Archive for July 2010

Gish family wins 2010 Eugene Cervi Award

July 27, 2010

Recognizing exemplary rural journalists, providing examples for others to follow, is part of the mission of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues. As part of that effort, the Institute presents an award in honor of Tom and Pat Gish, who published The Mountain Eagle in Whitesburg, Ky., for more than 51 years. Tom died in November 2008; Pat has health issues but remains publisher, and their son Ben is editor. This year, the Gish family won the Eugene Cervi Award from the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors for consistently acting in the conviction that “good journalism begets good government.” The Gishes have withstood advertiser boycotts, declining population, personal attacks and even the burning of their office to provide the citizens of Letcher County the kind of journalism often lacking in rural areas. They exemplify the courage, tenacity and integrity that is often necessary to render public service in journalism, especially in rural communities. That’s why the award is named for them and they were the first recipients of it, in 2005.

The Ezzell family of The Canadian Record, a weekly newspaper in Canadian, Texas, won the award in 2007. It was accepted by Laurie Ezzell Brown and her mother, Nancy Ezzell, widow of Ben Ezzell, who established the Panhandle weekly’s reputation for courage, especially in national political controversies. Ben Gish was among the judges who unanimously voted to make the award, saying “The Ezzells clearly demonstrate the tenacity, courage and integrity I’ve been privileged to witness, in growing up and working with my parents.” Retired publisher Al Smith, an Institute founder and chairman of the Institute’s advisory board, said: “The story of this gutsy Texas family is as comparable to the Gishes of Kentucky as anyone could imagine.” The Canadian Record has held local, state and national politicians accountable, fought political extremism, opposed unwise military adventures and helped protect the environment, often against organized and violent opposition. The award was presented at the Institute’s National Summit on Journalism in Rural America.

The 2008 Gish Award went to James E. Prince III, and Stanley Dearman, current and former publishers of The Neshoba Democrat, a weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Miss. The Democrat was recognized for its leadership, especially on civil rights and reconciliation over the last four decades. Dearman and Prince were cited for their effort to bring to justice all the killers of James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, the civil-rights workers who were murdered in Neshoba County in July 1964. Seven Ku Klux Klan members and allies were convicted in the murders, though none served more than six years in prison. Another 11 were not convicted, and the case was not prosecuted by the state of Mississippi until the Democrat and the daily Clarion-Ledger in Jackson began their campaigns for justice.  Their efforts were testimony to the great good that courageous newspapers can do. The award was presented at a Mississippi Press Association convention.

The Tom and Pat Gish Award was not presented in 2009, but will be in 2010. We seek nominations that measure up, at least in major respects, to the records of previous winners. Nominators should send detailed letters to Director Al Cross at the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, explaining how their nominees show the kind of exemplary courage, tenacity and integrity that the Gishes demonstrated in their rigorous pursuit of rural journalism. Documentation does not have to accompany the nomination, but is helpful in choosing finalists, and additional documentation may be requested or required.

Al Cross
Director, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
122 Grehan Journalism Building, University of Kentucky
Lexington KY 40506-0042


Finally, “How to Save Newspapers”

July 21, 2010

Blog post has an interesting take on newspapers, and where they are headed. Or should head. Check it out. HERE

It is also generating A LOT of buzz on LinkedIn (Those In Media Group).

Joplin Globe has ‘Reporter of Year’

July 6, 2010

Joplin Globe reporter Wally Kennedy has been named reporter of the year by Community Newspaper Holdings
Inc. in the company’s Best of CNHI editorial contest.
Kennedy received his award based on a collection of work from 2009. His entries included a story about a Cherokee County, Kan., turkey farmer who faced financial ruin after losing a production contract; the struggle of a Joplin man who is seeking recognition for America’s atomic veterans of World War II; and a critical look at the lack of communication within the Tulsa, Okla., and Springfield forecast offices of the National Weather Service in connection with the May 10, 2008, tornado.
Individual winners in the CNHI competition receive a plaque and a $400 prize.
Kennedy, a Joplin native, is a 1975 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism. He began working at The Globe in 1976 as a beat and police reporter.
In addition to his regular reporting duties, Kennedy writes a weekly column, “Watching Range Line,” and a business blog for
Kennedy is active in Joplin Helps Haiti, which is coordinating relief for earthquake victims in Haiti. Recently
at Missouri Southern State University, Faces of Haiti, a post earthquake photo essay by Kennedy, was shown in connection with Hope for Haiti Day.
Also winning a CNHI award was a series of stories written by Globe reporters Derek Spellman and Greg Grisolano on unrest at Missouri Southern State University. It was a finalist for the public service award.
The Globe’s website was a finalist in the website-of-the-year category.

Lee will publish food magazine in St. Louis

July 6, 2010

Lee Enterprises, based in Davenport, Iowa, in August will begin producing a new food publication — “Feast” — for the St. Louis area. The free magazine will have a circulation of 70,000 distributed at more than 500 locations.
Lee, publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Suburban Journals, Ladue News and “St. Louis’ Best Bridal” magazine, described “Feast” as “a culinary magazine that celebrates St. Louis’ food culture.”
Catherine Neville, co-founder and former editor of “Sauce Magazine,” is publisher of “Feast,” which “will serve as the backbone of the Feast Media brand,” Lee said.

News-Press creates ‘Power of 3’ medium

July 6, 2010

The New-Press & Gazette Co. of St. Joseph has combined the St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph Cablevision and its websites into a single organization the company calls the “Power of 3.”
Most visible among the changes are:
• The news and weather channel on St. Joseph Cablevision has a new name
— News-Press 3 Now — with a new studio and graphics.
• The news and weather websites are now found at, a new site created to meet preferences
expressed by area residents for more weather information, more video and more local stories.
• An updated design for the News-Press with more stories about personal safety, daily living and insights into the news.
The News-Press & Gazette Co. employs 420 people in St. Joseph, with nearly 60 news professionals.

An ode to a mentor:

July 6, 2010

The name Ed Heins remains synonymous with education, hard work
You might not know the name, but hopefully you remember the man. A co-worker and I used to call him “the Tall Man.” Not the most creative nickname we’ve ever come up with. Ed Heins stood about 6-5 or 6-6,
maybe taller. He worked in our industry for 55 years, had snow-white hair (seemingly forever), and had the raspiest voice you’ll ever hear.
Since I first met Ed in the latter ’80s, it seemed I was almost playing a “shadow” game with him. You know,
when your dad’s walking along the sidewalk on a sunny day, casting a shadow. Then you kind of put yourself in the shadow, and it continues to look like there’s still just one shadow. (Just me?) Anyway, Ed cast a huge shadow in oh so many ways.
When I first met Ed, he was teaching at the J-School, and I was just entering as a student. He was a guest lecturer in several of my classes. Yes, I didn’t pay attention.
Ed became the general manager at the Columbia Missourian. At the same time, I started doing ad layout for the
Missourian. I didn’t interact with Ed then, but we each knew who the other was — spent two
years “knowing” each other.
After graduation, I joined the Suburban Journals in the classified department. Guess who had just become the editorial director days before I started. Yep — Ed. I became a manager at the Journals and started to at least “speak” to Ed. Not much though. At the time, unfortunately, we were going through a major, nonlocal buyout and things were pretty tense. Yet, we chatted here and there.
Seven days before Christmas in 1991, the corporate guys decided to give the axe to half the managers. (I still have Jerry Berger’s column from the Post-Dispatch, “Pink Slips for the Holidays”). Anyway, Ed and I simultaneously got the boot.

A few months later, I showed up at The St. Louis American. But wait! No Ed Heins! Well, oddly enough, we hired Ed as a consultant about four months or so later. What the heck?Here’s the shadow — the Tall Man — again.Since we were a relatively small company, with about 18 employees at the time, it was inevitable that I would work more closely with Ed than I ever had. I was only about 26 at the time, so, to be honest, I still thought of Ed as the old teacher. I would politely listen to him and his raspy voice, but in the back of my immature mind I was thinking “yeah, yeah, yeah.”I’m not sure if it was because I just had my first child or what, but suddenly, I started actually listening to Ed. He hadn’t been teaching students in the last few years, but suddenly he again had a student in me.As a consultant, although Ed was with us only a few years, he did a lot for the St. Louis American. In fact, wellover a decade later we still have several items in place purely because of Ed Heins. Publisher Donald Suggsand I continue to be grateful to Ed. In short, although he recently passed (May 4), Ed Heins’ wisdom continues to help us save costs and create revenue to this day.WHY? Because he passed his knowledge along to us. He could have taken/kept all the accolades to himself, about cost savings and the like, but he didn’t. He sat me down and taught me. Even though he was a consultant, Ed was the first one in the office every day. He’d get the coffee going, and then a little later I’d show up, and he’d have a seat in my office. At the time knew absolutely nothing about many aspects of the industry, including the whole “printing” aspect. Because of Ed, I now feel I do. He sat me down and taught me, like educators are supposed to do.
Ed started a monthly special section for us called “Health Matters.” In typical Ed Heins style, not only did he start it, he wrote all the copy, edited it, sold all the ads for the section, and oversaw the layout. He even drove the boards to the printer (before the digital age, folks).
Ed did it all himself. “Health Matters” has become “Your Health Matters,” and it now runs twice per month, continues to earn revenue, and has been named Best Regularly Scheduled Section several times in recent years in various newspaper contests.
In the Columbia Missourian’s obit about Ed, Abby Rogers quoted former managing editor George Kennedy as
saying, “Ed should be remembered as a creative, hard-working executive, who created this publication (a weekly
publication) that really made it possible for the Missourian to continue to exist.”
Not surprising, if you know Ed. If there’s one other term to describe Ed besides “teacher,” it’s “hard-working.”
On a very, very personal note: when the January issue of this magazine came out, introducing yours truly as the 2010 MPA president, take a guess at the first call I received. It was Ed. I have to tell you how great it was then, and it means even more now. He took the time to call me. Teacher calling student.
I felt like I just won the Super Bowl, and my former coach was calling me with congrats. Usually I’m quite the
jokester, but this time I’m glad I made the right move. I told Ed that there’s no way, no way I’d be in the position I’m in at the American or MPA, or have the knowledge I have, without him. It’s true.
Guess it’s time to cast my own shadow, while at the same time mentoring others and sharing what Ed taught me.
Thanks, Ed. Thanks for giving me the opportunity. Thanks for teaching me. Thanks for being my shadow. Thanks for everything, Tall Man.

Paper posts videos of proud Sedalians

July 6, 2010

To mark Sedalia’s 150th birthday, The Democrat is recording brief video clips of residents explaining “Why I am
proud to be a Sedalian.”
A new clip is being posted each day through Oct. 16 on the paper’s website, That will provide 150 clips leading to Founders Weekend.
The interviews also will be included as a special feature on the Sedalia 150 Committee’s DVD set, “Share the Journey.”