Candidate filings belong to public as soon as submitted

Q: The filing deadline for candidates in the March 3, 2020 primary election was Dec. 9. When were getting close to the deadline I was working on an article that included information on all candidates who filed to run.
I received word from a credible person that a sheriff’s office employee was going to file to run against the incumbent sheriff, but the candidate wanted to talk to me before I identified him in my news story, which could have been a delay tactic. Candidate filings are public records, correct?

Bread and the newspaper

When I assumed the role of Texas Press Association president nearly 18 months ago, I wondered what I could possibly bring to the table. Age and wisdom? Maybe. Age and experience? I suppose. Age? Got it.
More than anything, though, I was determined to honor the rich legacy of my predecessors.
A day or two later it dawned on me: not only would I have 18 columns to write, but I would be writing them for a fairly exclusive audience of my fellow writers and journalists.

When the well goes dry

The Commerce Journal has covered the news of its community for over 130 years — or at least it did until October 31, 2019, when the last edition of “The Official Paper of the Bois D’Arc Capital of Texas” was published.
Sad news for the 400 residents who still subscribed to the Commerce Journal. Sad news, too, for the nearly 9,000 other residents of that community, who did not subscribe but should have. They may have no idea what they missed. Yet.

Great ideas for engaging with your community

In explaining my work, I sometimes say that there are thousands of really good journalists in rural America, but all too often they are the only person in their newsroom that fits that description. They suffer from the isolation of rurality, with fewer opportunities than urbanites to rub shoulders and exchange ideas with their professional peers.

Reporting from the road

For days, I had been planning my Thursday escape from the editor’s desk, determined to keep an appointment in Oklahoma City. As any native Texan should, I kept one wary eye on the weather forecast. 
Just four days earlier, I had covered our Fall Foliage Festival wearing shorts and flip-flops. But on Monday morning, the National Weather Service advised that a new weather system might bring light rain and snow to some parts of the Panhandle.

Prather honored with new national media lawyer award

First Amendment Attorney Laura Prather of Austin is one of the first winners of the Tony Mauro Media Lawyer Award, established this year by The American Lawyer and ALM to honor attorneys who zealously advocate for freedom of the press.
Also honored in the initial awards is CNN's legal department, led by David David Vigilante and Drew Shenkman.

Save the Date: Register now for TPA's 140th Convention and Trade Show

Moody Gardens Hotel, Convention Center and Spa in Galveston is headquarters for the 2020 Texas Press Association Convention and Trade Show Jan. 16-18.
Following a membership vote and board action calling for one convention per year, the 2020 convention combines activities previously held during the midwinter conference and summer retreat meetings, including the annual membership meeting, installation of new officers, presentation of TPA awards, Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and the Texas Better Newspaper Contest awards presentation.

Panola Watchman editor selected for Poynter Institute leadership academy

Meredith Shamburger, editor of The Panola Watchman in Carthage, has been selected to attend Poynter Institute's 2019 Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media scheduled in October in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“It’s a pleasure to see one of our own selected for this prestigious training,” M. Roberts Media Regional Publisher Jerry Pye said. “Meredith is one of the best young talents in the business and this will give her the opportunity to meet with journalists from across the county to improve her journalistic skills.”