Page 1


Digital dimes

Page 4 The proliferation of digital devices has changed the way people consume journalism.

AP probe

Page 6 Executive Director Ginger Stanley asks DOJ to return Associated Press phone records.

Award photos

Page 7-13 Winners pose with their awards at the VPA conference.

Virginia’s Press

Summer 2013

Virginia Press Association 11529 Nuckols Road Glen Allen, VA 23059 Volume 100 • Number 2

President reflects on VPA’s accomplishments Keith Stickley has worked in the newspaper business for more than 50 years and there are probably few things that he has not seen or experienced. Still, what the publisher of The Free Press, a weekly newspaper serving the Woodstock community in Shenandoah County, and the current president of the Virginia Press Association Board of Directors enjoys most about going to work each day is the variety that comes with the job. “I don’t want to say every day is exciting, but it’s more varied than the weather,” Stickley said in May. “Every day brings something new and interesting, if you’re in this kind of business.” Stickley, who was inducted into the VPA’s Golden 50 Club in April, is nearing the end of his one-year term as the head of the association’s board of directors. As he reflected on his term, he said his job was made easier by the VPA staff and its efficient operation. He oversaw a year in which the 132-yearold organization’s finances stabilized and the Virginia Newspa-

VPA President Elect Nick Cadwallender (right) congratulates VPA President Keith Stickley upon his induction in April into the association’s Golden 50 Club, recognition for those who have worked in the newspaper business for 50 or more years.

per Foundation was created to accept charitable donations and grant funding to further journalism’s cause. However, Stickley does not take full credit for the financial measures enacted at the end of the fiscal year that concluded June 30, 2012. The board of directors, near the end of Past-President Peter Yates’ term, agreed to provide an additional “holdback” percentage from 1 percent to 2 percent of total sales on display advertising when it became clear that the association operated with a net loss. Attention was also directed at increasing newspaper participation in the association’s 2x2 Advertising Network and Statewide Classified Ad Network during the past 12 months, which was capped by the addition of The Virginian-Pilot to the networks. “The results of these financial efforts, in the first 10 months of this fiscal year, have restored the VPA to a positive cash flow,” he said. “That is our biggest achievement, so far, this year. It would not have occurred had we not taken some of these steps late in Peter’s term. I certainly don’t want to take credit for that entirely.” During its April meeting, the board voted to create the Virginia Newspaper Foundation and allocated up to $20,000 from the VPA future fund toward the creation of the foundation. Stickley said he hopes the board in July will approve the operational structure of the foundation, which will be established as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization. “Essentially, the foundation would be another income-generating component to sustain journalism into the future,” Stickley said. “The Foundation would use those funds to educate and train journalists in Virginia and offer training to people who are actively engaged in newspaper work or people who have an interest in journalism.” Virginia Press Association Executive Director Ginger Stanley described Stickley as a consensus builder, persuader and a gracious host. “His leadership on the board of directors has guided us into better times and has brought fun back to an industry that needed a reason to rejoice,” she said. “He has done this by example and amazing support, and yet, he is quick to give the credit to

others.” One idea that Stickley can take the credit is the “The Awesome Party” after April’s awards banquet to cap the annual VPA news and advertising conference, held this year in Norfolk. As he puts it: “I’m all about fun. I enjoy working, but if you can’t celebrate a little bit … it’s not worthwhile.” His paper was the first to contribute $200 to the cause, and

Continued on page 3

Stepping out newspaper style

Fashion and journalism meet at the annual VPA awards banquet in April, held this year in April. Staffers from The Tidewater News in Franklin celebrate winning the sweepstakes award for Non-Daily papers with a circulation below 5,000. See more on pages 7-13

Ad sales reps advised to go on the offense Daniel Grissom made a bold claim before a room full of advertising salespeople on a recent May morning. He was going to arm them with a minimum of three tips to help improve their sales performance – not necessarily sales results – by 30 percent during the next 30 days. That improvement will be spread over three areas: plan, do and review. To gauge the effectiveness of the session, each attendee wrote down one of the discussed topics they were going to implement for themselves and another topic they would implement as a group with their colleagues. These were mailed to them two weeks after the conference. Grissom, a world-class sales coach and the best-selling author of

“STEP-UP! – How to Win more and Lose Less,” energized the 31 representatives from newspapers across Virginia during the Classified Conference (i.e. idea-generating session) at the Virginia Press Association’s Glen Allen headquarters. Described as a dynamic and inspirational speaker, Grissom made the point during his seminar to acknowledge participants by their first names and joked about his similar appearance to comedian Steve Harvey. But he was serious about wanting to see the “corporate athletes” in attendance be successful. Lynn Hurst, advertising director at Montgomery Publish-

Continued on page 2

Daniel Grissom

VPA Board of Directors Officers President

Keith Stickley The Free Press, Woodstock


Nick Cadwallender The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg

Vice President

Jay Bondurant The Bedford Bulletin


Anne Adams The Recorder, Monterey

Immediate Past President

Peter Yates Daily News-Record, Harrisonburg

Asst. Secretary/ Treasurer

Ginger Stanley VPA

Directors Daniel Finnegan, Richmond Times-Dispatch Gail Harding, The Enterprise, Stuart Steven Kaylor, Danville Register & Bee Cindy Morgan, The Progress-Index, Petersburg Bill Owens, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk Matt Paxton, The News-Gazette, Lexington Marisa Porto, Daily Press, Newport News Steve Stewart, The Tidewater News, Franklin Michael Stowe, The Roanoke Times Jenay Tate, The Coalfield Progress, Norton Steve Weddle, The Central Virginian, Louisa Diane White, Womack Publishing, Chatham

VPA/VPS Staff Ginger Stanley, Executive Director Kim Woodward, Assistant Director Diana Shaban, Advertising Director Jeremy Slayton, Editor Ron Clark, Accounting Manager Janet Madison, Member Services Manager Adriane Long, Advertising/Network Coordinator Diane Spencer, Tearsheet Coordinator How to reach us: Phone: (804) 521-7570 Fax: (804) 521-7590 or (800) 849-8717 Website:

VOLUME 100, 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 2012, Virginia Press Association

Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013



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.

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE VPA and The Cavalier: old friends to the end Until his death in 2011 at the age of 89, Press Association and the American NewspaCarlos Wilson lived much of his life by a sim- per Publishers Association. As the hotel’s reputation improved, so too ple set of rules. He showed up for work on time, did more did its clientele. Judy Garland and F. Scott than he was paid to do and developed a knack Fitzgerald each paid a visit. Virginia’s newspaper executives, though, for remembering names. More important, he didn’t lie and he con- didn’t return to The Cavalier until the 1950s sidered respect to be more valuable than mon- when it became one of a select few grand old hotels of the Commonwealth considered worey. And in his mind, anytime was a good time thy of the organization’s patronage. Others were The Hotel Roanoke, The Chamberlin Hoto smile. Carlos Wilson was a friend to all he met. tel, Old Point Comfort, The Homestead, The Many of them were folks who owned, man- Jefferson, John Marshall and Natural Bridge. In July 1973, the Virginia Press Association aged or worked for Virginia newspapers. Carlos went to work at The Cavalier Ho- helped christen The Cavalier’s Oceanfront Retel on Virginia Beach in 1938 at age 16. For sort Hotel and a new, enduring friendship had begun. 73 years, he held evExcept for a few ery job on the hotel’s summers since, VPA staff, from dishwasher to superintendent nd in his mind, anytime has met each July at the hotel, in better of guest services. He economic times usdied two days after was a good time to smile. ing the occasion as a his last day on the job. launching pad for offThe Cavalier Hotel, Carlos Wilson and the Virginia Press As- shore island junkets for newspaper publishers sociation enjoyed a long and storied rela- and their families. Just six years earlier, the association’s directionship, one that continues to this day in his absence. What could well be the last chapter tors met on the Eastern Shore, a get-together of that relationship will play out July 12 and that would become yet 13 when VPA’s annual Executive Retreat con- another VPA tradition. With few exceptions, venes there. A family feud bouncing around in Virginia the association’s direccourts since 2005 could result in The Cavalier’s tors have since met each fall in the homeclosure. The story of the Virginia Press Association town of the VPA presiand The Cavalier Hotel, though, is one that dent. To be sure, The would impress even Carlos Wilson. The original Cavalier, an imposing edifice Cavalier Oceanfront is Carlos Wilson perched atop a hill on the north end of Vir- not the luxury hotel it ginia Beach, opened in 1927. A year later, the was when VPA first visited there in 1973. Like hotel hosted a joint meeting of the Virginia most of us, it’s showing its age.


The restaurant where well-dressed folk drank good wine, ate gourmet food, listened to a piano and watched the ocean ebb and flow is closed. They no longer play Big Band music on the patio. Guests arrive in smaller, older cars. The hotel that Keith Stickley once denied men a room if they didn’t have on a tie, today is the destination of many men who’ve never worn one. As they say, though, The Cavalier is what it is. It’s comfortable, convenient, friendly and it knows how to treat newspaper people. Like a good marriage, after 40 years you get to know one another. Horton Beirne, publisher of The Virginian Review in Covington, his wife, Mary Ann, their daughters and grandchildren have made VPA’s Executive Retreat at The Cavalier a part of their family vacation for at least a quarter century. They’ll be there come July. Depending on how the courts rule, it could be their last visit. Virginia newspaper publishers and managers who enjoy history and value tradition should think about joining us one last time at the beach in July. My good friend Lou Emerson will tell us how to improve our online presence without going broke. We’ll talk a little business, soak up some sun, belly up to a buffet, share some ideas and raise a glass, perhaps two. And, of course, we’re sure to talk about old times. We’ll miss Carlos. But he’d be glad we came.

Don’t sell, create value Continued from page 1 ing, said he has never voluntarily taken as many notes while listening to a speaker as he did during Grissom’s all-day training. “I found myself nodding in agreement most of the day because even though I’d heard several of his points before, his delivery brought it all together in a clean, concise package,” Hurst said. As the sales market evolved, so too must the sellers in order to compete, Grissom said. One key for sellers is to differentiate themselves to standout in what he called “the sea of sameness.” There is also a new competitor standing in the

way of classified and advertising salespeople. “The new competitor is called nobody … encouraging your customers, your prospects to do nothing,” Grissom said. To break through, he said, sellers need to better define and understand their V = B-C (Value = Benefits - Costs) – a formula he borrowed from the book “Rethinking The Sales Force.” Salespeople should go on offense regarding the worth or benefit, rather than playing defense on the cost, Grissom said. “Selling is dead; value creation is alive,” he said, noting that sales calls are now becoming idea-generation or market-intelligence calls.

OUR PURPOSE We connect our members through valuable business services, effective representation, practical communication and information, and relevant education and recognition.

OUR VALUES The values important to the work of the VPA are fairness, dedication, integrity and honesty. Advertising salespeople from newspapers across Virginia listen to sales coach Daniel Grissom share ideas about improving sales performance.

Sales coach Daniel Grissom addresses a room full of advertising salespeople during the Classified Conference at VPA headquarters in Glen Allen.

“The more value you create the more business you can get.” He offered each attendee three value drivers they can employ on the phone, in person or as a coach to other sellers: Insight: bring market insights that help a customer anticipate change; what’s going on out there? New Ideas: provide new ideas that help customers achieve a competitive advantage Intelligence: provide access to your internal (network) intelligence. “I will highly recommend that anyone who works in a sales environment take any opportunity to hear Daniel speak,” Hurst said. “From his ‘V=B-C’ to the ‘half-hour huddle,’ every word from his mouth made perfect sense and I’m looking forward to implementing his strategies here at Montgomery Publishing.”

FOR THE RECORD done a great job with the 2x2 network. Ginger Stanley also noted the increase in the number of participating members of the 2x2 network. Bill Owens announced the Virginian-Pilot would be joining the 2x2 and SCAN networks. Adams noted the 990 form has been submitted and the IRS refund of $2,800 has been received. President’s report: Keith Stickley noted Ginger Stanley initiated a VPA day at the capital this year and several publishers and managers attended.  He said it was very successful and very effective. Stickley said we were able to turn back most of the legislation the VPA was concerned about. He hopes to have even more participation next year. He also commented on the staff at VPA and how impressed he is with their hard work and enthusiasm. Executive Director’s Report: Executive Director Stanley spoke of the VPA day at the capital this year and noted she saw attitudes and votes change because of one-on-one meetings with the legislators. Stanley said she would like to see more people participate next year.  One big breakthrough was with the delegate from Virginia Beach who introduced the RFP public notice bill the last two years. The delegate  said if the public notice bills failed this year he would not bring it forward again. She also spoke with Peter Easter who is with a management company representing broadcasters.  Stanley and Easter discussed the possibility of legislators talking to the broadcasters and VPA members together as a group in regards to access bills. Legislative Report: Executive Director Stanley noted all the bills and positions and status are included in the Board’s workbook. Stanley felt overwhelmingly it was a very successful year. She did, however, express disap-

Stickley reflects on year Continued from page 1 others quickly followed his lead. The party was hosted by 15 Virginia newspaper organizations that comprise the association’s board of directors. Though the party featured complimentary wine and beer, it also brought together journalists of all ages from across the state to dance, share ideas and build camaraderie. A problem facing the newspaper industry here and across the country, Stickley said, is attracting young journalists into the field because of the impact of declining revenues on benefits and salaries. “If you are successfully recruiting young

people into the field, you need to give them the tools to get excited about what they are doing,” he said. “To me, one of the best ways of accomplishing that is interacting with other people in the craft. “I don’t think I’ve ever had an original idea in my life, but I’ve borrowed a lot of really good ones from people I’ve met.” His first newspaper job came in December 1962 with The Winchester Star. He dropped out of college as a 20-year-old to start a family. “I begged a job at the newspaper because I thought that was one thing I might be able to do and never stopped,” said Stickley, who is not yet thinking about retirement.

Jeremy Slayton new VPA publications editor The Virginia Press Association in April announced the hiring of Jeremy Slayton as its new publications editor. Slayton, who is a native of Danville, joins the VPA after spending more than six years as a metro news reporter at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He joined the Times-Dispatch in January 2007 as an obituary writer and most recently covered local government and schools in Chesterfield County. A 2000 graduate of Virginia Tech, Slayton worked as a sports reporter for daily newspapers in North Carolina. “This is a new challenge and I am looking forward to working with newspapers and journalists throughout Virginia,” Slayton said. You can contact him by phone at (804) 521-7584 or through email at

pointment in not being given the opportunity to speak in regards to the concealed carry permit. Stanley felt that we gained ground on public notice this year. She said this year there were 2 fewer bills and 3 fewer issues, the votes were better for us this year, and the conversations around the bills were milder. She noted Delegate Steve Landes did not put in his annual bill. However, Stanley spoke with Delegate Landes to let him know we would support his bill that gave stricter requirements to the board of visitors of higher ed and better training for them to understand how to work within the FOI act. Committee Reports: Classified Committee: Gail Harding inquired about the number of attendees at the classified conference. Ginger Stanley estimated there usually between 20 and 30 in attendance and noted at one time there were over two hundred. Stanley said there are more members in the 2x2 network this year and she will be calling all the members who are new to the 2x2 network to encourage their participation. Upon motion duly made by Nick Cadwallender and seconded by Gail Harding, the Board approved to increase the rate from $275 to $300 for the classified scan. Membership Committee: President Stickley noted Rappahanock News is now in good standing. He noted membership applications for associate memberships have been submitted by Chesterfield Monthly and Stardom 101 magazine. Upon motion duly made by Nick Cadwallender and seconded by Peter Yates, the Board approved associate member Chesterfield Monthly .Upon motion duly made by Michael Stowe and seconded by Matt Paxton, the Board approved associate membership to Stardom101 magazine. Ginger Stanley noted members not in good standing have been notified by certified letter. Upon motion duly made by Matt Paxton and seconded by Bill Owen, the Board approved to remove the names of Heart and Soul of the City, AEP-Appalachian Power, Virginia Tourism Corp., Susan A. Gibbs, Pamela H. Owen, Gayle Jessup White, and Marcus J. Wilson, Sr. from the membership. Stanley also noted the practice has been if a member is removed from the membership and then pays within next 6 months they could be reinstated without coming back before the membership committee. Nominating Committee: Peter Yates committee is proposing the following slate of officers have been nominated for 2013-2014. President, Nick Cadwallender; PresidentElect Jay Bondurant; Vice President, Eric Lieberman; Secretary, Anne Adams; Treasurer, Michael Stowe; Past President, Keith Stickley and Assistant Secretary/Treasurer, Ginger Stanley. Jenay Tate was nominated for a second three year term. Maria Hileman, Managing Editor of The Winchester Star was nominated to replace Peter Yates who rotates off the board in July. This slate will be presented to the membership tomorrow. Yates then noted Eric Lieberman is moving to Florida and will not be able to serve. Additional officer nominations will be accepted from the floor at tomorrow’s meeting. Upon motion duly made by Gail Harding and seconded by Steve Stew-

art, the Board approved to appoint Jay Kennedy, The Washington Post, to fill the unexpired  term of Eric Lieberman, effective today. Staff Reports: Advertising: Executive Director Stanley said Diana Shaban continues to do an amazing job. Kim Woodward also now supports this area and is spending more of her time on advertising. Stanley noted there is currently no outside sales staff due to the budget and she hopes in the future to add a staff member for outside sales. She also noted political advertising could be greater but the rates are an issue and she recommended this as an area for discussion. She noted there is much discrepancy in some papers between the local political rate and the national political rate and it has been a real challenge for VPA to represent the papers. One agency in particular noted their dissatisfaction with the rate discrepancies of the newspapers. It was agreed this would be a great item for discussion at the Publisher’s Roundtable in May. Stanley emphasized political advertising could be an important part of the bottom line for newspapers if treated fairly. Old Business: Keith Stickley addressed the possibility of creating a foundation that was discussed during the October meeting last year. Stickley said he has spoken to CPA’s and attorneys to gather information in regards to forming a foundation. He noted that money in the past has not been a problem for VPA but now times are tough and it is time to look at another revenue stream. He said a non-profit foundation would allow us to accept gifts such as legacy gifts and other charitable tax deductible gifts. The foundation gifts would be used for educational and training purposes only. The only argument against creating a foundation would be that it would create more work. He noted other newspaper association foundations do well with all kinds of things such as a golf tournament, auctions, etc. and he said PNA has a great foundation with three staff members. Stickley highly recommended creating the foundation and noted that by-laws and a plan would need to be created. He stated he could have a plan to the VPA board in 45 days which would allow time at the July meeting to select officers of the foundation and a liaison member. The foundation would be named the Virginia Newspaper Foundation. New Business: Nominations are open to VPA members to replace Bill O’Donovan on the VCOG board of directors’ .Gail Harding inquired about the possibility of having scholarships. Upon motion duly made by Anne Adams and seconded by Nick Cadwallender, the Board approved to authorize the executive director of VPA to engage services to begin the process to form the Virginia Newspaper Foundation. It was then discussed that we currently have about $59,000 in the future fund and part of this money could be used for the seed money. Keith stated the estimate to be about $15,000 to create the foundation. Upon motion duly made by Gail Harding and seconded by Nick Cadwallender, the Board approved the VPA use up to $20,000 of the future fund money toward the creation of the foundation. The meeting was adjourned at 10:27 a.m. 3

Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013

Virginia Press Association Board of Directors meeting April 19, 2013 Marriot Norfolk Waterside Norfolk, Virginia Minutes submitted by Cindy Morgan. The Virginia Press Association Board meeting was held on April 19, 2013, at the Marriot Norfolk Waterside in Norfolk, Virginia. Board members in attendance: Keith Stickley, Nick Cadwallender, Jay Bondurant, Anne Adams, Peter Yates, Ginger Stanley, Steve Kaylor, Gail Harding, Bill Owens, Cindy Morgan, Matt Paxton, Marisa Porto, Steve Stewart, Michael Stowe. Ron Clark, VPA accountant was also present at the meeting. Call to Order: President Keith Stickley called the meeting to order at 8:45 a.m. Minutes: Minutes of the October 19, 2012 at The Hampton Inn & Suites in Woodstock were presented by Keith Stickley for approval. Upon motion duly made by Gail Harding and seconded by Steve Kaylor, the Board approved the minutes without amendment. Financial Report: Treasurer Anne Adams, along with Ron Clark, presented association financials through March 31, 2013. Treasurer Adams reported the financial statement for VPA and VPS showed revenue over expenses of -$44,168 and net income of $21,777. She also added the revenue over expenses last year at this time was around -$200,000. Upon motion duly made by Peter Yates and seconded by Michael Stowe, the Board approved the financial statements.  Adams stated Ginger and staff have done a great job in cutting expenses and increasing the revenue through the 2x2 network. She noted Adriane Long has

Minutes, VPA Board of Directors

Social media reaches readers newspapers want most Elizabeth Conner understands the importance of social media to journalism. As the faculty editor on the interactive copy desk at the Columbia Missourian – the city’s morning newspaper and a lab for Missouri School of Journalism students – she works with the community outreach team to develop and execute strategies for the newspaper’s social media accounts. “Social media is a mindset, not a platform. All the things that we cover are inherently social … and fodder for what we talk about,” she said during an April workshop at the Virginia Press Association’s annual conference in Norfolk. “Social media platforms are communication tools.” During the 90-minute seminar, Conner presented five ways that social media makes news better: achieve real collaboration/ conversation with readers; celebrate community together; share iterative news; find people who care about your news; and it’s where the readers newspapers most want to reach are. Conner, who spent nearly four years as a copy editor and designer with the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, said the key to social media success is finding an incentive for the reader to click on a story. “There is not a right or wrong way to promote … on social

media; it depends on the audience,” she said, noting that not every social media platform is right for every newspaper. “Focus on your goals and what you want to accomplish.” Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are good ways to connect with potential sources for stories or generating discussion by posting questions to readers, she said. But for smaller newsrooms, engaging readers on social media does present challenges. Jeff Lester, news editor of The Coalfield Progress in Norton, said he has a full-time newsroom staff of two people. He wanted to know how to use his limited resources to build on social media without hurting the print product. The answer, Conner said, is to make social media a part of the regular process. “Think of it as an opportunity not ‘awww crap, I’ve got to deal with this,’” she said. However, she also cautioned not to spend too much time on social media if readers aren’t being engaged through those platforms. Uriah Kiser, publisher of the online Potomac Local News, said social media becomes part of your day. He’ll tease stories on social media sites, such as Facebook, to draw readers to the website or schedule stories to post on social media the following day, instead of waiting to do it.

Jeff Lester and Katie Dunn, of The Coalfield Progress in Norton, listen to a speaker discuss the importance of social media in journalism.

Good use of social media, Conner said, is not just to share stories, but to get readers to continue to come back to the newspaper’s website. “Social media can be a … curator of readers,” she said.

Online obituary columns a ‘goldmine’

Brian Steffens talks to journalists and newspaper executives during a workshop in Norfolk about ways to generate revenue online.

The proliferation of digital devices has changed the way people consume journalism. For advertisers and newspaper organizations, it presents multiple revenue streams just waiting to be tapped. During this explosive digital age, “advertising is much more disrupted than journalism,” Brian Steffens, the director of communications with the Colombia, Mo.-based Reynolds Journalism Institute, said during an April workshop at the Virginia Press Association’s annual conference. “Journalism is not broken; journalism is storytelling,” Steffens said. “It’s always adapted. One thing that is never going to change is that we’re going to change … and have to be ready to change.” Steffens offered several ideas to journalists and newspaper executives to turn those digital dimes into big dollars. Newspapers, Steffens said, need to offer value on every digital device and platform. “Take what is unique and maximize that,” he said, noting that newspapers should get a tracking system that can create daily, weekly and monthly reports that show where the digital readers are. “Capitalize on your traffic.” One of the first opportunities mentioned by Steffens was to

couple advertising with obituaries to create an online revenue stream. Practically every newspaper represented in the 90-minute workshop said obits are among the top online draws in terms of clicks from readers. These webpages could include paid sponsorships, display ads or premium announcements (longer notice, photo and online/print inclusion). “If it’s the highest volume page, nickels, dimes and pennies add up,” Steffens said, calling this opportunity a “goldmine.” Other, often underutilized opportunities include text alerts or email blasts. Advertisers can buy sponsorships, or in the case of an email, ad positions. Both options would allow the consumer to opt-in to receive the advertisements. One area that is currently generating a lot of buzz, Steffens said, is contests. When people sign up, they can allow the company to send them emails about other offers or they can share the contest with friends to extend the company’s exposure. Some Virginia newspapers have their own unique spin on digital dimes. A business reporter with The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, for example, creates a business-centric enewsletter and receives a percentage of the revenue generated by advertising.

Most newspapers today charging for online content

Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013

When The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk announced in late April that it would start charging frequent readers of its digital edition this summer, the paper joined a growing number of publications across the country that no longer provide all their online content for free. In an article about the decision posted on the newspaper’s website, Virginian-Pilot Editor Denis Finley said, “Our work has great value. We can’t give it away anymore.” A study conducted by the Reynolds Journalism Institute shows that nearly half of the country’s newspaper are charging for digital content. “Paid content is not a trend, but a movement,” RJI Director of Communications Brian Steffens said during a workshop at the Virginia Press Association’s annual conference in April. “It’s a movement that is overdue.” According to the RJI study, 47 percent of the 458 daily publishers surveyed said they require online users to pay to access content. Steffens said smaller newspapers have led the charge – 59 percent of daily newspapers with a circulation under 5,000 charge for online. Content generated by smaller newspapers 4 “is not or cannot be duplicated elsewhere,” he

said, noting four benefits of a paid model: new revenue, your site becomes more valuable to advertisers, quality of reader comments improve and online users are no longer freeloaders, they are customers. Steffens also pointed out that paid models come with disadvantages – online users are no longer freeloaders, they are customers (and can’t be so easily ignored) and negative comments are likely when a pay model is launched. Steffens offered journalists and newspapers executives seven recommendations to consider when moving to paid online content. • Make your site worth paying for: You have to make your digital good enough to expect readers to pay for it. • Go with “opt out,” not “opt in”: Give print subscribers the option of NOT choosing a digital membership, but assume they will want to do so. • Choose a meter over a hard wall … but keep your meter tight: Offer access to a limited number of stories for free during a month. “Different markets respond differently,” Steffens said. • What to keep inside/outside the wall: Ex-

amples of open access stories – breaking news, section fronts, wire stories, classifieds. Restricted-access stories – unique local content, news, sports, obits and ability to comment. • Don’t be afraid to ask for real money: It is possible to charge too little.

• Membership has its privileges: Set expectations by conditioning digital subscribers to feel they are members, not just paying customers. • Develop your own customer acquisition strategies.

More journalists using personal devices for work Burleson Mackay, an assistant professor in the department of communications at Virginia Tech, 85 percent of journalists said they used a smartphone for their job, but only 24 percent responded that the smartphone was

Advertisers aim to capitalize on consumers using mobile devices Mobile devices have given new meaning to surfing the web. Nearly one out of every three minutes online is mobile, according to Gordon Borrell, a media industry analyst and the chief executive of the Williamsburg-based consulting firm Borrell Associates. Capitalizing on that digital time is one of the major aims of advertisers, he said. “There is a role for news, but that is not where the money is,” Borrell said in April at a seminar during the Virginia Press Association’s annual conference in Norfolk. “The use of mobile devices for commerce is where advertisers want to be.” Newspapers remain the top distribution source for coupons, he said, and the biggest challenge for mobile devices is that its value has not been sold. Borrell suggested that traditional newspaper organizations can leverage its strengths, such as its marketing staff, and sell it to local businesses. Instead of a display ad in a print edition, a newspaper can build a mobile app

for the local business. “Building a mobile app is the equivalent of building a website 10 years ago,” Borrell said, but cautioned newspapers to partner with a third-party with the technological strengths. “You have the content, promotional and sales force. What they have is the technological” expertise. Borrell Associates’ directory for companies and people that can help mobile and digital sites become more effective can be found at: To make matters more difficult for advertisers is reaching consumers in a distracted society. Borrell said the average worker stays on task for 11 minutes and spends 28 minutes trying to get back on task. How businesses are advertising is also changing, Borrell said. They spent 6 percent less on advertising from 2002 to 2012, he said, but 88 percent more on promotions, such as coupons, discounts, contests and sponsorships. Newspapers “are megaphones and help get the message across,” he said.

provided by their employer. The responses show that journalists “are using personal devices for much of their work,” Mackay said during a workshop at the Virginia Press Association’s annual conference in Norfolk. Mackay, who has worked as a journalist in television and newspapers in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, received responses from 156 participants -- reporters, editors, photographers, columnists and copy editors. She sent surveys to 843 people, a response rate of nearly 19 percent. Her research considers how technology influences journalism. The highest percentage of respondents said they used a mobile device to text colleagues, but devices were also used for taking pictures, submitting stories, texting sources and recording interviews. Her research also found that 47 percent of those who responded said they have posted a story to the internet without editing, while eight percent said they post multiple times a day without editing. Mackay also explored the types of apps journalists used on their smartphones or mobile devices. She received a variety of responses, and here are some that she highlighted during her presentation: • Apps to access social networking sites (such as Twitter and Facebook) • Hootsuite (manage multiple social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin) • Tweetdeck and Tweetcaster Camscanner (for iPhone or Android devices; create PDFs, upload to Google docs)

• Evernote (create notes that include photos; synchs with online program) • Easy Voice Recorder (Android only; record interviews/meetings; creates WAVE and MP4 files) • Dragon Diction (iPhone only; records voice to notes, sends emails or texts) • Police Scanner (to listen to police radios) • Wordpress (post directly to a blog; insert photos or links) • Dropbox (store files, such as images, text and video; save to all devices; save to Internet) • Camera apps (Camerapro, Photogene, Hipstamatic, iTimelapse) • Panoramic Camera apps (Pano, 360 or Spincam) • Splice (iPhone, iPad only; video editing, share option) • Free wifi finder (iPhone, iPad only; find free wifi near you) • Waze (community-based maps; contribute info as you drive; receive alerts and road conditions) • CIA World Factbook (like the website; includes information on 270 countries) • Bluefire Reader (an E-reader; works with Adobe protects files, allows you to share excerpts via email, Facebook, Twitter) • News apps (for specific news organizations) • Pulse (displays news from multiple RSS feeds in a single page) • Flipboard (users can catch up on news or stay connected with people) • Rebelmouse (organizes a social media presence into a dynamic social site)

Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013

Smartphones are more than just a communication device for journalists – they are becoming an essential tool to gather information. According to a study conducted by Jenn


ALL ABOUT MEDIA VPA responds to DOJ probe Virginia Press Association Executive Director Ginger Stanley on May 16 sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole requesting the Department of Justice “immediately return” the telephone toll records obtained by the department and destroy all copies, as requested by The Associated Press. The department seized two months’ worth of telephone records of more than 20 lines belonging to The Associated Press and its journalists as part of a year-long investigation into the disclosure of classified information about a failed al-Qaeda plot last year. The Washington Post reported on May 13 that the AP’s president said federal authorities obtained cellular, office and home telephone records of individual reporters and an editor; AP general office numbers in Washington, New York and Hartford, Conn.; and the main number for AP reporters covering congress. On May 14, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press sent a letter to Holder and Cole calling for the immediate return of the records. It was signed by numerous other national media organizations. “In the thirty years since the Department issued guidelines governing its subpoena practice as it relates to phone records from journalists, none of us can remember an instance where such an overreaching dragnet for newsgathering materials was deployed … particularly without notice to the affected reporters or an opportunity to seek judicial review,” the committee wrote. Holder that same day defended his department’s actions. The House Judiciary Committee held a Department of Justice oversight hearing on May 15 with Holder as the sole witness. During the hearing, several members of Congress from both sides of the aisle expressed outrage over the Justice Department’s actions in the AP case, and expressed renewed support for a federal shield bill to protect journalists’ confidential sources. Holder responded that the DOJ and the Obama Administration continue to support a federal shield bill. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced on May 15 that he will reintroduce his shield bill, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support in the 111th Congress. In the House, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, a member of the House Judiciary Committee and a former judge, introduced the Free Flow of Information Act of 2013 (H.R. 1962). The VPA encouraged its members to draft similar letters and send them to the Department of Justice.  Here is the text of the letter Stanley sent to the Department of Justice.

People, events in the news May 16, 2013 Eric Holder, Attorney Genera l James M. Cole, Deputy Attorn ey General U.S. Department of Justice Via email: Via fax: (202) 307-6777 Dear Sirs: The Virginia Press Association champions the common inte rests of Virginia newspapers the ideals of a free press in a and democratic society. As that is our mission, we were shocke appalled by the Department d and of Justice’s broad subpoena of telephone records belonging journalists at The Associated to the Press. This action seriously underm ines the First Amendment righ ts of the news media and the pub lic’s interest in reporting on all manner of government conduc t, including matters touching the national security which lie on at the heart of this case. The Department’s actions dem onstrate that a strong federal shield law is needed to protect porters and their newsgathering rematerials in a court of law wh ere the adversarial process ens a fair weighing of the issues. ures Journalists cannot operate free ly if fear exists that the govern ment can broadly subpoena records that could be relevant to an investigation in an effort to see information that might interest to them. The actions tak be of en by the Department have har med its working relationship the news media, which time and with time again have undertaken goo d-faith efforts to cooperate wit government lawyers in a way h that protects the public’s inte rest both in law enforcement independent, autonomous new and in sgathering. While Congress should provid e that protection to journalists through legislation, there is still much that the Department can do to mitigate the damage it has caused. We join the growing chorus of the nation’s news media organi zations asking the Department to immediately return the tele phone toll records obtained and destroy all copies, as requested The Associated Press. We also by request that the Department announce whether it has serv other pending news-media rela ed any ted subpoenas that have not yet been disclosed. We look forward to your promp t response. Sincerely, Ginger Stanley, Executive Dir ector Virginia Press Association


Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013

Post critic wins Pulitzer Prize Philip Kennicott, the chief art critic at The Washington Post, won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. According to The Pulitzer’s website,  Kennicott  was noted for “his eloquent and passionate essays on art and the social forces that underlie it, a critic who always strives to make his topics and targets relevant to readers.” Kennicott joined The Post in August 1999. He has also been chief classical music critic for the  Detroit News  and the  St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he also worked for two years as an editorial writer. Before that he was a New York-based editor at Musical America and Chamber Music magazines. In 2000, Kennicott was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorials opposing a concealed-carry gun initiative in Missouri (which failed despite heavy support from gun-rights organizations). In 2006, he was an Emmy Award nominee for a Web-based video journal about democracy and oil money in Azerbaijan. He has also won a Cine Golden Eagle for his video work. In 2010, he won the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors’ general commentary award. Kennicott now writes extensively about architecture and the intersection of architecture and culture. He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy from Yale in 1988. Before attending Yale, he spent two years at Deep Springs College in California.

part of what the company calls its ongoing strategic transformation. Publisher and President Roger Watson said a sale would give the paper the chance to position itself digitally without maintaining a largely empty print production facility. The News Leader uses about a third of the 23,000 square feet it owns at its current location. Much of that space is empty because the company contracted out its printing operation to a newspaper in Harrisonburg in 2009.

Herald-Progress returns to its original home The Herald-Progress comes home. The weekly, community newspaper on May 1 returned to the original Herald-Progress

Leesburg Today opens new office Leesburg Today celebrated in April the opening of its new downtown office and the start of its 25th anniversary year with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Staunton newspaper to sell buildings The News Leader in March announced plans to put its

6 property at 11 N. Central Avenue in Staunton up for sale as

building on Thompson Street in Ashland where it operated for most of the 20th Century until 1991 when it moved its printing operation to the Hanover Industrial Park. “It really seems natural for the Herald-Progress to be coming back home to downtown Ashland,” William “Bill” Trimble, the paper’s publisher and vice-president of Lakeway Publishers of Virginia, said in an April 1 Herald-Progress news story. “The newspaper always has had a close relationship with the community and this will only make it stronger.” The building on Thompson Street dates back to the early 1900s. Before it became the center of the newspaper’s operations, the building was a municipal headquarters. The move will not affect delivery of the Herald-Progress. In addition, the papers telephone and fax numbers will remain the same. Once staff has finished settling into its new location, they’re planning an open house, the details of which will be announced at a later date. “We’ve still got some boxes to unpack, pictures to hang, keys to cut, and all the other drudgery that goes along with moving, but it feels right to be putting a paper out again on Thompson Street,” Editor Lee Francis wrote in a recent editorial. “Thanks for having us, Ashland.”

Movers unload The Herald-Progress into its new/old location on Thompson Street in Ashland.

Continued on page 14

Award Winners Sal

f o t t s Be Bes the


Joel Smith, Tonie Stevens

Outstanding Sales Professional of the Year Doris Ann Kane

Accepted by Joel Smith, Style Weekly

Richmond Times Dispatch

Congratulations to VPA

News and Advertising Award Winners pages 8-13

Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013

Best of the Best




Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013


Non-Daily 1 Electronic

Non-Daily 2 Electronic

Non-Daily 3 Electronic

Accepted by Brooke Hill, Amherst New Era-Progress

Accepted by Jackie Newman, The Farmville Herald

Richmond Free Press

Daily 1 Electronic

Daily 2 Electronic

Daily 3 Electronic

The News & Advance, Lynchburg

The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk

Kelly Mays, Brooke Hill

Ann Wells, Marc Calindas

Accepted by Ann Wells, The Progress-Index, Petersburg

Steve Wall, Paul Anders

Brooke Hill, Tom Leedy

Speciality Electronic & Hard Copy

Non-Daily Hard Copy

Accepted by Joel Smith, Style Weekly

Accepted by Brooke Hill, Amherst New Era-Progress

Joel Smith/Joel Smith & Tonie Stevens

Jon Ness, Staff

Lewis Johnson

Sherri Holland

Daily Hard Copy

EJ Toudt, Jennifer Fenner, Cecelia Jolley Accepted by EJ Toudt, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk

Non-Daily 2

The Tidewater News, Franklin

The Breeze, James Madison University

Non-Daily 3

Daily 1

Accepted by staff

Accepted by staff

Loudoun Times-Mirror

Northern Virginia Daily, Strasburg

Daily 2

Daily 3

Accepted by staff

The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg

Accepted by staff

The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk

Accepted by staff

Accepted by Denis Finley and Maria Carrillo


Online Only

Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013


Non-Daily 1

Accepted by staff


Style Weekly, Richmond Accepted by staff

Potomac Local News, Prince William


Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013


D. Lathan Mims Award for Editorial Service to the Community Anita Shelburne

The Daily Progress, Charlottesville

VPA Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service Specialty

The Hook, Charlottesville Accepted by Lisa Provence, Hawes Spencer and Courteney Stuart


The Recorder, Monterey Accepted by John Bruce, Mike Bollinger, Margo Oxendine and Anne Adams


Daily Press, Newport News Accepted by staff



Alberto Cuadra, Kathryn Faulkner, Cristina Rivero, Michael E. Ruane

Jean Card, Laurence Foong, Craig Sterbutzel Fairfax Connection Accepted by Jean Card


Timothy Cook

Richmond Magazine Accepted by Steve Hedberg, Brandon Fox, Susan Winiecki, Anne Dreyfuss



Andrea Noble, Matthew Cella The Washington Times


Richard Foster

Richmond Magazine Accepted by Steve Hedberg, Brandon Fox, Susan Winiecki, Anne Dreyfuss


Tiffany Hudson

The Gazette-Virginian, South Boston



Troy Cooper Suffolk Living


The Washington Post

Accepted by Vernon Loeb


The Breeze, James Madison University Accepted by staff



Vicki Cronis-Nohe

The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk


Sandra Sellars

Richmond Free Press


Scott Elmquist

Style Weekly, Richmond

Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013


The Washington Post Accepted by Vernon Loeb



Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013

Scenes from the VPA’s red carpet



Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013

MEMBER NEWS Continued from page 6 Leesburg Mayor Kristen Umstattd, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York, and Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tony Howard joined other local officials, guests and employees for the event at 19 North King Street. After a nine-month renovation of the 200-year-old building by PR Construction and owner Fianna Investments, the newspaper moved into the 4,500-square-foot office in January.  “It is great to be back downtown, not far from where the company first set up shop 25 years ago,” Editor and Publisher Norman K. Styer said. “It also is gratifying to play a role in the preservation of an important part of Leesburg’s streetscape. Following the work that was done last year, this building is well prepared for the next two centuries.”

most recently was located in the Lansdowne development, several miles east of downtown Leesburg.

Roanoke Times reporter wins $30,000 prize Reporter Beth Macy recently won a $30,000 prize for an upcoming book about the effect of globalization on Southwest Virginia furniture manufacturing. Her book, “Factory Man,” focuses on Galax furniture heir John D. Bassett III. In April, Columbia University announced that Macy won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress award for the book she is writing. According to The Roanoke Times, the book is scheduled to be published next year by the Little, Brown & Co. Macy is nearing the end of a yearlong leave from the newspaper as she completes the book. According to the Roanoke Times, Macy has written for the newspaper since 1989 and won numerous national and state awards, including serving as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University during the 2009-10 academic year.

New leadership at the Virginia Mountaineer

Leesburg Today staffers and community leaders celebrate a ribbon-cutting at the newspaper’s new office.

The location also is the headquarters for Leesburg Today’s parent company, Northern Virginia Media Services, which also publishes the Sun Gazette newspapers in Fairfax and Arlington counties and Prince William Today, as well as the monthly Middleburg Life.  Its newspapers reach 175,000 highincome households in Northern Virginia every week.    The company also operates affiliated websites, including, which generate more than 1.5 million monthly page views. Leesburg Today was founded in 1988 and

Sam Bartley, a 38-year Virginia Mountaineer employee, has been named editor and publisher of the newspaper following the company’s recent reorganization. He becomes the sixth editor in the newspaper’s 91-year history, succeeding former editor and publisher Lodge Compton, who served in the role for over 40 years.  Bartley, part-owner of the Mountaineer for a number of years, is now joined by Scotty Wampler and Joe St. Clair as sole owners of the paper.    “It is with much admiration and great respect for those before me that I am humbled, honored and excited about carrying on the 91-year legacy of The Virginia Mountaineer,” Bartley said in April. “As our new partnership team embraces the opportunity given us, the endless pursuit to give readers the most factual and accurate reporting of community news events and to chronicle the present and future of Buchanan County, remains our main priority.”   The Mountaineer’s managerial team was also reshuffled under the new ownership structure. Wampler, who served as news editor since 2007, was named the Mountaineer’s managing editor. In addition, St. Clair, who served as staff reporter and in ad sales since 2011, was elevated to the role of general

manager.  Both Wampler and St. Clair, who now partner with Bartley in the company’s overall operation, will continue in their capacities as the primary news reporters for the Mountaineer. The Virginia Mountaineer, founded in 1922 by Grundy businessmen Hannibal Compton and Cecil C. Waldron, remains committed to providing the best possible product to its readers, Bartley added.    

Scholarship named for retired publisher The Wytheville Community College Educational Foundation has announced the establishment of the Rural Retreat Lions Club’s William H. ‘Bill’ Hall Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship was recently established by Hall’s wife of 53 years, Priscilla Musser Hall, who is an adjunct professor at Wytheville Community College, and other family and friends.    Hall was a devoted member of the world’s largest service organization, the Lions Club, for 50 years. He served two terms as a District Governor, 1977-1978, for the Roanoke-New River Valley Area, and 2009-2010 for the Southwestern Virginia area.    He was born in Rural Retreat on September 13, 1940, the son of the late Chester Lee Hall and Bessie Hazel Hale Hall. Bill was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church. He began writing for local newspapers while he was a high school student in Rural Retreat and retired in 2003 as President and Publisher for the Bristol Herald Courier, which capped a 45-year career in the newspaper industry.     The “Rural Retreat Lions Club’s William H. ‘Bill’ Hall Memorial Scholarship Fund” will provide scholarship assistance to deserving Wytheville Community College students who meet the following criteria:   are graduates of Rural Retreat High School and have a minimum 2.0 grade point average. First preference will be given to students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university and plan to pursue a career in journalism.    To find out more information about this and other available scholarships at WCC, to make a gift to the WCC Educational Foundation, or to donate to the “Rural Retreat Lions Club’s William H. ‘Bill’ Hall Memorial Scholarship Fund,” please contact the WCC Educational Foundation at (276) 2234771 or email

Free Lance-Star editor to receive George Mason Award

Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013

From Society of Professional Journalists, Virginia Pro Chapter Dick Hammerstrom, local news editor for The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, has been selected as recipient of the 2013 George Mason Award by the Society of Professional Journalists, Virginia Pro Chapter. The Mason award, established in 1964, is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions to Virginia journalism. Hammerstrom has worked for newspapers in Virginia and North Carolina and been an editor with The Free Lance-Star since 1997. Journalists throughout the state know Hammerstrom as the go-to guy for Freedom of Information Act and open government issues. He also helps promote better access to courtrooms and court-record laws for journalists and the public around the state. He has been the chairman of the Virginia Press Association’s FOI Committee for more than a decade and involved in open government issues since the 1980s. He also served as vice president of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government and as Virginia’s Sunshine Chairman for the Society of Professional Journalists. Hammerstrom has conducted training sessions on press law issues to journalism organizations, on college campuses and in The Free Lance-Star newsroom. 14 “Dick is a most worthy recipient of this award,” said

Nick Cadwallender, publisher of The Free Lance-Star. “He is a recognized expert on FOIA law and has always been willing to share his knowledge, especially with young journalists starting their careers.” Ginger Stanley, executive director of the Virginia Press Association, said Hammerstrom is well known to what she referred to as “the access community.” Stanley has known Hammerstrom since the mid-1980s and said he “has put his heart and soul” into the open government cause.  She praised him for leadership of VPA’s efforts fighting for open government and better access laws and noted his work to with other open government advocates and law enforcement officials to make police information more accessible to the public. SPJ Virginia Pro Chapter will present the Mason award to Hammerstrom at its 50th George Mason Award Banquet on June 18 at University of Richmond. The chapter and its Virginia SPJ,SDX Educational Foundation will also present two scholarships to Virginia college journalists.  Tickets are $50 a person and include an open bar reception, silent auction, dinner and the program. Proceeds benefit the scholarship foundation. For reservations and information, contact Brian Eckert at (804) 287-6659 orbeckert@ The Mason award is named for the Virginian who attended the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in

1787, but refused to sign the Constitution because it did not include a declaration of individual rights. The Bill of Rights, eventually added to the document, is based on the Virginia Declaration of Rights, written principally by Mason in 1776.

OBITUARIES Lodge Compton Henry Cabot Lodge Compton, 80, of Vansant, editor and publisher of The Virginia Mountaineer for more than 40 years, died March 22. He began working at the Mountaineer in 1944 at the age of 11 as an apprentice helper, or “printer’s devil” – the official newspaper jargon for the title. He continued to work for the newspaper as he grew up and also worked at the former Lynwood Theatre. Following his graduation from Grundy High School, he went on to Hiwassee College, but when ownership of the newspaper changed hands, he was asked to return to the Mountaineer as a part owner. He did so and continued in that capacity until 1971 when he assumed the role of editor and publisher of the Mountaineer and became its sole owner. During his tenure as editor and publisher, the Mountaineer achieved numerous statewide honors from the Virginia Press Association recognizing its work. He also served for six years on the statewide Virginia Press Association board of directors. Leon Townsend Charles “Leon” Townsend, 92, of Danville, a longtime photographer for the Register & Bee, died on April 1. He was a member of Moffett Memorial Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and a longtime Sunday School teacher. He was employed as head photographer for the Danville Register & Bee. Also, he served his country as a member of the United

States Navy during World War II. Townsend began working in the newspaper industry in 1934, when he was 13 years old, delivering The Danville Register in the morning and The Bee in the afternoon. Denice Thibodeau of the Register & Bee noted “from the mid-1950s through the end of the millennium, Townsend was a well-known photographer for the Danville Register & Bee, taking photographs on assignments that ranged from heartbreaking scenes from disasters to touching photos of everyday life in the Dan River Region.” Ann Gregory Ann Peyton Young Gregory, 77, editor and co-owner of the Clinch Valley Times newspaper passed away April 7. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in May 1956, with a degree in Radio and Television from the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Kentucky. Upon graduation, she accepted the position of traffic manager at WVLK Radio in Lexington, Ky. until September 1961. She was married to Allen Gregory on Jan. 29, 1957, and in October 1961, they moved to St. Paul, Va. She wrote from home for the Clinch Valley Times for a few years before accepting a position with the Children’s Television Workshop as administrative assistant from 1970-1974. In 1974, with her husband, Allen, and her mother, Pauline Young, they purchased the Clinch Valley Times newspaper, where she was editor until her passing. As well as newspaper editor she taught adult education (GED) classes for

a few years. In 1975, she was appointed to the Wise County School Board where she served for 30 years until 2005. While on the board she served as Vice Chairman for 13 years and chairman for one term. During her tenure on the Wise County School Board she served on the Virginia School Boards Association, where she was secretary, vice president, and president. John Waybright John David Waybright Jr., age 74, of Luray, Va., retired editor and general manager of the Page News and Courier in Luray, died Friday, May 10. He graduated as valedictorian of the New Market High School Class of 1957 and attended Madison College, now James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, VA. After a brief stint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Md., he began work as a proofreader at the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record March 10, 1961. He was named News-Record telegraph editor in 1962 and assistant managing editor in 1963. He became editor and general manager of the Page News and Courier in Luray after the weekly newspaper was acquired by the News-Record in 1967. He retired from that position March 10, 1996. Following his retirement, he worked as a public relations and editorial consultant, including assisting with the Luray Caverns 120th Anniversary celebration in 1998. He worked several years as a desk clerk at the Luray Caverns Motel West. He was co-author of a biography of Page County-born artist, George Quaintance.

Court of Appeals strikes down NLRB notice posting rule

Need a new press ID? Has your press ID expired? Fallen apart? Press ID application and renewal forms are posted on the Membership page at The form must be completed, signed by the publisher and notarized. The application can be faxed or emailed if the notary seal is in ink; if it is embossed, it must be mailed to VPA. Photos can be emailed to along with the application. Images must be head-and-shoulder shots and a minimum of 300 dpi. IDs are processed by the Virginia State Police and mailed to the publisher’s attention.

quirement to post the employee notice as evidence of unlawful motive in a case in which motive is an issue.” On April 17, 2012, the rule was enjoined pending this appeal. The appeals court vacated the Board’s notice-posting rule. The court went right to §8(c) of the National Labor Relations Act. That section was passed in 1947 as part of the Taft-Hartley Act and was implemented because Congress believed the NLRB was regulating employers’ speech too restrictively. The Court stated, “From one vantage, §8(c) merely implements the First Amendment… but §8(c) enactment also manifests a Congressional intent to encourage free debate on issues dividing labor and management.” The court noted that §8(c) not only protects the right of free speech under the First Amendment, but also “serves a labor law function of allowing Employers to present an alternative view and information that a union would not present.” The court ruled that forcing employers to post the notice is compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The Board stated: Instead, the board’s rule requires employers to disseminate such information, upon pain of being held to have committed unfair labor practice. But that difference hardly ends the matter. The right to disseminate another’s speech necessarily includes the right to decide not to disseminate it. First Amendment law acknowledges this apparent truth: “all speech inherently involves choices in what to say and what to leave unsaid…” Some of the Court’s leading First Amendment precedents have established the principle that freedom of speech prohibits the government from telling people what they must say… The First Amendment freedom of speech includes the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all… just as the First Amendment may prevent government from prohibiting speech,

the Amendment may prevent the government from compelling individuals to express certain views… Plaintiffs here, like those in other compelled speech cases, object to the message that government has ordered them to publish on their premises. They see the poster as one-sided, as favoring unionization, because it fails to notify employees of their rights to decertify a union, to refuse to pay dues to a union in a right-to-work state, and to object to payment of dues in excess of the amounts required for representational purposes. The court further explained that §8(c) necessarily protects – as against the board – the right of employers not to speak: “That is why, for example, a company official giving a non-coercive speech to employees describing the disadvantages of unionization does not commit an unfair labor practice if, in his speech, the official neglects to mention the ad-

vantages of having a union.” The court also summarily struck down the part of the rule that allowed the tolling of the statute of limitations. Referring to it as “bad wine of recent vintage,” the court noted that there is nothing in the legislative history of the 1947 Amendments justifying authority for the rule. Rejecting the NLRB’s argument that employees lack knowledge of the National Labor Relations Act, the court stated, “Even today, courts do not generally recognize lack of knowledge of the law as a basis for equitable tolling.” In this writer’s opinion, the NLRB ignores and harbors hostility toward the First Amendment rights of Employers under §8(c) of the National Labor Relations Act. The court with this decision proves once again that the First Amendment rights of Employers are paramount.

American FactFinder Basics: Your Portal To Household Data June 6, 2013: 9:30 a.m.-noon at VPA Headquarters x A hands-on, computer-based workshop to teach you how to use the Census Bureau’s premier data-digging tool: the American FactFinder x >ĞĂƌŶƚŽĂĐĐĞƐƐƟŵĞůLJƐƚĂƟƐƟĐƐĂďŽƵƚLJŽƵƌ community, down to the Census tract level. x Training includes a review of the latest enhancements to the American FactFinder, ĂŚŽǁͲƚŽƚŽĂĐĐĞƐƐĚĂƚĂ͕ĂŶĞdžƉůĂŶĂƟŽŶŽĨ Census geographies and datasets. x Review some of the Census Bureau’s easy-to-use data tools – QuickFacts, Easy ^ƚĂƚƐĂŶĚƚŚĞ/ŶƚĞƌĂĐƟǀĞDĂƉ͘

Ally Burleson-Gibson, data dissemination specialist for the Census Bureau.

This workshop is FREE, but advance registration is required. Click on training at for more information or contact Kim Woodward at (804) 521-7574 or

Participants should bring laptops or tablets to maximize this hands-on experience.

Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013

By L. Michael Zinser The Zinser Law Firm, P.C. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on May 7 reversed a decision of the National Labor Relations Board due to that agency’s practice of ignoring the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. This marks the second time in a 6-month period the court has made such a ruling. The notice-posting rule would require nearly 6 million employers to post a paper notice on their properties and websites, serving as a virtual roadmap on “how to unionize.” The rule declares that it is an unfair labor practice for an employer to fail to post the notice. The rule contains two additional enforcement devices. The board may suspend the running of the 6-month statute of limitations for the filing of any unfair labor practice charge concerning the notice. Additionally, the board may consider an employer’s “knowing and willful refusal to comply with the re-


Hall of Fame

Virginia Communications Hall of Fame award recipients, from left, Dorothy Abernathy, Associated Press bureau chief for Virginia and West Virginia, Doug Harwood, editor and publisher of the Rockbridge Advocate, Ismail Amir-Tariq, 2013 Hall of Fame Scholarship recipient, Don Belt, senior editor for National Geographic, Steve Bassett, Group

Photo taken by Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch Creative Director at The Martin Agency and Tom Silvestri, president and publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, pose after receiving their awards during the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame dinner at the John Marshall Hotel in Richmond on Thursday, April 11, 2013.

We’re good but few know it

Virginia’s Press • Summer 2013

Newspaper publishers agree that they provide a higherquality product than their competitors, but they don’t market themselves very well. Greg Pearson, publisher of the weekly Chesterfield Observer, said it’s almost as if the newspaper industry needs to conduct a public relations campaign to tell the public why newspapers are important. “People say, ‘well, I went online and Googled the answer,’� Pearson said in reference to a documentary entitled “Black & White And Dead All Over.� “Google didn’t give the answer. Most likely, newspapers gave you the answer. The public doesn’t get that. We need to do something about that.� Pearson was one of 14 publishers from metro and community news organizations to attend a roundtable discussion in May at the Virginia Press Association’s Glen Allen headquarters. The newspaper officials discussed a variety of topics, including paywalls and ways to improve circulation. The fourhour session was moderated by Digby Solomon, publisher and chief executive officer of the Daily Press Media Group, and co-sponsored by the VPA and Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. Pearson, who also publishes the Chesterfield Monthy and Henrico Monthly magazines, said he has often had to call on broadcast television stations when they “steal� his newspaper’s stories. “We ought to be talking about that. You can look around the room, if you are in a meeting, and (see) if no one is there from broadcast,� Pearson said. “We all know the other media


Digby Solomon, publisher and chief executive officer of the Daily Press Media Group, examines a Google map that shows commuter parking lots. The map was created by the online Potomac Local News and was one of many ideas shared during a publisher’s roundtable sponsored by the VPA and Southern Newspaper Publishers Associaiton.

are not there. We ought to tell people our stories are being used� by the television stations. One publisher suggested that newspapers begin touting their stories are exclusives or “you read it here first,� much like television stations do with their reports. Anna Harrison, publisher of the Charlottesville weekly newspaper The Hook, countered that in this digital age where most people have a digital, handheld “news source in their pocket,� getting it first is not always the best way to promote stories. “I don’t think you need to be the first one to report on it, you need to do it better. That is our focus,� Harrison said. She noted, as an example, that it didn’t matter if The Hook was the first to report last year on the failed ouster of University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan. “We did it the best. I think being first isn’t always the way to go.� The session also featured idea-sharing and brainstorming among the newspaper officials. Each publisher came armed with, and left with, “best ideas� about innovative projects at other newspapers. For example, the Richmond Times-Dispatch created the JOBS DIVA to “tweet jobs listing for a low added fee.� Uriah Kiser, publisher of the online Potomac Local News, said one of its more successful ventures was to create a Google map of the commuter parking lots in its coverage areas. One thing it shows is a snapshot of how crowded they are during the morning and afternoon. “In our region, it’s huge,� Kiser said.

Registration deadline is May 31 The Community Journalism Workshop (CJW), which returns June 20-21 to the Virginia Press Association headquarters, has been described as a “boot camp for new reportersâ€? that should be mandatory. Past participants have utilized information learned in the intensive two-day training to advance in their careers; Mike Jones of The Washington Post, an DOXPQXVRIWKHYHU\ÂżUVW&-:UHWXUQHGODVW\HDUDV keynote speaker. Others regularly collect awards in VPA’s annual news contests and have risen to leadership positions at newspapers. The workshop is geared for both new journalists and those wanting a skills refresher. Sessions are led by seasoned instructors and experienced editors: Lou Emerson of, Anne Adams of The 5HFRUGHU-HII/HVWHURI7KH&RDOÂżHOG3URJUHVVDQG Katrice Franklin Hardy of The Virginian-Pilot. Topics include interviewing skills, narrative storytelling, the Freedom of Information Act, photography, maintaining a beat and lede writing. Ethics gets special attention. In addition to group LQWHUDFWLRQZRUNVKRSSDUWLFLSDQWVEHQHÂżWIURPRQH on-one critiques. Plus, each attendee receives a “tool boxâ€? of resources to take home and use on the job. The cost for two days of sessions, dinner on Thursday, lunch on Friday and the take-home tool box: $99 for VPA members, $250 for non-members. To register, visit and click on training. Overnight accommodations, including breakfast, are available at the Comfort Suites Innsbrook at a special rate of $74. For more information contact Kim Woodward at (804) 521-7574 or through email at

Virginia's Press  

Summer 2013 Edition Volume 100, No. 2

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