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 joplinglobe.com.
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.
Posted tagged ‘Inc.’
Joplin Globe reporter Wally Kennedy has been named reporter of the year by Community Newspaper Holdings
By JAY REEVES
Associated Press Writer
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Several newspaper executives launched a public relations campaign Monday to counter what they call “gloom-and-doom” reports of the industry’s demise.
Sure, they admit, times are tough. The economy is bad, the Internet has sucked away advertising dollars and people are losing jobs.
But the 100 million people who read a newspaper the day after the Super Bowl outnumbered the TV audience for the game, the group said in an advertisement that appeared Monday in more than 300 daily newspapers, including The New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
With the ads, commentary pieces and a Web site, the industry is painting itself as a vital source of information and the best place for advertisers to sell anything from grapes to a house — not the dinosaur often portrayed in the media.
“We are our own worst enemy. It’s like there’s a rule we have to beat ourselves up,” said Donna Barrett, a driving force behind the campaign, called the Newspaper Project. “We are still a dominant media, and we don’t give ourselves credit for that.”
Barrett, chief executive of Birmingham-based Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., came up with the idea for the blitz with Randy Siegel, publisher of Parade Publications; Brian P. Tierney, CEO of Philadelphia Media Holdings, which publishes The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News; and Jay Smith, the retired CEO of Cox Newspapers, which owns the Journal-Constitution and other papers.
“We are not trying to be Pollyannaish about the newspaper industry, but all the predictions of our demise are just dead wrong,” Siegel said.
Parade, the weekly magazine inserted into more than 470 Sunday newspapers nationwide, provided seed money in the “low five figures” for the campaign to purchase ads in trade magazines and online, Siegel said. Newspapers donated ad space to the group.
It’s not hard to understand why there has been hand-wringing about the newspaper industry: Each week seems to bring more stories of layoffs or other cutbacks. The United States has about 1,400 daily newspapers, but that’s down about 100 from a decade ago. Cities such as Seattle andDenver could each lose one of their two newspapers soon.
The Star Tribune of Minneapolis filed for bankruptcy last month. Tribune Co., owner of newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, did the same thing in December. Even healthier newspaper companies have been scrambling to deal with their debts, including The New York Times Co., which recently agreed to a $250 million loan from billionaire Carlos Slim at a hefty 14 percent interest rate.
Industry analyst Ken Doctor applauded the idea behind the PR campaign. But he said its very name — the “newspaper project” — betrays a fundamental problem that’s threatening the entire industry.
“By 2009, I would have hoped editors would have realized this is not about paper, it’s about news,” said Doctor, a former newspaper executive with Knight Ridder Inc. who is now an analyst with Outsell Inc. “The business model is just busted.”
Doctor said U.S. newspaper ad revenues have dropped 20 percent from an all-time high of $50 billion, and print editions of newspapers will never be a staple for younger readers who have grown up reading news on the Internet. Most newspapers make less than 10 percent of their total revenue off the Internet.
Barrett said the newspapers’ ad campaign was born out of the frustration of seeing a constant string of predictions that newspapers will go out of business before they figure out how retool operations and make a strong profit online.
Lost on the masses, she said, is the fact the that tens of millions of people read newspapers every day, online and in print.
“The crisis has to do with revenue, not with audience,” said Barrett, who also serves as a director of The Associated Press.
CommunitySportsDesk, an offshoot of the Kenosha (Wis.) News, has launched a hosted service that allows local youth and recreation sports leagues to post schedules, write game summaries, input stats and box scores and upload game and team pictures to a newspaper-branded website.
The hosted version is the most recent iteration of CommunitySportsDesk, which the News (Monday-Friday, 24,552; Saturday, 24,215; Sunday, 27,149) rolled out last summer as an experiment to see how it could handle user-generated content flowing from the area’s youth and recreation sports teams, according to Ken Dowdell, News publisher and vice president of United Communications Corp.
“Our in-house techs built that innovative model, based on discussions with league organizers and team officials,” he said.
Reaction was positive, so the News hired additional software developers to pepper CommunitySportsDesk with additional features, including the ability for UCC to host the app, Dowdell said.
“It can be the “something-different” tool that equips a traditional media company to get where they need to go with youth and recreational sports,” he said.
“We’ve engineered options that can serve Pee Wee players who just need their achievements recognized to high school and adult leagues that like to collect complete stats,” he said.
Dowdell said the company is prepared to support its users as they roll out the software. “As a result of our real-life experiences, we’re prepared to help other publishers with a community-focused, full advertising-supported business model, not merely software,” said Dowdell.
Matthew Serpe, a CommunitySportsDesk business development specialist, said the service dovetails with the industry’s adoption of hyper-local coverage.
“In a newspaper, (youth and rec sports) is an area getting the least amount of coverage. We are offering this application for youth and rec to cover themselves.”
Dell Sports Inc., meantime, plans to roll out a national high-school sports service this fall, according to Terry Dell, president of the Charlotte, N.C., firm. The service, Prep Sports Nation, allows participants to post and share pictures, upload video and blogs and share content among students, parents, athletes and local community members.
“How cool would it be to have pictures of you, uploaded on the website, by everyone in the audience?” Dell said. “It’s a game of a thousand angles and it’s easy for anyone who goes and watches the game to take pictures.”
Dell said participating newspapers can download all the materials they need from the PSN site. Fans are reminded that a newspaper could use their photos or stories before they can post to PSN, Dell said.
Prep Sports Nation began beta testing the app last August and Dell said he’s modified PSN to accommodate user requests.
PSN is engineered to manage rosters, schedules, and individual and team stats. Users will also be able to search for particular teams or individuals on other PSN sites and Dell said he’s working on a delivery method to allow photos and other materials to be shared among newspapers.
The system includes a stamp or watermark that identifies where the photo originated and a transmission system that can route the photo to a newspaper that requests to publish it.
CommunitySportsDesk and PSN come as newspapers try to find ways to increase coverage of local sports even as their resources are trimmed.
—Newspapers & Technology
Walter E. Hussman Jr. of Arkansas is buying the Jefferson City News Tribune, the daily Fulton Sun and the weekly California Democrat from the Weldon family.
Ownership was expected to transfer May 1.
Hussman’s family-owned company, WEHCO Media, Inc., owns seven other newspapers, including Little Rock’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and 13 cable television systems.
Hussman, 61, joined the family business in 1970. It acquired the Arkansas Democrat in 1974. Hussman told the News Tribune that a number of things made the Jefferson City newspaper attractive.
“Being in the state capital was a big plus, and this very stable employment base here was a big plus,” Hussman told the News Tribune. “The facilities, particularly the new printing press—which is really state-of-the-art and really terrific—were a major plus.
“(And) the fact that it was a family-owned newspaper and we’re a family-owned newspaper and would share a lot of the same kind of values with the people who worked here.”
No immediate changes are planned for staff or newspaper.
When his family acquired the Arkansas Democrat in 1974, it was an afternoon paper competing with
the larger, morning Arkansas Gazette. The Democrat was switched to mornings.
Hussman said there is no commitment to changing the 18,100-circulation News Tribune from afternoon
to morning publication. “We’ll evaluate that, along with everything else,” he said, “and also try to do
some reader research on that.”
Most of WEHCO Media’s cable television franchises are in Arkansas. Its other newspaper holdings include the Chattanooga, Tenn., Times Free Press; and papers in Hot Springs and El Dorado, Ark., and Texarkana, Texas.
Hussman and his wife, Robena, have three children. Their son, 24, graduated from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, after spending about 1 1/2 years at Westminster College, Fulton. Their twin daughters, 21, are juniors at the University of North Carolina.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray represented the Weldon family in the transaction.
The Weldon family has owned the News Tribune since 1927. Betty Weldon was publisher for nearly 50 years before her death in 2007. The family acquired the Fulton daily in 1995 and the California weekly in 1998.
—from the Jefferson City News Tribune
Community Publishers Inc. has changed the name of its newspaper group to Neighbor Newspapers, said Dave Berry of Bolivar, vice president of the company.
CPI has become a parent company with separate divisions. Neighbor Newspapers is the newspaper division, with publications in three states, Berry said.
The printing division is now known as Nowata Printing, with print centers in Springfield, Harrison, Ark., and Nowata, Okla.
The company’s eight papers in Missouri are The Bolivar Herald-Free Press,
Buffalo Reflex, Cedar County Republican in Stockton, Marshfield Mail, Christian
County Headliner News in Ozark, Nixa Xpress, South County Mail in Rogersville/
Fordland, and The Republic Monitor.