HSPA serves publishers, newspaper professionals across Indiana


After watching the HSPA staff (Pam Lego and Shawn Goldsby) put hours of work into preparation for the September advertising and newsroom awards events, coupled with a publisher’s summit on public notices and two board meetings, I’d like to toot our horn.

I think Indiana publishers are more than getting their money’s worth in membership with the Hoosier State Press Association. The services the three-member staff provides could fill a column – and will.

Government affairs continues to be the No. 1 service and why HSPA was created in 1933. Your press association deals with multiple bills each year, not just on public notices, but the Open Door Law, Access to Public Records Act, labor, First Amendment, taxation, recycling issues can pop up. Over the last 20 legislative sessions, HSPA has battled 84 anti-public notices bills.HSPA also represents the Indiana newspaper industry before judicial committees and state government agencies.

Second on the list is legal advice. HSPA is one of only four press associations with an attorney on staff. You are my only “clients.” I’ve been told by publishers that HSPA is able to respond more quickly than legal hotlines in other states manned by outside law firms.We’re available to try and answer any question a publisher, ad director, editor, reporter, or circulation manager might have. If we can’t find the answer, we’ll try to direct you to someone who can help.

None of this happens without the hard work and dedication of Pam and Shawn and the support of publishers, ad directors and editors who serve on our boards and committees.

Next comes our advertising placement program. We recently dropped MAP (Midwest Advertising Placements) as a brand, so you’ll now be seeing those ads come directly from HSPA.

Ad director Lego has consistently placed between $800,000 and $1 million in advertising with newspapers for year after year. The advertising comes to you without your sales staff having to do anything more than make sure the ad runs on the correct date. They can spend more time chasing local advertising dollars.

Training for your members comes on a regular basis, whether it’s the News Media Workshop in the summer or the annual conference in the fall. We also do special training, when needed, such as sessions in the past on the placement of public notices through I.C. 5-3-1.

HSPA also recognizes the excellence of your staffers with the annual contests for advertising design and journalism. Seeing the creative work done by your ad designers and journalistic content is always a highlight of the year for me.

The HSPA Foundation awards nine Eugene S. Pulliam Internships to journalism students each summer. The students work for 10 weeks at Indiana newspapers. The students sharpen skills and build portfolios for graduation. Participating newspapers gain eager and excellent young journalists for 10 weeks.

When needed, the Foundation has funded amicus briefs in cases before the Indiana Supreme Court or Indiana Court of Appeals that touch upon the First Amendment or public’s right to know or protect the business interests of the newspaper industry.

With the help of Ruth Witmer, HSPA keeps you apprised of industry news through The Indiana Publisher, email blasts and social media.

We also provide other less visible services:
HSPAInfo.net allows editors of more than 100 newspapers to share content that can be used to create statewide news pages or briefs, allow your staff to localize a story originating with another newspaper, or can serve as a brainstorming resource for stories to be written.

HSPA disseminates state Board of Accounts reports that have been referred to local prosecutors or state Attorney General to the appropriate local newspapers through an arrangement with the SBOA.

The HSPA Foundation facilitates donations to support Newspapers in Education programs across Indiana.The Foundation provides grants to further the First Amendment and newspaper’s ability to serve as the watchdogs of democracy. One grant this year will help create a graphic novel about the birth of a free press right – the trial of John Peter Zenger, which will be made avail-able to schools not only in Indiana, but across the country.The Foundation yearly awards two Legacy Scholarships to the children or grandchildren of newspaper employees. It’s the Foundation Board’s way of saying thank you to those who make newspapers possible every day of the year.

None of this happens without the hard work and dedication of Pam and Shawn and the support of publishers, ad directors and editors who serve on our boards and committees.

I often tell people how lucky I am to work with the people I do and to do something that I both enjoy and believe is important. I hope you continue to see the value of the Hoosier State Press Association and its Foundation. Look over this column when you next get our dues invoice with its suggested Foundation donation.