October 24, 2014
October 17, 2014
Please take time from your busyschedule to return the favor and help judge the Colorado Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. Colorado newspaper people did a terrific job judging MPA's Better Newspaper Contest earlier this year! Judging is set to begin October 29th, with a deadline to complete your assignment(s) by November 19th. Fill out the form, submit it, and you will receive your assignments soon!
October 9, 2014
Although there's been some improvement since his last audit, State Auditor Tom Schweich said Tuesday that government agencies still need to do more work following the Missouri's "Sunshine Law."
Based on a review of the nearly 300 audits Schweich's office performed over a two-year period - from Jan. 1, 2012-Dec. 31, 2013 - Schweich said 15 percent found violations of the Open Meetings/Open Records law, compared with 19 percent in the previous two years.
"It's not a statistically iron-clad number," he acknowledged in an interview. "It looks like Sunshine Law compliance is improving."
Overall, he said, the three "largest problems" his auditors found were:Failure to document a reason for closing a meeting. Closed session discussions that involved subjects other than the ones listed as the reasons for having a closed session, or, he said, "Things that should have been discussed in open session being discussed in closed session." Improper minutes - or no minutes- being kept of closed meetings, which he said was "much less common."
In some cases, minutes that were kept didn't include "sufficient detail" of what happened during a meeting.
Auditors also found some government agencies or local governments didn't have "adequate" policies and procedures for keeping public records and giving people access to them.
And some didn't prepare, post or retain agendas as the law requires.
Schweich said his office takes compliance with the law very seriously.
"We have a grading system" with our audits, he said, "and if you don't comply with the... continued...
October 9, 2014
The U.S. Postal Service should evaluate the impact of slower service to newspaper subscribers before proceeding with 2015 closings of mail processing plants, National Newspaper Association President John Edgecombe Jr., said this week. Edgecombe is the publisher of The Nebraska Signal in Geneva, NE.
NNA seconded the concern expressed by the USPS Office of the Inspector General that the Postal Service has not completed service impact evaluations on the planned closings of 82 more mail processing plants starting in January 2015. The evaluations should include public notice and comment. The OIG strongly recommended that USPS complete these evaluations and requested confirmation that they are being completed.
NNA has previously reminded the Postal Service that the impact of moving mail processing operations into urban areas creates mail delivery problems for its subscribers, who may judge the effectiveness of the mail by the on-time arrival of their newspapers.
"As I look at the list of plants on the closing list and see cities like Salina, Kansas; Grand Island, Nebraska; Eureka, California, and Elko, Nevada, I worry that small-town America is gradually losing reliable mail service," Edgecombe said. "Affordable, dependable service links us to our subscribers. More importantly, it is the bedrock of local small-town economies. It is essential that USPS understand and grapple with these impacts before it makes a decision to close any mail sorting... continued...
October 3, 2014
Next week is National Newspaper Week, October 5-11. This year is the 74th observance, which celebrates the importance of newspapers to our communities.
Missouri Press has created four new features in our Famous Missouri Journalists series that are perfect resources for showcasing men and women who played major roles in journalism and other important arenas in our state. New this year are features on:
Walter Williams - fought for and won the establishment of the Missouri School of Journalism. Williams led the world's first professional school, creating the Missouri Method.
Mary Paxton Keeley - the first woman to graduate from the Missouri School of Journalism. She said she was waiting at the door when Walter Williams opened it!
Lucille Bluford - a civil rights leader, she fought for the opportunity to attend the Missouri School of Journalism.
Walter Cronkite - a newspaper man whose broadcasting standards forged his legacy as the "Most Trusted Man in America." Cronkite always considered Missouri his home and valued his newspaper roots.
Thanks to The Historical Society of Missouri for sharing its biographies and photographs with Missouri Press Association for this project.
The four new features join six original features in the series written by longtime Missouri Press Association historian Dr. William Taft. The original series has been converted to color and include: William Switzler, Joseph Charless, Mark Twain, Eugene Field, Joseph Pulitzer and the Missouri Press Association.
To access any or all... continued...
September 29, 2014
Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Missouri Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. To view the results of BNC, you can download a PDF of the results or download a PDF of the judges' comments.
A special thank you to all partipants in the contest, and congratulations to our winners! We're excited to see fantastic journalism within Missouri!
Thursday October 16th
Mark your calendar! Join us on October 23 for the 10th Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame exhibit and ceremony, in Washington, Missouri! Congratulations to all the new inductees. Visit the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame website to view our new, and previous, inductees. Link
Tuesday October 14th
Congratulations to John Edgecombe Jr., who has been elected as president of the National Newspaper Association! Link
Monday October 13th
Missouri Press Association Editor Bryan Jones spent Saturday, Oct. 11 at the association's Print Shop Museum, demonstrating the printing process of times past for festival-goers at the annual Heritage Craft Festival in Arrow Rock. Link