January 17, 2014

• Vests for photogs at sporting events? Where will it end?

• Barbara Atwill elected to KPA Board/District 1

• Senate committee passes KPA newspaper carrier bill

• Two offers to Get Involved — Take the time, make the trips, make a difference

• Missouri Press offering you FREE content for Black History Month

• Readers wanting food content? Here’s the ‘Recipe’

• Woody, Chloe heading to Nelson County Library

• Cartoon brings memories of ‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves’

Vests for sporting events: What’s next, political ads to cover campaigns? 

photo-vestsA few years ago, the federal highway officials put out an edict: All persons working at any time along U.S. highways must wear a yellow or orange vest. It didn’t go over well at first; the media feeling it was being picked on. But soon word got out that the feds meant “anybody” and that included law enforcement officials and highway workers. Now it’s second nature.

Fast-forward to 2014 and last week’s UK vs. Mississippi State game. Photographers were given a large vest that had to be worn during the game. Not just a plain vest, mind you. It was more like a “walking billboard” for Farm Bureau Insurance. That’s right, it had a large Farm Bureau Insurance logo on the vest, plus the name of the two teams, the date, and “Not Transferable.”

If that catches on, what’s next? Will photographers covering a political campaign have to sport a straw hat or a t-shirt with the candidate’s name? Oops, sorry. Better not give candidates any ideas, huh?

Free NIE materials from Missouri Press

Comes an invitation to you from Missouri Press for some FREE NIE materials:

February is Black History Month. In observance, the Missouri Press association, in partnership with The Missouri Bar, has released two new features commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream” speech. Dr. King delivered that famous speech in August 1963 during the “March on Washington for Freedom and Jobs.”

Black History Month began in 1926 as Negro History Week. The commemoration is held in February to honor the birthdays of Frederick Douglas, former slave, abolitionist and orator, and President Abraham Lincoln.

The first of the two features, which are free for you to use, offers background on King’s speech. The second feature focuses on King’s contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. Both features offer activities to encourage young newspaper readers to learn more about the topics, and correlations to Missouri’s Learning Standards.

To download the features, visit http://mo-nie.com and use download code: mlkdream.

Also available to celebrate Black History Month is a feature on the Emancipation Proclamation. To access that feature, use download code: ep150.

It’s back to the Hyatt in 2016

It had been 32 years since the last KPA Convention at the Hyatt in downtown Lexington. Much of the reason was that the sales staff never called on us.

But that changed a couple of years ago when the Hyatt made a proposal to host the 2014 Convention. The Board accepted the proposal and as you know, that’s where we ended up this year.

Except for some “cool” (temperature-wise) meeting rooms, comments were positive. The Board had decided in the fall that if all went well in 2014, we would give them serious consideration for a return engagement in 2016.

So that’s where we’ll be. The cost will be similar to 2014 — $99 this year, $109 in 2016.

And in 2015, it’s a return engagement to the “new” Marriott East. That’s the hotel off Hurstbourne Lane where we were in the late 1990s. The hotel has been completely redone and we’ll be on the outskirts of Louisville for the next convention.

Take the time, make the trip, make a difference

Have you ever visited the legislative offices while the General Assembly is in session? Ever sat down in your Senator or Representative’s office to talk about the General Assembly or let them know how you feel about a particular topic or special piece of legislation?

Many of you never have.

Wednesday was like “pack it in” day around the Capitol. Mayors and other city officials from across the state were in Frankfort, as well as a group of attorneys and court officials, then the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth had its annual ‘I Love the Mountains’ rally on the Capitol steps and members visiting their legislators.

Maybe we’ll just designate a “Newspaper Day” during future sessions and invite publishers, editors, ad managers and circulation folks to spend the day getting to know their way around the Capitol and the annex. Years ago, the Legislative Research Commission held a “media day” early in each session, with comments by legislative officials, a primer for reporters on how to cover the legislature and then time in the afternoon for the news media people to visit with their legislators. I assume the cost or time involved to have that event made LRC rethink its Media Day. But that’s not to say KPA shouldn’t have something. I’d hate to ask how many of you have visited with your legislators in their Frankfort offices, watched the inner working of committee meetings and then sat through part of a House or Senate session.

Some of that is referred to as “exciting as watching sausage being made.”

Take the time, make the trip, make a difference #2 – NNA needs you at this year’s summit

In a week, it may be too late to get a room for NNA’s We Believe in Newspapers Leadership Summit. NNA loses its room block at the Crystal City Marriott on Feb. 22, but far more important is the fact the community newspaper industry will lose YOUR voice standing up for our future.

we-believe-in-newspapers-dayThis is not the year to skip this summit. The stakes are far too critical.

Trust me. Big things are happening. We need you to be part of them. A divided Congress is trying to decide our fate in the mail. A revenue-hungry government is looking at your advertisers’ pocketbooks for funds. We have some aspiring young journalists with us this year learning how to tackle big stories, courtesy of the NNA Foundation. We want them to see us at our best in a thriving, vibrant industry.

Best yet, at the end of our labors, CBS anchor and my friend, Bob Schieffer, is going to recharge our batteries by talking about the importance of journalism.

Please go to http://www.nnaweb.org for registration and hotel information. And I will see you March 12-13 as we prepare to go Capitol Hill together.

— From Robert M. Williams Jr. 
NNA President/Publisher of the Blackshear (GA) Times

Hardin County Independent changing formats, frequency

We’ve received word that the Hardin County Independent, in business for the last quarter of a century, will become a monthly publication, Hardin County Magazine.
hardin-county-magazineThe change is effective February 27 according to the information we’ve received. Best of luck to Gerald Lush with this new venture.

And last week I noted that Michael Toon, who is now the Carlisle County clerk, sold his newspaper to Dennis Richardson and Magic Valley Publishing. Comes word this week of another newspaper sale taking place in another part of the state with an announcement expected in the next few days.

KPNS grows by one more

Last week, we added the Courier-Journal to the growing list of Kentucky Press News Service participating newspapers. This week, we’ve added the Leader-News in Central City.

Interested in joining? Just contact David Greer for the particulars.

Ad contest judges respond; now it’s on to the newsroom folks for help

I put out a plea this week for judges for the Maryland/Delaware/DC Press Association advertising contest and was overwhelmed with the response. Thanks to those of you who have agreed to participate.

Now it’s the NEWSROOM’s turn. Editors — We need judges from you. One is for the Florida Society of News Editors contest; the other for the MDDC news contest.

Your colleagues on the other side of the building have committed, so now it’s your turn. A few of you responded to the last plea; now please, the rest of you let me know. Just email me that you’ll help, and any staffers who want, and give me their email addresses. You’ll have a couple of weeks to complete both because they are done electronically, similar to our own contest.

Committee passes KPA-sponsored newspaper carrier legislation

The Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee took up Senate Bill 105 on Thursday. That’s legislation coordinated by KPA to change the status of newspaper carriers from “employees” to “independent contractors.” Sen. Tom Buford is sponsoring the bill for us.

Senator Buford’s presentation took only about a minute but the meeting lingered on as four committee members talked about their careers as pre-teens, delivering newspapers on bicycles and their appreciation for being able to do that. After all of that, the legislation passed unanimously and now heads to the full Senate.

It could come up for a vote by that body on Tuesday, since the legislature is off Monday for Presidents’ Day.

So here’s where you come in: I attached as a pdf a “one-pager” that explains what we’re trying to do with this bill. Download that, print it out and get it to your Senator. We don’t need you working on the House yet; that will occur in another week or two. So for now, get to your State Senator with the message to Vote YES on SB105. Here’s the one-pager that explains SB105 and why it’s needed: SB105 ONE PAGER

Readers’ craving food content? Turnkey solution launched as ‘Recipe Central’

Newspaper websites will be able to add a turnkey solution to their audience’s craving for food content with a new white-label recipe and video service from the publishers of Relish, American Profile, and Spry.

Called Recipe Central, the syndicated service will offer a library of chef-tested recipes and videos in an array of categories and meal types. The distinctive food content will be accessible to newspaper website users through a proprietary search engine that retains each newspaper’s site branding.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to serve up the Internet’s favorite content—food—in a best-in-class recipe search site powered by the expertise of Relish, American Profile, and Spry,” said Steve Smith, SVP of Partner Relations. “This is an opportunity for newspapers to incorporate quality content directly into their digital ecosystems, fast and easily, without the need to create or maintain it, while building traffic, repeat business and even revenue.”

Newspaper partner benefits include seamless integration into their branded sites, the ability to attract new and repeat traffic as a trusted first choice for recipe content and how-to video demonstrations, guaranteed visit-based revenue, a custom-branded newsletter to drive repeat visits and the ability to monitor success with an analytics dashboard.

For additional information, access to a demonstration and/or sign up for the service, go to http://www.RecipeCentral.com. Or contact Steve Smith, 615.468.6005, ssmith@recipecentral.com.

About Recipe Central — Recipe Central Inc. is a provider of syndicated food content, featuring the recipe and video library of leading lifestyle, food and health brands American Profile, Relish and Spry, which are distributed by more than 1300 U.S. community newspapers nationwide. Recipe Central is based in Franklin, Tennessee.

Barbara Atwill elected to KPA Board/District 1

Barbara Atwill

Barbara Atwill

Barbara Atwill, business manager at The Hickman Courier, is the new KPA/KPS Board member for District 1. A special election was necessitated with Loyd Ford, of The Lake News in Calvert City being elected vice president for 2014. Barbara will complete the term for District 1, through January, 2015, at which time an election will be held for a full three-year term.

In case you don’t know Barbara, here’s a little information about her: She started at the Hickman Courier in June, 1981, under the leadership of Jo and Paul Westpheling. In those 33 years, she has worked with numerous editors including Jo Westpheling, Monette Malone, Mike Klapp, John O’Neal Jones, Cherry Pyron, Misty Cruce Wright, and Charlotte Smith.

Though she works at The Courier, she also makes up ads The Fulton Leader and The Hickman County Gazette, which are also owned by Magic Valley Publishing.

A lifetime member of Cayce United Methodist Church, she is Program Committee Chair, Secretary of the Nominations Committee, Children’s Coordinator, and a member of the Administrative Board; active in the Cayce Cancer Crew for Relay for Life (formed this year at church) and have been on the Friends for A Cure Relay for Life team in Hickman the past two years; and also has been a Girl Scout Leader and later the Secretary/Treasurer of Fulton County Athletic Booster Club for four years.

Woody, Chloe to visit Nelson County Library

woody-and-chloe

Always wanted to see the legislature in action?

If you’ve not had the chance to see a House or Senate session, or even a legislative committee meeting, maybe now you have the opportunity on the road or sitting in your office.

Until now, and unless you’re in Frankfort with cable access, you’ve not been able to see them live and in session except at the Capitol.

KET has a “KET Legislative Coverage” app you can watch the legislature in action wherever you are. Of course, it requires an iPhone or iPad so if you have one of those, go to the App Store and search for “KET Legislative Coverage” and download the app.

It’ll give you almost real time access to the goings on in the chamber and in some committee meetings. KET normally has coverage of two committees in each time slot — generally committee meetings are in two-hour blocks Tuesday through Thursday, starting at 8 a.m. and continuing until 2 p.m. Then they trek to the House and Senate chambers.

On Mondays, both typically convene at 4 p.m. and on Fridays, they go into session at 9 a.m. and then head home. However, with the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday, they won’t convene until 4 p.m. Tuesday.

So if you’ve wondered about the inner workings of your Kentucky General Assembly, here’s your chance. And if you know when a specific bill is coming up for consideration, you can cover it from the comfort of your own office and have a story online within minutes.

The power of punctuation

Maybe you’ve read the book ‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves.’ It’s about punctuation and I was
kiss reminded of that book when I saw this cartoon:

If you haven’t read the book, here’s a little about it, taken from Wikipedia. The book is worth the read:

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation is a non-fiction book written by Lynne Truss, the former host of BBC Radio 4‘s Cutting a Dashprogramme. In the book, published in 2003, Truss bemoans the state of punctuation in the United Kingdom and the United States and describes how rules are being relaxed in today’s society. Her goal is to remind readers of the importance of punctuation in the English language by mixing humor and instruction.

Truss dedicates the book “to the memory of the striking Bolshevik printers of St. Petersburg who, in 1905, demanded to be paid the same rate for punctuation marks as for letters, and thereby directly precipitated the first Russian Revolution“; she added this dedication as an afterthought after finding the factoid in a speech from a librarian.[1]

The title of the book is an amphibology—a verbal fallacy arising from an ambiguous grammatical construction—and derived from a joke about bad punctuation:

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.

“Why?” asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

“Well, I’m a panda,” he says. “Look it up.”

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. “Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.

A fight for seats to cover the legislature?

There’s more than just a brouhaha in one state apparently as the news media appears in an all-out war on who gets the media seats to cover the sessions. Without identifying the state, here’s an excerpt from an email yesterday to all press association executive directors.

General Assembly approves or denies House/Senate floor credentials based upon recommendations from the Capitol Press Corps leadership, which is basically a group of reporters who follow some basic guidelines in making a recommendation. In this case, the group recommended denial (which the legislative leadership did) and the news organization (a press association member) denied hired a press association FOI attorney to sue the Capitol Press Corps group (made up of all members) for violating their First Amendment rights.

To my knowledge, we’ve had no issues over the last 30 years and in fact there are fewer reporters assigned permanent legislative coverage than just a few years ago.

Deadline is Feb. 15 for Reynolds Journalism Fellowship Program

The deadline to apply for the 2014-2015 class of Reynolds Fellows at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute is Saturday, February 15.

The RJI fellowship 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.

Because of the ongoing financial challenges to sustain quality journalism, RJI is particularly interested in people and institutions with ideas on how to connect citizens with news and advertising more efficiently, grow revenues, engage communities and ensure the industry is taking full advantage of new and emerging.

There are three types of RJI fellowships: residential, non-residential and – new this year – institutional.

Residential fellows spend eight months on the University of Missouri campus; non-residential fellows explore their ideas from their home or office, with an occasional visit to campus. The new institutional fellowship allows an employee to develop an idea or lead a team at a company but continue working at his or her job.

RJI facilities in Columbia, Mo., include the Futures Lab, Microsoft Application Development Lab, survey and research teams, a TV studio, office space and the many resources of the Missouri School of Journalism and the University of Missouri.

Each fellowship includes a stipend. Residential fellows receive an $80,000 stipend and a housing allowance. Non-residential fellows receive a $20,000 stipend and research and travel support. The institutional fellowship stipend – $20,000 – is paid to the company or institution and can be used to hire a freelancer or temporary contractor to fill in for your employee as needed or for other project needs.

Applying is simple: In a Word document, answer the following four questions:

  1. Are you interested in a residential, non-residential or institutional fellowship?
  2. Describe the idea you would like to pursue.
  3. Outline some of the key issues you would need to tackle to bring your idea to fruition.
  4. Tell us what a successful outcome of your fellowship would be.

For more information, http://www.rjionline.org/fellowship

How long before Ken Stone retires? Just ask him

Ken Stone, longtime GM of the Grant County News in Williamstown/Dry Ridge, is getting close to retirement.

If you want to know how close, he has it down to the minute. I sent an email to publishers earlier this week about a 1800s job press at a museum that is looking for a new home and Ken replied:

“I would be interested in it if it were not for my retirement in 6 weeks = 32 working days and 1.45 hours.”

Good luck, Ken!!

Why design matters

By Ed Henninger, Newspaper Design Consultant

When you look at a newspaper—any newspaper, anywhere, anytime—what’s the first thing you see?

Its design.

For more than 30 years, I have stressed the need—no, the demand—for good newspaper design.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been talking about good design for so long that those who hear me are turning a deaf ear.

So maybe you’ll give more credence to others. Maybe the following words of design wisdom will help convince you.

Give these a read:

“Good design is good business.” — Thomas J. Watson

“The artist in me cries out for design” — Robert Frost

“All problems are solved by good design.” — Stephen Gardiner

“The details are not the details. They make the design.” — Charles Eames

“Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design is so simple—that’s why it’s so complicated.” — Paul Rand

“Design works if it’s authentic, inspired and has a clear point of view. It can’t be a collection of input.” — Ron Johnson

“Design is not for philosophy. It’s for life.” — Issye Miyake

“A good designer must rely on experience, on precise thinking and on pedantic exactness. No magic will do.” — Niklaus Wirth

“Designs of arbitrary nature cannot be expected to last long.” —Kenzo

Tange

“Design is not just what it looks like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobsed-henninger-column

“Design is directed toward human beings. To design is to solve human problems by identifying them and executing the best solution.” — Ivan Chermayeff

“Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design.” — Tom Peters

“You can be a mason and build 50 buildings, but it doesn’t mean you can design one.” — John Malkovich

“There are three responses to a piece of design: Yes, no and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” — Milton Glaser

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.” — Lindon Leader

“Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design. It’s decoration.” — Jeffrey Zeldman

“Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.” — Brian Reed

“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” — Joe Sparano

“A designer is a planner with an aesthetic sense.” — Bruno Munari

“Design is intelligence made visible.” — Alina Wheeler

“A designer can mull over complicated designs for months. Then  suddenly the simple, elegant beautiful solution occurs to him. When it happens to you, it feels as if God is talking! And maybe He Is.” — Leo Frankowski

WANT A FREE evaluation of your newspaper’s design? Just contact Ed: edh@henningerconsulting.com | 803-327-3322

IF THIS COLUMN has been helpful, you may be interested in Ed’s books: Henninger on Design and 101 Henninger Helpful Hints. With the help of Ed’s books, you’ll immediately have a better idea how to design for your readers. Find out more about Henninger on Design and 101 Henninger Helpful Hints by visiting Ed’s web site: www.henningerconsulting.com

ED HENNINGER is an independent newspaper consultant and the Director of Henninger Consulting. Offering comprehensive newspaper design services including redesigns, workshops, staff training and evaluations. E-mail: edh@henningerconsulting.com. On the web: www.henningerconsulting.com. Phone: 803-327-3322.

And being it’s Valentine’s Day, here’s one we can all appreciate:

valentine

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