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.”

Nominations sought for Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame, TPA awards

Nominations are sought for the 2020 Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame as well as TPA's annual awards, the Golden 50 Award, the Mayborn Award and the Hartman Award for Excellence in Sports Writing.
The Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame exists to honor dedicated Texas professionals who made a difference in their local communities, raised journalistic standards – set the bar high - then encouraged and inspired others. Each year, up to four of these leaders are honored at the Hall of Fame Induction dinner held during the Texas Press  Midwinter Conference and Trade Show. 

National Newspaper Week has roots in political history

For nearly eight decades, National Newspaper Week has celebrated the positive impact of newspapers on their communities large and small.
Theme for the 2019 observance set Oct. 6 - 12 is "Think F1rst - Know Your Five Freedoms," based on the national program that launched Aug. 1 to foster better understanding of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

TPA past president John Crawford dies

Texas Press Association's 106th president, John Harold Crawford, died July 26 in Dallas. He was 91.
Crawford, former editor of the Denison Herald and owner of the Wood County Democrat and Pottsboro Press, served as president of TPA in 1983-84. He was also active in the North and East Texas Press Association, which honored him with the Sam C. Holloway award in 1981.
After training in photography while stationed in Spokane, Wash. with the U.S. Army, he graduated in 1952 from East Texas State Teachers College (now Texas A&M Commerce).