December 20, 2013

• Bill drafted to take city notices out of newspapers; put on city’s website

• We’re two weeks from the convention; are you ready?

• Some legislation we’re watching after the first four of 60 days

• Longtime Winchester Sun editor Bill Blakeman passes away

• Does your pet look like you? Kentucky Standard has a contest for you then

• U.S. House bill would do away with Saturday delivery

• Kevin Slimp’s column — simply on Color

Convention just two weeks away

Two weeks from now we’ll be gathering at The Hyatt Regency in downtown Lexington for the 2014 KPA Winter Convention. The KPA portion of the convention is Thursday, January 23 and Friday, January 24.

We have bookend meetings in conjunction fwith KPA again this year. The Kentucky High School Journalism Association will meet Thursday, January 23, for numerous sessions from 9 a.m. until noon.

Then beginning Friday and continuing through Saturday evening, the Kentucky News Photographers Association will be meeting. Everything takes place at The Hyatt.

I hope you’ve made room reservations because we’ve used up our allotted 90 sleeping rooms on Friday night. The hotel did find a few extra and opened them up to our $99 rate. But if you haven’t done so yet, you probably will end up paying the full room rate of $189. You need to call them at 859-253-1234 to see what’s available.

Program up-to-date at www.kypress.com/convention

We have an up-to-date convention program with more detail on some programs, some tweaks on the information to make it something for everyone — from the KPA Associates on building a better public relations program to circulation and advertising, covering the news and Social Media, legal issues on copyright and ownership. So there’s no excuse for not having some staff members learn how to do their job better.

The next deadline is registration (January 17)  for the KPA Convention itself. You can do that online at the same http://www.kypress.com/convention link.

And here’s another opportunity for sessions

Aimed for your photographers. The Kentucky News Photographers Association has about 99 percent of its convention program finalized and have shared it for me to make available to you. The entire two-day schedule is included here  2014 KNPA SCHEDULE   as a pdf but here at the still photo programs on Friday, January 24.

9 – 10:15 a.m. Erin Brethauer, Multimedia Editor at the Ashville Citizen-Times

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Justin Fowler, Staff Photographer at The State Journal-Register

1:15 – 2:30 p.m. Kathy Kieliszewski, Director of Photo and Video at the Detroit Free Press

2:45 –  4 p.m. David Harpe, President of Technology at KDVR/KWGN/KFCT

 

It’s Legislature Time in the Bluegrass!

Legislation in works to allow cities to put notices on its own website

First, this bill is only in DRAFT form. It has NOT been filed. Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Kenton County, who represents one-third of Kenton County, has drafted legislation that would allow cities to choose between publishing its notices in the newspaper or placing them on its own (city) website.

I had a meeting at 7 a.m. today with Senator McDaniel, along with J.D. Chaney from the League of Cities; Leigh Ann Thacker with Southern Strategy and a lobbyist for KPA; and Marc Wilson, with Marc Wilson and Associates, representing Gannett.

Senator McDaniel is pretty adamant about helping cities cut their costs by not having to publish public notices in the newspaper. His draft would require a small (probably business card size) ad to be published directing citizens to the city’s website for any particular notice. And he allows cities to choose between publishing in the newspaper and putting the notice online. I think we all know a city most probably would choose the website, just to retaliate against a newspaper.

Here is his bill draft in pdf format. SEN. McDANIEL’S BILL DRAFT

Since it’s not yet been filed, it’s not available on the Legislative Research Commission’s website.

Read through and if you contact your State Senator make sure they understand the bill has NOT been filed but that Senator McDaniel has drafted it. Honestly, it might be better to make than contact after the senator files the bill if he does. I will certainly let all publishers know the minute it’s filed.

I’m staying in touch with the League of Cities about this and will alert you the minute the bill gets filed, if that takes place.

Check local government websites and give me a report

I notified the KPA Board late Thursday that the bill had been drafted, just to keep them informed.

In a short span Thursday afternoon, five Board members checked their city websites and gave me a report. We can use all kinds of information like this so go to your city’s website and check its currentness.

Moving public notices from newspapers to a city website is one of the top 10 legislative initiatives for the Kentucky League of Cities this session. Before the cities push for such, they ought to know what they’re talking about. And these kinds of reports give us ammunition to fight off such proposals.

Here are reports I received late yesterday from some Board members:

I just checked Calvert City’s website. In less than 15 seconds I found it includes one committee chairman who has been dead for nearly two years. Man is he going to be hard to get on the phone. A water department superintendent who retired more than a year ago. A water department clerk who retired more than a year ago. These are just a few examples of website that looks really good on its face but isn’t maintained. This is the reality of government websites. Not to mention most of the time when you Email a government website you never get a response. I called the PSC today about an issue I Emailed them about yesterday. I found they did get the Email but forwarded it to someone else for consideration. I still haven’t gotten a response. Government websites are nothing more than another moat in their defenses. –Loyd.

Springfield’s water company site is the same way. We had someone pass away in July 2012, and he’s still listed as chairman of the water board in the greeting, right up on top of the home page of the website. Pitiful source of information.

Our city website has the former clerk, pages that basically say something like “check back” on news, photo and other pages, and has not had anything new since the 2012 delinquent tax list, which is still there.

That is better than one of our county’s sites, however, which has a deceased magistrate still on it. I asked the administrative assistant in the judge’s office about it and she said they couldn’t figure out how to get rid of it. It’s the ky.gov site. They now have a newer .com site and it still shows some board members for different agencies whose terms expired in 2012.

The only city in Greenup County with an up-to-date website is Flatwoods. The city of  Worthington hasn’t updated theirs lately because they have a a commissioner listed who resigned before the last election. Greenup supposedly has a website but I couldn’t find it when I searched.

David–the only government agency in Webster County with a website is the county clerk–the only items listed are names and phone numbers of other county officials and the 2012 delinquent tax list.  Viewers of that site can also access public records on line.  No individual community has its own website, or if they do I can’t find them–rac

So please, check local websites and let me know if you’re finding similar outdated information.

But Sen. McDaniel says he has a good bill, too

Senator McDaniel wanted to make sure I’m aware of Senate Bill 6 “because it’s something your newspapers will love.” It does expand the Open Records Act. We have not taken a position on the legislation yet but will review it more closely and make a decision in the near future.

Here’s a synopsis of the bill and below is the link to the bill on the Legislative Research Commission website:

SB 6/AA (BR 318) – C. McDaniel, M. Wilson

An ACT relating to the disclosure of public retirement information

Amend KRS 61.661, 161.585, and 21.540 to require the Kentucky Retirement Systems, Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System, and the Judicial Form Retirement System, to disclose upon request the names, status, projected or actual benefit payments, and other retirement information of each member or recipient of a retirement allowance of the systems.

To read the entire bill, go to  http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/14RS/SB6.htm

City delinquent tax list, ‘Your Duty Under the Law’ publication

It’s one of those omnibus pieces of legislation, covering more than one topic.

Newly appointed or elected public officials are to receive a copy of the Attorney General’s ‘Your Duty Under the Law’ publication, that is designed to educate them on Open Meetings and Open Records.

House Bill 176 would allow the dissemination of that publication by electronic means and it still requires the appointed or elected official to “sign” that he/she has received the publication.

The legislation also allows but still does not require cities to publish the annual delinquent tax list. While it’s mandatory on counties, cities have had permission but are not required to publish the list of city delinquent taxpayers. In both cases, the county is required and the city allowed to charge $5 per name per publication to each delinquent taxpayer as a way of offsetting the cost of the publication.

Under House Bill 176 cities would prorate the charge to the taxpayer. Several cities complained to the League of Cities that the $5 per name did not cover the publication costs. So with this language, the amount each taxpayer is charged depends on the total cost of the publication. If the city publishes the list, let’s say 100 names, and the cost by the newspaper is $1,000, the city would charge each taxpayer $10 for that listing. The League of Cities has encouraged cities publish the tax list but wants to make sure the cost of publication does not cost the city in the end.

Here’s the list of co-sponsors as well as a synopsis of the bill:

HB 176/LM (BR 281) – R. Smart, J. Richards, R. Crimm, D. Graham, J. Jenkins, M. King

AN ACT relating to local government procedures.

Amend KRS 65.055 to allow the electronic distribution of open meetings, open records, and records management materials which the local officials must distribute locally, and allow the distribution to members who have been appointed or elected after the most recent distribution to occur within 60 days after the date their term of office begins; amend KRS 83A.060, relating to city ordinances, to require text that is intended to be removed from an ordinance to be enclosed by brackets and be stricken through with a solid, rather than dashed, line; amend KRS 91A.040, relating to city audits, to allow the audits and financial statements to be sent by electronic means to the Department for Local Government, which may in turn send the audits and financial statements to the LRC by electronic means; amend KRS 424.330, relating to the publication of delinquent city taxes, to allow the publication costs to be prorated among the delinquent taxpayers, in lieu of a $5 fee being added for publication costs for each delinquent taxpayer.

To read the entire bill, go to http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/14RS/HB176.htm

Other legislation

I wrote several weeks ago about legislation proposed to prohibit the use of “booking photographs” if for a commercial purpose. I don’t think we have an issue with this legislation because state law specifies that newspapers are not a commercial purpose. What the bill is aimed at would be online websites that post the booking photographs and when requested by the subject of the photo to remove the picture a fee would be charged to the individual to have his/her picture taken off. We will certainly take a closer look at the bill but on the surface we do not believe we have an issue with it.

If you place booking photographs on your website and would charge the criminal to take that picture down, then please contact me as soon as possible.

HB 51/CI (BR 242) – G. Watkins

AN ACT relating to booking photographs.

Create a new section of KRS 61.870 to 61.884 to prohibit a person from using a booking photograph for a commercial purpose if that photograph will be posted in a publication or on a Web site, and the removal of the booking photograph requires the payment of a fee or other consideration; amend KRS 61.870 to define “booking photograph”; amend KRS 61.8745 to include the misuse of booking photographs as a violation.

To read the full legislation, go to  http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/14RS/HB51.htm

 

reds-caravan

Want to meet some Cincinnati Reds current and former players?

The annual Cincinnati Reds caravan through Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana will be making a stop Saturday, January 25 at the Kentucky Horse Park. Since you’ll be in Lexington around then for the KPA Convention, here’s a chance to meet some current and former Reds’ players, get some photos and stories before you head back home and perhaps win two seats to Opening Day.

Now if this was the St. Louis Cardinals caravan, I’m willing to bet most of the papers in Western Kentucky would jump at the chance to attend.

For complete information, go to  http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/fan_forum/caravan.jsp?partnerId=ed-7835591-642126513

Radiant Orchid makes its appearance

Last week, I mentioned that Pantone had selected “Radiant Orchid” as its Color of the Year for 2014. And on Monday this week, I found out it had already made its first appearance. Alan Gibson and son Brett had a described “somewhat” heated argument about Alan’s choice for the color on the Clinton County News’ front page info boxes.

With dad carrying his weight around, Alan’s choice of Radiant Orchid won out. And that was before he knew it was Pantone’s color of the year.

Here’s how the front page looked on December 12, well before Radiant Orchid was proclaimed the Color of the Year. Clinton News Front 12-12-13

And from Alan comes a follow-up comment that though he won, he’s retiring Radiant Orchid from future consideration.

Speaking of color, make sure to read Kevin Slimp’s column that’s posted toward the end of this week’s On Second Thought.

Newspaper Reporter Among Most Stressful Jobs

CareerCast ranked newspaper reporter as one of the top 10 most stressful jobs of 2014. Lack of job security and deadlines were enough to put reporters on par with police officers, PR execs and taxi drivers.

By Eric J. Smith

NetNewsCheck

What do a newspaper reporter, a police officer and an airline pilot have in common? They are among the most stressful jobs around in 2014 according to a new report from CareerCast.

CareerCast ranked Newspaper reporter as the eighth most stressful job, just ahead of police officer and just behind senior-level corporate executive. The current state of the newspaper industry and its lack of job security were likely the biggest factors in its ranking, since reporters certainly don’t face the on-the-job danger as police officers.

The median salary for reporter’s is also low, about two-thirds the median salary for police officers and less than a quarter of the median pay for execs.

The most stressful job: enlisted military. The least stressful: audiologist.

Home, business burn in Shelby County

If you’ve been on the Board the last 10 to 12 years, a Past President, or here at KPA for a committee/division meeting such as the KPA Associates then you’ve had a box lunch catered by All the Way Shoppe from Shelby County. We’ve also used the business many, many times for staff Thanksgiving meals.

We learned with sadness late Wednesday that the home of Linda Aldridge, owner of All the Way Shoppe, and her husband, Darrell, burned earlier Wednesday afternoon. The business was located in the home and it was destroyed.

I didn’t come in Wednesday, having been awakened shortly after midnight to water pipes that burst in at least four different places. Gallons and gallons of water in the bedroom, bath, closet and living room and huge hole in the ceiling. Inconvenienced? Yes.

But as I write this, I’m thinking my scenario is nothing compared to what Linda and her husband have. I was able to sleep in my own bed Wednesday night and had running water and electricity. Just the holes in the ceiling remain. Made me realize that whatever problem I might have had, someone, and in this case someone I’ve known many years had it much worse. That’s always the case — when you think you have it bad, your problem is nothing compared to what someone has, or doesn’t have.

Obituaries

Bill Blakeman, former Winchester Sun editor and a 50-year member of the Winchester Kiwanis club who helped found and develop the Bluegrass Heritage Museum, died January 9 after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.

Blakeman is survived by his wife, Gail; four children, Rebecca Blakeman, David Blakeman, Douglas Blakeman (Cheryl Coleman) and Robert Blakeman; grandchildren, Blake and Will Watson; and twin brother, Edgar Blakeman (Jennie).

To read the story on Bill’s passing and his career, go to:  http://www.centralkynews.com/winchestersun/news/local/former-winchester-sun-editor-bill-blakeman-died-thursday/article_c949a972-7995-11e3-a1b6-001a4bcf6878.html

James Donald Pepper, whose father served as editor of the Hazard Herald, died in December at the age of 89. Don worked at the Paducah Sun, then known as the Paducah Sun-Democrat, for 47 years as a reporter and editorial writer. He began his career there in 1951 and retired in 1989.

Mary Lois Chiles, 91, died in December. She worked for more than 30 years with the Glasgow Daily Times in several positions. When she retired she was office manager of the Glasgow Daily.

Human, pet look-a-like contest

It’s a spin-off from Pet Idol but the Kentucky Standard is having a human/pet look-a-like contest. This is the first attempt, according to Crystal Dones, NIE coordinator/circulation assistant for the Bardstown tri-weekly.

The deadline is Sunday and being it’s the first try she’s not certain how many entries they might receive.

So if you have a pet and it at all resembles you, here’s your chance at notoriety and winning a contest.

ky-standard-contest

A brazen PR attempt 

Got a release this week, as did my colleagues around the country, from Reiki Master Rev. Teresa Heupel. I responded that her demands and the news release was nothing more than advertising and if she wanted to place it as an ad in all Kentucky newspapers, and even newspapers across the country, we’d be glad to do that for her.

The release was all about her, her company Heupel Healing Hands, Inc., and how she got the ability for this healing from her great-grandmother. Now I’ve seen news releases that are nothing more than promo items but I’ve never seen anyone attempt to prohibit the news media from changing anything in the release.

Here’s how she ended the news release:

NOTE TO NEWSPAPERS AND OTHER VENUES:

DO NOT EDIT my copy. Everything is spelled perfectly. It’s what needs to be said so please DO NOT EDIT!

Of course she’s not responded to me on my email back to her, which read:

sorry but it’s too much of an ad. And I’ve never heard of anyone telling a newspaper not to edit a news release. that is at THEIR discretion. so if you want it to appear as it is, would be glad to sell you advertising space in all Kentucky newspapers and any paper in the U.S. for that matter.

Credentials for National Farm Machinery Show

Thinking of covering the farm machinery show February 12-15 in Louisville, or does it sound like some exciting venture you want to see. Then it’s time to request media credentials. The National Farm Machinery Show and Championship Tractor Pull will be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center (state fairgrounds as it’s also known).

For a media kit including releases, fact sheets and logos and to request your media credentials, go to http://www.farmmachineryshow.org

U.S. House bill attempts to end Saturday delivery

From The Washington Post

A top House Republican has proposed legislation that would replace the controversial new cut in pension benefits for working-age military retirees by allowing the U.S. Postal Service to end Saturday mail delivery.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) introduced the bill last Thursday, saying his plan would trim the federal deficit by about $17 billion over 10 years.

The proposal is likely to draw criticism from postal-worker groups, such as the National Association of Letter Carriers, which has strongly opposed plans to end six-day mail delivery as a means of achieving savings for the financially troubled Postal Service.

The union has argued that the USPS, which reported a loss of $5 billion  last year, would have posted a profit in 2013 if not for a congressional mandate requiring the agency to pre-fund retirement benefits for future retirees.

Issa has long been a proponent of ending six-day mail delivery, along with other proposed changes for the Postal Service. ”This common sense reform will help restore the cash-strapped Postal Service to long-term solvency,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

For more of the story, go to

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/01/03/issa-bill-would-end-saturday-mail-to-repeal-military-pension-cut/?wpisrc=nl_fed

PNRC, ACCN Launch 2014 Public Notice Journalism Contest

The Public Notice Research Center, in cooperation with American Court and Commercial Newspaper members, has launched its first-ever Public Notice Journalism Contest to recognize excellence in journalism that draws reader attention to public notice.

Information from PNRC and ACCN presidents will be sent to state associations, urging them to participate. The contest – with state awards of $200 and a national prize of $700 – is open to stories that cite the public notice requirements and refer readers to the publication in which it appeared, or stories in which the notice was not met or was deficient. Entries may be either print or digital format. Read more at http://www.pnrc.net/contest/

Improving color is second most-requested need

By Kevin Slimp

Color.

It seems to be on the minds of newspaper publishers and production managers everywhere.

Kevin Slimp

Kevin Slimp

Without a doubt, the second most requested task I’ve been given by newspapers in recent months is to improve the quality of the color in their print products.

As I jump on a plane this week to head to Minnesota, I realize that a good number of folks at the event, sponsored by a major newspaper printer in that part of the country, are hoping to improve the way photos print in their publications. That was also the case in Tennessee, where I visited with the staff of the Shelbyville Times-Gazette last week. There, Hugh Jones, publisher, and Sadie Fowler, editor, tasked me with improving the quality of photos in their daily newspaper.

I sometimes feel ill equipped for the job. I mean, I don’t show up with measuring devices, densitometers or other tools. Heck, I don’t even bring a computer for the assignment.

As we were looking over the final print tests in Shelbyville, Hugh Jones said something quite memorable to me, “We’ve had technical support specialists from several press, paper and ink companies over the years. They come in with all kinds of measuring devices and tools, but when they leave, we rarely see any real improvement in our photos. You came in for one day and taught us that all that really matters is what we see on the page and the improvement in our photos is pretty remarkable.”

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with measuring devices. Standards are important. But when it comes to photos, the proof is in the pudding. What our readers see on the page is what matters. Most of them don’t know the difference between a dot gain and Rogaine.

So what do all these pre-press and printing terms really mean? Here’s a primer for my friends who want to know more about color:

Color Settings: Since the early days of Photoshop, there have been ways to build color settings into photos. This is true of other photo editing applications, as well. Color settings, when used correctly, are built into each photo. They include information like the dot gain, the black ink level, the color ink level and more. If you want to see how your color settings are set, go to Edit>Color Settings in Photoshop.

When you first open the Color Settings window, you’ll see options for RGB, CMYK, Gray and more. Even though we don’t print in RGB, getting this setting right makes a big difference when converting your colors from RGB to CMYK, so don’t take it lightly.

CMYK Settings: The most important color setting is the CMYK setting. Here, you let the application know what dot gain, separation type and ink limits should be built into each photo.

Remember looking at pictures in books and magazines when you were a kid? Remember those white dots that you would see in the photos? That’s your dot gain. They are there for a reason. These dots give your ink someplace to go when it lands on the page. Setting dot gains for newsprint used to be easier. Most web presses tended to be about the same. Not any more. I’ve seen dot gains from 20 to 40 percent on presses the past six months. And the only way to know for sure what the perfect dot gain is on a press is to run test after test. That’s what we were doing in Shelbyville last week.

There are two separation types in CMYK printing: Grey Component Replacement (GCR) and Undercolor Removal (UCR). I used to find that UCR, which primarily mixes Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and light amounts of black to create gray areas of a photo, worked best on newspaper presses. That’s not always the case anymore. It seems like about a third of the presses I test print better on newsprint using GCR, which uses less Cyan, Magenta and Yellow and more black ink when printing gray areas.

Black Ink Limit refers to the amount of black used to print something solid black in a photo. Because newsprint is thin, this number is generally less than 100 percent, because grays usually print darker than they appear on the screen.

Total Ink Limit refers to the total ink used on the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow plates. Quite often, someone will tell me that their printer told them to keep their total ink limit under a particular number. This is what they are referring to.

I could go on for hours, and I have, explaining the concept of color in photos. However, it seems I’ve reached my 800 word limit for this column.

Let me suggest that, if you haven’t already, you talk to whoever runs your press, whether you print in-house or send PDF files off-site, to figure out what the best color settings are for your pages. It can be the difference between dull, lifeless, pictures and photos that make your readers say, “Wow!”

RJI seeks people, institutions with innovative ideas to improve journalism to apply for 2014 fellowship

A Detroit automaker is currently airing a TV commercial that name-checks major innovations and companies that were born in a home garage (including Amazon and the Wright brothers). The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute is looking for the next Orville or Wilbur with a great idea on how to improve journalism. And, boy, do we have a garage for you.

RJI is seeking applicants for its 2014-2015 class of Reynolds Fellows. The fellows program gives people and institutions the time and space to create, test and measure strategies, products and services that will strengthen journalism in the 21st Century. There are three types of RJI fellowships: residential, non-residential and – new this year – institutional.

Early in the session and…

the State Senate must be efficient. Thursday afternoon’s session began promptly at 2 p.m. and 11 minutes later, the gavel banged for adjournment. Of course, being there is little business to conduct right now leads to shorter afternoon sessions.

Procedures have certainly changed in the last two — 2013 and 2014 — sessions. Used to be the Senate might start 30 to 45 minutes and the House convened at 2 p.m. Now it’s the Senate that starts at 2 and when the Senate ended its Thursday session, the House still hadn’t been called into session.

To be fair, the House gavel called the session to order at 2:26 Thursday. Twenty-three minutes later the representatives adjourned. So they got their business done in 23 minutes? No, there wasn’t any business to conduct. But they had friends and constituents in the gallery so they had to take time to make sure every group was introduced and received an ovation.

Kentucky County That Gave War On Poverty A Face Still Struggles

by PAM FESSLER, NPR

Fifty years ago today (published January 8), President Lyndon Johnson stood before Congress and declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” His arsenal included new programs: Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, food stamps, more spending on education, and tax cuts to help create jobs.

At the time, 1 in 5 Americans was poor. Today, things are better, but tens of millions of Americans are still living at or below the poverty level. That raises the question: Did the war on poverty fail? In the coming year, NPR will explore this question and others about the impact and extent of poverty in the U.S., and what can be done to reduce it.

People in the isolated hills of Martin County, Ky., rarely saw outsiders, let alone a president. So when President Lyndon Johnson visited in 1964 to generate support for his proposed war on poverty, it was a big deal.

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/08/260151923/kentucky-county-that-gave-war-on-poverty-a-face-still-struggles

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