keep up with – and influence – changes wrought by emerging technology, NCTA added “and Telecommunications” in 2001.

Today, this pioneering organization is officially NCTA-The Internet & Television Association. (

ASNE – The changes at the American Society of News Editors ( are more structural than name change. Basically, the membership structure will henceforth be based on web traffic rather than print circulation that has been the measure since the establishment of ASNE in 1922.   ASNE President Mizell Stewart III, explains the change as “a long overdue acknowledgement that digital media is a primary platform for storytelling and where consumers often turn first for news and information. The leaders of U.S. newsrooms have moved far beyond their roots in daily newspapers, serving readers across every content platform. Now, ASNE’s membership structure reflects that reality.”

Like NCTA, ASNE has struggled with name change – The “N” that once stood for “newspaper” is now simply “News.”   The change was made in 2009 to indicate the organization’s desire “to reflect the fact that we serve editors who are leaders in delivering news on multiple platforms.”

  To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

~ Winston Church




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