Posted tagged ‘Missouri Press Association’

What is OpenMissouri?

September 8, 2010

OpenMissouri is a project created by David Herzog, a faculty fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism.  The one-year pilot project is designed to promote government transparency by informing journalists, information professionals, citizens and businesses about offline data held by state agencies.  The keystone of the project will be a website, to launch in November, that will feature a card catalog that provides information and how-to tips on accessing offline databases and descriptive details about the information they contain.  Users will also be able to post actual data that they uncover during research projects.

So far OpenMissouri has the support of the Missouri Press and Broadcasters associations and the Missouri Sunshine Coalition and is actively seeking organizations and individuals to lend support by:

Spreading the word about OpenMissouri

Following the project on Twitter: @OpenMissouri

Helping build data card catalog

Using the website

Participating in conversations on the site

Contributing data

More information:


In times of cutbacks, I’m learning

August 2, 2010

…certain cuts should never be made.
It was about eight or nine years ago when I was named to the Missouri Press board. If you didn’t know, the full board meets three times per year. My first board meeting, I pretty much smiled and nodded my head — didn’t say a word. I was surrounded by veterans Bill Miller, Bill James and others. Second meeting, I think I coughed once and threw in an “aye” here and there. I went into the third meeting telling myself “say something this time!” I didn’t know what I was going to say, but I knew I was going to at least utter one darned sentence. I was just waiting to comment on something, anything.
Well, we started reviewing MPA’s annual numbers — revenue, expenses — a lengthy, line-by-line list of everything. Like any responsible organization, we were at the “looking at our costs” phase of the meeting, reviewing expenses and seeing if there was anything we could cut for the financial health of MPA and its members.
I finally spoke up. What did I say?
“What if we cut out the monthly Missouri Press News magazine?” (Yes, this magazine that
you’re reading now). To say that I could hear a pin drop would be an understatement. Everyone around the table went from looking down at the financials to deliberately looking directly at me, almost at half-speed it seemed.
Bolivar publisher Dave Berry glared at me like a scene in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” He was Clint Eastwood, and I had just shot his horse.
Berry squinted and spoke in a calm, raspy voice. “You can’t cut the magazine.”
Yikes. Sorry I mentioned it. Point well taken, Clint.
Berry talked about how important it is for Missouri Press members to see positive news about themselves and their newspapers, IN PRINT, every month.
At the time, I really didn’t get it. I just saw a $$$ number, and wanted to cut it.
Like most newspapers across the country, my paper has had to make cutbacks. Some were easier than others, of course. Due to drastic increases in newsprint, we had to cut some of our content. After much deliberation, we cut our horoscopes section and a few other items. We had a few calls and emails, which we don’t take lightly. However, the number was limited, because we asked for a variety of input and did a lot of research with readers.
If an outside consultant or a major newspaper corporation would have studied our newspaper, it would have insisted that we also eliminate our Religion page. Why? Because if they’re looking at the raw, bottom-line numbers, they would immediately note the substantial lack of advertising on that page. Besides our Editorial page — which has 100% copy and 0% advertising — no page in our entire publication earns less than our Religion page.
Now I’m feeling like I’m starting to get what Berry was talking about. While many press associations could do without their monthly
magazine, it was important for us to continue it in Missouri. It’s what the readers WANT.
Readers of my paper want a Religion page. They want a Bible verse every week. Can they get that information elsewhere? Obviously. But we found they want that from us.
Further, while I used to quickly view the MPA magazine for about five minutes, I now read it from cover to cover. My favorite part — the “Scrapbook.” It tells brief success stories of other Missouri newspapers. Last month I learned about a lot of out-of-the-box ideas going on in our state, (which I can use) from papers such as the Hannibal Courier-Post, Lincoln County Journal, Versailles Leader-Statesman, Rolla Daily News and many more.

Obit – Jay Graf

June 1, 2010

Julius J. “Jay” Graf, former publisher of the Hermann Advertiser-Courier and president of the Missouri Press Association in 1966, died Friday afternoon, May 28.

His daughter, Karen Gillig, said her father, age 94, had been ill for some time and had been unresponsive for two days.  He just quit breathing, so it was very peaceful, she said.

Jay and his late wife, Eunice, were long-time members of the press association and attended district press meetings throughout the state.  They were avid golfers.  Jay served as MPA president during the association’s centennial year.

Here is the funeral notice from the Post-Dispatch:

Julius J. “Jay” Graf

Graf, Julius J. Jay of Hermann, MO, died May 28, 2010 at the age of 94. Survivors include two daughters, Karen Gillig of Raytown, MO and Donna Carey and husband Gerald of Blue Springs, MO; six grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. Services: Visitation will be held Monday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the TOEDTMANN & GROSSE Funeral Home in Hermann, MO where services will be held 11:00 a.m. Tuesday.


February 23, 2009

Mildred Wallhausen, publisher of The Enterprise-Courier since 1969 and a member of the newspaperʼs staff for 73 years, died Thursday, February 19, 2009 at her home in East Prairie at the age of 94.

Mrs. Wallhausen served The Enterprise-Courier at various times as publisher, proofreader, advertising salesperson, bookkeeper, business manager, file clerk, stuffer, mailer, office supply store manager, circulation manager, reporter, photographer, editorial writer, society editor, and since 1970 the author of a weekly column, “Millieʼs Soapbox.” For a brief period, she also managed The East Prairie Eagle after she and her husband purchased that newspaper in the 1940s.

In recognition of her more than 60 years of exemplary contributions to the newspaper industry, the Missouri Press Association (MPA) named her to the prestigious MPA Hall of Fame. That award was presented at the annual MPA Convention in St. Louis in September 2000.

A fixture at meetings of the Southeast Missouri Press Association for many years, she served that organization as a Board Member, officer, and as President in 1981. Upon stepping down as President, she became the organizationʼs semi-permanent Historian, a position she held until her death.

She worked unselfishly for the betterment of her community and to improve the lot of individuals with whom she has come in contact. She served on numerous unpaid and unglamorous committees. For six decades, first with her husband and later on her own, she worked tirelessly and personally to enhance the quality of life and to encourage participation in community affairs, with special emphasis on the large minority population of this area. She was also a member of the NAACP and the Mississippi County Community Churches organization, from which she received an award in 1997. She has also intervened in a very personal way, “adopting”, after the death of her husband in 1969, a succession of young women who were wards of the juvenile court, and providing a stable home environment for them.

This brief summary merely touches on the dozens of activities which kept this remarkable woman busy operating a business, working for her community, and engaging in personal and private works of charity and kindness for seven decades. She never lost her belief, which she acted upon regularly, that newspapers can and must play an important role in leading their communities, and that citizens owe society a certain level of unpaid service. She exemplified all that is best about home-town journalism. In her spare time, (among many other civic activities) she served on the Missouri Governorʼs Comprehensive Health Planning Council from 1969-1973 and on the state Mental Health Task Force; on the Regional Planning Council; on the Charleston Park and Recreation Board; on the Charleston Senior Citizens Housing Project Board; served as president of the Mississippi County Tuberculosis Association from 1945 to 1953; was president of the Eugene Field School and Charleston High School Parent Teachers Associations; was president of two womenʼs federated clubs (the Athena Club in Charleston and the Womanʼs Improvement Club in East Prairie; and from 1993 until her death was a Commissioner of the East Prairie Housing Authority. From 1995 until 1998, she was a member of the Community Advisory Board of the Southeast Missouri State University public radio station, KRCU. For many years she also served on the Board of the Community Sheltered Workshop, on Charlestonʼs Missouri Community Betterment Committee, and as a Sunday School teacher, first at the Baptist Church in Charleston, later at Concordia Lutheran Church in Sikeston, and most recently at St. Paulʼs Episcopal Church in Sikeston, where she was a member at the time of her death. She was named Charlestonʼs “Woman of the Year” in 1973.

Mrs. Wallhausen was born in Brooklyn, NY, April 3, 1914, daughter of Gustav and Julia Herrle Knoop. After the death of her mother in 1918, she and a brother were placed in an orphanage. She was soon taken from the orphanage and raised by Harry and Florence Elizabeth Bronson Van de Water of Queens, NY. She never again saw her brother. After the death of Mrs. Van de Water in the early 1920s, Mildred was adopted by Mrs. Van de Waterʼs sister, Frances Bronson Savell and her husband James Meroe Savell of Queens. While in high school, she lived in Wauchula, Florida, with the Rev. and Mrs. Joel F. Savell, parents of James Savell, and graduated from Wauchula High School. After graduation, she returned to New York to work as a secretary and attend college, but her college career was cut short by the Depression.

In the 1930s, while visiting an aunt in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where the Rev. Mr. Savell had served as pastor of the First Baptist Church, she took a temporary job with the Daily American Republic newspaper. It was there that she met her husband, Art L. Wallhausen Sr., a University of Missouri School of Journalism graduate and a reporter for the Poplar Bluff newspaper.

In 1935, he purchased The Enterprise-Courier, and after a long-distance courtship between Charleston and Poplar Bluff, they were married at the church of his childhood, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Sweet Springs, Missouri. He died in 1969 after a long illness.

Mrs. Wallhausen is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Art L. Wallhausen Jr. and Helen Anne Wallhausen of Cape Girardeau; a son-in-law and daughter, James and Elizabeth Gail Anderson of East Prairie, with whom she lived for many years; three grandchildren, Arthur L. (Tre) Wallhausen III of Cape Girardeau, Matthew E. (Laura) Wallhausen of Jackson, and Kellie (Damon) Bone of East Prairie; and six great-grandchildren, Joshua Shane Golightly, Dalton James Golightly, Mary Elizabeth Irene Bone, Damon Lee Bone III, Nicholas Wallhausen, and Katherine Wallhausen; two step-great-granddaughters, Michelle Magee and Kayla Bone. Also surviving are a foster daughter, Sheila Mays and her husband Bill Mays of Sikeston, and two foster grandchildren. In addition to her husband, parents, and foster parents, she was preceded in death by a grandson, Eric Christian Anderson. and a foster brother, Joel Savell.

Friends may call from 12:30 p.m. until the funeral hour 1:30 p.m., Sunday, February 22, 2009 at McMikle Funeral Home in Charleston. Father Arnold Hoffman, Pastor of the St. Paul Episcopal Church in Sikeston will officate. Swayne Byrd of Charleston will serve as eulogist. Interment will follow in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery near Charleston under the direction of McMikle Funeral Home. Pallbearers will be: Arthur L. (Tre) Wallhausen, Matthew E. Wallhausen, Joshua Shane Golightly, Dalton James Golightly, Damon Lee Bone, Jr., Nicholas Wallhausen and Shane Golightly.

Memorials may be made to: Charleston Kiwanis Club Scholarship Fund PO Box 392 Charleston MO 63834 Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center 200 S. Washington East Prairie, MO 63845

Rep. Jones files omnibus bill

January 19, 2009

Rep. Tim Jones (R-Eureka) has filed an omnibus bill to strengthen Missouri’s open meetings and open records law, the Sunshine Law. House Bill 316, filed Jan. 15, contains several provisions, including requirements opening to the public most records and meetings of the Missouri Ethics Commission. The bill specifies that investigative reports prepared by Ethics Commission staff would be closed records until a decision is made by the commission regarding the complaint under investigation. If the commission would decide to dismiss the complaint, reports related to the complain would continue to be closed records. All meetings of the commission would be open, except for closed meetings when the commission deliberates a complaint. Rep. Jones gathered a bipartisan group of 18 co-sponsors for the bill. The co-sponsors include Rep. David Sater (R-Cassville), Rep. Mark Parkinson (R-St. Charles), Rep. Kenny Jones (R-Clarksburg), Rep. Jeff Grisamore (R-Lee’s Summit), Rep. Gayle Kingery (R-Poplar Bluff), Rep. Rodney Schad (R-Versailles), Rep. Walt Bivins (R-St. Louis), Rep. Shane Schoeller (R-Willard), Rep. Mike Talboy (D-Kansas City), Rep. Mary Still (D-Columbia), Rep. Jake Zimmerman (D-Olivette), Rep. John Burnett (D-Kansas City), Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst (R- Ballwin), Rep. Doug Funderburk (R-St. Peters), Rep. Tim Meadows (D-Imperial), Rep. Mike Corcoran (D-St. Ann), Rep. Rachel Storch (D-St. Louis) and Rep. Ron Casey (D-Crystal City). Among House Bill 316’s provisions, the proposal: 1. Requires most records and meetings of the Missouri Ethics Commission to be open. 2. Specifies that an association is covered by the Sunshine Law if it receives public funding through dues paid by a public governmental body or its members. 3. Defines “public meeting” to include any gathering of newly elected members of a public governmental body who have not formally taken office, but are meeting to discuss public business, with or without current members of the body, when a quorum is present. 4. Requires a notice to the public of a meeting to be extended from 24 hours’ advance notice to five days’ advance notice when the public governmental body would be considering or voting on a fee or tax increase, eminent domain, zoning, transportation development district or tax increment financing issue. 5. Defines the term “cause of action” in an exemption to the law as when “a lawsuit has been filed, regardless of whether service of process has been completed, or correspondence from a party to the body stating that litigation shall be filed unless certain demands are met.” 6. Limits persons attending closed meetings of a public governmental body to members, their attorneys, staff members and any necessary witnesses. 7. Requires data-processing programs used by state and local governments to allow for copying data easily accessed by software programs commonly available to the public. 8. Requires reasonable attorney fees be paid to a party successfully seeking disclosure of an investigative report compiled by law enforcement. — Missouri Press Association

Nelson joins News-Press to run Kansas papers

January 5, 2009

News-Press & Gazette Inc. General Manager Lee Sawyer has named Sandy Nelson as the new publisher for its Miami County Newspapers group in Kansas, including The Miami County Republic, Louisburg Herald
and Osawatomie Graphic.
Nelson joined NPG from The Kansas City Star, where she served as group publisher overseeing the Harrisonville, Belton, Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs newspapers, the Lenexa Centennial, the Hometown Journal (Gardner and Spring Hill) and the Olathe News.
Nelson was employed by the Kansas City Star for 10 years, eight years as a publisher. She began her newspaper career in advertising sales.
This is a second career for Nelson, who married young and operated a construction company from her home for about 15 years. When her husband passed away, she was left to raise her two children alone, so she sold the construction company and followed her sister into advertising sales.
Nelson has since remarried, raised her children to adulthood and now enjoys being a grandmother.
Nelson said she has strong convictions about the role that community newspapers should play in their readership areas, providing up-to-date reports on local and area happenings, notice of upcoming events and news about how state, national and worldwide events can affect people on a community level.
Nelson began work Nov. 19 in her office in Paola.
She was elected in September to be first vice president of the Missouri Press Association in 2009. She was second vice president in 2008.

MPA welcomes new President

January 5, 2009

At midnight, Dec. 31, did you celebrate the arrival of 2009 or, blessedly, the conclusion of 2008? Was that
not the year that just wouldn’t end?
As we tread carefully into the New Year, unsure of what might befall our economy next, we are faced with enormous
challenges, certainly. Now, more than ever, we must collectively become more discerning about defining and explaining those problems.
I was astonished by the many news stories last year, often published in major dailies, reporting matter-of-factly that our industry is in the last throes of death. Those of you who were doing just fine, thank you, prior to the economic
meltdown, surely winced along with me at our virtual obituaries.
Unfortunately, the message is filtering down and the public is beginning to believe it. If we don’t react appropriately, we could be talked out of business.
Yes, many newspaper companies are in trouble, but that trouble was brewing long before the financial markets collapsed. Specifically, the problem is debt.
I’ve lost track of how many times some nearby Missouri newspapers have been bought and sold. You can bet there was new debt piling up with each transaction, and the situation is made worse by the economy.
Nonetheless, many newspapers in this state were finding ways to meet increasing competition prior to the
economic collapse, and they will — as newspapers have done through other Dark Eras — fight their way through
the current one.
Without going into too much analysis here and now, I think it’s high time for our industry to stop leaving the reporting of our “condition” to others and to start providing the bigger picture. If we don’t stand up for us, who will?
In the coming months, with the help of various entities, I hope to help craft ready-to-use talking points, marketing
materials, revenue-generating ideas and other tools for our members.
Newspapers doing their jobs properly continue to enjoy community loyalty and trust at levels that make our competitors salivate. Most of us have a great story to tell. (And don’t forget: The economic and competitive pressures we face are similarly tough for our broadcast and electronic counterparts. Yahoo announced a big layoff at the end of 2008; a number of broadcast media companies are swimming in debt while competition grows.)
As I tiptoe into my new role as the president of this organization, I hope to bring our members together in new and creative ways to help our industry thrive. We need each other and our country needs us more than ever. So let’s
get to ’splainin.’
And speaking of needing each other … My hat’s off to Jack Whitaker, publisher of the Hannibal Courier-Post, for his intrepid leadership as president of Missouri Press in 2008. He set the bar high for his successors.
Please remember to make time for regional association meetings this year, where we will be developing
and sharing some of our tools for newspapers. We need all the muscle we can get, and your ideas are critical. The first regional meeting is the Northwest Press Association, Jan. 22 and 23.
Make reservations promptly.
Judging of the Nebraska Press Association contest will be Feb. 6 in Columbia. We want the Nebraskans to do a good job judging our contest entries, and this is our part of the bargain. Judges have been harder to come by in recent years, so please recruit some fellow members and join us. There’s a bonus:
Maybe you’ll find some good ideas to “borrow.”