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Schexnayder, Farrell to be inducted into Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame Freedom of Information Act seminar registration open


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Publisher Weekly


Serving Press and State Since 1873

Vol. 14 | No. 34 | Thursday, August 22, 2019

First Family of Boone County newspapers stays busy in retirement newspapers by bicycle. “When you retire from it, you’re ready to do something else, but then again, it’s hard to leave it behind. It’s still in our blood.”

For a man who has “always liked newspapers,” Jeff Christenson couldn’t have married into a better family. Christenson met his future wife at the newspaper, of all places, just as he was getting settled in as Harrison’s new band director in the mid-1970s. Between his wife, Jane Dunlap Christenson, and in his in-laws, there is more than 200 years of newspaper experience. Jeff Christenson went on to serve as publisher of the Harrison Daily Times, succeeding his father-in-law, the late J.E. Dunlap, and Christenson was president of the Arkansas Press Association in 2005. Jane Christenson, a longtime ad rep on the Daily Times staff and former publisher of the Newton County Times, preceded her husband as APA president, overseeing the association in 1991. Both retired 10 years ago, but neither is ready to step away from the industry they both love. “When you grow up with it, it’s kind of

The Christensons are regulars at the annual APA conventions, and Jeff Christenson said it’s because of the camaraderie and connections developed through the association over the years. Plus, he quipped, “we have to be there to pass that gavel.” “We could easily say we don’t have time to go or don’t want to spend the money, but as long as we still can, we think it’s important to support our association,” Jane Christenson said.

Jane and Jeff Christenson

a love-hate and you hate to leave it,” Jane Christenson said, noting that she once crawled around the family-owned business, and a few years later delivered

Jane Christenson, J.E. Dunlap, Leota “Sammy” Dunlap, and Jane’s brother, Lee Dunlap, were all recipients of the APA’s Golden 50 Service Award, recognizing a newspaper industry career of 50 years or more. Lee Dunlap, known as “Flash” around Harrison, still works for the Daily Times. Continued on Page 2

Journalism educators to honor Rep. Julie Mayberry The national Journalism Education Association has named Rep. Julie Mayberry, R-East End, as a 2019 recipient of its Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award. Rep. Mayberry led legislative efforts earlier this year to require all Arkansas high schools offer journalism as an elective course of study. As a former broadcast journalist, Rep. Mayberry recognizes the valuable and important role of journalism education. Rep. Julie Mayberry

She was nominated for the honor by Andrew

Young, a journalism teacher at Woodland Junior High School in Fayetteville and member of the Journalism Education Association. In the association’s announcement, the head of the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association said Mayberry “sees the press as an essential part of the high school curriculum.” “She has championed our cause to make high school journalism essential in Arkansas,” said ASPA Executive Director Kristy Cates. Rep. Mayberry and her husband, former Rep. Andy Mayberry, are publishers of the monthly East Ender Continued on Page 3

First Family of Boone County newspapers stays busy in retirement Continued from Page 1

Jeff Christenson got his start at the Times a couple years after he and his wife were married. As band director, he had summers off, and so his father-inlaw asked him to work summers in the newspaper’s pressroom. Before long, Dunlap asked him to be marketing and circulation director, so he left his teaching career to pursue a career in journalism. As an avid newspaperman, he has no regrets. “One of the best moves I ever made was to leave teaching and go into the newspaper business,” Jeff Christenson said. “… I’d always liked newspapers, for one thing, and when I had the opportunity to go to work for Lee and J.E., I just fell in love with it.” That might have a little something to do with the fact that he was introduced to then-Jane Dunlap when he walked into the newspaper office to change his subscription from mail to home delivery once he found a house in town in July 1974. Jane Christenson had gone off to college at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She had big plans to move to the “big city” along with some of her college friends. She said J.E. Dunlap knew she’d be back at the newspaper she grew up in, but he never pushed her to do so. “When I went to college, I was a business major, and dad always said, ‘That’s good, because you can always hire your reporters and things like that, but you need to know the business.’” Both Jeff and Jane Christenson were advertising sales representatives and

Jane Christenson, her parents J.E. and Leota “Sammy” Dunlap, and Jane’s brother, Lee Dunlap, were all recipients of the APA’s Golden 50 Service Award, which recognizes a newspaper industry career of 50 years or more. Lee Dunlap, known as “Flash” around Harrison, still works for the Daily Times.

newspaper publishers while also being active in their church, First Presbyterian of Harrison, as well as in the community. Jeff Christenson has been president of the Harrison Chamber of Commerce and of Main Street Harrison. Jane Christenson served on the state Parks and Tourism Board and is currently a member of the Arkansas State Police Commission. She will likely be chairman of that commission in 2020. Her father served on the same commission for more than two decades. Despite their retirement, the Christensons haven’t had much time for rest and relaxation. “I still make a list every day – I have

Industry Quote of the Week

Both worked even after the Dunlaps sold their business to American Publishing Co. in 1993. That was when Jeff Christenson became Daily Times publisher and Jane Christenson was named publisher in Newton County. They continue to subscribe to the Daily Times and pay close attention to the state of the newspaper industry.

Mark Your Calendar

“The secret of a successful newspaper is to take one story each day and bang the hell out of it. Give the public what it wants to have and part of what it ought to have whether it wants it or not.”

November 7 - 8 2019 ArkLaMiss Circulation & Marketing Conference, Ameristar Casino & Hotel, Vicksburg, MS

-Herbert Bayard Swope

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

always done that, now and at work – about what I’m going to do today,” Jane Christenson said. “I still feel like that I want to be involved, and if I don’t, I just sit in the recliner all day, and that’s not good for my health. Sometimes, I feel more busy than I did when I worked.”


August 22, 2019

Journalism educators to honor Rep. Julie Mayberry Continued from Page 1

newspaper in rural Pulaski County. She introduced HB 1015 and HB 1432 in this year’s session, both of which were endorsed by the Arkansas Press Association. HB 1015, to require journalism courses to be offered, faced tough opposition from state Department of Education and local school superintendents who argued schools would perceive the requirement as an unfunded mandate. Rep. Mayberry said it’s possible she will re-introduce the bill in 2021.

Schexnayder, Farrell to be inducted into Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame Two newspaper industry luminaries who have each made invaluable contributions to the state of Arkansas are joining other notable leaders in the 2019 class of the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame.

Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder and Olivia Myers Farrell will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with six other honorees on Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. A reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 7 p.m.

HB 1432, which passed the House and Senate overwhelmingly, strengthens protections for student journalists. Now Act 912, the bill was passed in response to moves by the Springdale School District to censor articles written by student journalists at Har-Ber High School. Act 912 reiterates that journalists have the right to free expression under the First Amendment.

Rep. Mayberry’s award will be presented Nov. 23 in Washington at the National High School Journalism Convention.

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Schexnayder and her husband, Melvin, owned the Dumas Clarion for more than 44 years. She was also a state representative for 14 years. In addition to being president of the APA and NNA, she served as president of the National Federation of Press Women and four other journalism organizations. She was also the first woman to serve on the Arkansas Board of Pardons and Parole. As a legislator, Schexnayder was sponsor of several bills that strengthened the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. She was lead sponsor of the act to establish the Arkansas Ethics Commission, and she helped enact funding for a research center and endowed chairmanship in alcohol abuse prevention at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

“Rep. Mayberry is a dear friend to the newspaper industry and to student journalism programs across Arkansas and we congratulate her for earning this muchdeserved recognition from journalism educators,” said Ashley Wimberley, executive director of the Arkansas Press Association. “We look forward to continuing our work with Rep. Mayberry to re-institute journalism course offerings in Arkansas public schools.” Rep. Mayberry joins Marie Hardin, dean of the Penn State Unversity College of Communications, as recipients of the Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award.

Director Ashley Wimberley. “They have made positive impacts on our industry throughout their careers, and there are no better women to recognize for this prestigious group of Arkansas legends.”

Schexnayder, who is 95, is also an author. She published an autobiography, Salty Old Editor: An Adventure in Ink, in 2012. Charlotte Schexnayder

Schexnayder is a former Arkansas Press Association president. She was the first female president of the APA and, later, the first female president of the National Newspaper Association. Farrell was CEO and principal owner of Arkansas Business Publishing Group and co-founder of the Arkansas Women’s Foundation. “The Arkansas Press Association wouldn’t be where it is today without the leadership and longtime support of great women like Charlotte and Olivia,” said APA Executive 3

Earlier this year, the Women’s Hall of Fame asked Schexnayder was asked about her prominent leadership positions in various organizations. She said that she “worked awfully hard in all of them. “When I was in those organizations, I did hard jobs and things that took a lot of time. And I think those are parts of leadership. I knew I could do the job if I were given it, and I was, so that was nice.” Farrell started her publishing career in 1978 as an ad sales representative for the Arkansas Times. She co-founded

Continued on Page 4

August 22, 2019

Schexnayder, Farrell to be inducted into Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame Continued from Page 3

many years,” she told the Hall of Fame. “Women didn’t sell advertising. Women didn’t go into publishing conferences.”

Arkansas Business in 1984 and Southern magazine in 1986. She was recognized in 1984 by the National Council of Women of the United States as a “Young Achiever,” one of six women across the country earning the award and the first ever from Arkansas.

Schexnayder and Farrell join Alice Andrews, Diane Divers Blair, Jo Luck, Louise McPhetridge Thaden, Carolyn Witherspoon and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Beta Pi Omega Chapter as 2019 inductees into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame.

Farrell became CEO of APBG in 1995 and oversaw an enterprise that earned more than 115 awards for excellence. She retired from ABPG earlier this year.

Among the criteria for selection to the Hall of Fame is whether the nominee has “positively elevated the status and positively impacted women and girls,” and “helped open new frontiers for women and society in general.”

She has served as a trustee for the Arkansas Arts Center. She’s been on boards for the Junior League of Little Rock and the Arkansas Executive Forum. She has served on the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Community Advisory Board and the Governor’s Task Force for Entrepreneurship in Education. “I was the only woman in the room for

Tickets remain available for the Aug. 29 reception and dinner. For more information about the inductees, and to purchase tickets, visit www. arwomenshalloffame.com.

Olivia Farrell

Arnett to receive Golden 50 Service Award on Sept. 6 The Monroe County Herald will host a special reception for long-time employee Glenda Arnett on Friday, Sept. 6, at Cottagemall & Café 322 W. Cypress St., in Brinkley. At the reception, the Arkansas Press Association will formally present Arnett with her “Golden 50” Service Award in recognition of her 50-plus years of service to the newspaper industry. Arnett was honored at the APA Convention in June, but was unable to attend the convention.

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Arnett was only a few weeks out of high school in 1967 when she started at the Brinkley newspaper. It’s the only full-time job she has ever had. She has performed nearly every job responsibility there, from linotype operator to photographer to reporter. She’s been called the “heart and sunshine” of the newspaper by her employers. Arnett has no plans to retire.

LEWIS FLOYD Senior Associate (850) 532-9466 lfloyd@mediamergers.com

The reception will be held in honor of her award as well as an observance of Arnett’s 70th birthday. The event runs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 6. The APA “Golden 50” award will be presented at 3 p.m. Arkansas Publisher Weekly


August 22, 2019

Mark calendars for recycling conference and trade show The annual Arkansas Recycling Coalition Conference and Trade Show is scheduled for Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs. The keynote speaker for this year’s conference is DeAnne Toto of Recycling Today Media Group. Toto, based in Valley View, Ohio, serves as editor of Recycling Today. She has been managing editor of that magazine as well as editor of Secure Destruction Business magazine, and graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism.

Freedom of Information Act seminar registration open Experts on the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and its practical uses for reporters and the state’s citizens will be featured at a seminar next month hosted by the Arkansas Press Association.

up, visit https://www.arkansaspress.org/ events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1270309

The FOIA seminar is Thursday, Sept. 19, at APA headquarters, 411 S. Victory St., in Little Rock. The cost is $35 for APA members and $45 for nonmembers. Lunch is included in the registration costs.

The seminar will feature a presentation from APA attorney John Tull, a member of the state FOIA Task Force and a definitive voice on FOIA matters. There will also be a panel discussion on FOIA best practices with journalists Debra Hale-Shelton of Conway, Sarah Perry of Benton and Chris Wessel of Jonesboro.

Register now. The seminar is limited to the first 35 people who register. To sign

The seminar starts at 10:45 a.m and will be held at the APA office in Little Rock.

John K. Melvin, an internationally known eco artist, will also be speaking at the event. The conference provides attendees for training opportunities related to the state’s recycling industry, including a sustainability tour that will visit the University of Arkansas. This world-class recycling and sustainability conference will feature nationally and internationally known presenters on a variety of topics. An early-registration discount applies until Aug. 30. To register, visit www.recycleark. org. To book a room, call the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks at (479) 253-9768 and request to be a part of the ARC conference block.

Mark Your Calendar The APA will be closed on Sept. 2 for Labor Day! Arkansas Publisher Weekly


August 22, 2019

Guest Column: Into the issues

America needs locally owned newspapers By Peter Wagner

The once powerful Gannett media company — publishers of the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, Des Moines Register, USA Today and 106 other mostly daily newspapers — has announced it will merge with GateHouse Media. GateHouse is reported to own 156 dailies across America. Of course, it isn’t really a merger, Gannett is being assumed by GateHouse. Both companies have seen steady grown through acquisitions during recent years, but neither is doing well financially. By combining into one company, the new organization should see huge savings in operational costs and possible increases in advertising revenue. GateHouse, traditionally, operates with less staff than Gannett and is known for cutting staff whenever it buys an additional publication. Gannett moved mostly away from a focus on the printed newspaper a year and a half ago, putting emphasis on producing its digital products. Gannett and GateHouse, which is owned by New Media Investment Group, are believers in consolidated management and minimum local operating expenses. With the new firm’s emphasis on an information network dedicated to fewer locally printed pages and less publication days, the plan is to expand the company’s overall digital presence. The hope is to reduce costs through centralized accounting, production and editorial centers and increase national advertising revenue through expanded multicity

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readership. But the digit content will most likely be built around general interest national news, sports and features — think CNN and USA Today — and reduced coverage of hometown news important to local voters and taxpayers.

will be Trump’s economy isn’t working for them.

The rumor is the new firm probably will shed itself of many of their small, lessprofitable, weekly publications. That might be good news for those interested in investing in and upholding the local hometown newspaper. There is a need for locally managed community newspapers. But operating a small, local weekly paper has become financially difficult. Many local communities no longer have a retail base large enough to support a local paper.

Between 2004 and 2018, an average of 130 newspapers closed each year across the country, according to Penelope Muse Abernathy, a University of North Carolina professor who studies “news deserts.”

The national Democratic Party appears to be responding to this cultural change in a way that could be dangerous to the future of local and national media. In a recent online article, David Uberti reported one of the Democratic Party’s largest Super PACs, Priorities USA, is reported to be underwriting a $100 million effort to boot President Donald Trump from office. The PAC hopes to do it with a flood of one-sided digital information messages in key swing states that have lost numerous local newspapers. Four “news” outlets staffed by Democratic operatives will publish state-specific information across social media in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Wisconsin. They also will boost content to independent sources. The message


“This should be covered by local news(papers), but local news is dying,” said Priorities USA communication director Josh Schwerin.

That number increased to about 200 last year, with affected areas tending to be “much poorer than average, less educated and much older,” she said. But news generated and reported by any source with an agenda is not a good thing for our nation or our individual rights and freedom. It is important that local community papers survive if we are going to keep balance and consensus in our communities and across our nation. Let us hope those who still believe in the printed word, easy to post on the refrigerator and paste in a scrapbook, and capable of challenging wrong and encouraging right, will live long past the death rattle suggested by our competitors. Peter W. Wagner is founder and publisher of the award winning N’West Iowa REVIEW and 13 additional publications. Wagner can be contacted by emailing pww@iowainformation.com or calling his cell at (712) 348-3550.

August 22, 2019

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: August 22, 2019  

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

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: August 22, 2019  

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