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▪ Questions for candidates ▪ Sunshine Week kicks off ▪ Max Heath writes on cutting postal costs ▪ Personal columns by Larry Lough and Dave Dawson ▪ NAA’s Caroline Little predicts 2014 industry trends
Official publication of the Illinois Press Association www.illinoispress.org
Illinois PressLines / March 2014
Lobbying legislature a team effort IPA expands team with contract lobbying firm
2014 BOARD OF DIRECTORS - OFFICERS Karen Flax, President Tribune Company, Chicago Sam Fisher, Vice President Bureau County Republican, Princeton Sandy Macfarland, Treasurer Chicago Daily Law Bulletin John Galer, Immediate Past President The Journal-News, Hillsboro
DIRECTORS Todd Eschman Belleville News-Democrat Community Newspapers Kathy Farren Kendall County Record, Yorkville Beverly Joyce Danville Commercial-News Jim Kirk Sun-Times Media Wendy Martin Mason County Democrat, Havana Caroll Stacklin GateHouse Media, Inc. L. Nicole Trottie West Suburban Journal, Maywood Dennis DeRossett, Executive Director
900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL 62703 Ph. 217-241-1300, Fax 217-241-1301 www.illinoispress.org
Illinois Barry J. Locher, Editor
ILLINOIS PRESSLINES (USPS 006-862) is published bimonthly for $30 per year for Illinois Press Association members by the Illinois Press Association, 900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL, 62703. ©Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Volume 21 – March 2014 Number 1 Date of Issue: 2/26/2014 POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to ILLINOIS PRESSLINES, 900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL 62703. Periodical postage paid at Springfield, Illinois and Peoria, Illinois. Illinois PressLines is printed and distributed courtesy of GateHouse Media, Inc. in Peoria and Springfield.
One of the most important functions the IPA performs is the lobbying of the Illinois General Assembly on behalf of our members. These efforts are led by our government relations department and kick in to high gear each January when the legislature returns to the Capitol here in Springfield. The 59 state senators and 118 state representatives will introduce over 3,000 bills this spring session alone, proposing new legislation or to amend or eliminate current state statutes. The IPA’s lobbying work is a team effort, led by Government Relations Director Josh Sharp. Other key members of the government relations team include IPA attorneys Don Craven and Esther Seitz and the government relations committee, led by publishers Sandy Macfarland of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Bruce Sagan of the Hyde Park Herald. This year the IPA has initiated a different strategy as we seek to influence public policy in Springfield. Instead of employing a second staff lobbyist in government relations, we have contracted with the lobbying firm Government Navigation Group (www.govnavigationgroup.com) to help further our inter-
EXECUTIVE REPORT Dennis DeRossett Executive Director dderossett @illinoispress.org ests. GNG has offices in Springfield and Chicago; the three principals are Paul Rosenfeld, Tony Rossi and Tiffany Elking. Each has a unique experience in Illinois state government and a proven record of successfully representing their clients. The IPA vetted several quality lobbying firms but GNG stood out as the best fit for the IPA and we are proud to be associated with them. Our government relations work is no small task. Every one of these 3,000-plus bills is read to see if they affect any of the key issues important to the Illinois newspaper industry. Members know the top issues well: open records, open meetings, FOIA, public notice. These are key issues to the public service role that newspapers play as the Fourth Estate, serving as watchdogs to ensure access,
accountability and transparency by all elected officials at every level of government. It’s an important function for our democracy and it’s a job the Illinois newspaper industry does well. There are other key issues such as independent contractors, sales tax exemptions for newsprint and ink, graphic arts and machinery sales tax credit, etc. It’s a long and important list that requires constant monitoring and oversight. However, we cannot overstate the importance of our members in the government relations process. It is critically important that each of our publishers maintain open communications and a working relationship with their elected officials, especially their state senators and representatives. The IPA’s efforts can only be successful if we know we can count on our publishers at the local level to have these established relationships. You and your newspapers represent their voters back home and that is something legislators do not forget. We want to welcome GNG to our government relations team and we especially want to thank our members for all you do to keep the IPA government relations work strong and effective.
About the cover photo
Staff photographer Derik Holtmann of the Belleville News-Democrat captured this endearing moment between MSgt Vernon Ficker as he surprises his daughters Hannah and Holly during an assembly at Highmount School in Swansea. Hannah is a kindergarten student (right) and Holly is a 3rd grade student. MSgt Ficker, a transportation specialist with the 126th Air Refueling Wing, had just finished a six-month deployment to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Deployed once before in 2008, MSgt Ficker now hopes to be home for good.
IPA STAFF — PHONE 217-241-1300 FAX 217-241-1300 900 COMMUNITY DR., SPRINGFIELD, IL Dennis DeRossett, Executive Director Ext. 222 — firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffrey Holman, Director of Advertising Ext. 248 — email@example.com
Barry Locher, Director of Foundation Ext. 223 — firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynne Lance, Director of Member Relations Ext. 226 — email@example.com
Josh Sharp, Director of Government Relations Ext. 238 — firstname.lastname@example.org
March 2014 / Illinois PressLines
Questions for Editorial Boards to Consider When Meeting with Candidates Esther J. Seitz, Donald M. Craven, P.C., Springfield, IL
As editorial boards prepare to meet with candidates for the 2014 primary and general elections, here are a set of questions boards may consider presenting to those candidates. Each of the topics discussed impacts the newspaper industry and is likely to garner attention during the upcoming legislative sessions. The IPA’s position regarding each of these anticipated initiatives is explained below.
1. The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) allows persons who successfully pursue a lawsuit for access to public records under the FOIA to recover their attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. Do you agree that attorneys’ fees and costs should be awarded to requesters who succeeded in obtaining public records after they file suit, even if the public body opts to release the requested records absent a court order compelling release? IPA’s position: Persons who are forced to file suit to gain access to public records should recover their legal expenses incurred in pursuing claims under the FOIA, irrespective of whether the public body changed its position on releasing the record as a result of a court order or simply as a result of the lawsuit being filed. Either way, the requesters incurred expenses and absent their initiatives in filing suit the records would have remained hidden from public view. Also, the sooner a public body releases
Senator Dick Durbin (D- IL) 202-224-2152 durbin.senate.gov
records, the lower the litigation expenses it must reimburse the requesters. 2. Do you agree that the public should have access to final reports prepared by independent contractors on behalf of public bodies? IPA’s position: The press and citizens should have access to final reports prepared by independent contractors on behalf of public bodies. In Harwood v. McDonough, 344 Ill.App.3d 242 (2003), the court held that a public body could invoke the “deliberative process” exemption to withhold from public view a final report concerning the relocation of a large company, which a private consulting firm had prepared for that public body. While preliminary opinions and policy recommendations submitted by staffers of a public body are exempt as “deliberative process” material, final reports created by independent contractors hired and paid by the public body should be disclosed—even if the public
Representative Luis V. Gutierrez (D - 04) 202-225-8203 gutierrez.house.gov
Senator Mark Kirk (R- IL) 202-224-2854 kirk.senate.gov
Representative Bobby L. Rush (D - 01) 202-225-4372 rush.house.gov
Representative Robin Kelly (D - 02) 202-225-0773 kelly.house.gov
Representative Dan Lipinski (D - 03) 202-225-5701 lipinski.house.gov
Representative Mike Quigley (D - 05) 202-225-4061 quigley.house.gov
Representative Peter Roskam (R - 06) 202-225-4561 roskam.house.gov
Representative Danny K. Davis (D - 07) 202-225-5006 davis.house.gov
body has not yet rendered a final decision with respect to the matter discussed in the independent report. 3. Do you believe that the law should require that public notices (a.k.a. legal notices) be published in a community newspaper? IPA’s position: The law should continue to mandate that legal and public notices be published in a newspaper, even though all public notices must now also appear on a statewide public notice website. Notices posted online—especially on websites run by public bodies—cannot reach the many Illinoisans who do not have access to the Internet. In addition, the printed notice is used to provide authentication and certification of the form of the notice and the dates of publication.
See ‘Questions’ on page 4
Representative Janice Schakowsky (D - 09) 202-225-2111
Representative Randy Hultgren
Representative John Shimkus
Representative Brad Schneider (D - 10) 202-225-4835
(R - 15) 202-225-5271
Representative Bill Foster (D - 11) 202-225-3515
(R - 14) 202-225-2976 hultgren.house.gov
Representative Adam Kinzinger (R - 16) 202-225-3635 kinzinger.house.gov
Representative William Enyart (D - 12) 202-225-5661 enyart.house.gov
Representative Cheri Bustos (D - 17) 202-225-5905 bustos.house.gov
Representative Tammy Duckworth (D - 08) 202-225-3711
Representative Rodney Davis (R - 13) 202-225-2371
Representative Aaron Schock
(R - 18) 202-225-6201
Illinois PressLines / March 2014
continued from page 3 4. Should State’s Attorneys be subject to the FOIA? IPA’s position: The offices of state’s attorneys should be subject to the FOIA, because they are members of the executive branch of government. Because their offices are created in the Judicial Article of the Illinois Constitution, state’s attorneys presently assert that they need not comply with the FOIA, which does not apply to the judiciary. State’s attorneys are not, and do not function as judges. They charge and prosecute crimes, functions that are clearly executive in nature. Accordingly, state’s attorneys should be subject to the FOIA, as are all other types of prosecutors. Being subject to the FOIA, for state’s attorneys, does not mean that all their records need be disclosed. Instead, a bulk of the records residing with state’s attorneys would qualify for exemptions under the FOIA— such as the exemption for investigative and preliminary policy materials.
5. Should text messages, emails and other communications sent and received on personal electronic equipment by members of a public body, while those members are participating in an open meeting of the public body, be subject to disclosure under the FOIA? IPA’s position: Public officials’ messages concerning public business used during public meetings should be subject to disclosure under the FOIA, even if they are transmitted via private electronic equipment. When members of a public body gather for a public meeting, the public has a right to observe their deliberations. The members’ use of electronic messages concerning public business among each other and with third parties without being subject to the FOIA would significantly impede the public’s ability to partake in the governmental process.
Esther J. Seitz and Donald M. Craven are attorneys with Donald M. Craven, P.C., in Springfield. The Craven law office represents the IPA.
Craven law office springfield, illinois Donald M. Craven • Esther Seitz — Phone 217-544-1777
LIBEL HOTLINE 217-544-1777 Free pre-publication advice for members of the Illinois Press Association.
National Sunshine Week kicks off March 16-22 Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know. Download free content at: http://sunshineweek.rcfp.org/
The History of Sunshine Week The Florida Society of Newspaper Editors launched Sunshine Sunday in 2002 in response to efforts by some Florida legislators to create scores of new exemptions to the state’s public records law. FSNE estimates that some 300 exemptions to open government laws were defeated in the legislative sessions that followed its three Sunshine Sundays, because of the increased public and legislative awareness that resulted from the Sunshine Sunday reports and commentary. Several states followed Florida’s lead, and in June 2003, ASNE hosted a Freedom of Information Summit in Washington where the seeds for Sunshine Week were planted. With an inaugural grant from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has continued to support the effort, Sunshine Week was launched by the American Society of News Editors in March 2005. This non-partisan, non-profit initiative is celebrated in mid-March each year to coincide with James Madison’s birthday on March 16. In 2011, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press joined ASNE as a national co-coordinator of Sunshine Week, enabling the organizations to join forces and resources to produce Toolkit materials for participants and keep the website and social media sites engaged. Though created by journalists, Sunshine Week is about the public’s right to know what its government is doing, and why. Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in
their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Participants include news media, government officials at all levels, schools and universities, libraries and archives, individuals, non-profit and civic organizations, historians and anyone with an interest in open government. Everyone can be a part of Sunshine
Week. Our coalition of supporters is broad and deep. And individual participation can make all the difference. The only requirement is that you do something to engage in a discussion about the importance of open government. It could be a large public forum or a classroom discussion, an article or series of articles about access to important information, or an editorial. The extent to which you participate is up to you, but we’d like to know about it so we can recognize your efforts. Please email us at email@example.com with the news. The coverage, commentaries and activities promoting open government during Sunshine Week have led to tangible, meaningful changes to people’s lives and the laws that govern them. The Sunshine Week initiative is increasing public awareness, it’s coming up more often in policy conversations, and the efforts of participants are being cited as real forces for moving the public away from simply accepting excessive and unwarranted government secrecy.
March 2014 / Illinois PressLines
You have questions. We have answers. Illinois Press Association Government Relations Legal & Legislative
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FREE Pre-publication HOTLINE for IPA members only:
Have a legal question regarding a story? Ask Attorney Don Craven first.
ADVERTISE IN THIS SPACE Mike Flesch 217-241-1700
Illinois PressLines / March 2014
How to cut postage costs in the wake of January’s 6% postal increase Biggest increase since 2007 imposed for 2 years.
By Max Heath Postal Chair, NNA The newspaper industry is facing price increases three to four times inflation (more than 1.5 percent). It’s all the result of the Max Heath U.S. Postal Service’s second attempt at an “exigent” increase. This time, the Postal Regulatory Commission granted the request, based on estimates of lost revenue from the recession only. The 1.6 percent inflationary increase allowed by law was joined by the 4.3 percent exigent case, for an average 5.9 percent. But many price cells used by community newspapers have gone up 7 percent or more since January. Because the economy for newspapers and shoppers has yet to improve substantially in the wake of the 2008 Great Recession, many publishers will be seeking ways to save postage. Ironically, USPS and the PRC seem ignorant to the effect that many mailers will only reduce mailings to keep budgets stable. But Periodicals and shoppers, unless frequency is reduced, have little way to cut the number of mailings.
Tactics to trim the increase and save Periodicals postage Convert distant mail subscriptions to electronic formats for those who will convert. Most newspapers have room to improve here. The National Newspaper Association worked hard for several years to get e-subs counted on PS Form 3526, Statement of Ownership. And this year we have a promise to finally get them on one combined form, rather than the 3526-X that existed the last two years. Don’t try to convert subs within the county or trade area, as they generally
support decent amounts of preprint dollars. But the distant subs without inserts get the worst service anyway. Create FIRM bundles. When you have two or more papers mailed to the same delivery address, you can combine them in a bundle (separate from all other bundles) and pay only one piece price for the entire bundle, not for each piece in the bundle. Postage is determined by the “Addressed Pieces” column on the 3541 postage statement. Outside-county at line C36 the price is 19.9 cents. Just two pieces in a bundle saves nearly $10 a year for weekly, $20 semiweekly, etc. up to $70 for a 7-day daily. Most newspapers mail multiple copies to their state press association, ad agencies, state agencies, etc. In-county prices save the piece price “horizontally” at whatever level the piece is sorted to. Carrier-route sorted pieces save 6.7 cents each. It’s not uncommon to mail bundles of 10 or more pieces to nursing homes or remote schools for NIE copies. Nine pieces X .67 = more than $31 a year for a weekly. Do the math for your mailings and frequency. Your software vendor should have FIRM bundles enabled, but you may have to find the right check box to set it up. The key is making sure you enter the addresses exactly the same each time, and then you must train the mailroom to catch these bundles and actually make them up. Increase DDU entry. In-county, the savings is 4.8 cents a pound and 0.8 per piece, thus increasing with weight. A 4 ounce paper saves 2 cents per copy, and 8 ounces yields 3.2 cents. Outside the county, the savings are based on zoned pound prices for advertising and non-advertising. A 4 ounce paper saves 4 cents per copy, and 8 ounces yields 5 cents. If you sell single copies in a town or village, and have carrierroute sorted copies, you should also drop those copies in unsacked bundles and claim the discount. Create separate editions. If you mail preprints to distant states with no chance of benefiting the advertiser, or
if omitting them but paying as if you did, you need to create one or more editions zoned for weight. Each different weight version is a separate “edition” for postal purposes, and can have its own 3541 just for the copies matching that weight. Check your software or call your vendor if you need help doing so. Print on narrower web or lighter paper. Both cut pound price postage. (That’s even higher on Standard Mail shoppers than it is on Periodicals.) Most papers have mastered this, and have little wiggle room. But there are still a few holdouts on wide webs. Time has come to trim to save.
Tactics to trim the increase and save Standard Mail postage Examine your PS Form 3602-R carefully. First, see if most of your pieces are DDU-entered and priced at the lines mentioned in the next graph. The difference is 5.5 cents between “None” Entry and DDU Entry. If you enter copies in an SCF (Sectional Center Facility) on Friday or Saturday, be aware that USPS has proposed to change delivery standards to four days to reduce carriers’ Monday workload to save money starting in March. That gives you another reason to increase DDU drops (which can be done in unsacked bundles). Eliminate copies that fall outside Part F, Carrier-Route Flats, lines F19-23, for 3.3 ounces or less, or F58-61, for 3.3 ounces or more. Copies that don’t “code” to carrier-route because of imperfect address can fall to expensive 5-digit, 3-digit, or ADC prices costing 38.6, 47.2, or 52.4 cents per piece, respectively. It’s the same for copies you choose to mail outside your primary market to advertisers, ad agencies, etc. If you really must, go ahead, but be sure you understand the costs, and ensure that your list of those people is not outdated. Check lines F22 and F62 for DDU Basic price copies. This price for 10124 copies per route is a 5.2-cent pre-
mium over the High-Density price. You should check your non-subscriber list to ensure you haven’t missed potential addresses. Perhaps you need to get CDS (Computerized Delivery Sequence) qualified through your software vendor. Your goal should be to reach at least in the 125-up HighDensity copies per route. Check lines F20 and F60. The HighDensity Plus price, for 300 pieces and up, actually decreases Jan. 26 for pieces 3.4 ounces or more. At 4 ounces, the price is 3.47 percent below 2013, and the percentage declines after that until becoming a tiny increase from 10-16 ounces. It is now in your interest to hit the 300-piece level if possible. Full-coverage shoppers should achieve 90 percent active residential or 75 percent of total active addresses on lines F19 or F59. And these days, even many non-subscriber shoppers hit that level because of lower subscriber penetration.
Trim New Postal Costs
• Add Delivery Unit drops. • Increase Standard mail pieces for High Density discount. • Shift outside-market readers to e-subs. Carrier-Route Standard Mail. DDU Saturation gets a 5 percent increase. High-Density is stuck with a stiff 7.46.1 percent decrease from 1-16 ounces. Basic price goes up 6.2-5.2 percent from 1-16 ounces. High-Density Plus prices are discussed above. This chart is different from the one run in November Pub Aux when the price increases were announced. My apologies for omitting the 4.3 percent exigent case from those projections. Finally, one of the best ways to increase revenue with no additional cost is to add weight to your TMC packages to get closer to the 3.3-ounce minimum. Single-sheet flyer sales are the best method to add minimum weight to earn profitable prices.
March 2014 / Illinois PressLines
Student newspapers remain popular in a digital age By Al Lagattolla, Kane County Chronicle Nick Boose, editor-in-chief of the Kaneland Krier, paused for a second as he worked on a large screen computer, the room filled with editors going over content for an upcoming issue. In another room, the staff's reporters huddled around computers. Some were brainstorming; others’ were putting finishing touches on their stories. Boose, a junior from Sugar Grove, said he knows classmates are reading the product. "They point out our mistakes," he said. If a younger generation is getting the majority of its news from social media and online sources, there are at least some who embrace the newspaper experience. At Kaneland, dozens of students filled the two rooms during the time periods devoted to working on the Krier. At St. Charles East High School, adviser Laura Smith said more than 50 students are participating in its student publication – the XRay. Smith, who has been the adviser of the St. Charles East newspaper since 1994, said this year's group is one of the largest she has had in a long time. She said it's surprising, because "so few of these kids even get a newspaper delivered to their home." She said students sometimes show up with no awareness at all about a newspaper. "Ten years ago, kids came in, and you had an assumption that they knew what a headline was," she said, adding that "literally, you have kids coming out for the newspaper, and they've never seen the way a newspaper is even laid out in print." But, she said, they are coming and enjoying the experience. And, she said it's surprising that they want very much to hold the newspaper in their hands. She said students take great pride in handing out the papers to classmates.
At Kaneland, Boose said it "brings a smile to my face" when he sees students looking over the finished product. Boose has enjoyed the experience enough that he wants to be a high school journalism teacher. Students at Kaneland said the experience has been beneficial. Michelle McCracken, a junior from Sugar Grove, is the executive editor-in-chief of the Krier's web product. She said she would recommend the experience, saying she has improved in English and writing classes. She said those skills come "so easily now" after writing so many stories. Felicia Steik, a senior who is the executive ads and business manager, said she now can "crank out a paper really fast." Randy Swikle, who has been a newspaper adviser at Johnsburg High School, said those benefits have helped draw today's students to student journalism. Swikle is a member of the Illinois Press Foundation and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association boards. In the classroom, he said, he could tell which students had taken journalism "just by the questions they would ask." He said the skills they acquire would be helpful in any occupation, and there also is the opportunity to make a meaningful impact. "Scholastic journalism influences decision makers," Swikle said, adding that students can learn to be more discriminant readers and recognize the most important information. "It's part of what journalism does – provide analytical skills and research skills. How do you go about getting information? This is more than the kind of research you are going to get from going to a library. In journalism, much of your research has to be original. You have to get to the source and ask great questions so you can get a great story." At St. Charles East, Smith said that is the real eye-opener. Some students get nervous when they learn they have to
conduct interviews. "I think that when they do stick with it, they're going to get a really great experience," Smith said, adding that sometimes "they come in, and they want to make up horoscopes, and unless you are some kind of astrologer and you want to make charts, no." Those who stay, she said, can improve their research skills and have a positive experience. Kaneland Krier adviser Kim Reese credited her predecessor, Laurie Erdmann, with doing much to help the organization at
her school. Reese said students typically will come up with story ideas that are relevant to fellow students. Last week, students were working on stories about self-taken photos or "selfies," and bus safety. She said administrators have been helpful and supportive. "It's an outstanding program," she said. Students said they have enjoyed it. Maddy McDermot, a sophomore from Elburn, said "it's been better than I thought it would be. We're like a big family in here."
Illinois PressLines / March 2014
Reporters: Consider PAR Young reporters: Here's your chance to show your stuff, working for a top newspaper or wire service covering government and politics on a daily basis in the pressure-packed environment of the Illinois Statehouse. And earn a master's degree at the same time. That's the opportunity awaiting you in the University of Illinois Springfield's one-year MA program in Public Affairs Reporting. The PAR program is a unique blend of classroom study and real-life work experience featuring a six-month internship during which you'll work as a fulltime reporter in the Statehouse pressroom for a newspaper, wire service, or online news service. During the internship, you'll receive a $3,510 stipend and a tuition waiver, but more importantly, you'll be garnering scores of bylines on significant stories about key public policy decisions. With those kind of credentials, the placement record for our graduates is excellent. In fact, PAR alums account for about half of the Illinois Capitol press corps, including six bureau chiefs. Sound intriguing? For more information, contact Charles Wheeler at 217-206-7494 or e-mail wheeler.charles@.uis.edu. Or check out the PAR Website, www.uis.edu/publicaffairsreporting/. Applications for fall, 2014 are due April 1.
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March 2014 / Illinois PressLines
Where do we f ind tomorrow's reporters? Guest Column By Larry Lough, executive editor, Sauk Valley Media Journalism isn't a career for everybody. Not for people who have to be popular ... or want to be Lough rich. But it's work that is important, rewarding and fun – especially newspaper work. The news is different every day, and so is the job of the reporter and editor. Despite the changes in newspapers and other news media, we will always have journalism. Which means we will always need journalists. We understand why some parents might be apprehensive if their children want to study journalism. Or, scarier still, become newspaper reporters! As a member of the Northern Illinois Newspaper Board, this editor has recently been involved in discussions about the value of a journalism education. Fellow board member Lonny Cain, who is managing editor of the news¬paper In Ottawa, took on the job of writing an essay to encourage students to consider the study of journalism –at any level. "Help me by sharing your top three reasons a journalism degree is worthwhile," he wrote in an email to board members. "What would you tell the [high school] senior sitting in your office right now?" Here is what this editor suggested: 1. The skills you learn in journalism are transferable to virtually any profession. The ability to express yourself clearly will be important for any career you pursue –and it doesn't hurt in school when you're answering essay questions and writing term papers. 2. You will learn how to learn, which will serve you well as you inevitably tackle unfamiliar tasks and topics throughout your life and career. The journalist's ability and willingness to
research, question and verify information will ensure you never stop learning. 3. Journalists find great satisfaction in doing good for people and their communities. They work to keep government officials accountable, to expose harmful business practices, and to help people get involved in improv-ing the places where they live. Plus, they get to tell lots of good stories about long-separated siblings being reunited, long-lost pets being found, and long-suffering patients finding a cure –or at least an inspiring peace. News isn't always bad; in fact, it's often very good. Journalism isn’t just about news reporting. Check out the variety of magazines at a bookstore or drug store. Every interest possible, it seems, has a magazine. And every magazine needs writers and editors and photographers and designers and ... The numbers and kinds of magazines seem to be limitless. Not just magazines about sports, but separate and several magazines for every sport. Not just outdoors magazines, but different publications for hunting, fishing and camping. Multiple magazines targeting men readers, and even more targeting women. Check out the magazine rack sometime. No matter your interest, journalism seeks to serve it. Will newspapers be around in a few years to offer jobs to young journalists? Depends on how you define "newspapers," which today are so much more than ink-on-paper products. But, yes, the printed edition will be with us for many years to come. As we are seeing in some markets in other states, that rolled-up newspaper in the plastic bag might not be published every day, or it might not be delivered to your home each morning. But as long as readers and advertisers prefer the printed edition, it will exist. This business someday will feature a
dominant digital product. And Sauk Valley Media, with an array of electronic options, is preparing for that day. But it won't happen until our customers show they are ready. However, that won't affect the need for young journalists with skills in information gathering and storytelling, as well as new technology, to serve the needs of their communities and this democracy. The First Amendment protects the press for a reason, which speaks to the importance of our job. You'll find some public officials and their friends – from Rock Falls to Oregon – who are not very happy with us for our recent reporting of information from public records we obtained. But you'll also find lots of readers who are grateful that we continue to monitor the performance of government officials, especially when it comes to spending local tax dollars. That’s our obligation under the social contract that is the First Amendment. As our fellow editor Lonny Cain wrote in his essay, people have to ask themselves whether they have the right stuff to be a journalist. "In the end it comes down to individual passion,” he wrote. "If you have a desire to write, if you have a nagging curiosity about things you see and hear; if you have questions that deserve answers; if you care about people, animals, plants and more; if you want others to know what you know ... then you are ready to be a reporter." The editors and reporters at this newspaper would be happy to help aspiring journalists consider their career options. We are more than willing to make ourselves available to students, school newspaper advisers, and guidance counselors who are looking for journalists to share the experiences from their career choice. Journalism can always use good young recruits.
Full Senate vote on shield bill expected soon By Newspaper Association of America The federal shield bill (Free Flow of Information Act or S. 987) is expected to be brought to the Senate floor early in the new legislative session. In order to be sure this bill has 60 votes to overcome a potential filibuster, the NAA asks you to contact your senators and urge them to vote “yes” on S. 987. Editorials and more information can be found on NAA’s shield action page.
Memorial & Recognition bricks are a great way to permanently honor those who have contributed so much to the newspaper industry. Why not make your mark this year with a brick to honor a loved one, a mentor, a co-worker or yourself? FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
Guest Column By Dave Dawson, managing editor, The Herald and Review, Decatur
Illinois PressLines / March 2014
Celebrating a life lived to the hilt
An irrational thought struck me when I heard one of my mentors had died at the age of 89. Dawson Before I had time to grieve the death of one of my Iowa State University journalism professors, Bill Kunerth, I was first surprised and then disappointed because I thought he would never die. That's something we tend to think about someone who taught us and nurtured us through a formative stage of our lives. Bill Kunerth helped mold me into a functioning journalist. So while some of his former students gathered on Facebook last week to talk about his imminent death, something wonderful
happened. He rallied for a few hours and embarked on a flurry of correspondence on his nemesis, Facebook. Kunerth joined Facebook, but battled it as if it were a school board member trying to violate the Open Meetings Act. Sometimes he would follow a Facebook post with an email making sure you saw what he had posted. Last week, he saw some of our words of encouragement and added his own comments, letting us know he was proud of what we had accomplished in life. That he spent some of his final hours on Earth telling me and others how he felt about us should tell you a lot about the man. When I wandered into Iowa State as a neophyte journalist, Bill Kunerth was just a journalism professor to me. Before he became my mentor, he was my tormentor. At a time when I could barely write a coherent lead, Kunerth, who initially terrified me, would hand stories back to me marked with so
much red ink I could barely see what I wrote. I figured I was hopeless, so I went into his office prepared to find another major since obviously I was lousy at journalism. After confessing my ineptness, he just looked at me and said, "You're a lot dumber than I thought you were. Do you think I would waste time on you if I didn't think you might amount to something?" He drove me, and others, hard. He yelled at us and cursed at us, but he taught us. He did it because he cared. I was not the only one who graduated with a lifelong friend and confidant. When I told Kunerth my first job was as a county government/cops reporter, he was thrilled because he figured I was bound for the sports department. I will never forget what he told me after I took the job: "You will find that covering incompetent government officials is more satisfying than chasing high school football coaches." Through it all, I could not
have had a better person to learn about life and journalism from. In a story published by the journalism department at Iowa State following his death on Dec. 9, was an excerpt from a letter he wrote to one of his students. It read: "As I've said many times, students like you made teaching a pleasure and gratifying to look back on. As to my situation, it must be put in perspective: 89 years, 65 with a jewel of a wife, 30 years teaching in a golden era of higher education with a collegial faculty and challenging students like you, a loving family, being owner of a nice little ranch, and having fun popping the balloons of pompous power houses. Hard to beat!" That epitomized Bill Kunerth. The great thing is he could have written that to any one of hundreds of people he influenced. It's also why so many of us are going to miss his presence in our lives.
AROUND THE STATE â€”
Lincoln Library gets historical newspaper database
By Chris Dettro, The State Journal-Register, Springfield
Lincoln Library has announced a privately funded, $250,000 acquisition of a historical digital Springfield newspaper archive that should save countless hours for those doing research into Springfield's past. The searchable database, funded mostly by a gift from the estate of former reference librarian Lucile Fritz, will allow public library visitors and anyone with a Lincoln Library card access to The State Journal-Register and its predecessors, The Illinois State Journal and Illinois State Register, from 1831 through 1950. That's about 675,000 searchable pages. Lincoln Library already has electronic access to State Journal-Register editions from 1985 to the present. Library officials said additional funding will be sought to fill the archive gap between 1950 and 1985, which should become available in 2014. There are opportunities for local busi-
nesses to sponsor parts of the archive. "It's an amazing new tool for researchers, students and community members interested in the history of Springfield and Illinois," said Mark Denzler, president of the Lincoln Library Foundation. Lincoln Library and News Bank Inc. have partnered on a pilot program over the past several months to determine if the historical archive would be beneficial to the community, said library director Nancy Huntley. But it hasn't been advertised or promoted, and users were either serious researchers or basically just stumbled upon it. Now, it is easily reachable through Lincoln Library's website, http:// www.lincolnlibrary.info. "It is very fitting that this archive should be funded through the Lucile Fritz Memorial," Huntley said. "As the head of reference at the library for many years, Miss Fritz would take home a week's worth of newspapers and cut out articles of interest and prepare
them for use by library customers by pasting them on cardboard and filing them by subject," Huntley said. Fritz began working at Lincoln Library in the 1940â€™s and retired in the early 1980â€™s, Huntley said. When Fritz died in 2011, she left $340,000 to the library foundation to be used for additional reference resources. The new database was purchased with $250,000 of that gift. Over the 12 months or so of the pilot program, more than 8,000 separate searches led to the viewing of 50,000 documents. Key targets of searches included Abraham Lincoln, Illinois State Fair, Illinois Watch Factory, Frank Lloyd Wright, 4th Cavalry and the 1908 Race Riots. A search of the database Wednesday for "Abraham Lincoln" produced 16,695 results. Curtis Mann, manager of the library's Sangamon Valley Collection, said the database is "the single greatest resource we can provide our customers." He mentioned an article he
recently wrote for Illinois Times about the circa 1901 Ambidexter Industrial and Normal Institute in Springfield. "I could never have researched that without this database," he said. "I use it daily as a researcher. As a source of local history, it doesn't get any better than this." The database can be accessed from home by any one with a Lincoln Library card. An article, a portion of an article or an entire page can be printed, saved as a PDF file or emailed. Although the library's State JournalRegister database from 1985 forward is text-based, the earlier years are digitized actual newspaper pages. "This also will allow us to have better copies of images than what we get from microfilm," Mann said. He said other newspapers have been digitized by News Bank and similar providers, but that Springfield has one of the larger time frames of coverage.
March 2014 / Illinois PressLines
AROUND THE STATE — A city alderman is alleging her fellow city council members violated state transparency laws by discussing public business, including major departmental changes, behind closed doors. Ward 4 Alderman Judy Stearns on Dec. 6 filed a request for review with the Illinois attorney general's public access counselor, which has since asked for more information from the city. She alleged the council during a Nov. 15 closed session discussed issues not exempt from the state's Open Meetings Act, including broad discussions of general hiring practices, a sought-after "culture change" and "why it is critical that the Council be totally united on the changes to be made, including the comment by our City Manager (David Hales) that a 5 to 4 vote is not acceptable." The state's Open Meetings Act requires public bodies to discuss public business in open session but does provide for limited exemptions, including discussions related to the employment and performance of specific employees, collective bargaining or the purchase of real estate. "I don't believe we should go into secret and talk about sweeping general changes in city government or for that matter anything that is going to affect the citizens and the employees unless there's a critical legal reason," Stearns said. Mayor Tari Renner said Stearns' accusation is "totally ridiculous" and the executive session in question included discussion of at least 19 specific city employees as examples of why a culture change is needed. "It's exactly the kind of conversation we should have behind closed doors," he said. Renner said the closed meeting did include general background information, all of which was discussed in open session later that day. He said the open ses-
Alderman alleges meeting violation
sion discussion of the back ground information was supposed to come before the closed session but was rearranged to fit another alderman's schedule. ••• The Belleville News-Democrat has launched a redesign of its iPhone apps that will heighten the interactivity of the local news experience. The new apps update the look and feel of the app, enhancing the feature set. The apps also retain many of the previous versions' most popular features, such as in-depth coverage of local news, weather and sports, push notifications, article bookmarking and article sharing. ••• The Daily Journal in Kankakee is now offering digital-only subscriptions through its website DailyJournal.com. The site is accessible on
multiple devices, including tablets and smartphones, and offers videos, photo galleries and archives not available in print, as well as the opportunity for readers to weigh in on civic matters through online comments. Print subscribers who receive home delivery of The Daily Journal Monday through Saturday will continue to have free access to Daily Journal.com and to the e-Edition replica of the newspaper by signing up at DailyJournal.com. ••• The Northern Illinois Newspaper Association Board has named its 2014 officers. Kathy Gresey, editor of the Kane County Chronicle, is president. Penny Wiegert, editor and communication director for The Observer, is first vice president. Roger Ruthhart, managing editor of The Rock Island Argus, is second
vice president. Jim Slonoff, publisher and co-owner of The Hinsdalean, is treasurer. Dirk Johnson, with the Northern Illinois University Department of Communication, is executive secretary. And Larry Lough, executive editor of Sauk Valley Media, is past president. In addition, Shelley Hendricks, adviser of the Northern Star at NIU, is communications coordinator for the board. To learn more about NINA – including how to have your work critiqued by professional journalists – visit http://ninaonline.org. ••• Shaw Media has purchased the assets of The Herald News in Joliet from Sun Times Media. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Shaw Media
See ‘State’ on page 12
continued from page 11 is the parent-company to several Illinois/Iowa newspapers, including Sauk Valley Media, the Bureau County Republican, the Putnam County Record and the Tonica News. The Herald News has been serving Joliet, Will County and Grundy Coun ty communities for more than 150 years and will continue as part of Shaw Media's newspaper group. "We are excited to bring The Herald News into our established and growing, family-owned media portfolio," Shaw Media President John Rung said. "We expect to maintain the storied tradition of serving the Joliet region with a high quality, community-oriented newspaper." "We have found a great buyer for The Herald News in Shaw Media," said Tim Knight, president of Sun Times Media. "This sale will allow the Sun
Illinois PressLines / March 2014 Times to focus its resources on transforming its core products." Shaw Media, based in Dixon, is the third oldest continuously owned and operated family media company in the nation. It is the parent company of the Telegraph and Daily Gazette. The purchase of The Herald News adds to Shaw Media's growing portfolio of publications in the Chicago suburbs. It follows the 2012 purchase of Downer's Grove-based Suburban Life Media, which added 22 weekly publications in Cook, DuPage, Kane and Will counties to the company's award winning publications in Crystal Lake, DeKalb, Dixon, Grayslake, Morris, Princeton, St. Charles and Sterling in Illinois, and in Newton and Creston in Iowa. ••• Shaw Media, owner of Sauk Valley Media, has acquired the weekly Prairie Advocate in Lanark from owners Lynn and Tom Kocal. Tom Kocal, owner and publisher of the
Prairie Advocate for the past 38 years, will continue as editor of the publication. "The Prairie Advocate has been a very successful publication in northwestern Illinois for many years, and it fits into Sauk Valley's foot print perfectly," said Trevis Mayfield, publisher at Sauk Valley and vice president of Shaw Media. "Our intention is to build on the foundation that the Kocals and their employees have built." ••• The Chicago Sun-Times, the ninthlargest newspaper in the U.S, launched an experiment: For one day, the newspaper let Web visitors pay for content with bitcoin, the digital currency that everyone’s talking about but no one quite understands. The move was a bit unusual and forward-thinking for a newspaper that’s been around since 1844 and is still evolving its digital approach. Julian Posada, svp of marketing and strategy of Chicago Sun-Times
Media Group, told Digiday that a big part of the move was showing that the newspaper could be a faster, more nimble operation. “It’s certainly not normal for a company like us to do something like this,” he admitted. While Bitcoin is still tough for most people to fully understand, it’s attractive to the Chicago Sun-Times — and potentially other publishers, too — because it’s well-suited for low-fee, frictionless micropayments. Because the currency can be split into small fractions, and because its transaction fees range from 1 to 3 cents, bitcoin is particularly handy for paying for one-off digital content offerings like Web articles. For the rest of the article: http://digiday.com/publishers/bitcoin-newspapers/ •••
See ‘State’ on page 13
March 2014 / Illinois PressLines
continued from page 12 Quincy Newspapers Inc., owner of The Quincy Herald-Whig and WGEMTV/Radio, is acquiring five television stations and assuming the operation of four others. Four of the TV stations are being acquired from Granite Broadcasting Corp. They are WEEKTV (NBC) in the Peoria/Bloomington, Ill., market; WBNG (CBS/CW) in Binghamton, N.Y.; and KBJR (NBC/MyTV) and its satellite, KRII, both in the Duluth, Minn./ Superior, Wis. The fifth TV station being acquired is WPTA (ABC/CW) in Fort Wayne, Ind. These acquisitions are subject to fed-
eral regulatory approval. Ownership transfers are expected later this year. In addition to owning and operating the five newly acquired stations, QNI will assume operation of four other TV stations through joint sales and service agreements. Those stations are WHOI (ABC/CW) and WAOE (MyTV/ATV) in Peoria/Bloomington, and two stations WISE (NBC/MyTV) in Fort Wayne and KDLH (CBS/ CW) in Duluth/Superior. "We are thrilled to acquire these stations as well as the operating agreements for the others," said Ralph M. Oakley, president and chief executive officer of QNI. "This is somewhat transformational for the company. The television industry is undergoing a significant wave of
ownership consolidation. As a result of the acquisitions, QNI will now own or operate 23 television stations in 14 markets. ••• Employees of SIU Carbondale's student run Daily Egyptian newspaper are going to have to wait a little longer to find out if help is coming. The SIU Board of Trustees pushed a discussion on the proposed Student Media Fee — as well as other fee and tuition increases — to the April 10 meeting in Carbondale. The Student Media Fee would add a $9 per semester charge to students starting with the fall 2014 semester. The fee would be reduced by 1/12 for each semester hour less than 12
and is estimated to raise. "The board clearly indicated last year when the DE was having financial problems that they wanted to see that newspaper succeed," said SIU President Glenn Poshard. "This proposal is the fee increase that would put them on a sound financial footing, hopefully." The Student Media Fee is part of a larger package that includes fee increases to facility maintenance, intercollegiate athletics, mass transit, student activities and student health and insurance. If approved, the total amount of the per semester fees would be an additional $66.38 on students’ bills.
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Illinois PressLines / March 2014
Lance promoted to Director of Member Relations
Lynne Lance has been promoted to director of member relations for the Illinois Press Association. In her new role, she will be responsible for membership and membership services, as well as Lance Public Notice Illinois site management and upload compliance. She also plays a key role on the support team for the IPA’s electronic
contest entry and judging system (ICES). Both the PNI website and ICES are also now used by many other state press associations. Lynne joined the IPA in December 2010 as administrative assistant. Those duties included administrative support for the association and foundation, database management and webmaster. IPA Executive Director Dennis DeRossett said the key to any successful association is providing essential member services and maintaining excellent relationships with
members. “Lynne serves as the primary contact for members regarding all IPA services. In her three years at the IPA, Lynne has become the “go to” person for our members and, as a result, she has built many strong relationships with IPA members across the state. She is very friendly, always professional and a real problem solver. She handles member inquiries promptly, or directs the member to the appropriate staff person so they receive quick and accurate answers to their questions.” He added, “We have a relatively
small staff but a huge responsibility to our members, primarily with our legislative and lobbying work, as well as our advertising sales and placement services. Lynne wears a lot of hats and takes a lead role in many association and foundation projects. We are fortunate to have Lynne on the IPA staff.” Lynne is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in advertising. She and her husband, Mike, reside in Springfield and have two sons in college.
PEOPLE IN THE NEWS —
Beck receives publisher’s award
Former Executive Editor John Beck has been named winner of The Champaign News-Gazette's 2013 Publisher’s Award. Beck, who retired in November after 38 years at the newspaper, was given the award, which recognizes whose someone career has made a lasting difference to the company. In the presenting award, Editor and John Publisher Foreman said Beck "came to work Beck every day with the same simple mission in mind ... to make the paper just a little bit better than it had been the day before. "He did this quietly — with no bombast, no flash, no self-aggrandizement and often no acknowledgement," Foreman said. He called Beck a superb journalist and editor and "an extraordinarily fine human being" respected by managers, peers and staff. Also honored were four Employees of the Year: Online editor Mike Howie,
who previously served as copy editor, reporter, magazine editor and city editor; Steve Kelly, host of "Sports Talk" on WDWS AM and a sales consultant for The News Gazette Inc.'s three radio stations, WDWS, WHMS FM and WKIO FM; advertising designer Lyncoln Delporte, who repeatedly has been chosen the best newspaper advertising designer in Illinois, and Nora Maberry-Daniels, editor of The Leader, one of The News-Gazette Inc.'s weekly newspapers. •••
David Graff, controller for Quincy Newspapers Inc. for the past 39 years, retired Dec. 31. Graff, 67, joined QNI on Nov. 1, 1974 , when the multi-media corporation consisted of The Quincy Herald Whig, Quincy Broadcasting Corp. (owner of WGEM TV and Radio) and the Hotel Quincy. Also at that time, the corporation owned a one-seventh interest in American Newspapers Inc. As controller, Graff was responsible for overseeing the financial reports for QNI and its subsidiaries. Graff, a Quincy
native, is a graduate of Quincy High School and a 1968 graduate of Quincy College, where he received a degree in accounting. •••
Jim Nelson of Rockford is retiring from the Rockford Newspapers. Jim began his career at the Rockford Register Republic and Rockford Morning Star in 1968. He then moved to the Daily Gate City newspaper in Keokuk, Iowa where he served as advertising director. He was then named advertising director of the Telegraph in Dixon and later became the general manager of both the Telegraph and the Daily Gazette in Sterling. In 2002 Jim was named publisher of the Newton (IA) Daily News. He ultimately returned to Rockford and is retiring as the National advertising manager. In retirement Jim will turn his energies to Rotary International where he will serve as District Governor in 2015/16. •••
Chris Young of The State JournalRegister in Springfield has accepted a position with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources where he will be responsible for responding to media requests and helping produce photographs, video and other multimedia. An Iowa native, Young joined the newspaper as a staff photographer in 1990. He served as director of photography before being named editor of the Outdoors section, a position he held for more than a decade. Under Young’s leadership, the Outdoors section received the top award from the of Association Lakes Great Outdoors Writers four times. He received his Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from the of University Young Springfield Illinois in 2012. In February, he was awarded the University’s Outstanding Master’s Thesis/Project award for that year.
March 2014 / Illinois PressLines Bob Strickley has been named editor of The Alton Telegraph. The announcement was made by Jim Lawitz, director of content for Civitas Media, The Telegraph's parent company. Strickley was the editor of the Portsmouth (Ohio) Daily Times. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Ohio State U n i v e r s i t y, Stickley Strickley worked for a series of weekly publications south of Boston, Mass. Also joining the Telegraph news operation is general assignment reporter Brett Luster. Luster, who graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, formerly wrote for the Belleville News Democrat, Staunton Star Times and Stauntondaily.com. ••• Suburban Life Media has announced Laura Pass as general manager. Pass most recently was the advertising director for the Kane County Chronicle and also previously served in that role for Suburban Life. In her new position, Pass will oversee all aspects of the operation, which maintains offices in Downers Grove and Grays Lake. Pass Suburban Life, part of Dixon-based Shaw Media, publishes mysuburbanlife.com and 21 weekly newspapers in the Chicago suburbs. Pass is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and has been with Shaw Media since 2011. She previously was a suburban advertising manager for Sun-Times Media. •••
Shaw Media's board of directors has elected three executives as vice presidents and officers of the company. At its Dec. 12 meeting, the company elected Don T. Bricker vice president of suburban publishing, J. Tom Shaw vice president of digital media, and Ben Shaw vice president of technology. Shaw Media is the parent company of Sauk Valley Media. "This is an exciting time for our company," said John Rung, president of Shaw Media. "We are fortunate to have many talented people in our company." Bricker joined Shaw Media in 2008 as publisher of the company's Kane County and DeKalb County publications. He was named regional publisher and group general manager earlier this year. Before joining Shaw, Bricker spent 16 years with Freedom Communications. Since he joined Shaw Media in 2006, J. Tom Shaw has held several posts, including publisher of Kane County, Lake County and Suburban Life publications. He will lead efforts to grow audience and sales through digital platforms across the company's Illinois and Iowa operations. Ben Shaw, who has been with Shaw Media since 2004, was named IT director in 2006 and assumed responsibility for digital operations in 2010. He will lead technology efforts across the company, and develop and maintain the infrastructure to support company efforts in digital media. He also will spearhead the launch of a database marketing program. J. Tom and Ben Shaw are sons of Shaw Media CEO Tom Shaw and descendants of the founders of the 160-yearold media company.
Northwest Edition. Nelson was named regional publisher for Central Illinois in 2011 and was responsible for newspaper and digital operations in Decatur, Bloomington and Mattoon Charleston. He was named publisher of the Herald & Review in 2005. He moved to Central Illinois from Lincoln, Neb., where he was general manager of the Lincoln Journal Star. Previously, he worked for the Junction City Daily Union in Kansas from 1979 to 1982, and for the San Antonio Express-News from 1982 to
1991. He has a journalism and mass communications degree from Kansas State University. Nelson was a board member of the Illinois Press Association.
Dave Porter, the Illinois Press Association’s longtime director of communications and marketing, has moved south to become publishPorter er and editor of the Lebanon Advertiser. Porter acquired the newspaper from Harrison and Harriet Church, whose family had owned the newspaper for 75 years. Porter’s first edition was published on January 29. “I’ve lived a wholly charmed life,” Harrison Church told well-wishers. “It’s time to retire.” Harrison has owned the newspaper for 40 years, but his father, Leon Church, owned it for 35 years before that. Leon worked at the newspaper until his death in 1983. Harrison’s mother, Helen
Church, remained working there until her death in 2001. “I’m excited and nervous” Harriet Church said about the couples’ upcoming retirement. “It’s a different period in our lives. I’ll wake up (tomorrow) with no reason to go anywhere.” The couple plans to remain active in local theater, and Harrison said he hopes they’ll be able to travel. He also plans to remain active in the small job printing business under the name Prairie Dog Press. “It is with humility that I take the reins of a newspaper that has been held by the Church family for three quarters of a century,” Porter said. “I regard the community newspaper as a public trust, as I know Mr. Harrison Church did as well. I appreciate the trust he has placed in me, and I hope to make him proud of his decision,” Porter said.
Porter purchases the Lebanon Advertiser
••• Todd Nelson, regional publisher of Lee Enterprises' Central Illinois Group, is leaving Lee to become president of the Northwest Arkansas Newspapers, LLC and vice president and general manager of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Porter’s newly-designed Lebanon Advertiser flag.
Illinois PressLines / March 2014
School district posts FOIA requests online
By Nicole Weskerna, St. Charles Kane County Chronicle
St. Charles School District 303 will now start posting Freedom of Information Act requests on its website. The board approved the measure at a December meeting, becoming one of a few schools in the state to post FOIA requests online, according to board members. Although the move was approved following a committee recommendation, some board members expressed
concerns. "I don't think we need to be like the second district in Illinois doing this," board member Kathleen Hewell said at the meeting. "There's no requirement by law to have it on your website, and very few districts in the state do this. Do we want to be the guinea pig on this?" District spokesman Jim Blaney, who is one of two FOIA officers for the district, said the district doesn't receive too many requests. "I wouldn't categorize it as a lot," he said on Thursday. "Most of them come from vendors who maybe bid on some
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thing, and they want to see just what the bid that was awarded [was], or organizations looking for very specific information. That's the bulk of them." Some board members at the meeting were concerned that someone might misconstrue information in a FOIA because there might not be much context. A few board members said some people request very specific information, and without knowing what a particular request was for, the FOIA requests might be confusing. Board member Ed McNally said
posting FOIA requests online would help make the district more transparent. "We want to be the leading edge on a lot of things, and I think having the leading edge on transparency is a good start," he said. Blaney said the district would start posting FOIA requests online beginning with the next one the district receives. He said he and the district's other FOIA officer will continue to follow the laws regarding FOIA requests, which are very specific.
Lack of report disclosure is unacceptable Editorial commentary, Dixon Telegraph The Illinois State Police have been unwilling to provide additional information about the death last month of a retired teacher from Bettendorf, Iowa, along Interstate 88 in Lee County. We object. The deceased man, Lee Catlin, 65, was found dead the morning of Nov. 13 on I88 just west of Dixon, next to the Hoyle Road overpass, with his feet pointing toward the road. His body was right where at least two motorists, whizzing past at interstate speeds, saw him, alive, about 12 hours beforehand, around 8:40 p.m. Nov. 12. Both called 911 and told the dispatcher that they saw a man lying alongside the roadway, waving his arms toward traffic. The dispatcher connected one caller, a truck driver, to Illinois State Police District 15, based in Downers Grove – the district that covers the Illinois Tollway. According to a 911 transcript, the trucker gave specific information: The man was on the eastbound side of the highway, lying near the overpass, half on the grass, half on the shoulder, near the 51.5 mile marker. Both callers were assured that police would respond. The police say they did respond and found nothing. About 8 a.m. the next day, Catlin was found in the location identified by the passing motorists. By then, unfor-
tunately, he was dead. His car was found less than a mile west of there. What on earth happened? A man in distress was noticed by motorists traveling at highway speeds. Yet the state police, given specific information about his location, failed to find him? We requested information on how many police officers responded to the scene to search for Catlin, when they responded, where they looked, and how long they looked. The incident report should contain that information. However, the Freedom of Information Act officer for the State Police denied our request for that report, stating that the case is "an active investigation." We assume he means a criminal investigation, which is one of the exemptions for disclosure allowed by law – even though an autopsy conducted Nov. 13 by the Lee County coroner's office determined that foul play was not a factor in the death. Five weeks later, the public is no closer to learning the reason that police did not find Mr. Catlin until it was too late. Why don't they want the public to know? That is unacceptable. What we think: Five weeks after an Iowa man was found dead along Interstate 88, the Illinois State Police still won't disclose facts about its failure to find him while he was still alive. Why don't police want the public to know?
March 2014 / Illinois PressLines
NAA: The trends that will shape the newspaper industry in 2014
By Caroline Little President and Chief Executive Officer NAA and American Press Institute
In 2014, I believe the news industry will be marked by creativity. Little I’ve heard this over and over in my conversations with publishers, advertisers and journalists. We’re already seeing big ideas being implemented, and the industry as a whole is eager to collaborate in developing better consumer experiences and more unique product offerings. These conversations and industry trends drove our program for NAA mediaXchange 2014. We’re thrilled to welcome hundreds of industry leaders in March as we gather to discuss cutting-edge technology, innovative new ideas and best practices for growth in 2014. Our annual event has become the launching pad for many great ideas, as we expect from the startup companies involved in our inaugural Accelerator Pitch program that have the potential to transform our industry. It is an event that should be attended by anyone in the media industry, from journalists to advertising and circulation executives to publishers. As we look ahead to 2014, there are three key topics that will drive our continued growth – mobile, native advertising and individualized content. The use of mobile devices will continue to explode, and newspapers will continue to explore what mobile really means for the news industry. The purpose of a newspaper has always been to connect with the audience and share news with people where they are. Once upon a time, it was in the town
square. Now, it’s on wireless devices and social networks. In 2014, we’ll see more newspapers creating a mobile-first strategy, as opposed to a “How do we fit mobile into this?” strategy. It’s worked, famously, for Twitter. We’re already seeing papers updating their websites and apps, putting a lot of thought into the user experience. The Washington Post’s Topicly, a mobile and visual news interface launched in September, was developed to rethink the news experience for mobile users’ preferences. I believe we’ll see many more creative ideas, strategies, and offerings
set into their journalists and it is that type of forward thinking that will drive newspapers forward. Bonin Bough from Mondelez International, one of our keynote speakers at NAA mediaXchange, will address what it looks like to leverage mobile effectively today, while a panel featuring executives from ESPN, The Wonderfactory, Digital First Media and the Dallas Morning News will discuss different perspectives on best practices and how to thrive in this environment. Speaking of buzzwords, native advertising will continue to play a key role
graphic provided by imageboutique.com
over the next year that will truly optimize content and the experience for users on every platform. In fact, we might lose the mobile buzzword entirely. We’ll be thinking less in fragmented words – like mobile, social, print and website – and instead focus solely on the audience and how they connect to infuse everything we do and create. The San Francisco Chronicle has instituted a social bootcamp to ingrain this mind-
for both advertisers and publishers in our industry. It’s stirred plenty of debate about measurement, engagement and transparency, but it really comes down to good storytelling that engages and communicates with the reader. As our biggest questions get answered and the hype subsides, native advertising will remain an effective form of advertising and we’ll get better at creating and defining the
appropriate metrics to measure success. We expect that our native advertising panel at NAA mediaXchange, featuring leaders from Dell, NewsCred, the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times, to be one of our most popular as these experts share how to make native advertising work for all involved – audiences, advertisers and journalists. Technology is obviously a key factor in any industry’s growth in today’s culture and there is a tremendous opportunity for newspapers to leverage Big Data to deliver personally relevant, targeted news. There is an ocean of information on the Internet for readers to wade through, and in 2014 I believe we’ll see more and more newspapers augmenting their product offerings by listening to consumers, tailoring newspapers and reports, and growing in their role of information curator. Start-ups and apps have been playing with the idea of customized news, but newspapers can further combine and leverage the trusted brand name, reliable news, and a wealth of data about consumer preferences. 2014 will be all about providing a custom news experience, which is why we’re devoting a panel at mediaXchange to dissecting this very topic. Raju Narusetti from News Corporation, Scott Howe from Axciom and Frederic Filloux from Les Echos will discuss how journalists, publishers and advertisers can successfully leverage Big Data to create an even better product, customer experience and advertising results. We invite you to attend NAA mediaXchange 2014 to network and collaborate with these speakers and fellow industry leaders. We are only a few weeks into 2014, but early returns suggest a very good year for the newspaper industry.
Illinois PressLines / March 2014
Industry Deaths Pat Adam Longtime journalist Pat Adam died Jan. 2 in Schaumburg. She was 91. A native of Iowa, Adam honed her journalism skills while studyAdam ing at Drake University in Des Moines, where she was the editor of the university's newspaper. She held journalism jobs in Minneapolis and Milwaukee before settling in the Chicago area. Adam joined the staff at the Arlington Heights Daily Herald in 1963. She held a variety of jobs during her 25 years as a fulltime staffer, including features editor and editor of the opinion page. Adam was among those who worked at the paper while it changed from a weekly to a daily publication.
Jon Anderson Chicago Tribune reporter Jon Anderson died January 15. An unflappable Canadian with a shock of white hair, a patrician demeanor and a cheerful facility in French, quickly stood out in 1970’s-era Chicago newsrooms marked by chain-smoking Anderson reporters, clacking type writers, hurled invectives and regular trash can fires. A veteran of five decades in Chicago journalism, Mr. Anderson retired in 2006 from the Tribune, where since 1995 he had written the City Watch column about the everyday people of Chicago. In a career that stretched back to 1959 in his native Montreal, Mr. Anderson wrote for Time magazine, the Chicago Daily News and the Sun-Times before moving to the Tribune.
William D. "Bill" Beard William D. "Bill" Beard, 61, died Friday, Jan. 24. He was born Dec. 11, 1952, in Jacksonville. Bill obtained his bachelor's degree from Western Illinois University in history, a master's in American History from the University of Wisconsin, and was pursuing a doctoral degree from Louisiana State University. He left LSU to work as assistant editor for the Abraham Lincoln Legal Papers Project in 1985. He designed the program for collecting Lincoln documents from all over the state of Illinois, traveled the country in search of Lincoln collectibles and made speeches for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. After 15 years, Bill resigned to take care of his ailing mother and became editor of the Cass County Star-Gazette. He currently worked as a freelance writer and substitute teacher in Morgan and Cass Counties.
Ray Gibson Ray Gibson, a former Chicago Tribune reporter twice nominated for the Pulitzer, died just short of his 65th birthday on February 1. It was Gibson who exposed city contractors with Outfit ties, federal jurors with criminal backgrounds in the George Ryan trial, and politicians who enriched themselves at taxpayers' expense. From 1974 until his retirement in 2011, the man known in Gibson the newsroom as "Gibby" exposed countless cases of fraud and corruption with his unwavering dedication and seemingly endless network of sources. "Ray was one of the best watchdogs of the people's money — ever," former Tribune Managing Editor/News Hanke Gratteau said.
"He could smell an insider deal from 25 miles away." Mr. Gibson was inducted into his alma mater’s, Northern Illinois University, Hall of Fame in 2000.
Hallie J. Hamilton Hallie J. Hamilton, 89, of DeKalb, died Thursday, December 19. A 1942 Bridgeport High School graduate, his start at Franklin (Indiana) College in 1942 was interrupted by World War II. He graduated from Franklin in 1949 with honors and a Bachelor of Arts. His major subject Hamilton was Journalism. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1951 with a Master of Science in journalism and in 1968; he earned his Ed.D in Higher Education and Journalism from Indiana University. Before coming to DeKalb, Hallie worked for newspapers in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, and as an industrial journalist in Ottumwa, Iowa, and Joliet. Hallie joined Northern Illinois University in 1958 as an instructor in Regional Services, an early name for public relations. In 1960, he became a part of the newly formed Journalism Department. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1963, to associate in 1968, and to full professor in 1980; he retired in 1991. He was awarded the Excellence in Teaching award from NIU in 1971 and was inducted into the Northern Star Hall of Fame in 2001.
Terry Haywood Terry Nathaniel Haywood, 62, former editor-in-chief of The Paper, a former Galesburg weekly newspaper, died Friday, Jan. 31. He was born in Peoria and was descended from the Choctaw Nation, a distinguished Native American tribe, and
escaped slaves. The Haywood family has been long established in Rock Island and Galesburg. He attended Davenport Central High School and later graduated from St. Ambrose University in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. He had a lengthy career in radio and television in Dallas, Atlanta and elsewhere, and was both an editor and columnist for GateHouse Media in Galesburg.
Jack J. Honomichl Jack J. Honomichl, longtime Barrington resident, passed away Dec. 8. He was 85. Mr. Honomichl was a graduate of the School of Commerce at Northwestern University. He subsequently earned an A.M. degree from the University of Chicago. His professional career began in the marketing/advertising research department of the Chicago Tribune in 1957. He was a pioneer in the field of marketing research, authoring hundreds of articles and three books, and founded the industry newsletter Inside Research which Barron's calls "The Bible of the marketing research industry."
Barbara A. Kovach Barbara A. Kovach, a co-publisher of the former Beacon newspapers, died Dec. 29, 2013, at her home in Sun City, Ariz. Barbara, and the late Joseph Kovach, acquired the Beacon, which was a newsletter at the time, in the early 1960s when they moved to Bolingbrook from Massachusetts. "They turned it into their Kovach livelihood," daughter
March 2014 / Illinois PressLines Kim Kovach told The Herald-News. "When they started it, it was done in our house." They sold the business in the early 1980s. The couple did not have previous newspaper experience and had met in school while studying physical therapy in Massachusetts.
Ronald D. Propernick Ronald D. "Ron" Propernick, 69, of Torrance, CA, died December 21. He was born in Aurora and attended Holy Angels grade school and graduated from West Aurora High School. Ron was employed for 40 years with Copley Newspapers, first in the Aurora Beacon-News circulation department and then as a Propernick pressman at the Aurora newspaper. He transferred to Copley’s Torrance (CA) Daily Breeze in the early 80s and worked there until his retirement in 2006.
Willard Maurice Raymond Willard Maurice Raymond, 84, of Effingham, formerly of Assumption, died on Dec. 30. Willard – or Ray as he was known to his family and friends – was a 1947 graduate of Reedsport High School. He served in the Air Force and then worked at Rand McNally in Decatur before purchasing the Prairie Raymond State Tribune in Assumption in May 1959. He later purchased the Moweaqua News and Macon News and eventually consolidated them into one publication – the Golden Prairie News. He sold the business and retired in May 2011. Ray’s son, Steve, served as president of the Illinois Press Association in 2010-11, and is the publisher of the Effingham & Teutopolis News Report.
Joan L. Waddick Joan L. Waddick died December 8 at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village. After graduating from Mundelein College, Chicago, cum laude, Mrs. Waddick was a reporter for the Daily Calumet newspaper in South Chicago for more than two years. She then was hired by the Chicago Daily News as a society Waddick department writer. She worked there more than three years, meanwhile marrying John J. Waddick with whom she had five children.
Frederic N. Wagner Frederic N. Wagner, 80, of Clinton, Wis., died Jan. 22. He was born in Freeport and graduated in 1952 from Freeport High School and in 1956 from the University of Colorado with a degree in journalism. Fred's lifetime career was in the newspaper business. He owned and published the Mirror-Democrat in Mount Carroll, then became editor of the Sheboygan Press followed by becoming editor of the Belvidere Daily Republican. He then purchased The Clinton Topper which he published Wagner for 16 years.
Gordon C. Wickersham Gordon C. Wickersham, 87, of Bourbonnais, passed away Dec. 27. Gordon was born May 23, 1926, in Binghamton, N.Y. He received his bachelor's degree in philosophy and English from Olivet Nazarene University. He went on and received a master's degree in philosophy from Boston University and a second master's degree in philosophy from Nazarene Theological Seminary. He spent
Page 19 eight years pastoring churches in South Texas and in the Chicago area. He worked at Bethany Nazarene College for 11 years as publicity director as well as alumni director. He then worked at Olivet N a z a r e n e University for 20 Wickersham years in student recruitment and as publicity director before his retirement in 1992. After retirement he worked part time as the religion editor for The Daily Journal in Kankakee.
Mary Katherine Zopf Mary Katherine Zopf, 74, of Bourbonnais, passed away Dec. 27. After a long teaching career in high schools and at the community college level, as well as having served in various adult literacy and education roles, she became the Newspaper in Education Coordinator for the Kankakee Daily Journal. She also represented adult education on the Chicago Tribune NIE Advisory Board.
Robert “Bob” E. Medler Robert “Bob” Eugene Medler, 58, of Fairfield, died Feb. 1. Bob was born June 19, 1955, in Fairfield to Lowell Eugene and Phoebe Medler. He was an advertising sales representative for The Navigator. Prior to that, he was Medler the owner and operator of Poor Ol’ Bob’s Gettin’ Place in Fairfield and had been the general manager of Brown Chev rolet.
James E. “Jim” West Jr. James E. “Jim” West Jr. of Jonesboro, IL, died on February 11, 2014. Jim enjoyed a lifelong career in the newspaper West business. He was first a reporter for the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau, MO. He then moved to Vandalia, IL, where he was the editor of the Vandalia Leader. He returned to his hometown of Anna, IL, as the editor of the GazetteDemocrat. He later served as the production manager and finally as the general manager, a post he held for more than 30 years. Additionally, Jim was Vice President of North Scott Publishing and served on the board of directors of Cape Central Publishing. Jim earned the honor of Master Editor from the Southern Illinois Editorial Association. He was an original member of the Great Boars of Fire barbeque team. The team experienced great success in competitive barbeque cooking. The Great Boars Of Fire won 1st place in pork shoulders at Memphis in May World Champion Barbeque Cook Off. They also hold the record for the highest points ever scored at the Jack Daniels’ World Champion Invitational. For four consecutive years the team was ranked in the top 10 in the World by Memphis in May. They also won the Illinois and Missouri State Championships. http://www.annanews.com/obituaries/article_044ef60e-932b-11e3a09b-0019bb2963f4.html
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