November 29, 2013

It’s almost convention time in the Bluegrass

• Ad contest winners; news contest winners to be notified pretty soon

• Herald-Leader columnist Tom Eblen writes about the challenges, future of journalism

• Roger Alford retires from AP; takes communications position with Kentucky Baptist Convention

• Tubby Smith: The Woody/Chloe fan

• Need a tax-deduction? Help fund internships with the Kentucky Journalism Foundation


Dear KPA Friend,

kjf-300x138This time of year we celebrate our families and accomplishments in our profession, and look forward to the New Year.

The Kentucky Journalism Foundation, a charitable 501c3 division of the Kentucky Press Association, is also looking forward to 2014, seeking to fund more college interns in Kentucky.

Last year, 20 students received an internship with newspapers and three were awarded a public relations intern position through the KPA Associates Division. This coming year, we want even more students to have this opportunity and be inspired and supported by a unique intern experience. We already are on the way to that with the success of the Inaugural Border War golf tournament proceeds from this past September.

Your support is needed to help fund additional internships so we ask you to consider a tax-deductible donation to see this become a reality for students interested in journalism/communications/public relations

To make a contribution to our Kentucky Journalism Foundation, please make your check payable to Kentucky Journalism Foundation and remit to:

Kentucky Journalism Foundation

101 Consumer Lane

Frankfort, KY 40601

Together we can make journalism in Kentucky be inspired, thrive — and reach new heights!

With our warmest holiday wishes,

David T. Thompson                                                              Julia J. Meister

KPA/KPS Executive Director                                              KJF Development Director

Convention — It’s about that time!

Program and registration available at

We hope you’re planning to be at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington January 23 – 24 for the 2014 KPA Winter Convention. And plan on staying around January 25 for the Kentucky News Photographers Association programming.

Design, reporting, advertising, circulation, social media. Ed Henninger, Peter Wagner, Jim Pumarlo and some of our own, like Denise Everett with Dinsmore & Shohl, Mike Scogin, John Preston, Jay Nolan and Gary Moyers, plus the “Free Thursday” with a Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism sponsored three-hour workshop — “Investigating the Business of Government.”

To register for the Thursday, January 23 workshop, 2 to 5 p.m., go to:

To make room reservations with the Hyatt in Lexington, go to:

And for programming information and registration for the convention, go to

Please note that ALL registrations for the “Investigating the Business of Government” is to be done on the Donald W. Reynolds website link.

Ad Contest winners notified

We’ve been able to notify all winners — first, second, third place — in the Advertising Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers 2013 contest. Those emails went Thursday to the publisher/ad manager at each of the winning newspapers. The awards will be announced and presented Thursday, January 23, at a 7 p.m./Eastern banquet at the Hyatt.

News Contest winners

Just hold your horses. We’ll be notifying you in the next few days. We have a pretty complete list of winners so far but there are still a few categories that the Alabama Press Association judges have not finished. We will notify those on the partial list the early part of next week (week of December 16) and then complete that task when all categories are finished.

The Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers – 2013 (for news) banquet will be Friday, January 24, at 7 p.m./Eastern, also at the Hyatt in Lexington.


If you are a Statewide Classified participating newspaper, you are eligible for an intern through the Kentucky Press Association. But you have to apply and those newspapers below have completed that process. If you’re eligible and your newspaper isn’t below, you haven’t applied.

So far we have 28 newspapers applying for an intern and three KPA Associates members.

Go to, fill out the application for Host Applications – Newspapers and then hit Submit.

KPA Associates can apply for a PR intern from the Associates Division, at and completing the application under Host Applications – Associates

Bardstown The Kentucky Standard

Bardwell Carlisle County News

Carrollton The News-Democrat

Corbin Times-Tribune

Corbin Corbin News Journal

Danville The Advocate-Messenger

Dry Ridge Grant County News

Elizabethtown The News-Enterprise

Frankfort The State Journal

Henderson The Gleaner

Hopkinsville Kentucky New Era

La Grange The Oldham Era

Lebanon The Lebanon Enterprise

Liberty The Casey County News

London The Sentinel-Echo

Louisville The Courier-Journal

Maysville The Ledger Independent

Mt. Sterling Mt. Sterling Advocate

Nicholasville The Jessamine Journal

Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer

Paducah West Kentucky News

Paducah Livingston Ledger

Paducah Advance Yeoman

Paducah West KY News

Somerset Commonwealth Journal

Stanford The Interior Journal

Tompkinsville The Tompkinsville News

Winchester The Winchester Sun

Cozy up to the bar and Tom Eblen will tell you about the challenges, future of journalism

Technology gets credit and blame


Herald-Leader columnist

This is the season for holiday parties, which means several

Tom Eblen

Tom Eblen

opportunities a week for someone to corner me in a crowded room and ask about the future of newspapers.

Some people tell me they worry about newspapers going away, because they like the feel of paper in their hands and the smell of ink in the morning.

Others worry more about journalism itself: How can American self-government survive without a robust, credible news media?

I fall into the second group; I worry about the news, not the paper. When asked, I give people a brief synopsis of why newspapers are hurting, why good journalism is threatened and where I think the trends could lead.

Then I ask if I can get them anything from the bar, because by that time I need a drink.

Read more here:

Roger Alford retiring from AP; joins Kentucky Baptist Convention as communications director

Roger Alford

Roger Alford

Roger Alford, the long-time supervisory correspondent for The Associated Press in Frankfort, has announced his retirement from journalism after 30 years in the business.

Alford, a graduate of Union College in Barbourville, has worked at all levels in the industry. His first jobs were with the Barbourville Mountain Advocate and the Corbin Times-Tribune while still in school. After graduation in 1984, he joined the Middlesboro Daily News and later moved to the Ashland Daily Independent, the Portsmouth, Ohio, Daily Times and the Columbus Dispatch. He joined The Associated Press in 2000 covering the Appalachian region, and moved to the Frankfort bureau in 2005.

Alford has accepted the position of communications director for the Kentucky Baptist Convention and will begin the new role in January.

Tubby Smith is a Woody/Chloe reading fan

So you think only kids read the Woody/Chloe Fall Chapter Series? Author Leigh Anne Florence passes along this story about a chance meeting her brother had with former UK basketball coach Tubby Smith. And then includes a mention of an 89-year-old fan:

“Good morning everyone! Had something interesting happen that I wanted to share with you. My brother is a basketball coach at a small college in TX and was at a recruiting event this past Tuesday night. Tubby Smith was also in attendance. My brother, Guy is his name, was talking to Tubby and said, “There is a picture in my mom’s house of you, my sister, and her two wiener dogs, Woody and Chloe.” Guy said Tubby immediately said, “Oh yeah! She does great work in Kentucky. When I lived in Lexington I used to love reading her stories in the Herald-Leader about those little doggies.” At the risk of sounding self-absorbent, I’m always hesitant to share stories where people are complimentary or “brag on us” for lack of better terms, but this was too good not to share – especially with my fellow KY fans. To think Tubby Smith read our stories, enjoyed our stories, and even remembered who we were is a big compliment to ALL of us!

“A lady from Bardstown who is 89 found my phone number and called me yesterday to see if I could send her Chapter 6 of Outstanding in His Field because she forgot to cut it out and she is missing it in her collection. Of course I sent it with a scrapbook too.

“Thanks again! Hope all of you have a great day!”

How to do spell the state’s health exchange? Upper or lower case “k”?

Comes this response from Al Cross after a question about the proper usage of the state’s health exchange — is it kynect or Kynect?

“I think most news outlets are following the state’s usage and leaving it uncapitalized, thus submitting to what I call “typographic tyranny.” In my view, we should respect the lower-case wishes of individuals like the writers e. e. cummings and bell hooks, but not of institutions that have something to promote. When we do that, we lose a little bit of our independence, a key principle in both journalism and extension. Also, the lack of capitalization in a word that apparently needs a capital can distract readers from the content. So at Kentucky Health News, we capitalize it when it’s the brand name (and that’s exactly what it is, even though it’s not commercial) but don’t as part of the URL, since it’s typical for URLs to avoid capitalization.”

We have a Statewide Classified network coordinator!

While she doesn’t start until January 2, 2014, we have a Statewide Classified coordinator. You might know that for the last year, we’ve operated without a person selling Statewides and the ARK network on a full-time basis. Except for one month when we had an employee.

The ad staff has worn itself thin filling in and covering for each other so I think they’re ecstatic that Shirre Smith, a former account executive with the Lexington Herald-Leader has accepted the position. She’s been away from the Herald-Leader since last winter and is excited about joining the staff and working for KPA/KPS and newspapers across the state.

Shirre is a December, 1991, PR graduate from Western Kentucky University with related course work in journalism, communications and graphic design.


And speaking of advertising

We’re coming off a record November and the highest month of the year in ad placement. Now for December, halfway through the month we have $187,708 placed or in-house to place and that puts us at $3.260 million for the year.

Just to let you know about the correction/retraction law in Kentucky

Sitting in DC earlier this week for the Newspaper Association Manager’s Legislative Conference and the topic was “Retractions.” So while I was listening, I accessed Kentucky law on printing corrections/retractions and thought I’d share it with you just so you have it. With a lot of new faces in newsrooms around the state, the chances are some might not know what’s required.

411.051 Libel actions against newspaper, magazine, or periodical; demand for and publication of correction; effect

(1) In any action for damages for the publication of a defamatory statement in a newspaper, magazine, or periodical, the defendant shall be liable for actual damages sustained by plaintiff. The defendant may plead the publication of a correction in mitigation of damages. Punitive damages may be recovered only if the plaintiff shall allege and prove publication with legal malice and that the newspaper, magazine, or periodical failed to make conspicuous and timely publication of a correction after receiving a sufficient demand for correction.

(2) A “sufficient demand for correction” is a demand for correction which is in writing; which is signed by the plaintiff or his duly-authorized attorney or agent; which specifies the statement or statements claimed to be false and defamatory, states wherein they are false, and sets forth the facts; and which is delivered to the defendant prior to the commencement of the action.

(3) A “correction” is either:

(a) The publication of an acknowledgment that the statement or statements specified as false and defamatory in the plaintiff’s demand for correction are erroneous; or

(b) The publication, in a fair and impartial manner as a matter of law, of the plaintiff’s statement of the facts (as set forth in his demand for correction) or a fair summary thereof, exclusive of any portions thereof which are defamatory of another, obscene, or otherwise improper for publication.

If the demand for correction has specified two (2) or more statements as false and defamatory, the correction may deal with some of such statements pursuant to (a) above and with other of such statements pursuant to (b) above.

(4) A “conspicuous publication” in a newspaper is a publication which is printed in substantially as conspicuous a manner as the statement or statements specified as false and defamatory in the demand for correction.

(5) A “timely publication” in a daily newspaper is a publication within ten (10) business days after the day on which a sufficient demand for correction is received by the defendant. A “timely publication” in a newspaper, magazine, or periodical other than a daily newspaper is a publication in or prior to the next regular issue which is published not less than ten (10) business days after the day on which a sufficient demand for correction is received by the defendant.

Upcoming KPA/KPS calendar:

December 24-25 — The KPA Central Office will be closed for Christmas

January 1, 2014 – The KPA Central Office will be closed for New Year’s

January 7, 2014 – The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly convenes in Frankfort for its 60-day session

January 23-24 – 2014 KPA Winter Convention, The Hyatt Regency, Lexington — for information go to

January 23 – Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism Workshop at The Hyatt Regency in Lexington — for complete information and to register for this 2 to 5 p.m. workshop, go to

Latest Slimp column: keys to success

By Kevin Slimp

Kevin Slimp

Kevin Slimp

What are the keys to a successful newspaper?

I thought the holidays were supposed to be the easy time of the year. Whoever

came up with that idea surely wasn’t a journalist. I remember looking at my calendar just a few months ago and thinking that November and December were going to be awfully quiet. It’s funny how things work out differently than planned. That’s certainly been true for me lately.

My, how things have changed. A year ago, I was spending most of my time writing and speaking about the situation in New Orleans and other Newhouse cities. At the time, it seemed like we might all be following their lead. Funny how things change in a year.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been all over the map. I would like to be the first to declare that “The end is near” period has ended and most newspapers are now figuring out how to improve their products again.

OK, in truth, plenty of others have realized that lately. It’s becoming quite chic again to write about the future with optimism.

And what are newspapers asking of me these days? My recent trips can be broken down into three categories:

– Publishers Summits: Groups of publishers gather now and then to discuss what’s going on in the industry and how to better prepare for the future. I’ve been leading these and the change in perception has been quite striking since a year ago. While some publishers still arrive with serious worry about the future of their newspapers, most seem to come with stories of rising profits and optimism about the future. There’s a lot less talk about digital – which seemed to be all we were talking about a couple of years ago – and a lot more talk about creating better products.

– Getting Color Right: I guess it’s only natural that since we do, indeed, have a future, it only makes sense to prepare for it. Over the past two weeks, I’ve been in Tupelo, Mississippi and Newport, Rhode Island, working with daily newspapers to improve the quality of their printing. I suppose I shouldn’t forget the Selmer Independent Appeal, a weekly newspaper in West Tennessee. And in the next few weeks, I’ll be in Minnesota and back in Tennessee, doing the same thing.

My job in these situations is to run test after test to determine how to get color and black & white images to look as good as they can when printed. Tupelo had just installed a new $10 million press. You can bet they want their photos to look as good as possible. So do my friends in Rhode Island, Minnesota and Tennessee.

Here’s what I’m learning during these color tests: No two presses print alike. Sometimes the differences are startling. It gives me real optimism about the future to see newspapers investing in presses again. This wasn’t my first client to purchase a new press in 2013.

– Staff Training: Newspapers are doing a lot of staff training again. Three or four years ago, I was starting to think that my days as a trainer were over. It’s funny how a little optimism can change things. From 2008 or so through 2012, it seemed like training was a thing of the past. Association conventions were getting smaller, papers weren’t hiring trainers and the whole idea of improving our products seemed to give way to divesting, instead of investing, as the primary method of increasing profit.

In many of the conventions where I spoke in 2013, I was told the attendance had increased significantly over previous years. I don’t think that has to do with me as much as it has to do with a return to the idea of value in training. And conventions, obviously, offer a cost-effective method to share ideas and get training.

But newspapers aren’t only going to conventions in larger numbers again, they’re investing in on-site training for their staffs in greater numbers. Tomorrow, I leave for Los Angeles to work with the staff of El Clasificado, then to Baton Rouge, the following day, to spend a few days with the staff of the Business Report.

One of the joys of working with newspapers around the holidays is to get invited to staff parties and holiday gatherings. At a company-wide luncheon in Tupelo, I was privileged to hear Clay Foster address his staff, who cheered as he approached the podium, about his appreciation for all they do. He mentioned that, while they didn’t meet every goal for 2013, they ended the year profitably and had much to be thankful for. This is a daily newspaper with a circulation of 33,000 in a town of 35,000 people and a county of 84,000.

It’s no wonder that newspapers like El Clasificado and The Tupelo Daily Journal are successful. They’ve moved past “the end is near” philosophy and moved on to “the future is bright.” I wish every newspaper publisher could see what I see. Local content, quality products and investment in the future. Those are the keys.

Newspaper dollars still tops in local media

By Wayne Friedman, MediaDailyNews

Local small and medium-sized businesses are “optimistic” about local media growth in the near term. Still, many are cautious.

When it comes to where local media dollars are spent, the survey says newspapers are still tops – commanding a 22% share of local ad dollars, followed by digital at 19%; other local print publications with 12%; direct mail at 9%; radio with 8%; and outdoor (out of home) at 3%.

Local broadcast stations and local cable systems each command a 3% share of local and medium-sized business media budgets.

A new survey from Borrell Associates says 47% expect to spend “about the same” in advertising/marketing in 2013 versus 2012; with 27% looking to spend more and 19% spending less. Read more at

Postal reform is back on the table for 2014

By Tonda F. Rush, NNA

Progress toward legislative reform for the U.S. Postal Service stalled in November when the mailing industry and labor organizations united in opposition to the Postal Reform Act of 2013 being considered in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The bill, S 1486, contains provisions proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, to dismiss the Postal Regulatory Commission from most of its role in regulating rates and service. Mailers groups, including National Newspaper Association, object to deregulating the government monopoly.

As committee chair, Sen. Thomas Carper, D-DE, prepared the bill for committee passage, a fellow Democrat, Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, readied amendments to restore the PRC oversight. A campaign to solicit supporters in 13 states represented by senators in the committee netted a long list of backers for Baldwin. NNA, with assists from state press associations, provided more than 300 signatures for Baldwin.

NNA’s government relations chair, Deb McCaslin, publisher of the Custer County Chief in Broken Bow, NE, said the Coburn provisions threw the reform process into reverse. The bill also contains no protections against new Negotiated Service Agreements, like the deep discounts for Valassis Direct Mail that USPS offered in 2012.

“No postal reform legislation is without controversy because it touches on service, postage rates and labor costs. We ended last year with a pretty good compromise bill that we thought would be our starting point this year. Coburn’s belief that the monopoly should be deregulated introduced a new element into the discussions. Although we respect his interest in getting the Postal Service healthy again, we cannot agree that giving unfettered power to set rates would be good for USPS, our newspapers or the nation. It would inevitably lead to much higher prices for mail USPS considers a burden on the system while leading to lower prices for mail it considers competitive—like saturation advertising mail,” McCaslin said.

Further consideration of S. 1486 is now set for mid-December. The delay dooms chances of passage in 2013.

McCaslin said publishers should expect to do battle on postal reform during the NNA “We Believe in Newspapers” Leadership Summit, March 13, 2014.

“I would like to say this legislation will be finished by March. Sadly, I think we have a long way to go to guarantee reasonable mail delivery and fair competition for community newspapers,” she said.

In other postal news:

• The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the PRC’s decision to allow the Valassis NSA discounts. Although the court decision found fault with the PRC’s reasoning, it ruled that its policy of deferring to expert agencies governed.

• The PRC heard USPS witnesses in November on why a 6.9 percent exigency rate increase is needed for January. The PRC questioned whether USPS losses were fully tied to the Great Recession, which it has deemed a sufficient exigency to justify extra rate increases, or were part of ongoing disruption from the Internet. A decision in the case is expected in late December.

• USPS is preparing a new policy statement on the processing of flat mail, including newspapers. NNA is involved through the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee in laying out the road map for mail processing hubs to keep direct carrier route and 5-digit mail containers from going unnecessarily into distant mail processing centers. That report is due Dec. 31.

• A serious programming error in USPS’ operating system, PostalONE!, is kicking out too-high rates for mailing software providers when mail includes both in-county and outside county mail with Intelligent Mail Barcodes. NNA’s MTAC representative Bradley Hill, president of Interlink Inc., registered a complaint with USPS management in November. He noted that publishers would be unlikely to convert to the barcode use if penalized by the wrong rates. USPS said it was working on a repair.

10 News Design Basics

By Ed Henninger

Newspaper Design Consultant

Ed Henninger

Ed Henninger

Editor’s Note: Ed Henninger will be spending a long day Friday, January 24, at the KPA Winter Convention. He’ll be doing a 9 a.m. session and then beginning at 10:30, has offered 15-minute individual newspaper design critiques. All 12 spots have been reserved for these one-on-one, “come with an open mind,” design discussions.

A few years ago, I developed the Francis A. Henninger Grant Program, which helps me improve the look of even the smallest newspapers.

From my work on those projects, I’ve realized that many editors at these papers have hardly any training in proper news design. Many of them are just “winging it,” and they’ll freely admit it.

As a result of that realization, I now offer a seminar titled “News Design 101: All Basics. No Bull.” The presentation offers those editors an opportunity to learn some of the most fundamental techniques, approaches and practices of good news design.

Many of those who read this column also serve their community newspaper as editor, publisher, reporter, photographer, clerk, janitor, gofer, etc. And they, too, will admit they have little design training. So I thought I’d share some of the tips in that seminar here.

Here’s a Top 10 Basic News Design Things You Need to Know:

1. Headline hierarchy. Place larger heads higher on the page. Give your lead news story the largest, boldest headline. Start big, so your smallest head isn’t teeny-tiny.

2. Use a dominant photo. Give your lead photo some size. At least three columns. Anything smaller doesn’t bring enough impact to the page. 3. Crop photos tightly. Look for the picture in your picture. Rid your photos of cluttered backgrounds and zoom in on your subject.

4. Avoid funky photo formats and frames. No ovals. No notched corners, no colored or embossed frames. We are community newspapers, not high school yearbooks.

5. Use modular design. Keep all the elements and packages on your page in rectangular format. There will be times when you will have to “dogleg” a story around ads, and that’s acceptable. But stick to modular design wherever possible..

6. Keep briefs brief. No more than three to four inches. Anything more than that is a story—put a headline on it and place it elsewhere.

7. Align to the baseline. Text and text-like elements such as captions, credits, bylines should all align to a baseline grid. This is easy to set up in your software and it gives your pages a more polished, professional look. It also saves you time trying to force alignment of columns.

8. Keep design elements consistent. Set up standing heads, column sigs, page labels and the like so they are the same throughout your newspaper. Don’t fall into the trap of making this-or-that column “different.” Eventually, everything becomes different. And…if everything is different, nothing is.

9. Use software style sheets. This is the easiest way to guarantee long-term design consistency. And it helps speed the design process through every issue.

10. Create a design style guide. This need not be a full-bore, 40-plus page design manual. For small newspapers, it can be only two sides of a sheet of paper. Laminate it and place copies at every design terminal. It will keep you designing in the right direction.

So, there you have it. Follow these 10 tips and yours will be a better-designed newspaper. Now…and for the long term.

WANT A FREE evaluation of your newspaper’s design? Just contact Ed: | 803-327-3322

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:

ED HENNINGER is an independent newspaper consultant and the Director of Henninger Consulting. Offering comprehensive newspaper design services including redesigns, workshops, staff training and evaluations. E-mail: On the web: Phone: 803-327-3322.

2013 NFOIC/MLRC Open Government Survey Showed Troubling Trends for Transparency

NFOIC’s third biennial joint study with the New York-based Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) showed a continuation of trends that are troubling to open government advocates. Just as similar informal surveys in 2009 and 2011 had, the 2013 Open Government Survey found a substantial decline over the last two to five years in the amount of resources devoted by media organizations to FOIA and open government issues.

More Freedom of Information Coalition stories

Take time some time to read about FOI issues and concerns at state and federal levels at

Data Driven Journalism: Where Journalism Meets Data

Running through some other websites and information this past week, I came upon a worldwide project on Data Driven Journalism and thought I’d share the site with you. Perhaps you can get some story ideas, and learn how to do better research using data. The link to the site is at the end but an introduction to Data Driven Journalism is necessary first:

We are a hub for news and resources from the community of journalists, editors, designers and developers who use data in the service of journalism. On our site you’ll be able to:

• Get a behind the scenes look at data journalism projects from around the world;

• Learn about new tools and methods for how to work with data effectively;

• Find out and get informed about training events and job opportunities in your area;

• Stay on top of the latest developments in the field.

The website is part of the European Journalism Centre’s Data Driven Journalism initiative.

Data Driven Journalism is one of the leading initiatives for training, resources and networking in the area of data journalism. Founded in 2010, the program is dedicated to accelerating the diffusion and improving the quality of data journalism around the world, whether the focus is on investigations, news applications, putting news into context, or simply using data to inform and assist journalistic work.

Through a combination of knowledge sharing via training courses, conferences and online resources, and encouraging collaboration by building and strengthening the community of practitioners, we aim to enable more journalists, editors, news developers and designers to make better use of data and incorporate it further into their work.

– See more at:

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