• It’s Legislature Time in the Bluegrass! And we’re 53.3 percent of the way through
• Worker’s Comp legislation should pass Senate soon
• You just can’t make this stuff up (Take One, Take Two)
• Could whatever ‘commercially reasonable’ is be venue for public notices?
• When it comes to newsracks, one is the ‘only’ number
• Make your plans now for Sunshine Week 2014
• KPNS growing and approaching 27,000 stories
• Severe weather warning Thursday resembles a nearby state
It’s making the rounds in a lot of states apparently. I’m referring to a House Bill that concerns “booking photographs” and would fine those who use them for commercial purpose. Got a note from Robin Rhodes at the Georgia Press Association, asking other states if any had such legislation. In Kentucky, we do and House Bill 54 passed the House Wednesday afternoon, 55-45. We just stayed in the background because of no concern the way the bill is written. There’s a sister version in the Senate, Senate Bill 95, sponsored by Sen. Tom Buford and we’ve not really said anything about it as well.
But in a meeting Tuesday with Sen. Whitney Westerfield, chair of the Judiciary Committee, I explained the reason is that the legislation addresses “commercial purpose” and newspapers are defined in the Open Records Law as “non-commercial.” So we have a defense there.
And I have yet to find one newspaper website that would require a large payment to have a photo taken off the website. There are three websites that the bill is targeting and maybe it will correct that, maybe it won’t. I’ve heard the three sites charge from $399 to more than $900 if a person wants his/her mugshot removed from the website.
Another public notice bill filed
I sent this last night to publishers, ad managers and the KPA Board: Thankfully, we’re just over halfway through the 2014 session:
Sometimes things arrive in Kentucky a long time after happening in other states.
So goes public notice legislation that’s been in other states for the last five or six years. That legislation would allow storage unit sale ads be advertised in the newspaper, or on a website.
Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea/Madison County, filed Senate Bill 150 Thursday. I’ve copied the paragraph of concern below. You can see that the legislation would call for publication in a newspaper OR in a commercially reasonable manner. There is NO definition of what’s reasonable except that if three independent bidders show up for the sale, then whatever method was used to advertise the sale is “commercially reasonable.” What you see in (c) below that is in regular type is current law. What is bold and underlined is proposed new language.
(c) At least three (3) days before the sale, advertise the time, place, and terms of the sale in a newspaper of general circulation in the jurisdiction where the sale is to be held or advertise in any other commercially reasonable manner. The manner of advertising shall be deemed commercially reasonable if at least three (3) independent bidders attend the sale.
I have also attached the entire bill as a pdf in case you want to read it. Again, remember that regular type is existing law; bold and underlined is proposed new language.
KPA Board member/LaRue County Herald News editor Linda Ireland asked: “So if they put a handwritten note on the bulletin at Sav-a-Lot, as long as three people show up, it would be ok?”
Commercially-reasonable is not defined. Maybe put it in the church bulletin? Tweet the upcoming sale? Put a banner on the back of an airplane and fly it over town? Who knows?
We will be requesting a meeting with Senator Carpenter next week. In the meantime, I hope Teresa Scenters at the Berea Citizen (his home town) and Ann Laurence at the Richmond Register will make contact with him this weekend and express our opposition. Senator Carpenter also represents part of Fayette County.
Since this is “old” legislation in other states, I’m going to be asking my colleagues at other press associations to share with me their approach to battling this legislation when it came up. The minimum we would accept is changing or advertise to and advertise in (c) above. That’s not as good as just defeating it but it’s a future option if it becomes necessary.
Worker’s Comp in the hopper for vote by full Senate
By Wednesday, but maybe Monday or Tuesday, the full Senate should be taking up Senate Bill 105. That’s legislation written by KPA and sponsored by Sen. Tom Buford to correct language on carriers being independent contractors, not newspaper employees.
It passed the Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee last week and we thought it might get a vote before the full Senate this week. Didn’t happen. There’s no problem, no issue and so far no opposition. It’s just that the Senate is taking up only two or three bills each day.
But by next Wednesday, the Senate should approve ours and then it’s on the way to the House. We met with those groups of potential opposition prior to getting the bill filed and along the way, they explained that as long as we kept it “clean” (meaning no amendments from other sources) they would not oppose us as we attempted to do this.
We’re keeping fingers crossed.
Senate Bill 101 — the first public notice bill
Still no movement before a Senate Committee so we’re hoping that is its future. We’re ready to do battle should it start to move and many of you have contacted your Senator to vote against this, either in committee or before the full Senate if it makes it that far.
They’re home for the weekend so make another pitch to them. PLEASE!! Vote no on SB101. In the last few days, city and county officials have had “special days” in Frankfort, ending with a reception for lawmakers. And you better believe passage of SB101 was a priority for all of them.
So that’s why I say PLEASE! Even if you have talked with your Senator recently, make another call this weekend to remind them. It will be worth the effort.
Expungement is the operative word
Seems every week a new expungement bill pops up. Some we can live with, but a couple would just totally rewrite history. We understand a felony conviction hampers a person’s future in getting a job. Currently, those would have to check on any job application that they have been convicted of a felony.
But if expungement happens, the person could honestly answer that same question “no.” They have been convicted but there’s no record to prove it. Thus, they can legally say they have not been convicted of a felony.
However, newspaper accounts, social media, internet searches…there is no way to get rid of all of that so a potential employer could find out a person was convicted of a Class D felony and served time.
It’s interesting to note that in all the expungement bills, there is a five-year provision after the person completes his/her sentence. It says that five years after serving time, the person may then apply to have the record expunged.
However, if you followed any of the debate on HB70 allowing convicted felons to vote, there seems to be a double standard. The Republican Senate amended HB70 to not allow the voting rights for five years after serving. Democrats don’t like that; they say that’s like serving another five-year sentence.
So I am having a difficult time understanding the difference. If it’s okay to wait five years after the sentence has been served to apply for expungement, why is it not okay for the felon to wait five years to vote?
Oh, maybe one party is relying on those felons to help them in the next election? Hmm, you might be right.
It won’t be any election this year even if HB70 passes. It requires a change in the state’s constitution and that has to be voted upon by the people in the November general election.
Sunshine Week is March 16-22; what are your plans?
Sunshine Week 2014 is set for March 16-22 and already there are plans across the country for events spotlighting open government, for special news reporting and for the release of freedom of information studies.
The American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press have renewed their partnership to oversee the national coordination of resources and provide support for participants.
Since the nationwide Sunshine Week was launched by ASNE, participants have included
print, broadcast and digital media outlets; government officials at all levels; schools and universities; non-profit and civic organizations; libraries and archivists; and interested individuals. Everyone is welcome to participate and may use the resources provided on the website to mark their open-government efforts that week.
The Sunshine Week website (http://www.sunshineweek.org) has been revamped to streamline access to the materials participants may need during the weeklong look at the importance of government transparency. The toolkit will be continually updated as Sunshine Week nears, and will include a selection of opinion columns, cartoons, house and public-service ads, and event logos, all of which are offered free to participants.
One is not the loneliest number; it’s the only-est number
Some of you remember a song with a similar title. And that song made me reminisce in the past week. It reminded me of a lesson learned on September 5, 1979.
Four things happened in my newspaper life that day, the last one being the one that taught me a lot. And maybe it’s something you’ve passed along to your circulation department and those who stock the news racks.
September 5, 1979, was the first day of a new publication– the Georgetown News and Times. Prior to that, we put those out separately — The Times on Tuesday, The News on Friday. But working with Scripps League, the owners, we revamped to become a bigger, better newspaper. Just one newspaper a week
The lead story in that first issue was about five kids in Georgetown being arrested following a big drug bust. (That helped sell newspapers; so the new publication and the lead story were the first two things that happened that day.)
That first day of the News and Times, with the lead story being about the kids arrested, we sold out at the newsstands in less than 40 minutes. Stores were calling asking for more copies. We had to go back on the press, at the Paris Daily Enterprise, to print enough to get us through the whole week. (Selling out was the third thing that happened that day.)
But that led to a lesson from Scripps League. The News and Times staff was ecstatic that we had sold out of about 2000 newsstand/news rack copies in less than 40 minutes. We celebrated! And later that day, the Scripps folks in San Mateo called to see how the first weekly issue went.
So I got to tell them it went great. “We were sold out in 40 minutes. We had no newspapers left in the racks and had to order a second print run.”
To have no newspapers left in the racks was not the goal, I came to find out. Scripps’ belief was to always have just one copy remaining in the rack.
“For every rack you have, you always want just one copy left in it,” said the circulation VP. “That’s what you shoot for.”
No, I want to sell out every copy at every rack, I told him.
“No, you always want to make sure there’s one copy left,” in a little more stern voice.
Then he explained the reasoning. If you have no copies left in the rack, it could mean that a lot of people would have bought a copy had they been in there. But the racks were empty so they didn’t buy one. By having one copy left in each rack, you know that every single person who wanted a copy was able to buy one. So it’s nice you sold out and had to go back on the press. But if you really want to be happy and make us happy, then have just one copy left in each rack.
Just wondering if any of you all preach that to your circulation staff? It’s almost impossible to do. No, it is impossible to do, to put enough copies in each rack or at each newsstand that you only have one copy remaining when you go to pick up the returns.
Fall Chapter Series slated to begin September 15
2014 KPA LITERACY KICK OFF NEWS! This year’s story (yet to be titled) will be sponsored by Kentucky Utilities/LG&E, the Kentucky Press Association and the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Newspaper in Education program.
The 10 chapters will be written by Kentucky author Leigh Anne Florence and illustrated by Kentucky illustrator, Chris Ware. This fall the new 10-chapter Woody and Chloe serial story will tie horses, Kentucky music, and Kentucky arts and crafts: going back in time and looking at how simple life once was; how people used their given resources to survive (horses to plow, transportation) and entertain themselves – making dulcimers, learning to sing family harmony, making horseshoes for their horses by hand, and about the many benefits of the Bluegrass.
A free teacher NIE professional development session to show educators how to integrate newspapers into subjects and to kick off the literacy project will be scheduled for June, 2014. (location to be determined).
Scrapbooks and the 10 chapters and 10 graphics will be delivered to Kentucky newspapers at no cost around Labor Day. The first chapter can be published starting the week of Sept. 15. Scrapbooks are to help readers make the free book from your newspaper chapters. Podcasts of the 10 chapters and online activities can be linked from www.kypress.com.
Fall story sign-up page for all KPA member newspapers will be available online at http://www.kypress.com starting in April, 2014.
Webinars on the horizon for news, advertising
There are two upcoming webinars co-sponsored by KPA, Southern Newspaper Publications Association and Online Media Campus. One targets the news side; the other is for the advertising folks.
Below are links to the two.
On March 13, KPA, SNPA and Online Media Campus will be offering ‘Just the Facts: Obtaining and using the information you need to report accurately.’ The deadline to register for the $35 webinar is March 10. After that date, there is a $10 late charge.
Then on Friday, March 14, the webinar is $ales by the Numbers. The deadline to register (the cost is $35 also) is March 11 and again there’s a $10 late fee after the 11th.
Both seminars are 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern and 1 to 2 p.m. Central.
Moreland used to photog vests; 7 years doing it for NFL games
Last week I wrote about the UK-Mississippi State game where photographers were given a large vest to wear while on duty. And I compared them to walking billboards, for there was a large sponsorship for Farm Bureau Insurance printed on both sides.
Comes this from Central Kentucky News Journal publisher/KPA Board member Jeff Moreland: “The vests are getting worse all the time. I’ve had to wear a vest with Canon and Reebok ads while shooting in the NFL since 2007. Walking billboards, indeed.
Ready for the 2015 Convention? The Marriott East is
Do they not know that the “P” in KPA stands for Procrastinators? I guess they don’t since the Marriott East in Louisville already has the room reservation link active. I mean, geez, we’re 11 months away from the convention and if you wanted, you could make your reservations today.
Okay, if you’re that excited about reserving your room, go ahead, be my guest:
We did get some news yesterday about the convention. Our previous sales executive for the Marriott East, Jennifer Williams, died January 11. She had worked with us on putting the full package together for the 2015 Convention. Yesterday, we learned that Peggy Lopez would be our account executive at the Marriott East.
Now that means nothing to you but Peggy was our account executive for the 2013 Convention at The Brown Hotel.
Being we’ve not been to the Marriott East for about 25 years, it’s good to have a sales exec used to working with us on a convention.
Paducah Sun, Messenger Inquirer, Leader News keep KPNS growing
Things happen in threes, or so they say, and that is true for the Kentucky Press News Service. For three straight weeks, we’ve added a newspaper into the fold. This week, the Paducah Sun signed on. And the next day, it was the Owensboro Messenger Inquirer, like The Sun, owned by Paxton Media. That brings the total number of participating newspapers to 78. The Sun and MI join the Courier-Journal and Central City Leader News as recent sign-ons.
The addition of the CJ, The Sun and the MI means the six largest newspapers in the state are now participating in KPNS.
Help us make it four straight weeks of a new one added by signing up for the FREE service. Just contact David Greer at email@example.com for what you need to do to get on board.
Approaching 27,000 stories
If you included the editorials shared by KPNS, we’d be past the 27,000 mark but as David Greer begins his two budgets for today (a.m. and p.m.), we sit at 26,735 stories.
Yesterday, before lunch, David had already scraped 26 stories, a record for the morning budget. Used to be getting 35 a day was really good and now it’s nearing that with just part of the day gone.
Can’t make this stuff up
My Minnesota Newspaper Association colleague, Lisa Hills, sent out this note to all the executive directors. And she’s right — you can’t make this stuff up.
“This is too good not to share. We have a nasty public notice battle going on right now in Minnesota. One of my members contacted their local State Senator, this is the Senator’s response:”
“Thanks for your e-mail. The Senate’s web server has been down for almost a week, so I’ve had no access to e-mails during that time. This morning was the first time I could access anything. So, I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.
“I agree with you on this issue that newspapers are the best place to publish public notices, so I am not supportive of this bill. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
South Dakota newspaper headline also shared
With that email from Minnesota, David Bordewyk at the South Dakota Newspaper Association had another “can’t make this stuff up” to share. The SD High School Athletic Association is not media friendly, whatsoever. It tries to close everything so legislation was introduced this year that would require the high school association there to abide by the open meetings laws.
The SDHSAA Board met and immediately went into closed session to discuss the legislation…about open meetings.
Here’s the headline from one of his members that David shared:
By the way, the bill passed the House overwhelmingly and was sent to the SD Senate.
Basic ad sales workshop in the works
Earlier this year, Kim Woods, the VP of advertising at the Herald-Leader and a new KPA Board member, told me about a basic ad sales workshop that the South Carolina Press Association puts on. Kim came to Kentucky after a couple of stints in South Carolina and one in Florida. In fact, she was on the executive committee at SCPA before heading to the Bluegrass.
Kim explained that the workshops by SCPA are designed to train, help new ad sales reps who don’t have the background in newspaper sales. Those are numerous around the industry. At one point, we just pulled people in off the street, showed them the size of a column inch, what the cost was and to “go out there and sell a bunch of them.”
So we’re going to try this workshop in Kentucky. Teresa has put together a pretty detailed outline and will be the one conducting the training. The cost will be minimal. We’re hoping to find some newspaper conference rooms that will hold 15 or so people and that way we won’t have to pay rental fees as we would at hotels. Teresa’s time is covered, of course, so the only proposed charge would be lunch. Nothing lavish, mind you, but sufficient. So we might do a $15 charge per person to cover lunch.
This would be designed for new/green reps who haven’t had previous experience in newspapers and need some guidelines on how to sell, what to sell, to whom to sell, and when to sell. And her proposal includes some research into the effectiveness of newspapers vs. other media.
Probably won’t do the first one until after mid-April but we’ll give you plenty of notice.
Making the Grades
What State Policy Report Cards Reveal about Education Reform
Debates on the merits of teacher effectiveness reforms, school choice, academic standards, and new financing models have become a fixture in the education policy arena. Ideas, once relegated to the fringes, are now beginning to take hold in states across the country.Yet advocates still have much work ahead to turn these ideas into policies that will improve student outcomes. Some reform organizations have responded by releasing reports—such as StudentsFirst’s State Policy Report Card and NCTQ’s State Teacher Policy Yearbook—that provide specific policy prescriptions and grade states against their adoption of these policies.
But state report cards aren’t new. Education Week’s Quality Counts has been grading states for almost two decades. The difference is that today’s report cards are increasingly produced by advocacy organizations, in addition to education journalists and researchers. With more diverse organizations grading state education policies, what role do these reports play? Do they inform the public about the state of education reform? Do they help lawmakers bridge the gap between policy challenges and real-world solutions that could improve student learning? Or, do they oversimplify the complexity of these issues?
You’re invited to join a conversation of Wednesday March 5, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Eastern) on education reform and whether state policy grades translate into substantive change in our schools.
For more information on this event, sponsored by the New America Foundation, go to http://newamerica.net/events/2014/making_the_grades
To see how Kentucky compares on the State Policy Report Card, visit http://reportcard.studentsfirst.org/
State shares economic information about your county, the state as a whole
Editors should have received a news release, possibly from the state but also forwarded by KPA through the editors list serve about economic data for each county. Lots of stories could be contained in the information if you’ll just take the time.
There’s the usual population, median income and percent of county residents working in various industries, and of course the education levels of those residents. But it also shows the percent of broadband availability (and that information we’ll pass along on any public notice advertising legislation) and other economic factors.
If you missed that release from the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics, visit the KCEWS website at http://www.kcews.ky.gov to obtain a copy of the full report.
SC reporter heading here as AP Statehouse Reporter
This is the week for news from my press association brethren and sistern around the country. Comes this from Bill Rogers, at South Carolina Press:
“By the way, an S.C. reporter, Adam Beam, is coming to Kentucky as AP statehouse reporter. I gave him your name as a contact. He is one of our former SCPA Interns and a good guy.”
Speaking of the AP, new deputy editor named for Southeast region
Ravi Nessman, who has covered and led award-winning news stories in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the United States, has been named The Associated Press’ deputy editor for the U.S. South region, overseeing coverage from 13 states and the District of Columbia.
The AP’s South region encompasses news in 13 states — Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia — and the District of Columbia,
The appointment was announced Thursday by South Editor Lisa Marie Pane.
Nessman joined AP in 1994 as a reporter in Chicago. He also was a reporter in Newark and Philadelphia and an editor on the International Desk in New York, before embarking on a journalism career overseas where he was news editor overseeing 11 southern African countries, correspondent in Jerusalem and bureau chief in Sri Lanka.
Nessman, 41, is a native of New Jersey and earned a bachelor’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
In my years around newspapers, here are a few statements that made me say, “Huh?”
1. “Let’s run the ad one time to see what happens.” People who run an ad one time would get just as much for their investment by throwing it down a storm drain. This advertiser didn’t realize – perhaps because no one had told her – the power of reach and frequency. How many people do you reach? And how often do you reach them?
2. “It’s recyclable.” A sales person said this in response to the question, “What is the number one reason to advertise in your paper?” It didn’t occur to him to talk about how advertising is good for business.
3. “You should support your local paper.” The same sales person offered this as the second reason to advertise. He didn’t realize that most businesses are looking for ways to sell product, not support the local media.
4. “The only reason to cultivate relationships with people is to get money out of them.” This was said by a sales manager in a staff meeting. While it revealed a shallow and manipulative approach to customer relations, it was worsened by the fact that several people on his staff were in their first job. What a lousy introduction to the sales profession.
5. “White space is a waste of money.” An advertiser said this, while reviewing the proof of an ad, which featured some white space between illustrations. She insisted on adding more pictures, which resulted in an uninviting glob of clutter on the page.
6. “My office building is brown. So print my logo in brown ink.” This advertiser was hung up on color, even though he had not built his brand on color (like Coca-Cola’s red or McDonald’s golden arches). When an advertiser has the freedom to pick any color, it’s best to base the decision on what will look good on the page.
7. “They just don’t get it.” This is the way one publisher described his advertising staff. What he didn’t realize is that, when everybody doesn’t get it, something is wrong with the communicator – namely him.
8. “I don’t believe in having friends at work.” An owner made this absurd statement at an all-staff meeting. Thank goodness, my boss didn’t discourage friendship in my first job after college. My former co-workers are still some of my closest friends.
9. “If your account rep doesn’t do a good job, let me know.” An ad manager said this to a client, in the presence of the account rep. In an effort to impress, he put the sales person in an awkward position. Not exactly a confidence builder.
10. “An ad doesn’t need a headline.” This was mentioned by a recent graduate who was showing his portfolio to ad agencies. Commenting on an ad with all copy and no headline, he said his professor had called it a creative approach. In reality, numerous studies have shown that the headline is the most important part of an ad. No headline? No way.
(c) Copyright 2014 by John Foust. All rights reserved.
John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. Email for information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Was that really the shape of the warning?
Looked at kentucky.com’s meteorologist Chris Bailey’s blog Thursday, trying to figure out if the “weather beware” alert was going to take shape, or just another weatherman trying to get us all worked up over nothing.
The blog included some maps where severe storms could break out and then a map with current warnings. At 2 p.m., Eastern, one of the maps of current warnings looked like this (see the blue outline):
Does something look familiar? Well, it could. Take a look at the blue outline where the warnings were at that time. Then look to the state just east of Ashland, KY. Either the warning area had an odd-shape or someone was trying to see what the state of West Virginia would look like superimposed over Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.
Sen. Chris Girdler was discussing his Senate Bill 66 on Thursday, and he opened with some promotion dollar amounts. Seems Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg spend a combined $10 to $11 million a year to promote that area and Tennessee spends another $14 million a year.
Kentucky? According to Sen. Girdler, only $3 million is spent promoting tourism.
Kentucky gets it right (better than most all others) when it comes to immunizations
How Many People Aren’t Vaccinating Their Kids in Your State? In some places, dodging your children’s immunizations is as easy as checking a box
—By Tasneem Raja and Chris Mooney
It’s easy to find bad information about the safety of vaccines on the Internet. That’s, well, the Internet. But what’s scarier is that in many states, parents who buy into those myths can easily opt out of immunizing their children. In some cases, it’s no harder than checking a box on a school form saying that vaccines are against their “personal beliefs.”
In a 2012 study of vaccine exemption policies across the country, a team of researchers led by Saad Omer, a professor of public health at Emory University, found that of the 20 states that allowed personal-belief exemptions for enrollment in a public school or child care program, less than a third made it “difficult” to do so (for instance, by making parents reapply for one each year, explain their beliefs in writing, or get a notarized letter of approval from a health care provider). In the nine “easy” states identified in the study, the rules required only signing a form. Indeed, Omer suspects that some parents sign vaccine exemption forms not because they actually hold anti-vaccine beliefs, but simply because it’s easier than juggling the doctors’ appointments, missed work, and other inconveniences of getting kids vaccinated.
Study says civic participation fell in Denver, Seattle after newspapers closed
by Andrew Beaujon
Civic engagement in Denver and Seattle “dropped significantly from 2008 to 2009,” Portland State University professor Lee Shaker says in a paper published at the end of January called “Dead Newspapers and Citizens’ Civic Engagement” (the published version is paywalled, but Shaker posted a draft of the report last year; all quotes below are from that.) While Shaker allows that other factors may have influenced the drop, measured by the Current Population Survey, it “may plausibly be attributed to the newspaper closures” in those cities.
Denver’s Rocky Mountain News closed in February 2009, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer published its last print edition the next month. (The P-I remained in business as a Web-only news outlet with a much smaller staff.)