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Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Weekly Briefing

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Youngsters play firefighter at Flambeau Float

A Fifield firefighter shows a couple kids how to use a fire hose Saturday morning at Movrich Park in Fifield during a fundraising event for the fire department.This photo by Seth Carlson appeared on the front page of Thursday's Price County Review.

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
Pictured above, from left, at Thursday's WNA Foundation board meeting are Rusty Cunningham of the La Crosse Tribune, Mark Stodder of Xcential Legislative Technologies, President Andrew Johnson of the Dodge County Pionier in Mayville, Vice President Scott Peterson of Journal Community Publishing Group, Rob Ireland of the Lake Geneva Regional News and Tim Lyke of the Ripon Commonwealth Press. – James Debilzen photo
WNA Foundation talks future plans

The WNA Foundation Board of Directors met Thursday to discuss long-range goals at the WNA office in Madison.

During the meeting, the board reviewed plans for future educational offerings – including the annual Trees Retreat and workshops on public notices and local government reporting – and finalized plans for the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame dinner later this fall.

In addition, the board discussed the creation of a statewide high school "civics bowl" with the goal of bolstering civic knowledge, civic engagement and public service in Wisconsin.

The WNA Foundation board also welcomed Lake Geneva Regional News General Manager Rob Ireland as its newest member. Ireland has been with the Regional News since 2006, starting as a reporter. He was named managing editor of the paper in 2012 and editor in 2015 before taking on the role of general manager in 2016.

Ireland takes the place of WNA Foundation board member John Halverson, who retired as general manager of the Lake Geneva Regional News in 2016.

The WNA Foundation is 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.

Judge sides with media, keeps court open during Lincoln Hills hearing

A federal judge on Thursday ruled that videos of pepper spray being deployed at the Lincoln Hills juvenile prison complex would be shown in open court during a hearing for a lawsuit being pursued by teen inmates at the facility.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and the Juvenile Law Center, which are assisting the teens in the lawsuit, had filed a motion asking to close the hearing while the videos were shown. The organizations said they had not had time to blur the inmate's faces or edit out times when names could be heard on the video.

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, Wisconsin State Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel filed an objection late Wednesday night to closing any portion of the hearing.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson sided with the news outlets, but those remaining in the court room while the videos were shown were required to sign agreements not to disclose the names or personal details about the inmates in the videos.

The Journal Sentinel reported the hearing was being held to determine whether the judge should put in place an initial injunction greatly reducing the use of solitary confinement, pepper spray, handcuffs and other restraints at the prison.

Read more ...

WNA, WisTax team up for local government reporting workshop

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation has partnered with the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance to present a one-day reporting seminar aimed at helping journalists better navigate local government data and documents.

The workshop, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 20 in Madison, will include discussion on a wide variety of governmental bodies, including counties, cities, villages, towns, school districts and technical colleges. Learn how to untangle this often confusing web and get tips on how to break it down for your readers.

The sessions include:

  • Untangling Local Government
  • Math for Journalists
  • Understanding Budgets: How to Not Get Snookered by the Numbers
  • The State Budget and Your Community

Registration is $75 and the deadline to register is July 13.

See the Schedule and Speakers
Register Online
Save the date for the 2017 Trees Retreat

Since 1947, friends and colleagues in the newspaper industry have traveled to Wisconsin's Northwoods to take part in the annual Trees Retreat, relaxing beneath the pines while learning new skills to take back home.

The WNA Foundation's end-of-summer tradition returns Thursday, Aug. 24 and Friday, Aug. 25 at Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River.

Planning is currently underway, so mark the Trees Retreat on your calendar and watch for more information and registration details to come by email and in the Weekly Briefing!

Book your hotel room by July 24
As always, the WNA will offer dormitory housing on the Trees For Tomorrow campus, but for those looking for more private accommodations, we have a solution for you, too.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Best Western Derby Inn, 1800 US Highway 45 N, Eagle River. Rates are $80 on Thursday, Aug. 24 and $99 on Friday, Aug. 25.

The deadline to book your room is July 24. Call 715-479-1600 and ask for the Wisconsin Newspaper Association block.

See Highlights from Last Year's Trees Retreat
NNA needs help with postal reform legislation

The National Newspaper Association is asking newspapers – members and non-members alike – to add their names to a letter that will be sent to the leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee asking for action on the Postal Reform Act of 2017.

In a message to members, NNA President Matthew Paxton IV, publisher of The News-Gazette in Lexington, Va., said the bill has bipartisan support and would trim the federal deficit by $6 billion, but "the bill is stuck because too many members of Congress are busy with other matters."

Paxton warned if the bill does not pass, NNA believes the Postal Regulatory Commission will consider major postal increases and possible mail processing plant closures.

Email Sara Hough ( or Tonda Rush ( if you are willing to add your newspaper’s name to the NNA's letter supporting the bill.

We need you to attend public notice training

The WNA will hold a 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.

The WNA urges you to consider sending someone from your staff to Stevens Point next month for this discussion.  The afternoon-long session will provide important information on the legal requirements attached to publishing public notices, as well as suggestions on how you might better serve your public notice clients.

WNA Executive Director Beth Bennett will be leading the session and will send each attendee away with a guide on how to retain happy public notice clients, as well as ways to actually enhance your public notice revenue.

Please consider taking ONE afternoon to devote to preserving an important public service/revenue segment of your advertising stream.

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/private parties are required to publish public notices.
  • How works and how to link directly to your newspaper's online public notice database.
  • Sales/promotion suggestions for public notice advertising
  • Things to do to retain and even grow your public notice advertising revenue
  • Ask us anything! Open discussion period for all questions you may have.

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

Register Online
Related: How to link directly to your paper's public notices online

By simply adding a direct link to your public notices to your website, you can make your newspaper's public notices the first ones your readers see when they access

Download the WNA's list of links and locate your newspaper's custom link to make reviewing your public notices easy and fast for your readers with just one click. For more information, contact WNA Media Services Director Denise Guttery at 608-283-7630 or

SPJ Madison launches Speakers Bureau

In an era of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” it’s more important than ever for members of the public to find trusted, credible news and information. The Madison chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists believes its new Speakers Bureau can help.

The Madison SPJ Speakers Bureau includes experts from newsrooms across the city – including the Wisconsin State Journal and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism – to discuss a wide range of journalism topics.

Those topics include news decisionmaking, political journalism, journalism ethics, newspaper journalism, broadcast journalism, nonprofit journalism, community journalism, reporting on religion and social media.

The Speakers Bureau is ready to visit breakfast meetings, luncheons or get-togethers to discuss these topics. School, university, neighborhood, community, civics, professional and other groups are encouraged to contact the Bureau.

For more information, visit the SPJ Madison Speakers Bureau website.

Read more ...

Unity School Board President Deb Peterson presents a plaque to Kirk Gaylord to commemorate the induction of his father, the late publisher Curtis Gaylord, into Unity's Wall of Honor. – Photo by Lynda Berg Olds
Balsam Lake publisher posthumously honored

Curtis Gaylord, the late publisher of the Polk County Ledger Press in Balsam Lake, was inducted into the Unity Wall of Honor on June 13 during a Unity Board of Education meeting.

Gaylord, who died in 2006, was a Balsam Lake School Board member and owner and publisher of the Ledger Press for nearly 50 years. He was an active member of the WNA and held numerous offices in the association. He also served as president of the Polk County Newspaper Association for a decade.

The Wall of Honor was established by the school board in 1989 to recognize the contributions of alumni and former employees. The award was accepted by Gaylord's son, Kirk Gaylord.

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 June 26
Campus ‘free speech’ bill advancing in the Legislature

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 June 13
Patient-Centered Care Shouldn’t Be Just a Marketing Slogan

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 June 26
10 Wisconsin Restaurants with a Spectacular ViewDownload 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 June 26
Home Values Remain Below 2008 Levels | Download Graphic
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
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

3 Fresh Ideas to Market and Monetize Your News Media Brand  Tuesday, June 27 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Giving the Perfect Dealer Presentation  Thursday, June 29 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Leveraging Facebook to Grow Your Email Database  Tuesday, July 11 | Noon to 12:30 p.m. Register

How to Create Irresistible Digital Headlines  Tuesday, July 11 | 1-1:30 p.m. Register

What You Need to Know About Selling Video and Mobile Advertising  Wednesday, July 12 | Noon to 12:30 p.m. Register

The True Art of Onboarding - When, How and Why  Wednesday, July 12 | 1-1:30 p.m. Register

How to Crank up the Sales Leads  Wednesday, July 12 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

2017 Innovation Mission Top Takeaways  Thursday, July 13 | Noon to 12:30 p.m. Register

Engagement: Top 5 Audience Challenges  Thursday, July 13 | 1-1:30 p.m. Register

3 Pillars of Media Transformation: Events, Promotions and Marketing Services  Thursday, July 13 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Inside Look: The Secrets of Driving Digital Transformation  Thursday, July 27 | 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:
    • Community Reporter/Page Designer/Photographer – Unified Newspaper Group
    • Sports Editor – The Star, Sun Prairie/The Courier, Waterloo
    • Managing Editor – DeForest Times-Tribune
    • Editor – Lake Geneva Regional News
    • Paginator – Lake Geneva Regional News
    • Reporter – Monroe County Herald
    • Managing Editor – Lake Mills Leader
    • Circulation Manager – Kenosha News
    • General Assignment Reporter – Chippewa 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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