Headlines from the Mississippi Press Association
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June 2016 » Volume 11 » Number 6

Tiner to be inducted into MPA Hall of Fame

The former editor of the Sun Herald who led the newspaper's Pulitzer-winning coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will be inducted into the Mississippi Press Association Hall of Fame during its 150th Annual Convention in Biloxi June 24.

Tiner retired in 2015 after leading the Sun Herald newsroom for 15 years. The paper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service in 2006 following its dogged coverage of the catastrophe and initial recovery efforts. Tiner and colleagues Marie Harris and Tony Biffle were also finalists that year for a Pulitzer recognizing editorial writing.

“We are very pleased and proud to induct Stan into the Association’s Hall of Fame,” said MPA President Joel McNeece, publisher of The Calhoun County Journal in Bruce. “He has been a tireless champion of transparency in government and of reporting to keep public officials accountable.

“His leadership of the Sun Herald newsroom during his entire tenure and specifically in the terrible days after the landfall of Katrina is a testament to what newspapers can achieve for the communities they serve.”

A native of Springhill, La., Tiner graduated from Louisiana Tech University and later was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He is Vietnam War veteran, having served in the U.S. Marines.

He previously served as top editor at the Mobile Press Register, the Shreveport Journal and the Daily Oklahoman.

Tiner and his wife, Vickie, are the parents of three children and have four grandchildren.

For ticket information to the Hall of Fame banquet, contact the MPA office, 601-981-3060, or email Member Services Manager Monica Gilmer.

View a complete list of past Hall of Fame inductees by clicking here.

Convention hotel deadline is Monday

Monday (Memorial Day) is the final day to make reservations in the MPA group block at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino for next month's convention in Biloxi.

The MPA group rate is $99 for June 22-23, and $189 for June 24-25.

Call 1-800-777-7568 to make your reservations and reference the Mississippi Press Association, group code S166105, for the appropriate rate.  Or you can make reservations online using the group code.

Go here for complete convention details.
Reserve Your Hotel Room

Darling joins MPS as marketing manager

Julie Darling, a native of Natchez and a longtime sales manager for newspapers in Mississippi and Alabama, has joined Mississippi Press Services as marketing manager.

In her new role with MPS, Darling will oversee external marketing for MPS and its advertising programs, as well as lead new efforts to increase digital revenue and offerings. She also will assist with communications for MPA and marketing for the Association and its members.

“We are very fortunate to have someone with Julie’s background join MPS and the Association to help us in our cause to promote Mississippi newspaper media,” said Layne Bruce, MPA-MPS executive director. “She’s already hard at work making improvements in our message to prospective clients, as well as increasing our knowledge and implementation of digital advertising services.”

She previously served as advertising director for The Cullman (Ala.) Times and retail advertising manager for The Natchez Democrat. Darling also has extensive experience as a freelance graphic artist.

Bruce said Darling will have a chance to visit and meet many MPA members at the 150th Annual Convention next month in Biloxi.

New overtime rules will go into effect in December

A new rule governing overtime pay for employees will create disruption at small newspapers and likely lead to more job cutbacks, National Newspaper Association President Chip Hutcheson, publisher of The Times-Leader in Princeton, KY, said today. He expressed disappointment that the U.S. Department of Labor had rejected calls by many small businesses to introduce a more modified and gradually-rising threshold that sets overtime-eligible employees apart from professional staff.

The new rule, which will go into effect Dec. 1, sets the threshold for overtime eligibility at $913 a week or $47,476 a year. The Labor Department reduced the threshold slightly from its original proposed rule last summer, which was proposed at $50,440. Employees earning an annual wage under the threshold will be required to report their time on a weekly basis and employers will be required to pay time-and-a-half for hours over 40 each week. The final rule did not change the so-called “duties test,” which spells out what sort of work employees must do to qualify as overtime-exempt.


When inaccurate quotes by the plaintiff can be defamatory

Earlier this year in Sioux City, Iowa, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee -- when describing the loyalty of his supporters -- said that he "could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters."  The natural reaction upon first hearing this is stark incredulity: any political candidate who made such a statement would ordinarily be seriously politically damaged by it because it ordinarily raises fundamental questions about his character and judgment. A journalist's first impulse would be to check its accuracy because the media's publication of a materially inaccurate quote by a person that is defamatory can give rise to a claim for libel.

In the past there would ordinarily be no question about the authenticity of a person's statement about herself. The journalist would obtain a quote directly from the person in response during an interview or would report about a statement the person published orally or in print.  As social media becomes in increasing source of information for journalists, ascertaining the authenticity of statements attributed to an individual on social media is going to become increasingly important.

A Lowndes County Chancery Judge has upheld an earlier ruling by the Mississippi Ethics Commission that the Columbus city council had engaged in meetings to circumvent the state’s Public Meetings Act. In a separate case recently, the commission also fined Mayor Robert Smith $500 for violating the Public Meetings Act… Joel McNeece, publisher of The Calhoun County Journal and current president of MPA-MPS, has been appointed to a term on the Board of Directors of the National Newspaper Association… Patricia Derian, widow of Hodding Carter, III, and a diplomat in the Carter Administration, died May 20. She was 86.
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May 30
Memorial Day
June 3
Webinar – How to Market and Sell In Brutally Competitive Environments
June 9 
Webinar – Interactive Storytelling Tools
June 23 
MPA-MPS Board of Directors, Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, Biloxi
June 23-25
150th Annual Convention, Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, Biloxi
July 4 
Independence Day
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