Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter (left) is presented the S. Gale Denley Memorial Journalism Award by MPA Education Foundation Chairman Jim Prince, president of Prince Newspapers.

Roast raises over $30K for foundation

One of Mississippi's most respected statesmen was honored at a Celebrity Roast held by the state's newspaper press corps to raise money for journalism education.

Former Gov. William Winter was roasted during the annual benefit for the Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation. The event raised over $30,000 for the internship, scholarship and grant programs of MPAEF.

Winter, 91, served as the state's chief executive from 1980-1983. A native of Grenada County, he served in a number of elected capacities throughout his career.

Roasters included his former Chief of Staff Andy Mullins, former Clarion-Ledger executive editor Charles Overby, Tougaloo College President Dr. Beverly Hogan and longtime journalist and educator David Hampton. Clarion-Ledger editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey served as roastmaster for the event.

"When they called and asked me to roast Gov. Winter, I said there was no way I could do it. I respect him too much," said Mullins. "But when they explained it was more like a 'toast,' I accepted."

That didn't except Winter from numerous jokes about his advancing years and multiple failed election campaigns he ran throughout the 1960s and 70s. All panelists agreed, however, Winter was a champion of the average citizen and the children of Mississippi, having pushed through the historic Education Reform Act of 1982.

"When I found out about this event, I called the press association and told them to tell the chef I want my roast 'well done,'" Winter joked. "But I am relieved I got off this easy. And my roast has, indeed, been well done."

BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi served as Diamond Sponsor for the event. Gold sponsors included AT&T, C Spire, Community Bank and the Mississippi Economic Council.

Founded in 1983, the MPA Education Foundation provides scholarships and newspaper internships to in-state students of journalism and communications, and grants to in-state colleges and universities for instructional programs.

Newspapers cited for Advertising Excellence

Newspapers in Natchez, Greenwood, Grenada, Magee and Clarksdale were feted for Advertising Excellence in the 2014 Better Newspaper Contest Awards presented Saturday, Jan. 31, in Jackson.

The awards were handed out by the Mississippi Press Association at the conclusion of its Mid-Winter Conference at the Hilton Jackson.

Natalie Perkins of the Deer Creek Pilot in Rolling Fork was singled out as the winner of the Advertisement of the Year for an ad for Sharkey-Issaquena Community Hospital. The award came with a cash prize of $500.

Honored for Advertising Excellence, also known as the "Best in Show" category for newspapers overall, were The Clarksdale Press Register, Magee Courier, GrenadaStar, The Greenwood Commonwealth and The Natchez Democrat.

The Clarksdale, Magee and Greenwood papers are owned by Jackson-based Emmerich Newspapers. Natchez is owned by Tuscaloosa-based Boone Newspapers, Inc., while the GrenadaStar is owned by Lee Newspapers of Grenada.

Honored for distinction in the Silver Dollar Award category, which recognizes unique ideas in promotion, marketing and revenue generation were The Oxford Eagle and The Columbian-Progress, winners in the daily and weekly divisions, respectively.

Awards for editorial excellence will be handed out in June at the 2015 Joint LPA-MPA Convention in New Orleans June 20.

Founded in 1866, MPA is the trade association for 110 member newspapers and over 70 associated websites.

Editorial contest criteria now available

Criteria for the 2014 Better Newspaper Contest is now available at MPA's contest website. The deadline to enter the contest is Tuesday, March 24.

This will be the first contest cycle where members will enter using an online submission process for most categories. Complete instructions for the new process are available on the web and with the downloadable criteria. MPA staff members are available by phone or email to help members work through the upload and registration process.

Payment for the contest can also now be remitted online at the same website.

"This move is a long time in coming but we believe it will ultimately make the process of entering the contest much easier for our members," said Layne Bruce, MPA-MPS executive director.

The MPA Board of Directors voted last spring to join neighboring states of Louisiana, Tennessee and Alabama in moving the Better Newspaper Contest to an online platform. Dozens of other press associations have also made the switch in recent years.

Judging for this year’s contest will be handled by the North Carolina Press Association. Awards will be handed out June 20 at the Louisiana-Mississippi Joint Convention in New Orleans.

For more details on the contest and entry process, contact member services manager Monica Gilmer, 601-981-3060.

What's now? What's next?

Not long ago, I was in the audience for a consultant’s presentation on today’s business climate. The thing I most remember was listed in the bullet points on one of her PowerPoint slides – the words “What’s now? What’s next?” She spent all of 30 seconds discussing them.

Although these four words were not the main emphasis of her speech – and although they were not used in a sales context – they provide a solution to a problem faced by many sales people. Let’s say you’ve worked with a new advertiser to set long-term goals and plan a campaign, and now the ads have started running. Your strategy is to meet with your client on a regular basis to discuss the state of the campaign and see if any tweaks are needed.

What do you say in those meetings? It’s vague and repetitive to ask, “So how’s your campaign going?” in every conversation. That’s where these two questions can be a good alternative. Simply establish the format in the first follow-up meeting by saying, “We both want you to get the best possible results from your advertising. So in order to focus our attention, let’s concentrate on two things: What’s happening now and what’s the next step to reach your overall objectives?”


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


Sam Hall, a longtime journalist, has been named executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger. He succeeds Brian Tolley who was named to the same position at the The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette in South Carolina... Otis Raybon has departed the publisher's position at the Daily Leader in Brookhaven to return to the News-Tribune in Rome, Ga, where he previously worked for 16 years. The change came about after a sale of the Rome newspaper... Zack Plair has joined the staff of The Commercial Dispatch in Columbus. He previously served as managing editor of the Starkville Daily News.


Feb. 12        WEBINAR – The Art of Prospecting
Feb. 23-25   Inland-LMA-SNPA Mega Conference, Atlanta
March 24     BNC Editorial Division entry deadline
March 26     McDavid Journalism Conference, Mississippi Craft Center, Ridgeland
April 9          New Media Conference, Meek School of Journalism, Ole Miss
April 9          MPA-MPS Board Meeting, Overby Center, Ole Miss
June 18-20  Joint LPA-MPA Convention, Loews Hotel, New Orleans

Indiana governor ditches plan for state news agency

From The Indianapolis Star
Gov. Mike Pence killed his administration's plans for a state-run news service Thursday amid a national uproar that spurred ridicule for the idea across the political spectrum.

The next hip thing is... Print?

From Editor and Publisher
Could the future of newspapers involve a sharp U-turn to the printed past? The people behind PaperLater ( think so. Much like the popular app Instapaper, PaperLater lets you save articles you find on the Internet but don’t immediately have time to read. Instead of electronically archiving those stories until you eventually get around to them (or not), though, the company will lay and print them out for you—on actual newsprint—and snail-mail your personalized, printed, foldable newspaper to your home.

What the new postal rates mean for newspapers

From Newspaper Association of America
On January 15, the Postal Service filed notice of an increase in market-dominant postage rates, to take effect on April 26. Based on cumulative inflation since the effective date of the last increase, the Postal Service’s overall increase averages 1.966 percent, apportioned essentially evenly among the classes as required by the price cap rules governing such increases.