• KJF hires Development Director
• ‘Covering Health Care Reform’ webinar offered December 5
• ‘The AP at Gettysburg’ to be discussed at Northern Kentucky University
• NNA fighting postal increase proposal
• Localize a story: State food stamp recipients see $94 million cut
But first things first!!
KPS’ advertising total shows a new record for November. We’ve added almost $60,000 in the last week and stand at $426,121 for the month. That’s almost the same $60,000 above the previous mark.
For the year, we’re closing in on $3 million, with about $2.961 through today!
Journalism Foundation hires Development Director
The position was created by the KPA Past Presidents who serve as the board of the journalism foundation. The Past Presidents followed KPA President Willie Sawyers’ goal for 2013 to begin increasing the number of internships offered each year by the foundation and the KPA Associates Division.The Kentucky Journalism Foundation, the charitable, non-profit arm affiliated with the Kentucky Press Association, has hired its first-ever Development Director. Julia Meister-Murgrave will begin her dues on Monday, November 11.
Julia most recently was Development Director for the Scott County Humane Society. In that role, she was able to raise more than $660,000 in grants, special events and other initiatives that increased the SC Humane Society’s budget by more than 109 percent.
Her husband, Tom, is a former reporter for the Georgetown News-Graphic.
She can be reached by email — email@example.com — or by phoning the KPA Office at 502-223-8821.
CKNJ moves into new office, holds open house
The staff of the Central Kentucky News Journal has completed its move to a new office in Campbellsville and invited the public Thursday to an open house.
The staff started moving in early October from an office where it had called home for more than 30 years. It’s now located at 200 Albion Way, next to Campbellsville’s Super 8 motel.
NKU hosting ‘The AP at Gettysburg: Capturing what Lincoln wrote and said’ presentation on Nov. 14
AP’s director of corporate archives, Valerie Komor, will speak about AP’s coverage of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as the 150th anniversary of his speech approaches. Komor’s presentation on “The AP at Gettysburg: Capturing what Lincoln wrote and said” will be held Thursday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m. at Northern Kentucky University’s Griffin Hall Digitorium.
On Nov. 19, 1863, the AP engaged a young reporter from nearby Harrisburg to cover Abraham Lincoln’s address in Gettysburg, Pa. Joseph Ignatius Gilbert was just 20 years old but his reporting would influence the ages. Valerie Komor will detail Gilbert’s coverage of the speech, drawing comparisons to Lincoln’s own text, and revealing what the contrast tells us about Abe’s composition process and speaking style. Learn, too, how Lincoln came to favor the AP version when making his own copies of the Gettysburg Address. Komor has been director of the AP Corporate Archives since 2003, when the Archives were established. Previously, Komor held positions at Oberlin College Archives, the Rockefeller Archive Center, the Smithsonian Archives of American Art and the New-York Historical Society, where she headed the Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections.
For more details about the lecture and how to order tickets, go to http://civicengagement.nku.edu/sixatsix.html
NNA fights postal increase proposals
The National Newspaper Association, America’s alliance of community weekly and daily newspapers, this week continued a multi-front attack against unfair postage rate increases with litigation at the Postal Regulatory Commission and strong grassroots work on Capitol Hill.
NNA has joined the Affordable Mail Alliance at the PRC to object to the planned “exigency” postage increase proposed for January. NNA and others are arguing that the U.S. Postal Service has overstated the amount of its financial losses created by the Great Recession.
On Capitol Hill, NNA opposes proposals by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, to hand over authority to USPS—to set rates and to change service levels without—pre-review by the Postal Regulatory Commission. Coburn’s proposals are included in a the Postal Reform Act of 2013, jointly proposed by Coburn and Sen. Thomas Carper, D-DE, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. NNA believes handing unfettered authority over the government monopoly’s services and rates to the USPS Board of Governors would result in higher rates for Periodicals and more attempts at promoting selected direct mail products over newspaper advertising.
“NNA has an obligation to the industry and our communities to help cure the ills of the Postal Service in ways that do not dilute service or drive more mailers out of the system. Both of those results would end up in a massive taxpayer bailout of the Postal Service in the future because mail volume will fall off even more sharply than it is today,” said NNA President Robert M. Williams, Jr. “We understand that new legislation is needed and that we will not always get what we want. But we have our sights trained on solutions that do not further diminish service, particularly in rural America. And we need a fair playing field for newspapers.
“I have asked members of NNA’s Congressional Action Team, operating under the expert leadership of our chair, Deb McCaslin, of Nebraska, to call their senators on the Homeland Security committee, which will be writing the legislation,” he said. “We need to keep the PRC in a proper regulatory role and continue to work for laws that create meaningful cost controls for the Postal Service.
“Our board in September reaffirmed our partnership with the Affordable Mail Alliance as well. We are working in a very strong coalition to litigate at the PRC on the proposed rates.”
Max Heath, NNA’s Postal Committee chair and a KPA Past President, has produced estimates on the impact of the proposed postal rates for newspapers. As always, the average proposed rate hits some newspapers harder than others.
“We believe some rates will fall in the 8 percent to 9 percent range,” Heath said. “I have cautioned our members that these rates are proposed and not final. The PRC still has to speak. I believe we have a strong case to reduce this proposed increase and would hope we wind up with something closer to the legal increase within the rate of inflation.”
McCaslin noted support for NNA’s position from Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, one of the authors of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, where the inflation-based price cap was created. Collins has written the PRC that Congress never intended for the legal “exigency” or emergency rate authority to be used as USPS proposes.
Collins said she believed the exigency power was to be used “sparingly … only if terrorist attacks, natural disasters and other events cause significant and substantial declines in mail volume.” She said the PRC’s approval of the higher rates could be inconsistent with the law.
New ethics site offers resources for journalists
Finding your way ethically in an age of unverified tweets and anonymous comments can be a treacherous journey for reporters and editors, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely one: Help is available with the launch of Poynter’s ethics site, Truth and Trust in Media.
The new site offers reporters and editors a place to track developments in media ethics and get guidance from journalism-ethics experts, and invites both readers and journalists to be part of an evolving discussion about ethical decision-making.
“Going forward, we won’t have a one-size-fits-all ethics code,” said Kelly McBride, Poynter senior faculty member. “We probably won’t be able to define exactly who is a journalist. But we will be able to judge the production of news and information as journalistic, or not journalistic, based on the principles of truth, transparency and community.”
The site features McBride’s The Ethics Blog, including material from the new book “The New Ethics of Journalism,” co-edited by McBride and Tom Rosenstiel, American Press Institute executive director.
RJI Futures Lab video update: Tools for automated video editing, mobile app building
This week’s episode produced by the Reynolds Journalism Institute introduces tools that enable just about anyone to edit video and create mobile apps, with little or no technical skills required.
The episode is available to watch on the RJI website, via a dedicated YouTube channel or through an iPad app. RJI produces and releases a free video program every Tuesday to provide newsroom leaders with insight into new and growing trends in journalism across all media platforms.
The show is overseen and hosted by RJI Futures Lab Deputy Director Reuben Stern and Video Editor Olga Kyle. The reporting team includes students from the Missouri School of Journalism.
To help you stay on top of our fast-changing industry, RJI also curates the best stories daily from across the web in its RJI Links.
KPA co-sponsors ‘Covering Health Care Reform: How to inform your readers’ webinar
KPA, Online Media Campus and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association are joining together for a December 5 webinar on ‘Covering Health Care Reform.’ This webinar will be done by Tony Keys.
Tony has worked at the Des Moines Register since 1988. He worked as a copy editor and assignment editor before returning to reporting in 2000. Since then, much of his focus has been on covering health care. He grew up in the Milwaukee, Wisc. area and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The webinarwill include information on how to make coverage of health care reform understandable and digestible for your readers. The presenter will be discussing specific effects the health care reform will have on different groups, such as small business owners, young adults, pre-retirement adults and health care providers. As the new initiative continues to roll out, we’ll discuss how to keep on top of updates and resources available to you.
Deadline to register for the $35 fee is Monday, December 2. A $10 late registration fee will be added for registrations after December 2. The webinar will be 2 to 3 p.m./Eastern, 1 to 2 p.m. Central.
For more information and to register, go to:
Getting sales traction
By John Foust
Traction is a key element in any business. Even the business of football.
Many fans remember when the Green Bay Packers hosted the Dallas Cowboys in the 1967 NFL Championship game. The winner would go on to play the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs in the second Super Bowl. This was the famous “ice bowl,” in which the temperature was minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 25 Celsius) at kickoff. Before the season, Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi had purchased an underground electric grid system that was supposed to keep the field from freezing. But on the day of the game, the system wasn’t working, and the field was frozen solid. It was so cold that Frank Gifford, who was announcing the game in an open booth, said, “I think I’ll take another bite of my coffee.”
Dallas was leading 17-14, when the Packers were facing third and goal on the Cowboys’ 1-yard line with 16 seconds remaining. Lombardi called for quarterback Bart Starr to give the ball to the fullback, Chuck Mercein. But Starr didn’t want to risk a handoff and decided – without telling anyone in the huddle – to run the ball himself. When guard Jerry Kramer got to the line of scrimmage, he couldn’t believe his good fortune in finding a soft patch of turf. It was a foothold. Of course, Kramer threw the key block, Starr scored, and the Packers won.
It all started with Kramer’s foothold, which gave him traction against Jethro Pugh, the Cowboys’ superb defensive tackle. To this day, Cowboy fans speculate on what could have happened if Pugh had had the soft patch of turf.
There’s a lot of slippery ground in the world of sales. The first step in getting traction is to find the soft spot – the biggest and the best of which is self-interest. British statesman Benjamin Disraeli said, “Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours.” There’s great truth in these words – as long as we are completely sincere in our interest.
Here are some foothold areas for sales presentations:
1. Advance research. Show that you have done your homework on the company. Learn as much as you can before your first meeting. Study the company’s web site. If it’s a retail business, visit one of their stores.
2. On-the-spot research. In your initial appointment, ask a lot of questions. Get facts and opinions. What is the company’s marketing history? What kinds of ad campaigns have worked in the past? What hasn’t worked? What are their marketing goals?
3. Previous communication. If you’ve had conversations or an e-mail dialogue with your prospect, that’s a good starting point. If you’ve promised to bring specific information to the meeting, that’s even better.
4. Common interest. As long as you keep it brief – and as long as you avoid political topics – this can be a good rapport-building foothold. Did you grow up in the same geographic area? Do you have similar hobbies?
Or…do you share an interest in football?
(c) Copyright 2013 by John Foust. All rights reserved.
John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author may be the most revealing part of a letter
By Jim Pumarlo
A reader complained about a published letter that supported teachers in their contract dispute: Did the editor know the writer was the spouse of a teacher? Why wasn’t that noted since the writer has a self-interest in the outcome of negotiations?
Many editors have likely fielded similar questions at one time or another.
The caller correctly pointed out that our newspaper, on occasion, identified letter-writers with a tagline. Why we didn’t do so in this case is a good question, and we took the opportunity to communicate our policy to all readers. It’s a great example of when editors should take the initiative to explain the ins and outs of newspaper operations to their readers – their customers.
It’s common practice – or should be – for newspapers to indicate the “who” of “what” of writers for a couple of reasons:
No. 1, the writers have a clear stake in the issue. Take the example of a local antique dealer who expresses concern over a proposed city law that would have required pawn shops and antique dealers to keep inventory of merchandise.
No. 2, the writers may have specific knowledge or credentials that underscore their understanding of an issue. An example is a nuclear physicist who writes about the storage of radioactive spent fuel at the local nuclear power plant.
In both instances, the identification gives readers a broader understanding and appreciation of the writers’ perspectives. In most cases, the writers themselves ask that the descriptive information be included.
So where should editors draw the line? Why specifically didn’t we identify the teacher’s spouse who weighed in contract negotiations?
We believed it was appropriate to identify writers in the debate if they were school district employees. But we hesitated to identify family members. Think of the challenges in doing so.
First, it’s impractical to think editors know the names of all employees and their spouses. Furthermore, who is it appropriate to identify – spouses, parents, children? And should their opinions somehow be “tainted” by identifying a relationship?
This was not the first time a family member had written on an issue close to home. I recall when the parent of a city council candidate wrote a letter of endorsement. We did not identify the relationship.
Having said all that, editors – and readers – should pay attention to the authors of letters, especially during political campaigns and other divisive issues such as teachers’ contract negotiations. It’s little surprise that teachers in our community were encouraging people to write in support of their position. In similar vein, administration and school board members who stood on the opposite side of contract talks encouraged their friends to advance their arguments.
For the most part, individuals on both sides who had a vested interest in the outcome of the dispute readily identified themselves in letters. At the same time, we explained to readers that the school district had about 450 employees, and approximately 50 percent of those were teachers.
A lively discussion of issues is a keystone to a vibrant community, and it’s a common perception among many readers that the “letters column” is their territory. They feel a particular ownership to the rules that govern the page. Editors should welcome reader participation, but there are occasions when you have to step in. It behooves editors and readers to not only analyze the arguments presented in letters, but also to pay attention to the writers. In many cases, the messenger may be more important than the message.
Jim Pumarlo writes, speaks and provides training on community newsroom success strategies. He is author of “Journalism Primer: A Guide to Community News Coverage,” “Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Coverage” and “Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in Small-Town Newspapers.” He can be reached at www.pumarlo.com and welcomes comments and questions at email@example.com.
Cuts in Food Stamps program affecting 20 percent of Kentuckians; have you checked your county?
(Editor’s Note: Kentucky isn’t first in the number of residents on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) but it is fifth. With 20 percent of Kentuckians receiving food stamps, one fifth of the state’s population saw their SNAP benefits reduced on Nov. 1 to the tune of $94 million statewide.)
By Jake Grovum, Staff Writer
The record number of Americans relying on federal aid to put food on the table will have to make do with less starting Nov. 1, as a recession-era boost to food stamps officially expires.
Benefits are being reduced by about 5 percent beginning Nov. 1 for all of the nearly 47.7 million Americans on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. A family of four will receive $36 less each month because of the reduction, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A household of eight would see benefits reduced $65 a month. The average monthly benefit per household for all 50 states and the District of Columbia last year was $278.
The cuts severely curtail the federal funds that have flowed into local communities and businesses through the states. Georgia, for example, will see total benefits cut by $210 million, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank. Illinois’ share of the cut will be $220 million. For Ohio, it’s $193 million. All told, $5 billion less in food stamp benefits will be paid over the next year.
The reductions will be acutely felt in states with a higher food stamp population, particularly in the dozen states where one in five residents is collecting benefits.
Vulnerable populations will be especially affected. In New York, more than 1 million elderly people or those with disabilities will feel the impact, according to the center’s analysis. About 2.3 million children in both California and Texas will be affected.
(For state-by-state data on the distribution of the cuts and how many people are affected in each state, see Stateline’s interactive.)
|Projected SNAP Recipients in Fiscal Year 2014:||875,000|
|Percent of Population:||20%|
|Average Benefit Per Household in Fiscal Year 2012:||$269|
|Total SNAP Benefit Cut to State :||$94,000,000|
|Elderly or People With Disabilities Affected:||207,000|
INMA report looks at smartphone monetization best practices for media companies
Developing products, audiences, and monetization strategies for the fast-rising hand-held mobile device is the focus of a new report by the International News Media Association (INMA), “The Smartphone Choices for Media Companies.”
Based on 18 case studies of media companies on six continents, the INMA report synthesizes best practices in smartphone development into a storyline of choices:
Are smartphone products designed to build new audiences or add value for existing audiences?
Is the smartphone a complement to other platforms or its own unique experience?
Is the company objective to build audience volume or fill up a tightly defined audience niche?
Will the smartphone be used for the core news brand or the development of smaller passion niches?
Each media company’s choices drive the tactical realities of today: Mobile Web or app? Smartphone or tablet emphasis?
“The Smartphone Choices for Media Companies” by INMA looks at:
Market opportunities for publishers.
Emerging strategies for publishers.
A profile of the smartphone audience.
Trends in smartphone product development.
Monetization, notably advertising.
What publishers see next for the smartphone.
The 145-page INMA smartphone report is presented through two lenses:
A narrative developed by INMA based on the case studies.
The raw case studies themselves.
“This report breaks through 15 frustrating years of mobile product experimentation to answer the question: Where is the money with smartphones,” says Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “We answer that question – and then some – in this report.”
“The Smartphone Choices for Media Companies” is available to INMA members and for US$595 to non-members. Complete information on this report may be found at www.inma.org/publications.
The International News Media Association (INMA) is the leading provider of global best practices to grow revenue, audience and brand for media companies. With nearly 6,200 members in 80+ countries, INMA provides media executives with unparalleled access to ideas and peers to help grow their business in transformational times. The 83-year-old INMA has office in Dallas, Antwerp, New Delhi, Panama, and São Paulo.
I’ll be out of the office today (November 8) for a UK College of Communications and Information Studies advisory council meeting. Otherwise, call, email, fax or stop by if you have questions, comments, concerns, issues, clarifications, corrections, additions or deletions.