MPA launches new ad series

The Mississippi Press Association has launched a new ad series focusing on the strength and vitality of its 120 member newspapers, their websites and ancillary products.

The campaign kicked off earlier this week with an optional full page advertisement touting the Power in Print. Future ads in the series will address the total reach of Mississippi newspapers through their print and digital editions, the value to consumers delivered by newspapers and the unique position of relevance community papers play in their respective towns and cities.

As of last Friday more than 60 newspapers have signed insertion orders agreeing to participate in the effort.

"More than 1.5 million Mississippians read a newspaper weekly. That’s half the population," said MPA President James E. Prince, III, publisher of The Neshoba Democrat in Philadelphia and president of Prince Newspaper Holdings.  "Many of our member newspapers have household market penetrations of 70 percent or higher. Data suggest that 80 percent of Mississippians read a newspaper at least once a week.:

Participation in the series is optional for member newspapers. One new ad per week will be released through August.

"We simply ask that members participate and then use the ads at will through the remainder of the year," said Layne Bruce, MPA-MPS executive director. "The second wave of the campaign later this year will focus on new readership research and the aspects of our newspapers' digital reach."

The theme of the campaign and accompanying research will play into the annual Mid-Winter Conference next February in Jackson, Bruce said.

For more information on the campaign, contact MPA media buyer Andrea Ross.

Survey asks for input on Better Newspaper Contest

MPA is seeking input on its annual Better Newspaper Contest and the individual editorial and advertising divisions.

Member newspapers were emailed a link to the online survey on Friday, July 27. It will remain open for responses until Friday, Aug. 10.

The 25-question survey asks members to evaluate the contests and give specific feedback on the 65 categories in the two separate divisions. Feedback is also sought on potential online entry submission, online judging and the possible launch of a separate magazine division.

If you did not receive a link to the survey on the Dailies or Weeklies MPA email listserv, please let us know.

And please take a few minutes to participate in the survey. Your responses will be helpful in making the contests more relevant and exciting for all members.

Ole Miss seeks input on Master's curriculum

The Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi is seeking input from MPA member newspapers on the development of the master's curriculum at the school to meet current and future needs of the industry.

Here is the link to the survey.

Joe Atkins, professor of journalism and director of the Professional Master's in Journalism program, says the school envisions the program as one that will be a "writer's workshop" and a "boutique" program.

"As you well know, a great revolution is taking place in journalism around the world. Stories are being told through multiple platforms, and modern-day journalists must be able to navigate their way across those platforms in telling their stories," Atkins said. "Regardless of format, we believe we here at Ole Miss and in Mississippi have always been good at telling stories and teaching storytelling. We can capitalize on one of our great legacies, that brand inherited from William Faulkner, Stark Young, Willie Morris, and many others, a place where writing is valued and exalted, good writing and good reporting in the world of non-fiction."
If you have questions about the survey, feel free to contact Atkins directly. If you're willing to take part, the survey will remain open until Friday, Aug. 10.

Reservations now open for ArkLaMiss Conference

Reservations for the ArkLaMiss Conference are now being accepted at the Ameristar Hotel and Casino. The annual circulation and marketing conference is set for Nov. 8-9 in the river city.

Ameristar rooms are $69 nightly and available at that rate for the evenings of Nov. 7-9. Call 601-638-1000 and reference "ArkLaMiss" to make a reservation. The cut-off date for group reservations is Oct. 24.

This year's event will feature discussions on building paid circulation and overall audience for newspapers, strengthening customer service and roundtable topics for both daily and non-daily publications. Registration packets will go out to the tri-state newspapers in Mid-August. 


Vitter latest to call for Newhouse to sell Times-Pic

From Gambit
On the heels of Tom Benson releasing a letter to Steven Newhouse asking Newhouse to sell The Times-Picayune (and getting an immediate no), now Sen. David Vitter has released his own letter to Newhouse — and specifically criticizing

NYT drops support for its Blackberry app

From Reuters
Research in Motion's BlackBerry users can no longer use the official New York Times app to read news stories over their devices, in a fresh blow to the maker of the smartphone once considered an essential tool for business professionals.

Newspaper circulation growing -- in Brazil

Print newspapers are alive and kicking in Brazil, where circulation continues to grow despite the economic crisis, but editors warn they must offer readers deeper perspective and analysis. Brazilian newspapers' average daily circulation grew around 2.3 per cent to 4.5 million in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year, according to data from the Circulation Verification Institute (IVC).