AP Day at the Capital 10Politics, Tips for Editing the Copy budget… and Trump
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Ideas from roundtable VPA Conference
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Virginia’s Press Winter 2015 Summer 2016
Virginia Press Association 11529 Nuckols Road Glen Allen, VA 23059 102 • Number 2 4 Volume 103
The The resonates Public. The ‘KeepPress. It In Print’ withFuture Virginians
don’t know the way newspapers impacted our paper. However, 59 percent of this age group By Betsy Edwards Bo andDirector Sandy Rose of Rockingham County Many the readers to the media content in print or online The Virginia Press Association’s “Keep It In lives. Now they haveofnumerous waysresponding to get consumes VPA Executive Keep It In Print ad noted that older readers Print” campaign is resonating with readers across For added, “Public notices must be made easily avail135 years, the Virginia Press Associa- breaking news, restaurant and movie reviews, each week. don’t or have access to, a computer or the the state. The effort is designed to engage the pubablechampioned to the public. There is of noVirginia better waysports thannews anduse, weather information. Newspapers are as relevant today as they tion has the interests having and themthe published our local Internet. lic in persuading Virginia lawmakers to keep the But, some things haven’t changed – the lo- have always been. It is important that press newspapers ideals ofin a free press newspapers. in Distrust society. of our government, alsoto get of the Rockingham, long-standing requirement to publish public nocal nanewspaperEllen is still Fitzwater, the only place associations like VPA communicate this a democratic Those ideals both have locally been and demonstrated how much older tices in newspapers. tionally, is very high. Making public notices less by building bridges between the press and on display every day as we read our local or news about your community and the things Virginians rely onyour olderlife. technology in online everydaythe life.public. In available In the last month VPA has received more than Many of the There is a need to expand and regional papers.would only increase this distrust.”that really impact writing to support the Keep It In Print camIn one years case, ago spotting a public notice in print 100 calls and emails from readers imploring the Twenty-five they were on display sites we rely on for news – are simply compil- strengthen VPA’s role in educating the puboneas man to successfully challenge paign,and she news notedfrom thatthe in organizing General Assembly to use newspapers as the priing information print me- her lic,50th and in turn the government, on the crittwiceled a day we read both the morning and a zoning high school reunion, barelyas one-third of mary vehicle to inform the public of developrequest. Tom Schmutz Concord read a dia. public This has made the role of the press the ical importance of a free press and the First the afternoon editions in ourofcity. The newsher classmates could receive invitations by ments involving public money. notice in his local newspaper and realized local paper was on everyone’s desk at work, was source of reliable, vetted information less vis- Amendment. toengaging the public as more Nancy Parr of Roanoke wrote: “I watch televiwasbefore being asked improperly abanKeep pu to the email. public.“The balance,” she wrote, “we hadBy than readread government by our father’s dinnertoand was ible blic notices within don a road. “If I had not seen this notice in the send by U.S. Mail because they did not have sion news, but they are inadequate, biased, and reach show by keeping A 2013 SenseMaker Report from the ers and news consumers, it the can them what we spread on the kitchen table to cut out m in print paper it is highly the road would have computer access. repetitive. My local paper is much more diverse pages of you Newspaper Association of” America found that newspapers are not aindathe luxury, but a necoupons or circle jobs inprobable the classifieds. r depen ble local ne wspaper. been closed to the public,” Schmutz wrote. that 164 million VPA reminding the Readers need to be turned into and I learn a great deal by reading it...” (69ispercent) U.S.newspapers adults read that cessity. advoWe relied on the newspaper, used it conProvide your name and loc We’ll tell Virgin ality. ads, available in quarterand full-page verHere’s what Eastville Town Council member In recent years legislators have submitted bills ia legislators you wantcommunities stantly for news and vital information and newspaper media content in print or online cates for the press within their it in print. be run anysurvey time. says If you and needthroughout the Commonwealth. It is esthatit would allowthat local governments Eleanor Gordon had to say: “I have many elderin a typicalsions, week.can You’ll noteatthe we took for granted it would always beto publish versions of ”either ad, young contact Rusty notices on their bills are ex- PDF ly or poor friends without Internet access who “newspaper media content. Many sential that local government and the General there.those No one knows betterwebsites. than theNew mempected prior to the start of the 2016 session in Carter by email at firstname.lastname@example.org would no longer see important governmental bers of the VPA that much of this is changing. adults (ages 18-24) may not realize that the or 804521-7584. business. Thankfully, previous Continued on page 3 VPA Executive Director Betsy Edwards content they are consuming is from a newsThereJanuary. is an entire generation underbills 30 have who failed. Call 804-521
Ginger Stanley, VPA Executive Director, Farewell Success in Fairfax with cameras in courtColumn
When I was hired in 1984, as the first state- jobs from reporting to advertising, but visits to and learn how to work By Ginger Stanley nearlyDirector every courthouse in Virginia goes great six count shootings, and cameras were allowed in some prelimiwidetoadvertising director for Virginia news- the General Assembly building, I for could VPAWhile Executive together for the good lengths to prohibit the 21st century tools journalists use to do nary hearings in Prince William County. The time has come, after 32 years at VPA to papers, I was honored to be chosen and threw on one hand. President Robbie Tate came to of the association. This That trial, however, their Fairfax County Circuit has taken remarkably wasfirst moved into learning all about the industry, the VPA headquarters and stayed for the tran-to Virginia write jobs, a final column. Most years’,Court the news on amyself means Beach. I have had a progressive allowing phones andyou even laptops inside 2013 year. murder trial of Julio Blanco members, potential clients and the associa- sition week. We talked for hours eachAnother day andFairfax these pages stance, was good, even cell glowing. And newcase, bosstheevery the courthouse. allowed Ithe press to work closely representing know how I like to talk about the great VPA ac- tion’s programs and goals. There were imme- during that time I realized that Garcia, am thankful for the with Judge Jane MaThat’s considerably furtherI than most courthousremlegislators Roush. successes, and none more important than the newspaper industries views to complishments. Rest assured, will not do Virginia that diate tremendous skills that es will Most forbid cell phones computers from the thefirst Virginia Lottery double truck was very similar to selling advertising “We went inwere and shared met with securing to a great in this allow. one. Instead, my heart is full and of gratiwithher, me then to walked through the building, though in some cases attorneys and court employees courtroom to determine shooting locations and demonstrate tude and thankfulness to the hundreds of peo- ads for all Virginia newspapers and establish- customer. Did I have a lot to learn? Oh, yes. But enhance my abilities. may bring them in. how loud the camera would be, ” Miller recalled. “Afterward she I was so thrilled to be given the opportunity to And the places I have ple that I have had the pleasure to work along- ing the statewide classified network (SCAN). Stanley policy bans the friends equipment its courtrooms, ‘It didn’t go been as badly as we expected. ’ ” Whenbut I was hired as executive director in lead this great association that mysaid determinasideFairfax’s since 1984. Too many havefrom passed honored to go, does allow portable electronics – laptops, tablets,1988, cell phones, There was a from faux pas a television crew during case, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be suc- tion got me through and kept me going. away. Too many friends have retired or moved the by coal mines in Norton to thethat packing electronic calendars and or e-book – But inside cessful common Miller noted. panning the courtroom the camera capas ara lobbyist. Actually, I was scared out VPA/VPS Board of Directors have been my While on to another profession out ofreaders Virginia. houses in Smithfield. I have been a welcomed eas. But for a recent high-profile murder case, reporters were tured the faces of the jury. That bought a stern rebuke from the I have been blessed to have their guidance and of my mind!!! By this time I had been work- rock. Each year a brand new president takes allowed to have their electronics inside the courtroom during judge. Continued on page 2 ing for newspapers 16 years and had done most over the board and we get to know each other support. the trial. “That may be why, since then, only still cameras have been Judge Randy Bellows (seated) established a dozen ground That surprised Associated Press permitted,” Miller added. rules before allowing a still photographer to shoot photos photographer Steve Helber, who While Fairfax normally limits electronics to the entry area during a recent murder trial. helped coordinate photo coverage of the courthouse, judges can – as Bellows did – waive the norpermission for a single still camera used during the trial. during the September trial of acmal rules. Anne Adams, publisher of Theto be President-Elect: Immediate Past President: WhenMonterey, Helber saw was reporters court texting in updates with cused triple murderer Charles Sev- Recorder, Bellows explained his reason for denying video and audio votedin as Cindy Morgan, Marisa Porto, Daily Press, cell phones and writing stories on laptops, he was stunned. He erance. coverage, listing two points argued by both the prosecution and president of Virginia Press AssociaMartinsville Bulletin Newport News asked the bailiff about the policy. Given the attention the case had tion/Virginia the defense: Press Services Board Vice President: Director Candidate “He saidduring it wasn’t of an issue,” Helber in an inreceived – Severance once ran for of Directors Broadcast/video (First coverage could have a chilling effect on witthemuch association’s Stevesaid Weddle, three-year term): terview. “TheyMeeting allow the to carry their phones inmayor of Alexandria – print, broad- 133rd nesses, from their obligation as witnesses, and Annual onattorneys April 9, at Coleburn, The cell Central-Virginian, Louisadistracting themWilliam side, whichRichmond allows themHotel to coordinate make arrangecast and radio outlets were all clam- the impact their testimony. Courier-Record, Blackstone Hilton & Spa witnesses, Secretary: ments. Seeing it there is fairly common.” oring for an exception to the court- Short With the trial anticipated to last six weeks, broadcast/video Pump. Steve Kaylor, Director Candidate Mark Miller,toPhoto The Washington room ban on electronics. Circuit coverage may permit(First witnesses to herterm): testimony of witnesses Also elected serveAssignment as officersEditor for Danville Register & Bee three-year Post, applauded the term courtbeginning system for its Treasurer: willingness to accomJudge Randy Bellows weighed mul- and who previously testified,Carol and McCracken, “undermine the purposes served directors for the modate high-profile tiple requests for media coverage, is- July 1: the press. The area has had its share of Steve Stewart, casLocal News, LLC, Midlothian es. D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad was The triedFarmville in Maryland Adams Continued on page 6 suing an 8-page ruling that granted Herald
Anne Adams elected president of VPA/VPS Board
VPA Board of Directors Officers
Marisa Porto Daily Press, Newport News
Anne Adams The Recorder, Monterey
Vice President Cindy Morgan Martinsville Bulletin Secretary
Steve Weddle The Central Virginian, Louisa
Steve Kaylor Danville Register & Bee
Past President Jay Bondurant Bedford Bulletin Asst. Secretary/ Treasurer
Ginger Stanley VPA
Bob MacPherson, The Roanoke Times Daniel Finnegan, Richmond Times-Dispatch Chard Harrison, The Star-Tribune, Chatham G.L. “Lynn” Hurst, Salem Times-Register Jay Kennedy, The Washington Post Maria Montgomery, The Winchester Star Jeff Poole, Orange County Review Bruce Potter, Fairfax Sun Gazette Steve Stewart, The Farmville Herald Jenay Tate, The Coalfield Progress, Norton Kelly Till, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk Roger Watson, The News Leader, Staunton
Ginger Stanley, Executive Director Betsy Edwards, Executive Diretor effective July 1, 2016 Kim Woodward, Assistant Director Diana Shaban, Advertising Director Ron Clark, Accounting Manager Janet Madison, Member Services Manager Adriane Long, Advertising/Network Coordinator How to reach us: Phone: (804) 521-7570 Fax: (804) 521-7590 or (800) 849-8717 Website: www.vpa.net VOLUME 103, Number 2 (USPS 621-640) VIRGINIA’S PRESS (ISSN 0887-5227), the official publication of the Virginia Press Association, is published four times a year. Subscriptions are $15 per year in Virginia, $20 per year out-of-state, by Virginia Press Association / Virginia Press Services Inc., 11529 Nuckols Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059 (804) 521-7570. Periodicals class postage paid at Glen Allen, VA, and additional post offices. POSTMASTER, please send change of address to: Virginia Press Association 11529 Nuckols Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059 Copyright 2015, Virginia Press Association
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
The mission of the Virginia Press Association is to support our membership through responsive services and resources. We champion the common interests of Virginia newspapers and the ideals of a free press in a democratic society.
We connect our members through valuable business services, effective representation, practical communication and information, and relevant education and recognition.
The values important to the work of the VPA are fairness, dedication, integrity and honesty.
President Elect’s Message Change can be tough and the Virginia Press Association is undergoing a big one. When Ginger Stanley announced her plans to retire, it was difficult to grasp. Her tenure at VPA, nearly three decades, made her an institution among Virginia newspapers, and press associations nationwide. However, Ginger is the first to say her retirement presents VPA with opportunity. And she’s right. Be assured the process for finding a new executive director was rigorous and thorough, thanks to the leadership of board president Marisa Porto. The VPA Board last year charged the board officers’ Executive Committee and the Futures Committee, which consists of past board presidents, with spearheading the search. In the committee’s initial meeting last fall, these folks spent a full day reviewing every aspect of this association’s structure and mission, to identify the kind of person VPA needs to bring the organization forward. After advertising the job nationwide, the committee reviewed 65 applications, and narrowed the field to six to interview. Half the committee agreed on three to recommend for second interviews, and the other half conducted those interviews. In each case, the votes were unanimous in selecting the final candidate. The full Futures Committee met again, and unanimously made a final recommendation to the VPA Board. The full VPA board of directors then met, with every member participating, and unanimously agreed on Betsy Edwards. Betsy has a wealth of experience in organization management, fund-raising, and the legal aspects facing us that Ginger has handled so skillfully on our behalf. On this, every committee and board mem-
ber agrees: the need to carry forward our efforts at defending newspapers’ role as citizen watchdog and protecting Virginia’s citizens from government actions without transparency. The threats to those key issues were higher in number in the last General Assembly session, and stronger than ever before. We are fortunate Ginger managed to defeat them over many weeks of pounding the Assembly halls and offices. Betsy understands the need to keep up this pressure, and will start this summer to understand the players involved. But she will need our support. It will be critical for working reporters, editors, and their publishers to connect with lawmakers and make time to attend the sessions and committee meetings in Richmond. Our collective voice must not only be heard, but become a mantra among us. Betsy began work May 17, and she’s getting to know the staff and structure at VPA. She will work with Ginger through June, and fully take over July 1, with the new fiscal year. Once she gets oriented, we anticipate Betsy will make the kind of changes this association needs to sustain itself into an uncertain future for our industry. She will have a plan, based on board-inspired goals. We don’t expect every idea to succeed, but Betsy is not afraid to try new methods for increasing revenue for our members, and retaining the high-quality of service our membership has come to admire and appreciate from Ginger and VPA’s staff. The staff at VPA has endured months of difficulties — they have managed to handle most of VPA’s functions with professionalism and aplomb, switching roles and duties deftly as needed to make sure everything gets done. They are deeply dedicated to VPA and attentive to members’ needs. Betsy looks forward to
‘Disturb the Peace and Get it Done,’ Post Reporter Tells Journalists By Matt Chaney, VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media & Culture T. Rees Shapiro, the keynote speaker at the SPJ Region 2 Spring Conference, advised journalists to get out of the office, report from the ground and talk to people face to face. Shapiro, an education reporter for The Washington Post, emphasized how getting out, going places and relating to people on a personal basis helped him cover important stories on college campuses across Virginia. Without being there, he said, he could never have provided some of the first eyewitness accounts of the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech, gotten interviews with the family and close friends of murdered University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, or written the story that first cast doubt on the now-discredited Rolling Stone story about a supposed gang rape at U.Va. “Journalism isn’t particle physics. It’s about going to talk to somebody. Then talking to somebody else. And then trying to determine between those two accounts, which is as close to the truth as you can get,” Shapiro told more than 100 journalism students, journalists and journalism educators from Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Delaware and Washington, D.C. He spoke on Saturday (April 9) at the Mark of Excellence awards luncheon during the conference, which was held in conjunction with the Virginia Press Association’s annual convention at the Hilton at Short Pump.
Beyond simply getting out of the office and speaking to people, Shapiro emphasized the importance of treating others with respect to build trust. When Hannah Graham went missing, he said, he drove to Charlottesville, met with the president of the U.Va. student body over coffee and personally expressed interest in vigils and other events students had planned. Likewise, when a subject for an article about sexual assault prevention at U.Va. alerted him to an error in his story about her own rape, Shapiro responded immediately by adding a correction to the story and expressing his remorse. “In one minute’s time, I showed her how much I cared, and that I was willing to do what it takes to get the story right,” he said. Ultimately, Shapiro said that while it’s important to treat the subjects of stories respectfully, it is equally important to follow up on the things they say. Were it not for an editor’s refusal to print a follow-up to the Rolling Stone story without getting comment from members of the fraternity allegedly involved, Shapiro would never have discovered the errors in the original article. While it was difficult to confront Jackie, the alleged rape victim in the original Rolling Stone story, with the evidence that contradicted her account, Shapiro still did it. But he did so with empathy and tact. “I couldn’t do that sitting at home on the phone,” he said.
Anne Adams working with them to relieve some of the pressures at headquarters and round out the staff. In addition, Ginger has graciously agreed to help in a consulting role this fall before the General Assembly session gets into gear next year. She will assist Betsy in identifying any proposals that would undermine citizens’ rights, newspapers’ roles, or would cloud the government transparency the commonwealth must keep clear. Please join me in welcoming Betsy Edwards, and supporting her as she comes to know you and your newspapers. Please also thank Marisa Porto — her year at the helm has been fraught with challenges, but she forged ahead, dedicating her professional leadership to VPA, her own newspaper, the Daily Press, and Virginia citizens as a whole. In the face of naysayers and doubters, Marisa did not flinch when faced with tough decisions, and our industry, and VPA itself, is better for her determination and courage. And of course, if you haven’t already, please take a moment to thank Ginger and wish her well in retirement. If anyone has earned the time to travel, stay off her feet, and spend time with her beautiful family — without any deadlines to meet — it’s Ginger Stanley. We can never say enough about the outstanding leadership she has given this organization for most of her professional career. We find it hard to say goodbye, but we say it with good wishes and many blessings.
Stanley Farewell Continued from page 1 visitor from Lee County to the Eastern Shore. Virginia is rich with culture and history and my job allowed me to experience so much of what this Commonwealth has to offer. Dozens of folks have worked as a member of my staff over the years. Turnover, downsizing, better opportunities and new directions created the need to hire and fire most years. This is never a fun part of the job, but necessary. Sometimes, I got it right and sometimes I went back to the drawing board. I always attempted to hire folks that were far superior to the folks they were replacing. And this was easy to do when the salary budget line was ample. Today, the association staff is small but so very dedicated and capable. I have been fortunate to work with great people during the easy times, but more importantly, during the stressful days when much is required and few hands are on deck. I will leave headquarters at the end of this fiscal year just as the new board of directors’ focus on VPA’s future. But, this old gal will always be a newspaper junkie. The ink is flowing freely through my veins and so you must never, never, ever stop publishing, watching, reporting, and telling your readers what’s happening. I’ll be reading faithfully every day, every week, hard copy and online. Onward.
For the Record
Minutes, VPA Board of Directors
The Virginia Press Association quarterly meeting, Short Pump Hilton, April 8 2016
Edwards Continued from page 1 Assembly hear the voices of the people when they are considering removing public notices from newspapers, banning the media from the state senate chamber or seeking to keep videos of police shootings secret. The public is busy and distracted by daily life. They need to be reminded in a clear and
ant,” Stanley explained. Conference Room A has been rented every Monday morning to HH Hunt for their weekly meeting, as well. Stanley praised the VPA staff for stepping in over the past year when staff vacancies necessitated. Diana Shaban worked with Ginger at the General Assembly sessions, while Adriane Long, Kim Woodward, and Janet Madison also stepped up to several tasks. Stanley also singled out Randy Jessee for his tireless efforts with the awards ceremony and all he does for VPA. Stanley pointed board members to information concerning the 29th Annual Virginia Communications Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony honoring former a VPA president, the late Horton P. Beirne. Legislative Report: Stanley presented the legislative report, noting that the 2016 session “touched a record number of bills that would have impacted the newspaper industry.” Ten bills that were introduced targeted public notices in newspapers. One would have replaced foreclosure notices with a sentence in newspapers directing residents of the commonwealth to a website. One would have removed the requirement for a public notice in the newspaper that notifies residents when utility companies alter their rates. All of the bills noted failed to pass, following strong lobbying from the VPA and others. Additionally, past presidents of the VPA Terry Jamerson and Lawrence McConnell joined Stanley in arguing against Del. Chris Head’s HB 286, which would have negatively impacted public notices in localities with populations greater than 50,000. VPA worked with the VFOIA Council on HB 817 and SB 494 which would have impacted the disclosure and redaction elements of FOIA, as well as enforcement. Stanley called the 2016 legislative session “a year to remember.” Calendar: The VPA calendar was presented, with attention drawn to upcoming board meetings, the next of which will be July 15 at VPA Headquarters, replacing the traditional summer meeting in Virginia Beach. Committee Reports: Classified Committee met on November 4, 2015 at VPA Headquarters. The purpose of the meeting was to plan the 2016 Sales Conference, slated for Monday, June 6 at VPA Headquarters. The Nominating Committee met via phone on January 29. Two members of the board, Jay Bondurant and Jenay Tate, are scheduled to rotate off. Nominated to replace Jay Bondurant is Billy Coleburn of the Courier Record in Blackstone and to replace Jenay Tate is Carol McCracken of the Chesterfield Observer. Maria Montgomery was nominated for a second, three-year term.
compelling way, that the press is their window into the workings of government, politics and our society. “Spotlight” won best picture at the Academy Awards this year because it is an entertaining film. But, it also reminded us of what we hold dear about newspapers – that they will uncover the truth by shedding light on the inner workings of our most important institutions.
The Public Notice Task Force met at headquarters on December 11. Updates on promotional ads and advocacy campaigns were made. Cindy Morgan presented the report for the Virginian of the Year Committee and reported that Jim and Bobby Ukrop were selected and were scheduled to be honored in the evening of April 8. Staff Reports: Ginger Stanley presented the Advertising Report. VPS gross advertising sales for October 2015 through February 2016 were $1.1 million. Schedules were run for Dominion Resources, Sun Coast Gun Shows, Appalachian Power, Bank of Hampton Roads, and others. Stanley updated the board on a number of other specific successes the advertising department had during the quarter. Stanley presented the Contest Report from the Member Services Committee for the year, the sixth with the Omni Contests entry system. The number of news entries was down slightly from 2014, as was the number of participating papers. The number of adverting entries was up from 1,278 in 2014 to 1,524 for the 2015 contest year, with six more papers participating in the more recent contest. Stanley presented Kim Woodward’s report for Professional Development noting that VPA members had the opportunity to partici-
pate in more than 40 webinars since the last report. Old Business: Stanley presented two letters of thanks, one from Megan Rhyne at VCOG for dues payment and one from Stephen Coe of the Virginia DEQ regarding provided information. New Business: President Porto asked the board to consider helping the Daily Press with a lawsuit concerning open data. In February, a local judge ruled against the press and in favor of the Commonwealth’s Supreme Court’s Office of the Executive Secretary, a judgment that denied access to a statewide database of court information. The Daily Press has filed an appeal and Porto, the publisher of the Daily Press and the president of the VPA, asked the board to consider financial aid in fighting the public records case, as well as filing an amicus brief. After a discussion among board members concerning the importance of the case, Steve Kaylor made a motion to file an amicus brief in support of the Daily Press and to provide as much as $25,000 from the VPA’s First Amendment Fund to support this fight for the First Amendment. The motion was seconded and approved, with Porto abstaining. The meeting was adjourned as there was no more new business.
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
The Virginia Press Association held its spring quarterly meeting at the annual conference at the Short Pump Hilton on April 8, 2016. Board members in attendance were Marisa Porto, Anne Adams, Cindy Morgan, Steve Weddle, Steve Kaylor, Jay Bondurant, Stefan Babich, Danny Finnegan, Chad Harrison, Jay Kennedy, Maria Montgomery, Jeff Poole, Bruce Potter, Steve Stewart, Jenay Tate, Kelly Till, Roger Watson, and VPA Executive Director, Ginger Stanley. Also present was Accounting Manager, Ron Clark. Minutes: Minutes of the Oct. 30, 2015 board meeting at the Daily Press in Newport News were read and approved without change. Financial Report: Steve Kaylor, treasurer, presented the financial report, noting that YTD Display Advertising was 7.62% over budget, with total revenue at the end of the third quarter being 3.05% over budget. Kaylor reported that the rental income has accounted for an additional $8,000 per month. He added that salaries are down because of vacancies left unfilled. Stanley noted that the VPA Networks were back up for March, though still below budget. President’s Report: President Porto provided an update on the executive director interviews that were taking place at the annual conference. Porto also reported that VPA is “on solid financial ground for the next few years” due, in large part, to the building rental. Porto updated the board on the past legislative session in Richmond, during which Senator Tommy Norment introduced a bill that would have taken legal postings out of the papers. The bill was defeated, thanks in part to strong VPA lobbying. Porto acknowledged that the struggle for access will continue to be tougher and that the VPA needs to continue its fight, especially in the upcoming session. Porto thanked the board and the association as a whole for their work, as Porto will be passing the president’s gavel to Anne Adams for the next term. Executive Director’s Report: Executive Director Ginger Stanley reported that 166 people were expected at the evening’s Virginian of the Year dinner and 525 were expected for the awards banquet on Saturday night. Additionally, Stanley updated the board on Yukon Learning, the rental tenants of VPA headquarters. Last year the group moved into partitioned space in the VPA building. Recently they have expanded by four more office cubicles and have rented Conference Room C, which will bring in an additional $900 per month. “Yukon continues to be the ideal ten-
Legislative Report By Ginger Stanley VPA Executive Director VPA’s lobbying efforts during the 2016 General Assembly session touched a record number of bills that would have impacted the newspaper industry. Despite an ongoing three-year study of FOIA by the Freedom of Information Advisory Council, legislation was proposed to increase the number of exemptions for open records and meetings. Several bills were filed to increase transparency, but many would have done more harm than good. Newspaper publication of public notices was attacked, and if passed, would have eliminated all local government requirements to use newspapers for things such as zoning and public hearings. Utility companies subject to the rules of the State Corporation Commission regarding notifying the public involving rates, charges, services or facilities would no longer be required to notice these changes in a newspaper of general circulation. Foreclosure notices would have been reduced to a single line in print telling readers to go to some web site, somewhere. Another bill would have removed the requirement for newspaper publication for Requests for Proposals for professional services. All ten bills failed to pass for this year. The good news, five bills have passed that increase the need for public notices in newspapers: HB 611 and SB 85 makes water and sewer companies subject to the rules of the State Corporation Commission and requires newspaper notification concerning any fact or issue arising out of a proceeding involving the regulation of rates, changes, services, or facilities of a utility. And as amended, reinstates newspaper notification for all other utilities. HB 240 revises and recodifies the law for educational institutions and adds additional powers of the authority after publication one time in full in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality where the affected property is located. HB 940 increases the amount of a mechanics’ lien for repairs
from $800 to $1,000 and expands notification for nonresident owners to include local newspapers. HB 268 states, the governing body of a locality shall not adopt an ordinance creating a land bank entity until notice of intention to do so has been published once a week for two successive weeks in some newspaper published or having general circulation in the locality. Delegate Chris Head (R-17th) introduced HB 286, his annual legislation to allow localities with a population of 50,000 or greater to meet certain local legal notice requirements by advertising on radio or television or publishing on the locality’s web site. Instead of advancing HB 286 in House Counties, Cities, and Towns Subcommittee, Del. Head asked for his bill and three others be carried over until 2017. His stated intention is to ask the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to conduct a study involving local and state government, VPA, and other interested parties concerned with the publics’ right to know. VPA members will be asked to support the need to continue notices in printed newspapers. This is a welcomed challenge and should be given much time and attention over the next two or three years. The facts are on our side but must be properly documented and professionally presented to JLARC over the course of the study, if they take on Delegate Head’s request which has to be recorded on January 11, 2017, the first day of the General Assembly session. VPA worked with the VFOIA Council and local government representatives on HB 817, Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-67th) & SB 494, Sen. Scott Surovell (D-36th). These bills reverse the holding of the Virginia Supreme Court in the case of Department of Corrections v. Surovell, by setting out the general rule of redaction, which provides that no provision of FOIA is intended, nor shall it be construed or applied, to authorize a public body to withhold a public record in its entirety on the grounds that some portion of the public record is excluded from disclosure
2016 SESSION INTRODUCED
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
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HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 130 Offered February 11, 2016 Celebrating the life of John Stewart Bryan III. –––––––––– Patrons––Loupassi, Carr, Massie and O'Bannon –––––––––– WHEREAS, John Stewart Bryan III, a respected newspaperman and a champion for open government who dedicated his life to keeping members of the public informed on important issues, died on January 23, 2016; and WHEREAS, a native of Richmond, Stewart Bryan attended St. Christopher's School and Episcopal High School in Alexandria, then earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia; he honorably served his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan was a fourth generation media professional, who began his career with summer jobs in the mail room and circulation department of the Richmond News Leader; he later became the publisher of the Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Times in 1976 and president and publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Richmond News Leader in 1978; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan valued honesty and integrity above all else, and he believed that newspapers have a critical role to play in making society better; he was ever mindful of public affairs in his beloved Virginia, where he staunchly advocated for freedom of the press and the public's right to expect transparency in local and state government; and WHEREAS, as publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Stewart Bryan, whose career included a stint covering the Virginia General Assembly, would patiently consider objections to his coverage of a state official, before saying, as he did to a gubernatorial chief of staff, "You take care of your end of Grace Street; we'll take care of ours"; and WHEREAS, having served on the board of directors for the national communications company Media General since 1974, Stewart Bryan was well suited to lead the company when he was elected chairman, president, and chief executive officer in 1990; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan helped Media General, which had been founded by his great-grandfather, grow into a multimillion dollar corporation that now includes 71 television stations, including five in Virginia-WAVY and WVBT in Norfolk, WRIC in Richmond/Petersburg, WSLS in Roanoke/Lynchburg, and WJHL in Tri-Cities; he stepped down as chief executive officer of the company in 2005, but continued to serve as an active member and chairman of the board; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan also worked to strengthen the community as a member of the boards of the United Way of Greater Richmond, Junior Achievement of Central Virginia, and what is now Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia, as well as many other civic and service organizations in Virginia and Florida; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan helped preserve the history and heritage of the nation with the George C. Marshall Foundation and the Virginia Historical Society and was a founder of National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico; and WHEREAS, earning many awards, accolades, and honorary doctorates for his years of journalistic excellence, Stewart Bryan was inducted as a laureate of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame and the Greater Richmond Business Hall of Fame; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by his wife, Lissy; daughters, Talbott and Anna, and their families; and numerous other family members, friends, and colleagues; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the House of Delegates hereby note with great sadness the loss of John Stewart Bryan III, an accomplished journalist, newspaper publisher, and business leader and a true Virginia gentleman; and, be it RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of John Stewart Bryan III as an expression of the House of Delegates' respect for his memory.
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SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 149 Offered February 9, 2016 Celebrating the life of John Stewart Bryan III. –––––––––– Patrons––McEachin, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Howell, Sturtevant and Wagner; Delegate: Carr –––––––––– WHEREAS, John Stewart Bryan III, a respected newspaperman and a champion for open government who dedicated his life to keeping members of the public informed on important issues, died on January 23, 2016; and WHEREAS, a native of Richmond, Stewart Bryan attended St. Christopher's School and Episcopal High School in Alexandria, then earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia; he honorably served his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan was a fourth generation media professional, who began his career with summer jobs in the mail room and circulation department of the Richmond News Leader; he later became the publisher of the Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Times in 1976 and president and publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Richmond News Leader in 1978; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan valued honesty and integrity above all else, and he believed that newspapers have a critical role to play in making society better; he was ever mindful of public affairs in his beloved Virginia, where he staunchly advocated for freedom of the press and the public's right to expect transparency in local and state governments; and WHEREAS, as publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Stewart Bryan, whose career included a stint covering the Virginia General Assembly, would patiently consider objections to his coverage of a state official, before saying, as he did to a gubernatorial chief of staff, "You take care of your end of Grace Street; we'll take care of ours"; and WHEREAS, having served on the board of directors for the national communications company Media General since 1974, Stewart Bryan was well suited to lead the company when he was elected chairman, president, and chief executive officer in 1990; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan helped Media General, which had been founded by his great-grandfather, grow into a multimillion dollar corporation that now includes 71 television stations, including five in Virginia––WAVY and WVBT in Norfolk, WRIC in Richmond/Petersburg, WSLS in Roanoke/Lynchburg, and WJHL in the Tri-Cities; he stepped down as chief executive officer of the company in 2005, but continued to serve as an active member and chairman of the board; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan worked to strengthen the community as a member of the boards of the United Way of Greater Richmond, Junior Achievement of Central Virginia, and what is now Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia, as well as many other civic and service organizations in Virginia and Florida; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan helped preserve the history and heritage of the nation with the George C. Marshall Foundation and the Virginia Historical Society and was a founder of National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico; and WHEREAS, earning many awards, accolades, and honorary doctorates for his years of journalistic excellence, Stewart Bryan was inducted as a laureate of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame and the Greater Richmond Business Hall of Fame; and WHEREAS, Stewart Bryan will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by his wife, Lissy; daughters, Talbott and Anna, and their families; and numerous other family members, friends, and colleagues; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of John Stewart Bryan III, an accomplished journalist, newspaper publisher, and business leader and a true Virginia gentleman; and, be it RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of John Stewart Bryan III as an expression of the General Assembly's respect for his memory.
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by FOIA or by any other provision of law. The bill also reverses that part of the courts holding by providing that in a FOIA enforcement action, no court shall be required to accord any weight to the determination of a public body as to whether an exclusion applies. Governor McAuliffe recommended a substitute bill for SB 494 on March 1, which was rejected by the Senate on March 4. HB 817 was signed into law on April 1, 2016 by the Governor. Over the course of the past twenty-eight years, my lobbying experience has been to work as hard as possible on legislation which originated in the House of Delegates. But when things didn’t go VPA’s way, we could count on the Senate as our safety net, until this year. The tables turned and the Senate advanced three bills that we opposed and defeated one bill that we supported and had passed the House, easily. Much has been written about the secret police legislation and the database of public employee salary bill. Basic government information that has always been public, and needs to always stay open, was in jeopardy. The House General Laws subcommittee which deals with FOIA bills listened intently as testimony was given by open government advocates, reporters, citizens, several law enforcement witnesses, and state agency representatives. The subcommittee, chaired by Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-67th) asked great questions and made important statements that lead to unanimous votes against the three illconceived bills that passed the Senate. A chart of the bills monitored by VPA this session can be found on vpa.net under General Assembly 2016 Legislation Charts. This was a year to remember, and I will. In fact, I will look back on this session, my last to represent VPA, with great memories and a pretty good record. Keep it going, never give in, because it matters. Your readers depend on you to tell them what they need to know to be informed citizens.
2016 SESSION INTRODUCED
Commending Tim Davis.
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 106 Offered January 13, 2016 Prefiled January 11, 2016
–––––––––– Patrons––Adams and Marshall, D.W.; Senator: Stanley –––––––––– WHEREAS, Tim Davis, who has led the Chatham Star-Tribune newspaper with responsibility and diligence for 25 years as an award-winning editor and general manager, retired on July 15, 2015; and WHEREAS, in 1986, Tim Davis, who is a native of Chatham, began working at the former Gazette newspaper in Gretna and Hurt as a reporter and editor; in 1990, he was named to his post at the Chatham newspaper; and WHEREAS, Tim Davis's responsibilities also included serving as editorial director for 15 community newspapers in Virginia and North Carolina that are owned by Womack Publishing Company Inc., parent company of the Star-Tribune; and WHEREAS, during Tim Davis's tenure, the Star-Tribune expanded and evolved as technology and reading habits changed; the newspaper became a regional publication covering Danville and Pittsylvania County, and he also oversaw the establishment of a popular weekly sports section; and WHEREAS, additionally, Tim Davis supervised the development of the Star Tribune's many specialty publications, including the annual Progress Edition and a full-color Discover Southside magazine; and WHEREAS, Tim Davis also spearheaded the Star-Tribune's move into digital journalism as the newspaper developed a website, social media presence, and began production of an online edition; and WHEREAS, for Tim Davis, working for a weekly newspaper was one of the best jobs in journalism; he wrote about local government and politics for more than two decades, adroitly covering contentious issues that frequently generated passionate discourse; and WHEREAS, many honors and accolades were given to the Star-Tribune and to Tim Davis during his three decades as a journalist and editor; he was honored by the Virginia Press Association for his writing, photography, and page design skills; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend Tim Davis for his many years of service to the people of Chatham and Pittsylvania County as editor and general manager of the Chatham Star-Tribune; and, be it RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Tim Davis as an expression of the General Assembly's respect and admiration for his leadership, commitment to weekly journalism, dedication to his community. 2016and SESSION
Whose judgement do they trust? “Kevin Kamen correctly predicted as far back as 2010 that a buyer would be willing to pay $42 million to $51 million for The Journal … ‘They paid about $4 million to $5 million more than they should have,’ Kamen told WPRI.com … Kamen suggested Gatehouse was motivated to pay a premium in part to ensure a competing newspaper chain didn’t get The (Providence) Journal instead.” — Ted Nessi, WPRI 12, Providence, Rhode Island
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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 343 Offered February 23, 2016 Commending the Falls Church News-Press. –––––––––– Patrons––Simon and Kory; Senator: Saslaw –––––––––– WHEREAS, the Falls Church News-Press, an independent weekly newspaper in Falls Church, has served the community for 25 years by providing local news and acting as the city's "paper of record"; and WHEREAS, the Falls Church News-Press was founded in 1991 by Nicholas F. Benton, who presented a plan for a local paper to the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce; initially, 130 businesses pledged their support to the periodical, which has maintained its strong ties to the community; and WHEREAS, with a free circulation of 10,000 copies, the Falls Church News-Press is delivered to the communities of Bailey's Crossroads, Sleepy Hollow, Pimmit Hills, and Lake Barcroft, as well as the City of Falls Church; and WHEREAS, the Falls Church News-Press was named the Best Remnant of the Liberal Media by the Washington City Paper, has been twice named the City of Falls Church Business of the Year, and received the city's Business Contribution to the Community award; and WHEREAS, committed to social justice, the Falls Church News-Press publishes a weekly column dedicated to gay and lesbian issues; and WHEREAS, the Falls Church News-Press is an active partner in community affairs, sponsoring an annual food drive, an annual scholarship for high school seniors, a citywide holiday party, and other events and activities; and WHEREAS, the Falls Church News-Press has succeeded thanks to the hard work of its columnists and staff, including Wayne Besen, Mike Hume, Tom Whipple, and Jody Fellows; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend the Falls Church News-Press on the occasion of its 25th anniversary; and, be it RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Nicholas F. Benton, owner and editor-in-chief of the Falls Church News-Press, as an expression of the General Assembly's admiration for the newspaper's many contributions to the Falls Church community.
“Kevin Kamen is one of the world’s best-known and most-proliﬁc brokers of media properties and companies.” — Gypsy C. Gallardo, CEO/Publisher of The Power Broker Magazine
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“Kevin Kamen works relentlessly. Whenever he speaks about the publishing business or companies, I pay close attention.” — Paul Tash (Mr. Tash is Chairman of the Pulitzer Board and CEO/Chairman of the Tampa Bay Times.)
Kevin B. Kamen
Just ask them.
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Whose voice do industry leaders seek?
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 314 Offered February 17, 2016 Celebrating the life of Frank A. Parsons. –––––––––– Patrons––Cline; Senator: Deeds –––––––––– WHEREAS, Frank A. Parsons, an admired university administrator who worked to create new opportunities for the students of Washington and Lee University for 45 years, died on January 28, 2016; and WHEREAS, a native of Staunton, Frank Parsons honorably served his country as a member of the United States Army from 1945 to 1948 and 1950 to 1951, writing for the Pacific edition of the newspaper Stars and Stripes; and WHEREAS, between his tours of military service, Frank Parsons worked as managing editor of the Daily Review in Clifton Forge, and he continued to work summers there while he was earning a bachelor's degree from Washington and Lee University; and WHEREAS, Frank Parsons joined the staff of Washington and Lee University after graduating in 1954; over the course of his long and fulfilling career, he served as director of publicity, director of institutional research, director of planning and development, university editor, coordinator of capital planning, director of special communications projects, coordinator of facilities planning, director of public relations and information, director of sports information, and director of the news office; and WHEREAS, Frank Parsons also served as an assistant to three university presidents, and he helped lead the university through periods of significant growth and transition, including both the integration and coeducation of the student body; and WHEREAS, serving on the Coeducation Steering Committee, Frank Parsons helped prepare the university for the arrival of its first women students in the 1980s; he oversaw a revival of the university's Greek life and played an essential role in the addition of sorority houses; and WHEREAS, Frank Parsons secured funding for Leyburn Library under the Higher Education Act and provided oversight for the design of Lenfest Center for the Arts and the publication of Come Cheer for Washington and Lee: The University at 250 Years, a book celebrating the university's storied history; and WHEREAS, Frank Parsons worked to further enhance the community as a member of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, the Rockbridge Area Conservation Council, and the board of Lime Kiln Arts; he enjoyed fellowship and worship as a deacon of Manly Memorial Baptist Church and directed the restoration of Lexington Presbyterian Church after a fire in 2000; and WHEREAS, predeceased by his wife, Henny, and a son, Gregory, Frank Parsons will be fondly remembered by his daughter, Laura, and her family, and numerous other family members, friends, and the entire Washington and Lee community; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of Frank A. Parsons, a respected, longtime administrator of Washington and Lee University; and, be it RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Frank A. Parsons as an expression of the General Assembly's respect for his memory.
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
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Editors optimistic about journalism’s future By Diana DiGangi, VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media & Culture In a panel at the VPA/SPJ Region 2 Conference, newspaper editors Paige Mudd and Steve Gunn had an inspiring message for the journalists in the audience: Journalism is changing, but it’s not necessarily dying. Mudd is the top editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Gunn holds the corresponding position at The Virginian-Pilot. Gunn said the industry is reducing jobs in design and production. But he added, “If your goal in life is to be a great reporter who goes out and gets information and delivers it to 10 platforms, no problem. There’s going to be jobs, especially at smaller papers.” Gunn and Mudd agreed that there is room for old-fashioned reporters to co-exist alongside journalists with a more modern mentality, and that marrying these styles leads to a paper that better serves the community. “You’re both hiring, or have hired recently,” pointed out panel moderator Robyn Sider-
sky, who works with Gunn at The Pilot as an online reporter. “Yes!” Gunn said. “That’s a change, I feel like,” Sidersky said. “I think people want to hear that. It’s encouraging. It’s a good sign.” “We’ve also created new positions as we’ve seen the need for them,” Mudd said. “It’s an innovative time – a time where we’re learning from the newer people who grew up with social media and iPhones and all of that. When we hire now, we’re not necessarily saying we’re hiring for a certain position. What we do is we bring people in and see what’s the best fit.” Mudd discussed the need to give consumers an incentive to buy the product, whether that is print or online. In fact, the Times-Dispatch’s most expensive subscription package is its all-access online pass. “It’s to say, our content costs money to produce, and no matter how you want to get it, you need to pay us,” Mudd said. The panelists also discussed the issues of
paywalls and native advertising. Gunn said he was not optimistic about the future of paywalls. The consensus in the room was that publications will need to change course in order to make more money online. “I think the newspaper industry made a huge mistake when they leapt on board with people who said the internet is free, everything on the internet should be free,” said audience member Steve Jameson, who directs the advertising department at the Bristol Herald Courier. “When we jumped on board, we basically told the world that our content is not valuable, despite the fact that we have to pay people to create that content.” Mudd said the Times-Dispatch has produced sponsored content, but it was clearly labeled as such and was tailored to readers. “It’ll be interesting to see over time if [sponsored content] is more successful than any of us realize,” Gunn said. Despite the general optimism in the room,
it’s unclear exactly how the industry will have to adapt in the future. The two panelists agreed that video has become important in driving clicks and shares, and that this has become a significant part of their online presence, even as print publications. Mudd emphasized that what readers care about has not shifted hugely. They still enjoy locally focused pieces about retail and crime. Gunn pointed out that the Pilot’s most popular piece of the last month was an article about a local crime. “The best thing about being in a conference like this and looking at the young people is, the heart of our business hasn’t changed in the least,” Gunn said. “We still come in every day, and we have a community to serve. We’ve got a politician to check out; someone’s being a jerk and we’ve got to write about it; or we’ve got an inspirational story. That’s the best thing about this profession. All the other stuff ’s kind of just the details.”
So you want to be an international reporter? By Janeal Downs, VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media & Culture From taking adventurous trips to the grocery store in China to covering the ravages of war in Afghanistan, top journalists shared their experiences as international reporters during a panel at the VPA/SPJ Region 2 Conference. David Lynch, a correspondent in the Washington bureau of the Financial Times, and Paul Wiseman, an international economics writer for The Associated Press, explained how they find and report stories abroad. The session was moderated by Suzanne McBride, an associate professor at Columbia College Chicago who has been a Fulbright scholar in Ireland and a lecturer in Thailand. “Every aspect of life when you’re living abroad is kind of an adventure,” Lynch said. He described being a London correspondent for USA Today as impactful not only for him but for his family as well. He and Wiseman, who also worked for USA Today, discussed the importance of separating work
from other responsibilities and taking breaks. “I felt obligated to work all the time,” Wiseman said. “Finally a little voice in my head said, ‘Yo, dude – take a day off.’” Both Wiseman and Lynch have extensive international experience. Lynch, who has a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University, has reported from more than 50 countries. He was the founding bureau chief in both London and Beijing for USA Today, covered the war in Kosovo and embedded with the U.S. Marines during the war in Iraq. Wiseman was based in Hong Kong as USA Today’s Asia correspondent from 1998 to 2009. Among other stories, he covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Asian financial crisis, political upheaval in Pakistan and the tsunami that slammed Indonesia in 2004. Lynch and Wiseman offered their advice to young journalists who want to be international reporters. They told aspiring foreign correspondents to avoid dangerous hotspots like Syria and Iraq, where many journalists
have been killed. Instead, Lynch and Wiseman recommended going to parts of the world that are safer but not widely covered, such as Turkey, Vietnam or countries in Africa. Wiseman said he found two places in the world where you could just walk down the street and find a story – China and Bangkok. “There’s no recipe” to breaking into the international reporting field, Lynch said. He and Wiseman recommended starting with freelance work or reaching out to Englishlanguage papers abroad. The panelists urged college journalists to learn different languages, especially ones not largely spoken by U.S. reporters, such as Chinese, Arabic or Hindi. The Fulbright program, funded by the U.S. government, is another resource for traveling. Just as Fulbright funds scholars like McBride to do research or teach abroad, it also funds students and recent graduates to travel to other countries. “I know of a number of students over the years who have pursued Fulbright as a way
to become foreign correspondents,” McBride said. “I think in this day and age, with news outlets not devoting as much money to bureaus outside of the U.S., it’s another way to do it on your own.” Young people also can gain international experience by enrolling in study-abroad programs and by joining the U.S. Peace Corps. Although many newspapers have closed their foreign bureaus, some new-media companies – such as Buzzfeed and Vice – are increasing their international reporting efforts. Moreover, a lot of news organizations, both traditional and emerging, may be interested in reports from freelance journalists abroad, the panelists said. Participants at the session noted that SPJ has a network to help freelance journalists. News organizations aren’t the only groups that need international journalists. So do organizations that monitor human rights situations around the world, Lynch said. Such groups hire researchers with journalistic skills who can interview people and write about the problems they face.
Getting ready for drones to take off
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
By Marhesha Maldonado, VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media & Culture Unmanned aircraft systems, commonly called drones, could be very beneficial to journalists covering storm damage, traffic accidents, fires and other stories. But the technology also raises important legal, safety and ethical issues. That was the gist of a panel discussion at the VPA/SPJ Region 2 Conference held Saturday (April 9) at Short Pump. Charles Tobin, a former journalist and now a media lawyer in Washington, D.C., noted that it’s illegal for news organizations to operate drones unless they have permission, called a 333 exemption, from the Federal Aviation Administration. “The baseline is the commercial use,” said 6 Tobin, a partner in the Holland & Knight law
practice and chairman of the firm’s National Media Practice Team. “The use of drones for money in the United States is banned.” The exception is for organizations that secure a 333 exemption – such as Creative Dog Media, an aerial photography firm in Richmond. Daryl Watkins, who formed the company, was a member of the VPA-SPJ panel. He said that to get a 333 exemption, an organization must have a licensed pilot fly the drone – a requirement that would be prohibitive for most news organizations. But the FAA is considering rules that would allow people without a pilot’s license to fly a drone for commercial purposes as long as they pass a test and follow safety guidelines. The guidelines include keeping the drone below 400 feet and away from airports. Tobin expects the FAA to announce the
rules as early as this summer. Gary Gillam and Jeff South, journalism faculty members at the Robertson School of Media and Culture at VCU, are hoping the school eventually can teach students how to fly drones. Gillam flies drones to take aerial videos and has begun to build his own drones as well. It’s perfectly legal to do this as a hobby; the current law prohibits only commercial uses of drones. “We’re looking down the road to the day when the bar for flying a drone for commercial purposes is lowered, and you wouldn’t have to be a certified pilot to fly,” South said. “We would like to see our students come out of school with that (commercial drone use) certification.” The panel was moderated by Evan Jones,
an assistant editor at The Southside Messenger who builds and flies model aircraft. He asked about the line between commercial use and hobby use of drones: What happens if a hobbyist shoots a video of a newsworthy event with a drone and then gives the footage to a newspaper or television station? Tobin said that under legal precedent, the news outlet could use the video as long as it did not pay for or solicit the material. “Journalists have illegally obtained materials by other people dropped in their laps all the time,” Tobin said. Another topic was privacy: Some governments want to prohibit drones from flying over private property and taking photos. “The privacy piece has literally been hyped up so much,” Watkins said.
Virginia Press Association
D. Lathan Mims Award for Editorial Service to the Community John Edwards
The Smithfield Times
VPA Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service
Non-Daily: The Recorder, Monterey
Daily: The Virginian-Pilot
Outstanding Young Journalist
Virginiaâ€™s Press â€˘ Summer 2016
VPA Outstanding Journalists Awards
Best in Show
ART & ILLUSTRATION Non-Daily
The Warren Sentinel
Best in Show
Tina Griego, Mark Robinson
Jessie Pounds, Sherese Gore, Rachael Smith
Best in Show
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
The News & Advance
Eastern Shore News
PRESENTATION & DESIGN Specialty
The Washington Post
Jamey Fry, Laurie Lawrence Washington Business Journal
The Washington Post
Page News & Courier
Best in Show
ADVERTISING Daily 1
Advertising Staff, Marc Calindas The Progress-Index
The Bristol Herald-Courier
Cathy Wall, Lora Gibson
Julia Wigginton, Judy Gerber
John Coleburn, Jeff Martin, Scott Matthew, Jeff Clements, Mark Hamlett
Best of the Best
John Coleburn, Jeff Martin, Scott Matthew, Jeff Clements, Mark Hamlett, Courier-Record
Joel Smith Style Weekly
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
Best in Show
The News & Record
Best of the Best
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
Outstanding Young Sales Professional of the Year
Outstanding Sales Professional of the Year
GRAND SWEEPSTAKES Non-Daily 1
Northern Virginia Daily
The Free-Lance Star
The News & Advance
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
NEWS SWEEPSTAKES Daily 1
Northern Virginia Daily
The News & Advance
The Virginian-Pilot Nelson County Times
Eastern Shore News
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
NEWS SWEEPSTAKES Specialty
ADVERTISING SWEEPSTAKES Non-Daily 2
Northern Virginia Daily
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
ADVERTISING SWEEPSTAKES Daily 2
Specialty Style Weekly
The Free Lance-Star
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
Virginian of the Year Award
Robert S. Ukrop Jr
James E. Ukrop
First Amendment Award/ Lifetime Membership Award
The Free-Lance Star (retired)
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
Scenes From the Red Carpet
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
How to Engage Your Community Online recording anything. Anyone is suddenly this sentinel of information.” Twitter and Facebook are great for promoting your content, but they also are useful for finding people and connecting with potential sources. Bennett said Facebook is an effective tool to track down anyone and everything you might need for a story. While you are building your network, it is also important to build your personal brand. By having followers know what to expect from your content, they are more likely to follow you. Bennett suggests that you use social media to keep viewers connected with you throughout your day and build interest in your final story. “Make sure you don’t give away your whole story, but entice them to watch or read the final product,” Bennett said. “Make sure you go full circle and link back to the completed product so people online can find it later.” Another essential part of using social
Two pros offer ten tips for editing copy (including check the math) By Janeal Downs, VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media & Culture A good news story means more than presenting information as an inverted pyramid and applying AP style. In today’s newsrooms, reporters also must be copy editors and turn in articles that are as ready for publication as possible. At the VPA/SPJ Region 2 Conference, two experienced editors offered advice on how journalists can better copy-edit themselves. Karen Denny, director of the Annapolis Bureau of Maryland Capital News Service, and Suzanne Wardle, copy editor and books editor for The Roanoke Times, led a session titled “Stop Errors in Their Tracks: Copy Editing for Everyone.” Both Wardle and Denny have had their fair share of editing reporters’ work: Wardle joined The Times’ copy desk in 2006, and Denny has been an editor for the McClatchyTribune News Service and the Washington Times. Here are 10 of the many tips they offered during the session: Look at all elements of a story. Don’t forget that every piece of content must be copyedited, including infographics and cutlines. Don’t just edit your article and forget the rest. Double check everything. Every time a name appears, make sure the spelling is consistent. Not only are the words important, but the math is as well. “Ask someone to read over your shoulder,” Wardle said. “That’s allowed; that’s OK; that’s not a weakness.” Know your reporters (or yourself). Do you or your reporters tend to mix up they’re, their and there? How about issues with passive voice? Remember these things, and look for them in copy to save time. As a reporter, work on breaking bad habits. “It’s better to be right than to be first,” Wardle said in discussing digital reporting. With the rise of social media, reporters feel even more pressure to be first in breaking
news. But they must remember that accuracy is paramount. Not only should reporters strive for accuracy on the web, but Denny said journalists should have a policy for how to make corrections on social media posts. “What would I tell my parents to Google?” When writing headlines for the web, think search engine optimization, or SEO. Web headlines need more information to attract online readers. Wardle suggested that reporters think about what words they would search for in Google to find the article – or better yet, what words they would tell their parents to search for. And then use those words in the headline. Before turning in copy to an editor, Denny suggested many things to avoid. For example, avoiding using the same word in a sentence; avoid generalities or cliches; avoid technical language; and avoid euphemisms. Another thing to avoid: passive voice. Denny recommended using Ctrl-F – the “find” command on your keyboard – and searching for “by.” This usually signifies a passive sentence. Know the rules for writing a good lede. Denny mentioned such guidelines as: Don’t have a lede with more than 30 words, don’t begin with a quote and don’t use exclamation points! Know which is better, a direct quote or paraphrase. “I hear this all the time from students: ‘I’m almost done with my story; I just need a quote,’” Denny said. “No, you never need a quote. What you need is two things – information, and you need to give people the chance to explain why.” Take advantage of paraphrasing and making the information clear. Moreover, don’t quote what you’ve just written, and try to keep quotes to fewer than 15 words. Take a break between writing and editing. When editing, you might read from the last sentence up; print out your story and edit it with a pen; or scrutinize it line by line.
media is effectively targeting your audience. Devasher says it’s essential to know when your audience is paying attention. “See when your fans are online and what their makeup is,” he said. “We will save some of our best stuff for prime time, which is 9 o’clock at night.” The best way to track such data is to use tools like Facebook Analytics built into brand pages, or the more comprehensive Google Analytics. They help you measure not just when your followers are online, but what kinds of stories they are interested in. By measuring both the reach of posts and link clicks, you can effectively target your content to increase engagement. “We worry more about clicks than reach,” said Devasher, who is also an adjunct journalism instructor at VCU’s Robertson School of Media and Culture. “We want to entice them to click on it, but our revenue depends on how many clicks our website gets. If we’re not getting clicks on a story, then we try to do some-
thing different.” Social media engagement can have downsides, too. When you post content online, you often draw negative attention from trolls. Farzad’s advice is to ignore them as much as possible. “You always want to discuss ideas civilly over Twitter with your followers, but as soon as it turns to personal insults, walk away,” he said. Nastiness online might not always be directed at you either. Comment sections are a breeding ground for personal insults, racist language and other hateful words. According to Devasher, you should not respond. Instead let the readers fight it out for themselves. “We’re kind of like a schoolyard monitor in that way,” he said. “Often the community hashes out conflicts on their own.” Follow the speakers on Twitter: Robert Bennett: @WAVY10Bob Bryan Devasher: @bryandevasher Roben Farzad: @robenfarzad
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By Margaret Carmel, VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media & Culture Before the internet, readers and viewers had no way to interact with the journalists who brought them the news. But today, social media enables journalists to connect with their audiences for a variety of purposes. From gathering sources and building a personal brand to communicating with consumers, it has become an essential skill in the modern journalist’s toolbox. At the VPA/SPJ Region 2 Conference, three experts shared their wisdom on how to more effectively utilize social media. The panelists were Bob Bennett, senior producer for WAVY-TV/WVBT-TV in Norfolk; Roben Farzad, host of the show “Full Disclosure” on NPR One; and Bryan Devasher, breaking news reporter at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “I always wonder what my morning of 9/11 would have been like in the era of the smartphone,” Farzad said. “Anybody can be
Member news The Coalfield Progress, The Dickenson Star and Post and the papers’ website Coalfield.com have named Sam Dixon as their new sports editor. He replaces Kevin Mays, who recently announced his resignation from the newspapers to accept the general manager position at WDIC radio in Dickenson County. Assuming the sports editor’s position will be the second tenure in the role for Dixon. The Norton native served as sports editor of The Coalfield Progress during 1977-81, winning seven Virginia Press Association awards for writing, photography and page design. Sarah Hanbury, has been named Sales Manager for The Prince George Journal. Hanbury spent two and a half years working with children from the ages of 0-5 years old with the Improvement Association. She spent two years as Executive Director for the Halifax/Northampton Pride, Inc. organization, and worked as an office manager for different businesses and as a daycare teacher. Hanbury graduated from Amelia County High School and followed up by obtaining an Associates Degree in Business Management and a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration. Robert Jiranek, a veteran newspaper executive and Virginia native, has been named publisher of The Daily Progress. Jiranek succeeds Keely Byars, who was appointed vice president of advertising of the Omaha World-Herald in January. Jiranek, 53, has a long career in the media industry, including five years as vice president of sales at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee, and two years as a publisher of the Howard Newspaper group in Chicago. From 1995 to 2006, Jiranek was publisher of C-ville Weekly, an alternative weekly newspaper in Charlottesville. BH Media executive Dale Lachniet has been named publisher of The Free LanceStar and vice president of BH Media’s Eastern Community Group. Lachniet, 52, has been the vice president of operations for BH Media, overseeing the company’s Publishing Solutions Group, including the customer information systems team, and The Press of Atlantic City (New Jersey).
The Eastern Community Group includes The Free Lance-Star, the Press of Atlantic City and the Morning News in Florence, S.C. Ben May, has joined the staff of The Sussex-Surry Dispatch as a news editor. May graduated from the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University in December. In addition to extensive project work connected with his education, May has extensive experience writing for Capital News Service out of Richmond and worked as an editorial intern for Richmond Magazine.
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
David Oalmann, a veteran pressroom manager, has been named production director of The Roanoke Times. Oalmann, 62, has worked at the Roanoke newspaper for nine years, and has been a dedicated professional and leader as press operations manager, said Publisher Terry Jamerson. Meredith Rigsby, news editor with The Mechanicsville Local and The Hanover Local announced she will be departing the company and moving to Pittsburgh.
Cindy Morgan and Howard Buffett
Cindy Morgan, publisher Martinsville Bulletin and VPA President-Elect with Howard Buffett attending the 2016 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting in Omaha, NE. Steve McMillan, news editor for The Associated Press in Virginia and West Virginia, has been named Mid-Atlantic news editor, overseeing a newly expanded region as part of a realignment of several AP regions. The expanded Mid-Atlantic region will include Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. The realignment will allow AP to take a more thematic approach to coverage in the region that borders the nation’s capital, as well as to bring all the reporters in Virginia under one operation. McMillan will oversee the region from his base in Richmond, Virginia. McMillan, 59, joined AP in 2014, guiding coverage of the University of Virginia rape case, the surprise election defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Be-
Obituaries Jennifer Frey, a former Washington Post reporter who wrote with verve and flair for the newspaper’s Sports and Style sections for 13 years, died March 26 at a hospital in Washington. She was 47. The cause was multiple organ failure, said her executor, Jody Goldstein. Ms. Frey was hired by The Post in 1995 from the New York Times. At both newspapers, she distinguished herself as a sportswriter in an era when women remained unwelcome in many locker rooms. Frances Terry Hosking, 88 passed away on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Frances was em18 ployed with the Danville Register & Bee from
fore that, he was an editor at The Denver Post. Current Mid-Atlantic news editor Amanda Kell will remain a news editor under McMillan and will help oversee Maryland, the District of Columbia and Delaware from her base in Baltimore. West Virginia will join Tennessee and Kentucky as part of the new Appalachia region. That region will be overseen by current Tennessee and Kentucky news editor Scott Stroud.
1969 to 1990. Joel Walter Turner, 74, of Roanoke, Va., died on Sunday, March 27, 2016. He retired as a reporter for The Roanoke Times after 33 years, having worked in the Staunton and Salem bureaus and covering Roanoke City government and Roanoke Valley Schools. He later spent seven years as a reporter for The Franklin News-Post, Rocky Mount. Floyd “Dave” Sparks, 76, Johnson City went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. Dave was an award-winning sportswriter, editor, and columnist for The Bristol Herald-Courier and The Daily Progress.
Digby A. Solomon, 62, has served as publisher and CEO of the Newport Newsbased company since 2007 is retiring after a four-decade career in journalism. Vice President of Content Marisa Porto, the top editor in the newsroom, will add to her responsibilities the role of publisher. Porto was named vice president of content for the Daily Press Media Group in 2011, overseeing the newsroom personnel of the Daily Press, the Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg and the Tidewater Review in West Point. Under her leadership, the Daily Press has won the Virginia Press Association’s First Amendment and Community Service awards, an honorable mention in Editor & Publisher magazine’s latest list of the ten most innovative news organizations, as well as numerous awards for writing, reporting, photography and design and is currently president of Virginia Press Association. Veteran sportswriter Titus Mohler has joined The Farmville Herald as sports editor. Mohler has worked the last four years as a sports writer for the Suffolk News-Herald, a daily newspaper in southeast Virginia. He succeeds Hannah Davis, who will continue her duties as editor of The Charlotte Gazette and The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and take on new responsibilities as a marketing consultant for Farmville Newsmedia LLC, which owns all three newspapers. Mohler, who will also assist with general news coverage, said he is “grateful for the opportunity to serve Farmville and the surrounding counties by covering the accomplishments of their sports teams and studentathletes.” Sam Wall has been hired as a community news reporter for the News Messenger and Radford News Journal. Wall is a Portsmouth, New Hampshire, native and a Salem High School graduate. In 2015, he received a bachelor of science in media studies from Radford University and previously worked as an intern and freelance writer at the Salem Times-Register.
Lakeway Publishers recently promoted Cary Webb to publisher of the Northern Neck News, Westmoreland News and Northumberland Echo. Prior to her new role, Webb served as advertising manager of the three newspapers. The Breeze, at James Madison University, has been named the Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper in the nation The honor, announced by the Society of Professional Journalists, was given for work completed during 2015. The award will be given to the newspaper at the annual Excellence in Journalism convention in September. Central Florida Future at the University of Central Florida and The DePaulia at DePaul University were runners-up in the national competition. Those competing for the award were winners from SPJ’s 12 regional competitions held earlier this spring. At the Region 2 competition, The Breeze was named the best non-daily among entrants from Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Sean Cassidy (’15) was the editor during the 2014-15 school year, and Wayne Epps Jr. (’16) was the editor during the 2015-16 year. Cassidy currently works as a user-experience designer at the Federal Reserve. Epps, who graduated in May, will spend the summer as a sports intern at the New York Times. The incoming editor for 2016-17 is Robyn Smith (’18). “Our students continue to prove they are excellent journalists with promising futures,” said General Manager Brad Jenkins. “In a time when many question where journalism is headed, seeing our students in action gives me hope that the next generation of storytellers will be instrumental in setting the course.” Daily Press and The Roanoke Times cowinners of APME First Amendment Award The Daily Press & The Roanoke Times were named co-winners 40,000 to 149,999 circulation of a First Amendment Award in the 2016 Associated Press Media Editors Innovation in Journalism Awards contest. Award details: “Finding their secrets,” Roanoke Times and “Daily Press vs. Supreme Court of Virginia,” Daily Press “When the administrative office of the Virginia court system slammed the door on access to a statewide database of court records - reversing a previous policy of open access - neither the Daily Press of Newport News nor the Roanoke Times took it lying down. Instead, the two news organizations did an end run around the state roadblock, enlisting the help of Code for America, a group of volunteers dedicated to advancing government transparency. The group devised algorithms that scraped court records around the state, enabling the two news organizations to produce high-impact journalism. The Roanoke Times was able to show how two major health care providers were able to hide wrongful-death settlements, which are open under Virginia law, by filing them in distant courthouses. The Daily Press reported that black defendants in the region were treated more harshly than
Member news whites in plea bargains and for parole violations and that only 5 percent of rapes in the region ever resulted in someone being sent to prison.” Rep. Beyer Hails News-Press’ 25 Year Contribution at Fête U.S. Rep. Donald S. Beyer, Jr., who represents the 8th District of Virginia that includes the City of Falls Church, raised a toast to the 25th anniversary of the Falls Church News-Press before more than 100 gathered to celebrate the occasion at the City’s Ireland’s Four Provinces restaurant. Beyer was joined in his salutations to the News-Press by Falls Church Mayor David Tarter and State Delegate Marcus Simon. In a letter to Benton that he read to the assembled, Mayor Tarter said the 25th anniversary marks “an important milestone and achievement that reflects deep commitment and dedication.” Tarter noted that “along with coverage of local and national issues, the Falls Church News-Press provides the community service of being the newspaper of record for the City of Falls Church as the certified publisher of the City’s official legal notices...Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with a given article, there is no question that the coverage itself promotes debate, discussion and awareness that are the lifeblood of our democracy.” Del. Simon presented a framed copy of Virginia Joint Resolution No. 343, commending the News-Press, as “an independent weekly newspaper in Falls Church that has served the community for 25 years by providing local news and acting as the city’s ‘paper of record,’ committed to social justice and an active partner in community affairs.”
Prince William Today has a new name The weekly newspaper is now named InsideNoVa/Prince William to better reflect its joint ownership with the popular regional news website, InsideNoVa.com. At the same time, the front page of the paper will be redesigned to incorporate a new feature called “InTheKnow,” which will spotlight interesting articles in the paper and on the website. Womack Acquires Surry-Sussex, Dinwiddie and Prince George Papers Womack Publishing Company completed the acquisition of The Surry-Sussex Dispatch, The Dinwiddie Monitor, and The Prince George Journal on March 8. The newspapers will continue to provide the local community news residents of the region have come to expect for decades. “We are pleased that we were able to acquire three outstanding community newspapers and continue the long tradition of public service they have provided their communities,” said Womack Publishing Director of Operations Chad B. Harrison. Based in Chatham, Womack Publishing is a family-owned company that publishes 18 community newspapers in Virginia and North Carolina. Womack Publishing also publishes telephone directories, monthly magazines, visitors’ guides, as well as various digital media. The Surry-Sussex Dispatch, The Dinwiddie Monitor and the Prince George Journal will join Womack Publishing’s other newspapers in the region, including The Independent-Messenger in Emporia, The Brunswick Times-Gazette in Lawrenceville Va., The South Hill Enterprise, The Warren Record in Warrenton, N.C., The News Progress in Chase City, Va. and The Lake
Gaston Gazette-Observer in Littleton, N.C. Roger Bell will serve as regional editor of all three publications and Michael Campbell will serve as news editor, and digital media director for all three of the new acquisitions. Womack Publishing Company’s other newspapers include The Star Tribune in Chatham, The Altavista Journal, Smith Mountain Eagle in Moneta Va., The TimesVirginian in Appomattox Va., The Union Star in Brookneal Va., The Caswell Messenger in Yanceyville, N.C., Mebane Enterprise in Mebane, N.C., The News Of Orange County in Hillsborough, N.C. and The Montgomery Herald in Troy, N.C. Northern Virginia Media Services announces leadership changes Northern Virginia Media Services, which publishes weekly newspapers, a monthly magazine and associated digital products, has made a number of leadership changes: Connie Fields, formerly an advertising sales team leader, has been named Regional Advertising Manager with responsibility for display advertising across all newspapers and digital products. Sylvia Witaschek, formerly sales team leader for Washington FAMILY Magazine, has been named Associate Publisher of the magazine. Washington FAMILY is a parent-
ing publication distributed throughout the metro area. Kari Pugh, formerly editor of the Prince William Today weekly newspaper and InsideNoVa.com, has been named Senior Editor with oversight of all of the company’s editorial products. She remains editor of the Prince William paper and InsideNoVa. Tonya Fields, formerly a classified sales representative, has been named Classified Sales Manager for the group. Colleen McGrew, formerly digital producer and social media manager for Washington FAMILY, has been named Marketing Manager for the entire company. “These promotions streamline our reporting structure and lay the foundation for us to continue to build our market presence and brand throughout Northern Virginia,” said Bruce Potter, chief operating officer of the company. “Each of these individuals has an outstanding record of accomplishments during their time with us, and we look forward to continued success in their new roles.” Northern Virginia Media Services, based in Leesburg, publishes six weekly newspapers – the Sun Gazettes in Fairfax and Arlington counties, InsideNoVa/Prince William, the Stafford County Sun, the Belvoir Eagle and the Quantico Sentry – as well as Washington FAMILY Magazine and InsideNoVa.com, a regional news website.
Publisher: New Virginia media group in Fauquier Co. seeking experienced Publisher responsible for directing all operations in a group that currently includes weekly newspapers, affiliated quarterly niche publications, several special sections as well as an aggressive digital strategy. Successful candidate must have strong background in media marketing, circulation development, financial management, new product development,
manufacturing interface, community relations and team building. Ideal opportunity for a talented individual weary of “old media” cut-to-profit philosophies. Will report to Board of Directors dedicated to growing the organization. Send cover letter and resume to: email@example.com. Editor: New Virginia media group in Fauquier Co. seeking experienced, innovative Editor-In-Chief who will be responsible for managing content in a weekly newspaper, affiliated quarterly niche publications, several special sections as well as growing an aggressive digital presence. Must have a strong background in directing coverage of key community interests, including county and municipal government, education, public safety, transportation, business and the cultural/ social landscape. Will be responsible for selecting and growing a team of professionals, meeting production
deadlines, developing and adhering to departmental budgets and representing the department as part of top management team. Must have a proven track record. Ideal opportunity for a bold, intelligent Editor stuck in “old media” environment of mediocrity. Send cover letter and resume to: geo@ grthompson.com. The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., is seeking a versatile design and editing professional with newspaper experience to work nights and weekends. This editor will copy edit, design and package content for several publications and websites. Specific skills exercised include line editing, copy editing, headline writing, page design, wire editing and page proofing. Experience in designing information graphics a plus. Some experience with website and social media management ability a plus.
Proficiency and experience in newspaper production required. Examples of design work must be provided with application. InDesign experience required, familiarity with Photoshop and Illustrator a plus. Two to five years of newspaper experienced preferred. Qualified candidates may apply online at fredericksburg.com BHMG/ The Free Lance–Star is an Equal Opportunity Employer The Free Lance-Star/Print Innovators is seeking a full time Sales Customer Services Representative with exceptional sales and customer service skills. The sales representative will provide primary assistance to the commercial sales representative, production manager and commercial customers. The ideal candidate will assist in the handling of or commercial customer accounts post sale as well as assisting in various tasks providing ex-
cellent internal and external customer care. BHMG/Free Lance-Star/Print Innovators offer a great work environment plus a full-time benefit package. Come join our team if you meet the following requirements: Possess excellent customer service skills Possess strong communication skills – written, oral and telephone; strong computer skills including PC/ MAC/Adobe, CS/MS Suite/Networked Systems and keyboarding skills Minimum of 1 year customer sales/ retention experience Minimum of 1 year customer service and sales experience in a Commercial Printing Operation, preferred Graphic arts math skills and, required Hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm and other hours as needed. Qualified candidates should visit Fredericksburg.com to apply online EOE 19 Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
Help wanted ads appear in Virginia’s Press and on VPA.net. Postings are free to members; non-members pay $20 for the first 25 words and $1 for every three words thereafter. Listings run one month on VPA.net and in one issue of Virginia’s Press (our quarterly newsletter), if the schedule permits. To submit an ad, contact Kim Woodward at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 521-7584.
Photo by August J. Photography
From left to right: Mary Ann Beirne, wife of the Horton P. Beirne; Bill McKelway; Don Just; Jeffrey Blount; June Nicholson; George Woltz; and Adriana Trigiani.
Virginia Communications Hall of Fame honors seven media professionals Compiled from article by: Caley Sturgill, Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture Seven distinguished media professionals were recognized on April 7 as the newest class of inductees to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. The 29th annual ceremony was held at Richmond’s Quirk Hotel, where inductees delivered acceptance speeches to more than 200 guests, discussing their longtime careers in the industry. The annual Virginia Communications Hall of Fame celebration recognizes communications professionals with exceptional careers in advertising, journalism, public relations and other media-related fields.
Horton P. Beirne, was inducted posthumously, honoring his devoted career as publisher of the Virginian Review in Covington and as former president of the Virginia Press Association. Beirne’s award was accepted by his wife, Mary Ann Beirne. Bill McKelway, print journalist spoke to his love of telling stories during more than 40 years of reporting for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. McKelway reminisced to the audience about the highlights of his time reporting across Virginia and his family connections stretching back to the 1800s that led him into the field of journalism. June Nicholson, a journalism professor in the Richard T. Robertson School of Media & Culture, was honored for 31
years of shaping and influencing VCU’s mass communications students. Others inducted: Jeffrey Blount, an Emmy Award-winning television director of NBC News George R. Woltz, a co-founder of The Martin Agency Don Just, who served as president and CEO of The Martin Agency, before joining VCU as a professor of creative brand management at the nationally acclaimed Brandcenter. Adriana Trigiani, an author of 14 novels and two nonfiction books, and is the writer, director and producer of multiple television shows and one feature film.
Panel assesses state of open government in Virginia By Matt Chaney, VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media & Culture A panel of FOIA experts expressed mixed opinions about the state of open government in Virginia at the VPA/SPJ Region 2 Conference on Saturday (April 9). The panelists said that while gains have been made for transparency, much remains to be done to hold government officials on all levels more accountable. They also emphasized that while the Freedom of Information Act is important to journalists, it exists to benefit the public. “It’s up to us to keep pushing. While the law is the law, we can put the pressure on to say it’s the public who has the right to know,” Dave
Ress, a reporter for the Daily Press of Newport News said. Megan Rhyne, executive director at Virginia Coalition for Open Government, agreed, expressing the importance of government transparency to both political parties. “I am encouraged by the number of good bills proposed by a variety of legislators, from both sides of the aisle,” she said. “FOIA is not a partisan issue.” The panel applauded some bills considered by the Virginia General Assembly during its 2016 session. The legislation included: A bill to establish local FOIA officers for all local governments, which passed; A bill to require that closed legislative
meetings be recorded, which failed; And a bill to prohibit unrecorded votes by legislative bodies. Ironically, that proposal was defeated on an unrecorded voice vote. At the same time, the FOIA panelists deplored other legislation proposed during the most recent session, including: A bill to eliminate public availability of records of names and salaries of public officials, which failed; A bill to conceal the identity and records associated with police officers, which passed; And a bill that would have given public bodies the right to decide their own FOIA exemptions, which failed. The FOIA experts urged news organiza-
Case study in tragedy: WDBJ
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2016
By Alyssa Sims, VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media & Culture “Don’t listen to what we have to say here and be afraid,” Kelly Zuber, news director of WDBJ in Roanoke, told a mix of veteran journalists and journalism students attending the VPA/SPJ joint conference on Saturday (April 9). Zuber spoke at a panel about the impact that the shooting of WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward had on the journalism community. Parker, 24, and Ward, 27, were killed while doing a story last August by a disgruntled former station employee. The panel, which was moderated by broadcast journalist Nicole Livas, included Ryan Parkhurst, an assistant professor of journalism at James Madison University, and Brad Jenkins, general manager of the school newspaper, The Breeze. They reminisced about Parker’s time at the university and her budding love of the industry. “With Alison, it was all love. She was a phenomenal and 20
amazing person,” Parkhurst said. Parker and Ward were killed while broadcasting live, and the gunman later posted his first-person video of the murders on social media. Several hours later, he fatally shot himself during a car chase with police. While WDBJ staff members were grieving the loss of two colleagues, they also had to cover the story. When covering a tragedy in their own newsroom, journalists must wrestle with tough ethical issues, the panelists said. Perhaps the most difficult decision was whether to give the shooter’s name. Under typical circumstances, reporting a killer’s name seems like a no-brainer. But the decision isn’t so easy when the story involves your own station, Zuber said. “Being victims and being a newsroom doesn’t mix well,” she said. Reporting on the killer didn’t sit well with some people at WDBJ, but Zuber said it established connections with other
tions to be willing to take government agencies to court to defend the public’s right to know. “I like seeing these cases pursued in court because I think it’s important to the overall health of open government,” Rhyne said. The panelists also said it’s important for journalists to report in their stories instances when governments deny requests for information. The more people know about the issue, the more people will push for information to be open. “Get more people involved. Report violations. If we can’t take them to court, let’s report on this,” said Ginger Stanley, executive director of the Virginia Press Association. “Without doing this, how can we effect change?”
organizations that had been involved with the shooter. She said these connections helped police in their investigation. Parkhurst said journalists must develop strategies for covering mass killings in ways that do not turn the shooters into “cult heroes.” This is a danger whenever there is a mass shooting. “Covering it the way that we are is in some ways spurring on a future shooter,” Parkhurst said. “Our first instinct is to go cover, cover, cover” – which may be exactly what the killer wants. Besides spurring conversations over ethics, the murders of Parker and Ward have prompted discussions about reporter safety. Zuber said that under WDBJ policy, reporters have full discretion to call off a live shot if they feel unsafe. Safety concerns may increase as the industry hires more multimedia journalists who work alone in reporting stories and shooting video. Such journalists may be even more vulnerable, the panelists said.