Newsletter

FOIFT opens conference registration

Registration is open for the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas annual state conference scheduled conference on Friday, Sept. 20, in Austin. 
FOI leaders and experts will explore the latest developments in these areas and look to the future.
The one-day conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency, 208 Barton Springs Blvd. Early bird tickets are $115 and will be available until Sept. 6. 

Our job: Get it right and be present

During one of the first Little League baseball games I covered as reporter and photographer, I was confronted by a gentleman who asked me to explain the Little League rules that govern subbing in a player who is not in the batting order.
I suspected it was a test, and that he knew the answer. 
I was already familiar with the far too prevalent notion that women knew nothing about sports and really had no business participating in them. I knew, too, how to read a face, and was fairly certain my interrogator had the same attitude about female reporters.

Governor signs transparency bills

Legislation bringing government contracts back into public record and repairing several harmful court rulings have been signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott.
By the deadline June 16, Gov. Abbott signed several important pieces of transparency legislation lawmakers sent to his desk this year, including:

Newspapers matter

On a long trip back from the Gulf Coast last month, I had plenty of time to think about the interesting people I’ve met and the wealth of information I’ve gleaned while traveling the regional press convention circuit.
I thought in particular of one speaker who marveled at the public attention newspapers have given to their shrinking numbers, observing wryly that we are probably the only industry that announces its own impending demise.

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.