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Make plans to attend APA Annual Ad Conference House committee endorses protections for college student journalists


Ark a nsa s


Publisher Weekly


Serving Press and State Since 1873

Vol. 14 | No. 6 | Thursday, February 7, 2019

Resilient Times-News staff produces newspaper after fire destroys office Dispirited, worried and without desks, computers, cameras, notebooks or ink pens, the staff of the McGehee-Dermott Times-News thought for a second about not publishing this week as a fire ravaged their downtown McGehee offices overnight Friday.

The banner headline of the Feb. 6 edition: “Still Standing! Fire destroys building, but not the Times-News”.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Freeze says she was awakened by a call from the McGehee

Only for a second though, stressed Rachel Denton Freeze, the newspaper’s editor and publisher.

Some bound volumes of newspapers dating back to the 1920s may be able to be saved, but many were also lost in the fire, Freeze said.

“I guess Friday night when we were standing in the middle of the street watching the fire department put out the fire, there was about a second when we thought this week’s paper wouldn’t be possible,” she said. “But there wasn’t a minute when we didn’t think we could. … I don’t think the Times has ever missed a week of publishing and we didn’t want it to be the first. Our main goal was to get a paper on the streets this week, and I cannot tell you how relieved we are.” The newspaper borrowed computers, software, power cords and “everything you can think of,” Freeze said. With a makeshift newspaper office in Freeze’s kitchen and dining room, they set out to put together a newspaper where their own news was the lead story.

smoke coming from the building and alerted the fire department. According to the newspaper, when firefighters arrived most of the interior of the building was already destroyed and a small fire was still burning inside. Most of the furniture and equipment in the interior of the newspaper office was destroyed.

“Those are things you can’t replace,” she said. “It’s easy to buy a new printer. It’s not easy to replace a copy of the newspaper from 1930.”

Fire Department at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. The newspaper’s own report of the incident stated that a Desha County sheriff’s deputy out on patrol noticed

The rebuild of a newspaper practically started before the fire was out, though, Freeze said, as first responders and community members expressed their support. She credited the McGehee and Dermott communities as being honorary editors for the latest edition. Community members helped supply equipment and resources needed for production. Freeze received additional, needed support from the Advance Monticellonian and publisher Tom White, Continued on Page 2

Times-News produces newspaper after fire Continued from Page 1

she said. White, the current Arkansas Press Association president, is a former owner of the McGehee newspaper. Without the Monticello newspaper’s assistance, the Times-News would not have been able to publish this week, Freeze said. White is Arlene White’s brother-in-law. Arlene White is Freeze’s aunt and the semi-retired former publisher of the Times-News who continues to manage much of the publication’s accounting and circulation responsibilities. Freeze said Braden Jones, the staff sports reporter, has “done everything from cover basketball to haul furniture” this week.

Make plans to attend APA Annual Advertising Conference Registration is open for the Arkansas Press Association’s annual advertising conference, scheduled for March 7-8 at the Embassy Suites, 1130 Financial Centre Parkway, Little Rock.

Ciotta authored the book Shut-Up & Sell, focused on common-sense based success in sales. She also has published a children’s educational newspaper in her hometown in New Jersey.

To reserve a hotel room in the APA block, visit https://embassysuites.hilton.com/ en/es/groups/personalized/L/LITCPESAPA-20190307/ by the Tuesday, Feb. 12 deadline. The conference registration deadline is Friday, March 1.

Ciotta will be the featured speaker for two sessions on Thursday, March 7. That day concludes with a reception and group dinner.

“We’ve figured it out with a whole lot of help from friends, family and other businesses in the community,” Freeze said.

The ad contest winners will be selected from nearly 900 entries submitted. Conference registration fees are $125. Tickets for the Friday awards luncheon only are $40 each.

The Times-News was founded in 1925 as the McGehee Semi-Weekly Times. The newspaper merged with the Dermott News in 1977. It’s a rare time in the newspaper’s history that the newspaper itself has been the main story. Freeze said the fire bumped the McGehee Men’s Club Oyster Supper from the top spot on the front page. Incidentally, Freeze had been covering the oyster supper just a few hours before the fire. “We like to write the news, not be the news,” she said. The newspaper is looking for another location, but in the meantime they’ll continue to produce the weekly TimesNews from Freeze’s home. They still need furniture and equipment, she said. Any newspapers that may be able to help are encouraged to email Freeze at editor211@att.net or call the newspaper at (870) 222-3922. “We are literally starting from scratch, but we will get there,” Freeze said. “Our biggest hurdle was getting a paper on the street this week. Now, I don’t have any doubt we’ll be able to do it the next few weeks and months.” Arkansas Publisher Weekly

On Friday, March 8, ad conference attendees will participate in a “Hot Ideas!” roundtable and panel discussion on current, timely issues in advertising. The conference concludes with a luncheon Friday to recognize the winners of the 2019 Better Newspaper Advertising Contest.

This year’s conference will feature keynote speaker Diana Ciotta, an author and renowned speaker whose focus is helping advertisers grow sales. Throughout her career, Ciotta has effectively motivated advertising sales professionals around the country to focus on their prospects’ needs rather than their own through her dynamic skills enhancement seminars. Ciotta emphasizes proven successful concepts and techniques for driving incremental revenue while improving client retention.

Industry Quote of the Week “No one needs to tell me about the importance of the free press in a democratic society or about the essential role a newspaper can play in its community.”

- Robert Kennedy 2

To register for the conference online, visit http://www.arkansaspress.org/ event/2019AdConference. Several continuing education grants to help defray the costs of registration and hotel expenses are available to eligible APA members through the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation. Media groups are eligible for only one grant, with priority given to first-time attendees. For more information, and to apply for a grant, contact Terri Cobb at terri@ arkansaspress.org or call (501) 3741500.

Mark Your Calendar 2019 APA Convention June 26-29, Hotel Hot Springs February 7, 2019

House committee endorses protections for college student journalists The Arkansas House Education Committee unanimously endorsed a bill to enhance free-speech protections for journalists at Arkansas public colleges and universities.

House Bill 1231, sponsored by Rep. Mark Lowery, would ensure that student journalists have a right to free speech and free expression. While the Arkansas

Student Publications Act covers high school student journalists, there was no similar provision in state law for college journalists.

“This bill is the result of a concentrated effort by stakeholders including members of the Arkansas Press Association, higher education officials and Rep. Lowery,” said APA Executive Director Ashley

Wimberley. “We appreciate Rep. Lowery for allowing the journalism community to provide input for this important legislation to protect the rights of student journalists. We expect the full House and Senate to recognize the need for this bill.”

Wimberley thanked Henderson State University professor Steven Listopad, Arkansas SPJ President Jennifer Ellis, former University of Arkansas-Little Rock journalism professor Bruce Plopper and University of Central Arkansas professor Rob Moritz, among others, for offering suggestions to strengthen the bill. Listopad worked closely with Rep. Lowery on the measure, and joined Lowery to offer public support for the bill before the House Education Committee. The bill awaits a vote in the full House.

Van Buren County Pine Bluff Commercial publisher begins Democrat moves to new job in Oklahoma mail-only delivery Teresa “Tee” Hicks, who had been “I am excited for this opportunity for Tee, The Van Buren County Democrat in Clinton earlier this month shifted to mailonly delivery for all subscribers.

According to the newspaper, Publisher Kelly Sublett said the “ever-increasing expense” of carrier delivery was the reason for the change. By shifting to mail-only delivery, subscribers should have more reliable delivery service, the paper said. Subscription rates will not change. According to the newspaper, print subscribers will also have complete access to the Van Buren County Democrat’s digital products at the newspaper’s website, www. vanburencountydem.com. Story updates and breaking news are available as they happen and the website often includes photos and videos that aren’t included in the print edition, Sublett said in the announcement of the change. Arkansas Publisher Weekly

publisher of the Pine Bluff Commercial and White Hall Journal, has been promoted by GateHouse Media, owners of the two newspapers.

Hicks is now vice president of sales for The Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Citybased newspaper that is the largest newspaper in that state.

it fits her skill set wonderfully,” said Matt Guthrie, GateHouse’s southwest region vice president, in an article printed in the Journal. “She has done good things in Pine Bluff. We are in the midst of a search right now (for) her replacement. We have several good candidates and we are looking for someone who will be committed to Pine Bluff and the community.” Guthrie told readers he would be on site in Pine Bluff “for the foreseeable future.”

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February 7, 2019

Guest Column:

Multi-tasking = multi-risking By John Foustt

Joseph was talking to me about something he feels is important to the ad staff he manages.

quickly from one thing to another. Think of it as a fast shift between first and second gear.

“These days, there’s a lot of talk about multi-tasking,” he said. “But according to what I’ve read on the subject, there’s no such thing. We can shift back and forth between tasks, but doing two tasks at once would be like putting a stick-shift car in first gear and second gear at the same time.

“I think of multi-tasking as multi-risking,” Joseph said. “We’ve all seen YouTube videos of people walking into telephone poles and falling into fountains while they’re looking at their phones. And of course, we know that texting and driving is a lethal combination. Talking on the phone while driving is distracting enough, but texting is stupid. It’s as dangerous as drunk driving.

It can’t be done. “Sadly, multi-tasking is seen as a desirable skill,” Joseph explained. “I know a lot of people who claim it’s one of their greatest strengths. Some job descriptions even list it as a requirement. They just don’t understand that multi-tasking is an unrealistic cliché.” Psychologists agree that a human being is not capable of doing two tasks at the same time. Sure, we can do two things that don’t compete for our focus (like carrying on a conversation while walking), but we can’t concentrate on more than one thing at a time. When we think we are multi-tasking, we are actually task-switching – moving

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

“In the business world, trying to do two things at once might not put your life in danger, but it can cause mistakes. For example, if you try to write an email and talk on the phone at the same time, you’ll risk miscommunicating something to both parties. You can give one or the other your undivided attention, but not both. Even if you don’t make a mistake, it can be frustrating to the person on the other end to hear your keyboard clicking in the background. “Trying to multi-task can also damage relationships,” he said. “I remember going to a luncheon which featured several


presenters. The manager of one of the speakers was there to support her staff member, but spent the entire time looking down at her phone. Her seat was at the head table, right next to the lectern, so everyone in the audience could see that she wasn’t paying attention. A few days later, I ran into the speaker, and he told me that his manager’s actions showed that she obviously didn’t care about what he was saying, even though he was talking about the company where they both worked. Not surprisingly, a few months later he left to take another job.” Joseph is right about multi-risking. When someone tries to concentrate on two important things at the same time, it creates a risk that is not worth taking. 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: john@johnfoust.com

February 7, 2019

92nd Arkansas General Assembly

Legislative Report

APA is monitoring the following filed bills of interest to our industry and the public: Bill No. / Author

Short Description

APA Position

Current Status

HB 1003 Rep. Gazaway

An act to add antibullying measures at schools, to allow school boards to meet in executive sessions for bullying investigations


Awaits initial hearing in House Education Committee (Rep. Gazaway has indicated he is re-filing the bill and withdrawing the executive session provision)

HB1015 Rep. Mayberry

Requires journalism to be offered as an elective course in public high schools


Awaits initial hearing in House Education Committee

HB 1041 Reps. Ladyman, Eads

Raises the threshold for municipalities to competitively bid projects from $20,000 to $50,000, thus abolishing public notice requirements for municipal expenses between $20,000 and $50,000


Passed the House; awaiting hearing in Senate City, County and Local Affairs Committee

HB 1163 Rep. Capp

Allows municipalities to maintain three copies of revisions or codifications of ordinances available to the public in the clerk’s office rather than publish notice of the revisions or codification.


Passed House City, County and Local Affairs Committee; scheduled for full House vote

HB 1178 Rep. Wardlaw

Changes state procurement law for a variety of purposes, but adds a specific Freedom of Information Act exemption for requests for information from potential bidders


Passed House; referred to Senate

HB 1231 Rep. Lowery

Establishes rights for student journalists at Arkansas higher education institutions


Passed House Education Committee; scheduled for full House vote

SB 3 Sen. Garner

Requires reporting from physicians and healthcare facilities requiring detailed information about abortion procedure complications and exempts the required report from the Freedom of Information Act.


Awaits initial hearing in Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee

SB 118 Sen. Hammer

Requires educational institutions to provide students and faculty broad latitude to engage in free speech and prohibits individuals from suppressing free speech


Awaits initial hearing in Senate Education Committee

SB 76 Sen. Wallace

Amends the law concerning emergency temporary locations for meetings of a governing body; and to declare an emergency


Passed Senate City, County and Local Affairs Committee; awaits Senate vote

HB 1302 Rep. Cozart

Provides for rules that effect multiple state agencies to be grouped together for the purposes of providing notice, holding hearings, and advancing rules legislatively


Awaits initial hearing in Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee

HB 1343 Rep. Hawks, Rep. Mark Johnson

Requires a counties annual financial report to be published on the county website as well as in the newspaper


Awaits initial hearing in House City, County and Local Affairs Committee

HB 1382 Rep. Sorvillo

Exempts lottery winners’ identities from the Freedom of Information Act


Awaits initial hearing in House Rules Committee

SB 230 Sen. Hammer

Creates a new civil action for invasion of privacy and allows a lawsuit against someone for intruding into private affairs or publicizing an individual in a false light


Awaits initial hearing in Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 231 Sen. Hammer

Expands the definition of “public records” in the Freedom of Information Act to include records of a private entity that spends a minimum of 20% of its time, resources and efforts supporting a government function


Awaits initial hearing in Senate State Agencies Committee

SB 233 Sen. Hammer, Rep. Lowery

Amends notice requirements for school elections


Awaits initial hearing in Senate Education Committee

SB 277 Sen. Hill, Rep. Cameron Cooper

Removes public notice requirement for internet sale of certain surplus county property


Awaits initial hearing in Senate City, County and Local Affairs Committee

HB 1404 Rep. Speaks

Allows for publication of a school district’s budget in a newspaper published in or with a bona fide circulation in the county or counties where the school district is located


Awaits initial hearing in House Education Committee

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


February 7, 2019


Little Rock.

APA 2019 AD CONFERENCE March 7 & 8

Embassy Suites, Little Rock

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


February 7, 2019



1:00 PM

Registration Opens

1:30 PM

Welcome, Introductions & Annoucements Session One: Presented by Diane Ciotta

8:00 AM 9:00 AM

Building Strong Relationships by Understanding Needs •Having a ‘Business Development Specialist’ Focus •Identifying Prospects’ Business Needs vs “Advertising Wants” •Determining a Comfortable Program Investment Professionally

2:30 PM 3:00 PM

Break Session Two: Presented by Diane Ciotta

Need Fulfillment through Integrity Based Recommendations •Selecting & Supporting Appropriate Options with Benefits •Presenting Long Term Commitments with Confidence •Managing Unavoidable Challenges with Conviction

5:00 PM 6:00 PM


8:30 PM

Hospitality hour

Breakfast HOT Ideas!

Bring your best advertising ideas (and samples) to share with the group! Prize money will be awarded.

10:00 AM Break 10:15 AM Panel Discussion NOON

Public notices and other timely issues

2019 Better Newspaper Advertising Awards Luncheon

Group Dinner

at BRAVO! Promenade Shopping Center

GUEST SPEAKER Diane Ciotta | Training Classics/The Keynote Effect Diane has effectively motivated advertising sales professionals around the country to focus on their prospects’ needs vs. their own, through dynamic skills enhancement seminars. Her speciality in the publishing industry is based on personal experience and is portrayed with an incomparable ability to relate to her participants, which results in immeasurable return on investment. Diane concentrates on increasing confidence and uses Jersey sarcasm combined with Italian passion to emphasize proven successful concepts and techniques for driving incremental revenue while improving client retention. She understands all aspects of the business and has published a children’s educational newspaper in her hometown as well as authoring her book focused on common sense based success in sales entitled Shut-Up & Sell! Diane was born, raised and still happily resides in central Jersey. Arkansas Publisher Weekly


February 7, 2019



Newspaper:______________________________________________________________________________ Mailing Address:__________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip:____________________________________________________________________________ Phone:______________________ Fax: ____________________ Email: _____________________________ Attendee Name: 1. _____________________________________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________________________________ 4. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Please list any additional names on a separate sheet.

Conference Fee ($125) Includes: Thursday Dinner, Breaks, Breakfast, Awards Lunch, and all Conference Materials. Total Attendees:

_____x $125 Full Conference Fee


_____x $40

Awards (Lunch Only)




Payment Options: _____Bill Me Credit Card #________________________________________

_____Check Enclosed

Expiration Date ____________________ VCN#___________ Register online at http://www.arkansaspress.org/event/2019AdConference or send registration and payment by Friday, March 1 to: Arkansas Press Association, 411 South Victory, Little Rock, AR 72201 or Fax 501.374.7509. Reserve your hotel room at http://embassysuites.hilton.com/en/es/groups/personalized/L/LITCPES-APA-20190307/index.jhtml The deadline to reserve your room is February 12. Arkansas Publisher Weekly


February 7, 2019

Arkansas Newspaper Foundation Continuing Education Grant Application

Arkansas Newspaper Foundation (ANF) has available four (4) continuing education grants in the amount of $200 each for the 2019 Ad Conference, to be held March 7 and 8 at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock, AR. Each grant of up to $200 will help defray the cost of registration and hotel expenses for one attendee from a qualifying Arkansas Press Association member newspaper/media group. There will be one grant awarded per Arkansas media group, with priority going to first time attendees. If all grants have not been awarded based on this criteria, the remaining grants will be awarded on a first-comefirst-served basis. Criteria • Application is required. Grants will be awarded to one person within one media group. • Grantee must be a current employee of an Arkansas Press Association member newspaper in good standing, and must be a resident of Arkansas. • The Continuing Education Grant will be funded up to $200 for Conference costs, for the reimbursement of registration fees, food, lodging and/or mileage. • Attendance at the Conference is required for grant recipients. Should a recipient become unable to attend, ANF should be notified no later than March 1. • Receipts are required for reimbursement, including conference registration receipt. No monies will be disbursed without a receipt. • Applicants are encouraged to retain conference receipts up to 30 days after attending the Conference. In the event a grant recipient becomes unable to attend, the award will move to the next eligible applicant. • Grantees agree to write a summary of the Conference for publication in the Arkansas Publisher Weekly. • Receipts, verification of attendance, and summaries must be turned in no later than March 31, 2019. Once receipts have been received and reviews, disbursement of funds will be made within 10 business days. Application should be emailed to Terri Cobb at terri@arkansaspress.org no later than February 22, 2019. For more information, email Terri at the address above or call (501) 374-1500.

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


February 7, 2019

Arkansas Newspaper Foundation Continuing Education Grant Application

First Name

Middle Initial

Last Name

Newspaper Name


Newspaper Address Fax

Work Phone Applicant’s Email

Publisher Signature


I, , have read and agree to the ANF Education Reimbursement Grant specifications and terms. I agree to attend the conference and provide the required invoices, receipts, and verification of attendance, plus a written summary of my experience at the conference.

Reimbursement of Grant Awards Submit an itemized, dated invoice with copies of receipts to the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation for reimbursement. Invoice and receipts are to be submitted by March 31, 2019. Send invoices and all receipts including conference registration to Fax (501) 374-7509 ATTN: Terri RE: ANF Continuing Education Grant

Email terri@arkansaspress.org SUBJECT: ANF Continuing Education Grant

Any grant for which required information has not been received within thirty days after the conference will be considered expired. The Arkansas Newspaper Foundation is not liable or responsible for injuries, additional expenses, or other unexpected occurrences.

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


February 7, 2019

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: February 7, 2019  

The Arkansas Publisher Weekly is the only direct source for late breaking news regarding Arkansas' newspapers and related industries. Publis...

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: February 7, 2019  

The Arkansas Publisher Weekly is the only direct source for late breaking news regarding Arkansas' newspapers and related industries. Publis...