Columns

Week of Feb. 22 - 26

Millions of Texans dealing with water supply issues
 
Warmer temperatures over the weekend and continuing this week melted most of the snow from the state’s roadways and roofs. But Texans are still dealing with broken pipes that flooded homes and businesses, damaged municipal water systems, and continued power outages in scattered areas, mainly in East and Central Texas.

Week of Feb.15 - 19

Snow, ice, single-digit temps blanket the state
Texans from Lubbock to Longview shivered under single-digit temperatures as their week began, with snow and ice creating dangerous road conditions throughout the state. Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for all 254 Texas counties and urged residents to stay alert to changing weather conditions. The Texas Division of Emergency Management deployed resources from various state agencies to prepare roadways, assist motorists, remove downed trees and perform search-and-rescue operations if necessary.

Initiate conversations with your readers

A reader questions your policy for reporting suicides. A retailer challenges your staff to produce timely and relevant business news.  A reporter is confronted for printing a press release charging a candidate with unfair campaign practices without contacting the accused for a response. A family member gets emotional over publication of an accident photo.

By Jim Pumarlo, Consultant

Into the Issues: We must speak and stand up for truth, foster respectful dialogue

The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week was driven by a mistaken belief, generated by President Trump and his allies, that the election was stolen from him. Millions of the president’s supporters believe this lie, so it is damaging our republic by undermining faith in our elections, courts and other governmental processes. Journalism goes hand in glove with democracy, so what should journalists do about it?

Thank you for allowing me to serve

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow members of the Texas Press Association for allowing me to serve as your 2021 president. It is a great honor, and I am very appreciative for the opportunity to serve you and the state press association.
Normally I would be nervously saying this from the podium while standing on the stage at the annual TPA convention. But these aren’t normal times are they? 

A new and different session on horizon

As I write this, most families are readying themselves for the upcoming holiday and new year.
However, many of us in the Texas newspaper industry are readying ourselves for Jan. 12 — the beginning of the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature. 
This session will be different from any session we have seen in the past—but how different? 
Well, this remains an open question.
Initial information coming to us from lawmakers was that we’d have almost no access to the Capitol, and most lawmakers would have their offices closed to the public.