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Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Weekly Briefing

Thursday, May 4, 2017
Nice grab
Publisher Kurt Krueger of the Vilas County News-Review in Eagle River captured this photo of a bald eagle snagging a crappie Sunday from the waters of the Three Lakes Chain. The photo appeared on the front page of Wednesday's paper.

Beginning this week, the WNA will feature a sample 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
WCIJ profiled by Poynter

The Poynter Institute this week profiled the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's transformation from a dream that co-founders Andy Hall and Dee J. Hall launched in their home’s basement to “a newsroom that keeps watch over the state of Wisconsin and a symbol of how local journalism is evolving.”

Since launching in 2009, WCIJ has produced 300 major projects, which have been published, broadcast or cited by more than 500 news organizations, including state radio, print and TV outlets and The New York Times. 

Read more ...

Andy Hall

Dee Hall
WNA's Hunter attends training for convention planners

WNA Member Services Director Julia Hunter traveled to Oklahoma City earlier this week to attend the "Meeting Planners & Member Services Conference," where she picked up some fresh ideas for future WNA conventions and events.

The conference was hosted by Newspaper Association Managers (NAM) and was attended by representatives from 16 state newspaper associations. NAM is a professional network of press association directors in the United States and Canada.

During the trip, Hunter attended sessions about negotiating contracts, meeting formats, sponsorships, fundraising, promotions, contest practices and rules, presentation of awards and displaying winning contest entries, time management and member tracking and recruitment.

Pictured at the NAM Meeting Planners & Member Conference are, from left to right: Back Row – Robyn Gentile, Tennessee Press Association; Christine Frank, Oklahoma Press Association; Lynne Lance, National Newspaper Association; Mitch Ann Droge, Louisiana Press Association; Russell Bassett, Colorado Press Association; Monica Gilmer, Mississippi Press Association; Rennee Smith, California Newspaper Publishers Association; Jen Madden, South Carolina Press Association; Laura Bennett, Virginia Press Association; Susan Watson, Nebraska Press Association; Kristie Williams, Missouri Press Association; Front Row – Dana Saal, Saal Meeting Consulting; Emily Bradbury, Kansas Press Association; Terri Cobb, Arkansas Press Association; Julia Hunter, Wisconsin Newspaper Association; Sarah Jackson, Minnesota Newspaper Association.
Madison365, Ho Chunk Nation strike partnership

Madison365, a multimedia news platform for and by Wisconsin’s communities of color, has reached a content-sharing agreement with the Hocak Worak, the Ho-Chunk Nation’s official newspaper. The agreement will allow both outlets to republish content produced by the other.

Hocak Worak is a member of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and the Native American Journalists Association. The newspaper has won several awards from both organizations.

Read more ...

ICYMI: WNA offering new political column

The WNA is offering a new weekly political column from for use by member newspapers. The "Capitol Report" features news and analysis on statewide government and political issues. is a nonpartisan, Madison-based news service that was established in 2000.

Like Matt Pommer's "State Capitol Newsletter," the new political column is available every Thursday afternoon on the "Free Content for Members" page on the WNA website.

Reminder: Code your public notices with WNAXLP

The WNA is asking members to double-check their public notice pages to make sure every public notice contains the “WNAXLP” code, including before and after jumps.

Wisconsin statute requires all legal notices published in newspapers must also appear on the WNA's public notice website — In order for this to occur, notices must be coded as mentioned. 
If you have any questions regarding this issue or others, please contact Denise Guttery, WNA Media Services Director, 608-283-7630 or

WNA's new ad service needs your support

Display ad sales on behalf of WNA members have transitioned back to in-house management under a new name, Targeted Advertising Services.

With the new ad service, WNA 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 create a 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:
  • 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
Lyles steps down from Journal group, WNA board

Steve Lyles, senior sales director, group publisher and general manager of the Journal Community Publishing Group, has resigned after 24 years with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. His last day with the company was April 28.

Lyles has also resigned from his position on the WNA Board of Directors.

Lyles is now the vice president of sales and support for Liturgical Publications Inc. (LPi), a communications company that works with parishes and religious organizations to create ad-supported church bulletins, websites, newsletters and more.

WCIJ wins top national award for drinking water project

The Society of Professional Journalists on Monday named the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s “Failure at the Faucet” series a first-place winner in its national contest.

The series took top honors in the 2016 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for investigative reporting among small, online independent news organizations. “Failure at the Faucet” was one of 85 honorees among more than the 1,300 entries. The ongoing project is the most detailed journalistic look at risks to drinking water in Wisconsin, including lead, arsenic, strontium, radium, bacteria and pesticides.

Read more ...

Cap Times’ Ferral wins national award for vets investigation

Cap Times reporter Katelyn Ferral won a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her ongoing coverage of problems at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, the organization announced Monday.

Ferral’s largest piece about the King home was published on Aug. 29, and it brought to light allegations of dismal care, medical errors and prolonged staffing shortages affecting the most vulnerable veterans at the state-run home in central Wisconsin.

Read more ...

McGinn, Gardner ending standout careers at Journal Sentinel

Veteran sportswriters Bob McGinn and Charles Gardner are leaving the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

McGinn, 65, has covered the Green Bay Packers for The Milwaukee Journal and Journal Sentinel since 1991. He came to Milwaukee after 16 years at the Green Bay Press-Gazette, including seven on the Packers beat. He hasn't missed a Packers game since taking over the beat in 1984.

In 2011, he was selected by the Pro Football Writers of America as recipient of the prestigious Dick McCann Award for long and distinguished reporting, placing him in the writers' wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. In Wisconsin, he is a six-time winner of the Sportswriter of the Year award from the National Sports Media Association.

Gardner, 61, has covered the Bucks since 2003 and has been the lead beat writer since the 2009-'10 season.

He came to the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1989 from the La Crosse Tribune and has covered a variety of sports in addition to the Bucks, including Marquette basketball, the Admirals, and local and World Cup soccer, covering both the '99 Women’s World Cup and the '06 World Cup. He also was part of the Journal Sentinel's reporting teams at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and Super Bowl XXXI when the Packers beat the Patriots.

Read more ...

Bob McGinn

Charles Gardner
Barbara McCann

Barbara McCann, a respected Milwaukee journalist who helped pave the way for women in newsrooms through the 1960s, died April 26 at the age of 81.

McCann was born in Chicago and at the age of 16 entered the Marquette University School of Journalism. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1956 and worked for the Kalmbach Publishing Co. and Channel 12 as a news writer before joining the Milwaukee Journal in 1959.

At the Journal, McCann was a society reporter and then society editor before beginning general news reporting in 1963. From 1963 until 1971, McCann reported on a variety of issues including welfare, the federal anti-poverty program, the NAACP Youth Council, open housing marches, and Fr. James Groppi. In 1964, she traveled with the Milwaukee Journal news team covering the Republican National Convention in San Francisco and the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City.

McCann resigned from full-time reporting in 1971 but continued to write occasional stories and served for several years as a children's book editor. In 1990, she joined the staff of the Pius XI High School communications team and created the Pius XI Holiday Peace Market. She retired in 2000.

Read the Journal Sentinel's story

Read the obituary

George R. Tscharner Jr.

George R. Tscharner Jr., who worked for the Delavan Enterprise and The Week for 66 years, died April 24 at his home in Delavan.

Tscharner was born in DeKalb, Ill., and graduated from the Wisconsin School for the Deaf in 1947. He worked as a lithography typist for the Enterprise for 48 years and as a stuffer for The Week for 18 years. He was the founder of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church of the Deaf in Delavan in 1957 and was a longtime member of the Southern Lakes Association of the Deaf in Delavan.

A memorial service will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 5 at the SLAD Clubhouse, 715 E. Wisconsin Street in Delavan.

Read the obituary

Your Right to Know: Lawmakers abuse budget-fix motion 

In this month's Your Right to Know column, Larry Gallup of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin addresses the state Legislature's lamentable use of 999 budget motions to approve expenditures and policy outside the regular legislative process.

The column is available for publication for free.

Download the column
Download Larry Gallup's photo

Ad-libs: Qualify your advertising prospects

There's no use to try to sell something to someone who is not in a position to buy, says advertising columnist John Foust. He suggests putting an emphasis on qualifying the businesses you approach about advertising and look at your products from the other person's perspective.

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, written by staff at, is a weekly column available to any WNA member newspaper. is a nonpartisan, Madison-based news service established in 2000 that specializes in coverage of government and politics.


Column for the Week of May 8 - Legislators working together to fight opioid addiction

Click here to download the column.

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.

Government Proposes Cutting Support for Meals on Wheels

Click here to download the column.

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 8 - There's Something Truly Magical About Green Lake Country

Download this week's Discover Wisconsin column.

Download this week's Discover Wisconsin photos.

Weekly facts from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Week of May 8

Download this week's WISTAX Facts column

Download this week's WISTAX Facts 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.

Rural Journalism: Tracking Agriculture - Thursday, May 18 | 1-2 p.m. Register

What Would Sammy Do? Top Priorities for Sales Today - Thursday, May 25 | 1-2 p.m. 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

Time and Territory Management: Get Out and Do It! - Thursday, May 11 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

A Social Marketing Solution: Why Reviews Matter - Tuesday, May 16 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Monetizing Local Event Listings: 10 Things Every Community Calendar Should Be Doing - Thursday, May 18 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

3 Years Later: The Further Adventures of Billy Penn - Tuesday, May 23 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Digital Agency Best Practices - Tuesday, May 30 | 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

Kevin Slimp: Make Your Reds Red and Your Blues Blue - Wednesday, May 10 | 1 p.m.

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.
  • 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 – Monroe County Herald, Sparta
    • Reporter – Edgerton Reporter
    • Editor – Rock Valley Publishing
    • Digital Sales & Marketing Consultant – Local Matters Digital, Janesville
    • Packaging Supervisor – The Janesville Gazette
    • FOR SALE: Small town community newspaper – The Marion Advertiser
    • FOR SALE: Printing equipment – Wisconsin Newspress, Plymouth 
  • 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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