O.C. McDavid Journalism Conference – Former Newseum and Diversity Institute Chairman Charles Overby (left), the editor of The Clarion-Ledger when it won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, stands with Gene McDavid, retired publisher of the Houston (TX) Chronicle, and MPA Foundation Chairman Jim Prince at the O.C. McDavid Journalism Conference Thursday at the Mississippi Craft Center. Overby was keynote speaker for the event which is named in honor of McDavid's father, the former editor of the Jackson Daily News who originally hired Overby at the Jackson newspapers.

MPA-LPA Joint Convention June 19-21

Newspaper delegates from two states will meet in Biloxi June 19-21 for the first of two MPA-LPA Joint Annual Conventions. The event will take place at the IP Casino Resort and Spa.

Activities begin Thursday evening with an opening reception for board members and early arrivals. The two state boards will meet jointly for breakfast the morning of June 20, followed by individual state board and membership meetings.

Convention programming will kick off at noon Friday with opening ceremonies and a lunch program. General and breakout sessions will fill Friday afternoon and Saturday mornings on the topics of news/editorial, technology, advertising and new media. The joint convention will culminate Saturday at noon with individual state awards luncheons and officer installations.

Reservations are now being accepted at the IP. The group code is S146001. Rates are $90 a night for Wednesday and Friday, June 18-19, and $170 night for Friday and Saturday, June 19-21.

Rooms can also be reserved by calling 1-888-946-2847. The group rate expires May 28, 2014.

A "border war" golf tournament between states will be held Thursday afternoon at the Shell Landing Golf Club.

Registration will open in mid-April at the MPA website.

MPA will join the Louisiana association for another joint convention in 2015 at the Loews Hotel in New Orleans.

Two FOI bills pass the legislature

Two long-sought measures to strengthen Mississippi's Public Records Act passed by wide margins in the legislature.

HB 982 establishes as law that any staff time or contractual services included in the actual cost of providing records shall be at the pay scale of the lowest level employee or contractor competent to respond to the request. Gov. Phil Bryant signed the measure March 25.

“I was pleased to sign House Bill 928 and look forward to reviewing additional open government measures the Legislature sends to me,” Bryant said.

SB 2507, a bill that would grant the Mississippi Ethics Commission the authority to enforce the Public Records Act, recently was returned to the senate for concurrence on amendments made in the house. The bill is expected to be signed by Bryant soon.

The bill would give the Ethics Commission authority that is commensurate with the enforcement power it currently has over the Open Meetings Act.

A third FOI bill that would have opened the meetings of publicly owned hospital boards and championed by MPA died on the senate calendar in February.

MSU, JCJC papers take top honors

The student newspapers at Jones County Junior College and Mississippi State University were recognized as the best in their classes during the Better Newspaper Contest Student Division awards handed out at Thursday at the annual O.C. McDavid Conference in Ridgeland.

The Radionian at JCJC and MSU's Reflector took top prize in the General Excellence categories. Dozens of journalism and communications students at 10 campus newspapers participated in the annual contest, sponsored by the MPA Education Foundation.

Click here to download a complete list of winners.

Digital workshop slated April 18

Digital, social, mobile. Community newspapers have more competition than ever, but never have they had more opportunity to promote themselves and their content. Join us for a special workshop designed to help community dailies and weeklies integrate digital sales and social media promotion into their business plans. Small staffs can do this effectively; presenter Chris Rhoades will show us how.

The event will be held April 18 from 10 am to noon at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism & Politics on the campus of the University of Mississippi. Registration is free to MPA members through a grant from the MPA Education Foundation.

Rhoades is director of sales and marketing for Enterprise Publishing, a Nebraska-based community newspaper group where he launched a specialized marketing division focused on new products and revenue.

Click here to sign up for the workshop.

Ole Miss offers professional masters in journalism

The University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media has developed a specialized professional master’s degree to train journalists in the art of narrative storytelling.

The new program is aimed at helping media professionals improve their narrative storytelling across multiple media platforms.

“Journalism is changing so much,” said Joseph B. Atkins, UM professor of journalism. “The program is not only for traditional students, but professional journalists who want to raise their skills up a notch and also have the time to do those projects they don’t have the time to do in a newsroom today.”

Read more.


The Mississippi Business Journal, based in Jackson, is celebrating is 35th anniversary... Josh Presley has joined the Daily Times Leader in West Point as a staff reporter. He succeeds Justin Minyard. Presley is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media and was a 2012 intern through the MPA Education Foundation for the New Albany Gazette... Carpenter NewMedia, LLC, has purchased the Daily News of Bogalusa, LA, from Wick Communications. CNL owns The Picayune Item and Poplarville Democrat in Mississippi and is a partner in ownership with Boone Newspapers of the Daily Leader, Vicksburg Post and Prentiss Headlight in MIssissippi. Boone also owns The Natchez Democrat.

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2013/08/26/4900783/ole-miss-project-wins-rfk-journalism.html#storylink=cpy

Apr. 11     Webinar – Creating a Branding Image for Yourself
Apr. 17     MPA-MPS Board Meeting, Oxford
Apr. 17     Webinar – Short & Smart: Mobile Video Storytelling
Apr. 18     Workshop – Building Readers & Revenue Through Digital Outlets, Oxford
June 19    MPA-LPA Joint Convention, IP Casino Spa Resort, Biloxi

Click here to visit the MPA Calendar

Pew: Newspaper circ grows on digital gains

From Pew Research Journalism Project

Newspapers increased their total circulation by 3% daily and 1.6% Sunday, according to an analysis by the Newspaper Association of America’s John Murray. But that result is influenced by liberalized reporting rules by the Association for Audited Media and includes both paying visitors to digital platforms and distribution of Sunday insert packages to non-subscribers.

Newsrooms nix freelancers for moonlighting for brands

From Digiday
For the freelance journalist, the siren call of “brand journalism” is tough to resist. It’s a growth industry, and one that pays pretty well at a time when the $2-a-word magazine piece is hard to find.

Wait, what? Website launches print edition

From NetNewsCheck
The Los Angeles-based news site WestsideToday.com made its debut in print last Friday, launching as a 50,000-circulation biweekly.