A weekly newsletter for members of the WNA, including news, training opportunities, free content and job openings.
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Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Weekly Briefing

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Remember and Honor

The WNA Office will be closed Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.
Twister damage placed at $10M
A sofa sits on damaged trees after a tornado ripped through Prairie Lake Estates mobile home park on May 16 north of Chetek. This photo by Dan Reiland appeared on the front page of Monday's Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

The WNA features an example of the outstanding work produced by Wisconsin's photojournalists in each issue of the Weekly Briefing. Have a compelling photo you'd like to share? Email the photo, credit and cutline information to
Public notice training coming to Stevens Point

Get answers to your questions on a vital component of government transparency during the WNA’s upcoming public notice workshop.

The WNA will hold a “Lunch & Learn” public notice training workshop on July 13 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens Point. Registration will open at 11:30 a.m. with lunch and training to begin at noon. The cost is $25 per attendee.

During the workshop, we’ll review:

  • State-mandated pricing and typefaces for public notices.
  • The annual application process for Department of Administration certification.
  • Which government entities are required to publish public notices.
  • How works and how to link directly to your newspaper’s online public notice database.
  • Ask us anything! Open discussion period for all questions you may have.

The deadline to register for this “Lunch & Learn” event is July 7. Register online or contact WNA Member Services Director Julia Hunter at 608-283-7622 or

Register Online
WNA announces new online ad campaign

The WNA is offering digital house ads to members to promote the newspaper industry.

The branding campaign directs readers to a website that includes an interactive map of local newspapers and highlights recent stories where WNA members are making a difference in their communities.

The ads are available for download in JPG and InDesign format. Members are welcome to customize the ads, too.

For more information, contact WNA Member Services Director Julia Hunter at 608-283-7622 or

Download Ads
Problematic language removed from Marsy's Law proposal

Legal counsel for the WNA reviewed a proposed change to the state constitution and found a problematic provision that could create access issues.

Advocates for the legislation, called Marsy's Law, however, have agreed to remove the questionable section from the proposal. Marsy's Law is currently making its way through the Wisconsin Legislature.

Marsy’s Law is billed as an effort “to give victims of crime equal rights in our state, building on Wisconsin’s laws and history of leading on this issue,” according to a press release from the coalition promoting the legislation.

During the review, WNA legal counsel identified an issue in Article 1, Section 9m (2) (c) of the proposal, which would “have information or records protected that could be used to locate or harass the victim or that could disclose confidential or privileged information of the victim.”

WNA attorney Dustin Brown summarizes the newspaper industry’s concern as follows:

“The proponents claim that … the right to privacy already appears in the state constitution. They also claim that … the right to protect information or records, is covered by Wis. Stat. sec. 950.04(dr). They’re correct on the first point: the constitution now provides that ‘This state shall treat crime victims, as defined by law, with fairness, dignity and respect for their privacy.’

“The proponents are not correct, however, on the second point, concerning overlap between the proposed (language) and current Wisconsin law.  Section 950.04(1v)(dr), which is current law, provides victims of crimes the right ‘To not have his or her personal identifiers, as defined in s. 85.103 (1) and including an electronic mail address, used or disclosed by a public official, employee, or agency for a purpose that is unrelated to the official responsibilities of the official, employee, or agency.’

“There’s a huge chasm between that existing statute and the Marsy’s Law proposal, which offers much broader protection of any records ‘that could be used to locate or harass the victim or that could disclose confidential or privileged information of the victim.’  Whereas section 950.04(1v) prohibits the government from releasing information for a purpose unrelated to its official responsibilities, Marsy’s Law could be read as allowing law enforcement to withhold any identifying information for a crime victim.  Also, section 950.04(1v) limits the protection to the personal identifiers defined in section 85.103(1) (‘name, social security number, telephone number, street address, post-office box number or 9-digit extended zip code’), whereas Marsy’s Law could apply to any information that a victim claims to be confidential or privileged.

“Current law would allow a victim’s information to be withheld based on the balancing test, Marsy’s Law appears to create an unequivocal right to privacy that doesn’t require any sort of balance.”

Marsy’s Law is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas of California, who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. One week after her death, Marsy’s mother and brother walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer. The family was unaware that the accused had been released on bail.

Learn more about Marsy's Law ...

Verona Press starting Spanish-language newspaper

When Scott Girard writes about the Verona Area School District, he knows that the families of about 13 percent of the students are unlikely to read his stories. The students are English-language learners (ELLs), and many come from homes with native Spanish-speaking parents.

In a column for the Verona Press this week, Girard – assistant editor of Unified Newspaper Group and a WNA Future Headliner – announced the Press is launching a standalone monthly Spanish-language newspaper this fall to reach Spanish-speaking families in the school district.

The newspaper will be called Corre La Voz, which is Spanish for “Spread the Word.” Initially, Corre La Voz will feature content that has already been produced for the Verona Press and Fitchburg Star and translated into Spanish.

“The newspaper will of course focus on important education information from the school board and upcoming and past events, but we’ll also include some sports highlights and other stories the community needs or wants to know,” Girard wrote in his column.

This week’s Verona Press featured two pages of content in Spanish to preview what’s to come for Corre La Voz.

Read Girard’s column and see the Corre La Voz preview …

Register for drone school by May 29

Time is running out to register for the "Drone Journalism School." Registration closes Monday, May 29.

The Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been selected as one of four sites nationwide to offer training for the use of drones in newsgathering. The hands-on training — to be held June 16-18 — will prepare journalists for FAA-required certification. The training is presented in partnership with Google News Lab, the Poynter Institute, DJI Drones, the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska and the National Press Photographers Association.

Learn more about the training ...
Register ...

Gannett sells Oshkosh, Green Bay buildings

A Michigan-based developer has bought the Green Bay Press-Gazette and Oshkosh Northwestern buildings with the intent to renovate and redevelop them. Both the Press-Gazette and Northwestern operations will lease back space and remain in their historic homes.

Read more ...

Shining a light on open government issues

The Wisconsin Openness Report has returned as an all-new e-newsletter, highlighting top-notch coverage by WNA members of open meetings and freedom of information issues from around the state.

Check out the first issue here and subscribe to receive future issues.

Have a recent article regarding open meetings, open records or other freedom of information topics to submit to the report? Contact Julia Hunter at

Subscribe to the Wisconsin Openness Report
Digital ad network continues to grow

The WNA has returned its display ad sales division to in-house management and is now operating with the name Targeted Advertising Services. The new ad service is responsible for selling and managing display ad sales on behalf of WNA members.

Advertising Services Director Tom Johnson is beginning to aggressively pursue digital advertising sales for your benefit, but we need your help to get started.

We're asking members to donate one run-of-site ad position on their website to support the sales effort of our new digital ad network. The digital ad network will add to Targeted Advertising Sales' offerings for current and potential clients and will help strengthen the WNA and the services we provide for you.

For more information, contact Advertising Services Director Tom Johnson at or 608-283-7625.

Donate Online Ad Position
Thank you to the following members for joining the digital ad network:
  • The County Line, Ontario
  • The Star News, Medford
  • The Record-Review, Edgar
  • Tribune-Phonograph, Abbotsford
  • Tribune-Record-Gleaner, Loyal
  • Courier Sentinel, Cornell
  • The Boscobel Dial
  • Crawford County Independent & Kickapoo Scout, Gays Mills
  • Fennimore Times
  • Grant County Herald Independent, Lancaster
  • The Platteville Journal
  • Republican Journal, Darlington
  • The Richland Observer, Richland Center
  • Hillsboro Sentry Enterprise
  • Tri-County Press, Cuba City
  • Journal Times, Racine
  • Kenosha News
  • Lake Geneva Regional News
  • Vilas County News-Review, Eagle River/Delphos Herald Co.
  • Tri-County News/Delta Publications, Kiel
  • The Daily Reporter, Milwaukee
  • The Gazette, Janesville
  • Ozaukee Press
  • Tomahawk Leader
  • Inter-County Leader
  • Washburn County Register
  • Spring Valley/Elmwood Sun-Argus
  • Woodville Leader
  • The City Pages, Wausau
  • Verona Press
  • Oregon Observer
  • Stoughton Courier Hub
  • Fitchburg Star
  • The Monroe Times
  • Ripon Commonwealth Press
  • Daily Jefferson County Union, Fort Atkinson
  • Burnett County Sentinel
  • Osceola Sun
  • Amery Free Press
  • The Sounder, Random Lake
  • Watertown Daily Times
  • Rice Lake Chronotype
Elaine Cary

Elaine L. Cary, the former news editor of the Wauwatosa News-Times, died May 18 at the age of 92.

Cary was a 1942 graduate of Wauwatosa High School and attended the Marquette College of Journalism. She became the editor of the News-Times and went on to become the director of information for the Wauwatosa School District until she retired in 1986.

A visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m. on Friday at St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1615 N. Wauwatosa Ave., Wauwatosa. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m.

Read more ...

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association has partnered with various organizations to provide free content to members. If you have questions regarding the content below, please contact WNA Communications Director James Debilzen at 608-283-7623.
The Capitol Report

The Capitol Report features news and analysis on statewide government and political issues in Wisconsin. The column is available for free publication by WNA-member newspapers only.

Column for the Week of May 29
Legislature grapples with personal property tax repeal

Thinking About Health

"Thinking About Health" by Trudy Lieberman is a twice-monthly column available to any WNA member newspaper. The column is distributed to 17 state newspaper associations through the "Rural Health News Service" and is funded in part by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund.

Current Column
Crowd-sourcing May Bring Transparency to Medical Charges

Discover Wisconsin

A weekly column written by the staff of Discover Wisconsin highlights things to do and see throughout the State of Wisconsin. The column is accompanied by photos for use in print and online. 

Column for the Week of May 29
For the Competitive Spirit in You: 8 Things to Do in Wisconsin | Download Photos


Weekly facts from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, the state's oldest and most respected private government research organization. Since 1932, WISTAX has been promoting better government and an informed citizenry through its publications, public outreach, and extensive school programs.

Column for the Week of May 29
Exploring the Tax on 'Gas Guzzlers'
ATTENTION WISCONSIN JOURNALISM STUDENTS AND ADVISERS: Is there an Online Media Campus webinar you’d like to take? The WNA Foundation will sponsor your registration! Contact Jana Shepherd at to register.

Building a Strong Service Directory to Increase Revenue – Wednesday, June 7 | 1-2 p.m. Register
As part of the WNA’s partnership with the Local Media Association, LMA offers special discounted rates on many benefits including webinars to our members. Webinars for association partner members are $29 each ($59 for non-members). See all LMA webinars at

Digital Agency Best Practices  Tuesday, May 30 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Triple Your Audience in 9 Months: The Secrets of One Media Company  Tuesday, June 6 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

'Opportunity 2016' & Beyond: How one company found new revenue through transformation  Thursday, June 8 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Treating the Customer as a Strategic Asset: Multi-Platform Audience Growth at The Day  Monday, June 12 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

3 Fresh Ideas to Market and Monetize Your News Media Brand  Tuesday, June 27 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register
WNA members can take advantage of reduced registration rates for webinars on Kevin Slimp's Newspaper Academy online community, featuring some of the most highly sought after trainers and speakers in the newspaper industry. Register for all Newspaper Academy webinars at

Ed Henninger: News Design 101 - All Basics, No Bull  Thursday, May 25 | 10 a.m.

Ed Henninger: 10 Surefire Ways to Improve Newspaper Design  Thursday, June 1 | 10 a.m.

Tim Smith: Selling Print in a Digital World  Thursday, June 1 | 2 p.m.

Richard Hollow: 10 Legal Questions Newspapers Ask  Thursday, June 22 | 1 p.m.

Kevin Slimp: InDesign – From Zero to Hero! The Basics and Much More  Friday, June 23 | 10 a.m.
  • FREE MEMBER CONTENT: Download the latest content from the Capitol Report, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Thinking About Health, Discover Wisconsin and WISTAX Facts.
  • CAREERS - BUY - SELL - TRADE: View the latest career opportunities, resumes and "for sale" listings. Available positions:
    • Circulation Manager – Kenosha News
    • General Assignment Reporter – Chippewa Herald
    • Managing Editor – Lake Mills Leader
    • Regional Editor – The Country Today
    • Reporter – Monroe County Herald, Sparta
    • Reporter – Edgerton Reporter
    • FOR SALE: Small town community newspaper – The Marion Advertiser
    • FOR SALE: Printing equipment – Wisconsin Newspress, Plymouth 
    • FOR SALE: Weekly Newspaper – The Chilton Times Journal
  • SHARE YOUR NEWS: Staff changes, promotions, celebrations, milestones and success stories. We want to hear from you!
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 James Debilzen at 608-283-7623 or
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