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Tools of the trade: Reminders that the power of a free and independent press is greater than our challenges

TPA President Laurie Ezzell Brown

While digging through some old files the other day, I ran across a folder containing a set of index cards titled “Tools of the Trade” that I’d helped my dad – former Record publisher Ben R. Ezzell – prepare three decades earlier. They were part of an exhibit prepared for Canadian High School students – props he used for a presentation on careers in print journalism.
Whatever I had been seeking in those files was instantly forgotten, as is always the danger when the present stumbles across the past. I was transported in time. 

Members urged to keep fighting costly tariffs on newsprint

On July 17, the International Trade Commission will hear testimony on the preliminary newsprint tariffs imposed in January and March on Canadian newsprint.
TPA and other members of a national coalition have been lobbying members of Congress to testify against making the tariffs permanent.
Newspapers have already seen production price increases of up to 30 percent and promises of higher prices to come. Advertisers who rely on inserts are also seeing production increases, which is expected to lead to a loss of income for newspapers. 

Election commissions not subject to open meetings act rules

Q: Our county election commission has five members: the county judge, county clerk, tax assessor-collector and the chairs of the county Republican and Democratic parties. The commission appoints members to the early voting ballot board, appoints the early voting signature verification committee, approves the purchase of election supplies, etc. Is the commission subject to the open meetings law?

A Challenge to the Country Press

The publisher of every newspaper in the United States finds himself today face-to-face with a heavy responsibility. That it is, perhaps, a responsibility unjustly forced upon him does not alter the weight of the burden, or the necessity of shouldering it. You are to pay the penalty and make a vicarious sacrifice in atonement for the sin of a certain type of renegade newspaper editor who sold the birthright of American journalism for a mess of pottage - and now hasn't even the pottage. 

Industry news briefs

Quanah Tribune-Chief has new owners
New owners of the Quanah Tribune-Chief are Shane Lance, Townly Thomas, and Dennis Thomas. 
Lance and Townly Thomas serve as co-editors of the newspaper, published weekly on Friday. They both grew up in Quanah and Dennis Thomas has been a resident for 15 years. A former teacher and coach for the Quanah ISD, Lance currently works for 3 Rivers Foundation. The new owners said they look forward to focusing on community news as the newspaper returns to local ownership.

San Antonio Express News Editor Mike Leary retires

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Express-News Editor Mike Leary retired May 18, ending a 46-year career in journalism.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who has led the newsroom since August 2012, said he is retiring to travel and spend more time with his five grandchildren. 
Leary, 69, said he hopes to go to Antarctica, the only continent he hasn’t visited.
“One of the things I wanted to do, like my father, was be the editor of a newspaper, and I’ve certainly done that and had a great time,” Leary said. “I’ll really miss the staff and the camaraderie.”

STPA celebrates 92nd annual convention

2018 Sweepstakes winners in the South Texas Press Association Better Newspaper Contest are (from left) Meghann Garcia, managing editor, Uvalde Leader-News, Division III; Moses Leos, III, editor, Hays Free Press, Division I; and Ken Esten Cooke, publisher and editor, Fredericksburg Standard Radio-Post, Division II.

KERRVILLE – Award winners were toasted and at least one recipient was roasted at the 92nd annual South Texas Press Association meeting at the YO Ranch Hotel in Kerrville.
The convention featured educational seminars, business meetings and presentation of the 2018 STPA Better Newspaper Contest awards and other recognitions.