• State’s Open Government Laws Put Kentucky 9th Best in the Nation
• Open Records Laws Rates 7th Best but Open Meetings Law Ranking Should Be Questioned
• Want to Order Scrapbooks for Fall Chapter Series? The Bewitching Hour is Here!
• Blanche Trimble honored as ‘Hometown Hero’
• Media panel scheduled at Kentucky Life Savers Conference
• Publishers Summit set for August 22 in Shepherdsville
• KPS Advertising Through August 2 – $1,965,217.19
I will be out of the office August 2 through August 12, most of that time attending the Newspaper Association Managers convention. I will have access to email and to the cell phone, though sitting in meeting rooms all day learning about running an association or how to work with newspapers might mean I can’t immediately answer or return your call. But I will try and if not, leave me a message and I’ll return your call when they give me a break.
Unless something really earth-shaking happens, I’m giving you off Friday, August 9, but only in the sense of having this come in on your computer. You can’t physically take the day off, just the day off from reading your Friday Member Update/On Second Thought.
In getting ready for the conference, we were asked the following question, in relation to our job:
“What’s the One Thing That Keeps You Awake at Night?”
My answer: When my 138 closest friends are in town.
Survey Shows Kentucky’s Open Records Law 7th Strongest in the Country
But Open Meetings Law Ranking Should Be Questioned
(Portions taken from Ethics Reporter, a monthly publication of Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission)
Compared to the other 49 states, Kentucky scored well (9th best in the nation) in a recent survey of state laws on open records and meetings, conflict of interest, and whistleblower protections, although the survey found weak laws in most states.
Better Government Association’s (BGA) state-by-state analysis shows government integrity laws lack strength, transparency and accountability.
The majority of states are failing miserably when it comes to enacting laws that enable regular citizens to fight corruption by attending public meetings, reviewing government documents and raising questions without fear of retribution, according to a national study released this month by the BGA, a Chicago-based non-partisan watchdog organization.
The Integrity Index, a comprehensive report issued by the BGA and sponsored by Alper Services LLC, analyzes laws from all 50 states in four key categories: Open Meetings, Freedom of Information, Whistleblower Protection and Conflict of Interest.
“The Integrity Index measures the level of commitment each state has made – or, more often, hasn’t made – to the enactment of laws that helps citizens access their government and its documents, and hold elected officials accountable, which is the framework of integrity and the first step in combating political corruption,” said Andy Shaw, President and CEO of the BGA.
“Our findings show that current laws in most states are woefully inadequate, locking citizens out or forcing them to jump through unnecessary hoops as they attempt to exercise their fundamental democratic right to keep an eye on government.”
• Open Records Law, 7th Strongest in the Nation
• Open Meetings Law, 44th Strongest in the Nation
• Whistleblower Protection laws, 3rd strongest in the nation
• Conflict of Interest laws, 18th strongest in the nation
Overall, Kentucky rated a 62.20 percent in the Final Integrity Index rankings.
You can find a link to the Full Integrity Index Report at http://www.bettergov.org/action_policy/bgaalper_services_integrity_index_2013.aspx
Open Meetings Law Assessment is Not Accurate so is it Fair?
If you study the comments on Open Meetings, you’ll note that not requiring public agencies to publish their agendas is a negative. Yeah, some states require agencies to publish the agendas in the newspaper. But do they realize some agencies in Kentucky do it on their own. I can think of more things that should be published than a meeting agenda.
Honestly, if you download the Open Meetings Data and scroll (alphabetically) to Kentucky, I think you’ll see that some of the statements are not accurate.
Annual notice of where meetings are held? Kentucky’s penalized for not having that but the law does require annual notification. Did they not read the last sentence in KRS 61.820?
61.820 Schedule of regular meetings to be made available
All meetings of all public agencies of this state, and any committees or subcommittees thereof, shall be held at specified times and places which are convenient to the public, and all public agencies shall provide for a schedule of regular meetings by ordinance, order, resolution, bylaws, or by whatever other means may be required for the conduct of business of that public agency. The schedule of regular meetings shall be made available to the public.
Kentucky requires a lawsuit to be filed within 31 to 90 days after a violation. Where does that come from?
There’s no mention of the role of the Attorney General’s Office in an Open Meetings appeal. That was an important addition to the law in 1992. While there are repeated appeals of AG’s opinions on Open Records, I can’t recall any appeal on an Open Meeting opinion in the last 21 years.
Since the rewrite in 1992, Kentucky’s laws have both rated high in various surveys on Open Government. I find it strange that some states have copied our Open Meetings Law language for serial meetings, special meetings and yet if you take this survey to heart, you’d think we should be the ones looking for language. I strongly disagree. No it’s not a perfect law. But it’s workable and it provides for openness in proceedings.
It also seems to penalize Kentucky for not having a good definition of Special Meetings but an entire section of the law deals with that:
61.823 Special Meetings; Emergency Meetings
(1) Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, special meetings shall be held in accordance with the provisions of subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section.
(2) The presiding officer or a majority of the members of the public agency may call a special meeting.
(3) The public agency shall provide written notice of the special meeting. The notice shall consist of the date, time, and place of the special meeting and the agenda. Discussions and action at the meeting shall be limited to items listed on the agenda in the notice.
(4) (a) As soon as possible, written notice shall be delivered personally, transmitted by facsimile machine, or mailed to every member of the public agency as well as each media organization which has filed a written request, including a mailing address, to receive notice of special meetings. The notice shall be calculated so that it shall be received at least twenty-four (24) hours before the special meeting. The public agency may periodically, but no more often than once in a calendar year, inform media organizations that they will have to submit a new written request or no longer receive written notice of special meetings until a new written request is filed.
(b) As soon as possible, written notice shall also be posted in a conspicuous place in the building where the special meeting will take place and in a conspicuous place in the building which houses the headquarters of the agency. The notice shall be calculated so that it shall be posted at least twenty-four (24) hours before the special meeting.
(5) In the case of an emergency which prevents compliance with subsections (3) and (4) of this section, this subsection shall govern a public agency’s conduct of a special meeting. The special meeting shall be called pursuant to subsection (2) of this section. The public agency shall make a reasonable effort, under emergency circumstances, to notify the members of the agency, media organizations which have filed a written request pursuant to subsection (4)(a) of this section, and the public of the emergency meeting. At the beginning of the emergency meeting, the person chairing the meeting shall briefly describe for the record the emergency circumstances preventing compliance with subsections (3) and (4) of this section. These comments shall appear in the minutes. Discussions and action at the emergency meeting shall be limited to the emergency for which the meeting is called.
So How Did Our Friends in the South Rate?
Seems anytime there’s a survey, a rating, a ranking, or whatever kinds of results, we always want to know how we stack up with our Southern state friends.
There are three in the top 10 — Louisiana, Kentucky and Arkansas. And three in the bottom 10 — South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama.
Who rated the number one spot? Rhode Island with New Jersey not far behind.
On the Horizon
Some things on the horizon that you need to remember, read about, get ready for…
August 22 – Publishers Summit, Paroquet Springs Conference Center, Shepherdsville. It’s free but with lunch, we need to know who is attending. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m./Eastern. Information was emailed to publishers earlier this week.
September 8 — That’s the week the 2013 Fall Chapter Series begins. It’s Woody featured in “Outstanding in His Field,” and focuses on Kentucky agriculture. You must let us know if your newspaper will be publishing the series and by today you have to register for the series if you want to order free scrapbooks for local elementary students.
Go to www.kypress.com/nie and get registered and enter the number of scrapbooks you need. Those will be delivered to your newspaper before the series begins.
DEADLINE: It’s the Bewitching Hour for Fall Chapter Series Scrapbooks
Woody is ‘Outstanding in His Field’ and Waiting for You to Sign Up
If it’s summer that means the KPA Fall Chapter series is not far behind. And that means the deadline is upon us for your newspaper to sign up for the 10-week series. The deadline to sign up is right now if you want to order scrapbooks for use in local elementary schools.
It starts the week of September 8.This marks the 12th year that KPA has made these chapter series available to all members at no cost and most of the 12 have featured Kentucky’s most famous dachshunds — Woody and Chloe.
Here’s a brief synopsis of “Outstanding in His Field” chapter series.
Outstanding in His Field by Leigh Anne Florence and illustrated by Chris Ware.
During a conversation with Woody and Chloe, Mom and Dad realize the pups take food for granted. Woody believes milk, eggs, chicken, and all his favorite treats originate from the grocery store or restaurant. Mom and Dad arrange for the family to visit farms all across Kentucky so the pups can see first hand all the hard work farmers put forth in getting food from the ground to the grocery store. Join Woody and Chloe as they work on a cattle farm, dairy farm, fruit farm, just to name a few. Read along as the pups plant corn, eat their first tomato right off the vine, gather eggs from the hen house, and even try to get chocolate milk from a brown cow.
Theme: Kentucky agriculture
Project is FREE to all KPA member newspapers.
Non-members price: $350. without scrapbooks. $500 with scrapbooks.
Sign up at kypress.com/nie
Project sponsored by LG&E/KU, KPA and HLNIE
For more information contact, firstname.lastname@example.org
Blanche Trimble Named ‘Hometown Hero’
Tompkinsville News’ own Blanche Bushong Trimble was named the WBKO 50090“Hometown Hero” Friday, July 26 and was surprised by a small reception in her honor. Her 50088story was featured on WBKO Channel 13 at both 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. last Friday.
Trimble, a Monroe County native, has served as the Editor and Publisher of the Tompkinsville News since 1977 and has been very instrumental in many local activities and organizations including, but not limited to: Watermelon Festival Committee, Monroe Arts Council, Friends of the Library, Friends of Old Mulkey, Monroe County Economic Development Center board, Historical Society, American Cancer Society Relay for Life committee, Drug Free Communities – and many, many others.
Here’s a link to the TV segment featuring Blanche:
KPA, SNPA Sponsoring August 22 ‘Publishers Summit’
KPA and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association (SNPA) are again joining together to sponsor a Publishers Summit and inviting newspapers from across the state to attend. We have selected Thursday, August 22 and the summit will be held at Paroquet Springs Conference Center in Shepherdsville.
The summit will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m./Eastern time and will include lunch.
It’s been three years since we had the last Publishers Summit and I appreciate the encouragement and support of Edward Van Horn and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association for making the 2013 Summit a reality.
There is no cost to attend and you don’t have to be a member of SNPA — just your time, your participation in the discussion on anything and everything about our industry — circulation, classifieds, coupons, efficiencies (or outsourcing), revenue and digital, news sharing, successful special projects and anything else pertinent to the success of Kentucky newspapers. The first hour we are going to discuss the 2014 Legislative Session and focus on workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance issues. As you probably know, we joined a Small Business Coalition for the 2013 session to get some changes in those laws. Our thought was joining the coalition would keep it from being just a non-newspaper issue. We did receive support from some legislators for what KPA was trying to do but quickly learned the wholesale changes sought by the coalition would not make it through either chamber.
If it is to happen in 2014 as a newspaper industry endeavor, it is going to take our newspapers helping to make that happen
Thanx. And we hope to see you at the KPA/SNPA Publishers Summit.
Five veteran journalists participating in a panel discussion at the 2013 Kentucky Life Savers Conference
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Five veteran journalists representing various media entities are participating in a panel discussion at the 2013 Kentucky Life Savers Conference. The conference hosted by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will be Aug. 5 through Aug. 7 at the downtown Marriott in Louisville. The media panel session will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, August 6.
The panel includes Steve Doyle, editor of the Shelbyville Sentinel News; Barry Fulmer, VP and director of news WRDB TV in Louisville; Kim Kolarik, social media editor for the Courier Journal; and Eli Pace, editor of the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville. Ed Staats, retired Kentucky Bureau Chief for the Associated Press, is the moderator.
The annual conference attracts hundreds from local and state law enforcement agencies, community traffic safety programs, injury prevention programs, federal and state highway safety agencies, state and local emergency medical services and public health entities.
Taylor Hayes, publisher of the Kentucky New Era, helped Bill Bell, director of Highway Safety with the cabinet, put the panel together. The two met through the Leadership Kentucky program last year, and they saw a means at the conference to increase cooperation and understanding between what are often perceived as opposing entities with very different missions.
“With greater understanding, communication and collaboration, the relationship does not have to be perceived or operate in this manner,” Hayes stated. “My goal is for the session to be a first step in changing that perception.”
Bell said, “Having a session on relating with the media will be very important for both our public information officers and first responders. The goal would be to help our highway safety veterans build a rapport with the media by learning what the media needs and when.”
The session is titled “Crisis & Disaster and the 24-hour news cycle: Best practices in working and partnering with the Media.” It is being branded as a Kentucky Press Association and Kentucky Broadcasters Association presentation.
The panel will provide a high-level discussion of how the news media operate and how journalists can best interact with first responders in tense situations. There will also be interest by the attendees in how they can get more media attention to safe-driving and other public service campaigns as part of the efforts to reduce highway fatalities and injuries.
The session description in the conference agenda states: “Having trouble with pesky reporters crawling all over your crime scene? Tired of nosey members of the media always butting in at the wrong time, asking all the wrong questions? This panel of four veteran journalists from all walks of the media will help you learn how to use the 24-hour news cycle to your benefit while satisfying their thirst for information.”
To learn more about the Kentucky Lifesavers Conference visit http://transportation.ky.gov/Lifesavers-Conference
For more information about the journalists’ panel:
Taylor Hayes – Panel organizer, 270-889-7974
Ed Staats – Panel moderator, 502-777-4428
Bill Bell – Director of Highway Safety, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, 502-320-5423
Three Pertinent, Important Webinars in August
August will be a hotbed of webinars, brought to you by KPA, the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and Online Media Campus.
The three are:
August 16 – How to Reinvent Your News Media Brand. Designed for Digital and Management staff
August 28 – The Latest Apps for News Reporting. Designed for Digital and Editorial staff
August 29 – Photoshop & Color: Laying a Good Foundation. Technology
All three webinars are scheduled for 2 to 3 p.m./Eastern; 1 to 2 p.m./Central.
For more information and to register, go to www.onlinemediacampus.com
Research shows newspaper advertisements across platforms deliver best results
By Susan Raitt, International News Media Association
Just as newspaper content extends across all platforms, research — from news media companies like Aftenposten and MPG — indicates advertising should also migrate from print to online to mobile.
Read more: http://www.inma.org/blogs/integrated-advertising-sales/post.cfm/research-shows-newspaper-advertisements-across-platforms-deliver-best-results
Ethics Commission Recommends Changes in Ethics Law, Including Reporting Some Advertising
(From Ethics Reporter, a monthly publication of the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission)
The Legislative Ethics Commission is recommending several changes in Kentucky’s Code of Legislative Ethics, and has submitted its recommendations to the Legislative Research Commission.
The Ethics Commission recommends that the General Assembly amend the ethics code to adopt a “no cup of coffee” rule; prohibit lobbyists and employers from paying for legislators’ or candidates’ travel expenses; and curtail politically-motivated ethics complaints against legislators and candidates.
The Commission also recommends prohibiting campaign contributions from employers of lobbyists and political action committees to candidates and legislators during regular legislative sessions; prohibiting lobbyists from soliciting contributions for legislative campaigns; requiring employers of lobbyists to report certain advertising expenditures during legislative sessions; and treating candidates the same as legislators in all aspects of the ethics law.
As for the recommendation requiring reporting of some advertising, here’s how the recommendation reads:
Recommendation: Require reporting of the cost of advertising which appears during a session of the General Assembly, and which supports or opposes legislation, if the cost is paid by an employer of legislative agents, or a person affiliated with an employer.
Obviously, the commission would not require any reporting from the news media where the advertising was placed but on the lobbyist/employer of the lobbyist.
From ASNE: Update on ASNE’s Fight for Government Transparency
The American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) has provided several resources to members in two updates provided in past weeks, including a general call for support of the bill and a reminder of the bill’s importance in the wake of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s holding that New York Times reporter James Risen must testify as to the identity of a source relied upon in publishing his 2006 book “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.” Now that ASNE has joined more than 70 media organizations and companies on a letter asking the Senate Judiciary Committee to pass S 987, you can add one more resource to the list. We are hoping this could occur as early as Thursday, Aug. 1, when the committee is slated to mark up the bill.
We still expect the bill’s lead sponsor, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to offer some amendments designed to further strengthen the privilege. Some of those recommendations will be based on those made by the Department of Justice to President Obama regarding changes to the DOJ’s policies and practices governing the use of law enforcement tools to obtain information or records from or concerning members of the news media. Other senators may also have amendments that might not be favorable.
We believe one of the issues that will receive the most discussion is the definition of “covered person” or those who can invoke the privilege. We are happy with the definition found in S 987 as introduced, which mirrors the definition in place when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on and passed the Free Flow of Information Act in 2009. We hope the committee members resist the urge to change this definition because it offers a flexible and functional definition of one engaged in journalism. You still have a voice in this issue, which is especially valuable if your senator sits on the Judiciary Committee. If the you have any questions, please contact ASNE Legal Counsel Kevin M. Goldberg at 703-812-0462 or email@example.com.
Interns’ Stories on ‘What I Did This Summer’ to be Published Soon
Most of the 23 KPA interns — 20 with newspapers, 3 in public relations through the KPA Associates Division — have submitted their article about their internship. We’ll be publishing those in a couple of weeks with a link on the KPA website. We’re waiting on three more articles, although two of those started later and have not finished their 10 weeks at newspapers. We’ll let you know when the articles are available so you can read about the interns, their 10 weeks at newspapers and what they see for their future.
Jim Lee Crawford
TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
CORBIN — James L. Crawford, 78, husband of Norma Hammons Crawford, died Monday, July 29, 2013, at Baptist Health Corbin. Born April 23, 1935, in Corbin, he was the son of the late John L. and Adaline Crawford. Mr. Crawford was the former editor and publisher of the Corbin Times-Tribune and president of WCTT Radio. He was a deacon and elder at First Christian Church, Corbin. He was a long time middle school basketball and Little League football coach of the Central Elementary Falcons, where he donated countless volunteer hours to the youth of Corbin. Mr. Crawford was past president of the Kentucky Press Association and treasurer of the National Newspaper Association. During his tenure in journalism, he won numerous statewide and national writing awards for excellence in editorial and sports writing. He will be remembered by many for his entertaining column, “Pressbox Paragraphs.” Mr. Crawford was a long-time member of the Corbin Lions Club and served on the Corbin Recreation Board. He was a graduate of Corbin High School and the University of Kentucky where he was editor of the Kentucky Kernel. In addition to his wife, survivors include one son, John L. Crawford (Patty); four grandchildren, Laura C. Cleary (Ryan), James Leland Crawford II, Julie Leigh Crawford and Catherine Ann Crawford. A memorial service will be Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, at 2 p.m. at First Christian Church, Corbin, with Dr. Wayne Bell and Rev. Ronnie Mitchell presiding. Visitation will be from noon until 2 p.m. Thursday at the church. Burial will be at Pine Hill Cemetery. Hart Funeral Home, Corbin, is in charge of services.
Paul Evans Coyle
A longtime fixture on the editorial pages of The Pioneer News has died. Paul Evans Coyle, 78, of Louisville, died on Wednesday, July 17. Since July 1985, Coyle was the editorial cartoonist for The Pioneer News. He was honored along with the editorial page, on several occasions for the views taken and expressed by his sharp pen. He also worked as a syndicated columnist for some time with his panels going across the world. He was a retired SM Sergeant with the Kentucky Air National Guard. He recently retired from the Louisville Speed Art Museum.
James Matthew Lanham
James Matthew Lanham, 93, a former owner of The Pioneer News passed away July 11. at Regency Health Care Center. Lanham, along with his wife Louise, owned and operated The Pioneer News from Sept. 26, 1966, until Nov. 10,1977. He was a native of Marion County, a member of Cedar Grove United Methodist Church, American Legion Post 157 and a former member of the Bullitt County Board of Education.
Editor’s Note: All too often we don’t hear about deaths of newspaper employees, past and present, until even a few weeks after they died. We ask that if an employee of your newspaper, or a former employee dies, please send us the obituary when you publish it.
That will do it, probably for another two weeks, unless earth-shaking news develops in the next week.
• let me know if you are attending the Publishers Summit on August 22
• get yourself and some staff members/friends registered for the Inaugural Border War Golf tournament. We’re holding at about 20 KPA members and friends. If you’re receiving this, then you’re invited to participate
• go to www.kypress.com/nie and register for the Fall Chapter Series. If you want to order scrapbooks for your elementary schools, the deadline is NOW!
As always, call, email, fax or stop by if you have questions, comments, concerns, issues, clarifications, corrections, additions or deletions.
Otherwise, thanx!! And I’ll chat with you on Friday, August 16.