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OWAA’s annual conference: Knoxville, Tennessee, June 26-28, 2015

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Session spotlights

Make sure you don’t miss Sunday. We’ve broken up our one full classroom day on June 28 to cover two topics crucial to outdoor communicators: Public lands issues and the business of outdoor communication.

Session track #1: Public Lands

Don’t miss your chance to hear speakers from local and federal government agencies, lobbyists, politicians and advocacy groups as they join together to cover topics from public lands access for journalists to ATV and multi-use on public lands to the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Session track #2: The Business of Outdoor Communications

For many, the craft is easy. It is the business aspects that can be tricky, for newcomers and experts alike. We’re putting together a full slate of sessions to help you improve your business. Possible topics include pricing your freelance services, the latest tools to showcase and promote your work, how the digital age has changed outdoor communications and how to make the most of it.

Meet the editors

You’ve gathered the story ideas, now it’s time to sell them. Hear from editors at regional and national outdoors publications about their editorial needs and how to tailor your pitches. Then we will open the floor to questions from the audience. This Q-and-A style session will be followed by a meet-and-greet with the panel. Use this opportunity to talk in a less formal environment, build relationships and sell your ideas to prospective buyers. Clip boxes will be available for you to leave samples for any of our editors or publishers.

Story idea: Tennessee Valley Authority

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government that does not receive taxpayer money, provides electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. It also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is unlike other large power companies. Part of their mission is to protect the region’s natural resources. They’ve offered to work with any communicators coming to Knoxville looking for stories. Here’s a little about what they do.
Water quality
The authority rates the condition of each reservoir and stream based on ecological factors. It also samples fish at stream sites. State agencies use the data to protect and improve fisheries.
The authority also improves the fisheries. It spent $60 million installing equipment to increase dissolved oxygen concentrations below 16 dams. It also made operational changes and installed equipment to ensure minimum water flows through its dams.
The authority completed a second round of improvements installing or enhancing oxygen systems at nine projects. It installed two autoventing turbines at Boone Dam. The additional oxygenation capacity will help offset the increased oxygen demands associated with delaying the seasonal drawdown of reservoirs until Labor Day.
Land Management
The authority manages 293,000 acres of public land and 11,000 miles of public shoreline.
In carrying out its land-management responsibilities, the corporation is guided by its mandate to consider the effects of its activities in areas such as land reclamation, public recreational use, economic development, wildlife management and cultural and historic preservation.
Recreation
Millions of people enjoy recreational activities on Tennessee Valley Authority lakes each year. The lakes and the 293,000 acres of land the authority manages provides limitless opportunities for activities like water skiing, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, fishing, swimming, hiking, nature photography, picnicking, bird watching and camping.
To get in touch with the authority, or for other Knoxville story ideas, contact Erin Donovan with Visit Knoxville at edonovan@knoxville.org. Check out the Visit Knoxville website at www.visitknoxville.com. ♦
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