President's Message

Making the best ‘trade’ for each new day

It was a recent Saturday morning, and Facebook cheerfully informed me that it was Suzanne Bardwell’s birthday.
So I messaged best birthday wishes to my fellow alumna from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce) and co-owner of the Gladewater Mirror.
“Thanks Pat . . . my party is a scrimmage, a community prayer meeting and a museum event!” she responded.
All of which got me to thinking about college football coaching legend Paul “Bear” Bryant and a little slip of paper found in his billfold when he died in 1982.

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.

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.)

Who, Toto? Toto’s my dog!

Back in the “olden days” of my childhood I could never wait for “The Wizard of Oz” to come on television. It seems like it came on as a special every year or so in those days before DVR, DVD and VHS. And even on our black-and-white television, the colors of Munchkin City came to life in my childhood imagination.
The Wizard of Oz was a powerful, almost god-like manifestation when first seen in the 1939 classic. Of course, later, little Toto drew back the curtain to expose the man operating the controls.

Time for social media pushback?

A number of years ago I lived in a small town that had what most small towns have: a community newspaper. In this particular case, the owner of the paper also held political office (Justice of the Peace). He had very strong political beliefs, and they came through very clearly in the pages of his newspaper.
In fact, his beliefs were so strong, and so extreme, there was little if any tolerance in his newspaper for opinions that were not in line with his.
This period came to mind because there was, in that newspaper, what I consider to be a huge conflict of interest.

Becoming a better newspaper

It’s January, and thoughts will turn shortly to spring – but before that, many a publisher will be considering contest entries.

It will be June before those coveted plaques are handed out, but the deadlines for entries will be much sooner, and I have a few thoughts (and pet peeves) to share about newspaper contests and participation therein.

Judgment, brains and maturity

But just as I say,

It takes judgment, brains, and maturity to score

In a baulk line game,

I say that any boob can take

And shove a ball in a pocket.

– Professor Harold Hill, 

The Music Man

 

By the time you read this I will have traversed my 60th birthday – or at least I hope I will have traversed it. I guess that remains to be seen.

President's Column September 2015

Our audience is our product

It was a little out of the comfort zone. Walking into a room full of newspaper people and we didn’t know any of them.

It was our first NNA meeting. It was in Washington D.C.

But, as soon as the session began, it became very comfortable. Newspaper brethren from across the country were talking about the same things we were talking about here.