While members of Congress are home during August, LPA is attempting to facilitate meetings between newspaper managers and their congressional representatives, to get newspaper people to meet face to face with their Congressman and ask for support of newspapers need for relief on the newsprint tariff issue.
We’ve got easy to read and understand background material that can be shared with your representative and talking points for you, so you can feel comfortable talking about this subject.
We’ve got a few meetings scheduled and tentative dates for others, but we need to identify newspaper managers willing to meet as part of small groups to make our pitch.
One-on-one meetings are OK, but we’d like to get three or four newspapers represented at these meetings if we can, to demonstrate to our Congressmen this is an issue important to every newspaper in our state.
Call or email me (Will@lapress.com) to confirm you’d be willing (understandably subject to the date, time and location) and let us try to involve you in one of our small groups of newspaper managers in front of a Louisiana Congressman asking for their support on this important issue.
If you already have any sort of meeting scheduled in coming week with one of our Congressmen, will you share that with me, so we can try to piggyback and get a couple of other managers there so you all can make our pitch for relief on this newsprint issue?
We need to our Congressional delegation to be clear the tariff issue is critical for all newspapers in Louisiana, and around the country.
Forrest Gump’s momma said “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Calls from members to LPA can also be like that box of chocolates.
Someone recently inquired as to any laws or rules or guidelines for how long back copies of newspapers were required to be maintained, particularly if the paper is an official public journal.
Certainly, there’s a historical angle, so if copies of the paper aren’t being sent to be bound and saved for posterity, maybe that’s something to consider, though these days many papers are archived digitally, in the cloud or at least on some digital device.
In years past it was common for many newspapers to have their editions copied onto microfilm.
Along with any effort to have a historical record of what you’ve published, you’d presumably also want a practical record in the event there is some dispute or question about something published in the past.
LPA attorney Scott Sternberg advised newspapers are required to keep two years’ history of publication of political ads paid for by third parties, so he suggests a newspaper keep at least three years’ back issues available for review.
And he noted that there’s a five-year requirement to be an official journal and that your content be of general interest, so perhaps you’d want to keep at least five years’ back copies, just to be safe.
The take-away from this is, if you’ve not thought about it, perhaps you need to consider what is or what should be your newspaper’s archiving practice —beyond just assuming that someone is doing something to preserve a permanent record of back issues.
It’s a sad reality of the world in which newspapers operate today, but the tragic shooting at the Capital Gazette a few weeks ago has caused many newspaper managers to consider if they need to take steps to protect employees from some crazy person with a grudge against the paper.
LPA recently sent out some Newsroom Safety Practices shared by ASNE-APME. But it’s not just newsroom personnel that might have a problem. I can share from my newspaper days several stories of wild-eyed people coming to my paper really worked up not only about news coverage but mad about an ad or an obit or delivery of their paper or all sorts of other issues. Thankfully none involved guns or real violence.
Taking time to consider your operation’s best safety practices in the event of a problem-visitor could be the best time you ever wasted if you never have a problem.
It might be the best investment of time you ever made if you avoid a problem situation because your newspaper and your staff was prepared.
It’s worth some thought about what you might do in the event a trouble-maker comes to your office.
My newspaper several years ago got some great suggestions after asking a local sheriff’s department investigator to visit our offices to offer a safety assessment. He gave us several practical ideas we could do to lessen employees’ risk in the event someone came in wanting to make trouble.
Consider the ideas on safety precautions we sent and invest a little time talking with your staff about how your newspaper might handle problem-visitors, just in case.
LPA sent announcements how members Renette Hall and Clancy DuBos were honored by the New Orleans Press Club recently with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
If you didn’t see the video introductions shown to the audience ahead of the award presentations, it’s worth a few minutes to see a bit about the careers of these two and the impact their work had on the community they served. Click here to see the videos.
If you know of other videos about Louisiana newspapers or Louisiana newspaper people, let me know as we might create a list for our website so that these stories can be told again to people interested in the history of Louisiana newspapers and newspaper people.
Will Chapman is the executive director of LPA. He worked in the newspaper industry, at various times in most every aspect of the business. He’s a past president of LPA following his father and grandfather who also held that office. Email him at email@example.com, or call him at 225-344-9309 (ext 108).