October 22, 2014
information from The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute
The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute is inviting industry professionals to the second Walter B. Potter Sr. Conference this fall and the price of admission is two successful ideas - proven winners that generated revenue, boosted readership or improved your operation. The Potter Conference will bring together community news executives and leaders at the Missouri School of Journalism for an exchange and dialogue of best practices that will help sustain local journalism, especially in small and rural markets.
The two-day event will be held November 20-21 at RJI in Columbia, Missouri. All participants will be permitted to bring up to three colleagues from their outlet or media group.
We're looking for 40 unique ideas, not 40 versions of the same idea. Once registration opens, you might wish to submit several ideas to increase your chances for participation.Those who make it to the conference will return home with access to all 40 (or more) innovations, including details on how to implement them at your organization.
Registration is now open and the application deadline is Nov. 3! Don't forget to apply via RJI's website.
October 20, 2014
Congratulations to David Bradley, Jr., Judy Dixon, Don and Kathy Ginnings and Gary and Helen Sosniecki on their induction into the MPA 2014 Hall of Fame. To learn more information on the inductees, you can read our 2014 Hall of Fame Press Release on our website. You may also view our MPA 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee video, played at our 148th Annual Convention and Trade Show, by clicking on the thumbnail to the left.
October 17, 2014
Please take time from your busyschedule to return the favor and help judge the Colorado Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. Colorado newspaper people did a terrific job judging MPA's Better Newspaper Contest earlier this year! Judging is set to begin October 29th, with a deadline to complete your assignment(s) by November 19th. Fill out the form, submit it, and you will receive your assignments soon!
October 9, 2014
Although there's been some improvement since his last audit, State Auditor Tom Schweich said Tuesday that government agencies still need to do more work following the Missouri's "Sunshine Law."
Based on a review of the nearly 300 audits Schweich's office performed over a two-year period - from Jan. 1, 2012-Dec. 31, 2013 - Schweich said 15 percent found violations of the Open Meetings/Open Records law, compared with 19 percent in the previous two years.
"It's not a statistically iron-clad number," he acknowledged in an interview. "It looks like Sunshine Law compliance is improving."
Overall, he said, the three "largest problems" his auditors found were:Failure to document a reason for closing a meeting. Closed session discussions that involved subjects other than the ones listed as the reasons for having a closed session, or, he said, "Things that should have been discussed in open session being discussed in closed session." Improper minutes - or no minutes- being kept of closed meetings, which he said was "much less common."
In some cases, minutes that were kept didn't include "sufficient detail" of what happened during a meeting.
Auditors also found some government agencies or local governments didn't have "adequate" policies and procedures for keeping public records and giving people access to them.
And some didn't prepare, post or retain agendas as the law requires.
Schweich said his office takes compliance with the law very seriously.
"We have a grading system" with our audits, he said, "and if you don't comply with the Sunshine Law,... continued...
October 9, 2014
The U.S. Postal Service should evaluate the impact of slower service to newspaper subscribers before proceeding with 2015 closings of mail processing plants, National Newspaper Association President John Edgecombe Jr., said this week. Edgecombe is the publisher of The Nebraska Signal in Geneva, NE.
NNA seconded the concern expressed by the USPS Office of the Inspector General that the Postal Service has not completed service impact evaluations on the planned closings of 82 more mail processing plants starting in January 2015. The evaluations should include public notice and comment. The OIG strongly recommended that USPS complete these evaluations and requested confirmation that they are being completed.
NNA has previously reminded the Postal Service that the impact of moving mail processing operations into urban areas creates mail delivery problems for its subscribers, who may judge the effectiveness of the mail by the on-time arrival of their newspapers.
"As I look at the list of plants on the closing list and see cities like Salina, Kansas; Grand Island, Nebraska; Eureka, California, and Elko, Nevada, I worry that small-town America is gradually losing reliable mail service," Edgecombe said. "Affordable, dependable service links us to our subscribers. More importantly, it is the bedrock of local small-town economies. It is essential that USPS understand and grapple with these impacts before it makes a decision to close any mail sorting plant."
Friday November 21st
"Buffett, the 'Oracle of Omaha,' understands that the newspaper industry isn’t dead. It would be wise for publishers to listen to what he’s got to say. Link
Thursday November 20th
#TBT to our kazoo-playing MPA members! Do you see any familiar faces? Link
Wednesday November 19th
Congratulations to the Missouri School of Journalism! "Walter B. Potter Jr. Link