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Texas Gulf Coast Press Association celebrates 80th convention

Sonya Timpone, Yorktown News-View, Division 1; Sue Brown, Pleasanton Express, Division 2; and Regina Keilers, Fayette County Record, Division 3, all accepted sweepstakes honors for their papers in their respective divisions in the 80th Texas Gulf Coast Press Association Better Newspaper contest.

Texas Gulf Coast Press Association members celebrated their 80th annual convention this spring at the Sam Houston Hotel in Houston.
The conference included sessions on use of social media, use of Facebook Live for in-house promotion and revenue production, as well as a talk on the threat to transparency in Texas government by Joseph Larsen, longtime director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and an attorney with Gregor Cassidy, PLLC, in Houston.

Arrest warrants, supporting affidavits are public records

Q: The police chief of one of several cities our newspapers cover reported in a public meeting that his officers had issued several hundred citations during a recent month. A county seat city that we also cover has more than double the population of the first city. But its officers issued fewer than half of the number of citations that the smaller city issued during the same period. I want to do a story about this, so I need to find the state law that says revenue from a city’s citations cannot exceed a set percentage of the city’s total revenue for the prior year.

Tools of the trade: Reminders that the power of a free and independent press is greater than our challenges

TPA President Laurie Ezzell Brown

While digging through some old files the other day, I ran across a folder containing a set of index cards titled “Tools of the Trade” that I’d helped my dad – former Record publisher Ben R. Ezzell – prepare three decades earlier. They were part of an exhibit prepared for Canadian High School students – props he used for a presentation on careers in print journalism.
Whatever I had been seeking in those files was instantly forgotten, as is always the danger when the present stumbles across the past. I was transported in time. 

Members urged to keep fighting costly tariffs on newsprint

On July 17, the International Trade Commission will hear testimony on the preliminary newsprint tariffs imposed in January and March on Canadian newsprint.
TPA and other members of a national coalition have been lobbying members of Congress to testify against making the tariffs permanent.
Newspapers have already seen production price increases of up to 30 percent and promises of higher prices to come. Advertisers who rely on inserts are also seeing production increases, which is expected to lead to a loss of income for newspapers. 

Election commissions not subject to open meetings act rules

Q: Our county election commission has five members: the county judge, county clerk, tax assessor-collector and the chairs of the county Republican and Democratic parties. The commission appoints members to the early voting ballot board, appoints the early voting signature verification committee, approves the purchase of election supplies, etc. Is the commission subject to the open meetings law?

A Challenge to the Country Press

The publisher of every newspaper in the United States finds himself today face-to-face with a heavy responsibility. That it is, perhaps, a responsibility unjustly forced upon him does not alter the weight of the burden, or the necessity of shouldering it. You are to pay the penalty and make a vicarious sacrifice in atonement for the sin of a certain type of renegade newspaper editor who sold the birthright of American journalism for a mess of pottage - and now hasn't even the pottage. 

Industry news briefs

Quanah Tribune-Chief has new owners
New owners of the Quanah Tribune-Chief are Shane Lance, Townly Thomas, and Dennis Thomas. 
Lance and Townly Thomas serve as co-editors of the newspaper, published weekly on Friday. They both grew up in Quanah and Dennis Thomas has been a resident for 15 years. A former teacher and coach for the Quanah ISD, Lance currently works for 3 Rivers Foundation. The new owners said they look forward to focusing on community news as the newspaper returns to local ownership.

San Antonio Express News Editor Mike Leary retires

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Express-News Editor Mike Leary retired May 18, ending a 46-year career in journalism.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who has led the newsroom since August 2012, said he is retiring to travel and spend more time with his five grandchildren. 
Leary, 69, said he hopes to go to Antarctica, the only continent he hasn’t visited.
“One of the things I wanted to do, like my father, was be the editor of a newspaper, and I’ve certainly done that and had a great time,” Leary said. “I’ll really miss the staff and the camaraderie.”