Articles from the Texas Press Messenger monthly trade journal, the official publication of Texas Press Association. Contact us with news items or for advertising rates.


Members gather at National Newspaper Association 128th Annual Convention
Friday, 10 October 2014 08:00

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Newspaper publishers, editors and managers from across the country met at San Antonio's Grand Hyatt Hotel for the 128th Annual National Newspaper Association Convention & Trade Show, Oct. 2-5.
Attendees gathered Oct. 2 for an ice cream social in the hotel's Lone Star Ballroom where trade show vendors demonstrated an array of newspaper-oriented products and services.
Events on Oct. 3 kicked off with breakfast featuring the traditional flag ceremony. A representative from each state carried their respective state flag up the center aisle, in alphabetical order, by state, with Wise County Messenger Publisher Roy Eaton announcing each one. Current Texas Press Association President Randy Mankin, publisher of the Eldorado Success and the Big Lake Wildcat, served proudly as Texas' flag bearer.
State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, spoke at the opening breakfast. Birdwell told the story of his surviving one of the infamous terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Birdwell was stationed at the Pentagon when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the hub of the nation's military command. The 80-ton Boeing 757 airliner, traveling at 530 miles per hour, plowed through one reinforced wall after another, hurling Birdwell to the floor in an area engulfed in flames and reduced to rubble. He suffered burns over 60 percent of his body and of those, nearly half were third degree. Birdwell described his enduring years of treatment, including nearly 40 surgeries to reconstruct his appearance and restore functionality to joints, muscles, tendons and skin. Birdwell attributed his remarkable recovery to outstanding emergency intervention, a stellar medical team at Georgetown University Hospital and most pointedly, his Christian faith.
Concurrent sessions on Friday included "Defamation Law: How to Safely Publish the News" led by Laura Lee Prather, Haynes & Boone LLP, Austin; "What Is Native Advertising" with Lindsay Jacaman, DMN Media; "A Scout Is Frame-ful: Framing, Community Newspapers and the Boy Scouts of America" with Marcus Funk, associate professor, Sam Houston State University; "Farming Out the News: An Analysis of Agriculture Coverage in Rural Newspapers" with Sandra Robinson, California State University, Monterey; "Down-home Democracy: Measuring Citizens' Response to Changes in Small Newspapers' Coverage of Local Elections," with Landon Woodroof, University of Missouri; "Enterprise Journalism: Why Is It Important at the Community Level?" with Mike Leary, San Antonio Express News; "Why Community Newspapers Are Burgeoning in China" with Jock Lauterer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; "Digital Delivery: How the Way Newspapers Are Reaching Young Readers Is Changing" with Jennifer Greer, University of Alabama at Birmingham; and "Students and the Local Library Partner to Revive Local News" with Meg McGuire, Community Reporting Alliance.

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Newspapers: The Foundation of Vibrant Communities
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 07:39

1williams robertWhat do you care most about in life?
Most of us would put family at, or near, the top of such a list. Friends would be there. So would our jobs or businesses, our livelihoods. Our homes. Maybe our pets. Our hobbies and pastimes. Add in those around us: Neighbors, the community, etc.
That's our world, our "sphere of influence." Whatever happens to those who inhabit that place in our hearts and lives means something to us.
We monitor.
We respond.
We pay attention. We laugh. We cry. We hurt. We rejoice.
We care.
And that is what well-run newspapers do, too. (The italics on well-run are mine.)
As I have traveled the nation this past year, it's been reassuring to see so many dedicated men and women who see newspapering as so much more than a "job." Newspapering is a job in the same sense that being a father or mother is a "job."
Parents are responsible for the well-being of their family. Good newspapers take on that role with the communities we serve. Newspapers are vigilant in protecting our communities from destructive influences, both from without and within. Newspapers sound the alarm with swift, accurate and thorough coverage when sensitive issues arise.
We provide not just facts, but clearly labeled editorials and analysis stories that offer in-depth points — and counterpoints — to help everyone weigh matters with sufficient information.
Newspapers also serve as "points of pride" where communities celebrate individual and collective achievement, offering congratulations and joining in mass celebration.
Newspapers serve communities in sad times as well, providing clear, concise facts about tragic events, their causes and how they might be prevented from re-occurring. When communities are sick or injured, newspapers bleed. We share the pain and shed tears along with our readers.
If the newspaper I've described sounds like a living, breathing thing ... that's because they are.
Despite what a few might have you believe, newspapers are far from dead.
As long as parents take pride in the birth of a baby, a home run by their Little Leaguer, or graduation, marriage, promotion or any number of life's milestones, people will enjoy reading about them in their community newspaper.
As long as people care about who died in their community this week, how high their taxes may rise or who scored the winning touchdown at the high school football game — community newspapers will be alive.
As long as bulletin boards and refrigerator doors display cherished family memories, community newspapers will be alive.
John Donne said: "No man is an island." Because we don't live isolated lives, apart from everyone around, newspapers are going to be here to help us celebrate, mourn and record life's history as it happens. Newspapers are the "tie that binds" people together.
And in the words of that old hymn: "Blest be the tie that binds."
Thanks for reading your newspaper during National Newspaper Week.
Robert M. Williams, Jr. is a weekly newspaper publisher in Georgia and president of the National Newspaper Association, representing more than 2,500 daily and weekly newspapers across America. Email him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
2015 Midwinter Conference & Trade Show
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:54

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Start the New Year off by attending the Texas Press 2015 Midwinter Conference and Trade Show. The meeting, which brings together friends and colleagues connected throughout the newspaper community, will be held Jan. 22-24 in Galveston at Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center.
Galveston is rich in history and culture with ample restaurants and shopping, but if sightseeing isn't manageable, then look no further than Moody Gardens itself. The hotel is an ideal family environment with plenty to do and see for all ages. While there, visit the Aquarium and Rainforest Pyramids, test your balance on the Sky Trail Ropes Course, or take a ride on the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat.
The conference begins Thursday with committee meetings, an afternoon reception, two-hour Trade Show preview and a hospitality networking reception. Friday continues with the Trade Show (sponsored by Shweiki Media), a silent auction benefiting the Texas Newspaper Foundation, a grand prize drawing, opening banquet and general sessions.
The annual Hall of Fame awards dinner takes place Friday night following Jackson Walker's hospitality networking reception.
Saturday features additional general-session training and a closing brunch sponsored by CenturyLink. Support from our conference sponsors helps offset expenses and thus allows Texas Press to once again offer a 50 percent discount to TPA members and a complimentary registration to TexSCAN participants who qualify.
Registration materials and more details will be mailed later this month and also posted online.
Rooms are available at a discounted group rate of $119 per night. The deadline for room reservations is December 30, 2014. Call 888-388-8484 and mention "Texas Press" for the room rate.

 
FOIFT honors Baggett with James Madison Award
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:49

donnisbaggettawardCONTRIBUTED BY
The Eagle, Bryan

Texas Press Association Executive Vice President Donnis Baggett was honored Sept. 12 by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas for his work in fighting for open government and the First Amendment.
Baggett leads TPA's governmental affairs program, which focuses on protecting open records, open meetings and public notice at all levels of government.
"When you wrap yourself in the First Amendment for four decades, it's always front of mind, and it's easy to assume that it's front of mind for everybody else, but it isn't. I'm still surprised that we have to constantly explain how important it is -- especially to some of those in the pink building who are too willing to shrug it off in the name of efficiency or privacy or security," Baggett told foundation members, referring to state legislators.
Texans are fortunate to have Baggett fighting for the public's right to know what its government is up to, said Paul Watler as he handed over the coveted James Madison Award to Baggett. Watler, a partner at Dallas-based Jackson Walker and past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation, introduced Baggett at a luncheon during the group's one-day annual conference at the Hilton in Austin.
Baggett's transition to the Texas Press Association from newspapers in 2012 was a natural fit. The Livingston native, who graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University, started in the industry as a reporter, working his way up through the ranks at various newspapers and eventually becoming the state editor at the Dallas Morning News.

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TPA relocates Austin office to Statesman building
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:44

randycopyThe Texas Press Association has a new address at 305 S. Congress Ave. in Austin. The old headquarters building at 718 W. 5th St. will be demolished to make room for a new high-rise condominium complex as the city's skyline continues to change.
Meanwhile, our friends at the Austin American-Statesman have welcomed us into their building where the TPA staff has been busy unpacking and settling in.
As I write this column, publishers from across the country are preparing to attend the National Newspaper Association convention in San Antonio. Many Texas newspapers will be represented as we gather to welcome our colleagues and do our part to make the event a resounding success. TPA is hosting an evening at the Rio Cibolo Ranch for a barbecue dinner, dancing, hayrides and a chance for a photo with a real, live longhorn.
Even as the NNA convention is underway, plans are being made for the Texas Press Association's Midwinter Conference. It is slated Jan. 22-24, 2015, at the beautiful Moody Gardens Hotel in Galveston. I hope you plan to attend as we gather to strengthen friendships, exchange ideas, and chart the course of community journalism as it moves toward the future. We will also take the opportunity to honor those selected for induction into the Texas Newspaper Foundation Hall of Fame.
While on that subject, nominations to the Hall of Fame are now being accepted. A nomination form can be downloaded at http://tinyurl.com/HallofFame2015. There you will find instructions and eligibility requirements. Please hurry, however, as the deadline for submitting nominations is October 15, 2014.
I want to take this opportunity to offer my congratulations to Donnis Baggett on receiving the James Madison Award from the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas in recognition of his outstanding commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment. Donnis is TPA's executive vice president in charge of legislative programs. He works closely with our Legislative Advisory Committee to coordinate our lobbying efforts while the legislature is in session and to cultivate and maintain relationships with lawmakers and their staffs between sessions. The next legislative session will convene on January 12, 2015.
As always, the TPA staff is busy working to support us as we strive to improve our newspapers. Don't hesitate to contact them if they can be of assistance. Likewise, if you have an idea that you believe will help our industry, please be sure to call TPA. Mike Hodges is our executive director and he is really good at routing ideas to the people who can best implement them and sharing those ideas with all Texas newspapers.
I hope to see you in San Antonio ... and Galveston.

 
Lack of specifics in meeting agendas frustrates editor
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:43

ed copyQ: We are in an ongoing argument with the school district over their advance agendas. We want (and believe the public deserves) more than the school district provides, which is: "CLOSED SESSION. 1. Personnel Matters – Texas Government Code 551.074. A. Employment, Appointments, Resignations, Terminations, Retirements, Reassignments." This wording is exactly the same on each and every advance agenda. So, is this correct or not? I feel like I am beating my head against the wall here. I've read through the AG ruling on this, but would like you to weigh in.

A: Current Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and his three immediate predecessors, John Cornyn, Dan Morales and Jim Mattox, have cited what has long been treated as a landmark open government case, Cox Enterprises v. Austin ISD Board of Trustees 706 S.W.2d 956, 958 (Tex. 1986).
Abbott and the others have relied on it to demonstrate why mere reference to one of the Texas Open Meetings Act's exceptions (like "Personnel Matters") does not necessarily constitute sufficient public notice of an agenda item. Specificity is the golden rule.
For the sake of brevity, here is an excerpt from the Texas Attorney General's 2014 Texas Open Meetings Act Handbook: Consequently, counsel for the governing body should be consulted if any doubt exists concerning the specificity of notice required for a particular matter. Generalized terms such as "old business," "new business," "regular or routine business," and "other business" are not proper terms to give notice of a meeting because they do not inform the public of its subject matter.
However, if you get no traction by sharing with the school district the references to Cox v. Austin ISD in the AG's handbook, you might work the Texas Public Information Act's resonant preamble (Government Code 552.001) into an editorial. Here it is: "The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created."

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Luncheon scheduled honoring Singer
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:36

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As the University of Texas Journalism School celebrates its 100th birthday, the Friends of the Daily Texan will honor Griff Singer at a luncheon on Oct. 17 at 11:30 a.m. on UT campus.
Singer, who has been involved with the journalism school for more than half his life, will also be moderating a panel prior to the luncheon. "Making a Difference: Community Journalism in Texas" will begin at 10 a.m. in the Belo Center for New Media, BMC 5.201 and will feature Libby Averyt, Corpus Christi Caller Times; Diana Fuentes, the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas; Yvonne Mintz, The Facts (Clute); and Jim Moser, Moser Community Media. There is a charge to attend the luncheon, but the panel is free with no RSVP required.
Basic ticket prices for the luncheon are $100, but The Daily Texan is also accepting sponsorships from $250-5,000. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/GriffSinger.

 
Freedom of Information Information Foundation of Texas panelists discuss access-to-courts issues
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:35

A discussion titled "Rights, Roadblocks and the Public's Access to Courts" kicked off the annual meeting of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas at the Hilton Austin on Sept. 12.
Moderator Tom Williams of the Haynes Boone law firm in Fort Worth was joined by three panelists: First Amendment attorney Joel White of Austin, Travis County Court at Law 7 Judge Elisabeth Earle and Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon.
Panelists readily agreed: the Texas judiciary has not caught up with current technology, and judges and district attorneys, in efforts to ensure the integrity of courtroom proceedings, must also be mindful of the public interest in open courts.
In exploring the topic more deeply, the panel reached a consensus that courts and public access have entered a new era of complexity, with tech-intensive expectations of media and news audiences. Courts may not be prepared to accommodate the wishes or the equipment of reporters who show up with the modern versions of sketchpads, notebooks, pens and pencils; that is: laptop computers, tablets and cell phones — devices capable of snapping high definition photos and video, capturing sotto voce utterances and enabling text messaging, social media postings and feeds.

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Land commissioner says competition with blogs puts newspapers, broadcasters in difficult position
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:34

In his keynote speech at the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas annual meeting on Sept. 12, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said the press has been "pretty fair, more than fair" to him and his Texas General Land Office staff during his tenure, which began in 2003.
"My history with the press," Patterson said, "goes back to an encounter when I had a really good impression of you all, right after I was elected to the Texas Senate. I was kind of cocky, you know, 20 years ago, just beat a 30-year incumbent unexpectedly, had all the answers, and a reporter called me up and asked me a question, and I said something really stupid.
"And I called up the reporter about four or five hours later and told the reporter I'd really appreciate it if you wouldn't use those words. And they said, 'Jerry, you really did say something stupid. We recognize that.' And that person was Wanda Cash, when she was working at the Galveston Daily News." The newspaper revised his comment, and that act, Patterson said, "gave me a great deal of trust."
Cash, now a long-time professor with the University of Texas School of Journalism, was in the audience and responded to Patterson, "I can remember!"
Patterson replied, "But you can't hurt me, I'm on the way out!" When the laughter subsided, Patterson made a sobering pronouncement: that the news business is in "dire straits."

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FOIFT panelists see growing social media interface
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:34

Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas staged a panel discussion titled "Social Media, Open Government — Avenues for Access" at its annual meeting at the Austin Hilton on Sept. 12.
Austin American-Statesman Executive Editor Debbie Hiott, who served as moderator, was joined by panelists Peggy Ficak, Austin Bureau chief of the San Antonio Express-News, Steven Polunsky, of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute in Austin, and Robert Quigley, a senior lecturer with the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism.
Quigley opened the discussion, stating that journalists are not going to websites and newspapers as their main sources of information: they are relying on social media.
Ficak said "employers love it when we have lots of followers" and it's a benefit to readers when reporters reach out to them through social media.
Hiott asked the panel how public officials are using social media. Quigley said officials are using Twitter and Facebook, for example, to give constituents emergency information, such as in ice storms.
Ficak said, "We have a reporter who watches Twitter like a hawk." The reporter uses Twitter postings to formulate questions before calling lawmakers for quotes. Ficak said some state agencies, like the Texas Department of Transportation, are doing a good job of using social media to communicate with citizens, and it would be helpful for more agencies to use Twitter or other social media, she added. Also, Ficak said, it's good to "friend" officials who have Facebook pages. Furthermore, in regards to the speed, efficiency and ease of social media, Ficak said she recorded a video clip of a Wendy Davis book signing. "That was all it took. I could've written five paragraphs explaining the deal but all it took was just a little clip."

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FOIFT panel reviews TPIA changes, looks ahead
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:32

"New Laws, New Landscape: Today's Texas Public Information Act" was the final topic on the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas agenda at the Hilton Austin on Sept. 12.
Paul Watler of the Jackson Walker law firm, Dallas, served as moderator. Panelists included state Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, and chair, House Calendars Committee; Bill Aleshire, Riggs & Aleshire law firm, Austin; Amanda Crawford, open records chief, Office of the Texas Attorney General; and Terri Langford, reporter, Texas Tribune.
Watler asked Chairman Hunter about amendments to laws regulating text messaging by public officials that the Texas Legislature made in 2013. Hunter, who wrote those changes in the law, prefaced his response by noting the 2015 Texas Legislature will be a challenging session because general lack of experience.
The House and Senate, Hunter said, will be populated with a large freshman class and a sizable contingent of relatively short-tenured members who likely "do not understand open records and open meetings." Hunter said he is one of only 10 members of the House who has legislative experience going back 25 years or more, and newer members may not understand the law or the reasons why it benefits citizens for email and text messages sent and received by officials in committee meetings to be posted on a bulletin board the public can access. "I don't care if you're a city, a state or a federal (governmental body), if you're communicating from a microphone, any official business ought to be out in the open," Hunter said.
"So the new law made the Public Information Act apply to text messages on private devices," Watler said, and asked, "What did it take, this time, to overcome the resistance to making that information subject to the PIA?"

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TCCJ to host Advertising Sales Boot Camp: Newspaper ad strategies for today’s economy
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:30

The Texas Center for Community Journalism will hold a free one-day Advertising Sales Boot Camp on Friday, Oct. 24, to train newspaper ad representatives in the techniques of consultative selling.
The workshop will be led by Chuck Nau of Seattle, Washington, one of the nation's best-known experts in community newspaper ad sales.
Tommy Thomason, TCCJ director, said Nau was one of the Center's most popular presenters on advertising sales.
"Chuck's workshops are fast-paced and dynamic," Thomason said. "It's a mile-a-minute presentation of ideas and techniques that make people hesitate to leave the room for a cup of coffee because they are afraid they'll miss something." The day-long workshop is free and lunch is included. Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m. and the workshop runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nau's workshop includes instruction on how to understand a newspaper's market niche, how to build consultative-selling relationships with advertisers, how to maximize revenue by utilizing five different types of advertising, and how to counter common objections. Newspapers can send as many as two advertising representatives to the workshop. Online registration is available at http://bit.ly/1nXAXts.

 
Newsmakers
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:25

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TONY FARKAS - Madisonville Meteor
Tony Farkas has been named editor and publisher of the Madisonville Meteor. He comes to Madisonville from Columbus, Nebraska, where he was editor and general manager of the Schuyler Sun, a 1,500-circulation weekly. Other newspaper positions he has held include editor, news editor, copy editor and even production director in his almost 20 years at the Clovis New Journal in New Mexico.

DAVID HAYDON - The Sealy News
David Haydon recently became the newest reporter of The Sealy News. Haydon, 24, grew up in Hempstead, but has spent the last six years in Houston. He began his journalism career working at the University of Houston's student-run newspaper, The Daily Cougar. Haydon also spent a year interning for the Houston Chronicle. After graduating from UH in 2012, he freelanced in Houston as a writer, copy editor and photographer.

GINA KELLY - Brownfield News
The Brownfield News recently welcomed Gina Kelly as a staff writer. Kelly is a lifetime resident of Terry County and brings with her a wealth of experience. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University. She spent many years working for Brownfield ISD as the Director of Parent Education. Her responsibilities include covering Brownfield ISD Board meetings and other school issues.

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14th annual Lone Star Journalism Writing Contest commences!
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:23

TPA is teaming up with the Interscholastic League Press Conference to co-sponsor the 14th annual "Lone Star Journalism Writing Contest."
The contest is designed specifically for high school journalism students throughout Texas.
It involves a student writing a general interest feature and then getting it published in the local newspaper. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of the contest.
Since UIL Academics does not have an amateur rule, students may participate in this contest as well as participate in UIL journalism (or any academic contest).
We encourage students to write and submit a general interest feature to their local newspaper.
For the contest, each student should send his/her best single entry to the ILPC office for judging.
Entries will be broken down into small school (A-3A) and large school (4A-5A) categories. First place in each category will receive a $125 cash prize, second place will receive a $100 cash prize and third place will receive a $75 cash prize.
Winners will be notified after the Midwinter TPA convention in Galveston.

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Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell backs off wilderness photo restrictions, says he values First Amendment
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:19

BY ROB DAVIS
Reporter - The Oregonian

The U.S. Forest Service's chief backed off proposed restrictions on photography in wilderness areas Thursday after facing sweeping protests from lawmakers, First Amendment advocates and media outlets across the country.
"The U.S. Forest Service remains committed to the First Amendment," the agency's chief, Tom Tidwell, said in a statement. "To be clear, provisions in the draft directive do not apply to news gathering or activities."
Tidwell's statement said he was attempting to "clarify the agency's intentions" and would not require a permit for news-gathering or recreational photographs in wilderness areas.
Tidwell didn't explain why others in his agency told The Oregonian the opposite just two days earlier.
On Tuesday, Liz Close, the agency's acting wilderness director, said the Forest Service would permit reporting in wilderness depending on its subject matter, with exceptions for breaking news. "If you were engaged on reporting that was in support of wilderness characteristics, that would be permitted," Close said.
She acknowledged that reporters shooting videos, even on iPhones, would need special permits.
The agency's news release Thursday said the maximum $1,500 permit fees reported by The Oregonian and widely cited by other publications were "erroneous, and refers to a different proposed directive."

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-30-
Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:12

BILL QUINN
Longtime newspaperman, Bill Quinn, died Sept. 6. He was 102. After high school graduation in 1930, he and another local boy started their own daily paper, The Dinner Horn, on a borrowed mimeograph machine. After being named publisher of the Grand Saline Sun in 1935, which made him the youngest newspaper publisher in the United States at the ripe age of 22, he worked tirelessly to build readership and advertising. The paper's owner soon named him editor of the neighboring Van Banner, too. Later on, Quinn was hired to edit a larger paper, the Mineola Monitor. He continued there until joining the U.S. Army, and in WWII, he was named editor of the 6th Corps' daily mobile newspaper, The Beachhead News. He had a long career in newspapers and magazines as a columnist.

MYRA L. LAMPLEY
Myra Lynn Lampley, longtime editor of the Shiner Gazette, passed away Aug. 24. She was 48. Lampley was born on October 4, 1965 in Bexar County. Myra graduated from Hallettsville High School in 1984 and went on to Southwest Texas State. Lampley began her newspaper career at the Yoakum Herald Times in the late 1980s. In 1992 she became the editor of the Shiner Gazette and remained in that position until her passing. During her 22 years with the Gazette, she and her staff won many newspaper association awards and personally, she was proudest of her first place plaques from the South Texas Press Association for news writing, features, news and sports photography.

MARY MARGARET DAVIS
Mary Margaret Davis, a veteran El Paso Times journalist who wrote about social and community events as well as genealogy, died Sept. 1 in Dallas. She was 81. Davis, who was born in Lubbock in 1932, grew up in Seagraves, Texas, where her father was a pharmacist. She was proud to come from Texas pioneer stock. Her great-great-grandparents, Isaac and Mary Webb, were early settlers in the Farmers Branch/Peters Colony near Dallas. Davis attended Baylor University and graduated from Texas Western College (now the University of Texas at El Paso) in 1952, majoring in journalism. She worked at the El Paso Times for 16 years before retiring in 1994. She was the community news editor, columnist, and also wrote a weekly genealogy column, "All In Your Family."

HOMER JACOBS
Longtime 12th Man Magazine editor Homer Jacobs died Aug. 24. He was 49. The Texas A&M journalism graduate, Class of 1987, was a fixture in Aggieland for the past 22 years after returning to Bryan-College Station from Galveston.
After graduation, he was the sports editor at the Sherman Democrat and Galveston Daily News. He returned to Bryan-College Station in 1992 as the editor of Aggies Illustrated before joining the 12th Man Magazine in 1996. He was a regular on the Bryan-College Station airwaves and a frequent guest on local radio shows. Jacobs' articles in the magazine helped many former A&M students living outside Bryan-College Station connect to their alma matter.

 
Revised postal form has October deadline for dailies, weeklies
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 15:39

The deadline for filing your Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (PS Form 3526) with the U.S. Postal Service is October 1 of each year. The filing and publication of this form is a requirement for maintaining Periodicals mailing privileges. Dailies must publish a completed copy of this form in their newspaper by October 10, and non-dailies by October 31.
USPS has revised PS form 3526. The new form has a July 2014 date at the very bottom of the form. The ability to claim electronic subscribers has been incorporated into the new form. PS Form 3526x (worksheet) is no longer necessary. Completing the form the last two years was confusing, especially having to use the worksheet. The new form is more straight forward and easier to complete.
PS Form 3526 is a three page form with a fourth page of instructions. Page one has not changed, and includes information on ownership and management. Page two will look familiar. The figures on this page relate only to print copies. Page three is for claiming Paid Electronic Copies. The entries there are very straight forward. Claiming electronic paid subscribers is voluntary. If you choose to not claim electronic copies, page three has a box to certify that at least 50% of all distributed copies are paid for above a nominal price, and a signature section.
There are specific requirements as to what defines a paid electronic subscriber. A print subscriber that is given free access to your electronic version is not a paid electronic subscriber. A paid electronic subscriber must pay a separate subscription rate that you have established for electronic subscribers. You are allowed to offer discounts to this rate but there are limitations.
Additionally, reporting less than 60% total paid subscribers on your Statement of Ownership could trigger a USPS circulation audit to verify your Periodicals eligibility. Also, at least 40% of your paid circulation must consist of printed copies.
An interactive template of the PS Form 3526 is available on the Texas Press Association website under Statement of Ownership in the dropdown menu under the tab Other Services. If you are submitting your Statement of Ownership through PostalOne, the new form should be there.
Please fax or mail a completed copy of you Statement of Ownership to the Texas Press Association office. Fax number is 512-477-6759. Mailing address is 305 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704. If you have any questions please contact TPA Periodicals Consultant Joel Allis at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at 512-585-6239.

 
Cousin’s Vietnam photo puts face with name on Wall
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 15:31

randycopyKathy and I had the opportunity to visit the Vietnam War Memorial a few years ago when we spent a week of vacation time in the Washington, D.C. area. I had seen the memorial, or The Wall, as it has come to be known, many times in photos and on television. Still, nothing prepared me for actually standing there and touching the names. Each and every one of the war's 58,282 American casualties is listed, including my second cousin, Grady Ray Nelson of Coos Bay, Oregon.
An Army SP4, Grady Ray was killed in combat on Nov. 23, 1968, in the Hua Ngia Province of South Vietnam. He was 22 years old.
Grady Ray was born in Memphis, Texas, to Dude and Maggie Nelson, and it was there that he spent the first five years of his life. The entire family went west when the drought of the 1950s finally forced them away from the family farm. My uncle Dude would eventually find work in the lumber mills in the Pacific northwest. As you can imagine, the family was devastated when word arrived at the Nelson home that Grady Ray had been killed in action. It would be some time later that a few sketchy details of his death were released. He died in an aircraft, believed to be a helicopter, when it came under hostile fire from the ground.
Everything I just told you about Grady Ray would be little more than a story if it weren't for the fact that we have a photo of him in his combat fatigues taken not long before his death. But, we do have the photo and once you put a face with the name, the story somehow becomes more real.
Newspaper men and women learned that trick decades ago and that's why we continue to run as many photos as we can alongside our stories, especially photos of people. I mention all of this because I hope you will join me and the Texas Press Association in supporting the Faces Never Forgotten project sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation.
The group is attempting to locate photos of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who died in Vietnam. At last count, there were slightly more than 1,400 names from Texas for which there is no corresponding photo.
TPA is encouraging all of its member newspapers to participate in hopes that the Wall of Faces website can be completed.
Ask yourself, who in your community is better suited and has better resources for tracking down a photo than the local newspaper?
A list of the missing Texans can be found at http://tinyurl.com/TXForgottenFaces — a spreadsheet will automatically download. From there, you may sort by county or community name. A quick check of the date of death will help narrow down a date and make it easier to check your archives. If your newspaper doesn't have a photo, perhaps you can locate family members who do.
Information about how to submit a photo to the project may be found online at http://www.vvmf.org/how-to-submit.
Please lend your help to the effort as the Faces Never Forgotten project seeks to honor all of those who fought and died so very far from home. A photo, even a grainy one, will add context to their story, and will help future generations understand how and why these men and women came to die in Southeast Asia.

randyscousin

 
Public notice ad available for your homepage
Monday, 04 August 2014 13:47

doorwaypublicnoticesFinding the massive (and growing) online clearinghouse for public notices just got easier, thanks to an attractive new "doorway" interactive graphic. Click here to view the instructions and download the graphic.
Your newspaper's website visitors need only click the doorway graphic to find the searchable database of public notices — at texaslegalnotices.com — that yours and hundreds of other Texas newspapers upload on a daily, weekly or semiweekly basis.
This convenient way for readers to tap into required notices that local and state governmental bodies place can boost readership while providing a powerful augmentation to the classified- and display-style notices that newspapers publish in print. Plus, it's a pleasing and effective way to draw more readers to websites, with very little effort.
Demand for this kind of feature on websites is rooted in an array of current market conditions. First, non-newspaper lobbying organizations, over the last decade, have pushed members and committees of the Texas Legislature to remove printed public notice requirements in state law in favor of placing those notices on governmental bodies' websites, or on private and even out-of-state websites.

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‘Faces Never Forgotten’ ad available to your newspaper
Monday, 04 August 2014 13:05

txfacesforgottenadcolor1Newspapers are encouraged to run this advertisement in an effort to locate missing photos of Vietnam veterans. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation (VVMF) project "Faces Never Forgotten" is in need of help obtaining missing photos of fallen Vietnam veterans across Texas and the nation. Newspaper participation in this project will help VVMF locate the photos of all of the soldiers listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
The goal is to locate all missing pictures by Nov. 11, 2014. Your support with this nationwide effort is not only impactful for the families who lost loved ones, but also for the history involved with the documentation in remembering their dedication.
Click here to download the color version.
Click here to download the gray scale version.

 

Messenger Staff

Publisher
Micheal Hodges

Editor
Allison Rentfro

Advertising Consultant
Diane Byram

For questions or corrections please call the editor at 512-477-6755 or email arentfro@texaspress.com

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© Texas Press Messenger, 2014 (ISSN 1521-7523). Published monthly by Texas Press Service, a business affiliate of Texas Press Association. Periodicals postage paid at Austin, Texas, and additional mailing office, USPS 541-440. Printed by Hood County News in Granbury, Texas.