THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER Vol. 97, No.2 February 2012
Journal of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington • www.wnpa.com
LEGISLATIVE DAY 2012
ON THE WEB Info, registration: www.wnpa.com/events
MARCH 1 • STATE CAPITOL OLYMPIA
City Living goes weekly in Seattle
Register for annual day at capitol O P
n March 1 members of Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington and Washington Newspaper Publishers Association will gather at the State Capitol in Olympia for Legislative Day 2012. Registration is due Thursday, Feb. 23. The day’s activities begin
in Conference Room ABC in the John A. Cherberg Building — a change in location from recent years. Rowland Thompson, executive director of Allied, will open with a legislative briefing from 10 to 10:45 a.m. We’ll hear remarks by the legislative leadership from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,
and then break for lunch. Following lunch, state elected officials begin speaking at 1:15 p.m. and state government officials at 2:45 p.m. The day’s final events are a reception at the Temple of Justice at 4 p.m., hosted by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, and dinner at the Governor’s Mansion at 5:30
p.m., hosted by Gov. Chris and Mr. Mike Gregoire. Please bring current photo ID for entry to the mansion. An agenda and registration details are online at wnpa.com/events. Please address any questions to Heather Clarke, heather@ clarkecompany.net, or Mae Waldron, email@example.com.
WET, WILD WINNER
Damian Mulinix/Chinook Observer, Long Beach
While covering a cross country meet, the Three Course Challenge in Gearhart, Ore., Damian Mulinix of the Chinook Observer, Long Beach, took the shot that won first place in the Color Sports Action Photography category, Circulation Group III, of the 2011 Washington Better Newspaper Contest.
Intern candidate nominations due Feb. 8 New requirements set down this year for entry packets
NPA publishers who would like to host an intern through the 2012 WNPA Internship Scholarship program are urged to nominate their candidate by Feb. 8. Your nominee may be a high school student, college student, or simply someone in your community who you would like to
have as an intern at your newspaper this summer. The internship is a 240-hour commitment and must be served at a WNPA regular-member newspaper. The internship scholarship, up to $1,000, would be in addition to any salary or other benefits you may provide for your intern. The Foundation revised
the nomination requirements to make publisher-nominee packets more comparable to applications from students at colleges and universities. Publishers should email the following to Mae Waldron, firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 8: • A letter of nomination from the publisher, including the pro-
posed duties for the intern and the name and title of the person who will supervise the intern • An essay (up to 300 words) from your nominee about their interest in a career in community journalism • Up to five examples of your nominee’s work, if available Winners will be announced by March 9. If you have questions, please call Scott Wilson at (360) 385-2900 or Mae Waldron, (206) 634-3838 ext. 2
Pacific closes two other newspapers
acific Publishing Company, Seattle, announced last month it would cease publishing the South Seattle Beacon and North Seattle HeraldOutlook, and begin publishing City Living each week. Several years ago, the company began publishing City Living in lieu of the Mike Dillon Beacon and Herald-Outlook on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Publisher Mike Dillon made the announcement. “We mourn the passing of those publications. In one form or another, they have been on the scene for generations, but they could not – in the current state of the economy – make it to the 100-year mark,” he wrote to readers in the Jan. 4 issue. “Yes, it is more economical to publish one newspaper rather than two, but more to the point, we have found City Living to be the stronger medium for exploring life in Seattle, including our neighborhoods.” With the new weekly schedule, City Living’s geographical reach has been expanded to include Montlake, Eastlake, South Lake Union, Ballard, Belltown and other Seattle neighborhoods. In addition to covering neighborhood issues, City Living provides a fresh look at a variety of topics – arts and entertainment, food and wine, families and schools, seniors and boomers, the local book scene, health and wellness and others. South Seattle Beacon’s origins were in Beacon Hill News, founded in 1924. Pacific Publishing combined the Beacon with the South District Journal and, in 2008, renamed the two publications the South Seattle Beacon. The University Herald was first published in 1917 and the North Seattle Outlook in 1922. Pacific merged the two newspapers into the North Seattle Herald-Outlook in 2001.
ON THE WEB City Living: www.CityLivingSeattle.com
Closed meeting clarifies need for recorded sessions
id the new Olympia City Council begin the new year with an illegal council meeting? Unfortunately, members of the public will never know the answer to that question because there is no audio or video record of what went on behind closed doors. The council’s apparent misstep is an excellent example of why the state Legislature must adopt Attorney General Rob McKenna’s bill to allow government agencies to record their closed-door executive sessions. If there’s a question whether the city council or county commission or school board broke the law behind closed doors, there’s proof in the video or audio recording. A judge can review the recording in his or her chambers and determine whether an illegal meeting was conducted. The actions of the Olympia City Council were called into question when the six council members selected a seventh council member to fill a seat vacated by the election of Steven Buxbaum as mayor. The six City Council members were equally divided on who should get the appoint-
State law prevents city councils, county commissions . . . or any other public entity from deciding anything in executive session.
ment. Buxbaum and council members Steve Langer and Nathaniel Jones supported former council member Karen Messmer for the appointment. Council members Jim Cooper, Jeannine Roe and Karen Rogers favored neighborhood activist Julie Hankins for the appointment. Deadlocked at 3-3 and rejecting Langer’s ridiculous suggestion to toss a coin, the six council members adjourned into executive session – behind closed doors – to talk about the qualifications, strengths and weaknesses of the two contenders. Council members are allowed to do that under the state’s Open Public Meeting Act. But this is the point where things got interesting. When the council members emerged from their closed-door session and before the official 4-2 vote for Hankins, Councilwoman
Roe said that “as a group we kind of decided we needed a fresh start on the council.” What? That’s an illegal meeting. State law prevents city councils, county commissions, school, port or fire district commissioners or any other public entity from deciding anything in executive session. Yet here was Roe, on the record, saying the six Olympia council members decided behind closed doors on the need for a fresh start, meaning Hankins over former council member Messmer. Roe was quick to backtrack after the meeting saying she misspoke and that the council didn’t “decide” anything behind closed doors. City Attorney Tom Morrill was equally quick to say that Roe misspoke. The last thing he wants as an attorney is a councilwoman admitting to an open meeting violation.
That’s asking for a lawsuit. Did the council make a decision behind closed doors in violation of the state law or did Roe misspeak? We’ll never know the answer to that question because like most government entities, the Olympia City Council does not record its executive sessions. And that’s where Attorney General McKenna comes in. As part of his legislative request package, McKenna is asking lawmakers to adopt a bill that would allow government bodies to record executive sessions. It’s not mandatory, it’s permissive. Then if a question arises – such as Roe’s alleged misspeak – there’s an audio or video recording to settle the question. Publicly paid lobbyists for cities, counties, school districts and other government entities have worked against the public’s interests on this issue in previous legislative sessions. They have beaten down legislation requiring recordings of closed-door meetings. Hopefully, McKenna has erased those concerns by making it clear in the legislation that the tape recordings are not mandatory and that the recordings are not sub-
ject to public disclosure. If the bill passes – and it should – it will be up to Olympia residents to pressure the City Council to tape record closed-door sessions. As McKenna says, the tape recordings will create a historical record, allow a governing body to review and refute an allegation of an illegal meeting and provide greater accountability for public attorneys that they are not allowing elected officials to hold illegal meetings. We believe that audio or video recordings of executive sessions would also create a psychological barrier for elected officials – to keep them from straying into subjects and having discussions that they should not engage in behind closed doors. Had a recording been in place at the Olympia City Council, Roe would have been able to definitively prove that she misspoke and that the council did not conduct an illegal meeting by making a decision in secret. As it is, without a recording, the public is left only to speculate whether an illegal meeting did or did not take place.
Planning protects rights at conventions
Officers: President: Jana Stoner, Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Cle Elum l First Vice President: Bill Forhan, NCW Media, Leavenworth l Second Vice President: Keven Graves, Nisqually Valley News, Yelm l Past President: Paul Archipley, Edmonds Beacon, Mukilteo Beacon l Secretary: Bill Will, WNPA, Seattle Trustees: Mike Dillon, Pacific Publishing Co., Seattle l Donna Etchey, North Kitsap Herald, Poulsbo l Eric LaFontaine, Othello Outlook l Imbert Matthee, Waitsburg Times l Lori Maxim, Sound Publishing l Stephen McFadden, Ritzville-Adams County Journal l Fred Obee, Port Townsend Leader Staff: Executive Director: Bill Will l Editor/Manager of Member Services: Mae Waldron
Officers: President: W. Stacey Cowles, The Spokesman-Review l Vice President: Mike Shepard, Seattle Times Company Board: Rufus Friday, Tri-City Herald l Jill Mackie, The Seattle Times l Dennis Waller, Chronicle, Centralia Executive Director: Rowland Thompson THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER is the official publication of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. It is published monthly by WNPA, 12354 30th Ave NE, Seattle WA 98125, phone (206) 634-3838. Email: email@example.com; URL: www.wnpa. com, in conjunction with Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, P.O. Box 29, Olympia, WA 98507, (360) 9439960. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
s the 2012 presidential primary season reaches full speed, let’s pause on the politics for a moment and look ahead to the national Republican and Democratic conventions with the First Amendment in mind. Republicans will meet the week of Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla. Democrats huddle the week of Sept. 3 in Charlotte, N.C. Each convention will, without a doubt, attract not only a deluge of delegates but also thousands of protesters aiming to be seen and heard on a variety of issues and viewpoints. For the record, that’s the First Amendment in action, with all five freedoms – religion, speech, press, assembly and petition – likely to be engaged or discussed intensely over both weeks. Since at least 2000, hundreds of mass arrests have occurred during both parties’ conventions, sweeping up protesters, working journalists and even some bystanders. All too often those arrests ultimately brought no charges. As a result, many claimed that police were acting more to silence critics and preserve decorum than to safeguard citizens. This time around, let’s include a little First Amendment planning right from the start. As it happens, there are lessons to be learned from lawsuits stemming from the 2008 conventions, some just reaching their conclusion. Then there are the ongoing lessons in dealing with public demonstrations involving the Occupy movement and, earlier, tea party gatherings and marches. One simple but very important item for early discussion is how to exclude journalists from arrests at unruly demonstrations. News reporters and photographers are the public’s representatives, the means for the rest of us to track how discordant voices are accommodated amid carefully planned convention activities. The prevailing tactic of “overwhelming force” in some early police actions against Occupy demonstrators in several cities backfired when journalists who were obviously reporting on the events were arrested and their arrests had to be voided. Alternatively, attempts to keep journalists blocks away from demonstrations prevented arrests but
stifled news coverage. Another concern: News reports say Tampa and Charlotte taxpayers will be insulated from having to pay for later lawsuit settlements over improper arrests of demonstrators. It’s Gene a relatively new and Policinski insidious practice of vice president/ providing special leexecutive gal-liability insurance director, to convention cities. First Amendment Center While local officials pledge in advance to respect such civil rights, such policies effectively offer a tempting carte blanche to “arrest first, sort later” when it comes to respecting First Amendment rights. In 2008, during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., a reported 600 people were arrested. According to a local magazine, city officials had required party officials to purchase a policy covering up to $10 million in settlement cash. In December St. Paul and Minneapolis police departments and the U.S. Secret Service settled for $100,000 a lawsuit brought by a TV reporter and two producers who were among about 40 journalists arrested while covering protests outside the convention center. In Denver, where Democrats met, city leaders also provided “protest insurance.” The Denver Post reported that the primary lawsuit stemming from convention arrests was resolved in October 2011. The settlement provided for $200,000 in total to be apportioned among eight original plaintiffs and $20 each to 80-plus others who joined the class-action lawsuit.
Since at least 2000, hundreds of mass arrests have occurred during both parties’ conventions, sweeping up protesters, working journalists and even some bystanders. The settlement also required the police department in future situations to warn protesters that they must leave before arrests began, and to have legal justification for taking demonstrators into custody. Yes, there likely will be circumstances in which arrests of protesters are warranted. After a chaotic, violent situation, police – and ultimately courts – will have to make decisions on whether someone was caught up improperly in a wave of arrests. But balancing First Amendment rights with public safety and security concerns through a clear, fair policy determined and publicized well in advance ought to be a primary goal now for convention planners and municipal authorities, not a late-summer afterthought. Gene Policinski is senior vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Ave. S., Nashville, Tenn., 37212. Web: www.firstamendmentcenter. org. Email: email@example.com.
OPEN ACCESS & LEGAL ISSUES
Auditors ring up Whatcom Council
Email discussions violated meetings law, they charge Bellingham Herald
hatcom County Council members violated state open meetings law in 2010 because they discussed council business via email, when it should have been done in an open meeting, state auditors said. The state Auditor’s Office on Tuesday, Dec. 27, released the results of an audit into various areas of the county in 2010. It contained no “findings,” which are considered more serious problems. But auditors sent a letter to county management on issues they said needed to be addressed. Auditors looked at three instances in 2010 in which council members sent emails to the full council. In two cases, a council member responded
to the whole council. Under state law, emails discussing county business sent to a quorum of the council meet the definition of “action” that needs to be done in an open meeting, the letter stated. In February 2010, council member Sam Crawford emailed the council with his thoughts on court funding. Council member Barbara Brenner responded with her opinion. In September 2010, council member Ken Mann emailed the council to point out a blog post he’d done discussing a public disclosure request. Brenner responded. Also in September, Crawford emailed the council asking to poll them on scheduling for rural zoning and growth policy changes. Mann’s email discussed a public records request by Bellingham activist Wendy Harris. Harris said she filed a complaint with the Auditor’s Office but never heard back and didn’t know auditors had
looked into it. She told the state that, “in essence, the County Council privately convened, via email, for the purpose of discouraging the submission of (public records) requests that are ‘burdensome,’ ‘time-consuming’ and ‘disgusting,’” Harris said, quoting words council members used to describe her request for their calendars. Mann, in an interview, said he thinks “it’s really important that we do everything transparent, out in the open, just so everybody can see what we’re doing.” He called a special meeting to discuss the issue of emails and public meetings a year ago, he said. It’s a challenge walking the fine line between the efficiency technologies bring and transparency, and it’s tough to know where the line is, he said. Council staff is drafting a policy on council members’ email usage, and Crawford said he thought the let-
ter would inform staff. “I’m not going to complain about it, because I think that anything that holds us to a higher level of transparency is a good thing,” Crawford said. The letter reinforces that when you put it into writing it “apparently brings it into the venue of an actionable item,” even though the rural zoning email dealt only with scheduling, he said. Brenner said she now understands the danger in responding to the whole council, which she doesn’t do anymore. She used to do it often. “I always thought the more I copied the better. The more people who know, the better, so I’m not catching them by surprise or anything,” she said. Emails are subject to release to the public under state law, with some exceptions. The result is the public will lose out because less will be put into releasable emails, she said.
TVW’s Web-based tool tracks legislation
s the 2012 Legislative Session begins, citizens who want to monitor specific legislation or track the public policy issues they care most about now have a free new tool to use from TVW. The new public service, called Scout, will transform the way citizens use TVW to access information about the State Legislature, the Supreme Court, state government and the public policy process, according to TVW President Greg Lane. “Scout gives anyone the ability to quickly and easily follow the issues they care most about,” said Lane of the new public legislative tracking service launched today by TVW. “No longer will an online viewer have to search through TVW’s archives each time they want to watch a specific video,” explained Lane. “Scout will do all the tracking and send the video to them. If they want to follow just one bill, for example, or a handful of bills, or even a specific issue like ‘levy equalization,’ through Scout, TVW will push to the viewer all of the video content and legislative documentation – past, present and future – related to their
Registered users can track bills they are interested in through TVW’s Scout tool.
ON THE WEB Scout on TVW: scout.tvw.org individual search preferences. “Anything TVW broadcasts or webcasts about their preferred topic will be queued up and ready for them to view from their own personal Scout account.” TVW’s new Scout service (available at http://scout.
tvw.org) offers many additional new features to make it easier for anyone to track, save, manage and distribute legislative information and TVW video, including: Access to tracking all TVW video and legislative documentation (bills, bill reports, amendments, etc.). The ability to save video, legislative documents or highlighted video clips in a personal account library.
Options to share video, documents or highlighted video clips via e-mail, social media like Facebook and Twitter, or create formal reports. “Scout is a free tracking service available to anyone who wants to follow what’s happening in the state public policy debate,” said Lane. “We hope this resource will help all citizens stay better informed about political issues and the legislative process.”
Ex-county official denies destruction of evidence
The Columbian, Vancouver
kamania County’s former auditor pleaded not guilty last month to shredding public documents showing unauthorized spending during his tenure. J. Michael Garvison, 40, appeared in Skamania County Superior Court in Stevenson for his first appearance and arraignment. He entered notguilty pleas to two felony counts of injury to public record. Judge Brian Altman said a trial date will scheduled by Jan. 17. Garvison, who resigned as auditor in November 2009 shortly after news of his expenditures became public, is not in jail. He agreed to appear in court through his attorney, Jon McMullen. Asked by the judge for his current address, Garvison did not want to say. In the packed courtroom, his attorney asked that he disclose the address “off the record.” Court documents show Garvison now lives in Ohio. After his case was in limbo for two years, Garvison was charged last month on allegations that between Jan. 1, 2009, and Feb. 28, 2009, he “did willfully and unlawfully remove, alter, mutilate, destroy, conceal or obliterate a record ... filed or deposited in a public office,” according to court documents. The records in question were vouchers that showed Garvison’s expenditures in 2003 and 2004. A state audit had found Garvison used thousands of dollars in public money for unauthorized travel, education and office equipment expenses over four years as the county’s elected auditor. The unauthorized expenses included 13 out-of-state trips, including two conferences in Florida and one in Las Vegas. For 2008 and 2009, he had allegedly billed the county for about $83,000 worth of trips. Investigators said Garvison ordered his staff to destroy the records, though the state does not permit destroying the records within a six-year retention period. Outside court, McMullen declined to make a statement, only saying that his client maintained his innocence.
Seattle sues lawyer who seeks dashboard-camera video
n the heels of a scathing federal review of Seattle police practices, dashcam video is once again at the center of a firestorm at City Hall. This time, the city is suing an attorney who wanted dash-cam videos connected to alleged police misconduct. KOMO News sued the city of Seattle after public information requests for police dashcam video were not fulfilled. The suit alleges violation of
the public records law. But criminal defense attorney James Egan never expected the city would preemptively sue him just for asking for police dash cam video. “Shocked. I am shocked,” he said. “What the police department is saying is if you make a request for public documents, ultimately you will be sued.” The situation involves two cases Egan handled pro bono. He believed the videos in each case show officer misconduct. Egan wanted to know if those
officers had other questionable arrests, so he asked for 36 additional dash-cam videos. But the city refused, citing privacy laws. Egan appealed, and now the city is suing him. “This is ridiculous. It would be comical if it weren’t alarming,” he said. Egan believes the city is retaliating for making these other videos public. “I kind of expect for something like this that they really do have something to hide,” said Egan. But Seattle City Attorney
Pete Holmes, who filed the lawsuit, says the city is caught between two conflicting laws. “There’s a plain conflict in the laws between the Public Records Act (and) the Privacy Act. The city will pay dearly if it makes the wrong choice,” said Holmes. When asked whether an attempt was made to cover up the 36 requested videos, Holmes said, “None whatsoever.” The dash-cam videos can be critical in ferreting out officer misconduct. The U.S. Department of Justice reviewed
hundreds of these clips in determining that the Seattle Police Department had problems with excessive force. Holmes says before police start releasing dash-cam videos, they need a judge’s guidance on the conflict between privacy laws and public disclosure laws. “We’re going to work with the DOJ on these broader issues regarding SPD,” said Holmes, adding improvements will not be made “if we start deciding which laws we’re going to enforce and which ones we’re not.”
NEITHER SNOW NOR ... CALENDAR OF EVENTS Feb. 13
*Ad Sales Webinar Registration Due
Ad Sales Webinar, Mike Blinder
Legislative Day, Olympia
Editorial Teleconference, Roger Simpson
WNPA Board Meeting, Seattle
WNPA Board Meeting, Bellingham
WNPA Board Meeting, Yakima
Whidbey Examiner, Coupeville
Lynden Tribune Publisher Mike Lewis personally delivered the Whidbey Examiner’s Jan. 18 press run, driving more than 50 miles through the snow in his 4-wheeldrive truck to make an on-time delivery. Lewis met the Examiner’s regular driver on south Fidalgo Island. Examiner Publisher Kasia Pierzga published the photo on her newspaper’s Facebook page, with her thanks to the Lynden staff. The Tribune has printed the Examiner for more than four years.
Sept. 27-29 125th Annual Convention, Yakima
*Details, registration at wnpa.com/events
Multimedia Ad Sales Survival
Feb. 16, 10-11 a.m. Webinar with Mike Blinder Register by Feb. 13. Fee: $20 per computer log-in
s Prospecting new business Ways to find new customers from new-advertiser categories and competing media
s Establishing business-to-business rapport Ten proven ways to develop a better relationship with your advertisers
I was impressed with Mike’s ideas when I attended his webinar in 2010, and can’t wait to hear him again. This will be a very highquality seminar.
s Making an effective ascertainment How to “surgically” extract information from clients to do business with them
s Closing more business Getting to a “yes” more easily and effectively
s Having the qualities of the best salespeople What does it take to be the best at the art of sales? This Multimedia Ad Sales Survival Webinar is an overview of what it takes to succeed in media sales — print and web — regardless of experience, market size or circulation. It offers novice and senior sales reps the basic skills and systems to help close business. Mike Blinder started as a disc jockey fresh out of college, and became a sales manager for a group of radio stations. He went on to manage television and radio groups, then was asked to help launch an online division for Gannett’s media and TV holdings. Today, the Blinder Group assists in maximizing revenues for clients through effective onsite sales training programs. Blinder’s latest book, Survival Selling, is guide for sales reps who want to know how to garner more revenue in tough economic times. The Blinder Group is based in Florida, where Mike and his wife Robin live with their 7-year-old daughter, Haven, and goldendoodle, Ginger.
Advertising Sales Northern Light, Blaine
We are very excited to have Mike share his sales techniques with our ad reps!
Vice President West Sound Operations Sound Publishing, Poulsbo
Don’t wait! Register today at wnpa.com/events
WNPA Ad Committee Chair NCW Media, Leavenworth
Co-sponsored by WNPA Ad Committee and SOUND PUBLISHING Contact Mae Waldron, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington Newspaper Publishers Association 12354 30th Ave NE Seattle WA 98125 (206) 634-3838 ext. 2. www.wnpa.com
Webinar to focus on ad sales
NPA publishers, your ad sales representatives will want to reserve an hour, 10-11 a.m. on Feb. 16, for a training webinar with Mike Blinder, a national expert on print and web sales. This Multimedia Ad Sales Survival Webinar is designed as an overview of what it takes to succeed in media sales — print and web — regardless of experience, market size or circulation. It offers novice and senior sales reps the basic skills and systems to help close business. What does it take to be the best at the art of sales? Reps will find out, as they learn more about: • Prospecting new business • Establishing businessto-business rapport • Making an effective ascertainment • Closing more business • Having the qualities of the best salespeople Sound Publishing is cosponsoring the webinar with the WNPA Ad Committee. Committee members Lori Maxim of Sound Publishing and Janet McCall of the Northern Light, Blaine, urged the committee to offer the session, based on their excellent experiences in his trainings. Learn more about the Blinder’s experience and the session at wnpa.com/events, where registration also is available. Registration is due Feb. 13. Cost for the one-hour session is $20 per computer login, with proceeds going toward the advertising speaker at WNPA’s 125th anniversary convention, Sept. 27-29, 2012, in Yakima. Registrants will receive the computer login and phone number prior to the webinar. Blinder suggests the best audio will be through computer’s speakers (VOIP) rather than by calling in separately.
Here come the judges: A history of WNPA contests
ewspaper quality has been judged, awards presented and careers propelled to new levels for about 80 of the 125 years of since Washington Press Association, now Washignton Newspaper Publishers Association, was established. The ups and downs of the contest reflect how member newspapers were affected by the economy and involvement in war, as well as technological changes. Washington Press Association’s first statewide newspaper contest, called the Better Newspaper campaign and held May 1929 to June 1930, resulted in two winners: P.D. Peterson, publisher of the Cle Elum Miner-Echo, for showing greatest improvement in the year, and Chapin Collins, publisher of the Montesano Vidette, for maintaining the highest score during the year. Judging was a labor of serious proportions for the three inaugural judges, John H. Reid, publisher of the University Herald (Seattle), R.P. Milne of the ad agency Milne-RyanGibson, Inc. and Prof. Robert W. Jones, University of Washington School of Journalism. The association had divided member newspapers into three groups, and every month the groups’ newspapers were rotated among the judges for scoring. Points were awarded for news, editorials, advertising, and typography, and scores were sent to publishers and printed (without newspaper names) in The Washington Newspaper. The contest continued similarly the next year. Judging in 1930-31 were Collins, the previous year’s winner, along with Edwin Wintermute, an instructor at the UW journalism school, and Arthur Neitz, a special advertising representative.
Sol Lewis of the Lynden Tribune won the award for highest score. The Cashmere Valley Record, publisher H.E. VanOmmeren, was the most improved newspaper, and received a trophy purchased by the association’s past presidents. The contest continued in 1931-32 and 1932-33, but with nine publishers completing the monthly judging en banc. In the mid 1930s, sponsored trophies for sweepstakes winners were provided by Mergenthaler Linotype Co. and the Seattle-Tacoma Wholesale Paper Merchants’ Association.
The first trophies
In 1927, before the Better Newspaper campaign was started, an advertiser, Herbert A. Schoenfeld of Standard Furniture Co., Seattle, had provided a trophy for the newspaper judged as having implemented the most effective community-building program. Schoenfeld told the publishers, “This cup is given, not for its intrinsic value, but rather with the thought in mind that it will perhaps, in a small way, be of benefit along the constructive lines of making Washington a bigger and better state.” After Schoenfeld died in 1933, his estate continued the contest until 1942-43. Perhaps inspired by Schoenfeld, the Seattle Times offered a trophy in 1928 to the newspaper showing most improvement in advertising, both in service to advertisers and advertising typography. That award continued at least until 1932.
Journalism school judges
In 1933, the association accepted a suggestion from Karl Allen, publisher of the Pullman Herald, for senior students in
In January 1959 WNPA and Allied dropped out of that campaign. But the Western Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, continued to sponsor it with the School of Communications until 1960-61. At that time, SPJ became the sole sponsor, as it is today.
the journalism departments at Washington State College and UW to do the judging as part of their regular classroom work. The judging period was shortened to nine months, and newspapers were divided into four classifications. At the summer meeting in 1937, the association decided against continuing with the campaign, saying it had become too laborious and outlived its usefulness. But the following year, it was back in an abbreviated form — monthly evaluation of front pages.
Partnering for a new contest
The campaign went on hiatus during the 1942-46 years of World War II. In 1945, to fill that void, the WNPA board arranged to partner with the Washington State Press Club on an annual distinguished writing competition that persisted through 1954-55. The press club had held its first writing contest for daily and weekly newspapers in 1943. In 1955, the Washington State School of Communications, Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington and WNPA partnered in a new version of the WSPC/WNPA contest that continued for several years. It included photography along with 14 writing competitions, and divisions for large and small dailies, and weeklies.
Return of the campaign
Meanwhile in 1948 the Better Newspaper campaign returned, with WNPA and the faculty of WSC in charge of judging and without UW involvement. WSC gave the campaign space on campus and also offered a clinic, where publishers could send their newspapers for critique. Skipping ahead to 1958, members are offered more categories. Winners published in October 1958 TWN included first and second place awards in community service, women’s page, and sweepstakes in two divisions (under and over 1,900 circulation). That pattern continued for five years, with judging by WSC faculty and its Better Newspaper Clinic. In 1970 WNPA initiated the current practice of partnering with another state for contest judging, and small newspapers in Colorado judged the contest. Judging by mail was effective for about five more years, but unpredictable mailing prompted another change. In the late 1970s the association executive director, Jerry Zubrod, started traveling with the entries to the judging partner states. His successors, Miles Turnbull and Diana Kramer, continued that practice. Though the association returned to mailing entries in the mid-2000s as a cost-saving measure, it again proved unreliable.
Technology streamlines BNC
In 2007, WNPA began collaborating with SmallTownPapers, an affiliate member then based in Seattle, on a website that would host the contest. Though entries were mailed to WNPA as usual in 2007, news entries were judged on betternewspapercontest.com, by the Oklahoma Press Association. Each page of each news entry was labeled by WNPA staff, then scanned and uploaded to the site by staff at SmallTownPapers. In 2008 members used the site to create entry forms for all divisions, and mailed those with entries to WNPA. Again, news entries were judged online using the label-and-scan process. Other entries were judged by mail. The changeover to all-electronic entries occurred in 2009, when members were asked, but not required, to submit entries as PDF or jpgs for all divisions except Special Sections and General Excellence. For each entry submitted as an electronic file, members paid a reduced entry fee. Also in 2009 WNPA added a Web division to the contest with categories for advertising, blogs, news, photos and multimedia. In 2011 all aspects of the contest were handled online, including the General Excellence division. The betterbnc.com site has proven extremely successful. More than 100 media groups across the country and in Canada contract with SmallTownPapers to conduct their contests on the site. WNPA’s 2012 contest deadlines are May 4 for regular entries and General Excellence, and June 1 for tourism special sections. Editor’s Note. Much of the detail here is drawn from articles written by Don Crew, retired executive editor of Fournier Newspapers, Kent, and published in the August 1987 TWN.
Hubble, long a force for Daily News ad sales, departs
Daily News, Longview
hen 19-year-old Arleen Hubble got a job at the Daily News as a proofreader in 1969, the newspaper’s dress code required women to wear skirts and men to wear suits. Reporters used typewriters. Instead of computers and page designers, there were linotype machines and typesetters. The Daily News’ office was at the corner of 12th Avenue and Broadway — the new building at 11th Avenue and Douglas Street didn’t open until 1970. John McClelland Jr. was publisher. Hubble, who was taught to create advertising logos and artwork by pouring lead and zinc into mats, went home every night the first week feeling “frustrated and scared.” “I couldn’t remember ev-
FOURNIER Media Services, Inc.
Brokerage — Consulting Appraisals JOHN L. FOURNIER, JR. P.O. Box 750 Prosser, WA 99350 Voice 206/409-9216 Fax 509/786-1779
Bill Wagner / The Daily News
Arleen Hubble uses a toy lightsaber to direct entries lining up for the Longview Twilight Christmas Parade a few years back. erything ... but you catch on really quick,” said Hubble, who moved to Longview with a girlfriend from their hometown of Stevenson, Wash., to attend Lower Columbia College. Over the next 42 years, Hubble rode the unceasing waves of change at the office. (For starters, in 1971, women were allowed to wear matching double-knit pantsuits to work.) Hubble’s job duties shifted to layout sales and then advertising sales. Her switch to the advertising depart-
ment happened just after Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, and she still recalls visiting a brandnew account wearing a face mask because of falling ash. “I thought that was a great first impression,” Hubble said with a laugh. In 2007, she left the newspaper to “try something different,” but she missed it and came back in 2009. Aside from that brief hiatus, Hubble has been a constant, powerful and well-known force both at the office and in the
community, organizing events such as the Go 4th Festival and the Longview Christmas Parade. She’s built strong relationships with clients through her diligence and commitment to accuracy, coworkers say. “I didn’t know if I’d have a strong ability to sell because there’s a fine line between assertive and aggressive,” Hubble said. “But over the years, I’ve gotten to know some of my accounts like family. They trust you, and they know if you’re going to offer them something, it’s good for them, not just to get an ad.” Now, at age 61, she is ready to retire — but she won’t disappear. “I’ve enjoyed my 40 years here at the Daily News. I never thought I’d be 40 years in one place,” she said. “I figured I’d never leave, but I’m tired. All the new stuff — the online and the Twitter and the tweeting, the mind’s full. The new people need to come along where they can understand it better. “It’s time for me to have fun, to do the stuff that I want to do,” said Hubble, who does not have children. Daily News Publisher Rick Parrish marveled at Hubble’s longevity at the newspaper. “It’s
pretty amazing,” he said. “She made up her mind she was going to achieve some things, and she got them done. Arleen has always had her clients’ best interests at heart, which is the hallmark of a great salesperson. ... The Daily News has benefited greatly from Arleen and all her hard work.” One of Hubble’s clients, Randy Dingus, vice-president of All-Out Sewer and Drain Services, said she has “just been great to deal with.” “She’s just been a joy,” he said. Don Clark, owner of The Pro Shop, has known Hubble more than 35 years. “There are few people I have ever met who are good at what they do as Arleen has been. Anything I needed help with she was there for me,” he said. “She has been an incredible asset to our community as well. No one that I know of works so tirelessly for so many good local causes. I count Arleen as one of the best friends I have made over so many years in business.” Always happy with a needle and thread in hand, Hubble has a part-time job lined up See HUBBLE, page 6
from page 5 working at Longview Sewing store. But what she’s particularly looking forward to is time for more volunteer work. “I enjoy giving back, I really do, because I had so much support when I was going through my breast cancer,” she said. Hubble was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 1998 — at the very time her husband, Tom Hubble, was in the hospital to have his cancerous colon removed. The following month, the Hubbles ended up in the hospital together while Arleen had her lumpectomy and Tom had additional colon surgery. “It sucked,” Hubble said with her characteristic bluntness. When they returned home, Arleen’s advertising clients would drop off bags of fruits and vegetables on their front porch, Hubble recalled, her eyes filling with tears at the memory of such kindness. Her first chemotherapy treatment was on a Friday, and on the following Monday, Hubble’s clients sent her a total of 33 hats, scarves and bandanas in anticipation of her inevitable baldness. “It’s a great place to work and live in Longview,” she said. “It’s a very, very giving community.” Hubble has served as a volunteer or board member for the Drug Abuse Prevention Center, CrimeStoppers, Relay for Life, Altrusa and the United Way. In 2003, the newspaper’s parent company, Lee Enterprises, honored Hubble with its annual Lee Spirit Award, which recognizes employees for outstanding community contributions outside the job. In 2006, the St. John Medical Center Foundation named Hubble the Sister Margaret Anna Cusack Woman of the Year for Hubble’s curefor-cancer fundraising efforts after she survived breast cancer. “I think all the awards she’s won say it all,” said Daily News graphic artist Deborah Proshold, who has worked with Hubble for 28 years. “This is an extraordinary individual that’s lived a very community oriented life, and she doesn’t just fill a job — she fills a world.”
Rebecca Olson/Whidbey News-Times, Oak Harbor
Fifth-grade student Bridget Barkley tapes newspaper tubes together to create a structure that taught students about area, perimeter and teamwork
Do the math: Students turn to News-Times Whidbey News-Times, Oak Harbor
ape, laughter and a massive amount of newspaper surrounded Harry Toulgoat’s class of fifth-grade students at Hillcrest Elementary School. The class has been working on a math unit about area, perimeter and volume and Toulgoat decided to give his students some hands-on engineering experience to make the lesson memorable. “We’re learning how to do area and perimeter and trying to make a 3-D object,” said student Kailye Collier. Approximately 2,300 sheets of newspaper, feet and feet of tape and plenty of teamwork later, the class erected a structure consisting of hundreds of joined newspaper tubes made out of the Whidbey News-Times. Students stood on chairs to hold up walls taller than themselves as other students climbed inside the structure with tape. Laughter and excitement were FIND YOUR 25-HOUR DAY My 50 years on 15 small publications can help you: • sell more ads & subs • simplify operations • avoid bricks through your window • start/improve your website
email@example.com - (206) 790-9457
everywhere as the students enjoyed the hands-on work. “We got math going on even through we’re building things,” Toulgoat said. He got the idea for the project from a Seattle school that did it last year. He divided the class into teams, each of which created more than 300 newspaper tubes using nearly a mile of the local newspaper. Then the groups got to work following blueprints, figuring out how to tape tubes together and learning how to measure the diagonals of triangles, Toulgoat said. Students learned about math, as well as using time efficiently, writing and reasoning. “Teamwork, the geometry of engineering, area, perimeter and
volume are most important, even if it collapses,” Toulgoat said. Although the structure didn’t stand on its own, that didn’t dampen the students’ enthusiasm or education. After discussing what worked and what didn’t, the class constructed two-person tents that are still standing, Toulgoat said. The students invited their second-grade reading partners to sit in them during reading time. About their first structure, student Ceirra Dean said she learned, “Newspaper doesn’t work very well to make a 3-D object.” Student Piper Fisher learned that, “When you work on a project like this, you should have more tape.”
“And harder newspaper,” Dean added. “But we used teamwork and that’s all that matters,” Collier said. “We learned, and that was the whole point,” Toulgoat said.
- - - - Advertising- - - -
Size matters when it comes to PDFs
Fonts and presets also big concerns when exporting
spent my weekend with two clients. The first was a 60,000 circulation newspaper in North Carolina. The second was a large shopper in New England. As I’ve written before, I never know what I’m going to run into when I visit a newspaper. In North Carolina, my assignment was to observe the operation and make suggestions to improve the production Kevin Slimp workflow. Simple enough. Director, Institute of In New Newspaper England, I was Technology asked to train the staff as they began the conversion from QuarkXpress to InDesign. Again, simple enough. However, as is often the case, my initial assignment turned out, in both instances, to morph into other areas. We had this problem with our new printer this week ...
Back to North Carolina.
I met with the entire staff, visited each person individually and made recommendations where appropriate. After lunch, I learned that there had been an issue with one of the pages when plates were being made at the new printer. This was the first issue printed with the new printer. Changing printers was a wise decision, by the way. The print quality was significantly better. Photos looked almost magazine quality, compared to photos in previous issues. There was one problem, however. After receiving all the files and running the pages through the raster image processor (RIP), which converts the files when creating the plates, one page kept “kicking out.” There was an error on the page which would not allow it to go through the RIP. In the evening, after deadline, the designer went back to the page to see where the problem was. After some time, he realized it was with a font. He finally changed the font to something else, sent the file back to the printer, and it made its way through the RIP. His question to me was, “Why did this happen? We’ve never had this problem before. Ever.” If you’ve been reading my columns very long, you’ve probably seen something
I’ve written about the importance of creating PDF files the right way. When you don’t, problems happen. In the case of the North Carolina newspaper, the new printer had instructed the paper to export their PDF files from InDesign using a preset that worked “perfectly with their system.” Well, perfectly when the pages actually print. For years, the newspaper had created their PDF files
using Acrobat Distiller, with never a problem. Suddenly, in their first effort using the new system, there was a problem. Normally, I’d just suggest that the designer ignore the instructions from the printer and create the files the way he always had. However, the preset provided created invisible lines that were used to place the pages together before going through the RIP. We looked closely at the files that were created using the printer’s settings and attempted to create a preset in InDesign, via Distiller, that would create the same lines. When we thought we had it right, we called the printer, sent a couple of files and received word that the files printed perfectly. And, as is usually the case, the PDF files were approximately one-third the size of the files that were exported from InDesign. No problem, gang. That’s
what you pay me for.
ABOVE LEFT: The line, “PDF Producer,” lets you know this PDF file was exported using Adobe PDF Library. That means the creator exported it from InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop. In this case, InDesign. ABOVE RIGHT: Exporting using PDF Presets in InDesign “seems” so much easier than making them using Acrobat Distiller. Looks can be so deceiving. LEFT: Those nasty CID fonts. They are killers to RIPS. Even though printers often mistake the source of errors in pages to other sources, quite often it’s one or more CID fonts in a PDF file.
Then on to New England ...
So after a day of training the staff of the New England shopper, some questions were posed about creating PDF files. The printer, who had two representatives at the training, instructed the group that they should export the PDF files using a preset they would provide. Joe, my contact at the paper, asked if this was the best way to create the PDF. When I answered negatively, the printer asked what kind of issues come up in PDF files that are exported. When I started describing problems that could arise, he said, “We’ve been experiencing those from several of our customers.” I stayed around an extra couple of hours and talked with a couple of the folks from the shopper and a representative from the press. We installed PDF printer drivers
and created InDesign printing presets (not to be confused with export presets) on each of the ten machines, new iMacs, then set up Distiller to receive the files via “Watched Folders” and make the PDFs. When done, the process of making PDFs was as fast as it would have been exporting the files, the files were less than half the size they would be if exported and I had a very happy printer on my hands. “I think this is exactly what we’ve been looking for,” he told me before I headed out to dinner with the bosses. At dinner that night, Joe, who hired me to come to New England, said, “You know, that last hour you spent with us fixing our PDF problems was worth every penny we spent to get you up here.” No problem, Joe. That’s what I do. Reach Kevin at kevin@ kevinslimp.com.
CAREER MOVES n Dan Catchpole, formerly editor of SnoValley Star in Snoqualmie, is a new reporter for the Yakima Herald-Republic. Catchpole, 32, of Shoreline is covering education and general assignments. A University of Washington graduate, his experience includes editing at the SnoValley Star, a weekly owned by the Seattle Times, the Snoqualmie Valley Record and a six-month stint with The Associated Press in Seattle. He also spent time in the Republic of Georgia, where he covered the fallout of its war with Russia for Christian Science Monitor and the Washington Times. n The Herald in Everett bade farewell to two longtime writers at the end of 2011. Mike Benbow, a 33-year veteran of the Herald, retired from the newspaper business, though he will contribute occasional pieces to the Sunday paper’s Outdoor section. A transplant from Cleveland, Benbow plans to stay in the Northwest to enjoy local recreation on and alongside the water, and learn how to use his new laptop, iPod shuffle and smartphone. Kristi O’Harran filled her final column with dozens of ideas she never followed up on, ending with a note to herself from 1994 “to write about column ideas I never did.” n At the Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter, sports reporter Keven Endejan has switched beats to cover community news, business and schools, and pick up some assistant editorial responsibilities. Succeeding Endejan is Bellevue Reporter’s sportswriter, Josh Suman, who has added Issaquah and Sammamish to his coverage area. Suman is familiar with the two communities through his work on Sammamish Patch. n Ritzville-Adams County Journal Publisher Stephen McFadden has
been appointed to the Big Bend Community College board of trustees by Gov. Chris Gregoire. He is completing the unexpired term of Katherine Kenison, who stepped down last year after serving 13 years on the board. A print journalist since 1985, McFadden is also a trustee and past president of Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. n The Spokesman-Review has hired four new staff members. Regina Winkler, national sales executive, has 22 years of media industry experience. Rebecca Brooking, digital account executive for Spokesman. com, previously worked for the Daily World in Aberdeen. Holly Netz joined the newspaper as a multimedia sales executive, and has sales and marketing experience in other industries. Melissa Skomer-Kafton, multimedia content editor/provider, previously worked for radio station KXLY and has more than 10 years of local media and production experience. n Jacob Buckenmeyer joined the Anacortes American’s editorial staff. A graduate of Western Washington University, his experience includes writing for the Catholic News Service in Washington, D.C., and radio station KNOM in Nome, Alaska. He succeeds Elaine Walker, who accepted a position with the Anacortes Museum. n Michele Matassa Flores has been named managing editor of the Puget Sound Business Journal. She joined the newspaper this past October as assistant managing editor for digital media. She had been an editor at Crosscut, and previously had a 20-year career as a reporter and editor at the Seattle Times. Flores succeeds Alwyn Scott, who started a new job last month as financial editor for the Americas at Thomson Reuters in New York City.
Jana Stoner/Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Cle Elum
Editorial Director Frank Garred, left, introduced Scott Panitz and Maida Suljevic, University of Washington Legislative Reporting Interns, at the WNPA board of trustees meeting Jan. 13 in Olympia.
Request intern stories now
embers of Washington Newspaper Publishers Association may still register to receive stories from WNPA’s legislative reporting interns, Scott Panitz and Maida Suljevic. The two students, seniors at the University of Washington, are participating in the UW Legislative Reporting program, with Suljevic reporting for newspapers in Eastern Washington and Panitz for papers on the West side of the Cascade Mountains. Frank Garred is serving as editorial director for the two reporters. He introduced the students to
trustees of Washington Newspaper Publishers Association at the WNPA board meeting Jan. 13 in Olympia. The interns were funded by the WNPA Foundation and by donations the Foundation solicited from WNPA members. To register to receive stories or request stories, contact Garred by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use these phone numbers, land: (360) 385-3313 and cell: (360) 808-0648. Garred is a former director of the WNPA Foundation, past president of WNPA and former publisher of the Port Townsend Leader.
Named for the second year in a row to the
List of “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News and World Report for Media and First Amendment Law
www.alliedlawgroup.com • Seattle • Olympia