September 28, 2012

Friday Update to KPA Members

FROM:  David T. Thompson (

RE:  Various and Sundry Items

This one will be shorter than usual. I’ll be leaving about 9:30 and heading to Bardstown for the KPA Digital Committee meeting. Should be back in the office around 3:30, I think, if you need me.


Buoyed by $133,237 already in-house for October, our 2012 advertising sales passed $4 million. We’re are $4,024,065.74 as we head into October.

Last year, we had a record for any September and that started and upward spiral on placement that continued through the end of the year.

This September is one of the lowest Septembers ever so I hope that doesn’t indicate what’s to come. And perhaps it won’t since what we have in-house for October is almost what we placed the entire month of September.


David Greer was busy Thursday. He began at 8:10 a.m., finished at 4:50 p.m. and in between made available 40 stories and five editorials for the Kentucky Press News Service. That would come close to filling up three or four pages on broadsheet!

The editorials included one David wrote. Anytime you see Kentucky Press News Service attached to a story, that’s a David Greer original.

And by day’s end, that brought KPNS to 17,938 since it began October 1, 2009. We celebrate the third anniversary Monday, and we’ll hit 18,000 sometime during that day.

David Greer notes a slight change in some newspaper schedules should lead to Wednesdays and Thursdays being the busiest, with Tuesdays and Fridays not far behind. Here’s his note on that:

“With several LCNI papers having switched their website update days from Wednesday to Thursday, I see a new pattern emerging of two super busy days a week — now Wednesday and Thursday. And some Tuesday and Fridays are fairly busy, too.

“I want this thing to grow but am now beginning to wonder how many more papers we could take on and still get the work done.”


As the year starts to wind down, it might be a good time to double-check on news staff members having a KPA media pass. The Kentucky State Police stopped issuing press passes three or so years ago and to fill the void, KPA offers a media pass but limited to members only.

These are good for two years and it might be wise to see if any staff member’s pass expires at the end of 2012.

If you have staff needing one, go to and complete the form. Then send in the color photo as required.


Kentucky newspapers have more than a decade of commitment to high school journalism in the state. KPA established the Kentucky High School Journalism Association 16 years ago and for more than a decade, many newspapers in the state have sponsored their local high schools in KHSJA. It only costs $50 per school for the school year and often makes the difference in whether a school can join KHSJA or not. And schools must be members in order to enter KHSJA’s very popular annual statewide contest for high school newspapers, yearbooks and broadcast programs. Between now and Oct. 31, papers can sponsor their local schools. Just go to, print and complete the form and mail or fax to KPA.

These papers have sponsored local high schools so far this school year: The Meade County Messenger, 1 school; The Record in Leitchfield, 1 school; The Harrodsburg Herald, 1 school; The Daily News in Bowling Green, 5 schools; The Times-Tribune, 1 school, The Ledger Independent, 1 school; The Kentucky Standard, 4 schools; The News-Enterprise, 6 schools; The Jessamine Journal, 1 school; The Interior Journal, 1 school, The Winchester Sun, 1 school; and The Advocate-Messenger, 3 schools.

If you have questions, call KPA Member Services Director David Greer at 800-264-5721.


I sent this to publishers and corporate general counsels interested in KPA’s efforts to change the state worker’s compensation laws related to whether carriers are employees or independent contractors:

Leigh Ann Thacker and I attended the Small Business Caucus meeting Thursday. This is the group of some 43 organizations/associations that serve as a coalition discussing worker’s comp. The coalition incudes organizations ranging from the Chamber of Commerce and Kentucky Retail Federation to the federation of independent businesses, independent insurance agency association, general contractors association, home builders association to the trucking association.

Leigh Ann and I discussed the background of worker’s comp issues for newspapers, and mentioned unemployment insurance, and then the group was asked about supporting our efforts. While there wasn’t an official vote, those who spoke, spoke in favor of involving our language (deleting the reference to carriers in KRS 342.640 and other changes Juan Cornejo with McClatchy Newspapers helped craft). Let’s put it this way — Tom Underwood who moderated the meeting, said if anyone had any reservations about KPA participating, he’d ask us to leave the room. That didn’t happen.

However, and this may be more for Juan, they do not want to delete the graph referencing the federal employment eligibility verification as Juan had requested. I’ve asked them to email me the reason they want it in the legislation. However, it is not related to e-verify at all. I haven’t gotten their explanation for keeping that paragraph in the legislation.

The bill has been given to the Legislative Research Commission for drafting and Sen. John Schickel stands ready to sponsor it in the Senate.


Americans living in small towns are “the most likely to worry about what would happen if the local newspaper no longer existed,” according to a new Pew Internet & American Life survey.

But even in those small towns, only 61 percent say there would be an impact if their local newspaper no longer existed. (Among big-city residents, only 54 percent would miss their local paper.)

That’s one of many findings from a survey that compares the different media consumption habits and preferences among people living in big cities, suburbs, small cities or rural areas. (The survey was conducted in January 2011, but these findings were just released.)

Residents of big cities “are particularly likely to get local news through Internet searches, Twitter, blogs, and websites of TV and newspapers,” the survey says, while residents of small cities and rural areas are more likely to still rely solely on traditional print and broadcast media.

If you’d like to read more of the survey, go to


As the year starts to wind down, things to do start picking up. Let’s see, there’s:

• get your newspaper registered for the Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers Competition. You have to register your paper before you can start submitting any entries. So go ahead and get that out of the way. Remember, the entry deadline is Friday, October 19, just three weeks away. The contest will be judged by members of the Arkansas Press Association.

• The Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues seeks nominations by October 1 for the Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, tenacity and integrity in rural journalism. Last year’s winners were Stanley Nelson and the weekly Concordia Sentinel of Ferriday, La., for investigating an unsolved murder from the civil-rights era, naming and interviewing a living suspect.

• submit a nomination for the Lewis Owens Community Service Award. Nominations should be sent to Rufus Friday, Lexington Herald-Leader, 100 Midland Avenue, Lexington, KY 40508.

• if you have a Periodicals Class Mailing Permit, fill out the Form 3526 Statement of Ownership; get a copy to the post office; and publish it in your newspaper.


The Kentucky Press Association is accepting nominations and letters of application until Wednesday, October 10 for KPA/KPS Vice President for 2013.

Any KPA member may nominate any individual who meets the criteria set forth in the KPA bylaws for that position. Additionally, individuals interested in holding office may submit a letter of application.

KPA bylaws state: “The only persons eligible for election to the office of vice president are those who are currently serving as elected directors; those who have been elected to serve on the board, provided they have previously served as either an elected or appointed director; and those persons who have served three consecutive years as an appointed director.”

Nominations must be sent to David T. Thompson, Kentucky Press Association, 101 Consumer Lane, Frankfort KY 40601. Nominations may also be faxed to KPA at 502-226-3867 or emailed to by 5 p.m., Wednesday, October 10.

Nominees consenting to the nomination and agreeing to serve if elected will be interviewed by the nominating committee once it has been determined that the nominee meets bylaw requirements.

Following the interview process, the nominating committee will recommend a candidate for vice president for KPA/KPS. The nomination will be presented to the KPA/KPS Board of Directors. The person nominated by the Board will then be recommended to the full membership to serve as vice president and will be voted on by the membership. That vote will be in the form of a mailed ballot sent to the publisher of each KPA member newspaper.

The person elected vice president for 2013 will move to president-elect in 2014 and president of KPA and KPS in 2015.


If you have an outstanding picture from 2012 that portrays life in Kentucky, or part of scenic Kentucky, email me a copy for consideration on the 2013 KPA Yearbook and Directory cover. We probably will stay with the idea of several smaller photos depicting life in the Bluegrass as opposed to one full cover shot, though if one’s simply outstanding we will go to the one-photo cover.

Email me your photos and we’ll start sorting through for the 2013 KPA Directory.


The webinars that are co-sponsored by KPA added a new one to the schedule this week. It will be a Postal webinar on “Making the Transition to IMb.”

The webinar is set for Friday, November 2, at 2-3 p.m. Eastern/1-2 p.m. Central. The webinars are sponsored by KPA, the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, Iowa Newspaper Foundation and Online Media Campus. The cost is $35.

For more information, to register and to pay, go to by October 30.


The National Newspaper Association, representing nearly 2,300 community newspapers and their executives, today filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit of the Postal Regulatory Commission’s decision to permit special postage discounts for Valassis Direct Mail Inc.

The discounts of 22 to 34 percent of Standard pricing were created by the US Postal Service as part of a negotiated service agreement intended to increase direct mail by attracting customary newspaper advertisers, primarily those that appear in weekend insert packages. The newspaper industry mounted vigorous protests against the deal at the Postal Regulatory Commission, but lost in a 4-1 decision by the Commissioners who said in their opinion that they believed the Postal Service should compete against newspapers.

NNA President Reed Anfinson, publisher of the Swift County (MN) Monitor-News, said the community newspaper industry finds the concept of a federal enterprise setting out intentionally to weaken newspapers objectionable.

“Above and beyond the harm to local newspapers that this deal will create, the notion that the Postal Service should set its sights on taking away newspaper advertising is shocking to many of us who have traditionally seen the Postal Service as our delivery partner,” Anfinson said. “We made our case to the PRC and found that its decision did not address the effects of the discount on small newspapers that compete with Valassis at all. It is unusual for NNA to litigate in federal court, but in this case, it was a step we had to take.”

NNA Postal Committee Chair Max Heath said he viewed the discount arrangement as a big misstep by the beleaguered Postal Service. “Postal Service says the ‘profit’ from this agreement would be less than $42 million. That is about what it loses in a single day in its current financial state—a very small amount of money for the grief it has created from this deal. It will lose mail from newspapers and their Standard Mail shoppers as our industry becomes concerned about dealing with a partner that wants to damage us. It is hard for me to see how this creates a net gain for an institution that needs to maintain its stakeholders’ trust at this critical time,” Heath said.

NNA said it believed the Commission erred in its analysis of the market impact and that it was not clear whether the Commission regarded the newspaper competitor as Valassis or the Postal Service itself.


A session at the Society of Professional Journalists meeting last week focused on journalism education and a letter from some media foundations about that.

Here’s a link to a report but for ease, I’ve reprinted information on that link below:

Journalism and communications schools need to recreate themselves if they are to succeed in playing their vital role as news creators and innovators, a group of foundations said in an open letter to university presidents.

The foundations, all of which make grants to journalism education and innovation, urged more universities to adopt a model that blends practice with scholarship, with more top professionals in residence at universities and a focus on applied research.

“In this new digital age, we believe the ‘teaching hospital’ model offers great potential,” as scholars help practitioners invent viable forms of digital news that communities need, said the letter, signed by top representatives of Knight FoundationMcCormick Foundation, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, Scripps-Howard Foundation, Brett Family Foundation, and Wyncotte Foundation.

The model was described in the 2011 “Carnegie Knight Initiative for the Future of Journalism Education” and is practiced at the Arizona State University, where student-powered News21 has become a major national news source. But it is by no means widespread.

The funders said they would support efforts by The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications to modernize standards, including the integration of technology and innovation into curricula, and would not support institutions that were unwilling to change.

“Simply put, universities must become forceful partners in revitalizing an industry at the very core of democracy,” it said. “Schools that favor the status quo, and thus fall behind in the digital transition, risk becoming irrelevant to both private funders and, more importantly, the students they seek to serve.

Schools interested in the ‘teaching hospital model’ could start by reading the Carnegie Knight report and New America Foundation’s report on journalism schools becoming community content providers. The University of Missouri boasts the nation’s oldest journalism program, runs a community newspaper as well as commercial television and public radio stations where journalism students learn by doing. Other examples of student-produced journalism include Neon Tommy at USC, the Medill News Service from Northwestern University, Mission Local by UC Berkeley students, reesenews at the University of North Carolina and the New York World by Columbia University students. Universities also may apply to participate in News21.


A couple of appointments but nothing that will keep me out of the office for extended periods so I should be around or available all week. Chances are really good if you call the office, or email, I’ll be right here.

I’ll let that do it for another week. Heading to Bardstown for the KPA Digital Committee meeting that will be from 11 a.m. until 2/2:30 p.m. and should be back in the office around 3:30.

As always, call if you have questions, comments, concerns, issues, clarifications, corrections, additions, deletions or suggestions for KPA.

Otherwise, thanx!!

2012 KPS PLACEMENT TOTALS IN-HOUSE – $40,24,065.74


September 28, 2012 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – KPA Digital Committee Meeting, Hampton Inn, Bardstown

October 3 – 7, 2012 – National Newspaper Association Convention – Charleston, S.C.

October 7 – 13, 2012 – National Newspaper Week

Sunday-Monday-Tuesday, October 14-15-16, 2012 – 2012 Southeast Region Newspaper Association Managers Conference, Marriott RiverCenter, Covington

Thursday-Friday, October 18-19, 2012 – 2012 KPA Fall Board Retreat, Rough River State Park

October 19, 2012 – Deadline for Entering Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers – 2012 Competition

December 2 – 4, 2012 – Newspaper Association Managers Legislative Conference, Keybridge Marriott, Arlington, VA

January 24 – 25, 2013 -2013 KPA Winter Convention, The Brown Hotel, Louisville

August 6 – 9, 2013 – Newspaper Association Managers Annual Convention, Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia

January 23 – 24, 2014  – 2014 KPA Winter Convention, Hyatt Regency, Lexington

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   

Thursday, October 4, 2012

WEBINAR Smartphones – Smart Journalism: Helping Journalists Report Faster and More Efficiently (Contact David T. for more information)

Friday, October 12, 2012

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

Friday, November 2, 2012

WEBINAR – Postal: Making the Transition to IMb

Thursday, November 8, 2012

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

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