Best of 2016: Better Newspaper Contest opens Feb. 15

The best examples of journalism and community service are celebrated each year through the Texas Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. 

This year, the contest entry period opens Feb. 15. TPA members are invited to upload entries through the Texas BNC online contest platform. Deadline for entries is 5 p.m. March 23.

Winners will be announced at the TPA Newspaper Leadership Retreat in June. 

Several sources offer information on tobacco, alcohol advertising

Q: I am new to Texas and want to check on laws regarding the advertising of alcohol and tobacco products in print and online that are specific to tobacco barns and liquor stores. 

A: First, here is a link to a list of laws affecting advertising in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage code:

(Click “Alcoholic Beverage” to view the short list of laws.)

Second, another good resource is the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission marketing practices link:

Budget, 'red meat' issues will dominate as legislature convenes

A tight budget picture and brutal fights over “red meat” issues such as school bathrooms and sanctuary cities are expected to dominate the 85th session of the Texas Legislature. 

Government transparency issues championed by the Texas Press Association Legislative Advisory Committee will have to compete for legislators’ time and attention.

Debbie Day named publisher of The Gatesville Messenger

GATESVILLE – Debbie Day has succeeded her husband, the late Marshall Day, as publisher of The Gatesville Messenger.

“I am honored to have been Marshall’s wife and I am honored to carry on Marshall’s legacy,” Day said. “He taught me this business and I will run the newspaper just like he did – nothing will change.”

Marshall and Debbie Day were married in 1991 while he was publisher of the Jackson County Herald-Tribune in Edna.

They met in Granbury when he worked for the Hood County News and she worked at the Granbury Chamber of Commerce.

Gonzales Inquirer welcomes Kevin Wright as new publisher

GONZALES – Kevin Wright has assumed duties as publisher of the Gonzales Inquirer. 

Wright, who came to Gonzales from Ureka Springs, Arkansas, got his start in newspapers in 1982 with Jim Chionsini, who, at that time, had a newspaper in Ulysses, Kansas. 

From there, Wright went on to publish newspapers in New Mexico and Colorado before moving to California to work for Auto Trader magazine. 

“We’re excited to have Kevin here as part of the Gonzales Inquirer,” General Manager Brandi Chionsini said. 



RUSK – Marie Hall Whitehead, 88, former owner of the Cherokeean Herald newspaper and radio stations KTLU-AM and KWRW-FM in Rusk and the widow of state Rep. Emmett H. Whitehead, died Nov. 26 at her home in Rusk.

Over a 66-year period, Mrs. Whitehead and her late husband utilized the print and broadcast media platform they built to support causes benefiting Rusk and Cherokee County. 


Stephen Garcia

PLEASANTON – Stephen Garcia is the new sports editor for The Pleasanton Express, which has one of the largest sports sections dedicated to high school and sub-varsity sports in Texas. 

Garcia, who grew up in Corpus Christi, received his bachelor of arts degree in mass communication with a print journalism concentration from Louisiana State University. 

Interim committee supports newspaper notice

Public notices in newspapers remain a key element of government transparency and accountability, according to an influential legislative committee assigned to study the issue.

The Joint Interim Committee on Advertising Public Notices recommended that newspapers remain the cornerstone of public notice in Texas and called for a “more is better” approach to informing the public.

 The Nov. 1 committee report was the product of an Aug. 18 hearing into the question of whether newspapers are still an appropriate home for public notices.

Veteran Texas journalism professor cited by alma mater

David McHam

Retired journalism professor David McHam of Houston was inducted into the Garner-Webb University Gallery of Distinguished Alumni during 2016 homecoming activities at the campus in Boiling Springs, N.C.

McHamm retired in 2015 after teaching journalism in Texas colleges for a record 54 years.