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Public Notice Week set for January 19-25, 2014
Tennessee Press Association has set Public Notice Week for January 19-25, 2014. This is the fourth annual week sponsored by TPA. The following are editorials, cartoons and ads that may be used by member newspapers to promote the importance of public notice. We encourage you to use the materials, and to produce your own editorials, during the designated week and throughout the year. Items from the previous year's kit are also available at tnpress.com/publicnoticeweek.html.

Public's right to know gets a boost
The Tennessean

This week is Public Notice Week across Tennessee, and lest you think that is just a celebration for people who work in the newspaper business, let’s remember who the public is in “public notice.”

The proven, most effective way to communicate important matters to the community has always been through news media, because in this country we enjoy a free press, thanks to our Founding Fathers. They understood that if the flow of information is controlled by the government, citizens could only be assured of hearing what the government in charge at that moment wanted them to hear. continue reading at www.tennessean.com

Public Notice Week: Something to celebrate

By Frank Gibson, TPA Public Policy Director  

Residents of Mt. Judea, Ark., woke up one morning recently to learn that their small community is about to become host to a hog farm – population 6,503 hogs.

“What really set me off was the fact that it was a done deal by the time we heard about it,” Gordon Watkins, a nearby farmer and president of the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, told the Arkansas Times in Little Rock.

State and local government officials had already approved the facility and said the public notice of the permit review process was “legally sufficient.” However, the instant replay showed the only notice the state gave was on the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s website. The only recourse left for Mt. Judeans is a lawsuit. Get this full op/ed piece at tnpress.com/publicnoticeweek.html.


TPA Winter Convention
Feb. 5-7, 2014

Convention details
Online registration











State Press Contests deadline is Feb. 21
Rules and entry information








2014 Ideas Contest
DEADLINE: Feb. 21, 2014
Complete rules/entry information
Entry forms only
List of Newspaper Codes







Worth Repeating:
It costs money to put news online
The Leader, Covington, Tenn.
Nov. 7, 2013

Do you remember the good ol’ days when The Leader published its stories online and readers could view them for free?

Ah, yes, those were the days, weren’t they?

We instituted a paid model website in June 2007 and have heard complaints about it every single day for nearly six and a half years. In that time, many other community-based papers, as well as larger market dailies like the Commercial Appeal, Wall Street Journal and New York Times, began using a paid model as well. You could say we’ve seen the error of our ways and you’d be absolutely correct.

The news industry sort of shot itself in the foot in the early days of the Internet. Having a website was a novelty and everyone wanted one. From what we can tell, The Leader first published its website in 2004. Like every other news organization, it began giving news away for free online every week. “It costs nothing extra to put it online!” was the argument used to validate the practice and justify not charging readers, because subscription funds are used to cover postage.

However, putting news online costs us money. We pay for the domain registration, hosting fees, content management system and a team of people who help us when we want to add new features or when we break something. We have to pay someone to attend a meeting, event or interview to gather the news, we have to pay that person to edit photos and file the story, we have to pay someone to spend hours updating the website. And because news is our product, it doesn’t make sense to give the product away for free online while charging others.

Gathering and providing the news is our business and we want to stay in business. That is, in a nutshell, why we charge our readers. It’s frustrating, we understand, but we also have to do what we’ve been entrusted to do: keep this business going, because none of us wants to see it sink on our watch.

We charge people to visit our website because we are in the business of providing information to the public. We are not, nor have we ever been, a non-profit organization. Just like you, we have children and families to feed and we cannot do that if we work for free.

When news breaks, we often publish the story on our website and link to it from our Facebook page. Social media are tools we use for promotional purposes, just like the business owners who purchase advertising in our print product. Viewing the advertisement doesn’t mean the business is obligated to allow the reader to consume the product without purchase, and that is the way we handle the stories published on our website.

We know similar stories are available elsewhere at no additional charge to consumers. If you would prefer to consume your news through these avenues, we welcome you to do so. However, if you want the best local news from the only organization focused entirely on Tipton County, we’re more than happy to provide this service. Just not for free.
Used with permission of The Leader


Bill Bowden celebrates 50th anniversary of bringing the news to Fentress County!

Bill Bowden is celebrating his 50th anniversary with The Fentress Courier in Jamestown. He began working for the paper on October 28, 1963.

His staff honored him with a special edition and a celebration on Oct. 18.

Links to the pages of coverage celebrating Mr. Bowden follow.

Oct. 15 A-4
Oct. 15 A-5


Jesse Lindsey named TPA director for district six
TPA President Lynn Richardson has appointed Jesse Lindsey, publisher of The Lebanon Democrat, as the new TPA director for district six. Joe Adams, former publisher of The Lebanon Democrat, previously held the position. Adams' recent move to a new post in Kingsport led to his resignation from the Board of Directors. Lindsey is filling the term, which expires in June 2014.

Lindsey joined The Lebanon Democrat on Sept. 23. Previously he was publisher of The Rogersville Review.

District six is in Middle Tennessee and covers TPA member newspapers in these counties: Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart, Sumner and Wilson.

Which district are you in? Who is your director? Map and list of TPA Districts and Directors

TPA Public Notice Bill signed by Gov. Haslam

Photo by Jed DeKalb, Chief State Photographer

Download the full size version of this photograph for publication

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signs Tennessee Press Association's Public Notice Bill at the signing ceremony, Tuesday, April 16 at the state capitol. On hand for the signing were (left to right) Greg Sherrill, TPA Executive Director; Elizabeth Kennedy Blackstone, Co-chair of TPA Government Affairs Committee; Eric Barnes, TPA Dist. 10 Director; Sen. Ken Yager, primary Senate sponsor of the bill; Jeffrey D. Fishman, TPA Immediate Past President; Michael B. Williams, TPA President; Victor Parkins, Chairman of TPA's Newspaper Definition Task Force; Rep. Ryan Haynes, primary House sponsor of the bill; Frank Gibson, TPA Public Policy Director and Joel Washburn, TPA Treasurer.
Photo by Jed DeKalb, Chief State Photographer

The full state House of Representatives approved our public notice bill by a vote of 94-1 on March 25. (HB 1001/SB 0461) Governor Haslam signed the bill on April 12. A ceremonial signing of the bill occurred on April 16.

THANK YOU to all publishers and editors for quickly reaching out to senators and representatives along the way. And thank you to TPA President Michael Williams, who has made numerous trips to Nashville to see this bill through both chambers of the General Assembly.


Ads for newspaper promotion campaign available
Every TPA member publisher should have received a CD with ads promoting the newspaper industry. This campaign is titled, “Tennessee Newspapers: Turning the Page on the Future.”

Please continue to run these ads as you have space available.

Download/view the promotional ads

If you need a disk with all of the ads or want the ads designed for a billboard, please contact the TPA office at (865) 584-5761.


TPA Foundation capital campaign:
Do you believe in the future of newspapers?

The Tennessee Press Association Foundation (TPAF) Board of Trustees has embarked on a capital campaign that will help set the tone for the future of newspapers across our state.

A lofty goal to raise $1,000,000 over the next five years has been set, and TPAF leaders have already received pledges of more than $100,000 toward the goal.

“I Believe” is the theme of our campaign to generate funds to advance our newspapers through the years to come. By being a part of this effort, you are showing that you believe in the future of newspapers.

As newspaper editors, publishers and owners, we should not only lead the charge in letting the nation know that newspapers aren’t dying, but also put our money where our mouths are by showing our dedication to the industry we all love.

For more information about the “I Believe” campaign, visit our website at www.tpafoundation.org, or contact the TPA office at (865) 584-5761.


Series of Public Notice Ads reinforces the importance of printed notice
The following public notice ads were adapted by Chattanooga Times Free Press from concept ads created by Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association, and are available for all TPA members to use. All ads are half page ads.
Link to ads




Have a job opening?
Post your open positions and search for resumes in TPA's employment area at http://www.tnpress.com/employment.html.
Only authorized personnel from member newspapers can post jobs or review résumés. First time users will need to register with a user name and password. Once you complete your online registration, please contact Robyn Gentile, member services manager, for access—(865) 584-5761, ext. 105 or via e-mail.



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