Archive for April 2008

Officials oppose federal shield law

April 23, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP), April 4 — Attorney General Michael Mukasey and three other top Bush administration officials are weighing in against legislation that would allow reporters to protect the identities of confidential sources who provide sensitive, sometimes embarrassing information about the government.
The “Free Flow of Information Act” proposed by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., could harm national security and would encourage more leaks of classified information, the four officials wrote in letters to senators made public recently.
The legislation gives an overly broad definition of journalists that “can include those linked to terrorists and criminals,” wrote Mukasey and National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell. “All individuals and entities who ‘gather’ or ‘publish’ information about ‘matters of public interest’ but who are not technically designated terrorist organizations, foreign powers or agents of a foreign power will be entitled to the bill’s protections,” Mukasey and McConnell stated in their joint letter.
Specter, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, responded: “My staff met … with DNI and DoJ officials regarding the concerns expressed in the letter, and we are considering them. “I think the legislation has an important purpose,” Specter added. “I think we can make reasonable accommodations to their concerns, and we’re working on it.”
In a separate letter, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the nation would be more vulnerable to “adversaries’ counterintelligence efforts to recruit” those shielded by the bill.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the bill would erect roadblocks to gathering information “from anyone who can claim to be a journalist, including bloggers” and internet service providers.
Co-sponsors on the bill include Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Charles Schumer of New York and Tim Johnson of South Dakota, along with Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Richard Lugar of Indiana.
“We’ve already sought to address these security concerns in a careful way,” Schumer said in a statement. “The administration ought to overcome its visceral dislike of the media and do the right thing.”


Newsprint price surging

April 22, 2008

Surging newsprint (NP) prices and a supply crunch have left the global newspaper industry gasping for breath. A 40% hike—from $560 per ton to over $780 per ton in six months in an industry recently plagued by excess capacity is something few anticipated.
Data by Pulp and Paper Weekly shows bleached softwood kraft pulp prices are up 11.4% in 15 months at $880 per ton in March 2008 from $790 per ton in January 2007.
There is slim chance of NP price relief as pulp and recycled newsprint (ONP) are seeing heavy demand from packaging paper and carton-making units.
China continues to use more packaging paper and cartons for exports. This is creating a pressure on Chinese
and global packaging paper and carton manufacturing units, which use old newsprint as raw material.
The China Pulp and Paper Report shows import of ONP is increasing—going up by 15% in 2007. Chinese NP exports saw a decline of 32% in January 2008.
The growing demand for packaging and cartons has also led many international paper manufacturers to shift their product profile away from NP, further fueling the scarcity. Experts say Chinese NP exports globally may reduce drastically as ONP prices increase.
Increasing energy, labor and freight costs also are raising the price of NP.
—from TNN

Get ad sales training in Branson

April 22, 2008

Mike Blinder, known internationally for his expertise in media, sales and marketing, will be the featured presenter at the May 8-9 meeting of the Missouri Advertising Managers’ Association (MAMA). The ad group will meet Thursday afternoon and Friday morning at the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing.
Blinder, who spoke at the MPA Convention in St. Louis last fall, has more than 20 years of experience in radio and television management. This will be a great opportunity for all of MPA’s member newspapers to get some excellent advertising training.
Blinder will have Friday’s program. He’ll begin at 8 a.m. with an overview of the current state of the advertising industry and of the best practices for online infrastructure. Later in the morning his topics will be best practices of online deployments and local sales for those deployments.


April 16, 2008

Helen Sosniecki, who has owned three weekly newspapers and published a small daily in Missouri during a 34-year career, has joined Interlink Inc. as its Senior Sales and Marketing Manager. Interlink, based in Berrien Springs, Mich., provides circulation management and ad-billing systems for more than 1,200 community newspapers.

Sosniecki, with her husband, Gary, owned the Humansville Star-Leader from 1980 to 1986, the Webster County Citizen in Seymour from 1988 to 1999 and The Vandalia Leader from 2003 to 2007. From 1999 to 2003, they were editors and publishers of The Lebanon Daily Record and vice presidents of its parent company, Lebanon Publishing Co., in Lebanon, Mo. She also has worked for The Jackson, Tenn., Sun, the Marion, Ill., Daily Republican and the Wichita, Kan., Eagle-Beacon. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Sosniecki is a past president of the Ozark Press Association, a past National Newspaper Association representative on the Missouri Press Association board, and, with her husband, was a vice president of the Missouri Associated Press. The Sosnieckis shared the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors’ lifetime-achievement award, the Eugene Cervi Award, in 2003. They also shared the NNA Community Development Award in 1998. Each received NNA President’s Awards in 2007.

Sosniecki has been a longtime customer of Interlink and supporter of its circulation management and ad-billing systems.

“Interlink has long been the favorite of publishers of many of America’s finest community newspapers,” Interlink founder Bill Garber said. “To have a representative of one of those legendary publishing partnerships join Interlink is unprecedented. That Helen chose Interlink as a platform from which to, in a very real way, personally help secure the future of community newspapering is a great honor.”

Companies typically sell either circulation programs or mailing services. “Interlink is the only newspaper-circulation-system vendor to secure USPS certification for its integrated mail preparation and address verification. Because we control the process, we deliver greater flexibility and precision while greatly simplifying personalized subscriber care,” Garber added.

“Helen knows firsthand how very good for business it is to partner with Interlink to take impeccable care of subscribers and advertising accounts,” Garber said.

The Sosnieckis live in Le Claire, Iowa.

Helen Sosniecki may be reached at

Sunshine Week Gallery posted

April 15, 2008

The first round of gallery postings from Sunshine Week 2008 is now online at

To say it barely represents all of what we’ve collected so far is an understatement. What it represents is just a sampling of some of the different types of work — more will be posted regularly in the coming weeks.

And, if you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to send me PDFs and/or URLs from your own Sunshine Week coverage.

Thanks again to everyone who participated for the great work and support.

Debra Gersh Hernandez
Coordinator – Sunshine Week

First Lady Laura Bush Designates Arrow Rock a Preserve America Community

April 14, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Arrow Rock, Mo., was recently honored when First Lady Laura Bush, honorary chair of the Preserve America initiative, designated the village as one of the nation’s newest Preserve America Communities. Arrow Rock joins nine other Missouri Preserve communities:  Cape Girardeau, Fredericktown,Independence, Jefferson City, Liberty, St. Charles, Soulard (St. Louis), Ste. Genevieve and Weston.  600 communities have been named nationwide.

Arrow Rock is home to the Missouri Press Association’s Newspaper Print Shop Museum.

“Preserve America Communities demonstrate that they are committed to preserving America’s heritage while ensuring a future filled with opportunities for learning and enjoyment,” Mrs. Bush said. “This community designation program, combined with the Preserve America Grant Program, Preserve America Presidential Awards, and other federal support, provides strong incentives for continued preservation of our cultural and natural heritage resources. I commend you for your commitment to preserving an important part of our nation’s historic past for visitors, neighbors, and, most importantly, for children.”

Ken Blair, chairman of Arrow Rock’s Board of Trustees received a letter dated March 27, 2008, and will receive a certificate of designation signed by Mrs. Bush announcing Arrow Rock is now a Preserve America Community. Communities designated through the program receive national recognition for their efforts. Benefits include the right to use the Preserve America logo on signs and promotional materials; eligibility for Preserve America Grants; notification to state tourism offices; and listing in a Web-based directory that showcases Arrow Rock’s preservation efforts and heritage tourism destinations. Preserve America Communities are also featured in National Register Travel Itineraries and in “Teaching With Historic Places” curricular materials created by the National Park Service.

In 2006, Preserve America Grants totaling nearly $5 million were awarded to 68 projects around the country. In 2007, $4.9 million was awarded to 72 projects. In 2008, $10 million is available. Grants of $20,000 to $150,000 are awarded on a competitive, matching fund basis to help communities develop sustainable management strategies and sound business practices for the continued preservation and use of their heritage assets. The grants support research, planning, marketing, interpretation, and training efforts.

The Preserve America initiative is an Administration effort to encourage and support community efforts to preserve and enjoy America’s priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include a greater shared knowledge about the nation’s past; strengthened regional identities and local pride; increased local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets; and support for the economic vitality of our communities.

“Sustainable historic preservation is a wise investment in the future, not a cost for maintaining the past. Communities and the nation receive significant economic, educational, and cultural benefits, including heritage tourism, in return for their preservation efforts,” said John L. Nau, III, chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, which administers Preserve America programs for the White House in cooperation with the Department of the Interior.

The White House is working with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Transportation, the General Services Administration, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to implement Preserve America. For more information about the initiative and its programs, visit

The entire village of Arrow Rock has been designated a National Historic Landmark recognizing its association with Westward Expansion, the Santa Fe Trial and artist George Caleb Bingham. Arrow Rock is located in central Missouri, 14 miles north of I-70 on Hwy. 41 at Exit 98. In 2006, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Arrow Rock one of its Dozen Distinctive Destinations. For a calendar of events and information on tram tours, State Historic Site Museum and Park, camping, dining, shopping, B & B lodging and the award-winning Lyceum Theatre, go to

Please get Convention Hotel Reservation NOW!

April 8, 2008

PLEASE. Do not delay. If you plan to attend the MPA Convention in September, make your hotel reservation now. Columbia is going to be crowded, and if you delay, you won’t get a room.
MPA’s Convention will be Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 11-13. It will run concurrently with the Missouri School of Journalism’s Centennial Celebration, which will be Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 10-12.
The School of Journalism is expecting a few thousand people to attend its celebration. Adding to that number of people in Columbia will be fans in town for the Mizzou football game against Nevada on Saturday, Sept. 13.
MPA will hold its Convention at Stoney Creek Inn, which is on Providence Road about a mile south of the football stadium. Call the hotel at (800) 659-2220 to reserve a room in the Missouri Press Association room block. The rate is $75.
Call NOW, and reserve your room.