July 12, 2013

• Legal Defense Fund has awarded $533,000 to newspapers

• Rule changes expand tub use: car-rt, non-auto

• NNA survey: Community newspapers effective medium for grocery ads

• Reading a Newspaper? Dress Your Best in Casual Elegance

• Will the Ad Contest banquet be added to the Winter Convention schedule?

KPA/KPS Board Meeting Today

Wasn’t certain I’d do a Friday Member Update/On Second Thought this week because of preparations for today’s KPA/KPS Board of Directors meeting. But I think we got everything ready a day earlier than usual so I have time to send along some ideas, information, considerations and other kinds of reading materials.

This won’t be as long as some previous ones but I hope you enjoy it just as much.

I’m mentioning some of the things the Board will discuss and consider so while the comments are a prelude, I am not speaking on behalf of the Board and what its decisions will be. It’s one of the busiest agendas the Board has had in many years and there are a lot of discussions that will take place today.

KPA Legal Defense Fund Surpasses Half-Million in awards

One of the presentations to the Board will be from the Legal Defense Fund Committee. That includes Tom Caudill, David Hawpe, Taylor Hayes and Dave Eldridge, along with John Nelson and Jon Fleischaker who are unable to attend.

In getting the committee report together, we found that since this program began on August 1, 1996, the committee has now considered more than 100 requests for financial assistance. The fund is available to participating members who find themselves in a legal situation, the outcome of which could have an effect on the industry as a whole.

And while not all applications for funding have been approved, those that have been total $533,193. The funds for this come from some 90 newspapers who have agreed to donate a minimum of one-quarter page of advertising per year as placed by KPS. Instead of getting a check for that advertising, those newspapers have agreed to have the money placed in the LDF account.

It’s the most successful such program in the country, one reason being not many states offer that kind of assistance. In fact, we only know of one state offering something similar and its funding level has not reached the amount KPA has been able to get from its newspapers.

The LDF’s next fiscal year begins September 1 so if you aren’t in the program and want to participate, or if you want to increase the amount of advertising you’ve committed to the program, let me know as soon as possible. The fund celebrates its 17th anniversary on August 1.

Fall Chapter Series Deadline is Two Weeks Away

If you haven’t signed up for the 2013 Fall Chapter Series — ‘Outstanding in His Field,’ featuring Kentucky dachshunds Woody and Chloe and authored by Leigh Anne Florence — then you have a July 26 deadline to get signed up so we can supply scrapbooks for you to give to local elementary students.

Last summer, some newspapers called when the Fall chapter series was already underway and they can get no scrapbooks at that point.

The signup information is available at www.kypress.com/nie so access the website, read through what’s there and get your newspaper signed up.

So take the minute it requires to sign up, do it now and cross off “Sign up for 2013 Fall Chapter Series” from your bucket list.

The series begins the week of September 8 and continues for 10 weeks. And the focus this year is on Kentucky agriculture. That’s why Woody is ‘Outstanding in his Field.’

Questions? Contact Kriss Johnson at kjohnson1@herald-leader.com

Again, go to www.kypress.com/nie to get signed up.

Sponsorship Video for KU/LG&E

Kriss Johnson and Woody prepared a video to thank Kentucky Utilities/Louisville Gas & Electric for its continued sponsorship of the Fall Chapter Series. And in it, the video mentions that 65 newspapers ran the 10-week series in the Fall, 2012, reaching more than 500,000 readers.

Here’s the YouTube video if you’d like to see it:

Board to Consider Foundation Development Director Position

Also at today’s Board meeting, it will hear a report from the KPA Past Presidents about a Development Director position for the Kentucky Journalism Foundation. We’ve never had someone designated to go out and raise funds for the foundation yet that’s the program that makes available at least 20 interns for KPA members each year.

When he took office as President of KPA in January, Willie Sawyers said the success of the intern program means we should try to offer more interns each year. But the only way to do that is to raise additional funds. So Willie asked the Past Presidents to discuss a fund-raising position and to bring a report to the Board.

The Past Presidents met by conference call about three weeks ago and seemed excited that KPA and KJF would be considering this position. So the recommendation will go to the full Board today that we seek a development director.

The recommendation is that the position be established, that we attempt to have it filled by October and at least for the first 15 months, the staff member would focus on raising foundation funds, through contributions, grants, events or other fund-raising activities. Eventually, and probably after December, 2014, this person could also oversee an NIE program that would help newspapers establish one, and then train NIE staff members on how to maintain it, fund it and grow it.

But the fund-raising aspect is first and foremost and the Past Presidents do not want the staff member bogged down in “other duties” during the initial start up.

KPA is Focusing on the Advertising Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers contest

Earlier this week, I surveyed ad managers about the KPA ad contest and why they didn’t enter or why they might not have had as many entries as in past years. While the number of newspapers and entries this year was above those in 2012, there’s been a substantial drop in both figures since the mid-2000s. So we wanted to find out what the reason(s) might be and discuss those with the Board.

One comment I heard from several concerns regional design hubs that are plentiful in Kentucky. The contest used to require an entry be “sold, designed…” by the newspaper. But with design centers established for several newspapers, we took the “design” requirement out of the contest. So now as long as an ad is sold by the newspaper entering it, it’s eligible for the contest. Now we still don’t allow agency ads to be entered but will allow an entry from a newspaper that has a design hub under contract to provide that service.

Perhaps I didn’t do a good job of communicating that change when we sent the contest information earlier this year. We’ll make sure advertising staffs are educated on that come the next contest.

And that contest period might be sooner than you think. One of the other issues mentioned in the survey of ad managers was the loss of the awards banquet or luncheon to present the contest results. For that, we plead guilty. The last two years, there hasn’t been enough interest from newspapers to warrant a lunch or dinner to show the video and announce the awards. Attendance at Ad Seminars have dropped considerably so in 2011, we only did a banquet. And few people attended.

But at least one of the comments made us start thinking. Isn’t there a way to give the ad staffs the recognition deserved and comparable to that of the newsrooms? The KPA News Contest results are presented at each Winter Convention. And attendance at that banquet will be 350 to 400 people. It’s always on the Friday night of the convention and is the closing event for KPA’s portion of the schedule.

However, after thinking it through with the staff this week, we’re going to discuss using the Thursday night of the convention for the Ad Contest banquet. That will give ad staffs a very special event to attend and since many come for the Friday sessions, we hope they’ll come on Thursday and attend a banquet. At previous conventions, the only Thursday night event has been an opening reception. The staff can logistically make this happen but it’s something the Board needs to approve before we make that switch.

Initially, it will create a couple of problems. To implement the switch this year, we’ll have to adjust the ad contest entry period and mirror what the News Contest dates are — October 1 through September 30. And we don’t know if publishers will want the expense of all the newspaper entries in the two contests coming at the same time. The entry deadline for both will have to be in mid-October and payments will be due. Will publishers want to spend the funds for the News Contest and the Ad Contest in the same month? That remains to be seen and could be a stumbling block. And it’s something I’ll ask the Board about first, since many of them are publishers or top management positions at newspapers.

So again, the change right now is an idea. The Board will discuss it today and may decide not to move the Ad Contest schedule.

Intern Experiences, from the Newspaper Perspectives

Going back to the mention of the internship program for a minute. One of the reports that will be given to the Board today is from Steve Doyle, editor of the Shelbyville Sentinel News and chair of the KPA News Editorial Division. A similar report will be given by Monica Dias, with Frost Brown Todd LLC law firm, who is chair of the KPA Associates Division.

I don’t have Monica’s report about the public relations interns with KPA Associates firms but I do have some of the reports from editors or publishers who have a newspaper intern. And here are their comments about their intern:

From Ben Carlson, Anderson News

Our intern is Bria Granville, a student at Eastern.

She is a photography student who has performed wonderfully so far. She has performed very well on specific assignments, has shown great initiative in finding compelling photos on her own. She has also proven to be a quick study in learning our systems.

She is very congenial and has been very well received by the public.

– – – – – – – –

From Tom Barr, Pioneer News, Shepherdsville

Kayla Swanson is the summer intern for The Pioneer News. She attends Western Kentucky University.

She is a very, very, very quiet individual. But she is also a very productive writer. She takes the assignment and quickly starts to tackle it. We are still developing depth in the stories and that is a matter of asking the right questions.

Kayla has gotten to cover a church fire, government meetings and a lot of feature stories. She got her first taste of the Bullitt County Fair and dealing with pageant contestants. She has also gotten to take photos.

The intern program is invaluable to the students and to the newspaper. It gives the regular staff a bit of a break and also allows us to work on a few things we normally don’t have time to. For the student, it gives them an opportunity for some real life situations. One of the biggest problems I see is that people come into the business and don’t have a clue how much work there is and how much pressure. At the same time, they don’t feel the same satisfaction with what the community newspaper actually does and the role it plays.

The summer intern program is great. And Kayla is doing a great job for us. We will hate to see her leave in early August.

– – – – – – – –

From David Snow, The Eagle Post, Oak Grove

As a weekly newspaper just six years old, we were appreciative to take part in the KPA internship program. Ours is almost a one-man operation, with a part-time sports editor who e-mails his articles to me — and me.

Carly Besser, who will be a junior at Murray State University in the fall, came to us with some experience at the Murray State News, having served as the assistant sports editor but wanting to branch out more. I wanted to give her an idea of what working for a newspaper — even one our size — was like and not give her the “grunt” work that interns notoriously get.

She has worked out very well for us. She is a very good writer and camewith layout experience, which I am hoping to expand on here. She is also learning about photography, including toning photos, and using the computer to file stories and photos.

She has covered a wide variety of stories for us, a variety that comes with working for a weekly small-town newspaper. Her first week, we held our annual Spring into Summer Festival, complete with live concert. She has also covered a number of events at Fort Campbell, city commission meetings, civic events and other fun things.

This works out to be a good internship for her because she will enter next summer having one internship on her resume and seeking something at a larger newspaper using the experience she got here. She is meeting people and learning the community aspect of newspaper work, and I hope she leaves here with a full experience that she will keep with her throughout her career, wherever that may lead her.

Although I am used to carrying the load, the internship has helped me in developing better supervisory skills. Our newspaper gained a writer with a different perspective and style, enhancing its readability. I look forward to taking part in the KPA internship program at our next opportunity.

Thank you for giving us this opportunity!

– – – – – – – –

From Scott Dillingham, Dawson Springs Progress

The intern with The Dawson Springs Progress is Jacob Parker. He attends WKU and is a graduate of Madisonville-North Hopkins High School.

We’ve had Jacob cover and write stories about the local school board, about school based decision making councils and about city council meetings. He has also been on photo assignments and taken pictures to go with the feature stories.

He’s also written several feature stories about local people. Jacob is really good with the feature stories. We are holding most of them for a saturation issue we will publish the week of our community’s annual barbecue festival.

What I’m really happy with is how he’s been accepted in our community. Everyone here seems to really like him and he’s fit in just like he’s been here forever. I think he likes the small-town community that is Dawson Springs.

He takes criticism well (there hasn’t been much need of it) and he’s willing to learn and listen to pointers.

Jacob will become a better and better writer and he’s been a joy to work with this summer.

– – – – – – – –

From Ben Kleppinger, Stanford Interior Journal

Name of Intern: Sarah Hogue

Name of University: Eastern Kentucky University

While other interns may be wrapping up for the summer, Sarah has quite a few more weeks at The Interior Journal. A last-minute cancellation by the IJ’s initial intern pick led to Sarah’s selection, and scheduling had to be worked out around summer classes she had signed up for. As a result, Sarah will be at the IJ through late August.

Sarah is an English major at Eastern Kentucky University, with an interest in writing for fashion or feature magazines. While she is new to journalism, her writing is solid and she has proven willing to learn and, perhaps more importantly, willing to accept criticism of her work and come back with better stuff the second time.

Sarah has been attending the county fair this week, and she’s also working on stories about the renovation of a nearly-200-year-old grist mill in Stanford and a Lincoln County boy who suffers from a potentially fatal heart condition, among others.

As a relatively recent college grad, I have many friends who now have jobs in journalism thanks at least in part to the experience they gained at their KPA internships. I think the KPA intern program is an excellent one, and one that should continue and be expanded.

– – – – – – – –

From Diane Dyer

Online paper: Beech Tree News

Intern: Sam Osborne

Western Kentucky University

Sam has been a pleasure to work with and has fit in well in our county. He hit the ground running and has covered a wide variety of meetings such as fiscal court, city council, planning and zoning and school board. He has covered parades, sporting events, accidents and our Annual Catfish Festival. Sam has quickly made friends and contacts with people in our community. Everybody loves Sam!

Sam’s computer skills allowed him to quickly adapt to our online news site.

Rule changes expand tub use: car-rt, non-auto

NNA sought both, one since 2006

By Max Heath

The U.S. Postal Service issued two rule changes sought by the National Newspaper Association that expand the ability of newspapers to use flats trays (white tubs) for all presorted copies not dropped at the office of delivery. Both were in the Postal Bulletin of May 30, pages 5-7.

Both are effective July 28, 2013, and change language in Domestic Mail Manual sections 707 and 705. Flats trays are specifically allowed as an optional use by DMM 707.20.4 since 2006.

Here’s a link to the rest of Max’s article about USPS Rule Changes: http://nnaweb.org/article?articleTitle=rule-changes-expand-tub-use-car-rt-non-auto–1372868817–603–1top-story

Reading a Newspaper? Dress Your Best in Casual Elegance

Ben Sheroan at the News Enterprise in Elizabethtown passed along an article by a Vancouver columnist about ‘How to Read a Newspaper with Style.’

Here’s part of the column and then a link to the entire article:

By Les Leyne/ TIMES COLONIST 
JULY 6, 2013

There was a bit of a public thrash this week about the future of newspapers, after CTV aired stories questioning the future of the Vancouver Sun and The Province.

It was prompted partly by dismal financial numbers from Postmedia, the company that owns those papers and used to own this one. It started a Twitter exchange among various news colleagues. Mainstream media’s dilemma is being put down variously to mismanagement, the Internet, demographics, the Internet, price resistance and the Internet.

A Sun man took offence at the pessimism and predicted a better future. He was alone in that stance. (He could have been alone in the newsroom at the time, too, since they just bought out 100 employees.)

Others expressed general gloom at the current business model, which is transitioning to a more firmly monetized synergistic digital presence, if I understood the last briefing right.

During this time of flux, new readers are becoming more and more valuable. So what’s needed is a primer for people on how to actually read a newspaper. You represent an elite market segment. It’s important that you reflect that.

To read the rest of the article: http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/les-leyne-how-to-read-a-newspaper-with-style-1.343698

And Among Other Things

from various reports to the Board today:

• KPA is getting real close to being able to accept credit card payments online for contest entry fees, convention and seminar registrations, annual dues, advertising and any other service that requires payment

• See the space at the right, some of those small ads promoting links to other information about KPA programs? Soon, I hope those become sponsored spaces as advertising for various companies, vendors, members and Associate members of KPA. Got a special project or sister company or service you want to promote? The space is available in two sizes at $50 or $85 per month. This Friday Member Update goes to over 800 email addresses each week

• the Border War golf tournament. I know a Monday is not a good time for many of you to be out of the office but the fact is, a Monday is the day selected for the Inaugural Border War golf tournament. Monday, September 9, to be specific. Still we NEED YOU and other staff members. The proceeds from the tournament will be split between KPA’s foundation and Tennessee Press Association’s foundation. And that money to KPA can be used to fund additional internships. But it takes participation and your commitment to be out of the office for one day. Tennessee has some 50 people committed and many of them are in the same boat — they have a paper to get out and don’t like being out of the office. We have maybe 16 from KPA. So help us out , commit to an afternoon golf tournament and help the Kentucky Journalism Foundation at the same time!

• remember that the next Publishers’ Summit is scheduled for August 22 at the Paroquet Springs Conference Center in Shepherdsville. I’ll be getting more information to you once I get through the Board meeting.

NNA survey: Community newspapers effective medium for grocery ads

COLUMBIA, MO—Readers of local newspapers in 2012 were asked about how often they read advertisements in local newspapers. The questions included grocery and supermarket, department stores, hardware stores, classified ads, public notice ads, etc.

The survey was conducted by the Reynolds Journalism Institute for the National Newspaper Association.

When asked how often they read grocery and supermarket ads or ad inserts in their local newspaper, a combined 62 percent of readers either “often” or “very often” read the ads. This finding was consistent with those reported in 2010 and 2011, showing that community newspapers continue to be an effective medium for grocery and supermarket ads.

Readership of department store ads in 2012 was higher than in 2010 and 2011.

Here’s a link to the rest of the story:

http://nnaweb.org/article?articleTitle=nna-survey-community-newspapers-effective-medium-for-grocery-ads–1372864273–593–1top-story

A Q&A with Kevin Slimp: Readers Followup KEVIN SLIMPafter his Adobe Revelation kevin-slimp-150x150

By Kevin Slimp

People seem to have a lot of questions concerning layout software these days. I suppose it’s only natural with all the changes at Adobe and Quark. Let’s look in my in-box and see what’s on people’s minds this month:

From Beverly in Nebraska

Thanks for your input on the Adobe Creative Cloud issue. It causes me to wonder if there is any open source page layout software out there?

That’s a good question, Beverly.

slimp-scribus-300x187For those not familiar with the term, open source software is free. You may have used OpenOffice or some other free application that fits under the open source heading. There’s one often-referred to application called Scribus that is used for page design. Slimp-ScribusUnfortunately, as good as it is, it’s not nearly good enough for professional designers. With the type of pressure newspapers work under, dealing with quirks in applications and tools that just “don’t work right” aren’t luxuries we can afford.

From John in New York

Kevin,

Looking for your expert opinion. We publish six community papers and use Creator for ad design and InDesign for pagination. Every time we hire someone, we have to train them in Creator. We’ve noticed that most are already experienced in InDesign. Are most newspapers staying with Creator or using Adobe suite for everything? Curious your thoughts…also we use word for our reporters – would you recommend InCopy? Thanks for your thoughts.

That’s an easy one, John.

The majority of newspapers, large and small, use Adobe products to do the bulk of their pre-press production. I love Creator. I always have. But it’s too easy to design ads in InDesign, with the help of Illustrator and Photoshop. Many larger newspapers keep Creator on one machine to deal with legacy ads and I’m sure there are a few papers out there that still do the bulk of their ad design in Creator. If it were my paper, I’d move the creative folks to InDesign and leave Creator on one machine to deal with legacy ads.

From Mary in Iowa

Hi Kevin. I am wondering if you might be able to help. We are in the process of converting files from QuarkXPress to InDesign. Our editorial department has created templates for QuarkXPress, which we were able to convert to InDesign. The style sheets converted as well. What about libraries? Is it possible to convert Quark libraries to InDesign?

That’s a question for the ages, Mary. Unless there’s been a new plug-in created that I haven’t heard of – and a Google search doesn’t lead to one – there’s never been an automatic way to convert QuarkXPress libraries to InDesign libraries.

I’ve visited a lot of newspapers to help them convert from QuarkXPress to InDesign over the years. Here’s the easiest solution I’ve found: Create a large document in Quark and drag each item from your library onto a page. Afterwards, save the QuarkXPress file and open it in InDesign. I would suggest you use Q2ID, a plug-in from Markzware, to make this happen.

From Clay in Arkansas

Hey Kevin, We have been saving our photos at 300 dpi. We use Kodak equipment, going straight from computer to plate on a chemical-free processor. We’ve been told that we should save everything at 1200 dpi. Isn’t that a bit much?

Indeed it is, Clay.

I feel certain your sources were describing the resolution in dots per inch, which is different than the resolutions used to measure photos. Photos, monitors and cameras, as well as many other devices, are measured in pixels per inch. A newspaper photo should generally be saved at a resolution in the 170-220 range. 200 seems to be the most common setting I see when I visit papers.

It may be tempting to save photos at a higher resolution, but that will actually decrease the quality of the printed photo. When resolution goes up, dot gain goes down. That causes darker, muddier pictures on newsprint.

And finally, a note to my readers using QuarkXPress. After a conversation I had with two Quark executives last month, I’m relatively certain Quark will be moving to a leasing model, much like Adobe, in the near future.

And for those of you subscribing to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, I hope you remembered to take advantage of their introductory pricing that ended July 31.

Okay, think that will do it for another week. I’ll be out of the office from about 11 a.m. through the rest of the day. I’m taking Monday off and then will be in the rest of the week. As always, call, write, email or stop by if you have questions, comments, concerns, issues, clarifications, corrections, additions or deletions. We’d love to hear from you or have you stop by.

And I leave you with this:

KPS Advertising Placed through July 12: $1,880,585.40

Otherwise, thanx!!

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