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Hussman named Easterseals Arkansan of the Year

Guest Column: Newspapers bring Sunshine By Sonny Albarado

ARKANSAS

PRESS

Ark a nsa s

Publisher Weekly

ASSOCIATION

Serving Press and State Since 1873

Vol. 14 | No. 11 | Thursday, March 14, 2019

APA Advertising Contest winners announced

Daily First Place Winners — Back: Jon Whillock, Harrison Daily Times; Delia Thessing, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Vicki Morgan, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Hunter Campbell, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Wendy Miller, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Leanne Hunter, Arkansas DemocratGazette; Brian Huntley, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Front: Brandi Walker, The Sentinel Record; Todd Edwards, Harrison Daily Times; Sherri Underdown, Harrison Daily Times; Staci Miller, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Lisa Alexander, Texarkana Gazette; Kelly Freudensprung, Saline Courier

Weekly First Place Winners — Back: Carrie Johnson, Pacesetting Times; Summer Benedict, Hot Springs Voice Village; Jennifer Allen, Hot Springs Village Voice; Opal Dennis, Madison County Record; Tom White, Advance Monticellonian; Lisa Tique, The Leader; Ed Coates, Stone County Leader; Brian Huntley, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Front: Karen Sherrell, Pacesetting Times; Shannon Hahn, Madison County Record, LeAnn Brown, Sheridan Headlight; Shantelle Redden, The Times Dispatch; Stephanie Highfill, Hot Springs Village Voice; Daphne Morton, Stone County Leader Continued on Page 2

Morton’s “Best in Show” award at APA conference affirms her role as graphic designer Until last week, Daphne Morton of the Stone County Leader in Mountain View was never quite sure how she measured up to her counterparts in graphic design and advertising sales. With a “Best in Show” win at the Arkansas Press Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper Advertisng Contest, Morton now knows. Morton, who never finished college, said she was reassured by the win for her ad for the Henderson Law Firm. The ad was deemed the best among 888 entries submitted and judged by members of the North Carolina Press Association. “I have always been a little self-doubting because I don’t have a professional degree,” Morton said in a phone interview.

“I’ve always doubted myself, so this has affirmed that I’m in the right position and I may just belong here after all.”

Morton dropped out of college at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh after her husband passed away. She has two associates’ degrees, but never the graphic design degree that she was pursuing. She said she’s grateful to Rusty Fraser, owner and publisher of the Stone County Leader for giving her a chance to work five years ago, based on her familiarity with graphic design programs and her experience as an artist. In the winning ad, Morton chose a royaltyfree stock image that “looked similar to Conway” to advertise the firm, which has locations in Mountain View and Conway.

APA Executive Director Ashley Wimberley awarded Daphne Morton of the Stone County Leader the Best in Show award. Continued on Page 2


“Best in Show” APA Advertising Contest winners Continued from Page 1

The ad, “Everyday Law for Everyday Arkansans,” conveys an approachable firm that handles the legal needs of the typical Arkansas family.

announced

Continued from Page 1

“I came up with the slogan on the fly, and I just wanted the ad to portray familiarity, comfort and security in what he was promoting,” she said. “In the image, there were so many colors that played off each other to give it a calming effect – blues and greens and light sources that were interesting and appealing.” It’s the second advertisement Morton has done for the law firm, and she said she was eager to tell the client about the victory. “I’m honored, and I’m very shocked and pleased,” she said. Morton has spent most of her life in Mountain View. She has two children and a grandson.

Congrats to the winners of the 2019 Hot Ideas Contest a the APA Ad Conference. From left to right, Shannon Hahn, The Madison County Record (3rd place); Todd Edwards, Harrison Daily Times (1st place); Kelly Freudensprung, Saline Courier (2nd place).

Sweepstakes Winners — Back: Tom White, Advance Monticellonian; Kelly Freudensprung, Saline Courier. Front: Jennifer Allen, Hot Springs Village Voice; Staci Miller, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Sentinel-Record in Finch chosen as interim publisher Hot Springs hires for Dumas Clarion new sports editor The Dumas Clarion has named Tracey based Emmerich Newspapers, Inc. The Finch to the position of interim publisher. Finch had previously been the newspaper’s advertising manager. The appointment follows the death of the Clarion’s publisher and managing editor, Terry Hawkins.

The Sentinel-Record of Hot Springs named James Leigh as its sports editor. Leigh, previously a sports reporter, has been at the newspaper since 2012, and has also worked at the Malvern Daily Record and Siftings-Herald in Arkadelphia. “Covering local sports has become a passion for me over the years,” Leigh said in the Sentinel-Record. “While I did not begin my foray into journalism in sports, I was given the opportunity early in my career and quickly fell in love with sports journalism.” Leigh earned a degree in mass media from Henderson State University. Arkansas Publisher Weekly

“This is not what I planned for my life after retirement, and I know I have some pretty big shoes to fill, but I will do my best to carry on where Terry Hawkins left off,” Finch said in the newspaper’s announcement. “And with the help of our staff, we will do what is best for The Dumas Clarion and our community.” The newspaper is owned by Mississippi-

Industry Quote of the Week “I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.”

- Tom Stoppard 2

company’s president, Wyatt Emmerich, was quoted as saying he was “thrilled to have someone local to take over as publisher to keep that small-town community tradition.” A Forrest City native, Finch has lived in Dumas for more than 39 years. She was formerly a teacher and yearbook sponsor in Dumas before her retirement in 2014. She has two grandchildren.

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As interim publisher and managing editor, Finch will oversee daily operations of the newspaper.

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March 14, 2019


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Mary Frances Farabough

Mary Frances Farabough, 88, of Dumas died on Feb. 8. She was a longtime employee of The Dumas Clarion. Farabough worked as a linotype operator and in the newspaper’s front office. She worked for the Clarion for more than 25 years, from the 1940s until 1970. She also is author of a book of local history, Memories of Dumas. She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Dumas. She is survived by a sister-in-law and several nieces and nephews. The family asks that memorials be made to the Desha County Museum, P.O. Box 141, Dumas, Arkansas, 71639.

Let Us Know We want to know about your new hires, retires and promotions! Send your staffing changes to info@ arkansaspress.org to be updated online and included in the Arkansas Publisher Weekly. Arkansas Publisher Weekly

Hussman named Easterseals Arkansan of the Year Easterseals Arkansas has named Walter Hussman, chairman of WEHCO Media, Inc., as its 2019 Arkansan of the Year. According to a news report in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Hussman will be recognized for his leadership in the business community, philanthropy, support of Easterseals and efforts to improve education in Arkansas. He will be recognized at a banquet in Little Rock on May 9. Hussman is a native of Camden. A graduate of the University of North Carolina and Columbia University, he started working in the family business, Palmer Newspapers, in 1970.

Walter Hussman

The newspaper group bought the Arkansas Democrat in 1974 and Hussman moved to Little Rock to become publisher of that newspaper. In 1991, after a protracted newspaper war, Hussman bought the assets of the Arkansas

Gazette and the Democrat-Gazette began publishing. In addition to the statewide paper, WEHCO owns daily and weekly newspapers and cable television companies in six states. Easterseals Arkansas is a community resources for people with disabilities. Last year’s honoree was William T. “Bill” Dillard. Hussman was recommended for this year’s award by Sheffield Nelson, chairman of the Easterseals’ Arkansan of the Year event. In a report in the Democrat-Gazette, Nelson is quoted as saying that Hussman is “the ideal person to give this honor to. “He’s certainly done a large number of great things for the state of Arkansas and for Little Rock,” Nelson said. “He’s been a great contributor to many different causes. It’s time that he be honored publicly.

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

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March 14, 2019


Guest Column: Newspapers bring Sunshine By Sonny Albarado

The Washington Post motto, “Democracy Dies In Darkness,” may seem a bit melodramatic, but is an apt description of the disaster unfolding in communities across the U.S. and Arkansas, as newspapers close or shrink. This unfolding tragedy becomes especially noticeable this week (March 10-16) as journalists and open-government advocates mark Sunshine Week. Sunshine Week has been observed annually since 2005 to coincide with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution and a key advocate for the Bill of Rights. Whatever you think about newspapers or the hardworking, underpaid journalists they employ, the decades-long decline of hometown newspapers is creating what researchers call “news deserts” – towns, counties and even larger areas that no longer have regular local coverage of events and issues that affect real people.

relatively short period means fewer eyes observing local government on behalf of busy citizens. On top of closures, the economics of the newspaper business has reduced many more publications to shells of what they once were. Newspapers in Arkansas have cut back on home delivery or reduced the frequency of publication in an effort to stanch the flow of red ink because of the loss of advertising revenue, once their primary source of business income. Some online news outlets, often run by public-spirited former newspaper journalists, try to make up at least part of the loss of a local newspaper. This may not seem significant to those who believe that news is available everywhere, thanks to Facebook, Twitter and other internet platforms or that newspapers can’t be trusted.

More than 1,400 cities in the U.S. have lost their main source of local news over the past 15 years, the Associated Press found in analyzing data compiled by University of North Carolina researchers.

But research shows that losing consistent reporting on local government, sports events or feel-good features on everyday citizens poses a danger to our sense of community.

Many of those towns are in rural and lower-income areas, often with an aging population, according to the AP.

The lack of such journalism also costs taxpayers money, centralizes power among fewer people and can hurt public health.

Since 2015, GateHouse Media closed 10 newspapers in Arkansas, in North Little Rock, Lonoke, Cabot, Carlisle, Sherwood, Maumelle, Jacksonville, Arkadelphia and Prescott, where it published two papers, the Hope Star and Nevada County Picayune Times. The Arkansas Leader in Jacksonville expanded into North Little Rock after the closure of the North Little Rock Times, but the loss of so many newspapers in a

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Notre Dame found that municipal borrowing costs increase after a newspaper ceases publication, according to an AP article prepared for Sunshine Week. The researchers found that the increase had nothing to do with the economy. “Rather, the demise of a paper leaves

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readers in the dark and emboldens elected officials to sign off on higher wages, larger payrolls and ballooning budget deficits,” the researchers told the AP. A Stanford University researcher found a similar pattern when investigative journalism vanishes at the local level, the AP reported. “When investigative scrutiny declines, stories go untold, which means waste, fraud, and abuse will be less likely to be discovered,” said James Hamilton, director of the Stanford Journalism Program. Penelope Muse Abernathy, a University of North Carolina professor who oversaw the “news desert” report released last fall, told the AP : “Strong newspapers have been good for democracy, and both educators and informers of a citizenry and its governing officials. They have been problem-solvers. “That is what you are missing when you don’t have someone covering you and bringing transparency or sunlight onto government decisions and giving people a say in how those government decisions are made,” Abernathy said. Despite the gloom, Sunshine Week deserves to be celebrated as a reminder that the nation’s founders, especially the author of our Constitution, believed in the power of the press to engage citizens in the act of governing themselves. We should continue to uphold that faith and not allow our democracy to wither in the dark. Sonny Albarado is projects editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and a member of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Coalition.

March 14, 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

Opposes

Awaits initial hearing in House Education Committee

HB1015 Rep. Mayberry

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

Supports

Failed in House Education Committee

HB1041 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

Opposes

Passed the House; did not receive recommendation from Senate City, County and Local Affairs Committee

HB1178 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

Opposes

Signed by the governor as Act 419

HB1231 Rep. Lowery

Establishes rights for student journalists at Arkansas higher education institutions

Supports

Signed by the governor as Act 395

HB1343 Rep. Hawks, Rep. Mark Johnson

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

Neutral

Passed House and Senate City, County and Local Affairs Committee; advanced to Senate

HB1382 Rep. Sorvillo

Exempts lottery winners’ identities from the Freedom of Information Act

Opposes

Failed House, but vote was exponged

HB1404 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

Neutral

Passed House; awaits hearing in Senate Education Committee

HB1417 Rep. Gray

Establishes a Freedom of Information Act exemption for the identities of confidential informants

Opposes

Awaits initial hearing in House State Agencies Committee

HB1432 Rep. Mayberry

Protects rights of high school student journalists and adds protections for student media advisors

Supports

Failed in House Education Committee, will be reheard by committee

HB1440 Rep. Ferguson

Establishes the Maternal Mortality Review Committee and exempts the committee from the Freedom of Information Act

Opposes

Passed House, Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee; awaits inital hearing in Senate

HB1441 Rep. Bentley

Establishes the Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes Quality Review Committee and exempts the committee from the Freedom of Information Act

Opposes

Passed House, Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee; awaits inital hearing in Senate

HB1499 Rep. Maddox

Changes public notice requirements for statutory foreclosures

Neutral

Passed House; awaits hearing in Senate Insurance and Commerce Committee

HB1500 Rep. Gazaway

Exempts cybersecurity threat assessments from disclosure under FOIA

Neutral

Passed House; awaits hearing in Senate State Agencies Committee

HB1551 Rep. Eubanks

Prohibits schools under the Freedom of Information Act from disclosing records of the arrest or detention of a student

Opposes

Passed House Education Committee; advances to full House

HB1556 Rep. House

Establishes a FOIA exemption for active, ongoing Arkansas Beverage Control Board investigations

Neutral

Passed House

HB1557 Rep. House

Establishes a FOIA exemptions for security plans and assessments of medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation facilities and labs

Opposes

Awaits initial hearing in House Rules Committee

HB1559 Rep. Jean

Creates a FOIA exemption for division orders or declarations of interest submitted to county assessors regarding mineral rights

Pending

Passed House; passed Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee; advances to full Senate

HB1630 Rep. Lundstrum

Gives active and retired law enforcement officeers the ability to keep personal contact information and tax records secret under FOIA

Opposes

Awaits initial hearing in House State Agencies Committee

HB1702 Rep. Speakes

Permits a school district to publish notice of bond sales in a newspaper published in or with a bona fide circulation in the county or counties where the school district is located

Neutral

Awaits initial hearing House Education Committee

HB1766 Rep. Collins

Increases the threshold amount for municipal sewer commission requirements for bidding from $20,000 to $35000 (companion bill SB516 in Senate is sponsored by Sen. Bond)

Opposes

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

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

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March 14, 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

SB3 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.

Opposes

Passed Senate; awaits hearing in House Public Health, Welfare and Labor 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

Opposes

Failed to advance 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

Opposes

Failed Senate State Agencies Committee

SB 233 Sen. Hammer, Rep. Lowery

Amends notice requirements for school elections

Neutral

Passed House in Senate

SB 277 Sen. Hill, Rep. Cameron Cooper

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

Opposes

Passed Senate City, County and Local Affairs Committee

SB306 Sen. Teague

Allows the winner of a Powerball or Mega Millions drawing to make his or her records with the Arkansas Lottery Commission confidential under the Freedom of Information Act

Opposes

Awaits initial hearing in Senate State Agencies Committee

SB409 Sen. Flippo

Allows public entities to publish notice to receive bids on a website rather than in a newspaper

Opposes

Awaits initial hearing in Senate State Agencies Committee

SB411 Sen. Stubblefield

Exempts from disclosure any investigations or reports related to whether a municipality is a sanctuary city; prohibits sancutary city policies

Opposes

Awaits initial hearing in Senate City County and Local Affairs Committee

SB441 Sen. Bledsoe

Prohibits all advertising related to medical marijuana

Neutral

Passed Senate City, County and Local Affairs Committee; advances to full Senate

SB464 Sen. Hester

Exempts from disclosure under FOIA almost all information regarding letahl injection procedures; makes “reckless” release of information a Class D felony

Opposes

Passed Senate; awaits hearing in House Judiciary Committee

SB521 Sen. Hammer

Expands the definition of public records in the Freedom of Information Act; protects identity of donors to private foundations

Opposes

Awaits initial hearing in Senate State Agencies Committee

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

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March 14, 2019

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: March 14, 2019  

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

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: March 14, 2019  

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