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THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER

Schonberger contributions remembered Page 3

December 2015

Journal of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association

UW journalists ready to cover state Legislature

MAGIC IN THE SKY

WNPA Foundation funds two; members can access stories Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation, for the sixth consecutive year, launches its 2016 Olympia News Bureau program Jan. 4 from a base at TVW studios in Olympia. Two University of Washington Journalism students report on the state Legislature and issues Hansen from state departments for WNPA’s member newspapers in a program that began in 2010. WNPA Foundation Smith provides $3,000 to each reporter for the 10-week experience, through funds raised at the association’s annual convention auction. The news bureau concentrates on issues affecting all corners — and intersections – of the state, from Newport to Ilwaco; from Waitsburg to the San Juan Islands. Last year 111 members participated in

publishing the bureau’s stories. Reporting from Olympia during the upcoming session are UW Journalism seniors Izumi Hansen and LaVendrick Smith. Hansen is a journalist, educator, and student. She describes her approach to reporting as “multidisciplinary truth-seeker fueled by a passion for sharing knowledge in order to empower people.” Hansen is studying Astronomy and Journalism as an honors student at the university. She has freelanced as a student reporter for the University of Washington Daily, the Seattle Globalist, and Northwest Asian Weekly. Hansen formerly worked as assistant news editor at the International Examiner, a pan-Asian newspaper in Seattle’s International District, and was a Journalism intern at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. In addition to reporting, Hansen works as an Interpretive Science Educator at the Pacific Science Center discussing science topics with center visitors. See Olympia, Page 2

This time exposure created some wonderful trails of light in the sky. The photo was taken by Natalie St. John of the Chinook Observer. St. John took third place for Photographer of the Year in the 2015 WNPA Better Newspaper Contest.

Valassis battle ends in a whimper

By Tonda F. Rush The long struggle between the newspaper industry and Valassis Inc., over the direct mail company’s special postage discounts from the U.S. Postal Service appears to have ended with a whimper. In November, Valassis filed a report saying it had carried out no mailings eligible for the special discount. It announced it had paid an agreed $100,000 penalty to USPS last September. The tension between newspapers and its long-time insert customer began in April 2012

when the Postal Service requested a special contract rate for Valassis that was designed to pull advertising inserts out of Sunday newspapers and into a new weekend Valassis direct mail package. If the program had launched and successfully mailed 1 million qualifying mail pieces, Valassis could have earned a 22 percent to 34 percent Standard Mail postage discount. The newspaper industry fought the proposal, even taking it to the U.S. Court of Appeals. But in the end, the market ruled. Valassis announced it had

launched programs in May 2013 in Atlanta, Phoenix and Washington. It reported mailing 2 million pieces in 2013, but that these were not qualifying pieces under the rules of the contract agreement. There were no mailings in 2014 or 2015. NNA President Chip Hutcheson, publisher of the Princeton (KY) Times-Leader, said the $100,000 fine was a fitting end to an unfortunate chapter. “We want to think of this See Valassis, Page 2


Olympia: Interns ready to cover Legislature Continued from Page 1 In his emerging journalism career, Smith has reported for The Mukilteo Beacon as an intern in high school, and at the University of Washington Daily throughout his college years. He has also reported as an intern with The Seattle Times’ features department, and as a reporter for The News Tribune in Tacoma during the 2015 legislative session in Olympia. “Since I was a young kid I’ve had a passion for writing and storytelling, and that passion for writing morphed into a love for reporting and journalism,” Smith noted during his induction to the Olympia news bureau program this fall. “I want to blend this love for storytelling with reporting on issues that affect the lives of readers,” he said. He said he hopes to report and write for a major daily newspaper

after graduation. “Journalism documents human events for a large audience. I want to make them personal,” he said. Frank Garred, retired newspaper reporter, editor and publisher, continues as coordinating editor for the ONB. Support staff includes the UW’s Olympia program faculty member Andrea Otanez and two former Olympia Journalists: Dave Ammons, now with the Secretary of State’s office, but for many years AP Olympia correspondent, and Dave Workman, formerly an editor at the Everett Herald and The News Tribune in Tacoma, who is retired from state government where he served as media spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources. The two act as resident mentors, helping select issues to cover and sources to consider in reporting on those issues.

The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Established 1887

Officers: Lori Maxim, President; Don Nelson, First Vice President; Sandy Stokes, Second Vice President; Keven Graves, Past President. Trustees: Sara Bruestle, Eric LaFontaine, Donna Etchey, Scott Hunter, Michael Wagar, LuAnn Morgan and Jill FitzSimmons. Staff: Marcia Van Dyke, Executive Director; C.J. Burk, Assistant Director. THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER is the offical publication of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. It is published monthly by WNPA, 1204 Fourth Ave. East, Suite 4, Olympia, WA 98506. Send news about member publications to editor@wnpa.com. Staff Contacts: Marcia Van Dyke: Executive Director: 360-515-5239. Email: mvandyke@wnpa.com CJ Burk: Accounting and Advertising 360-515-0974. Email: cj@wnpa.com. Fax: 360-515-5546 2 The Washington Newspaper December 2015

FROM THE PRESIDENT

WNPA wants to grow membership By Lori Maxim The holidays are upon us and your association is working hard to bring a greater return on your investment as a member of WNPA. Committees are actively planning ways to capitalize on and identify new benefits Maxim that we can provide to our members. The Membership and Bylaws Committee recently met to brainstorm ways of growing membership. One thought is to increase perceived membership value through better marketing. After polling publishers about the top reasons they value being a WNPA member, the team came up with a list that will be included in marketing materials for prospective members. Key benefits include the Legal Hotline, BNC contests and liability insurance discount for libel, TWN, convention, 2X2 program and training. The team is also creating a “We Want You Back Campaign,” with incentives for former WNPA members to rejoin the association. Growing membership may include recruiting outside of the weekly papers — inviting daily newspapers, niche publications and ethnic newspapers to join. The committee entertained the idea of extending membership to digital-only publications.

Press associations in Ohio, North Carolina and Missouri all have active online-only members. Membership standards are similar to those for print newspapers, but with a few caveats, including: Members must have been publishing for three years, regularly and consecutively, using recognized standards of professional journalism; content is primarily devoted to local or general news and must be updated no less than once per week; and, the publication cannot be a platform promoting the interest and opinions of a special interest group, individual or cause. Some associations limit their benefits to that of an Associate Member. They cannot hold a spot on their board or vote, but do have access to member benefits such as the Legal Hotline and the ability to compete against each other in their own digital-only contest. A greater conversation and dialogue needs to be held with our membership on this subject. Over the next few months, board members will host roundtable discussions with neighboring newspapers to learn what members may think about the ideas of adding non-traditional media as WNPA’s members. If you have thoughts you’d like to share on the subject please contact committee chair Sara Bruestle, editor of the Mukilteo Beacon, at mukilteoeditor@yourbeacon.net. The Convention Committee is actively planning next year’s event. A group of sales-type

volunteers have agreed to prospect vendors and sponsors for the convention. Meanwhile, a subcommittee is being formed to plan the keynote, advertising and editorial speakers for convention. Sound fun? Contact Sandy Stokes, publisher of the LaConner News, at news@ laconnornews.com. if you are interested in serving on the subcommittee. There is so much to be thankful for during these holidays. It’s a time for us to appreciate all of the people on our teams who make publishing print and digital editions each week possible. We are all fortunate to employ folks with tremendous talents, who are willing to work hard to get the story right or design the perfect ad. It’s our sales team putting in the extra effort to create great marketing campaigns for customers and circulation folks working late into the night in nasty weather. Take the time each day to “catch people doing things right” and thank them with small acts of kindness. Share some home-baked goodies or pass out a few gift cards to recognize the extra efforts required to get through a huge holiday edition. Wishing you and your team Seasons Greetings! Lori Maxim is Vice President of West Sound Newspaper Operations for Sound Publishing and is this year’s WNPA President.

Valassis: Long battle finally ends Continued from Page 1 whole experience as an episode of recession fever at the Postal Service. They were facing grim markets, as we all were, and USPS was grasping at straws. The fever ignited this idea of picking winners and losers in the advertising marketplace for the sake of maybe getting in some new mail volume. We at NNA didn’t think it would work, and it didn’t. So USPS got $100,000, and spent unreported thousands in lawyers and analysts’ time. The newspaper industry and Valassis spent heavily to advance their various viewpoints. And in the end, there was no new mail.

“There is a moral to this story that every parent knows: don’t play favorites in the family. No good comes of it. We are glad this chapter is over and we intend to continue to work with Valassis to develop its markets and with USPS to improve the mail. Money is tight. We need to plant our seeds where they can grow.” Tonda F. Rush is the Chief Executive Officer and general counsel for the National Newspaper Assocation. NNA. She can be reached at tonda@ nna.org.


PASSINGS

Howard Schonberger Howard Schonberger was a member of the greatest generation, a World War II veteran who would become a newspaper man in every sense of the word. A long-time contributor in many ways to the Friday Harbor Journal, Schonberger passed away Friday, Oct. 23 at the age of 94. He liked to call himself a “newsie” even into his 90s. Howard was a man who could recall the golden moments of the past, but he was also a forward thinker - a man ahead of his time. He fought for equal rights after seeing discrimination to black students as a kid in Omaha. Even though he never stopped loving his typewriter, he advocated for technology in the pursuit of knowledge, was a huge supporter of community events and joined many service groups - all done with a smile on his face and a skip in his step. No one who knew Howard could recall a time when he was in poor spirits. Once after his grandchild commented, “Howard is always in a good mood one,” Howard replied, “I’m not always in a good mood, and if I’m not, I’m quiet about it.” He was born March 9, 1921. A career in news was in the making early in Howard’s life as he started a paper route as a boy. After high school he attended journalism school at Northwestern University. Halfway through obtaining his degree he was drafted into the Army and soon applied to become an officer. Howard spent four years in service during WWII dubbing himself an infantry shavetail, meaning an officer who is not very experienced. After being

no to Howard, who was a sharp salesmen all the way into his 94th year. Howard was a part of many service groups on the island, but his longest tenure was at the Lion’s Club and American Legion. He met Helen in 2000 after his second wife passed away. “It was really a stroke of luck when he met Helen,” said his son Howard Schonberger Jr. at his father’s promised to get out of the memorial service. “It was regular Army a day early, the happiest he had ever Howard joined the reserves, been.” which would eventually The couple married in lead him to two years in the 2002. Helen recalled being Korean War. attracted to him for his Pride in the service was enthusiasm for life. important to him, but he “You felt like you was also upfront about the weren’t missing out on aftermath of such violence. anything with Howard,” she In 2013 he wrote a column said. about meeting a fellow vetWhen he found out that eran at a community event. the end of his life was near, “He has been a sturdy Helen said he became very representative of the milcontemplative. lions of veterans who have “He thought of dying seen the devastation of war as another adventure,” she and respects all those who said. sacrificed their lives and In the last several years limbs in the horror of war,” he was known at the Journal he wrote. for his positive play reviews After WWII, he got mar- and guest columns. ried, had a son and worked “His columns brought as news editor of Veterans people together,” said Mary Report in Washington, Sawyer, his step-daughter. D.C. He also worked as a “He had an incredible gift proofreader for National for observation and a cheerGeographic. In 1949 he ful voice.” joined the advertising He was also an active department at the Palo Alto salesman with his shop Times in California. local page, whale pages, Howard came to visit graduation tab, sports tab the San Juans in 1975 and and the baby derby celpurchased a lot at Cape San ebrating the first baby of Juan with his second wife the year, which he started. for their retirement. Four When Howard maryears later, Howard quit the ried Helen he inherited Palo Alto Times and started eight stepchildren. He a life on the island. already had a son from “I have no regrets,” he his previous marriage. wrote about the decision At the time of his death, in a 2014 column. In true he had one son, eight fashion he went straight to step-children, 16 grandwork at the Journal as an children and two great ad man. You could not say grandchildren. The Washington Newspaper December 2015 3


Minnesota newspapers have a stake in their towns By Kevin Slimp There’s a reason I love my work so much. There’s a reason that there are folks around the country waiting for me to return their calls while I’m writing this Slimp column. They can wait. This is more important. I love my work for the same reason that many of you do. I’ve got something important to tell you and it can’t wait while I make phone calls. In my opinion, “Awesome” is the most overused word in the English lan-

guage. I cringe when I hear it, and as the father of two teenagers, I hear it a lot. So I got out the dusty thesaurus and found a synonym that would work: phenomenal. That’s the best word I know of to describe the trip I just took to Minnesota. Yes, that’s right, Minnesota. I’ve worked with more than 100 papers in Minnesota this year. I know, that’s a lot of papers. And there is something that’s very apparent as I crisscross the frozen tundra (OK, tundra might be a stretch) of Minnesota, visiting papers from McGregor to Pipestone to Preston: newspapers in Minnesota are doing really well. That truth was

never more apparent to me than in late October, when I visited papers in the central and western areas of the state. I’ve got John Stone to thank for the visit. John manages Quinco Press in Lowry, a small town in West-Central Minnesota. I’ve visited Quinco a few times since 1997, and my official reason for traveling to Lowry in October was to do an afternoon of training for area newspaper staffs, then a day of press tests on Quinco’s new press. Following the afternoon of training on day one, I had the real pleasure of having dinner with John and his wife Mary, along with Reed and Shelly Anfinson, old

friends who run weekly papers not too far from Lowry. I had just seen Shelly a week earlier at The Institute of Newspaper Technology in my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. We discussed the plight of the newspaper industry, with more and more newspapers being bought, only to be closed by large corporations. I loved it when Reed looked at me from his end of the table and said, “Keep going. You’re preaching to the choir here.” Most Minnesota newspapers, it seems, aren’t owned by far-away corporations. They’re owned and operated right in the towns where they’re located, or within a few miles. And unlike newspapers in some areas, most aren’t suffering from staggering circulation declines and disappearing profits. On the evening of day two, I found myself in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, a thriving town two hours north of the Twin Cities. Dave Simpkins, recognized nationally for his phenomenal success, had invited me to spend a day with his staff. But first,

he invited me, along with a few other folks, to dinner. As we sat at our table, a young man in an electric cart drove up to our table. Having several friends with cerebral palsy, I immediately knew that was the reason he was in the cart. Dave introduced me to Mike Imeike and I quickly learned that he is in charge of tearsheeting at the Sauk Centre Herald. It’s difficult for many folks to understand someone with cerebral palsy when they speak, but I had no problem understanding Mike when he quickly volunteered, “Dave called me on the phone 10 years ago. He said, ‘I’ve got a job for you. Come down to the paper.’” Mike did as instructed and has been in charge of tearsheeting in Sauk Centre for 10 years. It’s obvious the rest of the staff loves working with him and Mike, Dave tells me, is a great employee. I compare stories like that with the trend of large groups to buy newspapers, cut staffs to bare minimum, then watch their circulation and profits deteriorate.

Dave Simpkins has a good heart. Of that, there is no doubt. But he also knows something about running successful newspapers. I’m sorry that most folks don’t have the luxury of visiting places like Sauk Centre, McGregor and Pipestone. These are places where newspapers are valuable assets to their communities, where writers, editors and designers feel a part of something greater, and where the future continues to look bright. As Dave Simpkins and I had breakfast at a local cafe in Sauk Centre to begin day three, I noticed the love and respect that was shared between him and everyone we encountered. When Dave introduced me to a group of six folks and told them I was there to improve their newspaper, one man quickly spoke up, “Don’t do anything to mess up our paper. We love it.” So do I. Kevin Slimp is a speaker and trainer in the publishing world. He can be reached at kevin@kevinslimp.com.

CAREER MOVES

Fogt named editor at Beachcomber

Anneli Fogt accepted the editor position at the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber earlier this year and began the job in early September. Born in Centralia, Washington, she and her family moved to Southern California when she was young. She attended college at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. She majored in Communications with an emphasis on journalism and worked for the school’s weekly newspaper, The Poly Post. While at the helm of the Post, she accepted a full-time job as a crime reporter at a daily newspaper in April

2014, months before she was set to graduate. She graduated in June 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and decided she had had enough of the California heat and wanted to move back to Washington State. She moved to Vashon Isalnd at the end of August. Do you have a new employee, or was someone on your staff promoted to a new position? If so, your friends at TWN would love to include the news. Send Career Moves to editor@wnpa.com.

The Washington Newspaper December 2015 4


OTHER VOICES

Ruling closes doors on government deliberations By The Herald of Everett Editorial Board A recent decision by the state Supreme Court could now provide some cover for public officials looking to conceal the more controversial parts of the sausage making they do as members of city and county councils, school boards, fire district boards and panels leading other public agencies. The high court’s decision, signed by six justices, ruled that a small group of San Juan County council members had not violated the state Open Public Meetings Act when two of the council’s six members met informally with county employees and others to draft an update of the county’s critical areas ordinance. The Citizens Alliance for Property Rights sued, asking

the court to invalidate the ordinance because many of the discussions used to draft it were held without notifying the public of the meetings. The court determined the county council hadn’t officially formed the update committee and a quorum was never present at any of the committee’s meetings. Three of the court’s justices, however, in a partial dissent, agreed that the committee was acting on the council’s behalf as it drafted recommendations and should have complied with the public meetings act. Even the update committee in San Juan County, halfway through its process, thought better of meeting outside of the public eye and opened the door to its meetings. The Open Public

Allowing the public to observe committee meetings — and providing adequate notice of those meetings — isn’t a high bar to clear. Meetings Act requires that all meetings of a public agency’s governing body be open to the public and provide adequate notice. But the court, in its Oct. 1 ruling, relies on a narrow

interpretation of the act that appears to ignore its intent, said Toby Nixon, president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and a member of the Kirkland City Council. An interpretation of the act more generous to the public good would have noted that the act considers “action” by a governing body to include the gathering of public testimony, deliberations, discussions and evaluations, and not solely final action. Likewise, the act also says a governing body includes any committees that acts on its behalf. The ruling’s effect, Nixon and the open government coalition say, would allow governmental agencies to chart a path around the public meetings act by appointing

small, informal groups to gather information, discuss alternatives and make recommendations, and do so outside any public scrutiny. The problem isn’t with the committees. Considering the crush of work involved in drafting ordinances and policy, farming out parts of the process to committees is a reasonable course. But that doesn’t mean that process can be done without the public’s knowledge and observation. The Coalition for Open Government is asking the court to reconsider its ruling, but it’s also preparing a bill for the Legislature’s coming short session in January that would provide a brighter line on what the act requires for inclusion of the public. With only 60 days in

the session, there won’t be a great deal of time to push a bill through, but Nixon believes it could find its way in front of legislators if it’s joined with reforms many public agencies are seeking regarding public records requests. Allowing the public to observe committee meetings — and providing adequate notice of those meetings — isn’t a high bar to clear. Until the court reconsiders or the Legislature clarifies the act’s requirements, public officials, some of them elected earlier this week, ought to take the steps necessary to meet the intent of the Open Public Meetings Act. This Everett Herald editorial was published Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.

UW flaunts open meetings law in dinner meetings By The Seattle Times Editorial Board ANY violation of Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act by a governmental board or council is unacceptable — it is an attempt to keep the people’s business secret. Yet the University of Washington’s Board of Regents has shown a consistent pattern of making decisions in secret. Whether Ana Mari Cauce is the right person to serve as the university’s new president is not the issue — she is. This editorial board has praised her appointment. The problem is a culture that does not value public transparency.

As reported by The Seattle Times’ Lewis Kamb, the Board of Regents appeared to decide early on that Cauce was their top choice. A twopage news release was polished and ready to go Oct. 13 before the regents held a public vote during a special meeting. Last April, a King County judge ruled the board violated state openmeeting laws 24 times from 2012-14 by privately discussing university business over dinner at the president’s residence. University regents should remember they are accountable to the people of this state. And their new president should remind them at

5 The Washington Newspaper December 2015

every opportunity. Washington State University’s Board of Regents needs to get the same message as it begins their search for a new president. Taxpayers have a right to know about the inner workings of these institutions, especially with regard to major decisions like the selection of the university’s top leader. Citizens, in general, should have access to the same information the regents use to make decisions. That’s the only way to ensure they are working in the public interest. “We can do the same analysis and see if we come up with the same answer,” says Toby Nixon, president of the

Taxpayers have a right to know about the inner workings of these institutions, especially with regard to the selection of the university’s top leader.

Washington Coalition for Open Government (WashCOG). Nixon warns the UW’s open-meeting fumbles represents a growing trend in Washington. Every year in Olympia, WashCOG goes up against agencies and lobbyists advocating for legislative changes that would make public access to records more difficult. Agencies and lobbyists often argue pulling information takes too much time or resources. Nonsense. Now WashCOG itself is facing challenges. A source of grant funding — nearly half of WashCOG’s roughly $60,000 annual budget — is no

longer available. The organization has raised enough to stay afloat for now, but it needs help to maintain programs and administrative support. Concerned citizens can ensure WashCOG continues to demand transparency in government by making a monetary donation at washingtoncog.org. Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Brier Dudley, Mark Higgins, Jonathan Martin, Thanh Tan, Blanca Torres, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).


WNPA JOB BOARD

Looking for new opportunities? Check out the WNPA job board at wnpa. com. The following are excerpts from recent job announcements. Go online to view full postings:

site and social media updates, meet deadlines and work in a cooperative team environment. Journalism education and/or experience required. Fluency in Spanish would be helpful. Hermiston is a viREPORTER WANTED The Hermiston Herald brant growing city of 17,000 located near the and East Oregonian Blue Mountains and are seeking a general the Columbia River. assignment reporter for It offers outstanding our daily and weekly newspapers and websites hunting, fishing, hiking and other outdoor in Northeast Oregon. This position covers edu- recreation. The region is one of Oregon’s leading cation, cops and public safety, and writes feature agricultural centers built and general news stories. around irrigated farming and dryland wheat. We Must be able to deare looking for somevelop story ideas, take one who is seeking to photographs, develop develop a long-term sources, prepare web-

For this full-time position with benefits, the artist is partnered with a Sales Rep to create high quality print & web ads, to format newspaper pages and other print graphics, and to digitize content for print or web. Experience in Adobe tools essential: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop. Mac and web platform skills a plus. Our new teammate will be a well-organized multi-tasker, selfGRAPHIC ARTIST WANTED directed, who meets deadlines and has a The Port Townsend good laugh. Inquiries & Leader seeks a great resumes to: Scott Wilgraphic artist who can son, Publisher: scott@ thrive within a busy, production-oriented team ptleader.com or mailed of creatives and Market- to 226 Adams St., Port Townsend, WA 98368. ing Reps.

Photographer’s treatment denounced

It’s a boy! WNPA’s Assistant Director CJ Burk announced this month the birth of her son, Orin Stewart Burk. He was born on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at 12:15 a.m. and weighed in at 7 pounds 12 ounces. Congrats to the Burk family and a hearty welcome to little Orin!

PUBLISHER’S TOOLBOX Legal hotline cuts cost of insurance A big benefit of WNPA membership is access to the legal hotline. Not only does the hotline provide access to quality opinions on libel questions, having access to it saves you money on libel insurance payments. Just being a member of an organiation with a legal hotline will win you a discount. Check with your libel insurance company to see how much you can save by joining WNPA. The hotline is intended to be used when stories you

career in journalism. An understanding of this region is a plus. Full time. Benefits include Paid Time Off (PTO, insurance and a 401(k)/Roth 401(k) retirement plan. Send resume, clips and letter of interest to EO Media Group, PO Box 2048, Salem, OR  97308-2048, by fax to 503-3712935 or e-mail hr@ eomediagroup.com.

publish result in a threat from an attorney, or if you have questions about a story you are about to publish. The hotline is not intended to be a clearinghouse for questions about access to meetings and government records. Those questions should be forwarded to WNPA Executive Director Marcia Van Dyke. Contact hotline attorney Michele Earl-Hubbard at (206) 801-7510 or michele@alliedlawgroup. com.

6 The Washington Newspaper December 2015

After student and faculty protests Monday, Nov. 9, on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, the Missouri Press Association declared its support for MU student photographer Tim Tai and denounces the role students and staff played in attempting to prevent news media from covering events at the university. “The actions and words captured on video of MU students and staff are disappointing to advocates of free speech and the First Amendment,” MPA President Jim Robertson said. “Public areas on the university campus are public for all individuals and the attempts by some to keep media from documenting the protests show a disturbing misunderstanding of how the First Amendment protects all individuals’ rights and freedoms. “The university is a

gathered at the scene to urge increased awareness of racial issues on campus. A video showing some of the protesters, including two MU staff, restricting the photographer’s access to the public area on campus, also depicted protesters physically blocking Tai’s view, eventually pushing him away. In the video, Tai reminded protesters of his First Amendment right to be Photographer Tim Tai argues his case with protesters at present and to document the the University of Missouri. events taking place. taxpayer-funded institu- tension,” Robertson said. The Missouri Press tion representing not Robertson is managAssociation fully suponly the students who ing editor of the Colum- ports Tai’s First Amendcurrently attend, but bia Daily Tribune and ment stance and reminds alumni everywhere and president of the Missouri people that access to residents of the state at Press Association, the public space, such as the large. statewide trade assogrounds of a university “Student photograciation of 275 Missouri funded by taxpayers, is pher Tim Tai should newspapers. available to all citizens, be commended for not Student photographer without prejudice, Robonly defending his First Tim Tai, on freelance as- ertson said. Amendment rights to signment for ESPN Nov. The video shot by document the student 9, was attempting to Mark Schierbecker and faculty protests on take photos of a tent city can be viewed on the MU campus, but do- erected on the university YouTube at https:// ing so in such a manner campus by protesters. www.youtube.com/ as to avoid escalating The protesters had watch?v=xRlRAyulN4o.

Twn 1215  

The Washington Newspaper, Dec. 2015

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