Texas Better Newspaper Contest expands with new categories

The Texas Better Newspaper Contest has expanded to 18 categories for the 2019-20 event, giving member newspapers more ways show off their best work in statewide competition.
The contest period for the 2019-20 contest ends Aug. 31. Entries will be accepted Sept. 7 through Oct. 5.
The expansion comes a year after the Texas BNC contest period changed from a calendar year to Sept. 1 through Aug. 31 to allow for annual award presentations to be held during the January convention and trade show.

Ed Sterling retiring from TPA July 22

TPA Member Services Director Ed Sterling is retiring July 22 after 28 years of service to the Texas newspaper industry.
“His value to the industry cannot be measured and his absence will be glaringly obvious,” Executive Director Mike Hodges said. “We wish him the very best and hope that he fully realizes how much he is loved by all members of our association.”
Sterling was hired May 20, 1992, by Lyndell Williams, who was executive director at the time. 

Summer Revenue Conference set Aug. 14 in Fredericksburg

The annual Summer Revenue Workshop conducted by the Texas Center for Community Journalism has been re-scheduled this year.
For the past two years, the event has been held in June. Due COVID-19 concerns and social distancing rules in public settings, the event was rescheduled for Friday, Aug. 14 at the Hangar Hotel in Fredericksburg. Registration information will be released soon.

Kelli Barnes promoted to publisher of PCPC newspapers

LIVINGSTON – General Manager Kelli Barnes has been promoted to the position of publisher of all Polk County Publishing Company (PCPC) newspapers, including the Polk County Enterprise, company owner Alvin Holley announced.
The change will take effect immediately.
Holley has been an owner of the publishing company since 1972 and served as its general manager or publisher since that time. While he has been semi-retired since 2018, he will remain an active participant in the operation of the company and its newspapers.

Newspapers adapt as economy slowly emerges from pandemic

As Texas reopened for business in stages, newspapers focused on their communities as they and their fellow hometown businesses navigated the “new normal” of the COVID-19 era.
Each week in May, Gov. Greg Abbott announced new phases of the reopening designed to restart the Texas economy made moribund by the coronavirus response. Limits on capacity were maintained during each phase, along with other safety recommendations, such as encouraging people to wear masks and wash their hands frequently. 

Texas newspapers still on battle front in pandemic

As the state tentatively began reopening an economy ravaged by the coronavirus shutdown,Texas newspapers relied on grit and ingenuity to keep fighting, providing vital coverage in the face of a financial firestorm.
With untold thousands of business closed and most advertisers missing in action, newspaper executives acknowledged that survival is increasingly difficult at a time when dependable reporting is essential.

Texas writer earns Pulitzer Prize

Another Pulitzer Prize winning journalist has been added to the history of Texas newspapers.
Jeffrey Gerritt of the Palestine Herald Press was awarded the prize for "distinguished editorial writing, the test of excellence being clearness of style, moral purpose, sound reasoning, and power to influence public opinion in what the writer conceives to be the right direction, using any available journalistic tool."

Pandemic nixes spring conventions

Spring conventions for Texas’ five regional press associations didn’t happen this year, thanks to COVID-19.
Government prohibitions of mass gatherings in response the coronavirus pandemic began in early March. Shelter-in-place orders to ensure social distancing soon followed.
The Panhandle Press Association convention scheduled March 20-21 was canceled. Contest chairman Roger Estlack said contest results haven’t been released as board members are working to arrange a one-day conference later in the year for presenting awards and electing new officers.

NETPA releases contest results

Although the annual North and East Texas Press Association spring convention was canceled, results of the regional group’s contest were announced April 4, the day the awards presentation was originally scheduled.
The NETPA contest included two daily divisions, one semiweekly division and three weekly divisions.
Sweepstakes winners were the Longview News Journal, Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel, Hood County News (Granbury), Wise County Messenger (Decatur), The Sachse News and the Post-Signal (Pilot Point).

Hood County News Publisher Jerry Tidwell retires

GRANBURY – Jerry Tidwell retired April 2 after 47 years in the newspaper business, the last 41 years as publisher of the Hood County News.
A past TPA president (1996-96) and Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame honoree, Tidwell has been an industry leader for decades. He served as president of the National Newspaper Association in 2006-07. In 2016, he and Roy Eaton co-chaired the NNA Convention held that year in San Antonio. At the regional level, he has been active in the North and East Texas Press Association, serving as president in 1984-85, and the West Texas Press Association.