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Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Weekly Briefing

Thursday, March 2, 2017

WNA Members:  PLEASE ACT NOW to defeat Assembly Bill 70

Defeating Assembly Bill 70 and its companion bill, Senate Bill 42 – the latest threat to public notice publication requirements – requires action by your newspaper.

A public hearing on AB70 will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 8, before the Assembly Local Government Committee.

Please continue to publish editorials in opposition to these bills and rally your readers to contact their state representatives in the Assembly and Senate. In addition, please consider publishing this month's Your Right to Know column by La Crosse Tribune Executive Editor Rusty Cunningham and a guest column by Rep. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville.

 • AB 70 would allow municipalities, school districts, counties and technical colleges to publish meeting minutes by posting them on a website and one public place.  

• The proposal would make newspaper publication optional ... which in reality means that the publication will be eliminated.
• This proposal is bad public policy and the WNA is working aggressively to defeat the measure, but we must have your help!
• The bill has bi-partisan support.  The sponsors argue that, “Having meeting minutes in one electronic searchable location on a website allows for greater access for everyone (not just newspaper subscribers) and cost savings for taxpayers through school districts, municipalities, tech colleges, and counties. In our digital age this is an unnecessary expense.”

Call or Message Your Legislator Today
• AB 70 has been assigned to the Assembly Local Government Committee.  Please contact members of the committee as well as your elected officials.  

• Request that your state representative and senator also contact the members of the Local Government Committee opposing the bill.
• When you make your contact, emphasize that the newspaper industry is not opposed to units of government maintaining meeting minutes on government websites.  

• More information, not less, is required to maintain and informed public. Government websites that provide up-to-date constituent information are a good thing.

• Please call your state senator and representative today urging them to oppose of this legislation.
Wisconsin Assembly Contact Information

Wisconsin Senate Contact Information
I will be maintaining a “vote count” — Please let me know where your Assembly and Senate representatives stand on AB70.
Your support is greatly appreciated.


Beth Bennett
WNA Executive Director

What our members are saying:
Photo highlights
Did we catch you on camera during the 2017 WNA Convention & Trade Show? Check out our Facebook page for photos from the event.

Another successful convention has come to a close

The staff at the WNA would like to thank everyone who attended the WNA Convention & Trade Show this year.

More than 450 registered for the two-day event, which kicked off Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Madison Marriott West with educational sessions on press freedom, generating new revenue and newsroom and advertising staff management.

During dinner, convention guests listened in on a discussion about politics with Craig Gilbert, Washington bureau chief of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which was moderated by Marty Kaiser, a senior fellow at the Democracy Fund and former editor of the Journal Sentinel.

The WNA Foundation also hosted a casino night fundraiser for the first time in conjunction with the President’s Reception on Thursday night.

On Friday, Feb. 24, the day began with a keynote address by Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, who highlighted the “new rules of accountability journalism.” The address was followed by 15 educational sessions for journalists, advertising sales representatives, college students and more.

High school and college students were recognized during the annual Honors Luncheon on Friday afternoon, which included an address by James Warren, chief media writer for the Poynter Institute.

Newspapers from around the state were honored at the end of the convention during the Better Newspaper Contest Awards Banquet. The contest drew 3,034 entries from 122 newspapers, which were judged by members of the Illinois Press Association.

The Lakeland Times in Minocqua was named Weekly Newspaper of the Year, and The Gazette in Janesville was recognized as the Daily Newspaper of the Year for the second year in a row.

Read the judges' comments

Did you get your copy of the 2016 Better Newspaper Contest results tab after the awards banquet? Download a digital copy to see who won and what the judges had to say.

Get the BNC Award Winner logo
Let your readers know about your paper's success! Download the 2016 Better Newspaper Contest Award Winner logo.

Need duplicates?
Additional plaques and certificates are available for purchase from the WNA Foundation. Plaques are $60 each and certificates are available for $6 each. Tax, postage and handling are included in the prices.

The deadline to order duplicates is Monday, March 27. Order online

From left, Tom Schultz, Marty Kaiser and Scott Peterson pose for a photo during the Better Newspaper Contest Awards Banquet on Feb. 24 after it was announced Schultz and Kaiser were being inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame. – Tom Johnson photo

Kaiser, Schultz to join Newspaper Hall of Fame

Watertown Daily Times Managing Editor Tom Schultz and Former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editor Marty Kaiser will be inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame during a ceremony later this spring.

The inductees were announced during the Better Newspaper Contest Awards Banquet on Friday, Feb. 24 by Scott Peterson, editor in chief of the Journal Community Publishing Group.

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.

Details about the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be released at a later date.

WNA offering new political column

The WNA is partnering with to offer a new weekly political column for use by member newspapers. The " Capitol Report" will feature news and analysis on statewide government and political issues. is a nonpartisan, Madison-based news service that was established in 2000. Its president, Jeff Mayers, is a former editor and reporter for the Associated Press and a former political writer for the Wisconsin State Journal.

Like Matt Pommer's "State Capitol Newsletter," the new political column will be made available weekly on the "Free Content for Members" page on the WNA website.

Kevin Slimp coming to Madison

WNA members are invited to participate in a one-day training event with newspaper technology consultant Kevin Slimp in Madison.

The "Newspaper Academy for Production Professionals" is being hosted by Wisconsin Community Papers from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 5117 East Terrace Drive, Madison.

The event is broken into a morning session and an afternoon session. The cost is $60 for a single session or $79 for both sessions. All sessions include lunch.

Register online
Download a registration form

About Kevin Slimp and hotel information

WPR's Halsted named Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog

Gilman Halsted, a retired Wisconsin Public Radio reporter who produced award-winning examinations of the state’s criminal justice system, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog Award.

The award is presented jointly by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, the Madison Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and University of Madison-Wisconsin School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Read more...


Hesselberg retires from State Journal

Reknowned Wisconsin State Journal columnist and reporter George Hesselberg has retired after more than 40 years in the newsroom.

Hesselberg began working for the State Journal as an intern in 1972 and, following a several-year hiatus in Norway and other locations abroad, he returned to the paper in 1977 as a full-time police reporter. The Bangor native was a columnist, general assignment reporter, "overall muckraker and agitator of the privileged and powerful," according the story announcing his retirement. Read more ...

Lamoreaux new editor in DeForest

Kim Lamoreaux, a journalist with 20 years of experience in the news industry, has joined the DeForest Times-Tribune as its managing editor. Before joining the Times-Tribune, Lamoreaux had been a reporter for the Sauk Prairie Eagle since July 2013. She previously worked as a reporter at the Reedsburg Times Press and the News Sickle Arrow in Black Earth.

Lamoreaux covered the circuit court for the daily Bucyrus Telegraph Forum in central Ohio before moving to Wisconsin in 2000 and received the 1998 National Thompson (Gannett) Crystal Award. Read more ...

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.

Engaging Readers Through Your Editorial Page - Thursday, March 23 | 1-2 p.m. Register

Communicating and Collaborating Across Generations - Thursday, April 20 | 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). Register for all LMA webinars at

Texas Regional Innovation Mission Takeaways - Thursday, March 9 | 11-11:45 a.m.

Why Can’t We Find Sellers? - Tuesday, March 14 | 2-2:30 p.m.

Dual Transformation: What is the Prediction for ‘Transformation A’? - Tuesday, March 21 | 2-2:45 p.m.
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: Saving Public Notices - Thursday, March 9 | 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:
    • Reporter – La Crosse Tribune
    • Editor – Winona Daily News, Minn.
    • Editor – Reedsburg Independent
    • Community Reporter/Page Designer/Photographer – Unified Newspaper Group, Verona
    • Editor – Advertising Community News and Times-Press, Seymour
    • Editor – Kenosha News
    • Advertising Account Rep – Watertown Daily Times
    • Reporter – Ozaukee Press
    • Assistant Editor — The Ladysmith News
    • News Reporter/Deputy Editor — City Pages, Wausau
    • Summer Internship — Waushara Argus, Wautoma
    • Press Operator — The Waukesha Freeman
    • Lifestyles/Special Sections Editor — Daily Jefferson County Union, Fort Atkinson
  • 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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