• Cities, Take One – Fleming-Neon should consider advertising delinquent taxes in newspaper
• Cities, Take Two – Lancaster just doesn’t get it; Four OM/OR violations in Four Months
• Past Presidents give nod to concept of Foundation Director position
• Ad placement takes a big jump
• Scanners Again; David Greer comments on digital scanners advertised in newspaper insert
• Tennessee issues invite to “Come on down to Gatlinburg” for 2014 TPA Convention
• Child Abuse Prevention advocates issue “Thank You” letter to newspapers
PAST PRESIDENTS GIVE TENTATIVE APPROVAL TO FOUNDATION DIRECTOR CONCEPT
The Past Presidents of the Kentucky Press Association had a conference call Thursday with a task assigned it from the KPA Board of Directors.
The assignment was to discuss the concept of developing a foundation director position for the Kentucky Journalism Foundation. After nearly 45 minutes of a really good discussion, the Past Presidents gave tentative approval to the concept.
KPA President Willie Sawyers noted in his speech to the KPA Convention in January that one of his goals for 2013 is for the Journalism Foundation to increase the number of internships awarded each summer. KPA/KJF is already known for having the most successful internship program for its newspapers, with 20 awarded each summer and three more by the KPA Associates. These are paid internships with participating newspapers, the funds coming from the foundation. The KPA Associates internships are funded by that division.
One of the main focuses of the position would be to increase the foundation funding so that more internships can be awarded. The position would also help newspapers establish or grow Newspaper in Education programs and train teachers in using newspapers in the classroom
The Past Presidents will now develop a job description and funding mechanism for the position and present it to the KPA Board at its July 12 meeting. The Past Presidents decided to give approval for a two-year period and then to evaluate the success.
KIDS COUNT: A FIRST LOOK AT THE NEW STATE RANKINGS ON CHILDREN’S WELL-BEING
Data will be released Monday, June 24, so set your cell phone alert to remind you to access the information
The Annie E. Casey Foundation will release its 24th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book — featuring national, state and county profiles of children’s well-being on June 24. Journalists are invited to take an early look at the new state rankings under the one-week embargo period that ends at 12:01 a.m. EDT, Monday, June 24, at which time stories can be broadcast or can appear online or in print.
Please contact Sue Lin Chong, email@example.com or 410.223.2836 for information on how to access the embargoed materials.
A new KIDS COUNT Data Center is also being launched on June 24 that will offer a variety of ways to access data on thousands of indicators of child well-being at the state, city, community level and even school district level in many cases. Information is also available on racial and ethnic groups, including children in immigrant families. The new Data Center provides new search options and can be accessed on mobile devices at mobile.kidscount.org.
AD TOTALS MAKE A BIG JUMP
KPS ad totals between last week and today jumped $384,000. Much of that comes on the heels of a utility rate increase case involving about 20 newspapers in Eastern Kentucky.
Through today, KPS has placed $1,714,693. Considering we didn’t hit $1 million until May 17, we’ve had a strong placement in the last few weeks that is pushing us closer to $2 million.
CITY SHOULD/COULD USE NEWSPAPERS TO COLLECT DELINQUENT TAXES
This week, there was a story about the dire situation in Fleming-Neon, where the city has a large number of residents not paying local property taxes. Cities need a mechanism to collect those taxes but unlike counties, advertising in a newspaper is not required, only permissive. So minus a law that the city be required to publish the list, Fleming-Neon is going to hire a collection agency.
I don’t know what collection agencies charge or rather what commission they take when a collection is successful but I’m willing to bet it would be more than the cost to publish in the newspaper.
That begs the question — Why not try the local newspaper first? Counties have had good success advertising the list in the newspaper and there’s no reason to think a city would not get the same results.
Counties are required under state law to advertise the list once in a local newspaper, a week after running a half-page ad that the list is going to be published the following week. That’s required by law.
Back in the late 1980s, cities were given permission of publishing the list but we could not get the requirement that it do so. But if cities should select the newspaper advertising option, it would do so under the same guidelines as counties. And that would include the public agency being able to charge each name on the list $5 to cover publication costs. If the list is long, it could be a money-maker for the city.
Are towns or cities in your county facing difficulty getting taxes collected? Have you talked with the mayor, city clerk or treasurer about publishing the list in the newspaper? Have you suggested they talk with the county clerk about the effect publishing the list has when county taxes become delinquent?
If not, then do it.
Here’s the language in paragraph (1)(c) of KRS 424.130 to use in talking with local city officials:
424.130 TIMES AND PERIODS OF PUBLICATION; POST OF DELINQUENT TAX LISTS
(1) Except as otherwise provided in KRS 424.110 to 424.370 and notwithstanding any provision of existing law providing for different times or periods of publication, the times and periods of publications of advertisements required by law to be made in a newspaper shall be as follows:
(c) When an advertisement is for the purpose of informing the public and the advertisement is a notice of delinquent taxes, or notice of the sale of tax claims, the advertisement shall be published once, preceded by a one-half (1/2) page notice of advertisement the preceding week. The one-half (1/2) page advertisement shall include notice that a list of uncollectible delinquent taxes is also available for public inspection in accordance with KRS 424.330 during normal business hours at the business address of the city or county and on an identified Internet Web site. The advertisement shall include the business address of the city or county and the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the Internet Web site where the document can be viewed. The Internet Web site shall be affiliated with the city or county and contain other information about the city or county government. The delinquent tax list shall be posted on the Internet Web site for a minimum of thirty (30) days and shall be updated weekly. The provisions of this paragraph shall not be construed to require the advertisement of notice of delinquent state taxes which are collected by the state.
And here’s KRS 424.330 language that makes it permissive for cities to publish the list:
424.330 PUBLICATION OF LISTS OF DELINQUENT TAXES BY COUNTIES AND CITIES; FEE ALLOWANCE
(2) Cities may publish a list of uncollected delinquent taxes levied under Section 181 of the Kentucky Constitution, showing the name of and the amount due from each delinquent taxpayer, to be advertised by newspaper publication. A fee of three five dollars ($5) per name per publication shall be added to the amount of each tax claim published as publication costs.
SPEAKING OF CITIES, LANCASTER APPARENTLY JUST DOESN’T GET OPEN MEETINGS/RECORDS LAWS
Patti Cox with the Central Record in Garrard County had an article on the city of Lancaster violating the state’s Open Meetings or Open Records Law. Or should I say, another article on that event.
That’s because the latest violation is the city’s fourth violation in four months.
The Attorney General’s Office recently ruled that the city council violated an Open Records Law.
The law is not that hard to understand. And if it is, KPA and the Kentucky League of Cities both have plenty of resources to give them an education.
PROTECT YOUR DOMAIN NAME POSSIBILITIES
As I recall, if you don’t continue registering your business’ (even newspaper’s) name with the Kentucky Secretary of State and it expires, someone can come in, purchase the name of your newspaper and leave you high and dry. You just might find yourself paying high dollar to get back the name of the newspaper as it’s been known for decades and decades.
I’m reminded of that with current situations involving Domain Names. While an alert “hunter” might watch for your current domain name registration to expire and then hold it ransom for thousands of dollars, some of those will take very similar domain names and register them. Then they’ll offer to sell those similar names to you for a steep price.
Here’s an update from KPA Associate Member, the Better Business Bureau. Take heed:
Domain Name Hijacking
Hijacking/sniping domain names is becoming a business, therefore anyone who values his or her domain name needs to take precautions.
Some of these “businesses” are purchasing the domain names of other companies and holding them ransom, demanding payment of thousands of dollars in order to return it.
Here are some tips on what you should do to protect you domain name:
• Keep domain name registration records accurate and current.
• Keep registrant account information, passwords, or other credentials private and secure.
• Only grant registration account access and change control to parties in registrant’s organization that involve domain name registration.
• Know urgent restoration of domain name procedures.
• Request domain names be placed on Registrar-Lock.
• • Routinely check domain name information to insure no unauthorized changes have been made to the contact information.
• Choose a registrar who issues a transfer pending notification as its standard practice.
As time goes by, more and more domain names will be taken and can become more valuable. Purchase the ones you want while they are inexpensive and protect them from getting away from you after purchase.
The Tennessee Press Association has extended an invitation to KPA and its members to head down to Gatlinburg in June, 2014, for the TPA Summer Convention. The event will be held June 5-6-7 at the Park Vista, the round hotel atop a mountain overlooking downtown Gatlinburg.
It’s earlier than usual because of a lack of rooms available later in the month.
If you are interested in participating, without an “official” KPA Summer Convention proclaimed, let me know ASAP.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Years ago, there was a state law that prohibited advertising of used mattresses. I can understand why. You never know where that mattress has been or whether bed bugs are embedded in it. Cathy Caton at the Harrodsburg Herald remembers Bill Randolph, who was ad manager there once upon a time, cautioning her about those kinds of ads.
I haven’t had any questions about used mattress advertising in many, many moons but Cathy asked about the law. And that sent me into the Kentucky Revised Statutes. Nothing. There were three sections about used mattresses but none really addressed the issue.
So I asked my state press association colleagues if I was dreaming there had been a law. Or was it a federal law, explaining why it didn’t come up under the state laws.
Turns out there apparently isn’t a prohibition on advertising used mattresses but there is a state law on selling used mattresses.
While the KRS below does not fully address the sale of any mattress, I have been told by the Attorney General’s Office and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services that newspapers can check with the local Public Health Department on any guidelines about restrictions or sale of used mattresses. Oversight apparently belongs to the local public health departments. And that’s not dissimilar to the situations in other states.
Here’s the extent of the law:
KRS 214.290 — No person shall employ or use, in the making, remaking or renovating of any mattress, any material that has been used in or has formed a part of any mattress used in or about any public or private hospital, or any institution for the treatment of persons suffering from disease, or for or about any person having any infectious or contagious disease, or any material of which prior use has been made, unless all of said material has been thoroughly sterilized and disinfected by a reasonable process approved by the board of health of the city where the mattress is made, remade or renovated. The use of shoddy made from secondhand materials, jute, old comforts, pads or mattresses in the manufacture of new mattresses to be offered for sale as new mattresses is prohibited.
ANOTHER INTERN/ANOTHER FUTURE STAR?
Comes another very positive note on a KPA intern for the summer. This comes from Loyd Ford, publisher of The Lake News in Calvert City and KPA/KPS treasurer.
Friends, Romans, Board members
In regard to my summer intern I am at this point looking into ways to hold him hostage. This young man is fantastic!!! I hope everyone who received an intern this year has had someone like Chris Wilcox.
The current Radio Shack newspaper insert features some digital “police” scanners. Be careful thinking a digital police scanner is just what you need to access your local law enforcement agencies as well as Kentucky State Police. I forwarded the circular to resident scanner guru David Greer and he had some comments and some cautions for you. The biggest caution is this: Don’t be duped. Make sure you purchase an APCO 25 type scanner.
But here’s David’s thoughts on scanners:
Take One — Two of the scanners shown will receive KSP’s digital transmissions across the state. KSP’s system uses the Motorola APCO 25 digital protocol. It’s also known as P25, for short. APCO 25 is the most common digital system in use by public service entities but it’s also the most expensive which has driven some communities to go with one of Motorola’s competitors. And none of the scanners shown will receive the digital protocols – which are proprietary – from the various competitors – Harris, Icom, Kenwood, etc. I know of no database or other such information source that tells the public which digital protocol is in use or being considered in cities which have made or will make the transition from analog to digital. Before buying a scanner, folks at papers need to ask their police departments which systems are in use or future consideration. And if it’s digital but not APCO 25, they are out of luck at the moment.
The two scanners which work with KSP and some local police departments that have gone digital are the Uniden Home Patrol-1 scanner. It’s the third from the top.
And way down as the 11th from the top is the Uniden BCD396XT handheld scanner. It does APCO 25 too.
I might caution folks to avoid being “victimized” by the use of technical terms which sound impressive when selling these devices but in reality they are features which do you little good.
For example, a few of the scanners mention the Trunk Tracking feature. This is NOT DIGITAL. And these scanners will NOT receive KSP or any type of digital transmission. Trunk Tracking is used only in the very largest of U.S. cities and I won’t bore anyone with the technical details other than to say it’s a fancy analog system.
And the other term is S.A.M.E. (Specific Area Message Encoding.) This feature on a scanner does NOTHING for receiving digital transmissions of any kind. S.A.M.E is used by the National Weather Service and allows weather radio users to program them to receive watches and warnings for specific counties. It has nothing to do with public service transmissions from police, fire, EMS, etc.
At present time, Uniden remains the only radio scanner maker in the world. GRE had a factory in China but it was closed by the government in a case of imminent domain and GRE has yet to re-establish a manufacturing facility.
Take Two — Any of the scanners shown will pick up local public service IF they still use analog equipment. And I suppose many still do. I don’t have a good handle on how fast or slowly the transition from analog to digital will be across the state. Most communities seem to be getting grant money to buy the digital stuff and that makes it a slow process. I think most papers have analog scanners now and those might work for a long time to come — depending on when their town switches. But the editors I have talked with say they really MISS not hearing KSP but an APCO-25 scanner now would restore that ability. But it might or might not be what they need when their town switches to digital.
Still bumfuzzled? Feel free to email or call David Greer here at KPA. He thrives on sharing his knowledge about these kinds of electronic discussions.
NNA’S TARGET — THE DEATH TAX — MAY FINALLY BE REPEALED
If you’ve made any of the trips to D.C. for the NNA Government Affairs Conference, or “We Believe in Newspapers” day, you know a trip to Capitol Hill has included a request to talk with the Kentucky Congressional delegation about repeal of the inheritance tax. For family-owned newspapers the tax has been the one issue that could keep the paper from being passed on to the next generation. Comes word this week of an effort to permanently eliminate the inheritance tax:
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell joined Senator John Thune (R-SD) today in introducing the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013, which would permanently abolish the federal death tax. In addition, the Thune/McConnell legislation sets a lifetime gift tax exemption of up to $5 million, and makes permanent a 35 percent gift tax rate for gifts made over that amount (indexed to inflation).
During a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Senator McConnell said the death tax is the federal government’s final insult to American taxpayers and it needs to be repealed.
“The death tax unduly burdens American families by taxing assets that are handed down from generation to generation, like family farms or small family businesses,” Senator McConnell said. “It is the federal government’s final insult to tax the transfer of your accumulated assets when you have already paid taxes on such assets throughout your life. The thought of having to visit the IRS and the undertaker on the same day is an absolute outrage. This is wrong and it’s why I have consistently supported legislation to eliminate this burdensome tax.”
Between 2009 and 2011, Kentuckians paid more than $225 million in death taxes. Senator McConnell has heard stories from many constituents regarding the impact the death tax is having on them and their families. In fact, one Kentuckian said it would destroy his family farming operation. And another said she worked hard over the years to invest in property — land she owns and inherited — but when she dies, her children would be forced to sell it just to pay the death tax.
Last year, during the fiscal cliff debate, Senator McConnell negotiated with the Vice President to establish a permanent reduction in the death tax to provide Americans the ability to pass their life’s work down to the next generation. Without this change, family farms and small businesses valued at $1 million or more would have been taxed at 55 percent starting in 2013.
“We have made some progress exempting many of Kentucky’s family farms and small businesses from the death tax,” Senator McConnell said. “And I’m proud to join Senator Thune in introducing this repeal bill that will finish the job by abolishing, once and for all, this unfair, anti-American tax.”
STUDENT PAPERS FACE SAME PRESSURES AS ‘PRO’ PUBLICATIONS
by Benjamin Mullin, Poynter.org
Published June 14, 2013 9:20 am
Updated June 17, 2013 9:25 am
In an era of changing media models, student journalists aren’t just grappling with the basics of reporting, writing, editing and publishing — they’re struggling to survive.
The challenge is the same one faced by their professional counterparts: decreased advertising revenue coupled with increased printing costs. Like the pros, college media organizations have tried to adapt by simultaneously pursuing cost reductions and striking out into new businesses.
“I don’t know a student news outlet in the country that hasn’t been affected in some way,” Dan Reimold, a faculty adviser to The Minaret, the college newspaper for the University of Tampa, said by phone. Reimold writes about student newspapers on his blog College Media Matters.
Reimold said student newspapers caught in a financial vice have been forced to cut pay for their editors, reduce page size and slash print runs.
“It’s getting tougher to nail down new advertisers, it’s getting harder to maintain our most prominent advertisers and we’re having difficulties selling print as a vehicle to reach students,” he said.
For the rest of this article, go to: http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/journalism-education/215717/student-newspapers-facing-the-same-pressures-as-pro-publications/?goback=%2Egde_157204_member_249937496
DOJ PROBE MUZZLES GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FROM TALKING TO AP REPORTERS
The CEO of the Associated Press told an audience Wednesday that the Department of Justice has succeeded in muzzling government employees from talking to AP reporters in the weeks since the seizure of AP phone records was revealed.
“What I learned from our journalists should alarm everyone in this room and I think should alarm everyone in this country. The actions of the DOJ against AP are already having an impact beyond the specifics of this particular case,” AP CEO Gary Pruitt told an audience at the National Press Club. “Some of our longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking to us, even about stories that aren’t about national security. In some cases, government employees that we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone, and some are reluctant to meet in person.”
After it was made public that the Justice Department took AP Washington bureau phone records as part of the Obama administration’s aggressive anti-leak operation, Pruitt said the fear among potential sources has spread to reporters from other outlets.
“I can tell you that this chilling effect is not just at AP, it’s happening at other news organizations as well,” he said. “Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me it has intimidated sources from speaking to them.”
Pruitt said he believes government officials are happy to see the process of newsgathering become more difficult in Washington.
“The government may love this. I suspect that they do,” he said. “But beware the government that loves secrecy too much.”
During a question-and-answer session after his speech, Pruitt said he did not believe the Obama administration has had a different relationship with the press than past administrations, but he said that the Obama administration’s aggressive attempts to prosecute leakers have put the administration’s view of the press front and center.
DRAFT OF POSTAL REFORM LEGISLATION RELEASED
Draft legislation released last week by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) would allow the Postal Service to move to five-day delivery and ban it from entering no-layoff agreements with employees. The legislation would also release the USPS from its obligation to pre-fund health costs for future retirees at an annual cost of $6 billion. The legislation would also require the Postal Service to move to halt home delivery of the mail in favor of post office boxes or clustered boxes on street corners. Issa has said this change could save at least $4 billion annually.
The National Association of Letter Carriers opposes the legislation, saying it contains “many of the damaging and fundamental flaws” included in previous legislation. Postal unions argue moving to five-day delivery would eliminate jobs and halting home delivery would threaten mail security.
This new postal legislation will not be formally introduced for some time, but according to congressional aides, by circulating a draft, Issa hopes to work with labor, rural lawmakers and other groups, including newspapers, that opposed his effort in the last Congress.
COLUMNS, WE GET COLUMNS, WE GET STACKS AND STACKS OF COLUMNS
There I go again, whistling the old Perry Como tune of We Get Letters, We Get Stacks and Stacks of Letters. Yeah, I know, half of you have never heard of Perry Como.
But this time it’s columns. From many nooks and crannies they come, wanting to reach out to our members with their expertise and advice. Too many to keep forwarding individually to the department list serves we have.
So I’ll put them on the Friday Member Updates and if there’s one that strikes your fancy, I’ll let you access it on your own.
WHEN CRIME IS SENSATIONAL, NEWS COVERAGE SHOULDN’T BE
AD-LIBS BY JOHN FOUST
AND WE GET LETTERS, TOO; THIS ONE ON YOUR BEHALF — A BIG THANK YOU!
On behalf of our respective organizations, we sincerely thank you, the Kentucky Press Association and its members for the coverage given to the important issue of child abuse preventions in April and throughout the year. During April, Kentucky and the nation recognized the month as Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the attention your members gave to this issue is invaluable in terms of raising the public’s awareness.
According to our records, 28 newspapers ran an article/series/Letter to the Editor or provided some form of coverage through the month. We are humbled and grateful for the dedication you and your membership have shown to child abuse prevention and we hope to build upon this foundation for Child Abuse Prevention Month 2014. We look forward to working with the Kentucky Press Association as we continue to inform the public about the heartbreaking prevalence of child abuse and neglect in our state and how all Kentuckians can “Commit to Prevent.”
Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky
s/Mary Michael Corbett
System Vice President/Government Relations Officer
WATCH FOR STORY ON KPA FREELANCE/STRINGER SURVEY
Many of you participated in a Survey Monkey from David Greer on the use, pay and policies of freelancers/stringers. David is working on a story and it will be made available to you late Friday or next week. Be watching for that with more complete detail. But for now, here are some of the highlights, written by David G:
We ended getting 44 responses to the survey. I’m still writing the story explaining the results but here are some highlights:
• 86 percent of the responding editors said they buy material from stringers, freelancers and/or correspondents. The 86 percent represent all size and publication frequency of papers in the state.
• 14 percent do not buy material from stringers and freelancers. Interestingly enough, all 14 percent are weeklies. Otherwise, weeklies indicated their use of stringers and freelancers is important to them.
• Paying a flat rate for a completed story or column is BY FAR the most popular way to pay stringers, freelancers and correspondents. That was the case across all size of papers.
• Most said they also buy photos from freelancers and pay by the photo. A weekly editor said he or she has some local photo stringers who take pictures for the fun of it and the paper pays them nothing.
• Only one editor of the 44 responding said he/she pay by the column inch and their rate was $1 per inch. A flat rate for a completed story or column seems to be most accepted way to pay freelancers. But several papers indicated they also pay a flat rate for a package of stories and/or photos. Such a package might include multiple stories and/or photos.
The story will go into more detail and include pay ranges used by papers for different types of freelance material.
NNA’s 2013 NEWSPAPERS IN EDUCATION CONTEST
The National Newspaper Association believes successful newspaper education partnerships should be celebrated, so it has created an enhanced Newspaper In Education contest to highlight newspaper/school partnerships (levels K through community college) that focus on developing fully informed citizens. Both traditional Newspaper In Education programs and non-traditional programs are eligible for entry.
The contest is open to NNA member and non-member newspapers. It will recognize newspapers that have established internships, supported school programs, assisted student journalists and helped local education through activities that reach beyond news coverage.
Entries must have been published or carried out between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. Entries must be submitted by July 1, 2013.
Kidsville News!, a literacy and educational initiative based in Fayetteville, NC, is sponsoring the contest.
For more information: http://nnaweb.org/newspaper-and-education-contest
Or contact Sara Walsh: 573-777-4980 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CALL FOR ENTRIES FOR E&P’s 2013 EPPY AWARDS
Editor & Publisher is now accepting entries for the 2013 EPPY Awards, honoring the best media-affiliated websites. Entries are being accepted across 31 diverse categories. The deadline to enter is August 30.
Submit your entry today.
SCHEDULE FOR NEXT WEEK
Can I really say nothing on the schedule? Pretty much. Teresa and I will be interviewing yet another candidate for the Statewide Classified/ARK Network coordinator on Monday. But there’s plenty of work to do so I’ll stay in the office and get it going.
As always, call if you have questions, comments, concerns, issues, clarifications, additions, deletions or corrections.
JUNE 2013 CALENDAR OF EVENTS