Newsprint tariffs and why you should care

In 1787 Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Edward Carrington, whom he had sent as a delegate to the Continental Congress. In the letter, Jefferson stressed the importance of a free press, specifically newspapers.
Jefferson understood that one of the most important checks on government power was a well-informed electorate. 

By Randy Keck, publisher,  The Community News, Aledo

Community newspapers fear newsprint tariffs will put some of them out of business

WASHINGTON—Rural newspaper publishers from all over the country came to Washington in March to plead their case against new tariffs that will increase the cost of newsprint—still a key cost for newspapers, which depend on print advertising even as they try to increase their digital revenue.

By Al Cross
Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues

TPA joins effort to STOPP duties on imported paper

The Texas Press Association has joined a new coalition fighting proposed countervailing duties and anti-dumping duties on imports of Canadian uncoated ground wood papers, including newsprint and other papers.
The coalition, Stop Tariffs on Printers & Publishers (STOPP), is comprised of members of the printing, publishing and paper-producing industries, which employ more than 600,000 workers.

Sunshine Coalition forms to promote open government in Texas

As part of the celebration of Sunshine Month in March, several Texas organizations joined forces to promote government in the sunshine.
The Texas Sunshine Coalition includes the Texas Press Association, the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Public Citizen, the Texas Association of Broadcasters and other organizations. The new coalition’s website is and social media channels are in development.

DOC adds heavy tariffs on North American paper supply

A second blow against community newspapers was announced this week by the U S Department of Commerce in the form of heavy tariffs on the North American paper supply.
A preliminary decision in an anti-dumping case brought last summer by northwestern US producer NORPAC came from the Department on March 13. Commerce said it was ordering duties up to 22.16 percent on Canadian newsprint production, to be added to the January assessments of 4.4 to 9 percent from a related case on countervailing subsidies.  

Newsprint tariff at the discretion of DOC

WASHINGTON — The Department of Commerce can legally use its discretion to mitigate the impact of proposed tariffs on newsprint so that job loss from a proposed set of duties on Canadian paper is minimized, a group of publishing organizations told the DOC in February.

During ‘Sunshine Month,’ put spotlight on government accountability

Shining light on government to hold it accountable is hardly a new idea. In fact, Texas was a national leader in this realm for more than 40 years.
Sadly, the flow of public information in this huge state is slipping from the sunshine into the shadows.

This column by FOIFT Director Kelley Shannon is available to Texas newspapers to use as a guest column during Sunshine Week.

2018 Texas BNC open for entries

AUSTIN – The Texas Better Newspaper Contest is now accepting 2018 contest entries from TPA member newspapers. 
Deadline for entries is March 22.
TPA members are invited to submit entries through the Better Newspaper Contest portal, which can be accessed at The contest page includes a link to the 2018 Call for Entries rules booklet.

Sunshine Week set March 11-17

The public’s right to know is the focus of Sunshine Week, March 11-17, a national celebration promoting openness in government.
Though spearheaded by journalists, Sunshine Week is about the public’s right to know what its government is doing, and why. Participants include print, broadcast and online news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know. 
Led by the American Society of News Editors, Sunshine Week is funded primarily by a challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation of Miami.