Newsletter

Transparency reforms find support in legislature

With only 12 days remaining in the current session of the Texas Legislature, we’re optimistic that transparency reforms championed by TPA for years may finally become law. Much can happen in the final days of the session, but so far lawmakers have been supportive of government contract transparency, access to dates of birth, opening police files on the deaths of suspects and access to public records that officials hide on their private devices.

Analysis By DONNIS BAGGETT, Texas Press Association

Time to sign up for TCCJ Revenue Conference

Time to register for "Revenue Strategies: Tactics What Work for Texas Community Newspapers," a one-day conference June 21 at the Hangar Hotel in Fredericksburg.
The event is jointly sponsored by the Texas Center for Community Journalism and the Texas Press Association. 
TCCJ Director Tommy Thomason said the workshop is also free, "thanks to the generosity and vision of the Texas Newspaper Foundation."

Laws require notice of election in creation of district

Q: More than 100 qualified voters in our county signed a petition to create another emergency services district that includes their land.
Our county commissioners court approved the creation of the new district at a regular meeting and then a public hearing was conducted to get input from taxpayers. 
In short, enough support was shown and county officials acted as required according to the process outlined in Health and Safety Code Chapter 775 (EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICTS) — until now.

Community service writ large

I took a mountain of exchange newspapers home with me last night, seeking the answer to a question I’d asked of a friend during STPA’s newspaper awards presentation a couple of weeks ago. I was pondering the recent absence of community service award entries in some regional contests.
What is community service? Of course, I know the answer. We all do. The real question I was asking was this: Of all the stories we report, the events and meetings we cover, the photographs we shoot, the editorial dust we stir, what isn’t community service?

Under New Employment Advertising Rule, Americans Need Not Apply

(News Media Association has given reprint permission to the following op-ed. Please note that this action is pending on the Federal level, not state. Please direct any comments you have to your U.S. Representative.)

Proposed changes to an advertising requirement for employers in the U.S. could mean that soon, many eligible American workers will not learn about available job opportunities in the U.S. before they are offered to non-resident, foreign workers instead.

By Paul Boyle, News Media Alliance

Czech Newspaper Museum features 1880s print shop

LA GRANGE – The Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center in La Grange has dedicated a new facility, the Czech Newspaper Museum, at the Czech Village in La Grange.
The new museum is a replica of an 1800s print shop and tells the story of numerous early Czech newspapers printed across Texas. The museum showcases the tools of a trade — a printing press, an engine and other equipment that was used to print newspapers in that era.

Yesterday's News: Recalling women's pages

While community news and lifestyle pages have replaced the "Women's News" pages of past decades, many in the newspaper business recall the kind of news discussed in this presentation at a TPA convention 80 years ago.

"How to Develop an Interesting Women's Page," a presentation by Miss Laura Lane, society editor for the Vernon Daily Record, at the 60th annual convention of the Texas Press Association, June 8-10, 1939 in Lubbock.

TPA pushes for transparency reform

Legislative sessions are always hectic, but the 2019 session is one of the busiest ever for the Texas Press Association. As of the March 8 filing deadline for regular legislation, lawmakers filed 7,081 bills. That figure does not include 1,524 resolutions covering everything from birthday congratulations to calls for constitutional amendments.

Analysis by Donnis Baggett, Texas Press Association

NNA backing Electronic Court Records Reform Act

National Newspaper Association is throwing its weight behind a bill to ease the cost of obtaining federal court records. Rep. Doug Collins, R-GA, introduced the Electronic Court Records Reform Act, which will require the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to consolidate its electronic filing systems and drop the fees for general public access. The bill is similar to one he introduced in late 2018.

By Tonda F. Rush, NNA Director of Public Policy