Does your staff take advantage of events?


By Karen T. Braeckel
HSPA Foundation

The boss left us for the sunny beaches of Florida last week for a well-deserved break after the long legislative session.

Despite the overwhelming temptation, I refrained from giving my opinion on the seizure of the AP phone records in his absence. (He doesn’t like me dabbling in law. I routinely practice medicine, so I really don’t see the problem.)

The power grab by the Department of Justice provides a perfect reason why editors should send their newer writers to this year’s Road for Show for Reporters – Watchdog Reporting for Every Newsroom – Thursday, June 20 in Indianapolis.

The planning committee had no idea the news of such an outrageous act would break a month before the workshop. And certainly many reporters will never have the opportunity to uncover such a huge story.

But as one session title reminds us, reporters should remain “always on guard.”

The workshop features some great Indiana journalism talent.

Annie Goeller, assistant managing editor of the Daily Journal (Franklin), will share personal experiences as a watchdog reporter. Local government officials can run amok as easily as state and national leaders.

The Daily Journal maintains a watchdog mentality as several of the paper’s recent award-winning stories confirm.

One of the first and best in his field will show attendees how to make stories stronger with a simple database.

Mark Nichols, The Indianapolis Star’s computer-assisted reporting coordinator, began this gig before some journalists were even comfortable with a computer monitor on their desk. (In 1995 I still worked at The Star and The News – that’s how long he’s been at it.)

Nichols taught courses on the subject at both Butler and IUPUI and speaks at national and state conferences. Few, if any, can hold a candle to his experience in the field. Your reporters should hear him.

Laura Lane of The Herald-Times (Bloomington) returns to the Road Show to share her tips on cultivating sources and getting people to talk. Lane has her share of hardware from the Better Newspaper Contest as well.

Not many journalists hold the title criminal justice and rural world reporter and also cover animals and write a weekly column about people and their cars.

Our own Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for HSPA, will present his annual session on the Open Door Law and Access to Public Records Act.

Attendees will receive a 2013 AP Stylebook. And George Garties, AP bureau chief for Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, will give a brief update on changes in the guide. (Wonder if he can give his opinion on seizing phone records.)

Register online at Still just $30 including lunch if you register by May 31.

North vs. South Golf Challenge

You still have time to sign up for the 50th annual HSPA Foundation Golf Outing before the May 31 deadline and support important programming. Save your captains a phone call and register your foursome – or yourself – now. You’ll have a great time even if your middle name is not Tiger Woods.

For more information on the June 6 event or to register online, visit

Advertising and Editorial Contests

Want to cause a ruckus today? Ask your editor and advertising director how their contest entries look this year.

The advertising contest deadline rears its ugly head June 7 – just two weeks away.

The Foundation sent editorial rules last week, so your newsroom has two months until the July 26 editorial contest deadline.

Help them avoid the last-minute panic with a gentle reminder.

Salesperson of the Year Award

The Advertising Contest allows newspapers to enter a candidate for salesperson of the year. The award goes to one daily and one nondaily sales rep. It provides a great opportunity to recognize someone who really makes a difference at your newspaper.

We hope to see more nominations for these awards. See the criteria at and submit an entry for your top salesperson.

Newspaper in Education Activities

Before the next issue of The Publisher, we will begin posting weekly NIE activities for parents and teachers on the Foundation website.

We will email members the link and ask you to share it with readers and teachers.

During the summer, activities will change every two weeks. Teachers in your area will appreciate the freshness of the site and the new ideas it provides.

Karen T. Braeckel is director of the HSPA Foundation. Her column runs in the second issue of each month.