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Inside

VCOG

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Cites Post reporters

State Journalists

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Author books

Don’t edit online comments

Virginia’s Press www.vpa.net

Winter 2013/2014

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Virginia Press Association 11529 Nuckols Road Glen Allen, VA 23059 Volume 100 • Number 4

Petersburg’s Col. ‘P.T.’ Taylor named VPA Virginian of the Year Col. Porcher L. Taylor can add one more honor to an evergrowing list of accolades that have been bestowed upon the soldier, Civil Rights leader and humanitarian. The Petersburg resident, who fought in three wars and broke color barriers along the way, was chosen as the Virginia Press Association 2014 Virginian of the Year, joining a list of past recipients that includes civic leaders, politicians, athletes and celebrities. “There is no question that he has certainly demonstrated superior achievement for the betterment of our community,” Del. Rosalyn R. Dance, D-Petersburg, wrote in a nomination

letter. “He is devoted to inspiring and motivating our youth. He constantly speaks to the students at public schools about his military experience and the overall challenges in his life.” Taylor, who was nominated for the award by The Progress-Index in Petersburg, will receive the award at a dinner reception in his honor on Friday, April 4, 2014 at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa/Short Pump during the VPA annual conference. This year’s Virginian of the Year was chosen by David BotPatrick Kane/The Progress-Index

Continued on page 2

Col. Porcher L. Taylor

BH Media executive to speak at VPA luncheon Doug Hiemstra, who oversees the operation of the 28 daily and more than 30 weekly newspapers BH Media Group purchased from Media General last year, will headline this year’s Virginia Press Association Annual Conference, which takes place April 4-5, 2014 in Richmond’s western suburbs and culminates with the annual awards banquet. Hiemstra, the president and CEO of World Media Enterprise, a subsidiary of BH Media, is the featured speaker during the luncheon on Saturday April 5. BH Media Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Hiemstra also is the chief operating officer of the Omaha World-Herald Co. His speech highlights a two-day annual conference that is packed with professional development opportunities and celebration of high-quality journalism. On the opening day of the conference, Matt Lindsay with Mather Economics LLC will lead a presentation on Hiemstra

“A Future for Revenue.” He said his workshop will discuss the changing sources and mix of revenue as well as describe “approaches for growing profits through use of pricing strategies and tactics.” Case studies from newspapers will be used to provide examples “of effective and profitable revenue growth strategies.” Digital and online are the themes for the second day of the conference. The first session features a panel discussion on best digital practices. Marisa Porto of the Daily Press in Newport News will moderate. She will be joined by panelists Jacob Geiger of BH Media and Brian Baer and Bill Freehling of The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, who will discuss successful social media and email product strategies implemented at their publications. A later session will focus on the growth of online promotions, led by Liz Crier, an affiliate success manager at Second Street. The final sessions of the day will take place concurrently – an advertising-focused session led by Jay Blankenship of The News & Advance in Lynchburg and one on career management led by Kim Hanneman from Virginia Common-

wealth University. The conference draws to a close with the VPA News/Editorial and Advertising Awards Banquet. The OMNI online entry system for both contests opened in December. All entries for the contest must be submitted using this entry system. The final electronic entry deadline is Jan. 17, 2014 at 3 p.m. for the new/editorial contest and Jan. 24, 2014 at 3 p.m. for the advertising contest. There will be NO extension to either contest. The electronic entry system will cut off promptly at 3 p.m. Some entries, although entered into the electronic entry system, still require tearsheets be sent to VPA. These tearsheets must be received at the VPA office no later than Jan. 17, 2014 for news/editorial or Jan. 24, 2014 for advertising. For categories that require hard copy submission, be sure to print out the entry form from the contest system and attach it to the entry before sending it to VPA. Contest rules require that all members be in good financial standing and all money due to VPA and/or VPS must be paid in full before you can receive your username and password to enter the contest.

Bill would remove public notices from newspapers Uncertainty clouds the 2014 General Assembly session for the Virginia Press Association and its member publications. It remains to be seen what bills legislators will file to weaken or strengthen public notices and the Freedom of Information Act. The association, through its lobbying efforts, in 2012 vanquished eight bills aimed at taking public notices out of Virginia newspapers, while this year six public notice bills were defeated. With as many as 17 new legislators, VPA is once again bracing for a continued fight against legislation assailing public notices. As of Dec. 18, just one piece of legislation targeting public notices in newspapers has been filed in the General Assembly. Del. Christopher T. Head, R-Botetourt, filed HB95 seeking to allow localities with a population of 50,000 or greater to meet certain notice requirements by utiliz-

ing their websites, radio or television instead of a newspaper of general circulation. According 2012 population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 36 cities or counties in Virginia with populations of 50,000 or more. A similar effort last year by Head was defeated 10-1 in the Counties, Cities and Towns Subcommittee. As of today, this is the only legislation aimed at public notices in newspapers. Two different bills are expected to be filed relating to the disclosure of information by the State Corporation Commission and Virginia Press Association Executive Director Ginger Stanley anticipates legislation to be introduced as part of Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling’s Mainstream Project that calls for a review of all current exemp-

www.vpa.net

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VPA Board of Directors Officers President

Nick Cadwallender The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg

President-Elect

Jay Bondurant The Bedford Bulletin

Vice President

Michael Stowe The Roanoke Times

Secretary

Anne Adams The Recorder, Monterey

Treasurer

Marisa Porto Daily Press, Newport News

Immediate Past President

Keith Stickley The Free Press, Woodstock

Asst. Secretary/ Treasurer

Ginger Stanley VPA

Directors Daniel Finnegan, Richmond Times-Dispatch Gail Harding, The Enterprise, Stuart Maria Hileman, The Winchester Star Steven Kaylor, Danville Register & Bee Jay Kennedy, The Washington Post Cindy Morgan, The Progress-Index, Petersburg Matt Paxton, The News-Gazette, Lexington Steve Stewart, The Tidewater News, Franklin Jenay Tate, The Coalfield Progress, Norton Steve Weddle, The Central Virginian, Louisa Chad Harrison, 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: www.vpa.net

VOLUME 100, Number 4 (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 2013, Virginia Press Association

Virginia’s Press • Winter 2013 / 2014

OUR MISSION

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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.

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.

EDITOR’S MESSAGE I remember the story like it was yesterday and it’s one that I’ll likely never forget. “Memories in the making” was a feature on a high school couple’s preparation for their senior prom. It wasn’t a hard-hitting investigative Jeremy Slayton piece, but it was a wellread front page story that small-town communities, where everyone knows everyone, love. There remains little doubt that it was a fun, compelling story to write, made even better by the couple’s unique back story – they met the previous summer at camp, a relationship blossomed and after a few months were reunited on prom night. A colleague and I shadowed the couple in the hours leading up to their prom, including a little fender-bender when the young man put his car in reverse and backed into mine. Other than a slightly bent license plate on my Nissan Sentra, there was no damage to either car. The package, told separately from the prospective of the young man and young woman, was well received beyond that small North Carolina town as well. My colleague and I took home first place – out of 73 entries – in the 2002 North Carolina Press Association for Lifestyle Feature Writing category in the under 15,000 circulation division. The framed award hangs on the wall in my home office.

“Feature writing affords the writer an opportunity to be creative, both in the selection of the subject and in the coverage approach. In this case, writers Erica Kinnaird and Jeremy Slayton hit the nail on the head. Their stories were refreshing and entertaining,” a judge wrote. At the time, I was a 24-year-old reporter at a 5,000-circulation, Media General-owned newspaper in North Carolina. I’ve reported on thousands of stories since that May afternoon in 2002, but that was the only time one of my works won an award. It may seem silly that that story still resonates more than a decade later, but with the Virginia Press Association in the midst of its news/editorial and advertising contest I am once again reminded of the pride and joy that comes with having your hard work recognized and honored by your peers. That’s why I encourage you – rookie journalists just learning a beat to veteran awardwinning advertisers – to reflect on your body of work for the 2013 calendar year and submit your best journalism for the contest. In a profession that has seen too many negatives in recent years – massive layoffs, long hours for low pay, furloughs – and continues to fight the perception that newspapers are dying, the feelings from knowing that your work is being honored makes it all worth it. To hear your name called as a winner, surrounded by colleagues and competitors, can never be taken away from you.

Jeremy Slayton My former sports editor at the New Bern (N.C.) Sun Journal, Randy Jones, said being part of the VPA award winning best overall sports section at the Manassas Journal Messenger “really helped me early on in my career. It gave me confidence in my abilities and a feeling that what I was doing was indeed worth the massive effort and minimal pay.” The deadlines for both news and advertising contests are fast approaching. Don’t wait to pick your entries or assume that someone else will do it for you. Be proactive and fight for your submissions. You never know what will connect with and move a judge to make you a winner, creating your own lasting memories. I certainly didn’t envision winning a NCPA award when I wrote my part of “Memories in the making.” Important Virginia Press Association contest dates: News entry deadline: Jan. 17 at 3 p.m. Advertising entry deadline: Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. News entries released to judges: Jan. 31 Ad entries released to judges: Feb. 7 News results to members: Feb. 28 Ad results to members: March 7 For more information, visit www.vpa.net/ index.php/association/article/vpa_contests/

Taylor is VPA Virginian of the Year Continued from page 1 kins with Dominion Virginia Power, Bill Sherrod with the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives, and Laurie Peterson Aldrich with the Virginia Retail Merchants Association. Michael Stowe, managing editor of The Roanoke Times, chaired the Virginian of the Year committee this year. Taylor grew up in Florida during the Great Depression, the son of a newspaper publisher. He joined the military as a teenager, serving in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Among his medals and commendations are the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Meritorious Service Medal. He was the first African-American promoted to full colonel at Fort Jackson, S.C. and one of the first African-Americans to receive a Ph.D from the University of South Carolina. He is a life member of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. (a veterans organization for those blacks who first flew fighter planes) and 555th Parachute Infantry Association (a veterans organization for the first African-American airborne unit) to spread the history of blacks in the military. Last year, during an appearance in Chesterfield County, Vice President Joe Biden honored Taylor, who is a retired vice president from Virginia State University. “It’s a genuine honor to share a stage with a true hero,” Biden was quoted in The ProgressIndex. Taylor had led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance that day. On his 85th birthday, well-wishes came from Rep. J. Randy Forbes,

Patrick Kane/ The Progress-Index

R-Va.; and Gov. Bob McDonnell. Despite the barriers he broke and the recognitions he received, Taylor’s life is one of giving back to his community. He is a founder and chair of the Downtown Churches United in Petersburg and helped organize the Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. He has led the Petersburg annual Walk Against Hunger Campaign to raise money for needy citizens and families in the Petersburg area. “Dr. Taylor … has been a true leader and has been involved in many organizations in the Tri-Cities area,” wrote Cindy Morgan, publisher of The Progress-Index. “He has devoted much of his time to help others in need and he has been recognized for his many contri-

butions.” Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts of America Heart of Virginia Council presented Taylor with the Lifetime of Citizenship Award for the Crater District. Taylor became involved in scouting in 1936. He became an Eagle Scout in 1941 and was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Scout (a national award for prominent standing among Eagle Scouts) in 1995. A frequent speaker to youth, Taylor is fond of issuing them a challenge: “Your life will be successful, meaningful and productive if you carry out God’s mandate to us to feed, clothe and provide shelter to the poor. Do something good for others everyday of your life.”


FOR THE RECORD The Virginia Press Association board met at the Fredericksburg Marriott Oct. 25, 2013. Board members attending: Nick Cadwallender, Jay Bondurant, Michael Stowe, Anne Adams, Keith Stickley, Gail Harding, Chad Harrison, Maria Hileman, Steven Kaylor, Jay Kennedy, Cindy Morgan, Matt Paxton, Steve Stewart, Jenay Tate, Steve Weddle. Also attending: Ginger Stanley and Ron Clark of VPA, and Craig Forbes of Alpha Omega Wealth Management. President Nick Cadwallender called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. New members: The nominating committee recommended electing Chad Harrison to replace Diane White as director, and Marisa Porto to replace Bill Owens as treasurer. On a motion by Gail Harding, seconded by Steve Kaylor, the new members were approved. Investment presentation: Craig Forbes of Alpha Omega gave a presentation on VPA’s investment portfolio. VPA’s portfolio of equities and bonds is approaching a 50/50 split. VPA’s long-standing request was that the portfolio contain 35-45% in equities. Now that the portfolio has hit 45% equities, Mr. Forbes asked whether VPA wanted to allow it to go higher, as much as 50% in equities. On a motion by Matt Paxton, seconded by Gail Harding, the board agreed to increase the range to 50/50 for equities and bonds, and authorized Mr. Forbes to move intermediate bonds to short-term as needed to protect investments from a loss in value. Minutes: Minutes of the July 12, 2013 board meeting at Virginia Beach were presented by Mr. Cadwallender. Upon motion duly made by Steven Kaylor, seconded by Michael Stowe, the board approved the minutes with one amendment under Old Business, to remove a sentence regarding the foundation board’s list of suggestions. Financial Report: Ron Clark, on behalf of treasurer Marisa Porto and previous treasurer Bill Owens, presented VPA finances through end of last fiscal year. Mr. Clark reported a net loss for 2013, negative to about $15,000, but a break-even before amicus and a cash flow of $64,000 after depreciation. VPA’s 990 was completed and signed by the board for filing. Additionally, Mr. Clark reported August was one of the worst months financially, as the 2x2 network revenue was only $9,700, compared to $20,000 in October; and the classified networks only generated about $27,000, compared to Octobers $43,000. Display revenue for October is now at $340,000 to date. On a motion duly made by Jenay Tate and seconded by Matt Paxton, the board approved the financial reports. President’s Report: Mr. Cadwallender praised the work of previous VPA president Keith Stickley, who created the Virginia Press Association Foundation. He announced his own goals would be focused on the continued fight for open government. Mr. Cadwallender urged any VPA member with state representatives who might seek legislation to undermine open government and FOIA to contact him, or Ginger, and they will try to speak to

those folks. Mr. Cadwallender hopes the 2014 conference, to be held in the new Hilton Richmond Hotel, will attract greater participation, and he praised the Conference Planning Committee for its work. Also, Mr. Cadwallender hopes to increase participation in Publisher’s Day at the General Assembly by hosting smaller groups on more days. Executive Director’s Report: Ginger Stanley reported the new phone system at headquarters was twice struck by lightning but has been repaired. She also said several freelance journalists have asked about VPA membership. In VPA’s bylaws, individual membership requires journalists be formerly affiliated with a member. The board agreed this should be discussed again, and Mr. Cadwallender assigned discussion to the Membership Committee. Legislative Report: Ginger Stanley updated the board on the status of the amicus brief and appeal in Phillip D. Webb v. Virginian-Pilot Media. VPA participated on a recommendation from the First Amendment Trustees, and executive committee approval. The court had issued a one-page order granting two of the paper’s assignments of cross-error the court had initially rejected. Oral arguments are set to be heard during the court’s October session. She also reported on Hanover County’s Board of Supervisors request to ask to change FOIA allowing more than two members of a public body to meet to discuss public business without triggering an open meeting. The council did not support Hanover’s request for a study on the issue. She also said the Council continues to study application of FOIA to the State Corporation Commission. Committee Reports: Audit — Mr. Cadwallender noted the positive audit meeting with Cooley and Associates, and again thanked Ron Clark and Ginger Stanley for keeping things “squeaky clean.� They will improve the overhead allocation between VPA and VPS, and are set up to analyze that every two years. They will start tracking staff time on Nov. 1. To a question on the cost of having an outside contract for VPA payroll, it was noted that payroll is done for about $80/ month, which is less than it would cost to have Ron Clark do that task, even if he had time. Conference Program Planning — The group toured the Hilton hotel in Richmond, and discussed the low attendance at last year’s conference. Several ideas for speakers and presentations were discussed. Mather Economics has been confirmed for Friday afternoon during the conference; the consultant specializes in applied economics and will make a presentation on business solutions, pricing recommendations, sales forecasts, subscription pricing and more. A representative from BH Media Group has also been confirmed. Public Notice Task Force — This group met Oct. 7 and heard a recap of 2013 General Assembly work. The task force agreed to reach out to new legislators; update the public notice tool kit; build a calendar of key dates; spread out the publisher days; expand a portfolio of content published on these issues; and draft a “mock page� to be used in all newspapers. Membership — Applications were reviewed and unanimously approved as follows, on a motion by Keith Stickley, seconded by

Steve Kaylor: Henrico Monthly of Midlothian was approved for Associate membership; BristowBeat.com of Bristow, and Watchdog. org (Virginia Bureau) of Alexandria, were approved for Online membership. Virginian of the Year — Vice President Michael Stowe urged nominations for the Virginian of the Year award, noting there has only been one so far and the deadline is approaching. Judging takes place in early December. Staff Reports: Advertising — Advertising Director Diana Shaban reported gross sales for VPS, JulySeptember 2013, were roughly $569,000, with schedules placed for some new or dormant advertisers. Advertising in the Total Media Directory is at $8,250. Classified/2x2 Networks — Network Advertising Coordinator Adriane Long reported seven member newspapers have joined the SCAN and/or 2x2 networks since January. Old Business Keith Stickley reported the VPA Foundation has secured filing with the SCC, and is now “open for business,� and qualified to take charitable donations. Gifts may be sent to the Foundation at VPA headquarters. Sev-

eral longtime newspaper folks have agreed to serve on its founding board: Ed Jones, David Mele, Lawrence McConnell, Bill O’Donovan, Greg Rooker and Louise Seals. Mr. Stickley will also serve on the board as VPA past president. The board will meet within the next 30 days to organize the foundation. New Business At the request of Mr. Cadwallender, the board discussed whether to create a task force to study wage/benefit packages and transition planning. On a motion made by Keith Stickley and seconded by Matt Paxton, the board agreed to assign the following tasks to the Executive Committee, in consultation with Ginger Stanley: Study the wages/benefits of VPA staff and comparisons with similar employment roles; study putting an evaluation process in place; study transition planning for staff changes in the next few years; and make a report and/or recommendations to the full VPA board at the spring meeting. There being no further business, on a motion by Michael Stowe and seconded by Steve Weddell, the meeting was adjourned. ~ Respectfully submitted by Anne Adams, Secretary

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FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Ginger Stanley VPA Executive Director (804) 521-7575 or gingers@vpa.net

Virginia’s Press • Winter 2013 / 2014

Virginia Press Association Board of Directors Meeting Oct. 25, 2013, Fredericksburg Marriott, Fredericksburg, VA

Minutes, VPA Board of Directors

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MEMBER NEWS VPA membership grows by three; two more are provisional members The Virginia Press Association Board of Directors at its October meeting approved membership to three publications and news organizations: Henrico Monthly, Bristow Beat and Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau. Henrico Monthly is the third publication from Greg Pearson to join VPA. Pearson’s Chesterfield Observer and Chesterfield Monthly are also members. Bristow Beat and Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau are the fourth and fifth online-only news organizations to join VPA. Two additional news organizations – The Commonwealth Times from Virginia Commonwealth University and The Health Journal in Williamsburg – were given provisional memberships pending approval from the board in April.

• Silver Award for Outstanding Publication Web Site • Silver Award for Outstanding Classified Section • Silver Award for Outstanding Health Section • Silver Award for Outstanding Education Article • Bronze Award for Outstanding Immigration Article • Bronze Award for Outstanding Sports Section • Bronze Award for Outstanding Special Section • Bronze Award for Outstanding Sports Photo “As Hispanic media professionals, it is an honor for (the) El Tiempo Latino family to keep being recognized for our quality and community impact in the company of the best Spanish language print and online products in the nation,” said Alberto Avendaño, editor of El Tiempo Latino. Founded in 1991, El Tiempo Latino has been the Spanish language publication of The Washington Post since 2004.

VCU School of Mass Communications changes name Virginia Commonwealth University announced in October that the School of Mass Communications will be renamed after alumnus and retired television executive Richard T. “Dick” Robertson. The school’s new name --  Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture -- is pending the approval of the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia. “Named schools are a characteristic of national research universities,” Robertson said in a press release. “I am deeply honored to have the school named for me and will continue to work with the faculty, VCU administration and the school›s advisory board to help the Robertson School take its place among the elite programs in the country.” 

Virginian-Pilot eliminates nearly 4 percent of its workforce The Virginian-Pilot announced in October it will lay off nearly 4 percent of its workforce by the end of the year. David Mele, president and publisher of the newspaper, told employees that the publication will lay off 32 people. Most of the cuts will be in the Pilot’s operations and circulation departments, Mele said. The cuts “will allow us to restructure our company and maintain the profitability required for continued innovation and growth,” Mele said, noting that The Pilot has suffered advertising declines, but growth in digital revenue.

El Tiempo Latino awarded 1st place as Best US Hispanic Weekly El Tiempo Latino received a Gold Award as Outstanding Hispanic Weekly by the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) at the 2013 José Martí Awards for Excellence in Publishing. According to a press release, this is the 13th time and the 9th year in a row that El Tiempo Latino has received this award in the 22-year existence of the newspaper. More than 200 entries competed for awards and were reviewed by a panel of 55 judges. • El Tiempo Latino received a total of 10 distinctions: • Gold Award for Outstanding Hispanic Weekly Newspaper • Gold Award for Outstanding Media Kit

Roanoke Times announces layoffs The Roanoke Times in September reduced 31 positions in an effort to eliminate redundancies, and making the newspaper operation more efficient and locally focused. The newspaper was purchased in May by billionaire Warren Buffett, who also owns several other Virginia dailies, such as the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bristol Herald Courier and The Daily Progress in Charlottesville. According to published reports,  The Roanoke Times will add news-gathering resources and its circulation department “will reinstitute delivery of missed newspapers in the near future, within our primary market area” as part of the restructuring. The job eliminations came primarily in the digital, technology and production areas, where the newspaper can take advantage of corporate resources available through BH Media.

“While painful, this restructure is aimed at taking advantage of efficiencies within our larger company, leveraging content positions to serve our readers with added local news, information, and advertising well into the future,” Publisher Terry H. Jamerson said in a report. “We are saying goodbye to some great people today and we thank them for their service and wish them well in their future endeavors.” Times Community Media grows circulation in Prince William County Times Community Media, which publishes the Gainesville Times and Prince William Times in Prince William County, announced that it recently increased circulation in the county by 15,000 papers. “We’ve got a very strong team in place to provide a newspaper for the entire county, east to west,” Times Community Media CEO Peter Arundel said in published reports. “Between our news and management team, we have a cumulative 50 years of experience covering the county.” The Gainesville Times is circulated in western Prince William, while the Prince William Times is distributed in the east. According to the report, the combined circulation of both papers is now more than 44,000.  Richmond Suburban News launches new publication, rebrands another Richmond Suburban News in October launched its seventh publication as well as rebranded and expanded one of its existing weekly publications. According to a press release, Henrico TD joined Richmond Suburban News’ network of community newspapers with delivery to 97,000 Henrico households each week. In addition, Midlothian Exchange transitioned to Chesterfield TD, adding 100,000 Chesterfield households to its distribution for a total circulation of 119,000, the release said. “We are pleased to bring our standard of excellent community news, information and advertising to new readers and customers in Chesterfield and Henrico Counties,” said Joy Monopoli, publisher for Richmond Suburban News. “We look forward to getting to know our new neighbors and to bringing effective business solutions to our advertising clients.” Officials said both publications will be distributed free of charge each week and will focus on community news, with stories about schools, neighborhoods, sports, churches and civic

Continued on page 5

Virginia’s Press • Winter 2013 / 2014

Virginia journalists flourish as authors

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Several Virginia journalists published books in the last six months and one received a top prize in the field of crime writing. Howard Owen, the editorial page editor at The Free Lance-Star in Freder icksburg, in October was awarded the Hammett Prize by The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Howard Owen Writers for his novel “Oregon Hill.” This award recognizes a work “of literary excellence” in the field of crime writing. “Oregon Hill” is Owen’s tenth novel

and was published in 2012. It introduced the character Willie Black, a newspaper reporter who covers the night cops beat. The sequel, “The Philadelphia Quarry,” was released in July 2013, while the third Willie Black mystery, “Parker Field,” will be published in June 2014. The Central Virginian publisher releases “Country Hardball” Steve Weddle, publisher of The Central Virginian in Louisa County and vice-president of Lakeway Publisher’s Virginia Division, celebrated the launch of his new book “Country Hardball” in November. Steve Weddle

Weddle, who is also a member of the Virginia Press Association Board of Directors, grew up on the Louisiana/Arkansas line and holds a master’s degree in fine arts from Louisiana State University. In 2009, he and six other crime fiction writers create DoSomeDamage, where he blogs weekly. According to a description of “Country Hardball,” which was published Nov. 18 by Tyrus Books, the 208-page book focuses on the homecoming of Roy Alison “after more than a decade spent in and out of juvenile detention, halfway houses and jail.” The book “is a powerfully observed and devastatingly understated portrait of the American working class.” Early days of U.Va. explored in new book Journalists Rex Bowman and Carlos Santos in August published a book that explores the beginnings of the University

of Virginia. In “Rot, Riot, and Rebellion:  Mr. Jefferson’s Struggle to Save the University That Changed America,” Bowman and Santos work together to recreate the early struggles of the University founded by Thomas Jefferson. Becky Krystal wrote in a book review for The Washington Post that Bowman and Santos “vividly illustrate in their excellent ‘Rot, Riot and Rebellion,’ a campus crawling with adolescent, privileged young men away from home for the first time was as horrifying a prospect 200 years ago as it is now.” Santos is the publisher and editor of the Fluvanna Review in Fluvanna County, while Bowman is a freelance writer. Both are former reporters with the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The 216-page book published by University of Virginia Press is available in hardcover and Kindle.


MEMBER NEWS Continued from page 4 groups from throughout their respective counties. In addition to local content and advertising, Chesterfield TD and Henrico TD will carry national insert packages, including manufacturer coupons, officials said in a press release. Washington Post launches news app for Android devices The Washington Post in October launched its flagship news app designed for Android Tablets, Kindle Fire HD and HDX devices, and other tablet devices using the Android.  According to published reports, the app was designed with the tablet reader in mind with bold visuals and multimedia presentations. Popular blogs including The Fix, Wonkblog and The Capital Weather Gang are accessible from the app›s navigation. “Android is among the fastest growing in the tablet space, and we felt building a flagship app for Android users was an important service to provide our readers. It allows us to create an experience and add functionality specifically designed for those tablets,” Julia Beizer, Director of Mobile at The Post, said in a report. SPJ honors Virginia Pro as small chapter of the year The Society of Professional Journalists named Virginia Pro as chapter of the year in the organization’s small-chapter category.  The chapter was recognized for holding 10 programs last year, actively defending freedom of information and working with campus chapters to encourage excellence in journalism. “I’m very proud of this recognition for the work our chapter has undertaken, from hosting a successful Region 2 Spring Conference to fighting for the public’s right to know at the General Assembly,” said Virginia Pro President Pat Kane, who is a journalist with The Progress-Index in Petersburg. “We have another great year of programs and activities underway now, including our inaugural College Media Day in October.” Sen. Byrd leaves $760,000 to 76 employees of his family’s newspapers Longtime staffers at Byrd Newspapers received a welcome surprise in September. Former U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr. left $10,000 to each full-time employee who has worked more than 10 years at his family’s Virginia newspapers. The $760,000 will go to 41 staffers as the Harrisonburg Dai-

ly News-Record; 31 at the Winchester Star; three at the Elkton Banner; and one at the Warren Sentinel. Byrd started working at what was then The Winchester Evening Star in 1935 when he succeeded his father, Harry F. Byrd, as the paper’s editor and publisher. The younger Byrd served on The Star’s board until his death. The family acquired the paper in 1897. Winchester Star web editor Bobby Ford wrote to media blogger Jim Romenesko that the checks from Byrd were presented during a ceremony at the paper.  “He has shown tremendous generosity throughout the community and continues to do so in his will,” Ford wrote. “But to think of his staff in this way showed his thoughtfulness and how important loyalty was to him. It’s a gift of unbelievable kindness from a special man.” The Hook ceases publication The Hook, winner of the 2012 Virginia Press Association Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service for specialty publications, printed its final edition on Sept. 26. “It’s a sad thing, and it’s a hard thing after you’ve worked at a paper for a dozen years or nearly a dozen years, and you’ve done week after week of work and been proud of the product that you put out. It’s hard and it’s painful,” Courteney Stuart, editor of The Hook, said in published reports. According to reports, the Charlottesville Publishing Group formed two-and-a-half years ago to oversee production of both the Hook and C-VILLE Weekly. Previously, the two papers acted separately. According to reports, the publishing group says the combination of resources is to better serve the readers, advertisers and staff. The Hook, which was founded in 2002, has won three VPA Journalistic Integrity and Community Service awards. Former Daily Press staffer, Sheila Solomon, to be honored by National Association of Black Journalists Sheila Solomon, a former staff member of the Daily Press in Newport News who has championed diversity in journalism, will be recognized for her efforts in January. The National Association of Black Journalists and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University will honor Solomon with the 2014 Ida B. Wells Award. Solomon was one of the first African-American journalists at the Daily Press and served as the publication’s staff development coordinator. She currently serves as an adjunct professor

at Columbia College in Chicago. When she was informed that she was to receive the honor by NABJ President Bob Butler, she said she was “so surprised and honored I was practically speechless.” “I became a journalist to tell stories and make  a positive difference in the communities where I’ve lived and worked,” Solomon wrote in an email. “It’s very humbling to me that this award confirms that someone believes my goals were accomplished.” Tidewater News, Roanoke Times lauded by Farm Bureau Federation The Tidewater News of Franklin earlier this month was awarded the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s 2013 Journalism Award in the weekly newspaper category for “Most Comprehensive Agricultural Coverage in Virginia.” Jay Pinksy, formerly of the Fauquier Times, was the other honoree in the weekly newspaper division.  The Roanoke Times and Candace Sipos of the Daily NewsRecord in Harrisonburg won in the daily newspaper category, and the Roanoke newspaper also received the top recognition, the Ishee-Quann Award.  Jonathan Parker of the Star-Tribune in Chatham received the Members’ Choice Award. Ryan Cornell at the  Northern Virginia Daily and Allison Williams and Adrin Snider at The Daily Press in Newport News received honorable mentions.

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 www.vpa. net. 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 jeremys@vpa.net along with the application. Images must be head-andshoulder shots and a minimum of 300 dpi. IDs are processed by the Virginia State Police and mailed to the publisher’s attention.

Trimble retires as VP of Lakeway Publishers Philip Morris. He then moved to the Clinch Valley News in Tazewell as the general manager, but did a little bit of everything from covering local government to crime for the weekly publication. Trimble worked with all kinds of publications during his journalism career -- small weeklies, a mid-sized daily in North Carolina, he managed 38 shoppers on Long Island, N.Y. and was president of a company with three parenting magazines in Texas. The last six years were with Lakeway Publishers. “Bill has been a tremendous asset to the company ... and his strong leadership skills will be missed,” R. Jack Fishman, president of Lakeway Publishers Inc., wrote in a July 2 memorandum to his Virginia staff. Mosby “Chip” Wigginton was promoted to publisher of the Herald-Progress and Caroline Progress, while Cathy Gerring became general manager of the Northern Neck-based publications. Steve Weddle, publisher of The Central Virginian in Louisa County and a member of the VPA Board of Directors, was promoted to vice-president of Lakeway Publisher’s Virginia Division. The newspaper publishing business has changed during the last two decades. Trimble called it “one of the most in-

teresting times in the business” with the computerization and evolution of technology. “I think the whole face of journalism has been redefined. We’re still doing what we always did – I think that is the key to the whole thing,” Trimble said. “We gather news, prepare it and distribute it. It’s just that we have multiple channels to distribute it. “Distribution is what has changed, not journalism.” Trimble does not plan to idly William “Bill” Trimble sit in a rocking chair for his retirement. He plans to visit more with his grandchildren in Massachusetts and Tennessee as well as do more charity work in the community. As he reflects on his long journalism career, what he will miss most is the people. “It is an interesting collection of people in this business,” he said. “It’s pretty diverse and I’ve met an awful lot of really 5 great people over the years. I’ll miss that most of all.”

Virginia’s Press • Winter 2013 / 2014

William “Bill” Trimble entered the journalism field because he enjoyed writing. It helped that he was told he was good at it. After nearly four decades in the business, Trimble retired Oct. 31 as the publisher and vice president of Lakeway Publishers of Virginia where he oversaw the Herald-Progress in Ashland, the Caroline Progress, Westmoreland News, Northern Neck News and Northumberland Echo. “I didn’t know anything else,” Trimble said of a career that took him to a variety of publications, mostly along the East Coast. “This is what I’ve known and I’ve been involved with and loved for a long time.” Born in Staunton and raised in Farmville, Trimble grew up an avid newspaper reader. After a stint in the Air Force, he studied journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University.  While at VCU, he interned at the Virginia Press Association where he covered the annual conference, wrote stories and did layout for the then-monthly Virginia’s Press newsletter.  He then went to work in advertising at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Believe it or not, even though I majored to be a writer, I ended up going to the dark side,” Trimble joked about his transition to advertising and a stint in public relations with


TRAINING

The Virginia Newspaper Academy at VPA

Save the date and mark your calendars now for these professional development opportunities. ADVERTISING ROUNDTABLE With Cindy Morgan, publisher, The Progress-Index Thursday, May 1, 2014 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. VPA Headquarters Don’t miss out on this opportunity to attend an Advertising Roundtable brought to you be the Virginia Press Association and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. This session, which is designed for ad managers and directors, is moderated by Cindy Morgan, publisher of The Progress-Index in Petersburg. There is no charge (and lunch is included!) for the first 25 registrants. Deadline to register is April 23, 2014. WHAT MAKES AN EFFECTIVE DIGITAL OR PRINT AD? With Adam Cook Thursday, May 8, 2014 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. VPA Headquarters Adam Cook, director of research and development with Pilot Media, has more than 14 years of experience in brand, content, advertising, marketing, consumer and media research, will help participants learn how to make digital advertising effective during an upcoming Virginia Newspaper Academy. In an increasingly competitive business and media climate,

tails are pending. Cost is $70 and VPA members can send two for the price of one.

understanding how to maximize your advertisers’ ROI is more important than ever. This session will help you do just that. Topics on how to set advertiser expectations, what elements make a digital ad effective, branding and how it impacts results, and most importantly, how to maximize potential response for your advertisers will be covered in this interactive session. Not only should this session be useful in helping you retain business, but also in helping you grow business. Cost is $70, which includes lunch and VPA members may send two staffers for the price of one!

SALES CONFERENCE June 9, 2014 VPA Headquarters Tim Smith of Tim Smith Consulting will be the speaker. This year’s Sales Conference is sponsored by SCAN and 2x2 Network members. The cost is $15 for network member attendees.

ENGAGING THE YOUNG AUDIENCE With Jenn Burleson Mackay Thursday, May 15, 2014 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. How are young people getting their news? What online features do they prefer? How important is social media to their news consumptions?  Are there particular news sites that they prefer to use for their media consumption? If you had to build a newspaper business for this audience – what would you build? This session will look at how young audiences consume the news.  It will consider the role that social media plays in their news consumption as well as which online news features appeal to them the most. Session will also include a panel – de-

COMMUNITY JOURNALISM WORKSHOP June 19-20, 2014 VPA Headquarters It’s been described as a “boot camp” for new reporters. It’s launched numerous newsroom careers.  It’s an effective skills refresher for mid-career reporters. It’s been the foundation for many VPA news contest award winners. The details are pending, but it’s not too early to start making plans. Stay tuned as workshops are finalized. You can even register, if you are so inclined: For more information contact Kim Woodward at (804) 521-7574, kimw@vpa.net or visit the training section at www. vpa.net.

Don’t edit those online comments

Virginia’s Press • Winter 2013 / 2014

Newspapers beware: If you edit online comments posted to stories on your webpage, you could be sued for defamation over an anonymous user’s post. W. Wat Hopkins, a communications professor at Virginia Tech, said Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects internet service providers from legal action for third-party comments that may be defamatory. Hopkins noted that according to the law, the internet service provider is not considered a publisher; the poster is the author and the publisher. “Internet service providers just make available the information without monitoring, without editing,” Hopkins told nearly 30 journalists during a Virginia Newspaper Academy in December. “If you use that as a webpage, allow people to comment … and no one does anything to that webpage, except put stuff on the web … but don’t edit, don’t comment, then if someone sues you … Section 230 protects you.” But once comments are edited – something as simple as fixing grammatical errors – or removed, the newspaper becomes an internet content provider and is no longer protected. This is among the issues newspapers wrestle with during the proliferation of new communication technologies, such as Twitter, Facebook and online commenting. Hopkins, who is a professor of mass communications law, said just because a newspaper may be protected as an internet service provider and immune to a lawsuit, doesn’t 6 necessarily mean it won’t become involved

in the case. The plaintiff can go after the poster, and one question that often arises for newspapers, Hopkins said, is how to handle the identity of the poster. News organizations were more likely to defend the poster in the early online age, he said, but with shrinking budgets due to declining advertising revenue and limited news holes, media companies are less likely to support anonymous posters. Hopkins said some sites, such as CNN and the New York Times, indicate on their websites they might, if pressed by the courts, reveal the identity of the poster. But before the anonymous poster’s identity is revealed, there are several steps that must first take place, Hopkins said. Notice of the subpoena must be given to the poster, the court gives the poster the opportunity to be heard in court (typically only before the judge), the complaint must state a claim, including harm and plaintiff must show a prima facie case (unless there is a some evidence to the contrary, the plaintiff has produced enough evidence to meet the burden of proof). But the lack of case law has created dissatisfaction among some people for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act because of its unintended consequences, Hopkins said, noting that newspapers have to decide how they’ll treat the comment section on their website. “This is one of those things this is a good idea, but people couldn’t foresee the ramifications of where this would go,” Hopkins said.

Journalists listen as speaker W. Wat Hopkins discusses legal issues that arise from new communication technologies.

Virginia Tech Professor W. Wat Hopkins leads a Virginia Newspaper Academy on legal issues pertaining to new communication technologies.


Nominations sought for VPA awards

Outstanding Young Sales Professional of the Year This year, Virginia Press Association added an award to recognize a young sales professional -- nominees must be 30 years of age or younger as of January 1, 2014. A manager may be eligible only if he/she spends 50 percent or more of his/her time actively selling local accounts during the normal sales cycle through the year. Candidates will demonstrate leadership and tenacity that have engineered growth in linage and revenues, developed and grown new accounts. Additional skill sets should include: excellent time management, organized approach to sales presentations, detail-oriented, accurate paperwork, excellent copy and layout skills, excellent communication skills and extraordinary customer service for clients. The nominee will have an ongoing positive

2014 VPA Conference Program Friday, April 4, 2014 9:00 a.m. VPA Contest Display Room Set-Up 11:00 a.m. VPA/VPS Board Meeting & Lunch 11:00 a.m. Program Committee Meeting 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. A Future for Revenue, Matt Lindsay Mather Economics LLC 5:30 p.m. Reception - President’s Suite 6:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. VPA Virginian of the Year/AP Banquet

Saturday, April 5, 2014 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Breakfast AP/VPA Business Meeting 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Panel on Digital Best Practices Marisa Porto, Daily Press, moderator Panelists: Brian Baer and Bill Freehling, The Free Lance-Star Jacob Geiger, BH Media Group 12:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. VPA Luncheon Speaker: Doug Hiemstra, BH Media Group & Lifetime Achievement, Golden 50, First Amendment Awards to be presented 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Online Promotions Liz Crier Secondstreet 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions: Career Management: It’s Personal! – Kim Hanneman, VCU Advertising Online/Print Sales Basics with Jay Blankenship, The News & Advocate 5:00 p.m. Reception & Cash Bar 6:00 p.m. VPA Advertising/News/Editorial Awards Banquet 10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. After Banquet Party

attitude to change within and outside the industry. The nominee will demonstrate that he/ she is reliable and responsible in the relationship between the customer and their employer with regards to credit, collections and profit. He/she will have a professional appearance and demeanor at all times. Outstanding Sales Professional of the Year This award allows you to celebrate the qualities, traits and skills that are a part of your best sales professional team member. The winners will be considered role models whose qualities have led to great success in the newspaper/online advertising profession. A manager may be eligible only if he/she spends 50 percent or more of his/her time actively selling local accounts during the normal sales cycle through the year. Candidates will demonstrate leadership and tenacity that have engineered growth in linage and revenues, developed and grown new accounts. Additional skill sets should include: excellent time management, organized approach to sales presentations, detail-oriented, accurate paperwork, excellent copy and layout skills, excellent communication skills and extraordinary customer service for clients. The nominee will have an ongoing positive attitude to change within and outside the industry; will be competitive, knowledgeable of the benefits as they pertain to our industry. The nominee will demonstrate that he/she is reliable and responsible in the relationship between the customer and their employer with regards to credit, collections and profit. He/ she will have a professional appearance and demeanor at all times. Outstanding Young Journalist Award Winners of this award will have demon-

strated excellence in the field of journalism and maintained high standards of quality and ethics. The award aims to reinforce the importance of a journalist’s role by recognizing and nurturing talent to promote quality journalism. Nominees must be 30 years of age or younger as of January 1, 2014 and must be an employee or regular contributor to a VPA member newspaper in good standing. Entries will be judged on the quality and variety of work samples, and the impact of the nominee’s work in the community. Outstanding Journalist Award Winners of this award will have demonstrated excellence in the field of journalism and maintained high standards of quality and ethics. The award aims to reinforce the importance of a journalist’s role by recognizing and nurturing talent to promote quality journalism. Nominees must be 31 years of age or older as of January 1, 2014 and must be an employee or regular contributor to a VPA member newspaper in good standing. Entries will be judged on the quality and variety of work samples, and the impact of the nominee’s work in the community. Golden 50 Club This is an “honor roll� of individuals who have spent a minimum of 50 years in the newspaper industry. The first inductions were held in 2006, coinciding with the 125th anniversary of the Virginia Press Association. Lifetime Achievement Award This award recognizes exceptional individual contributions to the newspaper industry. Nominees are evaluated on service to the Virginia Press Association; years of employment and service in the newspaper industry; the type

Doris Ann Kane of the Richmond TimesDispatch was the 2012 Outstanding Sales Professional of the Year.

of work nominees have done; any special projects in which they have participated; and community service and other personal achievements. First Amendment Award This award, first presented in 2007, is given to journalists, newspapers or citizens who, in an extraordinary way, seek to advance, defend or preserve the First Amendment. Nominations may be made by individual citizens, newspapers, educators or professional organizations. Nominations must include information on what the nominee has done to be considered for the award. Supplemental information, such as news stories or other documents, must be included with the nomination.

Sign up now for the Advertising & News Conference April 4-5 2014 VPA/ ASSOCIATED PRESS ADVERTISING & NEWS CONFERENCE

Conference Room Rate $136 Single/Double

Name of Newspaper:

Make your reservations early; contracted rooming block space is limited!

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NOTE: Registration with VPA DOES NOT take care of an overnight room with the hotel; room reservations must be made directly with the hotel by calling:

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IMPORTANT:5HJLVWUDWLRQFRQĂ€UPDWLRQVDUHHPDLOHGWRWKHFRQWDFWSHUVRQWR FRQĂ€UPUHFHLSWRI\RXUUHJLVWUDWLRQ,I\RXGRQRWUHFHLYHDFRQĂ€UPDWLRQZHGLG ‡0HPEHUVZKRDWWHQGPRUHWKDQRQHPHDOHYHQWVKRXOGSD\WKHUHJLVWUDWLRQIHH not receive your registration and you are not registered for the conference. ‡6SRXVHVJXHVWVQRWDFWLYHLQWKHEXVLQHVVSD\IRUWKHHYHQWVDWWHQGHGEXWQRWWKHUHJLVWUDWLRQIHH ‡NO REFUNDS UNLESS CANCELLATION IS MADE BY NOON ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2014. &RQWDFW.LP:RRGZDUG  LI\RXGRQRWUHFHLYHDFRQĂ€UPDWLRQĂ€YH GD\VIURPGDWHVXEPLWWHGWR93$ ‡&RPLQJIRUWKHEDQTXHWRQO\"$WWHQGWKHDIWHUQRRQVHVVLRQVRQ6DWXUGD\DIWHUOXQFKDWQRFKDUJH 

Total Per Person

0DLOIRUPWR Virginia Press Association, 11529 Nuckols Road Glen Allen, VA 23059 Fax: (804) 726-1574

Virginia’s Press • Winter 2013 / 2014

Nominations are open for the following VPA awards and honors, to be presented at the Virginia Press Association Annual Conference on Saturday April 5, 2014 at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa/Short Pump. Criteria and nomination forms for all awards are available online at www.vpa.net/index.php/membership/. All nominations should be sent to Janet Madison by email at janetm@vpa.net or by fax to (804) 726-1571. The deadline to submit nominations is January 31, 2014.

7


ALL ABOUT MEDIA

People, events in the news

VCOG cites Post reporters for open government efforts Washington Post Reporters Rosalind Helderman and Laura Vozzella were recognized this month for their efforts to advance open government in Virginia. The two veteran journalists were among four people honored by the Virginia Coalition for Open Government at its annual conference on Dec. 6 at the Williamsburg Community Building. Helderman and Vozzella exposed the close relationship between Gov. Bob McDonnell and the head of a nutritional supplement company. According to a press release, the reporters examined financial disclosure statements, court records, legal bills and more information to “piece together a narrative of shopping sprees, Rolex watches and catered weddings, while also exposing the potential for corruption in Virginia’s weak gifts, disclosure and ethics laws.” VCOG also recognized Charles Landis, who sued Onancock in 2011 over the town’s refusal to provide the new town

manager’s employment contract on the basis that his signature was a personnel record. The court, in 2012, ruled for Landis. Landis sued the town once again, this time in August, after he was denied access to a document circulated among town council members to initial and approve a decision not to renew the town manager’s contract. The council made the decision without the required public vote. Two months later, as part of a settlement with Landis, the town attorney read a statement in public admitting that the document had been destroyed prior to Landis’ request. The statement also included an acknowledgment that Landis’ request was as a citizen concerned with transparency in government and not as a personal vendetta. Fairfax County Clerk of Court John Frey was recognized for his efforts to post online opinions written by circuit court judges in Fairfax County. Anyone can go to the court’s website to search, read and download the opinions for free.

Washington Post reporter Rosalind Helderman, right, receives an award for her efforts to support open government from the Virginia Coalition of Open Government President Craig Fifer. Not pictured is Washington Post Reporter Laura Vozzella. Photo by Megan Rhyne

Three newspapers sold to Hermes Publicatoins Family-owned Hermes Publications LLC expanded its portfolio and extended its coverage area this month with the acquisition of three community newspapers in Central Virginia. Hermes Publications, founder of The Southside Messenger in Keysville, on Dec. 12 purchased The Monitor in Dinwiddie County, The Prince George Journal and The Sussex-Surry Dispatch from Page Publications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We are believers in the power of community journalism,” Evan Jones, who along with his parents Averett and Susan Jones operate Hermes Publications, said in a press release. “We believe in local newspapers and want to

see local newspapers around the area, and the state, succeed.” The family started its first publication, The Southside Messenger, in June 2004 to serve Southside Virginia, including Charlotte and Prince Edward counties. Jones, who has worked in the newspaper business since he was 18 years old, will serve as the publisher of the three acquired papers and as editor of The Monitor. Jones said in the release he does not anticipate major changes to the three publications, but plans “to get the pulse of each community” to determine if any alterations are warranted as the papers move into the future. Tom and Bobbi Page, owners of Page Pub-

lications, started The Prince George Journal more than 16 years ago. They purchased The Monitor about a decade ago and The SussexSurry Dispatch in 2007. They are looking forward to the next chapter in their lives as they transition into retirement, the release said. “We feel privi-

leged to have had the opportunity to serve our community and are grateful for the support we have had in our endeavors,” Tom Page said. Mark Laskowski, senior associate at W.B. Grimes and Company, represented the Pages in this transaction.

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VPA website undergoing change

Virginia’s Press • Winter 2013 / 2014

Coming Soon: A new-look vpa.net. Virginia Press Association Publications Editor Jeremy Slayton has spent the past few months working with web developer Abdellatif Boudaouch to redesign the association’s website. The revamped site will include much of the same information currently displayed online, but may be organized differently. It will also include discussion forums and a calendar of events for the association, such as trainings, General Assembly-related activities and the an-

nual awards banquet. New features that will be added once the new website is launched will include online registration for Virginia Newspaper Academies and membership applications that can be submitted online. “We want our website to be user-friendly, not only for our members, but also for the public,” Slayton said. “No one would argue that the current site is outdated and in need of a change.” Slayton said the association is targeting a mid-January launch of the redesigned site.

General Assembly Continued from page 1

tions in the Freedom of Information Act. A detailed discussion of the likely SCC bills can be found on page 11. Stanley called the study of Virginia’s FOIA laws long overdue, noting that there has not been an indepth review of FOIA in 14 years. She said that over the past three years the legislature has approved changes to the FOIA law “that go against the basic ideologies of the act.” In his Mainstream Project, Bolling is asking 8

the FOIA Council to undertake the review of FOIA laws. He said on his website since FOIA was last reviewed, numerous exemptions have been added to the law “which have made it more difficult for citizens to get access to information they should be entitled to.” Stanley said that each organization or group afforded an exemption in the law, should be called before the FOIA Council to defend its exemption. Any FOIA legislation filed in 2014 should not be enacted, but rather studied along with the entire act, Stanley said.

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OBITUARIES William Jarvie Nicoson William Jarvie Nicoson, one of the founders of the Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia, died July 7 at the age of 81. He was a lawyer and first director of the New Community Assistance Program, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He served as the Connection Newspapers publisher for a number of years. He wrote a weekly column for five years, and, subsequently, wrote a monthly column for the Reston Times. He received the “Best of Reston” award in 2002. Paul Akers Paul Akers, 63, the longtime editorial page editor for the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, died September 20. He was hired as the publication’s editorial page editor in 1998. Prior to joining the Free Lance-Star, he worked at Scripps Howard, The Heritage Foundation, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, AAA and The Charleston Daily Mail. He had more than 20 years of combined military service, with time in the Marines during Vietnam and the Army Reserves. Lona M. Ellis Lona M. Ellis, 60, who began a nearly 40-year career in advertising at The Smithfield Times after she graduated high school, died November 11. She was the newspaper’s advertising manager for more than 20 years and earned numerous awards for her creative work on behalf of area businesses. Kerry P. Talbott Kerry P. Talbott, 49, a former artist with the Richmond News Leader and then the Richmond Times-Dispatch, died October 4. An accomplished artist, he won numerous

awards for caricatures and other illustrations while with the Richmond News Leader and the Times-Dispatch, including five first place awards from the Virginia Press Association. His work appeared four times in Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. Ruth J. Herrink Ruth J. Herrink, 87, publisher of The Journal in King George, died October 12. The day before her final illness, she was filled with energy as she worked on the next edition of The Journal, which she published for the last 30 years. Prior to moving to King George, she was the director of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She also served as a member of the Richmond City Council from 1963-65. Angelo Cameresi Angelo Cameresi, 78, a retired machinist and printer at the Roanoke Times & World News, died October 23. He served his country in the United States Army as a Motor-T mechanic. After the service, he began his training as a machinist on the linotype at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph in Bluefield, W.Va. He then moved to Roanoke to work at the Roanoke Times & World News where he retired after 34 years of service.

Lewisville Daily Leader in the Dallas suburbs. From there he moved on to The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Md., where he was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1991 for a series of stories about sexual harassment at the U.S. Naval Academy. He left Annapolis in 1991 for The Houston Post, where he covered city hall and later the environment. George St. Clair “Buck” Rumpf George St. Clair “Buck” Rumpf, 86, a retired news reporter with the Virginian Review, died October 26. He was an active member of the Sharon Ruritan Club, a member of Clifton Forge Masonic Lodge # 166 A.F.& A.M., Kazim Shrine Temple, Clifton Forge Shrine Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4299 of Clifton Forge, Clifton Forge Retail Merchants Association and the Clifton Forge Development Corporation. W. Jennings Culley Jr. W. Jennings Culley Jr., 88, a staff member of the Richmond News Leader for more than 40 years, including 24 as sports editor and sports columnist, died November 15. A graduate of Randolph-Macon College, he spent three years in the U.S. Navy and began his career in sports reporting as a writer for the Roanoke World News. He joined The News Leader in 1951 to cover a variety of sports.

In Memorium Robert H. Haskell III, Martinsville Bulletin, January 4 Russell Carder, Culpeper Star-Exponent, January 15 Michael Tate, Norton Press Inc., January 15 Robert A. Redmond Jr., News & Messenger, February 13 Henry Cabot Lodge Compton, The Virginia Mountaineer, March 22 Charles “Leon” Townsend, Danville Register & Bee, April 1 Ann Gregory, Clinch Valley Times, April 7 John David Waybright Jr., Page News and Courier, May 10 John Alan Gunn, Richmond News Leader, June 24 William Jarvie Nicoson, Connection Newspapers, July 7 Guy Raymond Friddell Jr., The Virginian-Pilot, July 20 Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr., Byrd Newspapers, July 30 Walter S. Segaloff, 2013 Virginian of the Year, August 18 Paul Akers, The Free Lance-Star, September 20 Kerry P. Talbott, Richmond Times-Dispatch, October 4 Ruth J. Herrink, The Journal, October 12 Angelo Cameresi, Roanoke Times & World News, October 23 Scott Harper, The Virginian-Pilot, October 26 George St. Clair “Buck” Rumpf, Virginian Review, October 26 Lona M. Ellis, The Smithfield Times, November 11 W. Jennings Culley, Richmond News Leader, November 15

Scott Harper Scott Harper, 51, an award-winning environmental reporter at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk since 1994, died October 26. He graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, with degrees in history and political science, and attended graduate school at the London School of Economics. His news-writing career began in 1985 at the

The 2014 Virginia Press Association’s Total Media Directory is heading to a publication near you. This expanded directory includes lists of radio and television stations, legislative contacts and college/university newspapers in addition to the plethora of information about VPA members. When the directory was sent to the printer, the outcome of the Attorney General’s race and its impact in the Virginia Senate was unknown. Also, printed listings for VPA members are already changing and will continue to do so. VPA will soon post an electronic version on www.vpa.net that will be updated on a regular basis throughout the year. Members are asked to keep VPA informed of any staff changes, news addresses or other transitions as they occur. Members and others may order additional copies of the directory by contacting Janet Madison at janetm@vpa.net or (804) 521-7570.

Virginia’s Press • Winter 2013 / 2014

Directory is in the mail

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Newspaper people elected, honored, on the move Thomas A. Silvestri, president and publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was elected president of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. Digby Solomon, president, publisher and chief executive officer of the Daily Press in Newport News, was elected chairman of the SNPA.

Larry Chambers, who is the most senior employee of Landmark Community Newspapers, will retire as publisher of The Declaration in Independence at the end of 2013. A new publisher will not be hired.

John Ramsey, an experienced journalist with stints at the Rocky Mount Telegram and Fayetteville Observer in North Carolina, joined the Richmond Times-Dispatch as a local government reporter.

Howard Owen, a longtime journalist with more than 40 years of experience, was named the editorial page editor of The Free LanceStar in Fredericksburg. For the past six years, he has been the publication’s business editor.

Brian Colligan, who has served as the editorial page editor with the Daily Reflector in Greenville, N.C., was appointed opinion page editor for the Daily Press.

Mike Dean, a 25-year newspaper veteran, was named circulation manager for the Loudoun Times-Mirror. He has worked at The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Vero Free Press and in several divisions of the Times Community Media family.

Veteran reporter Dave Ress joined the Daily Press after stints in Roanoke, Staunton and more. A former reporter with the Daily Press in the 1990s, Ress will initially cover the state and region. Reporter Ali Rockett joined the Daily Press to cover York County and Poquoson. Rockett previously covered local government in Fayetteville, N.C.

Virginia’s Press • Winter 2013 / 2014

Christine Sampson joined The Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg to cover education

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issues. Sampson most recently served as a local editor for Patch’s Three Village edition on Long Island, N.Y.

Times Community Media Executive Editor Ray Finefrock has been named general manager of the media company’s Piedmont Division. He will continue his responsibilities as executive editor for the Times newspapers in Fauquier, Price William and Culpeper counties as well as Gainesville. Mark Grandstaff was named managing editor of the Fauquier Times. Grandstaff has

been with the Times since April 2012 and was named deputy editor in May.

Bob Lewis joined McGuireWoods, where he will head the firm’s communications team.

Rick Bockes, who spent the past 10 years in sales management with Media General and later with BH Media Group, was hired as the advertising manager for The Gainesville Times and Prince William Times.

Brian Perdue, who has more than 20 years of journalism experience, is the new editor of The News-Messenger in Christiansburg and the Radford News Journal.

Cindy Smith, who has a strong background in management and marketing, was hired by the Times-Virginian in Appomattox as its new account executive. Roslyn Ryan, who has had a role with several suburban community newspapers in central Virginia, was appointed editor of the Goochland Gazette. The Bristol Herald Courier announced the hiring of Tommy Dowdy as the newspaper’s new regional circulation director. Paul Fletcher, publisher and editor-in-chief of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, was elected national secretary-treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists. Career newspaperman Thom Loverro returned to The Washington Times as a sports columnist. He previously worked for publication until its sports section was shutdown in December 2009.  Former Associated Press Politics Reporter

Brian Eckert, who for the last 14 years was the director of media and public relations at the University of Richmond, was named the executive director of communications and public affairs at Washington and Lee University. Kirsten Steuber, a 2012 University of Virginia graduate, became the first non-student staff member of The Cavalier Daily. She was hired as a full-time advertising manager. Tony Clark, associate publisher of Tidewater Publications LLC, was promoted to publisher of the organization, which publishes The Tidewater News in Franklin, Western Tidewater Living, and related digital products. Veteran graphic artist Jeffrey Bland, former art director at Style Weekly, was hired by Local News LLC to be the creative director of the Chesterfield Monthly and Henrico Monthly magazines. If you have any staffing news to share, please contact Jeremy Slayton at jeremys@vpa.net.


Conflicting bills would regulate SCC information The upcoming General Assembly session is likely to include dueling bills that determine how the State Corporation Commission releases information. A draft bill by Del. Scott A. Surovell, DFairfax, to bring the SCC under FOIA was not endorsed by the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council in December during its final meeting prior to the start of the 2014 General Assembly session. At the same meeting, Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, said he plans to introduce legislation pertaining to the release of information that would keep it in the SCC title of Virginia code (Section 12.1). “Describe in there the fact they do have to make available to the public or public in-

spection, records related to the administrative activities of the commission,” Watkins said. “The commission has helped Virginia from an economic development standpoint, because businesses felt that the integrity of information and data they shared with the commission that was proprietary would be kept that way.” A draft of Watkins’ bill was not available when the council met because he said it was being vetted to determine how it will be structured. The FOIA Council voted 5-4 to not offer a positive recommendation to the General Assembly on Surovell’s draft bill. Council Chairman Sen. Richard H. Stuart, R-Westmoreland, said the council needed to move with caution in order to get the lan-

guage right and not endorse a revised version of Surovell’s bill – a work group met in November to discuss and refine the draft – that hadn’t been fully vetted. Del. James M. LeMunyon, R-Fairfax, who is the vice chairman of the FOIA Council, asked Watkins why the disclosure of records couldn’t be accomplished under FOIA, rather than updating the state law pertaining to the SCC. “I don’t think that the FOIA commission has the breadth of experience with the proprietary side of business that exists in Virginia,” Watkins said. “The integrity of that commission is at stake here. When you put that commission’s integrity at stake, I think you put business in this commonwealth at stake.”

Chief among the concerns in Surovell’s draft bill are the overly broad exemptions to the release of records. FOIA, he said, makes everything available to the public, unless the records meet one of the 32 exemptions under the law. “The approach under the FOIA there is the presumption that anything government does is open, unless there is an exemption. We’re just following that approach,” he explained. Attorney Craig T. Merritt, lobbying on behalf of the Virginia Press Association, testified before the council that the association couldn’t support Surovell’s bill in part due to the broad exemptions, but could not offer support to Watkins’ bill without seeing it first.

FOIA Council shoots down request to study redefining ‘meeting’ Virginia’s Freedom of Information Advisory Council in September shot down a request by Hanover County to study redefining “public meeting” under FOIA. After a nearly 20-minute presentation by Del.  Christopher K. Peace, R-Hanover, and Hanover County Attorney  Sterling E. Rives III, there was no support on the council to move forward with the study of possible legislation to change the definition of a meeting.  Current law defines a meeting as any gathering that involves three or more members of a governing body, or a majority, known as a quorum. Hanover officials wanted a quorum to constitute a public meeting. Hanover is governed by a seven-member Board of Supervisors. Rives told the council that a public meeting is not the ideal setting to hold brainstorm-

ing sessions to discuss difficult situations. “Right now, meetings of public bodies ... which are open to the public, which are held in a formal setting, are not ideal opportunities for brainstorming because there is simply limited time available on public meeting agendas, and many issues to handle,” he said. “The setting is not conducive to throwing out different ideas and debating each other on those ideas. As we might do in a private setting, you come up with all these ideas and then five minutes later you say ‘Oh no, that was stupid, let’s not do that.’ “Public officials are reluctant to do that in front of the press,” Rives said. Sen.  Richard H.  Stuart, R-Westmoreland, chairman of the FOIA Council, countered, “I do that all the time,” drawing laughs from the audience and fellow council members.  “I do it every day when we’re in session,

make a complete fool of myself,” Stuart said. “Your position is they feel like they’ve got to do that in private, even though it’s public business that they are conducting.” Rives responded that he believes three members of a public body would have more opportunity to have more open discussion and brainstorming activities in a less formal setting without triggering the state’s open meeting laws. He also noted that any change to the FOIA law would only impact the discussion of is-

sues, not a vote on those issues, which would still require there be a quorum and it take place at a public meeting. When Stuart asked the council if there was any interest in studying Hanover’s request, no one stepped forward to make a motion. “This certainly does cause me pause,” said Stuart, who is a former county attorney. “Unless something is really sensitive and there is a real need for [executive session], things just go so much better when it’s right out there in the open.”

Dates announced for VPA Days at the Virginia Capitol are interested in attending one of these sessions, please contact Executive Director Ginger Stanley at (804) 521-7575 or gingers@vpa.net. VPA members are asked to meet at 9 a.m. at the General Assembly Cafeteria on the sixth floor of the General Assembly Building. Details are subject to change depending on legislative committee meetings. Please stay tuned as further details for VPA Days at the Capitol are announced.

COMMUNITY JOURNALISM WORKSHOP: JUNE 19-20, 2014 @VPA

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Virginia’s Press • Winter 2013 / 2014

What’s better than one Virginia Press Association Day at the Capitol? How about four VPA Days at the Capitol? The Virginia Press Association, at the request of its Public Notice Task Force, has scheduled four days for newspaper publishers and executives to spend time in the halls of the state government. VPA Days are scheduled for January 16, January 28, February 6 and February 18. If you

11


Coaching ad reps out of “rut of mediocrity’ A good leader is more than just someone who is a good manager. They have to be a motivator, a coach, a delegator. Those are among the hats a good advertising sales manager must wear to guide a successful sales staff in the high-stakes field of newspaper advertising. “People who have the ability to excite people and lead them to higher levels of productivity are the ones who put themselves in a jet stream that propels them to higher and higher

levels of success and prosperity,� Carolyn Cullen, the former regional advertising director for the Central Virginia Media Group, told a group of newspaper advertising sales managers during a Virginia Newspaper Academy in December. Success or the lack thereof, of a newspaper’s advertising department can be traced to its leader. Cullen said people will discover the level of performance their managers will settle for and gravitate to that level. Then managers

Sara Amiss, advertising manager at the Rappahannock Record, left, and Jackie Newman, advertising manager at The Farmville Herald, fill out a behavior style questionnaire during a Virginia Newspaper Academy on sales leadership.

assume that’s the level they’ll achieve and quit challenging their people to get better. Great leaders coach them out of that “rut of mediocrity,â€? Cullen said. They also know how to motivate their employees, whether it’s through public praise or the money that comes with each commission. It’s up to the leader “to figure out those pieces so that you’re going to hit as many cylinders as possible,â€? she said. During the three-hour session, Cullen highlighted several characteristics of good leaders: Emotional Stability: “Sales is very emotional. You get rejected. You’ve got to pick yourself right back up and figure out how to fake it and get into the next sales call and not let them see that you just lost that big sale.â€? Prepared: “Opportunities always follow preparation – if you are not prepared, opportunities will certainly go away.â€? Delegators: “Sometimes leaders are afraid to delegate because ‘I want to have all the power; I want to have all the decision making,’ or the opposite end of that pendulum is delegate everything and ‘I don’t have to do anything.’â€? Charisma: “I don’t know that all charismatic people are leaders, but I certainly know that all good leaders have charisma. ‌ You can’t be a wallflower and be in sales management or sales.â€? Decisive: “People do not follow weak or

Carolyn Cullen, former regional advertising director for the Central Virginia Media Group, leads a Virginia Newspaper Academy on sales leadership.

wobbly decision makers.� Positive outlook: “Inherently, if you don’t think you can make the goal, it’s going to come across.�

You can help VPA keep the light shining on public notices in Virginia’s newspapers. For many years, the Virginia Press Association has been an advocate for the newspaper industry in Virginia, and one of its most important issues is that of public notices in newspapers. If public notices were to be removed from QHZVSDSHUVDQGDIÂżOLDWHGQHZVZHEVLWHV many Virginians would not know where to ÂżQGWKHPRQJRYHUQPHQWZHEVLWHVRULQWKH “public spacesâ€? where they might be posted. Proponents of electronic notice via government websites claim that posting notices online would save money. Public notice advertising, however, is a tiny part of a locality’s overall budget.

Virginia’s Press • Winter 2013 / 2014

Is Virginians’ right to know worth one-half of one percent of a local government’s budget?

12

You can help VPA inform Virginians about the importance of public notices and our dedication to protecting their right to know. We’ve made resources — house ads, op-eds, talking points and more — available to you at www.vpa.net, for your use, with appropriate attribution. Sample items are shown at right. Let’s all work together to remind Virginians that trading their right to know in order to save government a few dollars could be far too high a cost to pay.

97% 94% 72% 63%

of Virginians are very committed to the principle of the public’s right to know what their governments are doing.

of Virginians believe that keeping the public informed of public notices in newspapers is an important function of government agencies.

of Virginians have not gone to a government website to read a public notice.

of Virginians said that they would read public notices

much less often if they were placed only on government websites.

Keep public notices in independent Virginia newspapers.

Because you have a right to know. Source: Independent survey of Virginians conducted by DecideSmart, October 2011.

Virginia's Press Winter Edition  
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