FOIFT to honor First Amendment attorney Laura Prather with James Madison Award

AUSTIN – First Amendment attorney Laura Lee Prather, a champion of free speech and government transparency, is the recipient of the 2018 James Madison Award presented by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.
The award honors those who demonstrate outstanding commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment and open government. 
Prather will receive the award Sept. 21 at the John Henry Faulk Awards Luncheon during the foundation’s Bernard and Audre Rapoport State Conference in Austin.

TPA cites Rep. Brooks Landgraf as Champion of Transparency

The Texas Press Association recently recognized Rep. Brooks Landgraf, R-Odessa, as a TPA Champion of Transparency for his legislative work to keep government open to the public.
“He went above and beyond to make government better,” said Odessa American Publisher Patrick Canty, TPA board chairman.
In 2017, Landgraf crafted legislation that aims to establish an online, searchable and public database listing protective orders issued by Texas courts as a result of domestic violence.

ITC nixes newsprint tariffs

The International Trade Commission’s rejection of newsprint tariffs  on imports of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada is good news for newspapers struggling with the added costs.
The ITC’s Aug. 29 ruling that U.S. newsprint producers were not materially harmed by imports from Canada effectively puts an end to protective tariffs that the Commerce Department imposed earlier this year and revised in August.

DOC lowers tariffs on Canadian paper

We made a giant leap forward Thursday in easing the pain of newsprint tariffs. The U.S. Commerce Department today significantly lowered the tariffs that would apply to Canadian paper.
Today’s news is not a final outcome. A determination from the International Trade Commission is still needed before tariffs become permanent.

Letter from Susan Rowell, NNA president

Texas Supreme Court denies Fort Bend Herald’s motion for rehearing

The Texas Supreme Court has denied a motion for a rehearing by the Fort Bend Herald in a case the newspaper brought against Fort Bend County in 2014 to recover attorney’s fees over obtaining public information.
The Herald made a routine Public Information Act request for the names of two people who filed a criminal complaint against former Lamar school district contractor Jim Gonzales, but the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department refused to provide the information despite well-established legal precedents.

APME - ASNE joint conference set Sept. 11-12

Associated Press Media Editors (APME) and the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) are holding a joint conference Sept. 11-12 in Austin.
Registration is open now for the 2018 ASNE-APME News Leadership Conference Sept. 11-12 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin.

Audience Development, Circulation Conference coming to Dallas Aug 8-9

An Inland Press Association conference on circulation management Aug. 8-9 in Dallas will feature new developments in contractor status, along with other topics related to reaching new audiences and developing new revenue.
Texas Press Association and Southern Newspaper Publishers Association are co-sponsors of the event hosted by The Dallas Morning News, which is opening its new state-of-the-art offices to conference participants. 

Free newsroom security webinar Aug. 10 will include active shooter training

A free webinar, Security Training for Newspapers: Active Shooter Preparation & Response, will be presented Aug. 10 by Online Media Campus.
Registration is open to Texas newspapers at no cost. Deadline to register is Aug. 7 for the webinar, which will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10. 
Kevin W. Techau, former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa now with the Smith, Mills & Schrock law firm, will conduct the webinar.