'The Last Man To Let You Down' finally rolls off press 6/17/19

By Dink NeSmith, chairman, The Press-Sentinel

As sure as principal Tom James would ring the bell at Orange Street Elementary School, I knew I was going to get teased about my father's undertaking profession. I heard a thousand times: "Your daddy is the last man to let you down." Another favorite was "Your daddy is a Southern planter. He plants 'em six feet deep."

As a third- or fourth-grader, that teasing bothered me. In time, I laughed with them. But I didn't laugh at Big Dink because I knew there was a deeper meaning to "the last man to let you down."

Other than in graves, my daddy didn't let people down. To him, a promise made was a debt unpaid.

When he died in 1998, Dink NeSmith Sr. went to Heaven debt-free – financially or otherwise.

Soon after I delivered his eulogy, I made a promise to put his life's story in a book. I am embarrassed that it took so long. For two decades, I wrote and collected stories and photographs. I kept saying, "I'll need to get this done." And one morning, I looked in the mirror and said, "No more procrastinating. This is the 20th anniversary of his death. Get it done!" And with that figurative slap in the face, I got moving.


UFCJC to provide $100,000 in 2019 and 2020 to support student-run newspaper 6/17/19

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications has announced that it is providing $100,000 to The Independent Florida Alligator, the student-run newspaper and website at the University of Florida, to help support the newspaper as a significant immersion experience for students and provider of vital news and information to the UF community.

The College will provide $100,000 for both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 fiscal years. Unlike most college newspapers, The Alligator has not received any direct financial support from the University since it became independent in 1973. This support will not affect The Alligator's journalistic independence going forward.


New study finds Google receives an estimated $4.7 billion in revenue from news publishers' content 6/11/19

The News Media Alliance has published findings from a new study that analyzes how Google uses and benefits from news. Among the major findings of the study is that news is a key source on which Google has increasingly relied to drive consumer engagement with its products. The amount of news in Google search results ranges from 16 to 40 percent, and the platform received an estimated $4.7 billion in revenue in 2018 from crawling and scraping news publishers' content – without paying the publishers for that use.


Rural teens seek (but rarely find) themselves in local news coverage 6/11/19

There is a heightened interest in what goes on in the heads and hearts of modern teenagers – dubbed "Generation Z" (Gen Z) – particularly by legacy media. But teenagers from rural communities, especially in the Midwest, are not often factored into mainstream Gen Z coverage. This can be attributed to a number of factors, such as living in a news desert, living in the middle of the country, and-or unpredictable Wi-Fi access that hampers engagement with news and information sources.


TownNews and Stringr partner to provide video content for local news outlets 6/11/19

TownNews and Stringr have announced a strategic partnership that will enable clients using TownNews' content management systems to easily expand their video inventories with high-resolution pre-packaged videos from Stringr's vast video marketplace.


A revenue reminder to start the summer 6/11/19

By Ebony Reed, director of innovation and the RJI Futures Lab

This summer, the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute's Innovation in Focus web series will take a look at the startup and growing pains of a handful of news organizations' new efforts to raise revenue. Those efforts range from membership models and retooling ownership to new ventures and crowdfunding efforts. The Innovation in Focus summer revenue series starts later this month.

Before we launch into best practices, challenges and takeaways from these organizations in the coming weeks, it seems like now would be a good time to set the table to review some of the more standard revenue models that are already part of many organizations' multi-revenue stream portfolio.

These standard models in journalism are part of eight common revenue models, often taught in university business schools as ways to generate revenue. Paying attention to how they work, separately and together, has become an important skill for journalism as the industry continues to retool, redesign and seek ways to grow revenue strategies.


Brainworks CircSmart's self-service portals helps customers streamline workflow with multiple locations 6/11/19

Brainworks Software customer EO Media Group is a family-owned group of newspapers, websites and other communication entities based in Oregon and Washington. With over 11 newspapers and 25 active users of Brainworks CircSmart, EO Media was looking for a solution to streamline workflow between multiple users in several offices.


Association boards approve plan to consolidate SNPA and Inland 6/5/19

In concurrent board meetings held Wednesday, June 5, directors of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association (SNPA) and the Inland Press Association unanimously approved a plan to consolidate the two associations, effective October 1.

Details of the plan approved by the two boards will be sent to members of both associations on June 7 for their consideration and vote. The result of the member balloting is expected to be announced on June 28.

The consolidated association is crafted to be the champion of the newspaper industry and a proactive voice that promotes the value and contributions of newspapers to the communities that they serve.


Editor & Publisher now accepting entries for the 2019 EPPY Awards 6/4/19

Editor & Publisher Magazine has announced its call for entries for the 2019 EPPYTM Awards, honoring the best in digital media. Now in its 24th year, this international contest has broadened its scope to keep up with the ever-changing internet industry.


How's your printing? 6/4/19

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Judging newspaper print quality isn't a subjective undertaking but a matter of determining how well a paper meets a set of industry standards, according to Kevin Conner, quality assurance manager for The Washington Post.

"The key always rests on ink density and color registration. Those are the key components," he said.

Contest entrants with SNPA's annual Print Quality Contest are evaluated on how closely they meet the standards of SNAP, Specifications for Newsprint Advertising Production. These can be measured objectively with tools such as a densitometer for ink density.

Conner has chaired the SNPA contest for 15 years. Conner said SNAP standards not only make for a fair and objective contest, they offer individual publishers a way to judge for themselves how well their printers are doing the job.

A state-of-the-art printing press certainly helps, but the skills needed to make any press perform are paramount.

"No 1, know how to set ink and water balance correctly," Conner said. "No. 2, color registration: Be able to keep all the color pages in perfect register.

"And then, something that's kind of an intangible but extremely important: You need to have a press that's well maintained. These are the factors that are behind good printing. You have a workforce of highly skilled press operators who know their jobs inside and out."