Morley Piper, a World War II veteran, at the 70th anniversary ceremonies of D-Day in Normandy last June. (Photo courtesy AP)

Convention opens June 18 in New Orleans

The second of two LPA-MPA Joint Conventions kicks off Thursday, June 18 at the Loews New Orleans Hotel. Over 200 delegates from the two states are expected for the conference, which will touch on industry, editorial, and advertising topics.

The event kicks off with a grand opening reception on the hotel plaza the evening of June 18, including great food, music and a Tarot card reading for attendees.

General sessions Friday focus on crisis and disaster coverage in our communities, including a special program on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. A panel discussion will include remarks from former Gov. Haley Barbour and retiring Sun Herald Executive Editor Stan Tiner.

A special Friday lunch program will feature retired newspaper executive Morley Piper, who, as a young member of the U.S. Army, landed with Allied Forces on the shores of Omaha Beach for the D-Day invasion. Piper retired in 2008 as executive director of the New England Newspaper Association.

Tours of the National World War II Museum are available at a discounted price for attendees Friday afternoon. Click here for details.

Saturday sessions include programs on building advertising revenue featuring longtime newspaper publisher and trainer Peter Wagner, improving your understanding of non-verbal communications featuring speaker Jan Hargrave and a session on avoiding editorial faux pas with Professor Robert Buckman of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The Associated Press Media Editors for Louisiana-Mississippi will hold its annual awards reception Saturday morning at 10:30, the second time the group has joined with conventions in Louisiana and Mississippi. When completing your registration for the convention, please mark your attendance at the reception even though there is no cost to attend.

Events culminate with the annual presentation of the Better Newspaper Contest Awards Editorial Division at noon Saturday.

For more information on the event or to register, visit the convention webpage.

Next year's event will return to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Golden Nugget Casino for MPA’s 150th Annual Convention.

Online entry process returns secrecy to contest results

And added perk of the new MPA online contest entry submission process has been the restoration of secrecy to the process.

“Since members are required to upload PDF files as their entries, we no longer have to ask newspapers to provide art for first place winners,” said MPA Executive Director Layne Bruce. “That means much of the secrecy over which newspaper won first place in any of the categories has been restored.”

For the past decade or so, MPA has requested from publishers art files for first place winners in most categories. This facilitated the production of the Better Newspaper Contest winners publication and the creation of the awards show presentation.

“While we always asked publishers to keep the news about these winners secret, it was still disappointing that we couldn’t have complete secrecy in the process,” Bruce said. “Adding that secrecy back to the process has also added some excitement, I think.”

Publishers are being notified this week (May 25) whether their newspapers have any winning entries in the 2014 contest, awards for which will be handed out June 20 during the Joint Convention in New Orleans. As is customary, any individual who has won a first place prize in the contest will be noted in the confirmation letter.

If you have questions about the contest or notification process, contact MPA Members Services Manager Monica Gilmer, 601-981-3060.

Daily Mississippian finalist for best collegiate paper

The University of Mississippi’s Daily Mississippian has been named one of the nation’s top three collegiate daily newspapers by the Society of Professional Journalists as part of the group’s prestigious Mark of Excellence Awards.

The Daily Mississippian was honored as a finalist in the SPJ’s “best all around” large daily newspaper category. The other finalists were The Daily Bruin of the University of California at Los Angeles and The State News of Michigan State University. The State News won top honors overall.

Lacey Russell, a senior journalism major from Tupelo, and Adam Ganucheau, who graduated from UM in 2014, served as editors-in-chief during the period the newspaper was honored. During Russell’s staff’s first meeting to begin the 2014-2015 school year, her team set a goal to be one of the hardest working staffs in the nation.


NNA urges assessment of rural mail service
WASHINGTON—The National Newspaper Association has again called for measurement of on-time delivery of rural mail.

Appearing in a May 19 roundtable hosted by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, NNA Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel Tonda F. Rush said Congress should follow the maxim that “what gets measured gets done.” If the U.S. Postal Service is required to report on the quality of rural mail delivery, trouble spots of late mail service will be identified and can be addressed.

NNA’s postal concerns also were being represented at the National Postal Forum by Postal Committee Chair Max Heath and Interlink President Brad Hill, who serve on the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee.


No one wins a turf war

This story has a cast of five characters:

1. The advertising sales person worked hard to build relationships with clients, learn their objectives and develop marketing plans. Since he had previously worked as a copywriter at an ad agency, he had unique marketing insights.

2. The graphic designer saw herself as an artist, and indeed had impressive design skills. However, she had no contact with advertisers. Her goal was to make each ad a work of art. She resisted suggestions and acted like she was threatened by others’ knowledge of ad design and creativity.

3. The advertising director managed the sales person and the graphic designer. Her goal was to oversee ad revenue. She wanted everyone to do their jobs, follow the rules, keep quiet, leave her alone and make money for the paper.

4. The big entity in the background was the corporate newspaper office, which had ironclad policies for its newspaper properties. In their minds – and in their employee manual – sales people sell and creative departments create.

5. The advertiser in the story had little confidence in the ads the paper created for him. Although the ads looked good, they didn’t produce the results he needed. As a result, he was seriously considering cutting back – or not renewing – his ad contract with the paper.


Read the spring edition of Fourth Estate
The spring edition of the Fourth Estate, MPA's quarterly newspaper, is now available online. Printed copies are also in the mail to all members. If you or your staff have news to share through the monthly eBulletin or Fourth Estate, let us know.


Stan Tiner has announced his retirement as executive editor from the Sun Herald. He has been with coastal daily for over 15 years, guiding its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina… Brent Maze is the new publisher of The Newton County Appeal in Union. He succeeds Luke Horton who recently accepted the publisher’s job in Brookhaven… Lloyd Gray will depart the Daily Journal in Tupelo this summer after 22 years at the helm of the newsroom. He will become executive director of The Phil Hardin Foundation in Meridian… Nathan Edwards was named general manager of the Hattiesburg American in February. He is former vice president of sales for The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle... Matthew Breazeale is the new editor of The Holmes County Herald in Lexington. A native of Durant, Breazeale previously worked for The Bolivar Commercial in Cleveland and The Star Herald in Kosciusko.

June 18        MPA-MPS-MPAEF Board Meetings, Loews Hotel, New Orleans
June 18-20   Joint LPA-MPA Convention, Loews Hotel, New Orleans
June 25        Webinar – Getting the Best out of Yourself and Your Sales Team
June 26        Webinar – Quickly Create Slide Shows & Galleries: A Guide to Working With YouTube
July 3            Independence Day holiday. MPA office closed.

Mobile is not killing the desktop internet

From The Wall Street Journal – People are increasingly accessing online content on mobile devices, but that doesn’t mean the desktop is in decline. A theory sometimes bandied about the media industry says audiences are deserting desktops and “going mobile” instead. But actually, data from online measurement firms doesn’t seem to support that view, at least at the aggregate market level.

Sudanese officials seize copies of newspapers

From Reuters – Sudan confiscated issues of 10 major newspapers on Sunday, in response to reports they carried on sexual assaults on children in Sudan, newspaper editors and a security source said. The newspapers had published a story on Sunday based on a speech by an activist who said rape and sexual harassment were common on vehicles taking children to school.

Cuban-American designers dream for future of papers

From The Wall Street Journal – Okay, so they might be dreaming a little. But three Cuban-American newspaper designers have seized upon the new, warmer relations between the two countries to imagine what newspapers might look like in the capitalist Cuba of their fantasies. Mario Garcia, Ana Lense Larrauri, and Nuri Ducassi, who all emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba as children, came up with more than a dozen prototype designs for three different varieties of newspapers: a photo-heavy middle-class newspaper, a downmarket tabloid filled with gossip, and an English-language paper aimed at tourists and expats.