Tecnavia Press is currently processing the PDFs of 30 newspapers a week under the Hoosier State Press Association content management program.
That’s only 30 out of 165 HSPA members.
“We’re lagging behind our timeline,” said Steve Key, HSPA’s executive director and general counsel. “The Board of Directors appreciates that it is asking member newspapers to add something to their normal chores, but the extra work is necessary to help protect the interests of Indiana newspapers.”
Jill Ryan Czeck, technical director for Tecnavia Press, said the test website will be ready by June 18.
“It’s not much help to have the test site without the data to test it,” Key said.
To build the website, HSPA members were asked in March to start adding the code “hspaxlp” at the end of each public notice published in their newspapers. The coding allows Tecnavia to identify and pull those notices to populate the website.
Shortly after, Indiana newspapers were asked to start uploading the PDFs to a designated FTP site operated by Tecnavia.
“Publishers are asked to double-check that the coding and uploading are occurring for every issue, not just when someone remembers to do it,” Key said.
The website is part of HSPA’s strategy to protect the future of public notice advertising. Some Indiana newspapers with websites already post the notices online, and HSPA’s website will aggregate the state’s notices as another location for the public to see what government agencies are doing or contemplating.
“The argument to post public notices on government sites is weakened when the notices are already posted by local newspapers,” Key said. “It returns the discussion back to the value of newspaper publication – independent-party responsible, legally verifiable, archivable, and widely accessible.”
With the present focus on public notices, some newspaper personnel have asked why the Board of Directors requests that all their newspaper pages be uploaded, rather than just the pages containing public notices. Key said the content management system could offer other benefits in addition to public notice advertising.
Collection of all the PDF’s will allow HSPA’s advertising arm – Midwest Advertising Placements – to check on advertising scheduled to run. A did-not-run can be identified immediately, which provides an opportunity for MAP to contact the newspaper to have the ad run the next day – satisfying the client and preserving the revenue for the newspaper.
For smaller newspapers that don’t have the ability to build a word-searchable electronic archive of their newspapers, Tecnavia’s technology will create that archive for the newspaper. Key said HSPA’s contract with Tecnavia covers the cost for the newspapers.
Collection of the PDFs also opens the door for the Hoosier State Press Association to explore ways to help newspapers monetize their content.
“For publishers wary that uploading their PDFs will harm their revenue potential, I can only say that HSPA is operated by a board of fellow newspaper publishers, and they aren’t going to approve projects that would harm member newspapers,” Key said.
HSPA won’t share content without a newspaper’s permission, he added.
If any newspaper needs the uploading instructions resent, please contact Shawn Goldsby at email@example.com.
If publishers have questions about the purpose of the project or why all newspaper pages are needed, contact Key at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 624-4427.