Weekly Briefing | Sept. 12, 2019
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WNAF to honor 3 at Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame banquet

The WNA Foundation is thrilled to announce the distinguished industry leaders who will be inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame on Thursday, Nov. 14, in Madison. 

The 2019 inductees are Kent Eymann, Beloit Daily News; Elliott Maraniss, (posthumous), The (Madison) Capital Times; and Susan Shemanske, The (Racine) Journal Times.

Wisconsin Civics Games registration to open Monday

Registration for the 2020 Wisconsin Civics Games will open Monday. Schools interested in registering a team should signup online by Nov. 5.

The competition, launched by the WNA Foundation in 2018 to address a decline in civic education and engagement, drew more than 100 students from 25 schools across the state during its inaugural year.
WNA members are encouraged to spread the word by contacting their local schools and publishing stories about the effort. 

Scholarships available for WNA, NNA Leadership Summit

Scholarships are still available for the WNA/NNA Leadership Summit on Oct. 3 in Milwaukee.  The workshop, which kicks off the 133rd Annual NNA Convention & Trade Shoe at the Pfister Hotel, will be facilitated by former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editor Marty Kaiser and Poynter Leadership Academy's Cheryl Carpenter. They will explore what it takes for newspapers to be profitable and stable in a changing environment. 

The WNA is providing $50 scholarships to the first six people who apply.

Evers administration takes down website tracking records request responses

Gov. Tony Evers has removed a website created by his predecessor to show Wisconsin residents whether state officials are promptly responding to requests for public information.  
The website was created by former Gov. Scott Walker in 2016, following widely unpopular efforts to gut the open records law during a late-night session heading into a three-day holiday weekend.

A spokeswoman for Evers said officials are evaluating how to better present accurate information about public records in an efficient manner.

Mark your calendar: National Newspaper Week is Oct. 6-12

The 79th annual National Newspaper Week, a celebration of the impact newspapers have in their communities, is Oct. 6-12.

This year’s theme is “Think F1rst — Know Your 5 Freedoms.”

Materials are now available for planning purposes on the National Newspaper Week website. WNA members are encouraged to localize content and should plan to mark the week by helping to reinforce the importance of newspapers to their community.

Wisconsin AG joins Google antitrust investigation

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul has joined 49 attorneys general in a Google antitrust investigation, the state Department of Justice announced Monday. The probe’s initial focus will be online advertising. "The tech sector is an important part of the U.S. economy, and tech companies have access to a lot of personal information," Kaul said. "We must ensure that competition over technological innovation and privacy protections isn’t stifled."

102 story ideas to serve your community

Covering economic hardship "isn’t about finding 'poor' people and doing stories about them," writes Heather Bryant, director of Project Facet, an open source project to help newsrooms collaborate. "It’s about investigating the impact of systems and processes on people experiencing hardship."

Bryant offers journalists 102 story prompts to consider, warning that while some might feel like explainers, "access to information about what exists and how to understand it" is a need for people experiencing hardship that is often unmet — and falls within the mission of newsrooms.

Fundraiser planned for Hometown sports editor Cara Dempski

A fundraiser is planned for 5 p.m. Friday in Elk Mound to benefit Cara Dempski, regional sports editor for the Lake Mills Leader and Hometown News Group. Dempski suffered a massive stroke and brain bleed in December while covering a crash for the newspaper and continues to undergo rehab.

The fundraiser, a spaghetti dinner, will be held at Elk Mound High School. A GoFundMe page has also been set up for Dempski.

Reminder: Sign up for POLCO platform by Sept. 13

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association recently partnered with POLCO, a national civic engagement company based in Madison, to help members better engage readers and access enhanced data and insights.

Members who are interested in using the platform should opt-in by Sept. 13.

UW-Madison to host symposium on media psychology

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison will host the Ivan L. Preston Symposium on Media Psychology on Friday, Sept. 13, at Vilas Hall.

Featured speakers include Mary Beth Oliver, a professor of media studies at Penn State University who will discuss "Using Inspiring Media for Social Good: Complexities and Potentials," and Robin Nabi, a communications professor at UC-Santa Barbara, whose talk is titled "Harnessing Hope: How Media-Induced Hope Can Save the World (or at least do some good)."

In a buyer’s market for weekly newspapers, where are the buyers?

In the first installment of a series of stories about attracting potential owners to community newspapers, Al Cross discusses the weekly newspaper market. 

While community newspapers are still a good investment, there just aren't enough buyers — a problem Cross and an informal group of other industry leaders are hoping to help solve.

Watertown Daily Times moves offices to new location

After 103 years at its home in the heart of downtown, the Watertown Daily Times has moved to a new location.

On Friday, the newspapemoved to 218 S. First St., another historic building that sits on the east bank of the Rock River. The move follows a series of changes that have reduced the Times‘ space needs and also coincides with a redevelopment project by the city, which purchased the newspaper’s buildings in 2017. The buildings are slated to be razed as part of the project.

Delta Publications sold to family-owned media group

Mike Mathes, past president of the WNA, to retire as publisher
Mike Mathes, past president of the WNA and publisher of the (Kiel) Tri-County News, last week announced the sale of his two companies — Delta Publications and Delta Digital Strategies — to the newly formed Delta Media Group.

The new company will be led by newspaper industry veteran Jim O’Rourke and Joe Mathes, Mike's brother and longtime sales and marketing leader for Delta Publications. Mike, who will retire as publisher, will remain with the new group in a limited role as a part-time writer, photographer and layout editor.
Among Friends
Colten Bartholomew bid farewell to the La Crosse Tribune in a column Saturday, announcing that he would be joining the Wisconsin State Journal as a Wisconsin Badgers football beat writer.

Bartholomew, who started at the Tribune in July 2014, has worked as a copy editor and sports reporter for the newspaper. He earned his bachelor’s degree from UW-Platteville, where he also worked for The Exponent student newspaper.

In his farewell column, Bartholomew thanked his editors and colleagues, as well as the coaches and athletes that he covered. He also expressed his fondness for the city and community of La Crosse.
Father Anthony “Tony” Schumacher, who worked as a journalist for many years before joining the priesthood, died Monday, Sept. 9, in Fitchburg. He was 92.
An Iowa native, Schumacher served as a medic in the U.S. Army after graduating from high school.

He later graduated from Marquette University and worked as a journalist at The Stoughton Courier Hub and The (Janesville) Gazette. He also spent time at the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. 

After attending St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, he was ordained as a priest in 1960 for the Catholic Diocese of Madison.
Judith A. Hyde-Hintzman, who spent more than two decades as editor of The Monroe Evening Times, died Saturday, Aug. 31, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was 77.

An Indiana University journalism graduate, Hyde-Hintzman worked her way up from news correspondent to news editor and managing editor at a local weekly before being named editor of the Evening Times. She served in the role for more than 20 years, leading what became known as The Monroe Times through a number of major changes in design, pagination and the development of a digital presence.

Hyde-Hintzman also served as president of the Associated Press Managing Editors chapter in Wisconsin.
Sept. 13-14 • Madison
Cap Times Idea Fest
The Cap Times
Sept. 17 • Milwaukee
Milwaukee Press Club annual meeting
Newsroom Pub
Sept. 24 • Madison
Luncheon with Gov. Tony Evers
Sept. 25 • Madison
Immigration & journalism ethics panel
see all events
The WNA Careers Page is a great resource for employers & job seekers. Recent job postings include: 
·Sports Reporter
·Associate Editor/News Reporter
·Community Reporter & Government Reporter
·Government Reporter
see all jobs
The Weekly Briefing is published Thursdays by the staff of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.

Created by and for Wisconsin’s newspapers, WNA exists to strengthen the newspaper industry, enhance public understanding of the role of newspapers, and protect basic freedoms of press, speech and the free flow of information.

Have news you want to share in The Weekly Briefing? Contact the WNA at 608-283-7621 or
Copyright © 2019 Wisconsin Newspaper Association, All rights reserved.

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