• KPNS hits 31,000 stories, editorials!
• To some, it’s the Bible; to others, well just a book
• Want better roads? Congress thinks USPS five-day idea might be the funding source
• UK Trustees admit to serial meetings but say they didn’t break the law; then pass record budget without discussion
• Big postal news: Form 3526/3526-X to be combined (finally)
• In with the old, in with the new for J-School students; they need a mix of both
• Dennis Brown helps Kevin Slimp celebrate (another) birthday
• PubAuxLive offers revenue idea involving local high schools
AP Style: To some Kentucky editors it’s the Bible, to others it’s just a book
By David Greer, KPA/Kentucky Press News Service
Seventy people participated in KPA’s recent survey on AP style use at publications in Kentucky. Sixteen of you shared additional comments on some style issues.
The first question was:
Will your publication adhere to the new AP guideline on
spelling out state names in stories instead of using abbreviations?
The question nearly resulted in a tie with 51.47 percent of participants saying yes and 48.53 percent said no. Two people skipped the question resulting in 68 responses. The total was 35 to 33.
The difference was bigger for the second question:
Will your publication use the new AP style guideline regarding the terms “over” and “more than”?
On this one, 57.14 percent of you said yes while 42.86 percent said no. The total responses were 40 to 30.
The third question addressed the overall use of AP style:
Which of these sentences best describes the use of AP style at your publication?
-We always use AP style – with few or no exceptions. Nearly 19 percent — 18.57 percent to be exact – checked this description. That was a total of 13 respondents.
-We generally go by AP style but sometimes deviate depending on the situation. This was the overwhelming response with 78.57 percent saying yes to this description. That’s a total of 55 people.
-We don’t use AP style. Just 2.86 percent chose this description. That was 2 participants.
Here are the additional comments made — in no particular order:
1. Submissions are the main areas of deviation because we don’t want to change it very much. And if I correct a story “over” will be changed to “more than.” It’s a pet peeve with me.
2. I used a 2005 AP Stylebook while in journalism school and currently use the 2011 edition. At this point, that is the edition we will go by (until I purchase a new one.)
3. Love AP style!
4. I’m so more than over the AP style changes. Seriously, though, I understand the state change came to align with international reporting. As a rural Kentucky paper, that’s not an issue for us.
5. My response contains conflicting answers. I try to defer to AP style when there is a question. My time to edit and make changes is limited. I am just happy to have live content with the names spelled correctly. Anything above that is a bonus.
6. AP style is our publishing Bible.
7. The state name abbreviation was supposed to be for international stories, but we never have international stories and will not use the new guideline. “Over” and “more than” are not interchangeable in my opinion, and we will not use AP’s guidelines for those words.
8. We opt for clarity and simplicity first, AP style second.
9. Recent changes (over/more than; underway) seem arbitrary and tied to shifts in society rather than what is correct. If usage dictates style, I can’t wait to see how they handle America’s inability to understand the difference between plural and possessive.
10. Don’t agree with the changes, but will follow to be consistent in local and wire.
11. It should actually state, we have always tried to use AP style, but will not immediately incorporate the new AP rules.
12. “Over” and “more than” are NOT THE SAME!! LOL!!!
13. AP isn’t in stone but is a good basis.
14. I hate AP style.
15. We have a local stylebook that overrides AP style. Also, we will generally abide by the “more than” instead of “over.”
16. AP dropped state abbreviations to be consistent with international copy; we have no such concerns. On the other, it’s trying to be not so picky on style, but “more than” has good reasons to be used. So does “fewer,” which we don’t see enough.
Now’s the time to add the disclaimer – this was not a scientific survey. But it was quite interesting.
Dennis Brown surprises Kevin Slimp with birthday cake
Perhaps it was just a coincidence that the day Kevin Slimp was the keynote speaker for the Tennessee Press Association’s convention (Friday, June 6) was also his birthday. But it made the “News Guru” the target of some Happy Birthday wishes, a group song and a birthday cake from Dennis Brown, publisher of the Lewis County Herald and one of a handful of Kentuckians attending the TPA Summer Convention in Gatlinburg.
Slimp saw the cake shortly before he took to the stage but commented he felt it was the work of Dennis Brown “because of the blue icing around the cake.” He said it also explained why Dennis requested a picture of him just days before the convention.
Funding picking up for Battle At Crooked Creek; Kentucky has 18 golfers already. R U next?
It’s just three months away now, the Second Annual Border War Golf Tournament/Battle At Crooked Creek and sponsorships are starting to come in. Athlon, Rowlett Advertising, Dinsmore & Shohl, Ale-8-
And Kentucky has 18 golfers committed to represent the Bluegrass. We need at least 22 more! You can be next. Just go to http://www.kypress.com, click on the banner near the top and get yourself or better yet, your foursome, registered. The tournament is Thursday, September 18 at Crooked Creek Golf Club in London, Kentucky. Let’s keep the Border War trophy at KPA!
Governor ceremonially signs Senate Bill 105
A little more than two months after he signed it into law, Gov.
written by KPA, was co-sponsored by Sens. Tom Buford and Morgan McGarvey. It passed the Senate 30-8 then went to the House where it was approved 95-1. Rep. Will Coursey, D-Symsonia, handled the legislation on the House floor but was unable to attend the ceremonial signing.Steve Beshear held a ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 105 in his office on June 10. SB105, legislation
There for the signing were chief sponsor Senator Buford, Senator McGarvey, Danny Slaton with Southern Strategy, the lobbying group for KPA, and yours truly,
SB105 corrected a 40-year-old law that made newspaper carriers employees. KPA sought to have carriers considered independent contractors by law. The legislation takes effect at 12:00:01 on July 15. That’s the same date almost all legislation passed by the General Assembly takes effect.
Did UK Trustees thumb their noses at Open Meetings Law?
It would seem that way considering their comments about meeting in small groups to discuss a proposed 2014-15 budget for the University of Kentucky. UK officials acknowledge the meetings took place but say giving the trustees an “education” about the budget and process is necessary and would be permitted under the law.
If that reasoning is accurate, then every public agency in Kentucky will hold a series of less than a quorum meetings and claim to just be “educating” agency members. Trustees must have received a tremendous education during the small group meetings. This sentence was published two days later in the Herald-Leader on the story of approving the budget:
“UK’s Board of Trustees approved the record-breaking budget Tuesday without discussion.”
The first few graphs in the Lexington Herald-Leader’s story is printed below and a link is given to the entire story.
By Linda B. Blackford, Lexington Herald-Leader
The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees will vote Tuesday on a proposed annual budget of more than $3 billion, but don’t expect many questions or much discussion of how the money gets spent. They already will have been briefed extensively on the budget in private meetings that administrators hold with small groups of trustees.
Those behind-the-scenes meetings, however, might violate the Kentucky Open Meetings Act because they appear to be held in an effort to avoid public discussions, according to multiple attorneys familiar with the law.
Kentucky’s open meetings law says that “the formation of public policy is public business and shall not be conducted in secret.” There are several exceptions to that rule that allow public bodies to discuss business in private, but the law specifically forbids the discussion of public business in a series of small private meetings that collectively involve a quorum of the body.
“What you cannot do is have a series of meetings involving a quorum, at which a discussion of the entire issue is closed to the public,” said Louisville attorney Jon Fleischaker, an open meetings expert who advises the Kentucky Press Association. “And while I do not want to comment on the particulars of the university’s situation, in general, where staff is meeting with a quorum of the board in a series of planned meetings to discuss an issue specific to its responsibilities and where there is an acknowledgement these meetings occurred, I think that raises serious questions about whether the law may well have been violated.”
The law banning a series of small-group meetings, which Fleischaker helped craft, was written to help ensure transparency of government, he said.
“When matters are discussed in a series of meetings in private, there is no transparency,” he said.
In less than five years, KPNS reaches 31,000 stories, editorials milestone
In October, the Kentucky Press News Service will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Yet four months shy of that mark, KPNS has reached another milestone — more than 31,000 stories and editorials have been shared with participating newspapers.
KPNS Director David Greer noted the number this week as part of his twice-a-day news budget and daily editorial budget. Only Saturdays are dark for KPNS and there’s only one budget on Sundays.
KPNS has grown to more than 80 Kentucky newspapers agreeing to share their stories and to use stories from the other KPNS papers.
If you aren’t a part of this program, contact David Greer at 800-264-KPA1 or email him at email@example.com and join up.
49 years later, Ruehling gets back to writing sports
Well kinda. Some of you know Mike Ruehling. He started at the Lexington Herald sports in 1965, worked in sports for the Courier-Journal, then joined Gov. Wendell Ford’s press staff and followed then-U.S. Senator Ford to D.C. Mike later became vice president of CSX Corporation and retired about a year ago.
Mike and I are closest of friends, have been for 49 years since we roamed
Mike and I have kidded each other all these years about our successes and I thought even with the “By Mike Ruehling” byline, something’s up. I figured there was another Mike Ruehling somewhere in this world and Mike was trying to convince me he wrote the story.the sports department of the Lexington Herald. Mike sent me a link this week to a story in the New York Times. And just a short note that “I am returning to my roots.”
He did write it. He took it upon himself to do some research prior to the Belmont on Triple Crown races and submitted it to The Times. Though time ran out and it didn’t get published before the Belmont, Mike says California Chrome’s owner, Steve Coburn, kept the argument alive about the fairness of the Triple Crown and that led The Times to having more time to publish his story.
Have a look for yourself:
State Journal editor takes the step to find out who was behind op-ed article
Some newspapers recently received an op-ed article about the cost of a private prison system and
Here’s the link to a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, discussing the research, the op-ed article and it notes that Dan Liebman, editor of the State Journal, took the time to ask who funded the research. When told of the financial backing, the State Journal included the disclaimer about the funding source for the research, something the Inquirer said few newspapers did. Temple University has received an ethics complaint against the two professors and is investigating.seemed to advocate that having that kind of system would be a savings to state government. What apparently wasn’t revealed by the two writers, professors at Temple University, was that their research was funded by a private prison company.
Op-ed titled: State would benefit from private prisons
By Simon Hakim and Erwin Blackstone
As Kentucky continues to grapple with serious budgetary pressures, state leaders would do well to revisit a proven solution: contractor-operated prisons.
We recently examined government data on corrections in Kentucky and nine other states with funding support from members of the private corrections industry. Although these public-private partnerships have been in existence for more than 30 years and currently make up only 7 percent of the corrections market, we found that they generate up to 58.37 percent in long-run savings and help relieve overcrowding without sacrificing the quality of the services delivered. In Kentucky, long-run savings for its private prisons ranged between 12.46 and 23.50 percent.
In addition to the savings generated by the private facilities themselves, we also found that competition yields better performance for both private and public facilities. What’s more, we believe the adoption of “managed competition” could foster even greater efficiency in managing existing state prisons. In this model, public workers and private contractors engage in a competitive process to provide public services. By doing so, both groups have an incentive to search for innovations and offer services at competitive pricing.
For the corrections sector, this practice could be particularly interesting because several of the states we researched have seemingly arbitrarily established savings requirements of 5 to 10 percent for contractor-operated prisons. Kentucky is one of those states with mandated savings of 10 percent. Bidding by contractors often just approaches the statutory requirement, where it could be more effective to let open competition determine the price and perhaps lead to greater savings.
Critics of contractor-operated prisons argue they generate savings at the expense of quality. Our research, however, found no evidence of this. In Kentucky, private facilities are required to receive accreditation from the independent American Correctional Association, which ensures industry standards are met. In several cases, we found that private facilities offered more rehabilitation programming than their public counterparts. For example, the Legislative Research Commission in Kentucky stated in a 2009 report that all three private company prisons offered more programming than the comparable state prisons.
There are many reasons for the savings generated by contractor-operated prisons. We found that the long-run savings are attributable to the state not having to pay for modernization and financing costs of building and maintaining facilities, which can be done more efficiently by private companies. Additionally, there are the unfunded pension and retiree health care costs. Private contractors typically offer workers matching contributions up to 5 percent of their salaries for their 401(k) accounts, which is in line with other corporate entities.
Another driver of savings is the leverage and flexibility in purchasing that private companies bring to their operations. We also found that contractors benefit from flexibility in their hiring and their ability to tailor compensation to local market conditions. For example, private correctional officers are often paid less in rural communities to reflect the lower cost of living. States typically cannot differentiate wages to the same extent, and therefore often overpay in rural areas or underpay in metropolitan areas.
Contractor-operated prisons also provide additional benefits to state governments beyond savings. Although not included in the study’s figures, private prisons contribute income and property taxes to states and local communities, while public facilities do not. These revenues can be used to reduce taxes or finance other public services. Overcrowding, a problem that has been an issue for Kentucky prisons, is significantly alleviated by private facilities, which promotes safer conditions and better inmate treatment.
With many difficult decisions still on the horizon for state leaders in Kentucky, it is important to consider all the opportunities for more efficient delivery of high-quality public services. Contractor-operated prisons — and the introduction of the managed competition model for corrections — are a proven solution that deserves a second look.
Dr. Simon Hakim and Dr. Erwin Blackstone are professors of economics and members of the Center for Competitive Government at the Fox School of Business at Temple University.
KPA’s Basic Ad Seminar June 19, take two set for July 18
The first one is this coming week — Thursday, June 19 at Western Kentucky University to be exact — but we’ve already gotten the second seminar scheduled. Today is the deadline to register for the Thursday, June 19, version, so if you haven’t signed up yet, go to www.kypress.com and click on the banner at the top.
The second will be for the eastern half of the state, though we won’t refuse admittance to anyone paying the $25 registration fee.
Friday, July 18, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., our traveling “Making the Sale” seminar for new, nearly new or long-timers needing a sales refresher, will be at the Lexington Herald-Leader, Main and Midland in downtown Lexington.
KPS Sales Director Teresa Revlett will be leading your staff through newspaper sales training and the Lexington version of “Just the Basics” will include a digital sales component session as well.
Here’s the pdf for the July 18 “Just the Basics: Making the Sale” seminar at the Herald-Leader.
Muck Rack’s social media tool lets journalists track content sharing
Muck Rack’s Who Shared My Link feature allows journalists to see how many times your articles are shared on social media. The tool also shows which journalists and bloggers shared it.
Now there’s a catch. I sent this information to Davids Greer and Spencer yesterday and wondered if it might be something that KPNS could use. David Greer gave it a shot. He plugged in KPNS and found two hits on social media. He plugged in a Kentucky newspaper and got 9,700 hits. But everything was just a number. So we investigated further, wanting to know what the hits were and where they came from. He found the next page to the link. The catch is it’s a really hefty monthly price if you want more than just the very basic (i.e., ‘free’) Muck Rack.
There’s also a button for your bookmarks bar so you can instantly see social shares for whatever page you’re on.
Persistence pays off! USPS 3526 and 3526-X to be combined into one form
The next three items are about news from the US Postal Service. Of particular interest to newspapers is the first item about the new 3526/3526-X being combined into one form. As Postal Guru Max Heath notes in an email, “Our persistence has finally paid off.”
The August 2014 Release 38.0.0 will introduce software upgrades to the PostalOne! system. New functionality for this release will be available August 24, 2014, the day of the software release. Key changes in this release are briefly described below.
• Periodicals Statement of Ownership: The Requester Publications Only (PS Form 3526) and Requester and GeneralCategory Periodicals Publications Only(PS Form 3526-X) will be combined into a single automated online form.
Click here for the PostalOne Release Notes, dated June 6, 2014, for August/September
Saturday Mail Delivery May Be Tapped for Roads and Bridges
You read that right! Congress is needing funds for the nation’s transportation system and just might be looking at implementing USPS’ five-day delivery mode to be able to provide better roads and bridges. Below is an email from Kentucky’s own postal guru, Max Heath. As Max points out in his email, your help is needed to convince Kentucky’s Congressional delegation where the industry stands on the subject.
But first, here’s a link to the story on what might be happening.
The National Newspaper Association (NNA) has been monitoring this screwball idea behind the scenes
House leadership is proposing an unusual financial tradeoff in its struggle to find a way to fund the Highway Transportation Fund before Members of Congress go home in Congress to campaign: they want the Postal Service to pay for it!screwball idea behinds the scenes, but since it went public this week, Tonda Rush, NNA CEO, has issued this statement. Your consideration is asked to help us fight this matter immediately.
The HTF is nearing depletion, largely because the fuel tax designated to pay for it is not keeping up with the requirements of the fund to finance roads, bridges and infrastructure. More fuel-efficient cars have meant fewer tax dollars.
Congress has been looking for a way to fund the HTF without raising a tax. Late last week, the notion of using postal dollar as a “pay-for” was struck. House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-CA, who has been unable to find support to end Saturday mail delivery, wants to hook his issue onto another bill that Congress is required to pass. Although 220 members of Congress have already signed a resolution by Reps Sam Graves, R-MO, and Gerald Connolly, D-VA, to preserve 6-day mail, Issa believes the urgency for highway funds will overcome this resistance. Today the Postmaster General said he also supports this approach.
There are many things wrong with using elimination of Saturday mail for the highway fund.
One is that there is no real money in this transfer. The USPS purported delivery savings are all paper savings that will not actually deliver cash to the Department of Transportation. The real money for HTF will come by widening the deficit.
Another is that using USPS money to pay for anything other than timely and affordable mail service opens up the Postal Service as a piggy bank for the next pet project of someone in Congress. For mailers who just had to swallow a 6.9% postage increase, the possibilities of endless siphoning of USPS money are daunting.
Yet another is that USPS has reported it will save $2 billion a year with 5 day mail. That number is much outdated and does not reflect the USPS intention to deliver packages 6 days a week even if it refuses to deliver newspapers. But even if $2 billion were accurate, that amount would fund the highways for only 8 months. Before the end of another year, Congress would be right back where it started (having just kicked the can far enough past election day.)
House Republicans will be asked this week whether they support using postal funds for roads and bridges. If you are concerned, please contact your member of Congress immediately. Let one of us know the results of any Congressional feedback.
— Max M. Heath
Athlon Media Group (American Profile, Relish, Spry and Athlon Sports magazines)
Landmark Community Newspapers, LLC (52 newspapers & 7 college sports publications)
National Newspaper Association, Postal Chair and MTAC rep
PO Box 549 Shelbyville KY 40066-0549
Carrier gets a DUI (four counts to be exact) but there’s no problem, USPS hires him a chauffeur
Some things you just can’t make up and deserve no further comment!
Hacking the future of journalismRJI Futures Lab update #63
In this week’s Futures Lab update, we bring you new concepts for tools, business models and information services aimed at improving real-time social journalism across digital platforms.
The ideas surfaced during a two-day hackathon organized and hosted in San Francisco by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, KQED and the Public Media Platform.
About 80 journalists, programmers and other innovative thinkers formed teams and developed prototypes over the course of 37 hours. Out of the 14 projects presented in the end, four received awards from the panel of judges.
In this update we hear from members of each of the winning teams about what they came up with and how their ideas could make a difference.
Watch the RJI Futures Lab video update here
Survey: J-students need a mix of old and new skills
LINCOLN, NE—Accuracy, ethical principles and good news judgment top the list of the most important skills this year’s college journalism graduates should possess, according to journalism educators and news professionals. Those were the preliminary findings in a survey conducted by a professor in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Digital, mobile and social media reporting skills were also mentioned in responses to the survey of 665 journalism educators and news professionals across the U.S.
Bernard “Barney” McCoy, UNL associate professor of broadcasting, studied the perceptions journalism professionals and educators have regarding skills college journalism graduates should possess when they enter the professional workplace.
“Most of the time, news professionals and journalism educators agree on what skills they think are important for journalism graduates to have for their first jobs in digital, print and broadcast news organizations,” McCoy said. “Sometimes though, educators and news professionals differ on which skills and experiences they think are most important for college journalism students to have in the journalism work world.”
Survey respondents were asked to rank the importance of various skills they believe college journalism graduates should possess for the professional workplace. Respondents from all three groups identified “accuracy” (97 percent), “ethical principles” (87 percent), and “good news judgment” (80 percent) as the top three “very important” skills for graduating journalists to possess.
McCoy said respondents also listed “digital reporting” (86 percent), “good mobile” skills (76 percent), and “social media reporting” (73 percent), as either “very important” or “important” skills for journalism graduates to have in the nationwide survey.
“News professionals and journalism educators agree that newer technology skills are increasingly important for graduating journalists. However,” McCoy said, “they run a distant second to accuracy, ethics and good news judgment as the most important skills journalists should possess.” Read more.
IF THIS COLUMN has been helpful, you may be interested in Ed’s books: Henninger on Design and 101 Henninger Helpful Hints. With the help of Ed’s books, you’ll immediately have a better idea how to design for your readers. Find out more about Henninger on Design and 101 Henninger Helpful Hints by visiting Ed’s web site: www.henningerconsulting.com
Sports Posters – Making Your High School Readers the Stars
In the fourth edition of PUB AUX LIVE, a service of the National Newspaper Association, learn how one community newspaper publisher generated extra advertising revenue while promoting and helping her local high schools. This webinar is open to all newspapers with a $30 cost for NNA members; $65 for non-members. Don’t know if your newspaper is a member of NNA or not? Contact Buffy Sams at KPA – 800-264-KPA1.