In 2005, the Louisiana Press Foundation was founded to help Louisiana newspapers recover from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Foundation was to serve as a resource for disaster relief and also to fund educational programs for Louisiana journalists.
For most of that time, the Foundation Board has met annually. In 2021, that changes, with the Foundation Board moving to quarterly meetings to look at new ways it can better be of service.
“With the unknown future of journalism, we are exploring ways to help members cope with the ever changing climate that newspapers find themselves in not only across the state but across the nation,” said Foundation President Garland Forman, who also is a LPA past president and publisher of the Ville Platte Gazette. “The programs that we are trying to set up will benefit everyone in the newspaper industry, regardless of their role and we will be seeking grants as well as other funding sources going forward.”
In addition to disaster relief, a Freedom of Information defense fund has been established to benefit newspapers. In order to better serve Louisiana newspapers, new methods of funding for the Foundation and expanded services are being explored.
Joining Forman on the Foundation Board are:
● Norris Babin, Editor/Publisher of the Plaquemines Gazette (Belle Chasse) and
the St. Bernard Voice (Arabi);
● Renette Hall, publisher of the Louisiana Weekly (New Orleans);
● Wilbur Reynaud, Publisher of the Lutcher News Examiner-Enterprise;
● David Specht Jr., President and CEO of SNI Media which owns the Bossier Press Tribune & Minden Press Herald
● Dona Smith, Publisher of the Jennings Daily News.
The Foundation bylaws call for up to nine board members, one of whom is not to be an LPA member and the board is currently in the process of filling that position. Members who have questions or interest in serving on the Foundation Board should contact Mike Rood at (225) 351-0701 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.