Biloxi's Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino is the venue for the 150th Annual Convention.

150th Annual Convention June 23-25

MPA will celebrate its sesquicentennial year during the 150th Annual Convention at Biloxi’s Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino. The event is set June 23-25, and hotel reservations are now being accepted.

The tentative agenda includes sessions led by technology and transition expert Russell Viers, panel discussions on Freedom of Information and the 2016 legislative session. Extra curricular activities include the annual golf outing and post-convention schooner cruise.

Viers is a publishing industry analyst and speaker. He is an Adobe Certified Instructor in InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. He is a highly sought-after technical speaker and trainer worldwide, owing to his expertise and and entertaining style.

The 150th annual meeting will also include two inductions into the MPA Hall of Fame. Nomination forms are now available and due for return to MPA by April 29.

Other events include the Silent Auction benefit for the MPA Education Foundation and the Better Newspaper Contest Editorial Division Awards Luncheon.

Registration materials will be forwarded to all members in April. Complete details will be posted to the convention webpage as they become available. Vendors and sponsors can download a partnership commitment form here.

Execution secrecy bill passes both chambers

Both houses of the legislature have given approval to SB 2237, a bill that makes certain information pertaining to state executions secret. An amendment to the bill while it was considered in the House also allows for the use of a firing squad as the means of execution if chemicals necessary for lethal injection are unavailable.

"There are severe implications for First Amendment rights attached that legislators either did not understand or disregarded outright," said Layne Bruce, MPA Executive Director.

The bill exempts information on the compounding pharmacy that provides drugs for lethal injection. It also would prohibit the press and public from discussing or otherwise disclosing the identity of witnesses to the actual execution, as well as the identity of MDOC employees who are present.

MPA has argued the measure unconstitutionally retrains the First Amendment and would likely not withstand a court challenge.

The bill now returns to the Senate for concurrence with the firing squad amendment. It is possible conference debate on the bill may stall it from passage in its current form.

MPA Day at the Capitol is next Thursday

MPA will host a Day at the Capitol Thursday, April 7, for members and associates. Member publishers, editors and reporters are encouraged to attend the half-day event.

As part of the sesquicentennial year observance, there will be a special display of newspaper front pages representing all of MPA's 110 members in the Capitol rotunda.

A continental breakfast will be served in the first floor of the rotunda where the newspaper exhibit will be on display beginning at 8 AM.

Members are encouraged to visit with their local legislators during the day, as well as sit in on hearings and in the galleries of the Senate and House chambers, and to visit the Capitol press corps newsroom.

Registration is not required, but we would like to get a head count in advance. Please contact Monica Gilmer, 601-981-3060, if you plan to attend.

Summer internship program open for applications

Applications to participate in the annual MPA Education Foundation Internship Program are now available and due by April 15.

Applying newspapers will be notified of their acceptance in the program by April 29.

While newspapers are responsible for selecting their own interns, MPA will keep profiles of interested student candidates on file. Contact Member Services Manager Monica Gilmer to receive information on qualified candidates as it becomes available.

Radionian, Reflector top college papers

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 March 24 at the annual O.C. McDavid Conference in Jackson.

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.

Good folks behind the scenes on 'The Hill'

While most Americans associate the United States Congress, and not necessarily wrongly, with general dysfunction, gridlock and even at times incompetence, there are thousands of hardworking people behind the scenes that you learn on every visit to Capitol Hill are providing invaluable service to all of us back home.

I made the rounds on “The Hill” last week with fellow newspaper publishers from Mississippi and all across the nation as part of the annual National Newspaper Association’s Summit.



Shannon Wall has been named publisher of the SunHerald in Biloxi-Gulfport. She succeeds Glen Nardi who retired in March after seven years at the coastal daily… Bill Rose, who for six years has led student reporting ventures for the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi, has been selected as the Samuel S. Talbert Silver Em award recipient for 2015… Tom Overton has been named general manager of the Hattiesburg American. He most recently was publisher of the Americus (Ga.) Times Recorder.

April 7          MPA Day at the Capitol, Jackson
April 8          Webinar – Train the Trainer
April 21        MPA-MPS Board of Directors Meeting, University of Mississippi
April 28        Webinar – Advertising is not marketing: Tips for the Media Marketer
June 23-25  MPA 150th Annual Convention, Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, Biloxi

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