May 17, 2013

• 435 Interns in 21 years translates to $1.305 million invested in future journalists – KPA internship programs

• An archive for newspapers; an e-tearsheeting possibility for us

• From Bradford to Bloggers – May 22 Conference features John Carroll and a host of Kentucky newspaper folks

• Statewide Classified network grows to 84 participating newspapers

• Pressure Putt time! Sign up for Inaugural Border War golf tournament

• The Unmaking of a Daily Newspaper is being unmade


And passed it slightly, ending this week at $1.057 million. We do have an ad from Kentuckians for Strong Leadership that’s not affiliated with any candidate or candidate’s committee. While we always push for clients to run statewide, this one starts with three newspapers and hopefully more will be added in the future. The total for that placement in not included with the $1.057 million.


Getting ready for another committee meeting on the Inaugural Border War golf tournament, featuring members and friends of the Kentucky Press Association vs. the same from our neighbors with the Tennessee Press Association.

It’s Monday, September 9, 12 noon/Central, at the Fairvue Plantation Country Club in Gallatin, TN. Tennessee has 38 or so golfers signed up. I’ve not pressured you to get registered but it’s time.

Check out the attached pdf, recruit staff members, encourage other newspaper and Associates members to play and then get signed up.



Well, apparently, sometimes in cyberspace that happens. While the May 10 Friday Member Update got to everyone at the right time, seems some found the May 3rd Update spinning in cyberspace until this past Monday. Not a glitch as such, but apparently putting the notice out in just two emails — one to publishers, editors and ad managers because those list serves are password protected; the other to everyone else — overloaded the system.

As they say, ain’t technology great?


The Interior Journal and Advocate Communications Inc. are pleased to announce the formation of the On Guard Text Alert System.

The system is designed to send out emergency messages to cell phones and mobile devices.

“We are very proud of our new system”, ACI Audience Manager John Preston said. “On Guard is going to keep the people in Lincoln and other Central Kentucky counties safer and better informed.”

The system currently offers breaking news alerts from the IJ and other area newspapers, plus severe weather warnings for the area.

“The weather warnings are a big thing for us,” Preston said. “We wanted to make sure our readers had that one more layer of protection when conditions turn dangerous.”

On Guard allows a person to select what type of information they wish to receive.

“We know too many text messages gets annoying. That’s why the user controls what they get based on what’s important to them,” Preston said.

Readers can either go to or to sign up.

“We encourage users to go back regularly to see what new selections are available,” Preston added. “We already know we’re adding school closings for next year and we’re in talks with emergency personnel all over the area, inviting them to use our system for free to get out additional emergency information.”

Preston says the system can also be used for lesser “emergencies.”

“We are going to be making this service available to businesses churches, and other organizations all over the Bluegrass as an affordable way to keep in touch with their employees, parishioners, and members. Imagine if you run a church softball league, how nice it would be to be able to notify all the players immediately if the games were rained out.”

To find out more about using the system in this way, notify John Preston at


We’re getting close to an announcement about an archive system for publishers that will also result in KPS having the ability to get e-tearsheets.

We’ll make the announcement once GeoTel finishes its beta testing.

First, understand this. It is ONLY for those newspapers that are uploading their complete issues to the FTP site GeoTel uses to post public notices published in your newspaper. If you are one of the single-digit numbers of newspapers that has not done that, or if you’re one of the more who have not been sending your issues recently, you’ll be out of luck.

This only works with and for those who are uploading their issues. AND IT COSTS YOU NOTHING!! Better get that part of this in quickly so I don’t lose you.

With this system fully operational, you’ll have a repository of all your pages from the time you start uploading them. If your staff needs a back copy for research, if you need a copy of a story or photo or ad for one of the KPA contests, no problem. Those will all be there.

And from this side of the equation, we’ll be working toward e-tearsheets for the ads KPS places and for the clients who request e-tearsheets from us. We won’t have to hound you, we hope, to mail us another copy of that issue because we’ll be able to go to this site, find that correct publication date, then scroll through the pages quickly to find the ad in question.

So be watching for more on this. And for those of you who have refused to upload your pages, or don’t upload all your pages, now there’s another reason for you to do this.


The staff was out of the office Thursday afternoon for the first “retreat” with Darryl Armstrong. I appreciate Willie, John Mura and Scott coming as well. Loyd and Rick were out of state and unable to attend. (By the way, Wednesday was Rick Welch’s birthday.)

We spent about four hours going over a self-assessment evaluation that each of the attendees completed prior to the session. There were no real overall surprises but perhaps one or two individual aspects that some noted.

Darryl is going to come up with a couple of assignments/tasks for the staff to do in two separate committees. We haven’t identified those yet but will and then we’ll implement the committees. He plans on having one or two more sessions, about an hour long, and perhaps a webinar or two. The schedule calls for him to complete his work in late September and then have a report for the Fall Board Retreat.

Some things we discovered about the “type” we are, how we can utilize in our work, and using all 12 (9 staff, 3 executive committee members) it shows:

66 percent Introversion vs. Extroversion

66 percent Sensing vs. Intuitive

59 percent Thinking vs. Feeling

83 percent Judging vs. Perceiving

More on that later so you can understand what each type means. About 10 days ago, Darryl had us go online to complete the Myers Briggs Type assessment. He then prepared individual assessment products for each of us and we reviewed those yesterday.


This one is for publishers and ad managers and the answer might surprise you.

The question concerned an ad for a local option election (alcohol sales) and if a disclaimer is required. Is it a political ad?

Now you might think an ad asking the public to vote in favor of (or against) any kind of issue advertising would be political in nature. And therefore, the disclaimer as to who or what organization paid for the ad, would be required under the “Paid For By.”

However, under Kentucky law, ONLY ads for the support or defeat of a candidate are considered political ads and therefore require the disclaimer. While people would want to know, perhaps, who’s behind getting registered voters to vote for (or against) alcohol sales (or tax rate increase or what have you), the ad can be published without any disclaimer.

Feel free to contact Greg Cordier at the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance if you wish to clarify/verify that information. Greg and I have had numerous conversations about it because I want to make sure newspapers are getting the correct answer. And I was surprised “issue advertising” does not require Paid For By.


The KPA Legal Defense Fund Committee will be meeting at 10 a.m. today at the KPA Central Office to consider seven requests, from six newspapers, for legal funding assistance. The LDF was formed in August, 1996, to help newspapers that find themselves in legal battles where the outcome could affect the industry as a whole.

The committee — chair Tom Caudill, members John Nelson, David Hawpe, Taylor Hayes, Dave Eldridge and KPA general counsel Jon Fleischaker — will act on the seven requests for an assistance amount of about $54,000. Since it began assisting newspapers in 1996, KPA has reimbursed newspapers more than $500,000. The LDF can award participating newspapers up to 50 percent of their legal costs.

To be eligible, newspapers must commit a minimum of the value of one-quarter page of advertising a year. Currently, 97 newspapers are participating.


For the first time in perhaps the 21 years we’ve been offering internships with newspapers and since 1996 with three or four from the KPA Associates Division, every single internship has been filled.

The final two were Bria Granvillle (Western) with the Anderson News and Chris McGee (Eastern) with the Crittenden Press. And Chris’ position means nine of the 23 are students from Eastern — six with newspapers and all three public relations internships for KPA Associate members.


In the 21 years KPA has been offering internships with newspapers, we’ve given 381 students the opportunity to work 10 weeks with a newspaper so they can experience “the real world of journalism.” And that translates into $1.143 million invested in future journalists.

And that doesn’t include the $3,000 the Associates invest in each intern, meaning another $162,000 for students to experience what the real public relations world is like.

Some 435 students have benefitted from the internship program. And the total investment has been $1.305 million!!

Again, a program unmatched by any state press association anywhere!!


The Lexington Herald-Leader took first place in the deadline-reporting category for large newspapers in the annual Green Eyeshade Awards, a contest through the Society of Professional Journalists that recognizes the best journalism in the southeastern United States.

The newspaper’s staff was recognized for its coverage of a powerful weather front in March 2012 that unleashed the state’s deadliest wave of tornadoes in 38 years, devastating areas of Eastern Kentucky, including the town of West Liberty.

Editorial writer Jaci Carfagno came in third for editorials about fighting drug abuse in Eastern Kentucky.


Remember, we have available on our website some state park stories. And while you’re welcome to use those, we’d also like you to send us stories about your area of the state. Promote your city, your county or a group of counties. We’ll share those with other newspapers doing special sections.

Here’s the website: you’re planning on publishing special Travel Section for your newspaper, or just want some stories about state parks to use periodically, KPA has teamed with the Tourism Cabinet and Kentucky Department of Parks to provide stories and photographs about state parks. Use these in a travel section or as individual stories and feel free to contact sporting good stores, boat dealers, even RV dealers, or others involved in traveling to advertise as you promote vacationing in the Bluegrass.

In addition, if you do stories about your community, things to see and do, and have photographs we want you to share those stories and pictures with other newspapers. Send those to and we’ll make them available for other newspapers to use, with proper credit given to your newspaper and your staff.

Check it out!!


A special one-day conference on the future of the written word

Do we need newspapers? How has the written word shaped our world? What can we learn from the past?

Join in a spirited discussion of these questions and more at a unique one-day conference, “Words in a Changing World: From Bradford to Bloggers,” on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at The Center for the Written Word at Cardome, 800 Cincinnati Road, Georgetown.

As I mentioned in the May 3 Friday Update, it’s an appropriate setting for the conference since Cardome was built by the Bradford family in 1821. And after the panel discussions are complete, they will unveil an exhibit on Bradford, the inaugural exhibit of the Museum of the Written Word.

Keynote speaker John Carroll — who led the Los Angeles Times to 13 Pulitzer Prizes and the Lexington Herald-Leader to one when he was editor of those publications — will discuss why newspapers matter.

The conference kicks off with registration at 1 p.m., followed at 2 p.m. by a talk on pioneer printer John Bradford, publisher of the state’s first newspaper, the Kentucky Gazette. Panelists will discuss Bradford’s role in bringing civic literacy to Kentucky and how newspapers continue this today. Tom Eblen, columnist and former

managing editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader, will discuss Bradford and moderate the panel, which also includes Al Cross, Director, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and associate extension professor, School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky; Mike Farrell, professor of journalism at the University of Kentucky and director of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center; Liz Hansen, professor and chair of Eastern Kentucky University’s Department of Communications; Al Smith, veteran journalist, author and former host of the public affairs television program “Comment on Kentucky,” and Steve Vest, founder and editor-in-chief of Kentucky Monthly.

The second panel, “Print Journalism at the Crossroads,” begins at 4 p.m. Informed by Bradford and the history of newspapers in Kentucky, panelists will discuss the future of journalism. Where will we go next? To blogs and cyberspace? To a less-informed landscape than the one we inhabit now? Panelists include Peter Baniak, editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader; Laura Cullen Glasscock, publisher and editor of the Kentucky Gazette; John Nelson, editor of the Danville Advocate-Messenger; David Thompson, executive director of the Kentucky Press Association; and Richard Wilson, a retired news bureau chief and columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Following the panel discussions, the Center will unveil an exhibit on Bradford. It is the inaugural exhibit of the Museum of the Written Word, which is located on property once owned by the Bradford family.

The day concludes with cocktails, dinner and an address by keynote speaker John Carroll, former editor of the Los Angeles Times, Lexington Herald-Leader and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Afternoon panels are free of charge; there is a $50 fee for the reception and dinner. To register contact Debbie Hoskins, conference facilitator, 859.583.1716 or or Center for the Written Word at Cardome, 502.863.1575, ext. 10 or


Without mentioning the specifics of what award but the information is there. Notified all newspapers with an email on Wednesday:

Okay, you’ve waited long enough. We’ve been trying to see about a Spring Ad Seminar combined with a KPA Ad Contest “meal” (lunch or dinner) to show the video of the Advertising Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers – 2013, but it looks like the seminar won’t be until later this summer.

So to cut down on the emails asking us about the results, here’s what we will tell you. Go to and scroll until you find your newspaper. That’ll show you, if you entered, the staff members who won a first, second or third place. Could have won more than one, but it indicates at least one of those awards for each staff member listed.

Now the question for those newspapers that did enter and won, the future is in your response:

If KPA schedules a couple of contest lunches in the very near future to present the video and announce all the places, would you send a staff member(s)?

If most would not, then we’ll just deliver the awards to your office. That’s what we did last year because very few indicated they’d send a staff member or two or more to a contest awards lunch.

So your response determines the approach we’ll make.

The photo deadline of May 1 for contest winners is not enforced. We will ONLY request/need photos if we do the video presentation at a lunch. So please disregard. Forgot to mention that in the original email. If we need the photos, we will let you know, with a new deadline and instructions on uploading them.

While there’s not a packed room saying they’d attend a luncheon, there’s a decent number who would “depending on the location,” of course. And that we understand. You wouldn’t drive from Pikeville or Paducah to Bardstown for an awards lunch but splitting it between two locations would work. We haven’t given up on the idea of awards luncheons yet. In fact, we like to get out of the office and visit with “our people.”


First it was ARK with growing pleasantries (not pains) and now it’s the Statewide Classified program. Not long ago we seemed stuck on 69-70 newspapers. With Jobe Publishing signing on five newspapers a few days ago, we’ve grown to 84 newspapers.


We offered the Statewide Classified position last Friday to a person currently in TV sales. And at Monday’s staff meeting, Teresa announced the applicant had accepted and we decided to have her begin June 3. Not long after that meeting, the applicant said she had been considering an offer from another company and when she told them she was taking the job with KPA/KPS, the company upped the ante. And she accepted that.

We continue looking for a sales person for classifieds, ARK, BANK and DigiDeals.


Tony Lee Cotten, 47, passed away Thursday, May 9, 2013, in La Grange, Ky. Born Sept. 12, 1965, in Crawfordsville, Ind., he was the son of James and Loretta (Montgomery) Cotten, who proceeded him in death. He graduated Crawfordsville High School and Purdue University, with a bachelor’s degree in English Education. Tony married Tina Wilhite on June 15, 1991 at their home in Crawfordsville. A devoted husband and proud father, his greatest joy was encouraging his children in their academic, athletic, extracurricular and professional lives; and watching his grandchildren grow in his loving family. In his career, Tony thrived in any environment and made a positive impression on many as a teacher, coach and manager in various roles. He became a talented journalist and author, and a passionate and innovative entrepreneur.

Tony was the CEO and owner of Tenacity, Inc., and founded the Sun Times and The Daily Sun in Boone County, Ind. In 2010, he became publisher of The Oldham Era, serving Oldham County and LaGrange, Ky. He is the author of “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: An numerous Hoosier State Press Association and Kentucky Press Association awards. He was equal parts commander, mentor and friend to his staffs, and a tireless volunteer, promoter, sponsor and donor to causes in the communities where his newspapers circulated. Tony was also an ordained minister with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and preached regularly at Bethel AME Church in Crawfordsville.


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.

Kidsville News!, a literacy and educational initiative based in Fayetteville, NC, has stepped up to sponsor this new Newspaper And Education contest. Read more about it, here. We thank Kidsville News! for its generous support in helping us recognize the significant role newspapers play in supporting community educational program.

Each of the contest’s 10 first place winners will receive a check for $100 and an award certificate.

Entries must be submitted by July 1, 2013. Contest winners will be notified in July if they have won, and will also be invited to accept their awards in person during the NNA’s 127th Annual Convention & Trade Show, Sept. 12-15, 2013, in Phoenix, AZ. 

From your NNA Contests and Awards department, we wish you the best of luck in this year’s contests! 

Questions? Contact Sara Walsh at: 573-777-4980, Facebook: @nnasarawalsh, Twitter: @sarawalsh_nna or Email:


A conversation with:

My mailbox has never been as full as it’s ever been lately. Publishers and editors from all over the place have been writing concerning two topics:

1: What do I think about Adobe’s move to Cloud versions of their software and its effect on newspapers?

2: Congratulating me on correctly predicting the fate of The Times-Picayune last year and my reaction to the events of mid May 2013.

I’ll tackle the Adobe questions here and offer my thoughts on the May events in a separate column.

Does Adobe have its head too far up in the Cloud?

Unless you’ve been asleep since early May, you’ve heard about the changes at Adobe. Soon, users won’t be able to buy boxed versions of Creative Suite products like Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Beginning in the very near future, there will be only one way to purchase Adobe products. OK, you won’t actually be purchasing the software. You will be leasing it.

It works like this: For previous owners of Adobe CS3 – CS6 products, the Creative Cloud can be leased for $30 per month. This requires an annual commitment and the price will likely go up after the year. Others will pay $50 per month, with a one-year commitment.

For this $30-$50, users receive access to the entire suite of Creative Cloud apps, including those used most in print and digital publishing:

– Photoshop

– InDesign

– Illustrator

– Flash Professional

– Dreamweaver

– InCopy

– Premier

– Lightroom

– Acrobat

In all, there are more than 20 apps available and subscribers have access to all of these applications as long as their accounts are active.

How much does Creative Cloud cost?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the cost of moving to Creative Cloud (CC). Here’s the lowdown:

– Current CS3 (or later) owners can upgrade to CC for $30 per month for the first year. CS6 users can upgrade to CC for $20 per month. After that, my guess is the introductory price will move over to the standard rate, which is currently $50 per month.

– New CC members not currently using Creative Suite can pay $50 per month for access to these same applications. This requires an annual commitment.

– A subscription to a single app is available for $20 per month. Although not many newspapers would have staff using just one of the apps, it’s possible to subscribe to Adobe InDesign (or another of the CC apps) for $20 per month. This requires an annual commitment. Adobe is offering a 50 percent discount through July 31, to current CS3 or later users, making the single app license $10 monthly for the first year.

There are discounted rates for students and teachers. For $75 per month, users can subscribe monthly, without an annual commitment.

In addition to the software, subscribers have access to 20 Gb of storage space. This can be useful, especially to keep backup versions of files offsite, but shouldn’t be used to store current files in the editorial workflow.

Do I need to make a move right now?

That’s a tough one. While there has been a lot of grumbling about the Creative Cloud, especially in the print publishing world, Adobe has us in a corner.

The listed prices are referred to as 40 to 50 percent off. When the announcement was made about the new Creative Cloud options, I told callers to hold off a few days and see if Adobe made adjustments. Hearing the cries from users, Adobe announced the discounted rates (through July 31, 2013) for individual and suite licenses.

There are a number of factors to consider. If you’re currently using one of the latest versions of Creative Suite and feel like you don’t need to upgrade within the next year, then you’re probably fine as you are.

If you’re using an earlier version of Creative Suite products, the offer to upgrade at a discounted rate is available only through July 31. Adobe could extend this discount, but there is no guarantee that they will. Waiting could end up costing a lot more than going ahead and subscribing with the discounted rates.

What am I going to do?

I’ve decided to go ahead and subscribe to Creative Cloud. Let’s face it: In my line of work, I have to be up to date on all the latest software, so it’s a no-brainer for me.

So what’s the catch?

The catch is that none of us know what will happen after one year. If you move all of your workstations to Creative Cloud – and it doesn’t make sense to mix and match design software – then you will be forced to pay whatever price is available after 12 months. If that is $50, then publishers will be forking out $600 per station each year. Yes, that’s a lot, especially when you probably upgraded to Creative Suite for $500 to $800 and used it for two to three years.

Did Adobe make a huge blunder?

Probably not, but it’s too early to tell. My background as a communications and customer service expert makes me wonder why Adobe didn’t do a much better job of introducing CC to the masses. At the same time, I’m fairly certain the number crunchers at Adobe have crunched numbers till their fingers hurt and determined that the payout from this move will far surpass the losses of customers who refuse to upgrade or move to other options.

If I were at Quark, I would be working like crazy to introduce viable non-cloud options for the design world. Package QuarkXPress with a solid photo editing app and sell it at a reasonable price, without connecting it to cloud technology, and a lot of folks will consider moving back from Adobe to Quark.

Only time will tell.

What else should I know?

Your current computer operating system might not be compatible with CC products. Check closely before making the move, to be sure the software is compatible with your machines. If it’s not, make the necessary upgrades to your operating system. Some users, though not most, will be required to purchase new computers to run CC.

Again, check out all the angles before making a move.


From the New York Times

A year after announcing a plan to reorganize The Times-Picayune of New Orleans into a more digitally focused enterprise that produced a newspaper just three days a week — enraging local residents — its owners have added a new innovation: they will go back to producing a printed product every day.

“We are excited about this opportunity to extend our daily reach in print,” an advertising executive at the newspaper said in the announcement.

You don’t say.

This daily newspaper thing may be catching on. Last week, the Philadelphia Inquirer announced that it would begin selling a Saturday edition on newsstands after a nearly two-year hiatus.

The much ballyhooed unmaking of daily newspapering seems to be unmaking itself, and there’s a reason for that. Most newspapers have hung onto the ancient practice of embedding prose on a page and throwing it in people’s yards because that’s where the money and the customers are for the time being.



Numerous media groups are calling on the administration to mitigate the damages following seizure of phone records of the Associated Press.

The Newspaper Association of America and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are two of the more vocal media groups wanting Washington to right this wrong.

RCFP — The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and major news organizations are calling on the U.S. Justice Department to return secretly subpoenaed phone records of more than 100 Associated Press journalists, to explain how such an egregious overreach could happen and outline what will be done to mitigate the damage.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, the Reporters Committee and 50 news organizations stated, “In the 30 years since the Department issued guidelines governing its subpoena practice as it relates to phone records from journalists, none of us can remember an instance where such an overreaching dragnet for newsgathering materials was deployed by the Department, particularly without notice to the affected reporters or an opportunity to seek judicial review.”

The Reporters Committee letter explained that the Attorney General’s guidelines for subpoenas to the news media are very specific in requiring the approval of the attorney general; a narrow scope of inquiry; the need to exhaust all alternative means to obtaining the information; and the balancing of law enforcement needs against the public’s right to know.

The guidelines also require the Justice Department to inform news media about the intent to subpoena phone records and negotiate for release, unless such discussions would threaten the integrity of the investigation. “By deciding that in this case involving one of the nation’s oldest and most respected news organizations that a subpoena would pose such a threat, the Department has severely harmed its working relationship with the nation’s news media, which time and time again have undertaken good-faith efforts to cooperate with government lawyers in a way that protects the public’s interest both in law enforcement and in independent and autonomous newsgathering,” the letter added.

“This inexcusable breach of respect for the independence of the news media and for the importance of confidential sources underscores the need for a federal shield law,” said Reporters Committee Chairman Tony Mauro, U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for The National Law Journal. “The fact that the Justice Department feels entitled to secretly seize the telephone records of scores of journalists runs counter to the free press guarantee of the First Amendment.

“This subpoena puts an arctic chill on the invaluable information reporters glean from confidential sources every day, thwarting the public’s right to know what its government is doing. We once thought the Attorney General’s guidelines would prevent this kind of overly broad fishing expedition, but this case makes it apparent that the guidelines are inadequate,” Mauro said.

NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA — In the wake of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “unprecedented wholesale seizure of confidential telephone records from The Associated Press,” NAA President and CEO Caroline H. Little said, “these actions shock the American conscience and violate the critical freedom of the press protected by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Americans demand a full accounting. We are reaching out to both the executive and congressional branches and will not rest until we have the answers, and that those who made this horrendous decision are known, and corrective actions are taken.” NAA has joined Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and other major news organizations in signing a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole. The letter urges the Department of Justice “to return secretly subpoenaed phone records of more than 100 Associated Press journalists, to explain how such an egregious overreach could happen and outline what will be done to mitigate the damage.”


In an interesting development this week on Capitol Hill, there may be a renewed interest in considering a Federal Shield Law. The idea was pushed a few years ago by then Rep., now Indiana Governor, Mike Pence. But during a hearing on Wednesday, some Congressman mentioned the idea might have more support in light of the administration’s seizure of AP phone records. Here’s a brief report on that development from NAA:

Congressional Response to Phone Records Seizure

The House Judiciary Committee held a DOJ oversight hearing on May 15 with Holder as the sole witness. During the hearing, several members of Congress from both sides of the aisle expressed outrage over the Justice Department’s actions in the AP case, and expressed renewed support for a federal shield bill to protect journalists’ confidential sources. Holder responded that the DOJ and the Obama Administration continue to support a federal shield bill.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced on May 15 that he would reintroduce his shield bill, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support in the 111th Congress. In the House, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, a member of the House Judiciary Committee and a former judge, introduced the Free Flow of Information Act of 2013 (H.R. 1962). This is similar to legislation that passed the House of Representatives in the 110th and 111th Congresses by an overwhelming margin and by unanimous consent, respectively. NAA appreciates the leadership of Schumer and Poe on this issue.

As you may remember from our collective effort on a shield bill, after extended negotiations in 2009 to craft a national security exception, the Obama Administration endorsed a Senate Judiciary Committee bill that was approved by the committee that December. While the full House had passed a bill in March 2009, the Senate bill stalled on the Senate floor following the string of WikiLeaks disclosures in 2010. Several members of Congress were concerned that “document dump” sites such as WikiLeaks could invoke a shield law if subpoenaed for the names of their anonymous leakers.

NAA is currently working with our coalition of more than 70 media groups, as well as with interested members of Congress and the executive branch, to see if a federal shield bill can finally be passed in the wake of the AP records scandal. The events that have come to light this week demonstrate that clear, uniform standards – administered by an impartial judge – are needed for the compelled disclosure of confidential source information so that overly broad requests do not chill the flow of information to the public on important government issues.


By Bob Plain on May 8, 2013

There have been a lot of changes at Patch, the network of local news websites, since I left the company two years ago.

Back then, the AOL-owned company was launching new sites nationwide with reckless abandon. It preached the gospel of community journalism and prided itself on outfitting its editors with tools and resources to cover their towns. It was a fun place to work and morale among my co-workers was very high.

Now all that has changed. For the worse.

When I worked there, Patch employed 19 full-time journalists to staff 15 sites in Rhode Island. Each site had a healthy freelance budget and a part-time community editor. Now, there are only 10 full-time journalists working for the 15 local sites; freelance budgets and community editors have been eliminated altogether.

And as of today, Patch’s initial business model of having one editor dedicated to a community is gone too.

Every local editor in Rhode Island is now responsible for multiple sites. This has been happening through attrition for about a year, but Patch in RI is undergoing a big reshuffle this week.

Many local employees have been discussing the changes on social networks, but to my knowledge there has been no formal announcement from the company. Suffice to say, the folksy pictures of local editors at the top of each site now have little to no relationship to the reality of the staffing situation anymore.

Patch invested heavily in Rhode Island when it needed to develop an audience. Now that it is a known commodity, the company is dramatically scaling back. Employees are being given fewer resources and are expected to produce more results. Many openly complain about their jobs and their community on Facebook. Sales staff is gaining influence over editorial decisions.

This isn’t the model for community journalism; this is the model for corporate journalism.


New site will let journalists monetize their work as well as offering a platform for mentorship

Jurnid, a publishing platform inspired by a Knight Foundation challenge, offers journalists the chance to set a paywall on their work while also providing a mentoring community between journalists and professionals.

Created by website designer Andrew Quarrie, who has strong ties to the Miami journalistic community, Jurnid is intended as a platform for students and professionals to showcase their talents and build an audience.

Copyright: Image by Images_of_money on Flickr. Some rights reserved

“My goal was to create something that would allow journalists to create their own paywalls,” Quarrie told, “and to have a social content network where students can come in and build their own career path.”

“I had a client that tuned me into one of the Knight Foundation challenges,” he said, “about building something that will involve community and push journalism forward while also being mobile ready.”

Once signed up, writers or photojournalists can publish their articles on Jurnid for free, or pay for a pro account and create individual paywalls for their articles or monthly subscriptions for all their paid content, priced at their own discretion.


It’s one of those weeks — full!!

Monday, 10 a.m., I have a meeting with Jill Seyfred, Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky in Lexington.

Tuesday, 1 p.m. to about 4 p.m. — Gary White with the Kentucky Broadcasters Association and I will be doing a “Working with the Media” seminar for some 68 members of the Kentucky Library Association. That’s a two-part seminar and will be at the Capitol Annex. When we get finished, Tommy Preston, former newspaper publisher turned Press Secretary to Governor Ford then PR guru, will be doing a “Crisis Communications” session for the KLA members.

Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. — will be participating, along with several other Kentucky newspaper folks, past and present, in a From John Bradford to Bloggers conference on the future of the written word at Cardome Center in Georgetown. More information on that afternoon is above. You’re invited, encouraged and welcomed to come attend the conference. No cost unless you want to stay for the reception and dinner. That’s $50 per person. Cardome is located on U.S. 25 about 1.5 miles north of the Scott County Courthouse.

Thursday, 2:30 p.m. – Conference Call with chairs/co-chairs of the KPA Digital Committee

Friday, Vacation Day!!

Monday, May 27 – KPA Central Office Closed for Memorial Day

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