Columns

Community journalism in the era of fake news

In a challenging environment with fewer resources, greater vulnerabilities and increasing attacks from politicians and the politically motivated, how should news organizations respond? One editor-publisher's approach — a calm, respectful but strong defense of journalism and its essential role in democracy — seems to work.

Grow circulation with mail sampling; sell extra advertising as a bonus

I continue to get calls and emails on sampling non-subscribers. This rewrite will attempt to draw a sharper line between the two confusing rules that govern non-subscriber copy mailing.
The non-subscriber rules in the Domestic Mail Manual are there to allow you to promote your newspaper to non-subscribers and increase your mail delivery. Too many papers fail to use this tactic, but more are showing interest as newspapers struggle to attract readers and advertisers.

Discussion of appointing trustee may take place behind closed doors

Q: Our school board just accepted the resignation of a trustee. Then the board went into executive session to discuss his replacement citing “personnel.” How can that be? The replacement is not an employee of the school district, so how could this person be considered personnel? If the exception allows for closed-session discussion of an appointment to what would otherwise be an elected position, that’s so wrong.

Summer meeting musings

Well, we just wrapped up what I like to call the Texas Press Association’s very first “international conference” — the TPA Summer Leadership Retreat in Ruidoso, NM. Heck, we were even in a different time zone!
As always, the gathering was a great success. It featured great programs and discussion. And it gave us the opportunity to offer a huge “Thank You!” to outgoing TPA President Randy Keck for the stellar job he did for the organization this past year.

Periodicals postage advertising standards, measurement

With the advent of the new Marked Copy Alternate Process, some corollary questions about advertising and non-advertising measurement have arisen.

Advertising measurement of newspapers is only required to compute higher, zoned pound rates on ad matter by distance outside the county, and allows lower, unzoned rates for all editorial matter. Rules concerning ad measurement are shared below, with updated citations from the U.S. Postal Service Domestic Mail Manual and Customer Support Rulings.

Mr. Broadcaster has left the photo

In the spring if the stars align just right, you can cover a lot of sports in Aledo. The way our athletic complex is laid out, if all teams are at home, you can go shoot some soccer, baseball and softball without changing parking spaces.
My mind took me back to such a situation in February of 2008, when I was scurrying between soccer and softball. (I scurried, rather than plodded, back in those days.)