Be sure to run ads for public notices

January 26, 2017

Throughout our nation’s history, government agencies have been required to alert citizens of certain government activities that may impact a local community, providing citizens with an opportunity to stay informed and take action when necessary. Newspapers have long partnered with government agencies by publishing public notices, enabling the government to be fully transparent and accountable to citizen taxpayers. In recent years, state legislatures – most recently in New Jersey – have proposed to move public notices out of printed newspapers and onto government-run websites.

Publishing public notices in newspapers informs a wide audience in a local community of a government agency’s action; reaching citizens that are passive information seekers that would not be aware of the fact that notices impacting the community are on a government agency’s website. Publishing public notices through the local newspaper also serves an important audit role as the newspaper acts as an independent third party able to legally verify that the government agency has given the public notice.

The News Media Alliance has created ads highlighting the importance of keeping public notices in newspapers. We encourage you to run these advertisements in your newspaper over time to help educate the public. Ads can be published as is, or you can add your own logo. If you have any questions about the ads, please email Lindsey Loving, Lindsey@newsmediaalliance.org.

Find the ads here.

 
 

MPA welcomes new president Jeff Schrag

January 9, 2017

 

Millions of cuff links isn’t something you usually expect to find stored in the basement of a newspaper. But then, Jeff Schrag, publisher of the Springfield Daily Events, isn’t your typical newspaper businessman.

Starting Jan. 1, Schrag took over as president of Missouri Press Association, succeeding Dennis Warden, publisher of the Gasconade County Republican.

Besides the 135-year-old newspaper and the country’s largest cuff link business, many might know Schrag for another of his business ventures: Mother’s Brewery, which he started in 2011.

While ultimately Schrag’s more recent business ventures have helped him support his primary passion in the newspaper, which he admits is doing just fine on its own, he explains he didn’t always start out with journalistic aspirations.

“I went to Kansas State [University] with the intention of going to law school and being an attorney,” Kansas-native Schrag said. “That went away pretty quickly and what turned me off to that was my uneducated vision of what attorneys actually do is they just research.”

A fan of the history of the Civil War, Schrag said his next idea was to become a historian on one of America’s greatest times of strife.

“I really enjoyed studying the Civil War in high school,” he said. “And I took this Civil War and Reconstruction class [in college], and I thought I was really going to enjoy it. Turns out, the class was 10 percent Civil War and 90 percent... continued...

 
 

Fellowship opportunities available at RJI

January 5, 2017

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute invites proposals from people and institutions to collaborate with us on innovative ideas and projects to improve the practice or understanding of journalism. We’re giving special consideration this year to ideas and projects focused on solving problems created by filter bubbles, fake news and mistrust of the news media; however, we also invite submission of other ideas and projects that could strengthen democracy through better journalism.

There are three types of RJI Fellowships for 2017-2018: residential, nonresidential and institutional. Residential fellows spend eight months on the University of Missouri campus.Nonresidential fellows explore their ideas from their home or office, with an occasional visit to campus. The institutional fellowship allows an individual to remain at their post at a news organization or other institution while developing an idea. Compare the three types of fellowships.

Each fellowship includes a stipend. Residential fellows receive an $80,000 stipend and a $10,000 one-time housing or relocation allowance. Nonresidential fellows receive a $20,000 stipend, plus research and travel support. The institutional fellowship stipend — $20,000 — is paid to the company or institution and can be used for salary relief or for another purpose to best ensure the success of the fellowship project. RJI Fellowships are open to U.S. citizens and foreign journalists. The deadline to apply is Feb. 1, 2017.

Learn more and apply here.

 
 

Your input is needed on the 2017 Better Newspaper Contest Committee

January 5, 2017

The Missouri Press Association is looking for volunteers to participate on the Better Newspaper Contest Committee to review the rules and procedures for the 2016 contest in preparation for the 2017 contest.

All of the committee's work will be done by email and telephone, so you can participate without leaving your office. Usually one conference call, lasting about an hour, is conducted to discuss possible changes.

Missouri Press would like to get the contest rules, categories and entry procedures distributed to newspapers soon, so everyone has plenty of time to gather and upload entries to the contest template.

If you can help, please email MPA editor Matthew Barba. If you can't, but you have some thoughts or suggestions about the contest, please send an email to mbarba@socket.net.

The Newspaper Contest Committee needs people from large and small dailies, large and small weeklies; publishers, editors, ad reps, designers, photographers, others. All are welcome.

***Please reply ASAP so we can get the committee started***

 
 

Missouri State Auditor finds only 30 percent compliance with Sunshine Law

November 15, 2016

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway says government must do better when it comes to meeting its obligations to transparency with the public. A newly-released report on compliance with the state's open records laws shows that only 30 percent of local governments fully complied with laws specifically designed to keep government accessible to its citizens.

"My office regularly receives complaints related to access of public information, which is exactly what the Sunshine Law is designed to address," Auditor Galloway said. "For this report, we sent public records requests to hundreds of local governments across the state. The results were extremely disappointing and demonstrate that we have a long way to go in improving transparency and citizen access to information in Missouri government."

Auditor Galloway and her staff sent open records request letters to more than 300 local government entities in every region of the state. The request was fairly simple - to provide a copy of minutes for the last meeting held in 2015, along with the notice and agenda for that meeting, and several other basic pieces of information. The letters were not sent on official office letterhead in order to provide a clearer picture of what the average citizen experiences when requesting information from government. Of those who received a request, 37 percent failed to acknowledge it or respond within the three-day time period required by law. Some of those eventually provided information after the deadline, but 16 percent did not respond at all.

Four local... continued...

 
 



Online Store Feature

2016 MPA BOUND Newspaper Directory

An alphabetical resource guide to all of the newspapers in the state of Missouri. $45.00

 

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