October 11, 2013

• For a first-timer, KPA Board Member Stevie Lowery does well in Chicago Marathon

• Rufus Friday elected to SNPA Board of Directors; David Paxton continues on SNPA Foundation Board

• Are TV sections a waste of space? Two Kentucky publishers chime in on statement

• Either Frankfort Plant Board chair can’t read or he can’t comprehend

• KPA Board to hold retreat at Dale Hollow next week

Rufus Friday elected to SNPA Board; Scott Schurz leaving the board; David Paxton on SNPA Foundation Board

Rufus Friday

Rufus Friday

Lexington Herald-Leader publisher Rufus Friday has been named to the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association Board of Directors. The SNPA Board consists of one director from each of the 14 SNPA states plus four at-large directors. Friday was elected to represent Kentucky on the board.

David Paxton

David Paxton


Scott Schurz Jr.

Scott Schurz Jr.

Scott Schurz Jr., publisher of Advocate Communications in Danville, went off the SNPA Board after the association’s convention.

Kentucky has one other representative on an SNPA Board. David M. Paxton, president and CEO of Paxton Media Group in Paducah, is a member of the SNPA Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Donna Barrett, president and CEO of Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., was re-elected chairperson of the SNPA Foundation Board. Tom Silvestri, president and publisher of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, was elected president of the SNPA.


Stevie Lowery keeps a promise, runs Chicago Marathon, finishes in less than 4 hours

Stevie Lowery, publisher of The Lebanon Enterprise, and a member of the Kentucky Press Association Board of Directors, ran the Chicago Marathon on October 13.

Stevie, left, and friend Sarah at the finish line of the Chicago Marathon

Stevie, left, and friend Sarah at the finish line of the Chicago Marathon

It was her first marathon, and she finished in 3 hours, 56 minutes and 54 seconds. She is officially a member of the sub-4:00 marathon club!

Stevie ran as a Girls on the Run SoleMate and raised more than $1,500 for the Girls on the Run program.

By running the marathon, Stevie also kept a promise to a fellow runner, dear friend and sorority sister. On Derby day in 2012, Stevie’s friend, Sarah, was hit by a drunk driver. She was seriously injured in the crash. Stevie promised Sarah that when she recovered from her injuries she would run a marathon with her. Ironically, Sarah was the first person to greet Stevie at the finish line.

For you folks who like to crunch numbers, here are Stevie’s marathon stats:

Finish time 03:56:54

Average pace: 8:57 per mile

Place gender: 2,829 of 17,373

Place age group (30-24): 593 of 3,243

Place overall: 10,695 out of 45,000 runners

Either Frankfort Board chair can’t read or he can’t comprehend what he reads

Illiteracy is a known problem in Kentucky. Many people just can’t read. And then there are those who can read but have no idea what the words mean.

One of those two might explain the chairman of the Frankfort Plant Board. The plant board was in discussion on the evaluation of its General Manager. And this graph in the Frankfort State Journal should be of concern.

“After ( Board Chairman Ralph) Ludwig backed away from his earlier suggestion that the directors meet in a series of less-than-quorum meetings with (Herbbie) Bannister to evaluate him in order to avoid having to do so publicly, directors were asked to fill out and submit preliminary evaluation forms on Bannister’s performance prior to the meeting.”

First, the Open Meetings Law clearly disallows small groups of a public agency board from getting together to discuss business, in this case the GM’s evaluation, if as a whole, it would constitute a quorum.

Second, the chair being the agency head is required under state law to hand out copies of “Your Duty Under the Law” and get each board member to sign that they have received that document, prepared by the Attorney General’s Office. The publication has been in Kentucky law for about 15 years. Now there is one problem with that law — while it is required to be given to each public agency member, there’s no law requiring they read it. Perhaps he’s using his copy at home to level a table or chair.

Third, even though he resorted to having members fill out a written evaluation, that doesn’t get around confidentiality. I would hope someone makes an Open Records request for the written evaluations of the GM by each board member.

Fourth, every newspaper in this state should be filing an Open Records request with each agency head for copies of the form signed by agency members that they have in fact received a copy of “Your Duty Under the Law.” I’ve suggested it before and few if any have made the request. I don’t understand why they don’t.

The guy needs to learn what Open Government means. It means whatever’s going on is the public’s business and the public has a right to know. It doesn’t mean he can operate his own little kingdom at the plant board.

KPA Board Retreat next week at Dale Hollow Lake State Park

You get a break from these weekly missives because I’ll be with the KPA Board at its Fall Retreat, October 24-25, at Dale Hollow Lake State Park. Some staff will be there as well, giving reports on projects for 2013 and looking ahead to 2014.

Look for these to return on Friday, November 1, unless I just miss writing you so much that I have to do something in between.

On TV listings and postal problems: two Kentucky newspaper publishers comment

Sharon Burton of the Adair County Community Voice and Ben Gish with the Mountain Eagle in Whitesburg are two of the commenters in Ken Blum’s Black Inkling column. Both responded to comments about TV listings not being an important part of a weekly newspaper, or the reference to the listings as “a waste of space.”

And then Ben Gish told Black Inkling’s readers about continued postal problems he’s having with the switch from being served by Lexington and now by the Knoxville Post Office. He’s wondering if other newspapers have the same experience, i.e., problems, since changes were made.

Here are their comments:

Topic – TV Channel Listings are a Waste of Space

Cable Company Sponsors Listings
From Sharon Burton, publisher, The Community Voice, Columbia, KY

I tend to agree with you but our readers informed me otherwise.

Our local cable company does not provide a guide with its basic package. So we work with the local cable company to run the channels that are on the basic package and the cable company sponsors the page. We recently had mailing issue and the paper was late getting to some readers. The calls? People missing their TV guide. Go figure.

Readers Complain When Listings are Removed
From Ben Gish, publisher, The Mountain Eagle, Whitesburg, KY

We are one of those papers that still devote a full page to television listings. While I agree with what you’re saying, here is what has happened to us: A couple of times during the past two years we have intentionally omitted the listings to see how the readers would react. Each time we leave them out we get several calls from angry readers threatening to stop their subscriptions. I wish I knew a way to find out for sure how many people actually do use the listings.

A Postal Service Nightmare
From Ben Gish, publisher, The Mountain Eagle, Whitesburg, KY

You wouldn’t believe the nightmares we’ve encountered after the closing of some Post Office sorting centers in July. Don’t know if you’ve heard a lot about what papers are going through with the mail changes, but it is brutal.

Thank goodness we have circulation software through the Michigan company Interlink and appear to have gotten the ear(s) of some Postal Service officials in Lexington and Louisville who are trying to help us since we try to do things the right way in terms of keeping up with new standards, etc.

Without getting into it too deeply, all mail from eastern Kentucky has been redirected from the Lexington sorting center to a center in Knoxville, lot about what papers are going through with the mail changes, but it is brutal.

Without getting into it too deeply, all mail from eastern Kentucky has been redirected from the Lexington sorting center to a center in Knoxville, Tenn. Meanwhile, all mail from southwestern Virginia and east Tennessee was also redirected from Roanoke and Bristol-Kingsport-Johnson City, Tenn., to Knoxville at the same time in July. Hence, the backlog of mail in Knoxville was so big that many of our out-of-area customers did not get a paper during the whole month of July. After we complained to the Postal officials in Louisville and Lexington (believe it or not, they said we were only the second paper in Kentucky to complain) people as far away as Chicago began to get Wednesday’s paper two days later on Friday. Unfortunately, the service is now reverting back to what it was in July.

Have any other readers had a similar experience?

Five KPA District seats up for three-year terms

Five of the 14 KPA Districts are now in the nomination process for electing a Board member for a three-year term. The terms begin at the end of the January, 2014, Convention and continue through January, 2017. The five districts (and their current Board member) are District 3 – David Dixon, Henderson Gleaner; District 4 – Jeff Jobe, Jobe Publishing, Horse Cave; District 5 – Stevie Lowery, Lebanon Enterprise; District 6 – Kerry Johnson, Shelbyville Sentinel News; and District 13 – Peter Baniak, Lexington Herald-Leader. All are eligible for re-election.

Each newspaper publisher in those districts have received a letter from KPA opening nominations for the next terms. Publishers have until October 28 to return the nomination and then ballots will be mailed for each respective district.

Join other newspapers and help local high schools belong to KHSJA

From David Greer, an email he sent to publishers and editors earlier this week about helping to support local high school journalism programs with a membership in KHSJA. And certainly sponsorship is not limited to a newspaper. If an Associate Division member wants to sponsor some high schools, that’s great. Campbellsville University does so and other colleges or universities are invited to:

Dear Kentucky publishers and editors:

The Kentucky High School Journalism Association, which KPA founded 17 years ago to be an advocate for scholastic journalism in the state, is in the midst of its annual membership drive. With a few weeks to go in the sign-up or renewal period, KHSJA is a little over half way to its 100-member school goal. Over the past decade, Kentucky’s newspapers have been tremendous supporters of KHSJA with about 70 percent of our member schools typically having their annual membership sponsored by one or more local papers. Membership is only $50 per school per school year and encourages schools to attend the annual KHSJA state convention, compete in our annual student contest for newspapers, yearbooks and broadcast and attend various workshops around the state. We make sponsor payment painless — we can bill you, accept your check or credit card payment or even deduct it from your next KPS ad revenue check.

So far this school year, these Kentucky publications have sponsored schools in KHSJA:

The Messenger, Madisonville

The Ledger Independent

Jobe Publishing

The Kentucky Standard

The Daily News, Bowling Green

The Advocate-Messenger

The Winchester Sun

The Jessamine Journal

The Interior Journal

The Record (Grayson County)

Meade County Messenger

Sebree Banner

Sturgis News

Kentucky New Era

Beech Tree News

Thanks to these organizations for their support of high school journalism. Research has shown that high school journalists make superior grades in school, are more engaged in their communities and become newspaper readers, if they’re not already.

If you would like to sponsor one or more of your local high schools, just email me at dgreer@kypress.com and we’ll take it from there. Thanks for your support.

Food Truck Friday for National Newspaper Week

The Lexington Herald-Leader’s front parking lot turned into “tent city” as members of a Food Truck Association set up shop at lunch to help celebrate National Newspaper Week. A few hundred turned out to take advantage of the food, live music, visits with Herald-Leader personnel, tour the printing press and a chance for a new Camry. Subscribers are given one free entry for the Camry; but anyone can go to kentucky.com and register for it by “liking” kentucky.com.



Eldridge joining Hoosier State Press Board of Directors

Dave Eldridge, president of KPA in 2002, is now publisher in southern Indiana and has recently joined the Board of Directors of the Hoosier State Press Association. Eldridge was invited to join the HSPA Board to fill out a vacancy term. He begins his service in December.

New laws on cigarette advertising getting closer

The Food and Drug Administration has pushed changes in the packaging and labeling of cigarette products so much so that there will be new laws governing cigarette advertising. Currently, the law allows a retailer to advertise cigarettes but only with one of the SURGEON GENERAL WARNINGs included in the ad.

And your first question is, “When do we start requiring this?” Well, the regulation states that 15 months after the rules are issued, no manufacturer, retailer or other business may advertise cigarette products without one of the new statements. The rules were issued on September 22, 2012, so that means around December 22, 2013, any ad for cigarettes that you publish will require one of the statements below to be printed.

I’ve given you two links at the end — one to the federal statute language as amended and one to the Food and Drug Administration with “frequently asked questions.”

The new law reads (and specifically read (2) below for what will be required):

15 USC Sec. 1333                                            01/03/2012 (112-90)



Sec. 1333. Labeling; requirements; conspicuous statement


(a) Required warnings; packages; advertisements; billboards

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, package, or import for sale or distribution within the United States any cigarettes the package of which fails to bear, in accordance with the requirements of this section, one of the following labels:

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any manufacturer or importer of cigarettes to advertise or cause to be advertised (other than through the use of outdoor billboards) within the United States any cigarette unless the advertising bears, in accordance with the requirements of this section, one of the following labels:

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide.



Help local governments become more transparent? There’s an app for that!!

New Open Government Tool for Municipalities
Posted On October 15, 2013

Transparency in local government just became easier thanks to RecordTrac, a web-based application designed to help cities more efficiently manage, respond to, and track incoming requests for public records. For the public, the Code for America tool provides an easy way to request public records and track progress made on each request. The system also allows the public to search previous public record requests and access previously produced records. Tips and examples make it easier for the public to structure a request that can be satisfied without additional back-and-forth that delays response.

(Lexington is included in the list of states/cities that are a part of the Code for America. You can access more information on that by clicking on Code for America above.)

On Feb. 5, Oakland, Calif., Mayor Jean Quan announced that three 2013 Code for America fellows—Sheila Dugan, Richa Agarwal, and Cris Cristina—would work with city staff and the community to identify needs and develop new apps and tools “that will bring greater openness, efficiency and participation to local government.” RecordTrac is the result of these efforts: The app allows anyone to submit a public record request to the City of Oakland. Each message (request) is made public immediately and is tracked through the process of compiling the response. Also, users can search past records requests to view previously released documents. This eliminates the wait many people experience between submitting a request for a public record and receiving a reply. Documents that have been sought previously are immediately available. For municipal employees, it’s a vast improvement over older software that was not able to assist in compiling responses to complex requests within a reasonable time frame. The public was often in limbo in terms of what progress was being made on a request.

Enhancing Efficiency

People have become accustomed to finding information online immediately, and government agencies must do a better job of emulating the private sector, championing openness and transparency while improving efficiency. According to Mark Headd, chief data officer for Philadelphia, “This is an innovative solution that will make it easier for citizens to request information and data from their city government,” increasing transparency and building more efficient processes while offering better access to public information.

Oakland is one of 10 municipalities (Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.; Las Vegas; Louisville, Ky.; New York; San Francisco; San Mateo, Calif.; South Bend, Ind.; and Summit County, Ohio) partnering with Code for America to “keep pace with the community they serve by creating and implementing new applications, and by demonstrating new ways of resolving local challenges.” One such app is CityVoice, a voice messaging platform in South Bend where the public can leave voice mail messages about abandoned properties throughout the city. Listen to recent messages and view the map on the CityVoice website.

Code for America

Founded in 2009, Code for America supports civic startups by helping to organize developers locally to reuse and deploy civic software. “Code for America is re-imagining government for the 21st century.”


RecordTrac is an open source software project that can be redeployed by any municipality. For additional technical information, consult GitHub.

Barbie E. Keiser is an information resources management consultant located in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area.

Free Speech Week is October 21 – 27

fsw_thumbFree Speech Week is an annual, nationwide program held every October. The goal of this nonpartisan, non-ideological event is to raise awareness and celebrate the importance of free speech and a free press in the United States. A recent study indicated that 36 percent of Americans could not name a First Amendment protection such as freedom of speech.

A wide variety of organizations and schools that believe in the value of freedom of speech register as FSW Partners, and hold activities such as panel discussions, mock debates, and library exhibits to celebrate the week. For 2013, these partners include the Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression at Yale Law School, Society of Professional Journalists, National Communication Association, Rutgers School of Communication and Information and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press among many others.

NAA has posted several downloadable ads that newspapers can run in support of this worthwhile endeavor at http://www.naa.org/fsw

The Free Speech Week ads can be edited to include your organizations logo. By running an ad you will be joining the many groups, such as those above, in support of this worthwhile endeavor. For more information about FSW, please visit www.freespeechweek.org.

KPS Advertising update

It’s just the middle of October but already we’re sitting with more than $163,000 in the queue for November advertising. And with still a couple of weeks left in October, we sit today with over $236,000 for this month. Now the challenge is on your end — please make sure the ads get placed as ordered.

October $236,146.92

November $163,533.21

Webinar on the horizon


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