With a fresh school year ramping up, I’ve noticed several news publications beginning to big-time promote the special events they’re heading up this fall.

It seems like more of these kinds of gatherings keep popping up, or maybe it’s that they were there before and are now being Tweeted and Facebooked about more often.

For each organization, it’s a bit different. The Texas Tribune Festival packs tons of experts in the online paper’s coverage areas — energy, health care, public education, etc. — along with political big-wigs like Texas Sen. Wendy Davis and First Lady Anita Perry into a weekend of discussion about all things political in the Lone Star State. Only a couple of years old, the Festival is a huge deal in Austin and beyond. And the Trib’s Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith, who has become something of a poster child for raising big cash for online news, plays an important role in the weekend, helping to moderate discussion and serve as a reminder to guests why they’re all there – because of the Texas Tribune’s reporting and how it has proved itself in the world of Web journalism.

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