Several years ago, in 2009 t0 be exact, the Kentucky Press Association Board of Directors was asked to consider Online Publications as members of KPA. The Board considered membership requirements in other states and developed a plan that would allow Online Publications to be considered Associate Member Newspapers within the organization.
The Board established minimum requirements to qualify as Online Publications including: published for the previous 12-month period; updated no less than once a week; devoted to dissemination of original local or general news; available to the public on the World Wide Web; cannot be jut a platform for a special interest group or cause; have a known office of publication in Kentucky with a local telephone number and contact information published in each updated publications; and abide by all copyright laws.
At the Thursday, January 23 Board meeting, the Board approved a recommendation to allow Online Publications full-member status within KPA. The means Online Publications would be given a right to vote on KPA business matters (one vote per publication), participate in all member services and have access to all member benefits; and, establish a contest division for Online Publications. The motion was approved with 13 voting “Yea,” and three voting “No.”
The proposal from the committee as it was approved also sets out minimal requirements each must meet to be eligible for consideration. Since these requirements differ from the ones in place prior to 2020, the requirements stated here will be what each Online Publication must meet or the application will be turned down: Bona Fide Online News Publication, an online publication: a) must have been published for the previous 12-month period; b) must be updated no less than one time each week; c) must be principally devoted to the dissemination of original local or general news and other news content, with a minimum of 25 percent of overall content; of news-editorial content, at least 50% shall be produced by the local staff of the news site or purchased from recognized news sources such as Associated Press, Scripps Howard or similar news service, or agreements with other journalism-based organizations; d) must be available to the general public in a digital format; e) must follow accepted journalistic practices such as correcting errors of fact; f) must not serve primarily as a platform to promote the interest and/or opinions of a special interest group, individual or cause; g) must have a known Kentucky-based office of publication, open to the public, where business or publication is transacted, have a local telephone number and must include contact information in each updated publication; h)must abide by copyright laws.”
Eventually, Online Publications will have a division within KPA, similar to the News Editorial, Advertising, Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association, Digital Media and Audience Development. A chairman will be elected once the Online Publications division is established and that person would serve a two-year term on the board. That is standard for each division with a new chairman in place every two or more years and serving as a voting member of the KPA Board.
A letter and ballot is being prepared for each current full member to cast a vote in favor or against the recommendation since the Board’s action requires a Bylaws change. The letter and ballot will be sent to the publisher/general manager of each KPA member newspaper with a deadline of two weeks to cast the ballot.
In a related action, the Board voted to accept an application as an Online Publication to Kentucky Today — www.kentuckytoday.com. The motion to do so was unanimously approved.