Committee explores partnerships to benefit papers


Four potential partners presented proposals June 28 to the HSPA board of directors’ content management committee about upgrading the association’s public notice website and other initiatives.

The committee, chaired by Tina West, publisher of The Courier-Times (New Castle), heard ideas about improving, creating a statewide archive of newspapers, and building a clipping service.

Now the committee will weigh the information and make a recommendation to the full HSPA board about whether any projects should proceed and with whom as a partner. 

Making presentations were:

• Ian Buchanan of Newz Group, based in Missouri.

• Beth Bennett and Diane Amato, for the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and Tecnavia Press.

• Allen Beerman and Todd Murphy, for the Nebraska Press Association and Univer­sal Information Services.

• Dennis DeRossett, Sandy Macfarlane and Ron Kline, for the Illinois Press Association.

Several benefits could spring from the potential projects.

The public notice website doesn’t currently cover all Indiana counties. A new system would ensure notices from all HSPA-member newspapers are included.

This would strengthen HSPA’s efforts to preserve the legal requirement of publishing notices in paid-circulation newspapers.

The creation of a statewide digital archive of Indiana newspapers would create a tool for reporters and editors to quickly gather background information for stories and create some potential revenue streams.

This would be the first step to creating an electronic newspaper “museum” for papers in Indiana, West said.

“I am excited to see where this opportunity takes our organization,” she said. “I believe all members will find value in content management. Our goal now is to partner with the company that meets your needs.”

An HSPA-directed clipping service would bring an additional revenue source to the association and possibly its members.

All the projects would require member newspapers to agree to provide to the association with pdf’s of their editions, which would be processed to make the content word-searchable.

HSPA President Greg Morris, publisher of the Indianapolis Business Journal, sat in on the presentations. Other committee members are Robyn McCloskey, publisher of the Kokomo Tribune and Pharos-Tribune (Logansport); Kim Wilson, publisher of the South Bend Tribune; and Kathy Tretter, publisher of the Ferdinand News and Spencer County Leader (Dale).

The long day of vendor meetings was well worth the committee’s time, Morris said.

“I’m particularly interested in the prospects of upgrading HSPA’s public notice website,” he said. “As a newspaper community, we need to ensure Indiana is ‘best in class’ in providing public notice to our citizens in print along with a feature-rich and consumer-friendly online format.”