Yeah, I know, it’s not Friday. But since I won’t be in tomorrow (or until next Wednesday), thought I’d give you some reading material to last for awhile.
• Will UK usurp Open Records by just not asking TicketMaster for number of rear-ends in seats?
• Fatality/New Fatality Review Panel begins; expresses displeasure with Cabinet for Health and Family Services
• Need help opening a .docx file?
• After 20 years, finally a videoconference gets scheduled?
• Have you checked out www.citizenauditor.ky.gov yet?
2012 KPS PLACEMENT TOTALS IN-HOUSE – $4,634,232.72
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
November 30, 2012 – David T. – UK College of Communications National Advisory Board Meeting – All Day
December 2 – 4, 2012 – Newspaper Association Managers Legislative Conference, Keybridge Marriott, Arlington, VA
December 19, 2012 – Leigh Ann Thacker and David T. meeting with Kentucky County Clerks Association on Polling Place Policies
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 8 – 11, 2013 – Kentucky General Assembly Organizational Session
January 24 – 25, 2013 – 2013 KPA Winter Convention, The Brown Hotel, Louisville
January 26, 2013 – Both the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association and Kentucky News Photographers Association finish up their 2013 Conventions at The Brown
February 5 – March 26, 2013 – 2013 Kentucky General Assembly Session
March 13 – 15, 2013 – National Newspaper Association’s We Believe in Newspapers Leadership Conference – Crystal City Marriott, Washington, D.C.
August 6 – 9, 2013 – Newspaper Association Managers Annual Convention, Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia
September 12 – 15, 2013 – 127th Annual National Newspaper Association Convention and Trade Show, Phoenix, AZ
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
Registration generally is $35 and available at www.onlinemediacampus.com
Friday, December 7 – 2 to 3 p.m./Eastern, 1 to 2 p.m./Central
Will Paywalls Kill Newspapers’ Web Advertising?
(Registration deadline is Tuesday, December 4)
Yeah I know, it’s not Friday but you’re already getting the Friday Email and it’s only Thursday. That’s because I’ll be spending all day Friday at a UK College of Communications National Advisory Board meeting. And since you missed one last week because of the Thanksgiving holidays, I know you don’t want to go two weeks without. So here it is.
But first, I’ll be leaving early Sunday a.m. for DC and the 2012 Newspaper Association Managers Legislative Conference. That runs Sunday, Monday and half-day Tuesday. I hope to be landing at Bluegrass Field about quitting time on Tuesday and will be in the office on Wednesday.
WE DON’T HAVE IT SO NEITHER CAN YOU
That’s basically what UK Athletics said for the most recent request on the number of rear-ends actually in Commonwealth Stadium. That was for the last UK home game when an open records request was made for total tickets scanned.
You might remember that a couple of weeks ago, the Courier-Journal, Herald-Leader and WLEX-TV filed an open records request with UK for the number of tickets scanned for the previous home game. UK complied with that request, and probably was embarrassed. The number of tickets scanned was nowhere close to the announced attendance.
So when the request was made for the Samford game, UK said it no longer was asking for the ticket totals and didn’t have the information. TicketMaster had the figures but UK said it had no need for the number and thus couldn’t comply because it hadn’t asked for the total.
Just because an agency might not have it on file, because it hadn’t asked for the record, doesn’t mean it sidesteps the Open Records law by using that excuse.
Think of it this way. That would be like a city or county official refusing to release payroll records “because our payroll is handled by XYZ Pay Systems. So we don’t have that information.” No that may be right but it doesn’t mean the city or county can’t or shouldn’t fill the request.
A similar case happened a few years ago, according to KPA General Counsel Jon Fleischaker, when a newspaper asked an agency for credit card receipts. The agency said it didn’t have those; the processor did, and had no need to request the receipts. Well, the agency did have to hand over the information after an Attorney General’s opinion stated that just because they hadn’t asked for the record doesn’t mean they avoid the Open Records request.
Same scenario here. UK does have access to the total ticketed rear-ends so figure if an newspaper files an appeal with the AG, that office is going to rule similarly to the way it did in the credit card receipt caper.
Of course, with a new coach coming in, the expected excitement surrounding that, and fannies returning to UK en masse, UK probably will be more than happy to give attendance figures in 2013. At least for a few games, and unless the season goes sour.
TRANSPARENCY IS THEME FOR FATALITY/NEAR-FATALITY REVIEW PANEL
A review panel set up by an Executive Order of the governor met for the first time Tuesday and “transparency” was the recurring them during discussions. The 17-member panel is set up as an external review commission, not attached to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services but to the Justice Cabinet. That should separate it from CHFS’ constant refusal to release records.
As the panel members introduced themselves and as they started talking, to a person “transparency” was the main topic. There were a few jabs at the cabinet staff attending, like spending hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting Open Records requests from the Herald-Leader, Courier-Journal and Todd County Standard.
It was interesting to note one specific comment from State Senator Julie Denton during the discussion. Rep. Tom Burch mentioned his legislation that would have called for more openness and that it passed the House in the 2012 session but did not pass the Senate. When it came her turn, Senator Denton said that perhaps with new leadership in the Senate, “We might finally get that bill passed.”
You’d have to assume that was a dig at former Senate President David Williams since the rest of the Senate leadership is still around.
AND SPEAKING OF SENATE LEADERSHIP
I was hoping a Senator with the same initials as yours truly would get elected to a leadership post. If not president, which he didn’t run for, then perhaps Majority Floor Leader. He did run for that position and he did get elected!!
BET HE WAS TALKING ABOUT JON FLEISCHAKER
Senior Judge Roger Crittenden is chairing the commission, at least until the commission elects one, and moderated the discussion Tuesday. He was up-to-date on Open Records and Open Meetings and gave the panel members an education into both laws
During a discussion on the panel getting records from the cabinet that were not redacted, or at least less redacted that what the cabinet gives to the press and public, Crittenden warned the commission about what could happen.
“The cabinet is the custodian of the records but if it turns over (more complete) records to this commission, we become the custodian. And I know of one certain press attorney who will then argue that if the panel gets more records from the cabinet, then the panel is the custodian.” He was indicating the attorney and the press could then request the records from the commission, bypassing the cabinet.
And you can bet without naming that “certain press attorney” he was talking about Jon Fleischaker who has argued some open government cases before the judge.
MEETING WITH COUNTY CLERKS CONFIRMED
Got a notification Tuesday that Leigh Ann Thacker and I are on the agenda to speak to the Kentucky County Clerks Association on December 19 in Lexington. The issue will be polling place access. While it’s not absolutely pressing right now, what with no elections scheduled in 2013, I’d like to go ahead and get the issue resolved.
I know some of you have complete and total access to polling places and you’re encouraged to take photos or talk with voters by the county clerk. But far too many are told no pictures, or only pictures from the backside and below the knees, or don’t talk to anyone who is inside the polling place.
I’ll give them the language in legislation that we worked on with the State Board of Elections and the Secretary of State’s Office when Trey Grayson was SOS, and hope that will at least be a starting point to settling the issue once and for all!
If your newspaper is in the Statewide Classified network, then you’re eligible for a KPA intern for the summer of 2013. We have about 70 newspapers in the network but so far only 27 have applied. So if you’re in the network and haven’t applied, here’s another reminder. And KPA Associates are lagging as well with only ONE KPA Associate member applying for a PR intern.
And educators – Please remind your students to apply as well. As of Wednesday, we had 14 students who had applied for the newspaper internship and four for the PR internship offered by the KPA Associates.
SO HAVE YOU…
Gone to www.citizenauditor.ky.gov and checked to see what “special districts” are operating in your county and then contacted them about publishing required information as required in KRS 424? No use waiting, if you haven’t. Get in touch with the agency and remind them they are required to publish certain financial information in the newspaper.
And editors – have you contacted those taxing districts for their meeting schedules?
PRE-FILED LEGISLATION FOR 2013
There are probably 50 pre-filed bills for the 2013 Kentucky General Assembly and so far none of them raise even a caution flag for newspapers.
Legislators come back to Frankfort on January 8 and meet for four days in an “organizational” session. They’ll then start back February 5 to finish the last 26 days of the abbreviated session. The current schedule has them leaving Frankfort for the rest of 2013 on Tuesday, March 26. There’s a two-week “veto session” included in each legislative session calendar that requires them to come back for two days to override any gubernatorial vetoes.
MONTHLY CASH AWARD FROM TOP ADS/REYNOLDS JOURNALISM INSTITUTE
Let your advertising staff know about this on-going competition that could result in a $250 prize.
The Kentucky Press Association is working with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the Missouri School of Journalism and LocalMediaInsider to reward excellence in multi-media advertising campaigns created for merchants by local media groups.
RJI/ LocalMediaInsider is giving away a $250 cash award provided by RJI
each month to a sales representative at any local media company from around the country that submits the best multimedia advertising campaign. In addition to the cash award, sales representatives will get fame, bragging rights and automatic entry into LocalMediaInsider’s Integrated Marketing Awards 2013.
It just takes a few minutes to enter using this link:
Enter as many campaigns as you want to during the contest period.
Should you have questions or concerns about the survey you may contact Alisa Cromer, Fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAN’T OPEN A .DOCX FILE? THERE’S HELP FOR THAT
The ad staff went through a training update session yesterday on the software we use for ordering and billing advertising through KPS. During the session, it was noted that some newspapers cannot open a .docx file. So Customware, our software developer here in Frankfort, sent me a follow up note. Hope it helps because some of you told me early on that you can only use .doc formatted material from me. That’s why I’ve used both .docx and .pdf. Anyway, here’s help, I hope:
During our eClass round table discussion it was mentioned that some newspapers can’t open a .docx file. Microsoft does have a free download to allow you to open .docx files when using Word 2000, 2002, 2003. This could possibly help them without the need for a change to AdVantage. The link is:
IS YOUR NEWSPAPER A ‘SEVEN P’ PUBLICATION?
The popular platform used by Stephen R. Covey to sell “The 7 Habits of Highly-Successful People” did more than sell books. It forced people to look at themselves in an introspective we rarely take time to do individually.
Community Newspapers Inc. co-owner and president Dink NeSmith orated the Seven P’s of a perfect community newspaper at National Newspaper Association’s 126th annual convention. Recently the Georgia Press Bulletin published a story on this speech, and we’re going to piggyback on that piece by breaking down these seven characteristics.
How many of these markers aptly describe your paper? Is each one important to the success of your publication, and what would it take to employ those missing into your paper’s DNA on a daily basis?
Purpose — “Do you and your staff know what your paper’s mission is?” NeSmith asks. Who are you speaking to on a daily or weekly basis? Who do you choose to write about? Why do you interview the subjects you do? These are questions staffers should be able to answer as quickly as an editor or publisher. It speaks to being on the same page in more ways than one.
People — Is your most valuable commodity the most important part of your business? Do your people want to come to work? Do they want to chase down stories, sell ads, lay the paper out and deliver it on time? Making a newspaper a fun place to work makes people work their hardest.
Passion — “If your people don’t have passion, then you’ve got to help them find something else to do,” NeSmith said. How passionate is your staff towards the goal of operating a successful newspaper?
Personality — Perhaps the most important P, sans people. Does your publication’s personality shine through the pages, windows and walls of your office? Can the paper’s personality be delivered through a mail slot or newspaper box? “A strong editorial page equals a strong newspaper, and a strong newspaper equals a strong community,” NeSmith said.
Profit — One of the most important markers for sure, but perhaps more notable because of what profitability affords your organization. Things like investment in your future and independence from unseen pressures to be the pillar of impartiality. Being a beacon for what’s right doesn’t come without a cost.
Potential — If you haven’t heard, technology is pushing newspapers out of traditional print mode and into a new age of editorial, advertising and distribution models. The decision to embrace these platforms or not often determine which papers survive and which fold into oblivion. “We have trained millions of consumers that you can get anything for free online — why should we give it away?” NeSmith asked. “Wading into this new revenue stream is new, but we are seeing some success.”
Post-mortem — Like any other business model, tomorrow’s epilogue is being written today. The decisions being made in the business now will determine the fate of the industry’s future.
So where does your paper shake out in this? What changes can you make? Can you and your management teams affect change quickly being embracing one or more of these P’s?
VIDEO CONFERENCE OF PUBLIC MEETING
Back in 1990-92 when we rewrote the Open Meetings laws, there were some questions from public agencies about videoconferencing of agency meetings. One particular question came from Western Kentucky University, stating there might be times it needs to get the Board of Regents together for a quick meeting and didn’t want to require all of them to drive to Bowling Green for a meeting that might last 30 minutes or so.
So Jon Fleischaker wrote language to allow videoconferencing of public agency meetings but with certain criteria. That includes that the public had to have access to wherever public agency members might participate in the videoconferencing. And if at any location to video goes out, or is delayed, then the meeting has to stop until the situation is resolved.
You might know better than I if there have been other videoconference meetings in the last 20 years, but there is one this Friday that could be the first. And if you’re interested in covering, you’ll have access to the location below that’s nearest you.
A special board meeting of the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority is called for 10 a.m. ET on Friday, November 30, 2012, via videoconference. See Attachment 1 for the agenda. All meeting locations are as follows:
· Edgewood – Northern Kentucky Health Department, 610 Medical Village Drive, Upper Level Executive Conference Room.
· Frankfort – Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, 300 W. Broadway, Board of Director’s Conference Room, 1st Floor.
· Louisville – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Department of Highways – District 5, 8310 Westport Road, Design Conference Room.
· Murray – Murray State University, Business Building 101, North 16th Street.
· Pikeville – University of Pikeville, Community Technology Center, 119 College Street, 1st Floor, Room 134.
The purpose of the meeting is to consider a Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) project in Calloway County.
AND JUST SO YOU HAVE IT…
Here’s the law governing videoconferencing:
KRS 61.826 Video teleconferencing of meetings
(1) A public agency may conduct any meeting, other than a closed session, through video teleconference.
(2) Notice of a video teleconference shall comply with the requirements of KRS 61.820 or 61.823 as appropriate. In addition, the notice of a video teleconference shall:
(a) Clearly state that the meeting will be a video teleconference; and
(b) Precisely identify the video teleconference locations as well as which, if any, location is primary.
(3) The same procedures with regard to participation, distribution of materials, and other matters shall apply in all video teleconference locations.
(4) Any interruption in the video or audio broadcast of a video teleconference at any location shall result in the suspension of the video teleconference until the broadcast is restored.
Neither Jon nor I know of any previous videoconference of a public agency. If you are aware of any, please let me know and I’ll pass that along to Jon.
FROM BRADFORD/KENTUCKE GAZETTE TO BLOGGERS
A conference geared at the changes in the news media from John Bradford and the Kentucke Gazette to today’s social media is scheduled for January 22.
“Words in a Changing World: From Bradford to Bloggers” Conference to be held at Cardome Center in Georgetown. The conference was originally set for November 29 but has been changed to Tuesday, January 22, 2013 beginning at 10 a.m. The Cardome Center is located just north of Georgetown, on U.S. 25.
A panel discussion in the morning session will address the role of local historic figure John Bradford in bringing civic literacy to Kentucky and explaining why he is pertinent today and his continuing influence.
John Carroll, a former editor of the Herald Leader and the Los Angeles Times and 13-time Pulitzer prize recipient, will be the featured luncheon speaker, to be followed by an afternoon panel discussion session focusing upon the contemporary effect of social media upon print journalism. A second conference speaker will be Dr. George Foreman, internationally recognized expert regarding American brass band “newspaper marches” of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
An exhibition highlighting print media artifacts will be available for tour on site and a late afternoon cocktail reception will feature the unique entertainment of historical “newspaper marches” performed by professional New Columbian Brass Band. The selections will feature the Lexington Herald March, the Courier-Journal March, the Advocate Messenger March and well-known Washington Post March.
A fee schedule and more specific program outline will be tendered within the next few weeks, but should you have any questions at this time, please feel free to contact Debra Hoskins, (859) 583-1716 or debraFhoskins@gmail.com via email.
EYE-OPENING TRASH COLLECTION
Always looking to cut costs, save money especially when we’re notified of a price increase. Only this time, the cost was just added without any fanfare. We’re in a condo association area of nine good-size buildings. One of the other associations came to Bonnie this week about the cost of trash collection. Seems it had gone up and not just a little.
The trash collection company started imposing a $77 fuel fee to each bill. That skyrocketed our trash collection to $372 per month. Hey, there are only 10 staff members here and we don’t generate trash worth that much. And then figure eight other buildings in less than 500 feet and the trash collection company was taking in a cool $693 in fuel fees just for these nine areas.
So Bonnie jumped into action, contacted the company and got our cost down to $100 per month. We only use four large trash bins and that’s still pretty expensive. And I think the fuel fee won’t change because every business customer will be paying that.
We’re in the county and while our residential neighbors have county pickup, they won’t include businesses. So we’re stuck but looking for ways to even cut the $100 per month to a lesser rate. That’s pretty expensive trash. So much for privatizing trash collection.
AUDITOR ASKS LEGISLATURE FOR SOME ‘TEETH’ ON TAXING DISTRICTS
The state’s estimated 1,268 special taxing districts spend two-and-a-half times the budget of the state road fund without much oversight, according State Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen, who urged a state legislative committee Wednesday to consider four key proposals to improve accountability of these districts.
“We’re talking about an enormous level of government that I think for too long has been allowed to operate with a lack of accountability and oversight system wide,” Edelen told the Interim Joint Committee on Local Government.
Topping the list of four key recommendations Edelen asked lawmakers to consider for action during the 2013 Regular Session was modernization and reform of statutes that affect special taxing districts. Edelen said there are currently over 1,000 Kentucky laws on special taxing districts, many written a century ago or more. “That has to be cleaned up,” he said.
Second was the recommendation that lawmakers put “real teeth” in the law to compel the districts to comply with auditing requirements now in state law. Every special taxing district in Kentucky with a budget of $750,000 a year or more is required to have an annual audit but only around 55 percent do, Edelen said.
“The cash value of public money that has gone unaudited among those 45 percent…is $461 million,” he told lawmakers.
Other recommendations include requiring special taxing districts to operate under county ethics codes and establishing a centralized registry so that basic information about what a district is and where it operates is on file. “It needs to be available to the public in a way that’s easy to understand…” Edelen said.
A few members of the committee questioned why Edelen’s office did not recommend requiring those who serve on special district boards to be elected rather than appointed. Currently, only an appointment is necessary. Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, said another recommendation needs to be that every person in the state with the power to raise or lower taxes is elected.
“We had a little bill in the Kentucky State Senate that didn’t even go that far. All it said was that the people who are on these boards will be appointed by elected officials… It died in the other chamber,” said Schickel. Senate Bill 49, sponsored by Schickel during the 2012 Regular Session, would have instituted similar requirements for public library district boards.
Committee Co-Chair Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he agreed. Thayer said a former state local taxation task force on which he served recommended that special districts be accountable to county fiscal courts “for approval of any tax or rate increase. That bill has been filed a couple of times, and we’ve not been able to get it going.”
“I like your recommendations,” Thayer told Edelen. “But, when there are tax dollars in play, there ought to be some accountability to someone who is elected because then they can answer for their vote.” Thayer said lawmakers would decide whether or not to address that issue in the upcoming session.
Also questioning the need for more accountability to elected officials was Rep. Kevin Sinnette, D-Ashland. “I’m not really seeing accountability … (the special districts) can still issue taxes without accountability to somebody elected, whether that be the fiscal court (or otherwise).”
A centralized registry will help the state get a handle on special taxing district issues, Edelen said. “Before we go the route of trying to subordinate all these different entities to elected officials, or indeed begin the process of electing them, I think we need to have a clear sense of precisely what we’re dealing with, which I think is what you get with a centralized registry.”
The State Auditor’s office spent most of 2012 studying the number, location, spending, reserves and other aspects of special taxing districts and issued the findings in a November report titled “Ghost Government.” That report shows that Kentucky’s special districts combined spend $2.7 billion collectively each year, or two and half times the annual state road fund budget. Their total reserves are estimated at $1.4 billion—which Edelen said is double the amount of rainy day funds held by the state’s 174 public school districts—and they fee and tax Kentuckians around $1.5 billion annually.
Examples of the dozens of special taxing districts operating in Kentucky include housing authorities, libraries, sewer districts, fire protection districts and public health districts. Special taxing districts operate in all 120 Kentucky counties.
Looks like November, 2012, will end up as the fourth highest November in KPS history, with $323,032 placed in Kentucky newspapers. And December is off to an impressive start with $197,000 already in-house and set to be placed. But two Decembers – 2009 and 2010 – approached a half million dollars so we have a way to go to get to either of those marks (roughly $460,000). Still, December’s not here yet and we’re at the fifth highest December in KPS’ history.
Through what’s been placed and in-house to be placed we’re at $4.634 million for the year.
NNA OPPOSES FORCED ‘FULL SERVICE’ BARCODES
We posted this on kypressonline.com but I doubt many of you think about checking the site so I reprint part of it here. Don’t hesitate to check out kypressonline.com once in a while. Actually, you don’t even have to do that; just go to kypress.com and below the five most recent stories posted for the Kentucky Press News Service, you’ll find stories available on kypressonline.com.
But here’s a story posted about the National Newspaper Association opposing full-service barcode requirements:
Benefits to community newspapers from the U.S. Postal Service’s proposed mandatory use of a “full-service” Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) are meager and do not justify the substantial investment in the technology, the National Newspaper Association told the Postal Service Monday.
USPS is considering a new requirement for the use of a full-service IMb after January 2014 for newspapers that want to claim automation mail processing discounts. NNA’s Postal Committee Chair Max Heath has long questioned the value of the full-service IMb, which attaches an individual identifier to each newspaper. USPS wants these tracking codes on the mail so it can measure service and provide data back to mailers, such as address changes.
But the software and implementation can be tricky for a smaller newspaper, Heath told USPS. Much larger mailers with information technology departments have struggled with the installations and training, he said.
Community newspapers are already facing a January 2013 requirement to upgrade to a simpler IMb, which codes in certain mailer information but does not track individual mail pieces. NNA’s objection is to requiring a second upgrade, which USPS once said would be forever optional but now wishes to require for all mail.
Read the rest of the story at www.kypressonline.com
GOING MOBILE WITH CS6/A HOW-TO GUIDE
Jeff Goertzen, one of the industry’s top designers (USA Today, Denver Post, Orange County Register), has graciously agreed to share his tutorials on how to use the recently released Adobe publishing platform (CS6) to produce mobile content — without native apps or HTML5 Web apps.
Jeff recently shared these during a pre-convention workshop for the Society of News Design at SNDcle. He’s served on the SND board for more than a decade and worked as an independent consultant for more than 100 papers in 40 countries.
If you’re familiar with Adobe’s Illustrator program, you’re on your way to producing mobile digital content for smartphones, tablets and the Web. Even if you’re new to Creative Suite, Jeff walks you through setup, menus … all the way through to a finished product.
Reynolds Journalism Institute in Columbia, MO., which will be doing three KPA Convention sessions for us in January, as made available the tutorial on YouTube. If you’re interested in seeing the step-by-step “how-to” here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGPw5bL5sLiM4YB8zsJa18-E1Ss7yVb82
I’ll let that be your Member Update for the week. As always, call, email, fax or drop by for a visit if you have additions, deletions, corrections, clarifications, questions, comments, concerns, or are just in Frankfort and want to say HI!