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File your Statement of Ownership by Oct. 1

Guest Column:

Tread carefully when requiring down payment for democracy By Jim Pumarlo


Ar kansas


Publisher Weekly

Vol. 13 | No. 37 | Thursday, September 13, 2018


Serving Press and State Since 1873

Orangutan obituaries aside, Wiggins brought love of community to Paris Express Just four days after her high school graduation, Vickey Wiggins walked in to the offices of the Paris Express. Fortytwo years, six ownership groups and one thwarted orangutan obituary later, Wiggins left the Express for the last time. Wiggins retired Sept. 7 as publisher of the Express, the oldest business in Logan County. She spent 22 years as the paper’s publisher and she also ran the Booneville Democrat from 2001 to 2016. She got her start at the Express in May 1976 as a copy setter. She moved into advertising a while later and before long, she says, she learned enough about the paper’s operations that serving as publisher seemed to be a natural next step. “Having worked in several roles, all this

time the industry was slowly changing,” Wiggins said. “I just had a great knowledge from beginning to end, the process of all stages — from classifieds to legal notices to affidavits.” Wiggins’ institutional knowledge ensured her newspaper’s vital role within the community and it led to a number of awards and recognition from the local chamber of commerce. It was a colleague’s knowledge of the community early in Wiggins’ career that helped the newspaper avoid a correction and an embarrassment. “Many, many, many years ago, there was a gentleman that walked in and placed an obituary for his brother in the newspaper,” she said. “It was typed up, placed on the Continued on Page 2

Former Gazette reporter Jerol Garrison dies at 86 Jerol Herried Garrison, 86, of Fayetteville, died last week.

Garrison was a reporter for the Arkansas Gazette during the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis in Jerol Herrid Garrison the 1950s, and he served as the director of communications for what was then known as Arkansas Power and Light. Garrison is survived by his wife of 64 years, Sally, who he met while attending the University of Arkansas. While at UA,

he was the editor of the Arkansas Traveler newspaper. He earned his master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He worked for the Neosho (Mo.) Daily News before moving to Central Arkansas and starting with the Gazette.

Garrison worked at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock then moved to AP&L. Roy Ockert, the former editor of the Jonesboro Sun, described Garrison in a social media post as “one of the best reporters and best guys I’ve ever known. He made AP&L credible at a time when the company needed it most.”

He was a member of Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Margaret Holaway and Catherine Stark, six grandchildren; and a sister, Nancy Larner. He is preceded in death by his parents and a daughter, Linda Richmond. Funeral services are Friday, Sept. 14, at 2 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville. Donations can be made to the Jerol Garrison Journalism Scholarship at UALR or to Heifer International.


Continued from page 1 page and ready for print the next day when our editor went by to read them and remembered, ‘Oh, that’s the name of the orangutan that got loose that was a family pet!” “So, we almost had an orangutan obit in the newspaper,” she laughed. “That’s when our obit policy changed.”


Aside from the potential primate obituary, Wiggins said one of the more challenging aspects of her tenure at the Express was the occasional ownership change. The Express, founded in 1880, was owned by Harte-Hanks Communications when Wiggins started there. It was later sold to Worrell Enterprises, then Westward Communications, then Van Buren Communications before Donrey Media Group bought the paper in 2000. Donrey changed its name to Stephens Media a short time later, and three years ago, Stephens was acquired by GateHouse.


“There were many transformations throughout all of those sales to meet the challenges and adjust to each company,” she said. Through those changes, the community and Logan County have always rallied around the newspaper.




1) Ruby Valentine, Marvin Wiggins (Vickey’s husband), Vickey & Patty Wilcox; 2) Vickey with Mayor Daniel Rogers; 3) Vickey, Mary Smith, Susan Carolan; 4) Donna Cunningham with Vickey; 5) Vickey with Joe Schluterman.

“The chamber of commerce and area merchants have been behind the newspaper since I’ve been there, and it’s totally awesome to see a community stay together like that,” Wiggins said. “I think Paris just recognizes that, where else are you going to see little Billy’s picture in the paper when he makes a touchdown so that it can go in Grandma’s scrapbook. That still happens! That picture could be pasted all over Facebook and maybe reach people more quickly, but it can’t be cut out and put in a scrapbook and gifted at graduation.”

While Facebook has actually been a boom to the Express as the main driver of traffic to the newspaper’s website, Wiggins pointed out that many subscribers do not have reliable high-speed Internet. Because of that, print subscriptions are an even more important way for residents to get their news. “Being in rural Logan County, it’s still Internet-challenged for some areas, and that’s really difficult in today’s times,” said Wiggins, who added she tempers her “love” for the digital world with the recognition that the print product will last. She said the talented and dedicated staff at the Express will continue to deliver quality news to residents and support to local advertisers. In an Express article about her retirement, she said: “The employees here, present and past, have always been aware that they are more than employees of a newspaper. They know and feel they are stewards of an institution in this community. They know they are caretakers of an institution and, as such, know they are caretakers of something larger than themselves. I have always felt and acted that way. That will still be the case after I retire. That will continue. All that’s happening is that it’s being passed on to a new generation and the newspaper will still strive to earn the trust and respect of this community every day.” Wiggins, a Paris native, said she worked on the yearbook staff and school newspaper before deciding to seek out her job at the Express more than 42 years ago. She and her husband, Marvin, have also been married for 42 years. They have a daughter, Tessa, who is an art teacher in Ozark.

File your Statement of Ownership by Oct. 1

Oct. 1 is the deadline for paid distribution newspapers to file the Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation form (PS Form 3526) with the United States Postal Service.

your paper cannot be counted as a paid electronic subscriber. To be considered a paid electronic subscriber, the subscriber must pay more than a nominal rate for the subscription.

Remember that paid electronic subscriptions may be included as circulation in postal statements. A paid subscriber, electronic or print, may only be counted once. A print subscriber with free access to the electronic version of

After filing with your postmaster, you must publish your statement according to the following timetable, depending on frequency of publication:

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

Publications issued more frequently than weekly should publish no later than Oct. 2

10. This applies to dailies, semi-weeklies and three-times-per-week publications. Publications issued weekly, or less frequently, but not less than monthly, must publish by Oct. 31. This applies to weeklies. All other publications publish in the first issue after Oct. 1. This applies to infrequent publications such as quarterlies, bimonthlies, etc. September 13, 2018

Hope reacts to loss of local newspaper (Editor’s note: GateHouse newspapers announced last week that Friday, Sept. 14, would be the final publication date for three southwest Arkansas newspapers, including the Hope Star. This article by Jim Williamson of the Texarkana Gazette is reprinted with permission) The Hope Star’s closing its doors will mean more than losing stories and photos, says Beckie Moore, executive director of the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce. “Receiving the news of the Hope Star printing its final paper on Sept. 14 caused our community to be flooded with emotions. Those who grew up in Hope remember the newspaper as their lifeline to the community. Many will recall the daily publications and how excited they were to read about the weekly community ‘happenings.’ The Hope Star, as with any local paper, was the community welcome mat. You could read the paper and sense that our town mattered,” Moore said. “Now what? I would be remiss if I did not address the fact that the shutdown means a loss of jobs. Before mourning the loss of news, pictures, editorials, sports we must not overlook this fact. People are hurting. We have a responsibility and an opportunity before us to help our neighbors in need,” she said. GateHouse Media LLC, which owns the Hope Star, will also close two of its other Southwest Arkansas newspapers: the Nevada County Picayune and the Arkadelphia Siftings Herald. The Nevada County paper’s last edition will go out Wednesday, while the Siftings Herald ceases publication the same day as the Hope Star. While Internet news sites are changing the industry of print journalism, Moore has a reminder. “The loss of a news source is a great loss no matter how you look at it. Not everyone has a phone or Internet service readily available in order to ‘view’ online news. For these people, the paper continued to be their community connection, and that will be gone on Sept. 14. We are fortunate to have radio stations in Hope for those who are not receiving online news. Our stations will continue providing the ‘hometown connection,’ and for that we should be grateful. That being said, there is something to be said about holding print and reading articles while viewing pictures,” Moore said. The chamber relied on the Hope Star to circulate its information for years.

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

“We sincerely appreciated their services and the ‘extras’ they provided. The Hope Star created and printed our Relocation & Visitors Guide. They also provided the Watermelon Festival insert, so visitors and locals could see the full list of activities and pictures. The Hope Star printed the chamber’s annual meeting report and provided copies for all in attendance. This list could go on and on,” she said. “To all who walked through the doors and worked extremely long hours at 522 W. Third St. for the betterment of our community, we thank you,” Moore said. Others recalled the effect the newspaper had on their lives. Amy Sweat of McCaskill is the site manager at Hope Senior Citizens Center and was surprised about the closings. “I never subscribed, but I would buy the newspaper and share a copy,” Sweat said. “A lot of older people don’t know how to get an electronic newspaper. A lot of the older people don’t have access to a computer to figure out how to use it. Newspapers in small towns are going out of business. They’re just like other small businesses.” Brothers Royce Rogers and Darrell Rogers also heard about the closings. “We don’t take the newspaper. Sometimes a man would bring five or more newspapers to the (Hope Senior Citizens) center, and we would read it. A lot of people looked forward to getting the newspaper,” Darrell Rogers said. The Hope Star publishes Wednesdays and Fridays and has a 12-month average paid circulation of 930. Hope has a population of 9,892, according to the Arkansas Press Association’s 2018 Media Directory. “I used to read the newspaper, but I quit after my husband (Johnny B. Hill) died. He died April 9, 2000. We had been married 45 years,” said Rosie Hill, who was visiting the senior citizen center on Thursday. “He would get the newspaper and bring it home. I quit after he died. I don’t have enough money.” Sharon Caldwell, a co-owner of Tailgaters Cafe in Hope said, “It’s sad it has come to this point.” Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton said the digital age makes it difficult for older people to obtain the newspaper and get information.


September 13, 2018

Camden News adds Toddy to sports staff

The Camden News announced this week that the Rev. Wade Toddy has joined its staff to cover Harmony Grove football.

Toddy is senior pastor of Cullendale First Baptist Church and is Wade Toddy a native for Fordyce. His brother, Clay, coaches at Rison. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. He has a doctorate of ministry from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Rebecca, have two children.

Mark Your Calendar

‘Journalism Matters’: National Newspaper Week set for Oct. 7-13 With National Newspaper Week just a few weeks away, content and materials for newspapers to use to observe the week are now available on the National Newspaper Week website, www. NationalNewspaperWeek.com.

National Newspaper Week is Oct. 7-13. This year marks the 78th annual observance of National Newspaper Week, which recognizes the work of newspapers and their employees across the country. The week is sponsored by Newspaper Association Managers and it is the only nationwide recognition of newspaper media during the year. The theme of this year’s National Newspaper Week is “Journalism Matters … Now More Than Ever.” That message has always been important, but it is particularly timely in an age in which journalists and their work are too often

attacked and criticized.

The materials at www. NationalNewspaperWeek.com are free to newspapers. They include editorials, editorial cartoons and promotional ads. Newspapers are encouraged to use the materials but also localize the content or generate unique content to celebrate and recognize a newspaper’s own valuable position within a community. By participating in National Newspaper Week, newspapers can build support from the community at the same time papers from across the country display their united effort to strengthen the industry. Newspaper Association Managers, or NAM, is a coalition of trade organizations that represent the industry on a statewide and national basis. The Arkansas Press Association is a member of NAM.

November 8 - 9

2018 ArkLaMiss Circulation & Marketing Conference, Ameristar Casino & Hotel, Vicksburg, MS

Industry Quote of the Week “Most of us probably feel we couldn’t be free without newspapers, and that is the real reason we want newspapers to be free.” – Edward R. Murrow

Let’s Get Social

Follow Us on Facebook & Twitter

@ArkansasPressAssociation @ARPressAssoc

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Upcoming training webinars scheduled Newspaper Academy, an online resource for community newspapers, will host two live training webinars next week. On Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Ed Henninger will Ed Henninger present “My Most Important Tips to Improve Your Newspaper Design,” a webinar about what designers need to know to help draw more readers to the newspaper. Tips on fonts, headline sizing, InDesign and much more will be included in the webinar. The following day, Sept. 21, Tim Smith will host “The Basics of Newspaper Ad 4

Tim Smith

Sales: What You Need to Know to Sell Advertising.” That webinar is also from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The webinar is described as a boot camp for new ad salespersons as well as for veterans.

The organization also has an extensive library of on-demand video training selections on growing a newspaper, sales, newspaper design and web design, editing and reporting, and Adobe products. For more information, or to register for the webinars, visit NewspaperAcademy.com. September 13, 2018

Guest Column: Tread carefully when requiring down payment for democracy By Jim Pumarlo, Community Newsroom Success Strategies My hometown newspaper instituted a new policy requiring that readers “pay” for the First Amendment right to express, and explain why, who or what they support or oppose at the voting booth. The newspaper is sadly is not the first and won’t be the last to begin charging readers for election endorsement letters. As a former editor, I appreciate the arguments presented for enacting the policy. It’s still disappointing, and I respectfully disagree. To be certain, orchestrated letter-writing campaigns are part and parcel to every candidate’s election strategy. I distinctly remember, during my tenure as editor, the newspaper’s strong editorial campaign to unseat a slate of incumbents in a city council election. It prompted a flurry of letters. One memorable letter came from a candidate’s daughter. She likely was assisted in crafting the letter. We published it in the interest of fair play.

during election season. It’s a time when editors and the public will become reacquainted with the Boy Scout Law. As an Eagle Scout myself, I still can recite the credo: “A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.” I exaggerate a bit. But show me a candidate for elective office, and I’ll produce letters from supporters that extol values befitting of an upstanding scout. On the other hand, the election season also generates some thought-provoking letters that generate worthwhile and beneficial dialogue. So how can newspapers handle the churn of letters that may be less substantive but still show the endorsement of an individual, a voter? It’s easy to criticize

Before implementing a blanket policy of charging for “endorsement” letters in election campaigns, consider other circumstances – issues facing a “public vote” by an elected body: • A school board decides whether to close an elementary school building, or eliminate an academic or extracurricular offering.

• Limit the number of endorsement letters written by one individual. • Edit letters liberally, especially as election day nears. For starters, it’s a good bet that the introductory and concluding paragraphs can be eliminated from many letters. • To save space, group letters by candidate or issue and run them all under a banner headline. • Reserve space in the print edition for the more substantive letters. Publish the others, especially those that simply repeat themes, on your website where space is unlimited. I believe that community newspapers can still play a vital role in today’s fractured media landscape. Community newspapers, at their best, are stewards of their communities. The news columns are a blend of stories that people like to read and stories they should read. The advertising columns promote and grow local commerce. The editorial pages are a marketplace of ideas. Letters are the lifeblood of a vibrant editorial page, especially during election season. Our democracy is invigorated by debating the strengths and weaknesses of candidates seeking elective office – the very individuals who will enact the myriad local, state and national laws that govern our everyday lives. Do we really want to limit this debate to “paid opinions” only?

• A city council faces any number of votes on issues at the center of community conversation. Should the city establish a skateboard park? Should a big-box developer receive tax incentives? Who should be appointed to fill a vacancy on the City Council or Port Authority?

Jim Pumarlo writes, speaks and provides training on community newsroom success strategies. He is author of “Journalism Primer: A Guide to Community News Coverage,” “Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Coverage” and “Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in Small-Town Newspapers.” He can be reached at www. pumarlo.com and welcomes comments and questions at jim@pumarlo.com.

• A county board weighs in on a contentious feedlot ordinance. Supporters and opponents line up on all of these issues. In many cases, organized campaigns lobby the elected officials, often incorporating a stream of letters to the editor. Should these “endorsement letters” also be allowed only on a “pay for play” basis? Letters indeed carry repetitive themes Arkansas Publisher Weekly

a new policy. It’s more challenging to offer solutions. Here are some ideas:


September 13, 2018

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: September 13, 2018  

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

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: September 13, 2018  

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