December 6, 2013


Wishing all of our newspapers, our Associates,

our friends, our colleagues the Happiest of Holidays.

• Supreme Court: One Open Records victory overshadowed by one disheartening decision

• 351 win KPA News Contest awards; 87 honored in the Ad Contest; and some names are in both

• Got a special meeting notice?  Put it on your website

• KPNS approaching 26,000 stories and 1520 editorials!

• Looks like the year will end with $3.260 million placed by KPS

• Newspapers need mobile products for readers, separate mobile products for non-readers

KPA Office will be closed December 24, 25 and January 1

Just a reminder that the KPA Central Office will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday for Christmas and then on January 1 for New Year’s.

Because of the short work week, there won’t be an On Second Thought on Friday, December 27. But it will return Friday, January 3, to remind you that the 2014 General Assembly is just around the corner (Tuesday, January 7). What better way to celebrate the New Year than by welcoming back the legislature for its 60-day session.

So from David, David, David, Julia, Sue, Bonnie, Buffy, Teresa, Rachel and Holly, we hope you have a great Holiday and wishing you now for an enjoyable, exciting, prosperous 2014!!

351 individuals win in KPA Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers contest

The list takes up almost two legal pages, turned Landscape (wide), and in all it has 351 names on it. That’s how many newspaper staffers won a first, second or third in the Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers – 2013 contest. Obviously, some will receive more than one award since there were a total of 252 categories and most all have a first, second and third place in them.

Those awards will be announced and presented Friday, January 24, with a reception at 6 p.m. and banquet at 7/Eastern at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington. And then put on the dancing shoes as one of Kentucky’s top bands, SuperFecta, entertains from 9 til 11:30 p.m.

If you attended the 2012 Convention at the Embassy Suites, you’ll remember SuperFecta. So plan on a great evening to celebrate the convention as well as all the awards in the Advertising and News contests.

The Advertising Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers awards will be presented Thursday, January 23, same time, same place.

And speaking of the Advertising Excellence contest

This was the second one in 2013 as we adjusted the calendar for the future. Beginning with 2014, the ad contest awards will be presented one night, the news contest awards the other night at the convention. We did one ad contest in the Spring but to get the issue dates in line we conducted a second one during the Fall.

There are 87 names of winners on that last and as you might expect not every newspaper entered. Money had already been spent on the first.

But looking at the list of those 87, several are going to be getting their fill of banquets and awards presentations. That’s because there are some of the same names on both lists.

Register now for the convention and make your room reservations with The Hyatt, Lexington

Now’s a good time to click on this link to get registered with KPA for the 2014 Winter Convention, January 23-24 at The Hyatt in downtown Lexington.

And while you’re at it, go to to make your room reservations with The Hyatt. Once you’ve done both of those, return to reading.

Supreme Court: One good win but one very concerning loss

The Supreme Court released two decisions Thursday in Open Records cases. A pdf of both decisions is below.

Kentucky New Era vs. City of Hopkinsville

In one, Kentucky New Era Inc. vs. City of Hopkinsville, the court affirmed a lower court’s decision that a police agency was within the law in redacting information before disclosing the reports. Here’s the paragraph with the decision statement. You can read the entire decision in the Kentucky New Era pdf below.

In sum, the Open Records Act is meant to open the state’s public agencies to meaningful public oversight, to enable Kentuckians to know “what their government is up to.” It is not meant to turn the state’s agencies into clearing houses of personal information about private citizens readily available to anyone upon request. To insure that that is not its effect, the ORA includes an express exemption for agency records the disclosure of which would amount to a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The City of Hopkinsville has justly concluded that the public disclosure of the social security numbers, the driver’s license numbers, the home addresses, and the phone numbers of victims, witnesses, and uncharged suspects appearing in its police department’s arrest and incident reports, as well as all references to juveniles, would constitute, in the vast majority of cases, a clearly unwarranted invasion of those persons’ privacy. Its policy of redacting that information before disclosing the reports is in accordance with the Act. The Court of Appeals having correctly so ruled, we hereby affirm its decision.

Kentucky New Era

Leonard Lawson vs. Attorney General, Louisville Courier-Journal, Lexington Herald-Leader, Associated Press

The other Open Records decision actually dates back to 1983. It concerns statements made by Leonard Lawson and a suit filed by the Courier-Journal, Herald-Leader, Associated Press and the Attorney General. The decision was not unanimous and you can read the entire decision in the pdf below.

Here is the opening paragraph of the court’s affirmative decision:

In sum, Lawson’s 1983 proffer of information to the Attorney General is to be disclosed. Even if KRS 61.878(1)(h) applies to the Attorney General’s records in this case, Lawson does not have standing to invoke that provision, and under it the Attorney General has the discretion to disclose records if in his view it is in the interest of his office and of the public to do so. Lawson’s invocation of the privacy exemption, KRS 61.878(1)(a), is likewise unavailing.

The admitted breach of Transportation Cabinet contracting regulations and the Attorney General’s response to that breach remain, even thirty years after the fact, matters of sufficient public interest to warrant an invasion of Lawson’s limited interest in keeping his account of the matter under wraps. Accordingly, we hereby affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals.

Courier-Journal, Herald-Leader, Associated Press

Use your website to notify of special meetings

Legislation has been suggested for the 2014 session that would not allow public agencies to hold a special meeting without notice far enough in advance that those counties with only a weekly newspapers would have the opportunity to read in the newspaper that a special meeting is being called.

Sorry that’s too long of a sentence but I guess it shows my disagreement with the idea.

There are scattered problems around the state — Butler and Spencer counties have been specifically mentioned — where public agencies are having numerous public meetings. And while the 24-hour notice rule appears to be complied with, some feel it’s not serving the purpose of public participation because the public isn’t notified.

I don’t want any legislation that mandates newspapers do something and this doesn’t require that a newspaper publish notice of a special meeting. But it’s getting close to that. Those supporting feel if an agency has to call a special meeting up to a week in advance — with sufficient time that a weekly newspaper could publish the notice — then the public is being served and has a greater chance of attending the meeting.

I talked with Jon Fleischaker before I formulated my response to a member of the public calling for this and we aren’t aware this is an on-going problem that warrants changing the law.

But I do have one suggestion that reinforces the idea of the public having a chance to attend a special meeting. When you get such a notice from any public agency about such a meeting put a notice on your website.

26,000 stories within reach

But with slower news times right now, we won’t reach that by the first of year. As of Thursday afternoon’s budget, we had 25,674 stories posted on KPNS and that does not include another 1520 or so that have been posted on the editorials budget.

KPNS began October 1, 2009, and the editorial budget was started in May 2012.

Added convention program

We were finalizing plans for one other convention session when I sent On Second Thought last Friday but we got it scheduled too late to include.

Steve Learn

Steve Learn

Friday, January 24, 3:30 to 5 p.m., we have a session on “Circulation Success 2014 and Beyond.” It will feature Steve and Christie Learn and here’s a brief about the program:

Steve and Christie Learn, well-versed and respected circulation professionals, will lead a fast-paced session on circulation — now and into the future.

In addition to being an active member of several newspaper associations, they own LEARNing More Circulation Idea Service. Christie is editor and publisher of this publication, the top circulation trade publication in the country and has a strong following in Canada. The writers for the publication include: Phil Hanna, Max Heath, Bob, Bobber, Jerry Bellune, Mike Zinser, Jim Martin, Fred Foutz and many other noted circulation and newspaper experts.

During the session Steve and Christie will offer attendees dozens of ideas they have picked up from successful newspaper promotions in the U.S. and Canada. They say many of the ideas have never been seen in the U.S., and will help newspapers add to their bottom line and grow circulation.

They’ll focus on:

• Ideas to grow circulation without increasing expenses.

• Ideas to increase revenue using innovative promotions.

• Ideas to lower expenses without compromising quality.

We have a Statewide Classified/ARK coordinator

2014 is going to begin with excitement around KPA/KPS. We have a Statewide Classified/ARK coordinator. Shirre Smith, a former account executive with the Lexington Herald-Leader, will be joining the KPA/KPS staff on January 2.

We’ll get you more information about Shirre when she begins but she’s a Public Relations graduate from Western Kentucky University and with a focus on communications, journalism and graphic design.

It’s been more than a year that Teresa has had to fill in that position, sans one month in the summer when we had an employee in that position. So I’m sure Teresa’s ready to devote full-time to display sales what with elections on the horizon. So thanks to Teresa and Rachel and Holly and Bonnie and Buffy and David Spencer and Sue Cammack for helping out when the need was there. Now we’re looking forward to having Shirre and getting back to some normalcy around here.

Display advertising totals

I realize there’s one more week left in the year, and one more chance to add to the year’s total but  being that we’re focused now on 2014, chances are the $3.260 million we’ve placed for 2013 isn’t going to change. But I note that we already have almost $57,000 in-house for January so that’s a good start to 2014.

Kentuckian takes over at Springfield IL daily


Clarissa Williams

Clarissa Williams

Williams joined GateHouse Media in fall 2012 as publisher of its Delaware Group and the Dover (Del.) Post.Clarissa Williams, publisher of GateHouse Media’s Delaware Group, will becomepublisher of The State Journal-Register and Lincoln Courier on Jan. 6.

She will succeed Michael Petrak, who has served as interim publisher of the SJ-R and Courier for the past six months while continuing most of his responsibilities as vice president of sales and digital services for GateHouse’s Large Daily Division. He will return to his divisional role at the end of the year.

Williams moved to Delaware from Florida, where she worked for Halifax Media as group general manager of its Florida-based PennySaver operation, a part of the Daytona Beach News Journal.

Williams, a native of Kentucky, has spent 23 years in the newspaper industry.

She has managed several newspapers, with stops in Kentucky with Landmark Community Newspapers, in Florida with Halifax Media, and an Illinois stop in between as publisher of the Register-News in Mount Vernon and the Times-Leader in McLeansboro.

See more at:

Mugshot from Steve Doyle

David Thompson

David Thompson

KPA News Editorial chair and Shelbyville Sentinel News editor Steve Doyle noted that I must have had on good makeup and had “a good stitch job.” He attached a mugshot and certainly it was not me. Then he emailed and told me to wait until I read the story that goes with it.

So I waited and waited. Wednesday morning, David Greer posted the KPNS a.m. budget and I was reading some of the blurbs when it caught my eye. So I read it again and there it was:

David T. Thompson

David T. Thompson

“A Louisville man who has a history of stealing TVs from Walmart found himself in a bit of a quandary recently when he tried to walk out of Shelbyville’s store with two large models in his shopping cart. The man hadn’t paid for the sets, officials said, and he suddenly found himself with a law enforcement officer in front of him and another behind. However, David Thompson, 54 managed to drop the TVs, pull away and lead several police agencies on a chase for more than 20 miles, into Jefferson County, before he was captured on the Gene Snyder Freeway.”

(Hope you each enjoy the digital TV I’m sending to you, by the way.)

KHSJA on the rebound?

Back in 2005, David Greer reports we reached a record number (112)  of high schools that were members of the Kentucky High School Journalism Association. With the recession and all, that number fell. Dramatically. We were shooting for the 80s and no longer celebrating when we reached 100.

As of yesterday, David said we have 86 high schools now as members and that might be the highest number in a few years. So hopefully KHSJA is on the rebound.

As for students attending the KHSJA convention, we’ve moved that to piggyback with the KPA/KNPA/KIPA meeting in January. Last year, the first one with future journalists joining us, we had something like 585 students for the Thursday convention. My goal has always been for 1000 high school students gathered and we came close, again in the mid-2000s with something like 998.

Probably won’t hit that number again until school funding gets straightened out but 585 students attending is most impressive. Maybe we’ll see a like number in Lexington on Thursday, January 23. David has sessions planned from 9 til noon that day. Swing by early and drop in. You might just find a future reporter, website designer, photographer, social media guru among the kids.

David has always been a stickler for numbers. So in our Monday morning staff meetings he breaks down KHSJA membership by a total, then by the number sponsored by a non-school affiliate. And to complete it, he gives us totals and percentages, something he’s intrigued by. We ask him if he can tell us how many are by left-handed publishers and given a chance he’ll probably try to find out.

At this past Monday’s staff meeting, he gave the report that 85 schools were members with one more seriously thinking about joining. I assume that’s the 86th one he refers to.

Of the 85 Monday, 65 were sponsored by “someone” — either an individual or a university (located in Campbellsville KY by the way) — and of the 65, 57 were sponsored by a KPA member newspapers.

The cost is $50 per year and being it’s under the Kentucky Journalism Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation, any “donation” for membership is tax-deductible.

Reynolds Fellowship in Community Journalism

The distinctive voices of local newspapers play a critical role in informing citizens of many American communities, this fellowship will be awarded to a journalist of accomplishment and promise who is committed to the role of the community press.

Made possible through a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, this annual fellowship is offered to journalists who are U.S. citizens and who work at a U.S. daily and weekly newspapers with a circulation less than 50,000 and journalists doing online work for community newspapers or journalists who have established independent local news Web sites in communities where the circulation of the local newspaper is less than 50,000.

Applications from Reynolds candidates are reviewed by a committee of Harvard faculty and news professionals, chaired by the Nieman curator. Finalists are invited to Cambridge in late April for interviews as the final step in selection.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is one of the 50 largest private foundations in the United States and has invested more than $100 million in its National Journalism Initiative.

For more information about the Nieman Fellowship in Community Journalism, send an e-mail to

The deadline for application submission is Jan. 31.

Research suggests newspapers need to develop unique mobile products for two distinct audiences

Mobile products intended primarily for print subscribers
research-265x300will need to appeal to a relatively affluent audience consisting primarily of seniors who are retired or near retirement, according to the latest report from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute-Digital Publishing Alliance Mobile Media Research Project.

Mobile products aimed at non-subscribers will need to focus more on the interests and proclivities of a much younger audience, says the report. More detailed information and charts can be found at

The purpose of the mobile research project is to understand how users of mobile media devices consume news content. RJI-DPA conducts a national online survey during the first quarter of every year. The project began in 2010.

The Digital Publishing Alliance (DPA) is a member-supported initiative of the Reynolds Journalism Institute. Its mission is to bring together leaders and innovators from forward-thinking organizations to pursue new strategies, digital content products and business models for publishing and journalism, with an emphasis on news applications for media tablets and e-readers.

How 2013 showcased the bright future of the newspaper industry

By Caroline Little, president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America in Arlington, Va.

This has been an exciting year for the newspaper industry. I believe 2014 will be even better.

During a time when all media are transforming and experimenting with yet another wave of digital nuances and advanced technology, growth is something most businesses only hope to achieve. Despite the overstated newspaper cynics, our industry has seen growth in virtually all of our endeavors. Looking back at some of our biggest accomplishments throughout 2013, it is easy to look around and survey the tremendous successes in our industry.

As I told Fortune this summer: companies change with the times and newspapers are no different. Now, they are emerging in a strong position.

Our audience has grown with the shifting digital landscape, and we’re seeing increased levels of audience engagement and new avenues of consumption. We made the first gain in circulation revenue since 2003, with revenue rising by 5 percent – from $10 billion to $10.5 billion – as digital subscriptions grew dramatically.

The number of unique visitors engaged with U.S. newspaper digital content hit a new high in September 2013, totaling 141 million adults – an impressive increase of 11 percent since just June. We’ve changed with the times to fit the needs of our audience, from print to website to tablet to mobile, adapting our content and strategies for delivery. And it’s working. Across all digital platforms, 71 percent of adults in this country engage with newspaper content, and 55 percent of those visitors consume newspaper content on mobile devices.

Additionally, newspapers remain relevant to all ages. Despite the perception that millennials don’t turn to traditional outlets for news, studies show in fact that 56 percent read newspaper content in a given week. We strongly believe this data illustrates why the demand and audience for newspaper-generated content will only continue to grow in 2014.

Another area of growth has come from investors. Newspapers are still seen as a worthwhile investment by renowned, innovative leaders with big ideas for expanding into a more competitive business model. Smart business people like Jeff Bezos, John Henry, and Warren Buffett invest in assets poised for a rebound, and we can only begin to imagine the successes they alone will bring to the table in 2014.

Not only have we seen new business leaders enter the newspaper industry, but there are more opportunities for diversified revenue streams and successful business strategies. Our research has revealed that the industry’s growth has sprouted from innovative practices, such as digital and print-digital bundled subscription rates.

At NAA, we have highlighted the achievements of member newspapers and the best practices for the industry through, panels and conferences as well as through our foundation, the American Press Institute. Newspapers have become innovators in all facets of the industry, whether it’s being the ultimate holiday shopping guide for advertisers or pushing the boundaries for long-form journalism in print and online.

At NAA mediaXchange 2013, we had notable publishers, CEOs, and media analysts, like Barry Diller, Terry Lundgren, Katharine Weymouth and Rick Edmonds, to name a few, present and drive home new thinking and transformation. The 2014 conference in March will feature a similarly impressive lineup, with committed leaders from Walmart, BuzzFeed, Google, ESPN and Dell discussing the important topics that will shape our future.

As further proof of the innovation that permeates through newspapers, NAA mediaXchange 2014 will feature winning start-ups from our Accelerator Pitch program to showcase their big ideas to help newspaper companies’ print, digital, mobile, audience or advertising needs.

During this year of growth and innovation, we have also seen gains in the fight for our country’s right to a free press.

When news broke this May about the Justice Department’s unprecedented seizure of confidential telephone records, we spearheaded a coalition of more than 70 media companies and journalism organizations to enact a federal shield law that would protect journalists and their confidential sources while still allowing for effective law enforcement. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill on September 12, and we are hopeful that the full Senate and House will take up the bill soon. We will continue working to that end, and are optimistic that the federal shield law will soon be passed and the critical free flow of information to the American people will continue.

I believe that our industry has the wind against its back. New ways of thinking, creative technology and the dedication of our industry’s employees – from publishers to reporters to carriers – will provide the momentum for even more growth in 2014.

From Leigh Anne Florence, Woody and Chloe

Good morning! Remember the high school special ed teacher who emailed about the missing chapters? We ended up coordinating a visit with all the special ed students at North Hardin High as well as a class of middle school students. This teacher had every scrapbook and every article (we got her what she needed) of every story ever written. She uses them year after year. It was a great way to spend the morning! Hope you are all having a great day!

LA and the Gang

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