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Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Weekly Briefing

Thursday, July 27, 2017

History on the move

A 2,700 square-foot home, built in 1901 and acquired by Lawrence University in 1928, is moved on Tuesday along Union Street in Appleton. The home was relocated to 229 N. Union St. This photo by Wm. Glasheen appeared on the front page of Wednesday's Appleton Post-Crescent.

The WNA features work produced by Wisconsin's photojournalists in each issue of the Weekly Briefing. Have a photo you'd like to share? Email the photo, credit and cutline information to
Rural journalism expert to discuss community newspaper challenges

Wisconsin and America are more divided than ever along rural-urban lines, as the elections of Scott Walker and Donald Trump showed. Did rural and urban newspapers help create that disconnect? How can they help to bridge it when political discussions are so polarized?

These are among the issues that Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky, will address on Aug. 25 during the 70th Annual WNA Foundation Trees Retreat in Eagle River. He'll also discuss how community journalists can distinguish and defend themselves at a time when the media is under attack and provide tips for helping readers understand broad issues with local context.

The Trees Retreat will kick off  the day before, on Thursday, Aug. 24, with a golf outing fundraiser at Eagle River Golf Course, with proceeds benefiting the WNA Foundation. This year will also mark the return to the tradition of gathering at Eddie B’s White Spruce Inn for dinner Thursday night, before returning to campus for socializing around the fire.

The next day will be filled with sessions from Cross and an ideas exchange, with a break for lunch and the Memorial Pylon Ceremony, during which five industry leaders will by remembered. Friday evening, we'll head to the WNA Press Forest for a steak fry under the pines and socializing.

Did you miss the hotel reservation deadline? The WNA has a limited number of discounted rooms available at the Best Western Derby Inn in Eagle River. Contact Member Services Director Julia Hunter for more information.

Registration for the Trees Retreat is open until Aug. 18. See the full schedule for more details and register online.

Download the Schedule
Register Online
1. EAGLE RIVER. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any newspaper training opportunity that offers the same rejuvenating experience as Wisconsin’s Northwoods.

2. AL CROSS. He'll offer his expertise on how newspapers can break down the rural-urban divide, how to look at broader issues from a community newspaper level and how community journalists can address new challenges.

3. GOLF. Support the WNA Foundation at the 50th Annual Trees Retreat Golf Outing. Don't have your stroke perfected yet? Don't worry, we'll be selling mulligans.

4. THE MEMORIAL PYLON. Reflect on the contributions of Wisconsin’s newspaper publishers and peruse the nearly 600 names etched onto this moving granite monument.

5. STEAK. Grill your own steak and experience the tranquility of the WNA Foundation’s Press Forest. It’s an experience that brings Trees Retreat participants back year after year.

Connect with other attendees & find out more! 

Golf Outing
Golf Outing
Trees Retreat
Trees Retreat
Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, tells journalists at last week's "Reporting on Local Government" workshop to "beware of 'cherry picking'" when reporting percentages and statistics. Berry said it's easy to be misled by data when it lacks full and proper context. – Photo by Julia Hunter
Reporting on local government workshop a success

Last week’s reporting on local government workshop, hosted by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), received many positive reviews.

The workshop was held July 20 at La Quinta Inn & Suites on Madison’s east side and featured sessions led by WISTAX experts.

During the day-long session, WISTAX broke down the various structures of local government in Wisconsin, reviewed basic math skills and what questions to ask when reporting on polls and surveys, explained local government budgets and how they’re prepared, and addressed how local governments are funded and what they do for residents.

The speakers were:

Todd Berry, president of WISTAX since 1994 and former Wisconsin Assistant Secretary of Revenue. Berry also worked for 10 years as a marketing executive for one of the state’s oldest food manufacturers.

Dale Knapp, research director for WISTAX since 2000. Previously, Knapp was a regional labor market economist for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and spent more than seven years in the private sector in corporate sales positions.

David Callender, communications director for WISTAX. For more than 20 years, Callender was an award-winning journalist who covered Wisconsin politics and state and local government. His work appeared in The New York Times, The London Sunday Times, The Guardian and The Capital Times. Prior to joining WISTAX, he advised state agencies, the Legislature, state Supreme Court, Congress and local officials on policy.

The WNA is exploring the possibility of offering similar sessions as future webinars, but we want your feedback! Using the poll below, please indicate your level of interest in the following topics:

Explaining tax assessments to your audience
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How to fact check your data
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Navigating the many layers of school district finance
lowest 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   highest
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TIF districts for dummies
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State Bar hosting free reporters' legal workshop on Sept. 8

The State Bar of Wisconsin will hold a free reporters’ legal workshop for members of the Wisconsin media from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8 at the State Bar, 5302 Eastpark Boulevard, Madison.
The workshop will feature new tools to help report on the criminal justice system; offer tips from veteran journalists, lawyers, and judges; give insight into open records and open meetings laws; and explore ongoing issues within Wisconsin’s justice system, including mass and disparate incarceration.
A full day of panels and presentations is planned on the following topics: 

  • Public Records: How to Get the Records You Need
  • Media Law: Defamation, Reporter Shield Law, Open Meetings, Open Records Rulings
  • Immigration Law and Policy Changes Under the New Administration
  • Question and Answer with seasoned legal affairs reporter Bruce Vielmetti of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Owning the Problem: Mass and Disparate Incarceration in Wisconsin
  • Evidence-Based Decision Making, Strategies to Improve the Criminal Justice System
  • New Tools in Criminal Justice Reporting
  • Gill v. Whitford, The Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Redistricting Case that Challenges the Constitutionality of Wisconsin’s Electoral Maps

A complete schedule for the day with more information on the presenters and panelists is available online. Breakfast and lunch will be provided courtesy of the State Bar, as well as free lodging nearby for Thursday, Sept. 7 for a limited number of early registrants who live at least two hours outside of the Madison area.
Questions?  Contact Kristen Durst, State Bar Public Relations Coordinator at 608-250-6025 or

See the Schedule & Register
Save the Date: Hall of Fame dinner is Nov. 16

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation’s 2017 Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Nov. 16 at the Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St., Madison. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner being served at 7 p.m.

This year, the WNA Foundation will honor Watertown Daily Times Editor Tom Schultz and former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editor Marty Kaiser.

Registration and ticket information will be available at a later date. This year's Hall of Fame dinner will be a fundraising event for the WNA Foundation, a not-for-profit organization created in 1980 to support programs that foster excellence in journalism, engage current and future newspaper leaders and invest in our communities. The foundation solicits, manages and disburses funds and other resources for the benefit of Wisconsin’s newspaper industry.

The WNA Foundation has honored 47 individuals with the Hall of Fame honor since its inception in 2001. Hall of Fame inductees have contributed above and beyond the call of duty to newspapers and newspapering in Wisconsin.

Schultz has been with the Daily Times for 50 years. He is a former president of the WNA and the Wisconsin Associated Press Editors Association.

Kaiser was the editor of the Journal Sentinel from 1997 to 2015. Under his leadership, the Journal Sentinel won three Pulitzer Prizes. Kaiser was also named Editor & Publisher magazine’s “Editor of the Year” in 2009.

Ohio libraries combat 'fake news'

While journalists have long battled the spread of “fake news,” another group dedicated to facts and reliable information — librarians — is also taking aim at this growing disinformation trend.

Worthington Libraries in Ohio recently hosted two events aimed at helping the public identify reliable news sources. The library system also created a useful infographic to help people evaluate sources of information and learn which sources might not be trustworthy.

Coleman Mahler, an adult services librarian with Worthington Libraries, said they started working on this program after patrons raised concerns around the prevalence of fake news. “We’ve had a lot of questions about fake news,” Mahler said. “Many patrons are concerned about it, in part because the amount of information out there can be very overwhelming for people.”

Read more ...

WBA invites WNA members to attend photojournalism workshop

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association is inviting WNA members to participate in its upcoming Madison Driving Short Course, a visual storytelling workshop being held in partnership with the National Press Photographer's Association.

The Madison Driving Short Course will be held Aug. 18-19 at the Pyle Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. WNA members can register for a reduced rate of $50.

See the Schedule & Register
Editor & Publisher seeking nominations for 'Publisher of the Year'

Editor & Publisher, a trade publication covering all aspects of the newspaper industry, is seeking nominations for the "2017 Publisher of the Year" award.

The magazine's editors are "looking to honor a publisher who has risen above the rest and accomplished what seems like the impossible, outmaneuvering the competition, outthinking the future and maintaining profitability."

The "Publisher of the Year" recognition is open to all newspaper publishers worldwide, from papers large and small. The deadline to nominate a publisher is Sept. 22.

Submit a nomination ...

Capital Newspapers names John Blais general manager

Capital Newspapers, publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times, has named John D. Blais general manager.

Blais, a senior media executive in Chicago and northern Illinois, will oversee day-to-day operations of Capital Newspapers, which provides business and operational support for the two Madison newspapers and several other publications. Blais will not be responsible for news or editorial functions of the newspapers or websites. He starts Aug. 4.

Blais co-founded Chronicle Media, which circulates in 14 counties in Illinois, including the Chicago metro area. He previously served as vice president/general manager of Chicago Sun-Times Media Local and director of business development for the Sun-Times. He has held other leadership roles with Pioneer Press newspapers in Chicago, the Aurora Beacon-News, Elgin Courier-News, Naperville Sun, Sun Publications, Auto Trader and the Chicago Tribune.

Read more ...

The Watertown Daily Times received the American Legion Public Relations Award at the organization's annual meeting in Appleton. Tom Schultz, left, managing editor of the newspaper, receives the award from Daniel Seehafer, Wisconsin Department commander for the Legion. – Contributed photo
Watertown Daily Times wins American Legion award

The Watertown Daily Times has been named recipient of the American Legion Department of Wisconsin 2017 Public Relations Appreciation Award.

The award was presented at the annual Legion’s Department of Wisconsin meeting at Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton. A large contingent of Legion members attended the two-day session.

The award was presented by Daniel Seehafer, Wisconsin Department commander, to Tom Schultz, Daily Times managing editor, who accepted on behalf of the news staff and other departments of the newspaper.

The award was given to the Times, “In recognition and sincere appreciation of their generous support of our veterans through their daily newspaper.”

Members of Pitterle Beaudoin Post No. 189, Watertown, submitted the application for the award along with a number of supporting documents.

Schendel joins Boscobel Dial

Emily Schendel has joined the Boscobel Dial as a reporter. She comes to the newspaper from Gays Mills, where she worked for the Crawford County Independent on and off for nearly 10 years.

At the Dial, Schendel will be covering Boscobel school news and sports, as well as writing feature stories and taking photographs. During her years at the Crawford County Independent, Schendel took home several awards from the WNA for artistic and spot news photos, as well as news writing.

She succeeds reporter Erin Martin, who has taken a position as the editor of the Fennimore Times.

Read more ...

David L. Nelson

David "The Admiral" L. Nelson, a former executive for the Green Bay Newspaper Company and the Post Corporation of Appleton, died July 18 at the age of 96.

Nelson graduated from the Marquette University College of Business Administration in 1943. He served during World War II in Europe with the 103rd Infantry Division, after which he worked for three-and-a-half years in the marketing department of the Western Condensing Company in Appleton.

From 1953 to 1962, Nelson was employed by both the Green Bay Newspaper Company and the Post Corporation, where he served as chief financial officer and as a director of both corporations. Both corporations were controlled by the same owners at the time. In 1962, the owners separated and Nelson devoted his interests to the Post Corporation, where he served as a director and chief operating and chief financial officer until 1984.

Nelson purchased radio stations in Eau Claire in 1984 and later purchased radio stations in Kirksville, Mo., Marshalltown, Iowa, and Fargo, N.D.

Funeral services were held Friday, July 21 in Green Bay.

Read the obituary ...

James K. Meyers

James "Jim" K. Meyers, former managing editor of the Kenosha News, died July 20 after a brief struggle with lung cancer. He was 87.

Meyers graduated from journalism school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1955, where he was a prolific writer for the Daily Cardinal. He began his career as a reporter and photographer for the Twin Cities News-Record in Neenah. He returned to his hometown in 1960 to begin his long tenure at the Kenosha News.

Meyers began working for the Kenosha News as a staff writer and photographer. He became the city editor in 1977 and the managing editor in 1984. As a staff writer, Meyers was an active unionist and served as president of the Newspaper Guild Local 159 from 1970-1975. He was also treasurer of the Guild's seven-state Midwest District Council for eight years. Meyers retired in 1997.

A visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, July 28 at St. Mark's Catholic Church, 7117 14th Ave. in Kenosha. Services and mass will also be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 29 at the church. An additional visitation will be held at 9 a.m. prior to the services.

Read the obituary ...

Cyrilla B. Marcus

Cyrilla B. Marcus, a former employee of the Herald Times Reporter in Manitowoc, died July 11 in Manitowoc. She was 94.

Marcus was a lifelong Manitowoc resident.  She attended Marquette University in Milwaukee and St. Agnes School of Nursing in Fond du Lac. She joined the United States Navy in 1944 and was honorably discharged in 1950.

Marcus worked for the Herald Times Reporter for 34 years before retiring.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Sept. 9 at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 1416 Grand Ave., Manitowoc. A visitation will be held at the church on from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass at 11 a.m. on Sept. 9.

Read the obituary ...

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 July 31
Former leggies holding onto campaign finance accounts

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 July 31
8 Beautiful and Challenging Wisconsin Disc-Golf Courses | Download Photo


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 July 31
Comparing Fiscal Health of Wisconsin to Neighbors
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.

Column Released July 20
U.S. Healthcare Ranked Lower Than In Most Developed Nations


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.

Effective Prospecting: Five Steps to More Conversions – Friday, July 28 | 1-2 p.m. Register

Five Ways to Use Facebook Live (Plus a How-To) – Thursday, Aug. 17 | 1-2 p.m. Register

Automatic InDesign – Thursday, Aug. 24 | 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

Beyond the Banner  Thursday, Aug. 3 | 11-11:30 a.m. Register

Best New Digital Initiative  Tuesday, Aug. 10 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Why Buy Now?  Tuesday, Aug. 22 | 2-2:45 p.m. Register
  • 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:
    • Sports/News Reporter – The Star News, Medford
    • Reporter – The Gazette, Janesville
    • Suburban Weekly Reporter – River Valley Media Group, La Crosse
    • Editor/Writer – The Courier Wedge, Durand
    • Reporter/Editor – Portage County Gazette, Stevens Point
    • Business Reporter – Wisconsin State Journal
    • Sales Representative – Baldwin Bulletin
    • Sections Editor – The Gazette, Janesville
    • News Reporter – The Le Mars (Iowa) Daily Sentinel
    • Sports Reporter/Assistant Editor – Daily Jefferson County Union, Fort Atkinson
    • City Editor – Kenosha News
    • Reporter – Monroe County Herald
    • 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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