Happy New Year from your friends at MPA-MPS. Our office will close at noon Wednesday for the holiday, reopening Friday, Jan. 2 at 9 am. We hope all our members, clients and associates have a very safe and festive holiday weekend.

Register now for Mid-Winter Conference

Register now to attend the annual MPA Mid-Winter Conference, Jan. 30-31 at the Hilton Jackson on County Line Road. This year’s event will include in-depth training from sales and service expert Tim Smith and a keynote luncheon presentation by Jason Taylor, president and publisher of The Clarion-Ledger.

    Click here to register online for the event
    Click here to download a PDF registration form

Additionally, the MPA Education Foundation is offering $100 tuition scholarships to attend the conference. Ten grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis and only one grant is available per newspaper. They are intended to defray the travel and registration costs associated with attending the conference.

    Click here to download a grant application
    Click here for hotel reservation info

Complete details on the conference are available at the Mid-Winter webpage.

Tickets on sale for MPA Education Foundation roast

Tickets are now available for the 2015 roast of former Mississippi Gov. William Winter. The event will be held Jan. 28 at the Hilton Jackson on County Line Road.

Winter served as Mississippi’s 57th chief executive from 1980-1984. He is special counsel in the Jones Walker Law Firm Government Relations Practice Group. A native of Grenada, Winter, 91, previously served in several elected roles, including Mississippi lieutenant governor 1972–1976, state treasurer 1964–1968, state tax collector 1956–1964, and Representative in the Mississippi House of Representatives 1948–1956.

Tickets are $80 each for the general public or $50 for MPA Foundation member newspapers. Tables of eight are available for $600. Sponsorship information is available here.

Contact Monica Gilmer for additional information about the event or click here to purchase tickets.

Editorial contest criteria will be online soon

Criteria for the 2014 Better Newspaper Contest will be available online soon. The deadline to enter the contest is Tuesday, March 3.

This will be the first contest cycle where members will enter using an online submission process for most categories. Complete details on how to use the new system will be shared with publishers in early January.

"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.

A special demonstration of the new entry process will be held during the Mid-Winter Conference Jan. 30-31 in Jackson.

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.

Send your 2015 rate updates to MPS

Newspaper members are reminded to send their rate updates for 2015 to Andrea Ross at MPS as soon as possible. Rate adjustments need to be entered into the MPS database soon so that we can quote accurate figures to clients for the coming year.

News gathering, social media and the First Amendment

Is The Filming Of Law Enforcement Traffic Stops Protected By The First Amendment?

In Gericke v. Begin, 753 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2014), the United State First Circuit Court of Ap-peals held that an individual's actions of stopping to film a traffic stop by a police officer absent a prior order to cease and desist or to leave the area was fully protected by the First Amendment.  The officer's arrest of the individual for several state crimes, including violating New Hampshire's wiretapping statute, in retaliation for filming the traffic stop violated the individual's clearly estab-lished First Amendment rights making the officer and the City Police Department subject to a suit for damages and attorneys' fees under federal law.

As the Supreme Court has observed, "the First Amendment goes beyond protection of the press and the self-expression of individuals to prohibit government from limiting the stock of in-formation from which members of the public may draw." First Nat'l Bank v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 783 (1978). "There is an undoubted right to gather news 'from any source by means within the law.'" Houchins v. KQED, Inc., 438 U.S. 1, 11 (1978) (quoting Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665, 681-82 (1972)).  In line with these principles, the First Circuit had previously held that a news re-porter's videotaping of public officials in the hallway outside a public meeting of a historic district commission "were peaceful, not performed in derogation of any law, and done in the exercise of his First Amendment rights, [the officer] lacked the authority to stop them." Iacobucci v. Boulter, 193 F.3d 14, 25 (1st Cir. 1999).


Read the fall 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 are your staff have news to share through the monthly eBulletin or Fourth Estate, let us know.


Doug Barber recently retired from The Sun Herald after three decades as a sports writer with the coastal daily… Adam Ganucheau, a 2014 graduate of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss, recently joined The Clarion-Ledger as a reporter. He spent the summer as an intern for USA TodayJulie Johnson, former publisher of The Columbian-Progress, and her family have returned to the United States for a visit with friends and family following three years of international mission work.


Jan. 1         New Year’s Day. MPA office closed.
Jan. 9         WEBINAR – What’s Next for Classified?
Jan. 15       WEBINAR – Making Digital Editions Really Work
Jan. 29        MPA-MPS Board Meeting, Hilton Jackson
Jan. 29        MPAEF Board Meeting, Hilton Jackson
Jan. 29        MPAEF Celebrity Roast, Hilton Jackson
Jan. 29-31   MPA Mid-Winter Conference, Hilton Jackson
Feb. 23-25   Inland-LMA-SNPA Mega Conference, Atlanta

CJR selects worst examples of journalism in 2014

From Columbia Journalism Review
News blunders tend to have short lifespans. They’re outed by watchful eyes, social media erupts, and the gears of outrage begin to turn. But after a brief flourish of snarky finger-wagging, they typically disappear, lost amid the ever-expanding sea of digital content.

Why news publishers are giving up on comments

From Mashable
Christopher Altchek first realized how difficult it is to manage a community of commenters in early 2012 when his news publication Mic (then operating under the name PolicyMic) was linked to by The Drudge Report, the conservative news powerhouse.

And then there was one

From The New York Times
A MASS-MARKET media category that Madison Avenue has perceived as unchanging for what seems like a month of Sundays is suddenly undergoing a significant makeover. So many Sundays are germane because the category is nationally distributed newspaper magazines, also known as Sunday supplements. Until a year and a half ago, there were four major publishers in the field, but come January there will be one, the Athlon Media Group.

AP doubles down on state capitals coverage

From the AP Definitive Source blog
Building on The Associated Press’ unmatched presence in all 50 U.S. statehouses, we are adding to our competitive advantage by creating a team of state government specialists.

Some good news about the news

From The New Yorker
While many journalists have lost faith in the future of their trade, venture capitalists are taking the opposite view. Far from giving up on journalism, they are providing big chunks of funding to online news providers, such as BuzzFeed, Vice, and Vox. Some of what these publishers put out is mere click bait, but they also produce serious journalism, such as this story, from The Verge, a Vox site, which details how the N.Y.P.D. is using social media to lock up Harlem teens, and this interview that Vice scored with James Mitchell, the psychologist who helped the C.I.A. to develop its “enhanced interrogation”—i.e., torture—techniques.