PressLines November December 2017

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November-December 2017 Month 2015

Official Publication of the Illinois Press Association

Media organizations applaud 'Wall of Faces' resolution 5 A formula for testimonial quotes 9 IPA unveils Bicentennial newspaper series 6 The importance of local markets 12-13




'I'm a fan of newspapers, because it's all I've ever done' I’m excited about the opportunity to be here at the Illinois Press Association. It’s an organization that I have been actively involved with since I first moved to Illinois in the early '80s. I’ve served on the board for nearly 10 years, most recently as board chair. I’ve seen firsthand the value of this association. Before coming to the IPA, I had the privilege of working for Shaw Media for more than 34 years. I had many opportunities to move on from the company, but I remained there, because the company understood the importance of maintaining the connecSAM tion that newspapers have FISHER with their readers and their communities. President & CEO So, for me to leave a company after so long was easy, as I have the opportunity to lead an organization that serves the interest of all newspapers throughout the state. Admittedly, I’m a fan of newspapers, because it’s all I’ve ever done. I was fortunate enough to

go journalism school at Mizzou, where I quickly learned that newspapers were much more than words printed on paper. Newspapers are a ref lection of the communities that they serve. Our job is to inform our

There is a relationship that exists between newspapers and the communities they serve that is at the heart of our brand. readers about the events that affect their lives, no matter how small they may be. There is a relationship that exists between newspapers and the communities they serve that is at the heart of our brand.

As an industry, we face many challenges and we face those challenges together. It is our collective strength as newspapers in Illinois that makes us now and will continue to make us a viable industry. Granted, there are a lot of choices out there where readers can get their news. But there is no more reliable source than newspapers. We live in a time where the term “fake news” is used a lot when talking about credible news organizations. Let’s be clear; we report real news — it’s something we’ve done since the beginning. The fake news term will fade, and the real news will remain, as it always has. As long as newspapers continue to report news that ref lect the issues of their community, our future will remain bright. With more than 400 members, the association is extremely diverse. It’s important that we strengthen our coalition based upon our commonalities, not our differences. It’s important to recognize that whether it’s a daily in Chicago or a weekly in Metropolis, as newspapers, we are part of the fabric that binds our communities together. We advocate and promote, and we need to continue to be ref lective of our individual communities in the future.

ON THE COVER: First place, best feature photo, non-daily division, circulation 10,000 or more. By Adam Jamon of the Orland Park Prairie, Orland Park, Ill. (NNA Contest Image)

OFFICERS Sandy Macfarland | Chair Law Bulletin Publishing 900 Community Drive Springfield, IL 62703 Ph. 217-241-1300, Fax 217-241-1301 Illinois PressLines is printed and distributed courtesy of GateHouse Media, Inc. in Peoria and Springfield.

Wendy Martin | Vice-Chair Mason County Democrat, Havana

DIRECTORS Darrell Garth Chicago Citizen Newspaper Group Karen Pletsch Daily Chronicle / Shaw Media, DeKalb

Ron Wallace | Treasurer Quincy Herald-Whig

John Reed The News-Gazette Group, Champaign

Sam Fisher | President & CEO Illinois Press Association

Todd Sears The State Journal-Register, Springfield

Jim Shrader Civitas Media, Alton Jim Slonoff The Hinsdalean, Hinsdale Scott Stone Daily Herald Media Group, Arlington Heights Sue Walker Herald Newspapers, Inc., Chicago

Don Craven, General Counsel Ext. 222 –

IPA STAFF | PHONE 217-241-1300

Owen Irwin, Assistant V.P. of Government Relations Ext. 224 -

Josh Sharp, Executive Vice President & COO Ext. 238 —

Cindy Bedolli, Member Relations Ext. 226 -

Ron Kline, Technology & Online Coordinator Ext. 239 -

Carolyn Austin, Business Manager Ext. 237 -

Jeffrey Holman, Director of Advertising Ext. 248 —

Kate Richardson, Director of Foundation & Communications Ext. 227 –

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. Kate Richardson, Editor © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Volume 23 November/December/2017 Number 6 Date of Issue: 12/4/2017 POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to ILLINOIS PRESS­LINES, 900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL 62703. Periodical postage paid at Spring­field, Ill. and Peoria, Ill.




New process means newspapers should be on lookout for school waivers As Illinois Press Association members are likely aware, the Illinois School Code requires most school districts to publish information regarding their budJOSH SHARP gets, personnel Executive Vice and operations President & COO each fiscal year. This is known as the “statement of affairs.” However, a provision in the Illinois School Code allows for schools to seek a waiver so that they do not have to comply with certain Illinois laws. When schools want to be exempt from following the law, they must petition the Illinois State Board of Education, which then presents the waivers to a panel of four Section 2-3.25g legislative leaders. Because of limited involvement of the full General Assembly, newspapers will need to be on the lookout for these waiver requests at the local of the Illinois level at school board meetings and public hearings. School Code alOWEN IRWIN lows school dis- request to the General Assembly. If vote to approve the waiver applica- district seeks a public hearing to Assistant Vice tricts to have re- less than three leaders request the tion following a public hearing. The discuss its intention to apply for a President, quirements, such waiver be voted on by the General school board must allow time for waiver regarding the “statement of Government Relations as publishing the Assembly, then the waiver goes to testimony from staff, parents and affairs” public notice requirements statement of afISBE for a vote. If ISBE votes to ap- students. In addition, the school set forth in Section 10-17. fairs, waived for prove the waiver or does nothing for board must publish, in a newspaper It is best for the industry to fight a period of up 10 days, then the waiver is approved. of general circulation, a notice of this issue locally, before the waiver to five years. This process has been However, if ISBE vetoes the waiver, public hearing regarding the waiver request gets compiled and sent to the changed to expedite the approval of then the General Assembly will have at least one week before the meet- legislative leaders. The new process all waiver requests. Now, when schools want to be ex- the opportunity to vote on the waiv- ing. Once the waiver is approved by makes it even easier for a waiver to empt from following the law, they er. If the General Assembly takes no the school board, ISBE compiles and be approved at the legislative level, must petition the Illinois State Board action, the waiver will be approved submits the waivers to the legisla- and for that reason, it is important tive leaders. members be ready to engage their of Education, which then presents in 60 days. Because of limited involvement of IPA members should be aware of school boards locally in order prethe waivers to a panel of four legthe full General Assembly, newspahow school districts could use this vent the waiver applications from islative leaders: the speaker of the pers will need to be on the lookout process to avoid the state mandated getting to ISBE and the legislature. House of Representatives, House If members have further quesminority leader, Senate president, for these waiver requests at the local requirement to publish the “statement of affairs” and push back at tions, or would like assistance loband Senate minority leader. If three level. Here’s what IPA members need the local level. As outlined above, bying this matter at the local level, or more leaders on the panel submit a notice for further consideration, to know: Before petitioning ISBE this process will always start with a please do not hesitate to call the IPA the ISBE shall submit the waiver for the waiver, a school board must published notice stating the school government relations team.




To enrll, contact Kate Richardson at

Thank you to these 2017 Aledo Times Record Benton Evening News Bureau County Republican Carbondale Times Chatham-Southeast Citizen Chicago Weekend Chillicothe Times-Bulletin Daily Review Atlas Du Quoin Evening Call East Peoria Times-Courier Effingham Daily News Elburn Herald Eldorado Daily Journal Geneseo Republic Hancock County Journal-Pilot Herald & Review Hyde Park Citizen Journal Star Kendall County Record Macoupin County EnquirerDemocrat

McDonough County Voice Morris Herald-News Morton Times-News Mt. Carmel Register North County News Northwest Herald Northwest Suburbs Daily Herald Northwestern News Olney Daily Mail Oquawka Current Pana News Palladium Panhandle Press Pekin Daily Times Pinckneyville Press Quincy Herald-Whig Robinson Daily News Rockford Register Star South End Citizen South Suburban Citizen Star Courier The Blade


The Cairo Citizen The Carroll County Review The Courier (Carterville) The Daily Journal The Daily Leader The Daily Ledger The Daily Register The Daily Republican The Dispatch The Free Press Advocate The Galena Gazette The Gazette-Democrat The Gilman Star The Girard Gazette The Greenville Advocate The Hinsdalean The Hoopeston Chronicle The Independent The Journal-News The Journal-Standard The Leader-Union

The Marion Star The Navigator & Journal-Register The News-Gazette The Pantagraph The Regional News The Register-Mail The Southern Illinoisan The State Journal-Register The Telegraph The Vienna Times The Woodstock Independent Virden Recorder Washington Times-Reporter Wayne County Press, Inc. Woodford Times

Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation




Illinois Press Foundation honors the life of William Garth On Oct. 5, 2017, the Illinois Press Foundation honored the life of longtime newspaper publisher and former president of the Illinois Press Association, William “Bill” Garth. To honor Garth’s legacy, the IPF donated $5,000 to the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and $5,000 to the DuSable Museum of African American History. “I had the pleasure of serving along-

side Bill Garth on the Illinois Press Assoof more than 400,000. He was heavily involved ciation Board for years, and I could think in his community and of no better way to honor his legacy than was known for mentoring by empowering these two institutions to aspiring business owners further their work,”said Jerry Reppert, and bringing developIllinois Press Foundation chair. ment to his community. As chair of the Chicago Citizen News“Bill Garth was a trailpaper Group, Garth turned his compaGarth blazer, a one-of-a-kind ny into the largest black-owned chain of and an inspiration to all us all. He was a audited weeklies in the Midwest, with a man, who moved to Chicago with nothcirculation of 121,000 and a readership ing, worked hard, learned the business, bought the newspaper from his employer, and turned it into a Chicago institution and one of the best publishing operations in the country,” said Sandy McFarland, the president and chair of

Media organizations applaud adoption of ‘Wall of Faces’ resolution The Illinois Press Association and National Newspaper Association welcome the adoption of House Resolution 530, sponsored by State Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, and Senate Resolution 731, sponsored by State Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park. The resolutions are an effort to raise awareness about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s “Wall of Faces” project to locate photos of military service members named on the memorial wall in Washington. Because of a fire in 1973, the photographic Cullerton records of 24,000 service members listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall were lost. In an effort to further preserve the legacy of those who sacrificed all in Vietnam, the Vietnam Veterans Harris Memorial Fund is committed to finding a photo to go with each of the more than 58,000 names on The Wall. The photos will be used at the proposed Education Center at The Wall in Washington. IPA enlisted the assistance of Harris to help raise awareness and recover the remaining 479 missing photos of Illinois’ fallen service members.

Andrew Johnson, NNA vice president, said, “It was awesome to witness how quickly the Illinois General Assembly acted to support a bill honoring Illinois’ Vietnam veterans. Their actions in passing this resolution will ensure that Illinois’ veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten.” Thanks to a coordinated effort among Illinois newspapers, nearly 100 photos of Illinois veterans have been located and submitted to the Wall of Faces; however, as of November 2017, Illinois still has 346 service members who do not have a photo in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s database. Illinois citizens are reminded that their help is needed in locating these photos of Illinois veterans. According to the VVMF, The Wall was constructed to remind everyone that the names on the wall “represent unique people with hopes, dreams and desires—people who were loved and who are missed every day by someone they left behind.” Please help honor these young men and women who gave their lives in Southeast Asia. The first step to telling their stories is to locate their photos. If you locate a missing photo of a veteran, please submit the photo to your local newspaper. The photo does not have to be of the service member in uniform.

the IPA board. “We are excited for what these new relationships will bring,” said Sam Fisher, IPA president and chief executive officer. “Bill was a big believer in both education and community, and these two organizations embody those ideas. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation does great work engaging young people and helping them pursue their education, and the DuSable Museum preserves the legacies of those who make great contributions to the African-American community, such as Bill Garth. We are proud to work with both these organizations.”

See GARTH on Page 6

Illinois newspapers have helped locate over 150 missing photos of Vietnam veterans so far! Please keep promoting the Vietnam Veterans Wall of Faces to your communities. Just over 400 photos of servicemen and women killed in Vietnam are still missing from the Wall of Faces ( A customizable editorial and house ads are available for download at Thank you to all the newspapers participating in this effort!




IPA unveils Bicentennial newspaper series By Dennis Anderson Executive Editor | Journal Star, Peoria, Ill. We are just weeks away from unveiling the weekly Illinois Press Association-Illinois Associated Press Media Editors Bicentennial series. The articles, available to all IPA and IAPME members, feature key moments, figures and locations in the state’s history. Nearly 20 publications are creating articles for the series, from the Chicago Defender to the Sun-Times and the Daily Herald to the Southern Illinoisan. Some of the first articles include the Underground Railroad, coal mining, the dueling Peoria territory, Kaskaskia and top Illinois athletes through the years. Here is an FAQ on the Illinois Bicentennial series: What is this series? Newspapers throughout Illinois are creating stories about Illinois history, people, places and things that helped shape the state, which turns 200 years old on Dec. 3, 2018. The story packages are now available to IAPME and IPA members to start publishing weekly on Mondays after Dec. 4, 2017. The first few weeks of stories were available starting Nov. 17. When will stories be available? Content will be made available by IPA at least three weeks in advance of each story package’s embargo date. What comes with the story package? 1. A 20- to 35-inch story.

2. A specially designed IPA/IAPME Illinois Bicentennial series logo. 3. At least one photograph. Most stories will have three or more photos. 4. An editor’s note explaining the series. 5. Some stories will also have a timeline, breakout and/or a video. How will the stories be distributed? Story packages will be distributed via email by IPA.

Where can I find a list of the stories being produced? IPA will share a list of stories and the newspaper producing the stories. This lineup might be fluid as the series unfolds over the year. Updates will be sent by IPA as needed.

ries can also be shared with IPA member publications to be published in their newspapers. If you want to contribute a story, contact Dennis Anderson, IAPME president and executive editor of the Journal Star of Peoria, at danderson@

Can I use the stories if my news organization hasn’t contributed to the series? Yes, as long as you are a member of IPA or are an Associated Press client.

Can you do sponsorships or sell advertising to run with the Bicentennial content in my newspaper or website? Each newspaper can and is encouraged to sell sponsorships and advertising to be used along with stories in the series. Examples include a sponsorship of the weekly story, special section compilations of the series and/or a book.

Can I edit the stories? We prefer you not edit the stories, other than for length in print. Each article will be edited by at least three media editors before being made available for use. We encourage adding a local sidebar rather than adding to or removing from the story.

When should the stories be published? Anytime after the story’s embargo date. How can I use the stories? Stories can be used as a weekly series, collected to be used in special sections, and online, after the embargo date.

Can the stories be used online? Yes, but only after the story’s embargo date. There is also a website (200Illinois. com) that newspapers can link to, as well.

Whom should I contact if I have questions about this project? For questions related to the series, contact Dennis Anderson, IAPME president and executive editor of the Journal Star of Peoria, at or 309-686-3159. For questions related to receiving content, contact Kate Richardson of IPA, at or 217-2411300.


seum of African American History, located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, was developed to preserve and interpret the experiences and achievements of people of African descent. The Museum is dedicated to the collection, documentation, preservation and study of the history and culture of Africans and African-Americans.

How should the stories be bylined? The stories will come with a byline that Is it too late to add a story includes the name of the newspaper that to the series? created it and a kicker at the end of the For the 52-week series, yes. But artistory that includes information on how cles can be submitted to be included on to contact the reporter. the website. Those sto-

Need to fill an empty desk? Check out our job bank to post or find job openings!

Who owns the copyright of the Bicentennial stories? Each contributing newspaper owns the story(ies) it produces for the series. Each contributing newspaper will provide IPA signed Content Sharing Agreement authorizing use of the articles to member publications. Dennis Anderson has sent the Content Sharing Agreement to the editors of the contributing organizations.

Continued from Page 5 The Illinois Black Caucus Foundation helps African-American students further their education through its scholarship program and promotes civic engagement through connecting young people with their elected officials. The DuSable Mu-



Gazette wins national honors

The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding teams with the American Jewish Press Association on award NEW YORK—The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, the global address for Muslim-Jewish relations and the national address for African American-Jewish relations, has announced that it will partner with the American Jewish Press Association to create a new award to recognize Excellence in Interfaith Relations Reporting. The two organizations announced the creation of the program for 2018 recently at the Simon Rockower Awards Banquet during the AJPA’s Annual Conference in Los Angeles. The Excellence in Interfaith Relations Reporting Award will honor journalism that focuses on relations among all faith communities, including Jews, Muslims, Christians and other faith groups. The AJPA

will administer the program. “ M e dia plays a more critical role than ever before in the national debate on interfaith relations, and we wanted to create a vehicle to recognize exemplary journalism in the Jewish community that promotes a better understanding between all religions and ethnic groups,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the FFEU. As a network of Jewish media organizations, journalists and communications professionals, AJPA works to ensure a bright future for Jewish journalism and the Jewish


c o m munit y by promot i ng robust, indep e n dent and financially healthy Jewish media. The Annual AJPA Simon Rockower Award Competition for Excellence in Jewish Journalism celebrates the achievements of the American Jewish press in its work to chronicle the American Jewish community. This year’s competition honoring work published in 2017, opened Nov. 30, 2017. Please visit for more information or contact AJPA Executive Director Cathy Herring at

TULSA, Okla.–The Galena Gazette was recognized with eight awards from the National Newspaper Association 2017 Better Newspaper Contest and Better Newspaper Advertising Contest. Editor Hillary Dickerson and Advertising Manager Jay Dickerson accepted the awards at the NNA's 131st annual convention and trade show Oct. 6. In the editorial categories, the Gazette was honored with the following awards: first place, best editorial pages; second place, best obituary; honorable mention, Freedom of Information; honorable mention, best feature story; and honorable mention, best environmental story.

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Illinois publisher, Seil, remembered as a great partner Patrick Seil, owner of the Navigator Newspaper, The Carmi Chronicle and The Prairie Post, died Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Ind. Seil had been hospitalized for several weeks after suffering a broken hip. Seil was a lifelong resident of Grayville, where his family has owned newspapers for Seil four generations. Seil's wife JoEllen Seil will become the papers' publisher. All other business operations will remain the same. Seil had a storied journalism career. He was raised in the newspaper business working at the family paper, The Mercury-Independent, through high school. He returned to help his father after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1981 with his bachelor's degree in journalism. During his tenure at the Mercury-Independent the paper was recognized by the Illinois Press Association as the best small weekly newspaper in the State of Illinois. After his father's death, Seil joined the staff of the Wayne County Press in 1990, where he won many awards for his photography and sports reporting. Seil left the Wayne County Press in 1995 when he returned to Grayville to start the award-winning Navigator newspaper, going head to head with the paper his family had founded. He purchased the name and files of the Mercury-Independent from Liberty Publishing in 1996. In 1997, he purchased the Albion Journal Register and the Prairie Post from Liberty, bringing all the publications back into the Seil family. In 2000, Seil joined Jerry Reppert of Anna as a 50 percent partner to form S&R Media LLC. Reppert said, "He was the best partner a man could ask for. We will

all miss him greatly." Since incorporating, Seil's company has expanded into book publishing, including "Good Ole Grayville" by Herschel Groff and two hard cover pictorial histories. The company also specializes in various forms of full-color printing, including fundraising calendars. In May of 2007, Seil was named a Master Editor and received "the Golden M" from Southern Illinois Editorial Association, following both his father, Bill Seil, and his grandfather, Nolen Seil's, footsteps in the prestigious award. His great grandfather, William J. Seil, predated the association. Seil was respected around the state and beyond as a community

journalist. Tom Mathews Jr., publisher of the Wayne County Press, recognized Seil's contribution to that newspaper's winning of many

awards. Mathews said Seil was a member of one of the finest groups ever to work at that paper. Barry Cleveland, retired editor of the Carmi Times wrote, "People like Pat remind us of how important good people are in a small town, how a competent, devoted journalist can inf luence things for the better." Jeff Egbert, publisher of the Pinckneyville Press said, "Rock music, a special tab section and drink tickets to the Moose Lodge ‌. That's how you remember a journalist! Love you, Pat. I want to be you when I grow up." Barry Locher, former director of the Illinois Press Association said, "Patrick was a fine newsman and a fine fellow. He will be greatly missed." Dave Ambrose, former Gillespie publisher, said, "What a loss. It always seems the good ones go before their time. St. Peter is hearing some damned funny jokes." John Galer, former publisher at the Hillsboro Journal, said, "Such a great newspaper gentleman. I will miss you greatly." David Porter, publisher of the Arcola Record Harold and the Lebanon Advertiser said, "One of the greatest newspapermen I've had the pleasure to know. Patrick Seil was my friend, and I will miss him."

In Memory of Patrick J. Seil 1959-2017

A great newspaperman and outstanding individual Jerry L. Reppert Reppert Publications




A formula for testimonial quotes Testimonials can be convincing elements in advertising campaigns. Will Rogers once said, “Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.” It’s true that happy customers’ statements can be more credible than many of the things advertisers say about themselves. Not all testimonials are created equal. I’m JOHN FOUST sure you’ve seen Raleigh, N.C. ads with testimonial quotes like this: “Golf City is a great resource for golfers. Their inventory is outstanding. They do repairs on all types of clubs. And they offer a wide selection of package deals on local courses. I recommend them highly.” This quote represents a nice try, but it’s like a f lat stone skimming across the water. It touches down several times, but there’s no depth. A better strategy would be to produce three different testimonials— one for each point in the quote—and add a little more depth to each one. For example: Quote 1: “Golf City has an outstanding inventory of golf clubs and equipment. I’ve always found exactly what I’m looking for, whether it’s a new set of irons or a pair of golf shoes.” Quote 2: “Golf City does a great job with repairs. They recently regripped my clubs, and it’s like having a brand-new set.” Quote 3: “Golf City offers excellent golf packages on local cours-

about going to Golf City for new clubs?” Three single-focus testimonials are better than one that covers all three areas at once. So, talk to three different people about three different features of Golf City—and you’ll have material for a series of ads. Include a photo and a name with each quote, and the campaign will have the ring of authenticity. You can run one quote per ad and even feature all three in a larger ad. Then “rinse and repeat” with three more customer interviews. That’s using the power of testimonials. © John Foust 2017. All rights reserved.

es. With their combination deals, I have been able to play some of the best courses in the area for much less than the regular cost.”

tion from your advertiser.) “I understand that you just upgraded to a new set of clubs. What was your experience with that?”

Question 3: “What would you How do you get tightly focused quotes like this? It’s all in the ques- say to people who are thinking tions you ask. Instead of asking, “What’s your opinion of this company?” and hoping the subject will say something usable, it’s better to go into the interview with a strategy. In the case of Golf City, you know you want separate quotes on inventory, repairs and package deals. So, you create a progression of questions, which are designed to narrow the quote to something that will support the ad’s message. It works like this: Question 1: “Thank you for taking a few minutes to talk to me about Golf City. What do you think of them?” Question 2: (After a positive response to that open-ended question, ask about something specific. It helps to have advance informa-

John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information:




Sharpening Your Focus Focus groups can change the way you create your newspaper I guess it comes with experience (that sounds better than age). In the “old days” when I visited a newspaper, it was almost always related hardware, software or some other type of technology. These days, it might be just about anything. Such was the case in September as I traveled to West Tennessee to work with a few newspapers in the area. After KEVIN SLIMP a five-hour drive from my home in Knoxville, I Director, Institute of visited with Joe Newspaper Technology Hurd, publisher of the Savannah Courier over lunch. A former Air Force commander, Joe knows how to get things done, and he’s never shy about asking for advice or assistance when it is warranted. Over lunch he explained he had two primary tasks for me over the next five hours. First, he wanted me to meet with his advertising staff and discuss ways to bring in new advertisers and increase sales at their newspaper. We discussed time management, techniques for approaching potential advertisers and more. We even discussed a couple of ideas I have seen work well at other community papers outside their geographic area. The second task was to meet with his circulation staff and discuss ways to increase circulation. The conversation was lively, and we seemed to come up with a few new ideas worth pursuing. Toward the end of the discussion, I made a suggestion that doesn’t take a lot of effort, but usually garners great rewards: creating focus groups made up of readers and

too big or too small? Does the size of the text make you more or less likely to read this newspaper? 3. Are there too few, too many or just the right amount of local stories in this newspaper? 4. What are some things about this newspaper that you especially like and make you want to read it? 5. What are some things about this newspaper that you especially dislike and make you less inclined to read it in the future? 6. In your opinion, what are the most Creating focus groups is a good way to improve the quality of your newspaper and increase readership. Groups tend to work best important things when broken into teams of a few members each. you look for in a newspaper? Does non-readers to look over their prod- which I collect afterwards. this newspaper do a ucts and suggest possible improveThis process should be repeated good or bad job of featuring these? ments. several times so that each team has Work with your staff to develop Focus groups work best when you looked at several issues of your news- questionnaires that cover every tophave two or three teams. These teams paper or, if you produce several titles, ic they feel might be helpful to learn might have as few as three or as many at least one issue of each publication. about from a focus group. Generalas five members each. Each time, you should give the teams ly, my questionnaires are one to two How do I usually find volunteers to new worksheets to complete. pages each. serve in a focus group? I offer a free When I mention focus groups How often should you gather focus lunch or dinner in exchange for help while speaking at a conference, I groups? That’s up to you, but I would in critiquing my newspaper. By publi- almost always receive a number of recommend no less than annually. cizing the need for volunteers well in emails afterwards from folks asking There are a lot of ways you could advance, it is usually possible to get what types of questions to ask. My spend time and money trying to dea sufficient number of group mem- advice: Be creative. You’ve got free termine ways to improve your newsbers. I’ve enlisted the help of schools, help. Make the best use of their time paper. Allow me to suggest that your churches, readers and others to make to gather as much information as best first move might be to create fosure there are enough volunteers. possible. Here are a few questions to cus groups. © Kevin Slimp 2017 After dividing everyone into teams, get you started, but don’t limit yourI generally give each team an identi- self to these: Kevin Slimp is chief executive offical newspaper and ask members to 1. Does the overall look of the front cer of and discuss ques-tions from a handout page initially make you want to read director of The Newspaper Institute. with their fellow team members. One this newspaper or set it down? Contact Kevin at kevin@kevinslimp. member records their responses, 2. Is the body text easy to read? Is it com.




Are you ready for the next elections? The year is winding down, and it’s time to start planning your editorial calendars for 2018–including plotting coverage for 2018 elections. I can hear the reactions in newsrooms: “Another election, already? The cycles are neverending.” The grind of election coverage is the strongest incentive for a JIM PUMARLO b r a i n s t o r m i n g session now. EarRed Wing, Minn. ly planning will result in orderly coverage and fresh approaches to stories. That’s a win-win for your newsroom and your readers. As a beginning point, poll your staff. What’s your collective Election IQ? Who can identify the races–local, state and national–that will be on the ballot? What are the dates for caucuses, endorsing conventions, local elections, primary and general elections? Why does your newspaper choose to endorse–or not endorse–candidates for elective office? How does your newspaper handle initial candidate announcements? The list goes on. No mistake, the months-long campaign season is among the most exhaustive and scrutinized tasks that face newsrooms. Thorough election coverage–especially of local races– also should rank among the top of your responsibilities when it comes to reporting on public affairs. The individuals elected at all levels of government will make decisions that affect readers’ everyday lives. Readers have a variety of sources for election information in today’s

fractured media landscape. That’s all the more reason to get an early start on planning. No medium better understands its communities and is in a more informed position to help readers understand what candidates will bring to the table than community newspapers. You have multiple avenues to do so, from your print editions to text, audio and video on the web to the multiple social media channels. The enormity of the task demands that staffs thoroughly plan all aspects of coverage. Among them– overall campaign coverage, introducing the candidates, letters to the editor, endorsements, election night/ post-election coverage, political advertising. The better your organization, the easier it will be to handle the unexpected circumstances that

are certain to arise. Each element requires a checklist– assigning specific responsibilities to individuals with due dates. So, begin with a 2018 calendar. The general election might be months away, but parties and candidates already are gearing up for determining who will be on the ballot. Mapping out a schedule–setting deadlines–is most important for election coverage because these stories are woven among your responsibilities of everyday news. You’re also coping with many factors out of your control–for example, the number of candidates. Calendars keep you on task. They provide a wealth of story ideas to make coverage more meaningful and interesting. For example, what in-

sights do campaign finance reports provide for the level and breadth of candidate support? Early and frequent conversations help you explore fun stories. For example, ask one or more candidates to keep diaries tracking their campaigns by the numbers. How many pairs of shoes did they wear out? How many pancake breakfasts did they attend? How many miles did they walk or put on their vehicles? How many hours were they on the campaign trail? How many speeches did they give? Draw up a preliminary “to-do” checklist. Start the conversation, and other ideas are certain to surface. Don’t be afraid to include individuals outside your newsroom. You may even want to invite community members to discuss certain aspects of election coverage. For example, write a column and ask readers to identify the races that warrant the most attention for the key issues in those races. Don’t be afraid to make the deliberate decision that some races will receive minimal coverage or no coverage at all. You have limited resources. Local races should be your priority. Elections don’t have to overwhelm your staffs. Your coverage, if planned step by step, can be fulfilling on many fronts, delivering dividends for your staff as well as your readers and community. © Jim Pumarlo 2017 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 and welcomes comments and questions at




Newspapers need to teach readers and advertisers the importance of local markets By Peter W. Wagner Iowa Information Inc There are times when it seems that every local business is turning to the internet in the belief that it is free and the only way to connect with younger Americans. It is a movement, say socalled experts, that will bring an end to the newspaper industry. But why is the negative emphasis always on newspapers? I don’t remember when I last listened to a traditional Wagner radio station. I’ve got Sirius XM in all my vehicles and on my computer at the office. With a just a few keystrokes, I can bring Pandora up on my household computer and have any kind of music I desire flowing into every room of my home. I hardly ever watch traditional network television. All my favorite television programs are shown on one of my cable channels: the Travel Channel, A&E, USA, the Food Channel or Netflix. TV news coverage from our two closest over-the-air stations means little since those stations concentrate on the events taking place in their metro city and hardly ever report on anything happening in my local market. Recently, I signed up for Facebook and was quickly deluged by my new “friends” with dozens of suggested musical snippets I should watch on YouTube. I found myself clicking around my computer keyboard long past bed-

time that night discovering concert quality musical selections by some of my favorite artists. Who needs to buy musical DVD recordings? So why does the media—especially metro market newspapers—only forecast tough times for the newspaper industry? Perhaps it is because that although we deal in the creation and sale of quality advertising, we don’t do well advertising our unique story. We’re

like the cobbler whose kids go to school in shoddy shoes. The total 2018 dollars spent on advertising is forecast to increase by 7.6 percent. The greatest amount of those dollars will come from the 98 percent of retailers that are considered small businesses. That potential increase is the good news. The bad news is the amount spent with newspapers will fall 10.3

percent. NEWSPAPERS CREATE COMMUNITY America’s towns and cities need newspapers if they want a real sense of community. There was a time when most towns had five strong anchors to give local citizens a sense of belonging: local banks, an active Chamber of Commerce, a good local school system, a


strong retail shopping area and the local newspaper. Today, the newspaper is the only one of the five that still exists in many smaller towns. The banks have become nothing more than branches of conglomerates that make most decisions from many miles away. Wal-Mart and other box stores have usurped the role of locally involved family-owned businesses, and the loss of those hometown stores has led to the closing of many local Chambers of Commerce. Local schools, meanwhile, aren’t local anymore. The future suggests they will continue to consolidate, taking the heart and soul out of towns that once had their own school buildings, sports programs and local supporters who regularly gathered together to cheer on their local football, basketball or baseball team. The local newspaper is the only promoter of community that still exists. Newspapers are the business and public service cheerleaders. Newspapers continue to be the explainers of how some specific government actions affect the community. Local newspapers are the original recorders of every town or city’s social and cultural history. Without newspapers, America will eventually be nothing more than a collection of people simply living in the same geographic area. That’s why it is our responsibility, as publishers, editors and sales representatives, to teach our readers and advertisers the importance of local. The internet, Facebook and all the other digital media are wonderful for reaching one-time customers two hundred miles away. But history has proven that 75 percent of every advertiser’s actual buyers live within 25 miles of home. They are folks who like where they live and want to keep where they live the way it has always been. The question is, do your potential advertisers want to reach 10,000 people who may or may not come into their store or, through their local printed paper, dozens or more buyers they know will come? BUT NEWSPAPERS NEED MONEY The real problem continues to be finding more newspaper revenue. We

cannot publish quality papers without a steady, growing stream of revenue. Nor can we expect our sales team to bring in those important dollars without the creative ideas, management direction, regular training and the dedicated support of every one of the newspaper’s employees. Newspapers must be the local market’s leader. That means regularly publishing unique information sections designed to motivate local citizens to lift up, reach out and wonderfully improve every aspect of the place where they’ve chosen to live. The paper’s editor and section leaders can help with fresh ideas for celebrating a community in the paper’s circulation area. We do that at The N’West Iowa REVIEW in a hundred different ways. One way is by publishing weekly tabloids reporting exclusively on what’s new and exciting in one of the 17 consolidated school districts in our circulation area. We report on the 14 public


consolidated school districts twice each school year and the three regional Christian high schools three times. Another way is our annual weekly summer broadsheet sections focusing on the 27 communities we regularly cover. A few years ago, the theme was “Heart and Soul”. Each section featured a wonderful essay by a local citizen on why he or she preferred to live in that community. The balance of the full-color section was filled with pages of photos representing everyday activities in that town. Another year, we featured every church in our five counties. Each story shared the church’s unique history, background information on the pastor, a listing of the local church board, the church’s service schedule and some interesting facts about the church. Still another year, we honored each community’s heroes with photos and stories about local individuals who have excelled in government, the military, education, religion or some other aspect of community life. The featured communities have populations as small as 400 citizens. But community-building community is our foremost responsibility. And community sections sell. The weekly sections always add at least $2,000 to $4,000 additional dollars to that week’s sales report.


A third way to partner with the community is to publish sections such as our All-REVIEW football, volleyball, boys' and girls' basketball, baseball and softball sections. Each section features a unique cover, coach of the year and our sports editor’s choice for first and second All-REVIEW teams. The ad revenue comes from process color quarter-page congratulatory ads from various businesses in each honoree’s hometown. Finally, consider The N’West Iowa REVIEW Academic All-Stars recognition. Complete with a banquet, featured stories on each student and the presentation of framed certificates for each honoree, this section lifts up the best students in all 17 area high school graduating classes and is supported by progressive businesses in the communities that make up each school district. Content, community commitment and promotion. These are the steps necessary to maintain the importance of your publication in your local market. Think local in your sales. Be the local leader in everything you do. Peter W. Wagner is founder and publisher of the award winning N’West Iowa REVIEW. He is a regular presenter at State Press Association Conventions and Group Seminars. You can contact him with questions regarding your newspaper at pww@ or (cell) 712348-3550.




Hoskins buys Tuscola Journal, Tri-County Journal After decades in the local newspaper business the Hastings family has stepped down from their latest ventures with The Tuscola Journal and The Tri-County Journal and sold the ownership of the local papers to Better Newspapers Inc. New publisher Greg Hoskins has a long history in the newspaper industry, which all started by chance. Hoskins, originally a resident of Streator, attended the University of Illinois and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts. After graduation, he searched for a job, but was finding it difficult due to the economy at the time. He was told of an opening in the sales department of the Times Press, a local newspaper in Streator. Hoskins discovered his love and respect for newspapers at that local company. Eventually leaving the Times Press, he began working for the American Publishing Company in West Frankfort. This experience took him to Arizona to work for Kramer Publications, which produced a daily newspaper and approximately 17 weekly newspaper and shopper publications. Fate brought him back to his home state of Illinois in 1991 when he heard of a group of newspapers that were in bankruptcy court. He united with Cleon Birkemeyer, a friend from American Publishing, and bought the four weekly newspapers out of bankruptcy. On May 1, 1991, Better Newspapers, Inc. was formed, which included the Mascoutah Herald, Scott Flier, Clinton County News, and Fairview Heights Tribune. Since that time, Hoskins has purchased: Mt. Zion Region News, Arthur Graphic-Clarion, Southern Piatt Record-Herald, Altamont News, St. Elmo Banner, Villa Grove News, Southern Champaign County Today, Bond and Fayette County Shopper, and three publications in Missouri: The Ozark Horse Trader in West Plains,

Better Newspapers Inc., owner of the Arthur Graphic-Clarion, purchased The Tuscola Journal and Tri-County Journal publications in Tuscola. Left to right: Craig Hastings, Bev Hastings and Greg Hoskins, owner of Better Newspapers Inc. Mo., Wayne County Journal Banner in Piedmont, Mo., and Reynolds County Courier in Ellington, Mo. Each of these publications produce additional products and magazines, including the annual Arthur Amish Country Visitors Guide. In 2012, Hoskins expanded his corporation by building a regional press plant in Altamont. This plant not only prints publications owned by Better Newspapers, but also a variety of other newspapers in the area. "By specializing in small community newspapers throughout the years, I believe we understand what makes a good newspaper," stated Hoskins. "Your hometown newspaper should revolve around the people, city government, schools, and churches. Each of these entities is what makes your community unique." Hoskins said he would like to thank the Hastings family, especially Bev and her son Craig, as well as the newspaper staff for making this transition possible. Craig Hastings will continue writing his column, as well as articles. Hastings Printing will continue operation in the building by Greg Hastings. "They produced great newspapers for many years," Hoskins said. "I feel privileged and honored to take

the reins as publisher." Hoskins is also proud to announce that Stephanie Wierman has been named the regional manager, joining the current staff members of the Tuscola Journal and the Tri-County Journal. Wierman currently manages the Arthur Graphic-Clarion, Southern Piatt Record-Herald, Mt. Zion Region News, Villa Grove News, and Southern Champaign County Today publications, as well. "These are the people you turned to in the past. We are extremely happy knowing they will be sharing their expertise and knowledge

with us. I would personally like to invite the public to contact us with any questions or suggestions you many have." Better Newspapers Inc. corporate headquarters is located in Mascoutah and is an organization founded on family loyalty. Greg Hoskins is president of the corporation, and his wife, Linda, works in the Editorial Department in Mascoutah. His son, Scott Hoskins, is the corporation's business manager, and his other son, Mark Hoskins, is the regional manager for the press plant and newspapers in Altamont.




Journal brings home 8 travel awards The Journal & Topics Media Group's weekly Travel section and its writing were honored by the Midwest Travel Journalists Association by capturing eight awards for journalism and photography excellence. Three of the awards were for first-place stories about destinations both domestic and international.

The Midwest Travel Journalists Association held its four-day fall conference in Lafayette, Louisiana. Travel journalists toured the area and held a banquet where the awards were presented. Categories included travel stories that were published in newspapers, magazines, online and in the form of books.

You have questions. We have answers. Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois Independent wholesalers providing a diversity of products for consumers and means for new brands to enter the market.


uestions about school law, finance, policy, or other management issues?

Contact Robert L. Myers with questions about beer distribution. 217-528-4371


Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association / Illinois Association of Convenience Stores Contact us when you need the latest information on the petroleum marketing and convenience store industry. phone: 217.544.4609 fax: 217.789-0222

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Shaw Media wins EPPY award for best website redesign Shaw Media's website redesign earned international acclaim recently. Editor & Publisher announced that Shaw Media won Best Redesign/Relaunch for its redesigned news websites in the 2017 EPPY contest. Shaw Media overhauled its news sites earlier this year, with an emphasis on a more user-friendly experience, including faster load times and a decluttered design. The EPPY contest, now in its 22nd year, is an international contest that honors the best in digital media. Shaw Media's news sites were one of three finalists for Best Redesign/Relaunch with less than 1 million unique monthly visitors. Winners needed to

receive a score in the top one-third of the average score across all categories within their division. "We're thrilled that Editor & Publisher has recognized us with this award," Managing Editor for Digital Content John Sahly said. "We started this overhaul with a simple goal in mind: Make it easy for people to read local news. Our senior web developer, Ryan Glab, did a spectacular job designing a friendly website for people to find local news they trust. "This was a great collaboration by our staff, digital audience team, and with plenty of great reader feedback, we've got a great place for people to get their news."

AG's office: Springfield aldermen didn't violate Open Meetings Act The Illinois attor­ney general's office said that eight Springfield aldermen did not violate the state's Open Meetings Act when they gathered for a cam­ paign fundraising event at a downtown restaurant. The attorney general's involvement in the issue began in October, when a reporter for WICS TV­20 asked the AG's office to review whether the Sept. 27 non­public event at Saputo's Restaurant dealt with city business. The Open Meetings Act requires that public bodies let the public know

FREE Pre-publication HOTLINE for IPA members only: 217-544-1777 Have a legal question regarding a story? Ask Attorney Don Craven first.


Fusco, Fowler to head Sun-Times content leadership team The Sun-Times Media Co., owner of the Chicago Sun-Times and alternative-weekly Chicago Reader, recently launched its new content leadership team. Chris Fusco, a 17-year veteran of the Chicago Sun-Times, is the new editor in chief. Fusco won dozens of awards as an investigative reporter with the Sun-Times Watchdogs unit before becoming managing editor of the newspaper last year. He has served as acting Fusco editor since August. Fusco, a Chicago area native, will continue his efforts to build on the SunTimes' longtime reputation as a scrappy voice for the city's working women and men. Carol Fowler, a tech entrepreneur and 20Fowler year veteran of Chicago TV news management, joins the company as senior vice president of digital news products—a new position designed to foster innovative storytelling and to take advantage of Sun-Times Media's move next month into new offices that include TV and

when and where they're going to meet and that when a majority of a quorum gets together, members must conduct discussions and votes about public business in the open. On Oct. 16, the attorney general's office requested that the Springfield City Council provide a detailed explanation of what hap­pened at the Saputo's gathering. A city lawyer responded with affidavits from the eight aldermen who said the event was for "social and poA Hillsboro native and veteran who litical fundraising purposes." has spent most of her career working for a Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, has returned home and begun a new career as an advertising representative. Robin Carter began working at The Journal-News on Oct. 23, 2017. She said she was attracted to the position Carter as a way to contribute in a postiive way to her hometown, and is excited to work at a place her

podcasting studios and other state-ofthe-art news tools. Fowler ran local Chicago newsrooms at WGN, Fox and CBS before becoming an active member of Chicago's leading tech incubator, 1871, with a focus on social media innovation. Fusco and Fowler will work alongside Chief Digital Strategist Matt Watson, who joined the Sun-Times from Vox Media in September. "The leadership of this team, together with the dedicated employees of the Sun-Times and Reader, will assure the quality of our legacy products and build meaningful digital relationships with Chicago's news consumers. Their talents complement each other and give us the bandwidth we need to meet the challenges ahead," Sun-Times Chief Executive Officer Edwin Eisendrath said. "The Sun-Times Media Co. is a distinctly Chicago news organization. "With our team of outstanding journalists, we are determined to listen to, and engage with, our community to bring it news coverage that matters. Using new, multiplatform production and delivery capabilities, we will meet our news consumers where they are, and provide our advertising partners with real value."

Carter begins new career at Journal-News father, the late Dean Carter, worked more than 40 years ago. After graduating from Hillsboro High School, she served in the U.S. Army from 1986 through 1989, earned a bacherlor's degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1999, and a master's degree in forensic science in 2006. She has worked at the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as a lab technician, opthalmology technician and program support asistant before returning to Hillsboro.



Albert Winfield Scott III Albert Winfield Scott III, 70, owner and publisher of the Greene and Jersey County Shoppers as well as former longtime owner, editor and publisher of the Carrollton Gazette Patriot, died Oct. 1, 2017, at his home, surrounded by his family. Scott was born Sept. 4, 1947, to Albert W. Scott, II and June (Thompson) Scott. The self-proclaimed Air Force "brat" traveled around the world with his family. During his early years, his family was stationed in the Azores Islands, New Mexico, Maine, Utah, Japan and New Jersey. His family moved back to Carrollton in 1963, and he graduated from Carrollton High School in 1965 and from Illinois College in 1969. Following in his father's footsteps, Scott joined the Air Force after college and served from 1969 to 1973, achieving the rank of staff sergeant. During these four years, he was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base in Thailand. Much like his own father, Scott returned to Carrollton after his military service and began working with his father at the Carrollton Gazette-Patriot. Scott's grandfather, Rollins L. Scott, bought the Carrollton Gazette in 1930, and became editor and publisher. In 1954, he bought out the rival weekly, Carrollton Patriot, from Al Johnson and changed the name to the Carrollton Gazette-Patriot. Albert W. Scott II, after retiring from the Air Force, became publisher and editor in 1964. Al Scott III, worked with his father at the newspaper until he died on April 3, 1997, at which time Al Scott III became editor. He became the third generation to serve in this capacity at the paper. He sold the newspaper's subscription list to Campbell Publications in 2007, but continued as publisher of the Greene and Jersey Shoppers. The Gazette-Patriot had been owned by the Scott family for 77 years and was the oldest published weekly newspaper in the state of Illinois. Scott was revered in the Carrollton community.

John Wesley Curley


Carolyn Tuft Wilson

Harriett Gale Salzman

Carolyn Tuft Wilson, who was an award-winning journalist at the Belleville News-Democrat in the late 1980s and early 1990s, died in her sleep following surgery. She was 59. Tuft began her career as a reporter at the News-Democrat after graduating from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a bachelor's degree in mass communications. In 1992, she won one of the nation's top awards for investigative reporting —an IRE Medal—from Investigative Reporters and Editors for a series of stories titled "Blacks in Belleville." Tuft also worked as an investigative reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Harriett Gale Salzman (Brown), 91, of Decatur, Ill., died Sept. 1, 2017, at her current residence at Bickford Cottage. Gale was born in Bloomington, Ill., Nov. 6, 1925, daughter of William H. and Pauline Knox. She graduated from Bloomington High School and continued her education at Illinois State University, earning her bachelor's degree in Salzman 1946 and a master's degree in 1948. During her college years she was editor in chief of the "Vidette" student newspaper.

Joe Bryant Retired newspaper editor Joe B. "Jody" Bryant of Metropolis and formerly of Jacksonville died Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Ky., because of complications from Kennedy's Disease. Born April 19, 1939, to Joe B. and Stelsa Evers Bryant, Joe married Virginia K. Schaffer on July 29, 1959, in Eldorado. Bryant A native of Joppa, just down the Ohio River from Metropolis, Jody grew up in Metropolis. He was a Metropolis Community High School graduate and earned a degree with high honors in community journalism and a minor in government in 1961 at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Following his graduation, Joe accepted a position at The Bowling Green (Mo.) Times as editor, reporter, photographer and advertising manager until 1976. After his stint at the Times, he then became stockholder and corporate officer in Dempsey Publishing Co. and editor of the Carlyle Union Banner


in Carlyle from 1976 to 1991. Finally, he was director of MacMurray College's Office of Public Information in Jacksonville from 1991 until his retirement in 2003. The numerous achievements he garnered included master editor, named by Southern Illinois University at Carbondale/ Southern Illinois Editorial Association in 1992; Bowling Green's Man of the Year in 1971; director and officer, including presidencies, of Southern Illinois Editorial Association, Northeast Missouri Press Association, Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce; award winner in Illinois Press Association's Better Newspaper contests, including first for community service for three years, best school board coverage and best coverage of taxation in Illinois; former city council member, mayor pro-tem and regional planning commission member. For leisure, Joe enthusiastically enjoyed spending time with his family and time outdoors. He also liked reading and keeping current with world affairs and politics.

John Wesley Curley, 77, died after a courageous battle with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. He resided in Sun Lakes, Ariz., wit his wife of 59 years, Yvonne. John was born on June 13, 1940, in Taft, Calif. He grew up in different towns in Northern California, but attended Oakdale High School, where he met Yvonne Ann Jericoff, his high school sweetheart. After graduation, he served in the Navy and had his firstborn son, John Jr. When discharged, he became employed by Curley Copley Corporate Offices in La Jolla, Calif. He continued working for Copley and moved to the Daily Breeze newspaper in Torrance, Calif. He became a father for a second and third time with his daughter Denine and son Chris. John received a promotion with the newspaper and became the assistant business manager. In 1974, he was transferred to The Beacon News in Aurora, Ill., where he became business manager and then publisher in 1984. He remained in Illinois until 1989 when Copley transferred him back to California to be the general manager of the Union Tribune in San Diego. He retired in 1992, and moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz. John was very active in The Lions Club. He was the president of the Redondo Beach Chapter from 1970-1971. He received the News Media Award from the Aurora Chapter in 1989, He remained a member of The Lions Club until he retired. He was given the Governors Community Crime Prevention Outstanding Achievement Award Nomination in 1989. John was an avid golfer receiving several awards including the 2001 Developers Cup and the 2002 Developers Cup Champion Award. He also attended the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in 1996. John's greatest joy and accomplishment in his personal life was his family. He always provided for his wife, children and grandchildren. He taught his kids solid family values and a vigorous work ethic. He wanted to be remembered for his honesty.




Phil Jacobs Sr. Phil Jacobs Sr.'s license plate read "AP News." At first, that puzzled Kelly Huff. "The first time I saw him, and it, here comes this guy walking up the steps, and I thought, 'What's AP news doing here?"' said Huff, former chief photographer for the Herald & Review. Jacobs, a Herald & Review photographer, died in the early hours of Tuesday as the result of injuries received in a car crash on Labor Day, Sept. 4, 2017, at the intersection of West Andrews and U.S. 51 in Macon. He was 80. His wife, Norma Jean, was also injured in the accident and is recovering. Jacobs' son, Phil Jr., said the family is been grateful for the outpouring of love and support they're receiving. As a writer and a newsman, the elder Jacobs had a dream fulfilled last month when a letter he wrote was published in The New Yorker magazine, his son said, and that was a proud moment for him, "People are reaching out from all over the country right now with stories about how Dad was just a friend to everybody," he said. "He never knew an enemy." Although Jacobs Sr. had a keen nose for news and worked as a writer and photographer for the H&R, he did not work for The Associated Press, as Huff later learned. Jacobs simply admired the news service and the news business. He often wrote Prairie Talk columns for the H&R prior to his employments as a part-time writer and photographer, and continued to provide the occasional travel or human-interest piece even after his retirement in 2005. Jan Touney, a former Herald & Review associate editor who left the paper in 2003 to become the managing editor of the Quad-City Times, said Jacobs was kind and very smart about good questions to ask sources, a skill he gained through his private investigator background. "There were so many dimensions to Phil—his love of capturing people and places through words and photos, his love for his beautiful spot on the lake in Pana, but most of all his love for his sweetheart, Norma Jean," she said.

Wilbur ‘Dan’ Humphrey


Terri L. Simon

Richard Jeffrey Dickover Richard Jeffrey Dickover, 54, passed away Oct. 6, 2017, at his home in Edwardsville. Jeff was born November 23, 1962, on the Island of Guam. He graduated from Windsor Forest High School, Savannah, Ga. and Ball State University, Muncie, Ind. Dickover Jeff worked at the Highland News Leader for 10 years, rising to the managing editor's position. He then worked in the gaming industry, first at Harrah's in West County, St. Louis, the President's Casino in St. Louis, and finally at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. Jeff was an avid sports fan; he played golf and followed the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Rams and the St. Louis Blues with great enthusiasm. In the wake of his mother’s passing, he volunteered at the Edwardsville American Legion.

Terri L. Simon, 59, of Sheffield died Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, at University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa. She was born Jan. 13, 1958, in Princeton to Judy (Simon) Dyke. She was a graduate of Princeton High School. She had worked for Nashville Greyline Tours in sales and as a guide. Simon She started at the Bureau County Republican as a part-time photographer in 1994 and became the editor in 2003, a position she currently held. She was a member of Princeton Rotary and was instrumental in forming Business Buddies, a classroom project for Princeton Elementary students. Surviving are her mother, Judy Dyke; her life partner, Kathryn Clark; her Golden Girl, Purrcee; sisters of the heart, Pam Marsh, Rebecca Clark Lloyd and Kim Moriarity; and other family members.

Michael Cunniff Michael Cunniff, 68, of Rock Falls, died Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, at Good Samaritan in Prophetstown. Michael was born July 19, 1949, in Sterling, the son of Thomas W. and Barbara (Stewart) Cunniff. He was a 1967 graduate of Newman High School. He then graduated from Sauk Valley Community ColCunniff lege with an associate degree, and in 1972, from the University of Illinois with a bachelors in science. Michael was a sports editor-writer for the Ottawa Daily Times, Sterling Daily Gazette, Dixon Telegraph, and Morris Daily Herald. He was awarded the "Illinois Sports Writer of the Year"

award. He cofounded the Ottawa Fast Pitch Softball League, was a coach for the Flex Gym Crushers for many years; and was an umpire for girls' softball. Michael was a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. He was a Whiteside County master gardener and loved f lowers, especially gladiolas. Michael was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Tampico. Survivors include his daughter, Sarah (Josh) Cunniff Freeman of Chicago; his son, Ryne Cunniff of Ottawa; one sister, Mary Jagers of Annawan; one brother, Paul Cunniff of Rock Falls; two nieces, Amy Strohman and Stephanie VanHerzeele; and three nephews, Matthew Cunniff, Jonathan Cunniff, and Tom Jagers.

Wilbur "Dan" Humphrey, 96, a former 68-year resident of Hinsdale, died Oct. 18, 2017. Dan Humphrey was born in 1921 to Jesse and Rubena Humphrey in Moline. He was raised with his late sister, Juanita, in West Frankfort. Dan married his high school sweetheart, Maurine Jones, and moved to Hinsdale in 1948. It was in Hinsdale that Dan and Maureen raised their two children, who remembered him as the best dad in the world. After graduating from high school, Dan was in the Army and held a desk job writing about World War II. Following his time in the Army, he went on to a career in journalism, working first for The Daily American Newspaper and then, becoming the editor of The Hinsdale Doings. Dan's last job as a journalist was writing for Chain Store Age Publications, and this led him to become an owner and salesman for SMI Inc., a national sales agency selling to drug chains throughout the country. Dan's retirement years were especially busy, and he was known for his involvement in the community. He was a hospice volunteer at Carol Stream Hospice and Burr Ridge Hospice, bringing patients much hope and joy. He was an active member of the Union Church of Hinsdale, where he attended weekly services and enjoyed his involvement in the men's club and as a lay minister for the church.

IL newspapers have helped locate over 100 missing photos of Vietnam veterans so far! Please keep promoting the Vietnam Veterans Wall of Faces to your communities. More than 500 photos of servicemen and women killed in Vietnam are still missing from the Wall of Faces ( Customizable ads and an editorial are now available for download at Thank you to all the newspapers participating in this effort!


Mary Claire Hempstead Mary Claire Hempstead, 85, of Springfield, died on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Memorial Medical Center. She was born March 3, 1932, to George and Mary T. Johnson of Peoria. She married Charles A. Hempstead in August 1956. Mary was associate editor of the Illinois Historical Journal and previously historical research editor for Hempstead the Student Historian Program at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, retiring in 1991. She also taught English, history, and Spanish at schools in Peoria, Varna, Avon, and Washington, Ill. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from Bradley University. She was an active member of the American Association of University Women and several book clubs. She enjoyed volunteering as a tour guide at the Illinois Executive Mansion.

David Robert Ross David Robert Ross was born May 2, 1937, in Chicago, and died, Nov. 13, 2017, from a long illness. He was married for 58 years to Constance Ross. David was educated at Cornell College (where he met Connie and received his bachelor's degree in journalism and English) and Northern Illinois University. Before teaching English and creative writing at Boylan Central Catholic High School, David was a journalist and editor for the Chicago Today, Rockford Register Star and other publications. At Boylan, he and Connie Ross led the Mock Trial teams to two state championships. David served honorably in the U.S. Navy, which is where he began his journalism career. He was a past president, editor, and treasurer for Rockford Writers' Guild. He enjoyed golfing, authentic Italian food, sleuthing, writing and reading poetry, and listening to the other person talk.



Byron Thomas Hurd Byron Thomas Hurd, 84, died Oct. 8, 2017. He was born March 1, 1933, in Roseville, Mich. to Clark Frank Hurd and Evelyn Sybeldon Hurd. He was the third of four children. Sarah Marie, Clark Frank, Jr. and John Anthony Hurd were his siblings. He grew up in Detroit, graduated from Cass Technical HS and Wayne University, both in Detroit, where he met his future bride. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Jean Ekeroth Hurd, to whom he was married for 64 years. He played basketball for Wayne (now Wayne State) and graduated with a B.S. degree in business administration. He worked in the newspaper promotion business, including telephone sales, door-to-door sales, managing various boy crews and eventually became an executive director of circulation, working for The Chicago's American, which became the Chicago Today (writing worth reading and repeating), and then the Chicago Tribune. He later started his own newspaper circulation business, and eventually became the circulation director for the South Suburban Star Newspapers, which served the south suburban Chicagoland. He was well loved and respected

by all those he worked with and those he supervised, as well. Byron (also known variously as Byron T, Uncle Byron, and UB) was an avid golfer and excelled at many sports, including getting a tryout for professional baseball. He and Barbara were members of the Flossmoor Country Club, where they enjoyed many rounds of golf and the warm fellowship of their fellow members. He won many tournaments there. He was also very active in the Rotary Club, and served as president one year. Heand Barbara worshipped at Flossmoor Community Church, where Byron also served as an elder and served as president of the church foundation. Byron and Barbara had four sons, Thomas Eric, Roger Allan, John Douglas, and James Byron. They all graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School. Byron was the first of his family to graduate college, and all his sons graduated college. as well. After retirement, B&B left Chicago behind and moved to Naples, Florida, where Byron scored his first hole-inone at Foxfire CC, and then scored a second one a year later to the week at a neighboring course.

Frederic J. Woldt Frederic J. Woldt died on Nov. 12, 2017, at Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan, III, at age 85. In a long career at the Waukegan (now Lake County) News-Sun, from which he retired, Fred was a respected writer and editor who helped guide and inspire younger generations of journalists as a mentor and through his work as an active administrator of the Just Scholarship Fund. He passed on his love of words and writing to his children, and

tried to do the same for others through his work as a board member of the Waukegan Public Library. Known for his wry sense of humor and interest in literature, music, sports and current events, Fred also was an avid chef and lover of good food. He was born on Aug. 8,1932, in Gary, Ind., and grew up in Waukegan, He graduated from Waukegan High School and Valparaiso University, after which he served in the Navy.

William F. Bailey

William F. Bailey, 75, of Belleville, Ill., died Sept. 11, 2017. William was a U.S. Air Force veteran.

He graduated from the University of Arkansas and was employed as a producer for PBS Channel 9 TV.


Doris Peterson Doris Betty Peterson, 79, of Morris, died Nov. 10, 2017, with her loving family surrounding her. Born Sept. 3, 1938, in Doniphan, Mo., she was the daughter of David and Elin (Eriksson) Bonander. Doris was raised in Chicago, graduating from Morgan Park High School in 1956, where she excelled in shorthand and secretarial Peterson services. She spent her career working as a secretary for the Beverly Review newspaper, Alger's Insurance Company, Rainbow Council Boy Scout Camp in Morris and as deputy recorder for 28 years at the Grundy County Court House. She loved her career, and it showed with her meticulous attention to detail. Doris married the love of her life, Haldan Peterson, on Dec. 27, 1958. They lived in Louisiana and the south Chicago suburbs before settling in Morris. They were married for 53 years. Family was Doris' first priority; she enjoyed cooking meals for family and friends, especially her Swedish pancakes. She enjoyed spending time bowling, camping and fishing with her husband, gardening and playing board games, especially Bunco and Cribbage with her friends. She always made time to gather with her retired friends for lunch and afternoon movies. Doris served others with willing hands and a loving heart. She will be greatly missed by her family and numerous friends and neighbors. Doris is survived by her son, Kurt (Krista) Peterson, of Texas; daughter Lynn (David) Lyon of Illinois; grandchildren David (Angie) Peterson of Florida, Bethany (Carl) Kurtz of Texas, Jonathan Peterson of the U.S. Army in Texas, Joshua and Emily Lyon of Illinois; great grandchildren Annabelle Kurtz of Texas and Luke Peterson of Florida; niece Kathleen (Kevin) Frankle and children of Maryland; nephew Fred (Deana) Peterson and children of Florida; and numerous cousins and their families in and across Sweden.