November 2, 2012

REMEMBER — Set your clocks back an hour before going to bed Saturday night. Otherwise, you’ll be an hour early for church.

And on Tuesday, November 6, exercise your privilege to vote so we can get this election over with!

In other news:

• Open Records: First you say you will and then you won’t; and vice versa

• Two accept invitation to be pilot project newspapers

• KPA to be recognized by Better Business Bureau

• Online payments in your future to KPA?

• Contest ends with 3732 entries from 82 newspapers!

• Video of the week — Check out how the Aboriginals are “Keeping Rural Journalism Alive” (link below)

 

KPA TO BE RECOGNIZED AT BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU LUNCHEON

This year is the Better Business Bureau’s 100th anniversary and to celebrate the Louisville chapter is having its annual Torch Awards Luncheon on November 7. As a company that’s also been in business for at least 100 years (143 to be exact), and 10 years as an Accredited BBB business, KPA will be recognized at the luncheon. I’ll be attending on behalf of KPA. Probably will be out of the office from 11 a.m. until about 3 p.m. on the 7th.

RIGHT TO REFUSE AN AD

The question came up this week about whether a newspaper could refuse an ad, even a political ad. Apparently one bordered on acceptable and the publisher emailed me to ask if there was anything he could do.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled many years ago that a publisher reserves the right to refuse an ad for any reason, whatsoever. Maybe he or she just doesn’t like the person, or the company, or the organization. Technically, no problem, the court says the publisher has the right to refuse it.

There is a disclaimer though. You don’t have to tell them what’s wrong with the ad, what your objection is if you don’t want. And another is that once a staff member appears to accept an ad, that could negate the publisher refusing to publish it. That could be a fine line in the court’s ruling so it might be worth it to tell staff members if there’s any question at all about an ad, have them tell the person they’ll have the publisher look at it.

TWO HAVE ACCEPTED PILOT PROJECT INVITATION

Letters went out last week to seven newspapers, inviting them to apply to be a pilot project newspaper for the KPA Digital Plan. Loyd Ford, at The Lake News in Calvert City, said he is accepting the invitation to apply and will be sending his letter to KPA doing that.

Last night, we received an emailed letter from the Mountain Advocate in Barbourville. I won’t be reprinting each letter in the Friday Email but John Mura and I thought we’d share some of the letter from Eddie Arnold, editor, and Casey Tolliver, sports editor/photographer:

“We’re excited about our invitation to apply for the Kentucky Press Association 2012-2013 digital plan for Kentucky newspapers’ pilot program.

“The timing couldn’t be more appropriate.

“We’re struggling to integrate our web site with our print product.

“With your help, we think we can crack the industry-wide quandary of finding the best way for weeklies to work harmoniously with the web.

“We feel that with proper training and tools, we can push through the barrier and help reconstruct the industry’s business model.

“And when we do find the right formula, we would want to share our success and spread the structure to other community papers, not only in Eastern Kentucky, but across the state.

“Management and staff at the Mountain Advocate immediately see multiple benefits for ourselves, as well as the KPA and its member papers, that could come from selecting us to be part of the 2012-2013 digital plan for Kentucky newspapers pilot program…Together, it’s very feasible for this plan to become a reality and give Kentucky newspapers a chance to be on the forefront of journalism trends nationally, and perhaps, worldwide.

“That’s one of several reasons we’d like for you to consider us as a pilot newspaper for the plan.”

OPEN RECORDS: We won’t, we will; We will, we won’t

Opposite decisions apparently this week on whether public agencies will or won’t release public records.

In Georgetown, the News Graphic had appealed to the Attorney General a decision by the city and the city police to redact a lot of information in a complaint concerning a Georgetown city councilman and his former employer. The city and city police gave the News Graphic a copy of the complaint several weeks ago, but redacted a lot of identifying information. Publisher Mike Scogin sent the city’s actions to the AG, appealing the city’s decision and asking the AG for an opinion.

The city sent some information to the AG but supplied the same kind of report it had given to the newspaper. A lot of information was redacted. The AG asked again, and it got the same kind of report.

That led to a letter from the AG that it was extending another 30 days the time frame it would need to issue an opinion because the city was not responding appropriately to the request.

In Thursday’s News Graphic, Mike took the city and the police to task for not obeying the AG’s request and continuing to defy the AG. Thursday afternoon, Mike sent me word that the city had reconsidered its earlier decisions and would supply an unredacted report to the AG, a DVD and the city attorney’s analysis of case law.

This has taken several weeks but according to Jon Fleischaker, it’s not really unusual for an agency to do this and the AG having to extend the time to issue an opinion.

On the other end of that is Eastern Kentucky University. It had announced earlier in the week that it would comply with an AG opinion to release the records involving the university and the former director of the Center for the Performing Arts. The former director had been relieved of duties earlier this year and had signed a settlement agreement with the university.

The AG ruled that the confidential agreement must be released and Eastern said it would.

Then Thursday, in conjunction with the attorney for the former director, the university announced it was appealing the AG’s ruling and would be going to circuit court for a determination.

THINKING OF BOBBY SHIRLEY

There hasn’t been an election cycle in the last 32 years that I’ve not thought of a guy named Bobby Shirley. He was running against incumbent Scott Countian Mark Farrow for the House seat. He came into the News and Times office wanting to place an ad. I showed him some sample ads and gave him the prices and I think he decided on a 2×6.

He sat down to write out his ad – “Vote for Bobby Shirley for State…” and then he stopped and asked me, “How do you spell Representative?”

Just what we needed, someone in office who doesn’t know how to spell the office he’s running for.

ADVERTISING

Holding out hope of hitting $5 million this year but it’s going to take a real effort to get close to that. Two large accounts that we had last November and December aren’t running this year. Otherwise, it would be a breeze to hit that mark.

But we stand at $4.309 million and on the second day of the month we already have $195,000 in-house or placed. That $195,000 is a good start but over the last 20 years we’ve had some Novembers with more than $400,000, even approaching a half-million.

This is the second highest year for placement in Kentucky newspapers, second of course to 2010 with $5.596 million. We’ve had several years through the first week of November with $4 million but the $4.309 puts 2012 in second place.

EXCELLENCE IN KENTUCKY NEWSPAPERS COMPETITION

Looks like all the reports are in, all the entries have been submitted and for this year’s contest, we have 3732 entries from 82 newspapers. That’s an income of $19,480.

With the nine divisions, we have good representation across the board so we won’t have to adjust any divisions by circulation to make it more even.

Thanx!!

ONLINE  PAYMENTS ON THE HORIZON?

Jamie mentioned to me at the Board Retreat about a new electronic payment system that Landmark is going to, for subscriptions, advertising and other reasons for payment and that got me more interested in KPA doing the same thing.

Bonnie, David Spencer and I had a long meeting with the local software company, Customware, that designed and wrote the advertising program we use. So we have about 15 years of experience with them.

Customware is currently offering an electronic payment system to some of its clients and KPA might well be the next one. It could save us some money on that Credit Card Expense line on the financial statement but offering electronic payment could also mean more clients paying that way.

We’ve accepted credit cards for the last 10 to 15 years but have to key in each card number and other information. Clients are calling in to buy advertising or schedule a news release or buy a directory. And then of course we have our members who might pay for contest entries or conventions with a credit card.

That means getting the credit card number, then Buffy or Bonnie keying it into the system, well, you know the routine.

If we move to the automatic payment system, it will be similar to PayPal, though not that method. David Spencer has to develop the “shopping cart” system so clients can pick and choose what they’re paying for but this will speed the process and save Buffy and Bonnie time from having to key in all the information each time. I’d love to have it operational before the Winter Convention information goes out but that could be pushing it.

I was concerned about allowing dues to be paid by credit card, because that could push up our credit card expense line amount. Buffy says we’ve done that in recent years and for 2012, we had $15,000 in dues paid by credit card. We’ll have to measure if it’s worth the charge from the credit card company to accept dues payments that way.

If this works as I think it will, then we’ll be suggesting newspapers wanting an online payment system look at ours and talk to Customware.

And thanx again, Jamie, for getting me to look at this. It’s just the way business is done anymore.

NEW HEADING FOR KENTUCKY PUBLIC NOTICES

GeoTel/Newzgroup has redesigned the headers for Kentucky Public Notices (kypublicnotices.com) and will be making that active in the near future. They’re doing the same for all the states that have their notices on GeoTel’s system.

 

The photos are ones from Kentucky photographers and from the rotation on www.kypress.com. We have one from Eastern Kentucky (rock formation), one from Western Kentucky (yachts down in the Kentucky Lake/Lake Barkley area), a purplish sunset that could be from anywhere in the state and UK players celebrating the 2012 national championship. After all, when people think of Kentucky, they think basketball. Or when people think of basketball, they think of Kentucky.

MARKING ADVERTISING FOR THE POST OFFICE

This brings back another memory from the days at the News and Times. Marking each issue for advertising space and remembering that even a very small “Subscribe Today – 863-1111” had to be marked as advertising according to the Post Office. It wasn’t paid space, obviously, but USPS required it be counted just like paid advertising.

I bring that up because of a question received this week about marking the newspaper. Part of it – about house ads – I could answer from experience. The first part, though, was what part or how much of a page had to be marked and calculated.

Of course, I went to Kentucky’s resident postal expert, Max Heath, for the answer. And I share that with you:

The printed area is the only thing that should be measured, my friend. I have a set of Customer Support Rulings put together on the subject of advertising that I will forward shortly to you, and copy Dave. He is also correct in that house ads advertising “the business of the publisher” are counted as advertising, but any public-service ads or donated space that are not charged for are counted as non-advertising. To give another “for instance,” headers associated with advertising, like on classified pages, are counted as advertising, whereas, headers associated with news, like SPORTS PAGE…are counted as non-advertising.

EKU/AT&T/KPA DIGITAL INITIATIVE

Liz Hansen and the folks at Eastern did a really nice job in announcing the initiative created between Eastern and AT&T, and with the $25,000 grant from AT&T to get this started. The announcement came during a press conference last Friday morning at EKU. KPA was recognized for its role in supporting this project.

And one benefit to KPA from that is that AT&T, through David McFaddin, will be re-joining KPA as an Associate member. AT&T was an Associate until six or seven years ago and for 2013 will be back in the fold. Our thanks to David McFaddin for getting that done.

SUPERSTORM SANDY – NEWSPAPERS DID WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO DO

Storms wreak havoc on communities quite often and it’s always encouraging to find out how the newspaper community is doing when those situations hit. We know about the March 2 tornadoes and the devastation in Eastern Kentucky, yet the newspapers, even with office destroyed, kept on printing and reporting.

Now Sandy batters the East Coast area and undoubtedly you’ve seen the devastation throughout the area. The day after Sandy ripped New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts, we were getting reports from our state press associations in those areas.

Newspaper offices might have been destroyed, power was out across that part of the country but newspapers kept reporting, kept printing.

Comes this report from Diane Kennedy with the New York Publishers Association (for daily newspapers):

“Our dailies around New York City are publishing and keeping readers up to date. I would imagine Michelle is very busy helping her members in and around the city. Last year’s hurricanes hit upstate New York very hard. This one left us largely unscathed and wreaked havoc on the downstate area. Luckily, tens of thousands of people were evacuated ahead of the storm, or it would have been much worse.”

The Michelle that Diane mentions is Michelle Rea with the New York Newspapers Association (the weekly association in the Empire State):

“As Dianne reported, Upstate (from Albany North and West) was largely spared. Downstate is a disaster. Many of the power and communication plants have been swamped with salt water – NYC has no power and no public transportation. Almost a million people in Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and parts of Long Island were and remain under mandatory evacuation orders. So far we know of more than 200 newspapers with no power – Long Island was hit very hard from both sides. The papers are flooded but can’t turn sump pumps on until they get power.

“We’re working furiously to find places with power that newspaper staff can work from. We have found places for them to get their papers printed.”

HOOSIER PRESS ON BOARD WITH THE CHILD ABUSE PROJECT

As expected, word came this week that the Hoosier State Press Association is joining with KPA and medical professionals in the Partnership to Eliminate Child Abuse. Project. The toolkit information has been shared with newspapers across Southern Indiana and by joining us HSPA will get other newspapers involved.

If you haven’t accessed the site to get the toolkit, please go to http://www.pecakyin.org and peruse through the toolkit for stories, editorials, public service announcements, video and other information.

KEEPING RURAL JOURNALISM ALIVE – THE ABORIGINALS ARE

I shared this with the KPA Digital Committee yesterday and so intrigued by it that I decided to make it part of the Friday Email to the Board and shortly through the Weekly Member Update.

This is an email I received earlier this week but I want you to click on the YouTube link and just watched what transpires. The Aboriginals get it!!

“Good morning. My name is Len Clark and I am a mobile journalism specialist with VeriCorder Technology (www.vericorder.com), a Canadian tech company that specializes in mobile journalism applications and hardware for the smartphone. I read the article yesterday on “Keeping Rural Journalism Alive”. I met Ginny last year at a conference. I’d like to see if we could assist you in your initiatives. Here is a link to a short video of a group of aboriginals in Australia we work with that explains the technology, by actually using the technology.”

I sent Len a copy of KPA;s Digital Plan as submitted to the Board at the retreat.

SCHEDULE FOR NEXT WEEK

Wednesday, the 7th, I’ll be leaving here late morning and heading to Louisville for the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award Luncheon. I should be back mid-afternoon.

Friday, November 9, I’ll be heading to London around noon to meet with Willie Sawyers on his year as President of KPA in 2013. We’re meeting at 1:30 and I probably won’t be back in the office.

I think those are the only two things on the menu for next week so otherwise, I should be in the office. If not, I won’t be out long.

2012 KPS PLACEMENT TOTALS IN-HOUSE – $4,309,217.86

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

November 7, 2012

Louisville/Kentucky Better Business Bureau Celebration Lunch, The Olmsted, Louisville

November 9, 2012

1:30 – Meeting with Willie Sawyers on 2013 – His Year as President

Thursday – Friday, November 22-23

KPA Central Office Closed for Thanksgiving

December 2 – 4, 2012

Newspaper Association Managers Legislative Conference, Keybridge Marriott, Arlington, VA

December 24-25, 2013

KPA Central Office Closed for Christmas

December 31, 2012 – January 1, 2013

KPA Central Office Closed for New Year’s

January 24 – 25, 2013

2013 KPA Winter Convention, The Brown Hotel, Louisville

August 6 – 9, 2013

Newspaper Association Managers Annual Convention, Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia

January 23 – 24, 2014

2014 KPA Winter Convention, Hyatt Regency, Lexington

January 22 – 23, 2015

2015 KPA Winter Convention, Marriott East, Louisville

Sometime in 2017

We’ve been asked to judge the Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Contest in 2017. Please hold the year open for further information on when, where and what media format Mississippi papers will be in that year.

Sometime in 2018

Colorado judging KPA Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers Competition

UPCOMING WEBINARS

Registration generally is $35 and available at www.onlinemediacampus.com

TODAY!!

WEBINAR – Postal: Making the Transition to IMb

Thursday, November 8, 2012

WEBINAR — Mobile Sales Certificate Program; How to Find Success in This Key Digital Area – Third of Three Sessions

Friday, November 9, 2012

WEBINAR – Reporting on Tough Issues: The Role of the Media in Suicide Education

Otherwise, thanx!!

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