Document 53918

Volume 27, No. 2
March 2002
Get Your Kicks In Joplin June 26-30 ........................................................Page 1, Page 3-4
President’s Report.............................................................................................Page 2 -3
ISWNEWS ..........................................................................................................Page 5-6
ISWNE new member ..............................................................................................Page 7
Golden Quill entries up slightly this year .................................................................Page 8
Learning to speak ‘corporate’.................................................................................Page 9
‘Thank you, Mr. President...’.................................................................................Page 10
2002 — a vintage year to visit the UK.....................................................................Page 11
And the bad new is...well read .............................................................................Page 12
Reaction of marketplace is punishment enough ....................................................Page 13
Five hot-type weeklies remaining ........................................................................Page 13
Brake finally having fun with his upstart paper........................................Page 15, Page 20
Joplin Conference Registration.............................................................................Page 16
Joplin Conference Schedule ...........................................................................Page 17-18
Visit the ISWNE’s Web site:
Published by the Institute of International Studies, Missouri Southern State College, Joplin, MO
Get your kicks in Joplin June 26-30
Get your kicks on Route 66 and Jop-lin
Miss-ouree, as the old Bobby Troop song
Joplin, Mo., right in the middle of “The
Mother Road” and “America’s Main
Street,” will be the scene of the 2002
ISWNE conference, June 26-30.
Conference fees,
which include all
lodging, meals, and
entertainment, are
$395 for adults and
$195 for children if
paid by May 15.
Delegates will stay
in suite-style housing
at Missouri Southern
State College. Each
suite-style apartment
can accommodate
four or five delegates. Each apartment consists of two
bedrooms, self-contained bath, and living room with
kitchenette alcove, microwave, and
refrigerator. Each bedroom is furnished
with twin extra-long beds, stationary
wardrobes, chest of drawers and desks.
The living room area is furnished with
two chairs, one sofa, two end tables,
coffee table, and lamps.
After registration and check-in from 8
a.m. to noon Wednesday, June 26 and
lunch in the Student Life Center, the
conference officially opens at 1 p.m.
with a program by Brad Belk, director
of the Joplin Museum Complex, on
Joplin’s colorful history and scientific
wonders. Joplin, founded in 1873 as a
lead and zinc-mining community,
gained notoriety for the nightlife of its
saloons, the most famous of which was
the House of Lords. In 1933, Bonnie
and Clyde killed two law enforcement
officers in a shootout that brought
Joplin national publicity. Famous
Joplinites include Langston Hughes,
John Beal, Bob Cummings, Gabby
Street, Percy “On Moonlight Bay”
Wenrich, and Dennis Weaver. Mickey
Mantle, who grew up in nearby
Commerce, Okla., got his start with the
Joplin Miners baseball team in 1949.
Joplin’s scientific wonders include
Grand Falls, the only continuously running waterfalls in the state of Missouri;
Crystal Cave, a giant calcite-lined cavity discovered in 1894; and the
Spooklight, a nocturnal light with a
100-year history that glows along the
Missouri-Oklahoma border.
ISWNE member Kim
McCully, editor of
the Aurora (Mo.)
Advertiser, will present a program at
2:30 p.m. on
“Ozarks Culture &
Folklore.” McCully,
who recently completed her master’s
degree in education
at Drury University
in Springfield, Mo.,
focused her research
on storytelling, folklore, outlaws, literature, ballads, and
preserving the language and customs of the Ozarks. She
credits her passion for Ozarks culture
and folklore to those childhood summer
months spent traipsing around with her
grandparents in northwest Arkansas.
At 4 p.m., conference attendees will
board a bus headed for Galena, Mo,
and an Ozarks hootenanny. The backdrop will be a cabin owned by Dr. John
Moore, president of Drury University, on
continued on page 3
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
By Bill Haupt
Lodi Enterprise, Lodi, Wis.
We’re always looking to share the
ISWNE gospel.
In that spirit, I met on March 1 with
Phil Haslanger, the managing editor
of The Capital Times in nearby
Madison, Wis. In addition to Phil’s
duties at the feisty daily, he also
toils as the president of the National
Conference of Editorial Writers
(NCEW). So we connected to do a
presidential thing: pose for pictures,
confer with aides, dine at sumptuous banquets and smile while we
wait for translations. Does this surprise you?
Truthfully, the presidential
entourage included just Phil and
me. The setting was the cafeteria
below the Cap Times editorial
offices, and the menu consisted of
coffee. Phil paid. One friendly colleague from the neighboring
Wisconsin State Journal briefly
intervened to impugn my character.
We both spoke English.
Bottom line: we’ve got a lot in common.
NCEW members hail from primarily
daily newspapers and also broadcasting outlets that offer editorial
comments. Phil said they have
about 600 domestic and international members and an annual
budget of about $150,000. They
hold an annual conference featuring six-hour editorial critique ses-
sions. They publish The Masthead, a
quarterly journal about editorial
stuff. They organize trips abroad.
Sound familiar?
NCEW is obviously a bigger group
than ISWNE. But just as obviously,
we share the same mission of
encouraging strong editorial voices
and press freedom. We sense that by
working together, we may create
some exciting synergy and support.
At a minimum, we want to spark
some dialogue.
Phil is trying to find room in a busy
summer calendar to join us in
Joplin and combine a side trip to
Kansas to visit his daughter. He also
invited me to appear as a guest at
the NCEW conference next
September in Nashville.
Additionally, we will approach the
Wisconsin Newspaper Association
about jointly conducting an editorial critique session at their convention next January.
That’s a good start. As most of you
have learned, you can’t have too
many friends in this business.
* * * * *
Congrats to our former ISWNE
Executive Secretary Dick Lee, who
was named 2002 Freedom Forum
Journalism Administrator of the
Year. Dick’s recognition and his
acceptance speech were well chronicled in the January/February
newsletter. I think anyone who
knows Dick felt a special sense of
pride that one of our ISWNE folks
earned this honor. Good for you,
Richard. And keep up the great
work on your journalism diversity
efforts at South Dakota State.
* * * * *
Final arrangements are pending,
but it appears that our editorial critiques road show will stop in
Louisville, Kentucky in April. Past
President Tim Waltner (Freeman
Courier, Freeman, S.D.) and I will be
leading the sessions at Landmark
Community Newspapers, and
ISWNE Secretary/Treasurer Chad
Stebbins will join us. We’ll keep you
* * * * *
It’s almost time to get into that
“serious planning” mode for the
Joplin conference from June 26-30.
Chad has shared the tentative agenda and it looks like a real winner.
Hope to see you there.
March 2002
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Get your kicks in Joplin
the banks of the historic James River.
The cabin is on a Century Tree farm
owned and operated by John and
Connie Johnson of Galena. The
Johnsons have a colorful background
and a unique insight to the hills and
hollers of the Ozarks.
Authentic bluegrass music and folk
tunes will fill the air, as a variety of
entertainers will be on hand to perform.
Attendees will be able to visit informally with storytellers and entertainers
throughout dinner, which will consist of
a fish fry, hamburgers, hot dogs, cole
slaw, hushpuppies, and watermelon. At
approximately 7 p.m., the Mountain
Maid will take the spotlight. Tracie
Snodgrass (the Mountain Maid) makes
her home in the woods of Barry
County, Mo., not far from where the
famous Ozarkian clairvoyant Jeanne
Wallace, the original Mountain Maid,
lived in the early 1900s. Typically,
Wallace helped folks find lost livestock
or helped steer them through difficult
times with her “sixth sense.” Snodgrass
literally takes on the form of the elderly
woman in dress, actions, and language
as part of her performance.
Children (and interested spouses) will
have a special activity on Thursday,
June 27. They’ll depart at 9 a.m. for
Roaring River State Park, nestled in the
midst of Mark Twain National Forest,
just south of Cassville, Mo. The 3,000plus acres of mountain-like hills and
canyoned valleys cut by the White River
are covered with vegetation. The
numerous varieties of oak, hickory, and
pine trees are home to a bounty of little
critters including raccoons, ground
hogs, muskrats, squirrels, chipmunks,
possums, armadillo, as well as the
white-tailed deer and American eagles.
As part of its development in the 1930s
by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the
park manages its own hatchery and
stocks the spring-fed river daily with
trout ready for the catching.
A hatchery tour will be a part of the
visit, as well as a presentation and
activity provided for the children by one
of the park’s many naturalists. A sack
lunch will be provided midday. Other
activities include swimming in the river,
several walking and hiking trails, play-
March 2002
from page 1
grounds, and of course, fishing. If at all
possible, ISWNE participants are asked
to bring their own poles. Randy
Hopkins, president of the Joplin FlyFishing Club, has volunteered to join us
in helping our young anglers with baiting, casting, and proper techniques for
reeling in the big one.
Meanwhile, back at the Joplin conference, attendees will hear Michael
Wallis, author of Route 66: The Mother
Road, speak on “Romancing the Mother
Road” at 9:30 a.m. Wallis, nominated
three times for the Pulitzer Prize and the
National Book Award, is a former newspaper reporter and magazine writer
and special correspondent for Time, Inc.
At 11 a.m., three Missouri weekly news-
paper editors and David Burke of the
Tuam (Ireland) Herald will pontificate
on “When the big one lands on your
doorstep,” interesting and unusual stories they have had to cover.
One of the conference highlights is a
panel discussion of “Trends in
Community Journalism” at 1:30 p.m.
Thursday featuring four noted scholars
in the field: Jock Lauterer, director of
the Carolina Community Media project
at the University of North Carolina;
Gloria Freeland, director of the Huck
Boyd National Center for Community
Media at Kansas State University; Harry
Hix, the Engleman/Livermore professor
of Community Journalism at the
University of Oklahoma; and Jim
Sterling, Missouri Community
Newspaper Management Chair at the
University of Missouri. The Greenslade
Bursary recipient (an Irish editor to be
named) and Brian Burmester, editor
and publisher of Local News New
Zealand, each will have about 45 minutes to make presentations following
the panel discussion.
Attendees will enjoy a program and
catered brisket dinner at George
Washington Carver National
Monument, a few miles southeast of
Joplin, in the evening. The park consists
of 210 acres of the original 240-acre
Moses Carver homestead. The visitor
center includes a museum with exhibits
that trace George W. Carver’s life from
his birth through his youth at the
Carver farm, to his role as an artist,
educator and humanitarian, as well as
his world-renowned work as a scientist.
The three-fourths-mile walking trail
winds its way through the woodland
and tall grass prairie. Included at the
monument are the Carver bust, birthplace site, boyhood statue, William’s
Pond, 1881 Moses Carver dwelling, and
Carver family cemetery.
ISWNE members Gary and Helen
Sosniecki, of Lebanon, Mo., have
arranged for several members of the
Missouri Ozarks Press Association to
participate in Thursday’s conference
activities at a special one-day rate. In
addition, the Missouri Press Association
is sponsoring the dinner at the George
Washington Carver National
Monument and a few MPA board members are expected to attend.
The editorial critiques session, a mainstay of every ISWNE conference, opens
Friday’s program. At 11 a.m., Tony
Stephenson, a retired educator/administrator from Republic, Mo., will give an
account of the 1932 Young Brothers
Massacre, which resulted in the deaths
of six police officers. The children will
have another separate activity at 1:30
p.m., an excursion to The Swimmin’
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Hole Water Park in Joplin. Following a
45-minute monologue on “The Human
Truman,” by Niel Johnson, a retired
archivist and oral historian from the
Truman Library in Independence, Mo.,
attendees will chose either a visit to
Contract Freighters, Inc. or King Press.
CFI has evolved into North America’s
premier truckload carrier with an international fleet of more than 2,000 tractors and 6,000 trailers. King Press, headquartered in Joplin, is one of the principal manufacturers of web offset presses
for newspapers.
The Golden Quill and Eugene Cervi
awards banquet will be held Friday
evening at Missouri Southern. The children will have a separate pizza party in
the college’s Student Life Center.
On Saturday, delegates will board buses
for Branson, Mo., “The Live Music Show
Capital of the World.” Branson has
become the No. 1 tour bus destination
in the United States and is only a day’s
drive from well over half of the nation’s
population. From the rustic Ozark craft
shops and spectacular outlet shopping
malls, to the world-class music/entertainment shows and theme/amusement
parks, Branson has something for
everyone. There are more theater seats
in Branson than there are in New York
Silver Dollar City is a reconstructed
turn-of-the-century village featuring
Ozarks Mountain craft shops with daily
demonstrations by authentic craftsmen
(i.e. candle making, glass blowing, taffy
pulling, woodworking, blacksmithing,
leather crafting, weaving, painting,
etc.). Silver Dollar City presents music
and entertainment on 12 stages, a
demonstrating craft colony 100-strong,
dozens of rides, and the world-class
National Kids’ Fest (SDC partners with
some of the top names in children’s
entertainment to present kid-acclaimed
performances such as Veggie Tales and
The amusement park includes log
plunges, flooded mines, train trips, and
tree houses. Food stands throughout the
park feature unique mountain food
such as pork rinds, funnel cakes, baked
potatoes, roasting ears in the shuck, hot
dogs, hamburgers, polish sausages, and
ice cream. There are also full-service
ventriloquist Todd Oliver, Broadway
There is plenty to keep you hopping, or
singer/performer Gregg Busch, the talmany opportunities to sit under the
ented “Steppin’ Out” quartet of
shade and listen to live entertainment
singers/dancers, and the Russian adagio
and folklore.
dancers Elena and Vadim Serykh.
Those who do not wish to spend the
Plan on a very late night; those going
entire day at Silver Dollar City can opt
will arrive back in Joplin between 12:30
to attend the “Lost in the Fifties” music
and 1 a.m. Breakfast will be served
show at 2 p.m. in downtown Branson.
between 8 and 9 the next morning
Here you will experience the happy,
(Sunday), if you’re able to get up that
feel-good music of the 1950s. You will
early after all the excitement of the
see poodle shirts, scarves, bowling
four-day conference. After saying goodshirts, and letter jackets. You will hear
byes, ISWNE members will look forward
the familiar sounds of rock-n-roll, dooto the 2003 conference in Galway,
wop, and blues. The theatre alone is
worth a visit with its 11,000-square-foot Ireland.
atrium lobby and 19,560 square feet of
glass. You can enjoy
refreshment from the
authentic 1950s soda
Following the show, a
Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau
short trip will be made
to the Factory
Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce
Merchants Outlet Mall,
the largest outlet center
in Branson with 90
Missouri Southern State College
stores. You can stroll
from store to store under
canopied walkways or
Missouri Southern State College housing
through courtyards with trees and seaing.html
sonal flower displays.
The Spooklight
At 7 p.m. the ISWNE
Silver Dollar City and
music show/shopping will meet at the
White River Landing for
Roaring River State Park
an evening cruise on
Table Rock Lake aboard
George Washington Carver National Monument
the Showboat Branson
Belle. The dinner menu
features beef tenderloin,
Young Brothers Massacre
Atlantic salmon withéarnaise sauce, garlic
potatoes and steamed
Contract Freighters, Inc.
vegetables, with a grand
finale of flaming baked
King Press Corporation
The spectacular award
winning “Steppin’ Out”
Branson, Mo.
stage show will also be
held in the 700-seat
ing theater. Named
Silver Dollar City
Branson’s Best Dinner
Show for three straight
Showboat Branson Belle
years, the “Steppin’
Out” show features
nationally acclaimed
Some helpful web sites:
March 2002
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Longford Leader changes hands Beasley’s encyclopedia receives honor
Eugene McGee, the managing editor of The Longford Leader in
Ireland, announced on Feb. 11 that he had sold the newspaper
to Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) for £5.6 million sterling ($7.9
The Longford Leader was founded in 1897 and has a paid-for
circulation in the Irish midlands of around 11,000. McGee and
all 20 staff will be staying on in their positions. Indeed he stated that this was the main reason why he opted for SRH from
several would-be purchasers.
“SRH has bought four other local papers in Ireland in the past
few years and they have a policy of leaving things exactly as
they are,” McGee said. “So there will be no change to the format, style or editorial attitude of The Longford Leader after this
sale. This was very important to me, as like all local newspapers The Leader is a vital part of the local community in
County Longford and I would not want anything to interfere
with that.”
SRH owns about a dozen local newspapers in Scotland and the
same number in Northern Ireland. McGee was the Greenslade
Bursary editor at the ISWNE conference in Erie, Pa., in 1998
and also attended the Nova Scotia conference in 1999.
Waltners purchase neighboring weekly
On April 1, after 102 years in the Headley family, ownership
of the Hutchinson Herald, the weekly paper serving the small
rural South Dakota community of Menno, will be transferred
to Mary and Tim L. Waltner of Freeman.
The Waltners have owned and published the Freeman (S.D.)
Courier since 1984. Bill Headley, the third generation of the
Headley family, and the Waltners reached agreement in late
February for the transfer of ownership of the Herald, which
has been published for 120 years. Menno is located 16 miles
southwest of Freeman.
Erik Kaufman, a Freeman native who has been part of the
Courier staff since September 2000, will serve as news editor of
the Herald. Other members of the present Courier staff will also
be part of the production team for both weeklies.
“We will continue to publish the Herald as an independent
weekly newspaper,” Waltner said. And, he added, “although we
may be purchasing the Herald, we believe a community newspaper really belongs to the people of the community it serves.”
March 2002
The Eleanor Roosevelt Encyclopedia, co-edited by ISWNE
member Maurine Beasley, has received an “Editor’s Choice
Award for 2001” from Booklist, the journal of the American
Library Association.
The encyclopedia brings together basic information illuminating Roosevelt’s complex career and makes the interaction
between her private and public lives assessable to scholars,
students, and the general public. The 200-plus entries provide
easy access to material showing how Roosevelt changed the
first lady’s role in politics, widened opportunities for women,
became a liberal leader during the Cold War era, and served
as a guiding spirit at the United Nations.
The 656-page book sells for $65 through the Greenwood
Publishing Group,
Beasley is a professor of journalism of the University of
Maryland, where she specializes in women and media. She
has published seven books, including Eleanor Roosevelt and
the Media: A Public Quest for Self-Fulfillment (1987) and The
White House Conferences of Eleanor Roosevelt (1983).
Pearl Serbus reviews John Whalen’s book
ISWNE member Pearl Serbus, who lives in Buffalo Grove, Ill.,
but is a member of the Arkansas affiliate of the National
Federation of Press Women, reviewed John Whalen’s
Maverick Among the Magnolias in the NFPW
January/February newsletter. Serbus learned of the book from
the August ISWNE newsletter.
“In her retirement, Pearl delights in baking cookies for friends
and acquaintances and they are delicious, to which I can
attest, having been the recipient of two batches in recent
months,” Whalen writes. “The cookies, Pearl says, ‘are just a
token of my appreciation for all your efforts in Hazel’s
[Brannon Smith] behalf.’”
Serbus is presenting an autographed copy of Maverick to the
NFPW library in memory of Brannon Smith. The book can
be ordered online through the publisher,, or from,, or
The Wisconsin Regional Writer, the newsletter of the
Wisconsin Regional Writers’ Association, reviewed Maverick
in its Winter issue.
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Mihalek’s paper fares well in Ohio contest
Phyllis Karolevitz beats breast cancer
The Yellow Springs News won five awards at the 2002 Osman
C. Hooper Newspaper Show, the premier contest for Ohio
weekly newspapers.
The awards were announced Feb. 14 in Columbus, Ohio, at
the annual convention of the Ohio Newspaper Association,
which along with its Weekly Newspaper Committee, sponsored the contest. Forty-two papers participated in the contest, which included newspapers published between Aug. 1,
2000, and July 31, 2001.
Competing against 13 other papers in the division for the
state’s smallest weeklies (papers with a circulation less than
2,240), the News placed first in three categories: Advertising,
Local Features and Special Editions, for the 2000-2001 “Guide
to Yellow Springs.”
Robert Mihalek, the paper’s editor and an ISWNE member,
won third place in the Editorials category for editorials he
submitted commenting on low-voter turnout during a recent
recall election, a controversial affordable housing project,
and an effort to build a commerce park in Yellow Springs.
Contributor Jimmy Chesire, one of the organizers of the local
youth tee-ball program, received an honorable mention prize
in the Original Columns category for his seasonal column on
Phyllis Karolevitz, who was diagnosed with breast cancer
nearly a year ago, reports that her last checkup was great
and that she is suffering no ill effects. “I’m very positive
about it and don’t even think about it that much,” she says.
Phyllis completed 32 radiation treatments last summer. She
and Bob are planning to attend the ISWNE conference in
Joplin, their first one since Nova Scotia in 1999.
Tuam Herald stacks up the awards
It’s been a good awards season for The Tuam Herald, with
two writing awards so far for senior reporter Tony Galvin,
who is now news editor.
This time it’s the turn of staff photographer Ray Ryan, who
has had four pictures selected for Ireland’s annual 100 Best
Press Photographs exhibition. This is open to all press photographers, and there were more than 1,200 entries.
Drew Cochrane has brush with Kuwaiti military
One of ISWNE’s newest members, Drew Cochrane, almost
ended up with a criminal conviction in the hotspot of the
Middle East.
He was invited to Kuwait by the Caledonian Society to speak
and perform the works of great Scottish poet Robert Burns,
whose memory is marked every year on his birthdate, Jan.
25. Only hours before Cochrane was to appear at the dinner,
he was taken to the “tanks graveyard” near the Kuwaiti-Iraqi
border. This is where the burned out and redundant Iraqi
tanks were dumped after being blasted by the U.S. during the
Gulf War.
While taking pictures at the desert location — and trying to
keep a pack of wild dogs at bay — the Kuwait military
arrived. “It was like a scene from a movie as they tore the
film from my camera and marched us back to the checkpoint
for interrogation,” Cochrane said.
The Scottish editor was released in time to speak at the Burns
Supper and had a story to write for his Largs & Millport
News. As Burns wrote, “The best laid schemes of mice and
men gang aft agley.”
Norio Tamura keeping busy in Japan
Norio Tamura is a professor of community journalism studies
and dean of the Graduate School of Communication Studies
at Tokyo Keizai University. He reports that he has many students, including six doctoral students and seven master’s students. They are studying the Japanese community media,
including local weekly newspapers, cable television systems,
city magazine companies, and many other subjects.
Tamura and his wife, Ayako, are planning to attend the
ISWNE conference in Joplin. It will be their first conference
since 1999 in Nova Scotia.
Jeremy Waltner to play ‘Jigger’ in musical
The new year has gotten off to a blistering start for Jeremy
Waltner in Freeman, S.D. “A variety of activities — work,
hanging with friends, girls (we’ll say nothing more of that) —
has kept me both busy and contented as 2002 clips along,”
Jeremy writes. “But the biggest deal in my life right now is
my role in this year’s Schmeckfest musical production of
For those who don’t know, Schmeckfest is an annual community celebration commemorating the German heritage of
which Freeman was founded upon 123 years ago. The threeday festival — which began in 1959 — draws thousands and
features ethnic art, crafts and food, including a full-blown
German meal that 1,000 enjoy every night of Schmeckfest.
There’s also the full-scale musical production. This year’s
musical is Carousel, and Jeremy plays Jigger, the bad influence.
“We’ve been rehearsing three nights a week for about a
month,” he says. “As March rolls on, the schedule will only
intensify. Performances are April 4, 5, 6 and 7. If you’ve got
nothing to do during that time, come to Freeman. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.”
Alex Haupt advances to state wrestling meet
Alex Haupt advanced to individual state wrestling tournament competition in February. A junior at Lodi (Wis.) High
School wrestling at 125 pounds, Alex won his first match but
lost to the eventual champion 3-0 in a quarterfinal contest.
Alex has attended the last six consecutive ISWNE conferences
with his family.
March 2002
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
ISWNE new members
ISWNE has 7 new members, including three from Australia
Chris Johnson is the editor of Western
Australia’s The Geraldton Guardian — published three times a week. Geraldton is a large
regional centre located 400 kilometres north of
Western Australia’s capital city, Perth.
He is a Walkley Award recipient. The Walkley
Awards for Excellence in Journalism are compared in Australia to the Pulitzer Prizes and
regarded as the country’s highest accolades in
Johnson has accumulated multiple awards for journalism
throughout his career and is dedicated to excellence in reporting.
In addition to writing editorials for each issue of his newspaper,
he still enjoys reporting on some of the major issues of the region
He is the immediate past president of the Rural Media
Association of Western Australia and a fierce advocate for the
rights of communities outside of the major capital cities.
Johnson is the author of the book Shares Affair: Geraldton’s
Impact on the 2001 Race for Government. It retells the political
scandal he revealed during Western Australia’s last general election. The scandal involved a Geraldton-based politician who was
also, incidentally, a shareholder of the newspaper Johnson edits.
His hard-hitting reports and editorials during the election won
him his Walkley Award.
He has been the editor of two weekly newspapers prior to his current position.
Johnson is married with two children and has a Bachelor of Arts
degree from Edith Cowan University.
Dean Gould is the editor-in-chief of The
Northern Star, an APN Newspapers regional
newspaper in the state of New South Wales,
Australia. APN Newspapers is Australia’s
largest publisher of regional newspapers, producing 14 daily and more than 50 non-daily
Gould has twice won the Pacific Area
Newspaper Publishers Association (PANPA)
Newspaper of the Year Award. He is a member
of the PANPA Editorial Advisory Panel and the Southern Cross
University Industry Advisory Panel to its journalism school.
Gould headed up APN Newspapers’ team covering the Sydney
2000 Olympic Games. He has won awards for his investigative
reporting, news design and editorial writing. He has worked on
regional papers in Australia and a metro afternoon daily in the
Republic of Ireland as chief sub-editor.
In 1992 he was selected for a Rotary Group Study Exchange to
the United Kingdom visiting newspapers there and has visited
newspaper organizations in Europe, Africa and India.
March 2002
Don Campbell is editor and publisher of the Port Stephens
Examiner in Raymond Terrace, New South Wales, Australia.
David Green is editor and publisher of the Morenci Observer in
Morenci, Mich., “where time is killed humanely.” Green’s paper,
with a circulation of 2,389 subscribers, has a reputation for earning top awards from the Michigan Press Association for editorial
writing and design. For the year 2001, his paper was named
Newspaper of the Year by the MPA.
Ron Shamma is publisher of the Clarkston Eccentric in Clarkston,
Mich., with a circulation of about 9,000 on Sunday and
Wednesday. The Clarkston Eccentric is part of the Observer and
Eccentric group owned by HomeTown Communications. His editorial pages took first place in the Michigan Press Association
awards for 2001; the judges liked the way he uses photos instead
of cartoons on the editorial page and praised the Eccentric’s editorial on “Hiding Government in e-mail.” His web site can be
found at
Karl Kling is editor of the Milford (Mich.) Times, circulation
5,500. The Times is also part of HomeTown Communications.
Karl took second in the Michigan Press Association competition
for editorial writing. Judges said: “This writer tells the facts in a
great descriptive manner; a reader can’t help but finish it without stopping.”
Dr. Robert H. Linnell, from White River Junction, Vermont, has
been writing a new oped every week and publishing it at “We have had an enthusiastic response,”
Linnell says. “All the opeds are based on my extensive and
diverse background in the Middle East, in government and in
academia. I am now professor emeritus, University of Southern
California. We have no ads and accept no funds from any commercial sources.”
Linnell offers his opeds at no cost to newspapers. They are 500 to
900 words on timely topics that are of importance to the United
States and the world.
“Weekly papers seem to be those that use our opeds the most,”
he says. “Every oped is carefully researched and we try to present
a broader picture than the typical opeds in the daily press which,
all too often, provide only a narrow perspective. If there is some
way I could let your members know of these quality opeds which
are available to them at no cost, I would like to do so.”
Linnell has taught in the Middle East (at the American University
of Beirut) and at the University of New Hampshire, the University
of Vermont, and the University of Southern California. He has
several patents and publications in science and education.
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Golden Quill entries up slightly this year
113 Golden Quill entries were received from 61 people this year, up from 108 entries and 58 people in 2001.
Rick Barrs
New Times Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Calif.
Ann Marie Gonsalves
The Valley Voice
Hellertown, Pa.
Christine Lupella
Pine River Journal
Pine River, Minn.
Jon A. Brake
Manhattan Free Press
Manhattan, Kan
Lisa Gray
Houston Press
Houston, Texas
Paul MacNeill
The Eastern Graphic
Montague, PEI, Canada
Mike Buffington
The Jackson Herald
Jefferson, Ga.
Melissa Hale-Spencer
The Altamont Enterprise
Altamont, N.Y.
Bradley A. Martin
Hickman County Times
Centerville, Tenn.
Bryce Butler
The Altamont Enterprise
Altamont, N.Y.
Ray Hartmann
Riverfront Times
St. Louis, Mo.
Kim McCully
The Aurora Advertiser
Aurora, Mo.
Patricia Calhoun
Denver, Colo.
Bill Haupt
The Lodi Enterprise
Lodi, Wis.
John Mecklin
SF Weekly
San Francisco, Calif.
Eric Celeste
Dallas Observer
Dallas, Texas
Margaret Hennigar
The Bulletin
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada
Michele Merens
CNI Newspapers, Inc
New Berlin, Wis.
Rachel Clarke
The Representative
Leduc, Alberta, Canada
Roger Holmes
The Wainwright Star Chronicle
Wainwright, Alberta, Canada
Robert Mihalek
Yellow Springs News
Yellow Springs, Ohio
David Cox
Villager Journal
Cherokee Village, Ark.
Jack Howser
Edwards County Times Advocate
Albion, Ill.
Jim Mullin
Miami New Times
Miami, Fla.
Jim DeFede
Miami New Times
Miami, Fla.
Angela Howser
Edwards County Times Advocate
Albion, Ill.
Mitchell Naylor
The Oakdale Leader
Oakdale, Calif.
Margaret Downing
Houston Press
Houston, Texas
Judy Johnson
The Times of Acadiana
Lafayette, La.
Leslie O’Donnell
Newport, Ore.
Robert H. Estabrook
The Lakeville Journal
Lakeville, Conn.
John William Johnson
The New Eagle
Hawley, Pa.
Mary Owen
The Stayton Mail
Stayton, Ore.
Harrison Fletcher
Denver, Colo.
Pete Kotz
Cleveland Scene
Cleveland, Ohio
Jim Painter
West Valley View
Litchfield Park, Ariz.
Elliott Freireich
West Valley View
Litchfield Park, Ariz.
Peter Lesniak
Yukon News
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Martha Perkins
Haliburton County Echo
Haliburton, Ont., Canada
Angela Gary
The Banks County News
Homer, Ga.
Bill Lueders
Madison, Wis.
Joan Plaxton
The Valleyview Valley Views
Valleyview, Alberta, Canada
Charles Gay
Shelton-Mason County Journal
Shelton, Wash.
Susan Lundy
Gulf Islands Driftwood
Salt Spring Island, B.C., Canada
Laura Putre
Cleveland Scene
Cleveland, Ohio
Tim Redmond
San Francisco Guardian
San Francisco, Calif.
Donna Remer
The Armada Times
The Voice
Armada, Mich.
Tony Richards
Gulf Islands Driftwood
Salt Spring Island, B.C., Canada
Bill Schanen
Ozaukee Press
Port Washington, Wis.
Jim Schutze
Dallas Observer
Dallas, Texas
James V. Smith
Shelby Promoter
Shelby, Mont.
Matt Smith
SF Weekly
San Francisco, Calif.
Brett Sokol
Miami New Times
Miami, Fla.
Fred Steiner
The Bluffton News
Bluffton, Ohio
Jill Stewart
New Times Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Calif.
Chuck Strouse
News Times Broward/Palm Beach
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Karen Cord Taylor
The Beacon Hill Times
Boston, Mass.
Jack Ventimiglia
Liberty Sun News
Liberty, Mo.
Jeremy Waltner
Freeman Courier
Freeman, S.D.
Tim L. Waltner
Freeman Courier
Freeman, S.D.
Dan Wehmer
Webster County Citizen
Seymour, Mo.
March 2002
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Learning to speak ‘corporate’
By Clyde Wills
ISWNE board member
Editor & Publisher, Metropolis Planet
Metropolis, Ill.
After spending most of my life in
family-owned newspapers, I now
find myself a corporate employee.
I grew up in what was truly a family operation. My father was ownereditor-publisher of a small weekly
in western Kentucky. My mother
served as proofreader and the six of
us boys worked up from janitors to
typesetters, photographers and
After college, and a few years of the
insurance business, I jumped back
into the newspaper business. For
the first few years my direction
came from the paper’s owner, who
was the publisher of a nearby daily.
Following his death, his family
moved from the area and turned
over the operation of The
Metropolis Planet to me.
So for 20 years I was almost completely on my own. The owner family received monthly reports and
stopped by every year or two to
make certain the real estate was
still there. Other than deciding to
build a new building, start a total
market coverage publication, and
similar decisions, I was on my own.
It was very close to an ideal situation.
There were some small drawbacks
— the pay was not great, and the
opportunity never developed to buy
an interest in the paper. The big
problem was — it could end someday.
That day finally came. The family
owners decided it was time to sell.
My wife and I thought seriously
about buying the paper, but when
March 2002
the bidding went past our limit, we
dropped out. At 55, we did not
want to be in debt for another 15 or
20 years.
Not buying the paper left me in the
situation of trying to find a newspaper job in another area, trying
something completely different, or
working for the new owners. I chose
what I thought was going to be the
same position under new ownership. That meant a year of learning
to operate in an environment
where the company includes 60
The middle of the first month I got
an e-mail saying, “We forgot to tell
you, we flash on the 15th.” Feeling
that daily staff members probably
did not throw open their raincoats
to celebrate mid-month, I wondered, “What the hell is a flash?” I
learned it is a projection of that
month’s income and expenses.
Thus began a year of learning,
changing and stress that took its
toll on the Planet staff, and on me.
Among the changes that year were
our software for bookkeeping, circulation, classified and pagination.
We now use the systems selected by
the nearby daily, which may be
best for them, but cause some problems for a weekly.
Another surprise was being told
that the next week our pages would
have to be completed at 11 a.m.
instead of 5 p.m. Now, all employees work on Monday nights, instead
of just two or three of us.
One of the biggest headaches has
been changing some delivery of our
total market coverage product from
third class mail to carriers.
Following two months of mass confusion at both the daily and the
Planet, the daily carriers were still
not getting the job done. So, the
decision was
made that
the Planet
would hire
and supervise
its own carriers. By
changing to
money is
being saved,
but we have
spent countless hours lis- Clyde Wills
tening to
complaints, including having the
city aldermen accuse us of littering.
A year and a half after the sale,
most of the changes have been
completed without major problems.
We can now paginate and electronically send the pages to the daily in
a way that actually works better
than our old paste-up system.
When our computers break down,
we have someone to call on for
help. So there are some advantages
to being part of a corporation. And
most importantly, the corporation
has not made any attempts to dictate editorial policy.
Perhaps the most difficult changes
have been for me personally. I’ve
learned, and am continuing to
learn, corporate methods. I’m
learning to reduce my community
involvement in order to accommodate new priorities. I’ve adjusted to
new schedules. The list goes on and,
in general, I’ve been pleased that I
am flexible enough to adjust to the
changes. The really difficult adjustment has been remembering that I
am responsible to others, not on an
annual but on a daily basis.
Old dogs learn some new tricks
more slowly than others.
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
‘Thank you, Mr. President ...’
By Donna Remer
ISWNE board member
Editor, Voice Newspapers
New Baltimore, Mich.
For 57 years, Helen Thomas worked for
UPI covering eight presidents. She almost
always asked the first question at a press
conference and she was the one who
closed the session with the firm pronouncement: “Thank you Mr. President.”
More than one president, dangling on a
difficult line of questioning, probably
wished she had spoken up sooner.
Now, she is a syndicated columnist for
Hearst newspapers and she admits, with
a pleased smile, that she is “... the last of
the Mohicans, a liberal columnist.”
Her two favorite presidents are JFK,
because he put a man on the moon and
gave the American people an ideal to
work toward, and LBJ because of his
work on the domestic front with
Medicare and the Civil Rights and
Voting Rights acts.
“He provided a foundation so people in
this country do not starve or lack for
education,” she said of Johnson.
She likens Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld to Gen. George Patton as he
moves forward, relentlessly pounding the
White House Press Corps and obscuring
information we need to get a clear picture of where our country is headed.
“Information is the essence of democracy,” she told a group of young journalists at Wayne State University in Detroit
in January. “We have to stand up for
democracy, especially in our new, jingoistic, patriotic society.”
Thomas is a graduate of Wayne, as I
am. The daughter of Lebanese immigrants, she grew up in the Detroit area.
Now, she returns at least once a year to
share her insight and to present the
“Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity”
award and scholarships to aspiring journalists, encouraging new voices to follow
her example and speak up. This year, I
had the pleasure of meeting her and listening as she answered questions from
Thomas, 81, takes a very human
approach to current affairs, an approach
based on a lifetime of experience. She
thinks we should show mercy to John
Walker, for example.
“He was just 16 when he became
involved,” she said. “I don’t think
he knew what he was doing.”
Should cameras be in the courtroom when, or if, he comes to trial
for treason? An unqualified, “yes.”
What has the Bush administration done with Dick Cheney? He
might be out of sight, but she
says, “he’s still very much a
player. Some thought he was
getting too big for his britches.”
Is the media today less substantive than when she first went to
the White House? Television:
yes. Newspapers: no. But there
have been changes in newspapers, too.
“We have become a nation of
one-newspaper towns,” she
said. “There is less respect for
great journalism.”
She points to
coverage of the
Enron scandal
as one of the
high points in
current journalism at a
time when
is running
Donna Remer
Her advice to young people in general:
“Find a job that makes you want to get
up in the morning and go to work with
great enthusiasm.”
Helen Thomas was the first woman ever
to be named chief of the White House
bureau, an honor she earned in 1974.
She has covered more presidents than
any other human being, from
Eisenhower to our current President
Bush. Through it, she says, she almost
always enjoyed her job.
“The great joy of journalism is that it is
an education every day,” she said in an
interview for Hour Detroit recently. “You
have to keep learning and you can
never let up.”
When she stepped into her post with UPI
in the early’60s, journalists were at the
fore of dramatic change in this country.
About that time, journalism educator
Malcolm MacLean of the Iowa
Journalism School wrote: “I see an
implied demand that our communicators need to know deeply, empathetically, and at the same time be able to analyze objectively and communicate what
it means to be poor among the rich, to
be hungry among the well-fed, to be
black among the white, to be degraded
among the smug, to be sick among the
healthy ... to be unheard, unheard,
unheard — in a society noisy with messages.”
The din of messages has only escalated
since then. And many voices are still
unheard. Helen Thomas’ voice stands out.
March 2002
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
2002 - a vintage year to visit the UK
By Bob Satchwell, executive director
of the Society of Editors in the UK and
a member of ISWNE
If we believe the things we are told by
the British media — and I always try
to set an example — there was an
upside to the tragedy of 11 September
2001 in New York.
It bound our two nations together
and, we are told, the government, the
media, and the people of the USA
were particularly grateful that Britain
stood shoulder to shoulder in the
We are well into another year now. It
is time to look forward and perhaps
to start enjoying yourselves again.
This year is special for us in the UK. It
offers a chance to cement those historic ties between two great nations.
As so often is the case, the big event
for Britain in 2002 has been expected,
it has been planned for in immense
detail and, above all, it is about history.
Queen Elizabeth II ascended the
throne 50 years ago this month
(February) on the death of her father
George VI. Golden Jubilees are rare —
the last one was for Queen Victoria,
more than a century ago. What better
an excuse for a party? And you are
all invited.
We get an extra holiday in June. A
weekend of pageantry and fun is
planned for London. Parties are
expected to break out in streets and
in parks all over Britain — in places
where many of you may have roots
— as Her Majesty embarks on a royal
progress across the realm.
It is the kind of thing that Britain
does so well. I guess no one does it
better. Then I suppose we have had a
long time to learn. Our quaint old
system involving an hereditary head
of state has it detractors but it seems
to work. Its timeless certainty gives us
the opportunity to prepare for great
events and provides a special reason
— indeed a duty — to mark and celebrate them.
March 2002
It was another King George, from
whom our present Queen has direct
descent, who was foolish enough to
lose his wife — and the colonies. As a
famous film recorded, with indecent
carelessness, he also lost his mind!
That is why, to our mutual benefit,
the United States was founded. That
was of huge good fortune. Britain has
enjoyed economic and cultural
advantages, importing so much that
is great and wondrous from across the
It is that shared cultural heritage
which has become a two way traffic,
and a shared language — or at least
a few common phrases — that makes
our two countries inseparable, especially at times of crisis.
Sadly, we have not been spared the
difficulties of the post 9/11 economic
downturn and your understandable
concern about flying, or even to leave
home. Not everyone has appreciated
Britain’s powerful alliance and
unstinting friendship with America at
a time when it was most needed. As a
result, in 2001 Britain was severely
damaged by your reluctance to visit,
first because of the foot and mouth
crisis that shattered our farming
industry and rural communities, and
then by the terrorism that undermined your national spirit as much
as it devastated a great city. Some of
our tourist areas have lost 80 per cent
of their business
Now we hope you will start thinking
again about the history, culture, royalty and pageantry that have attracted so many Americans to our shores
in the past. 2002 will be one of the
best years for the US traveller to witness and enjoy these unique qualities
at first hand.
Part of the celebrations will naturally
involve a look back at the huge
changes we have experienced over
the last 50 years of the new
Elizabethan age. Many have been
imported from America. No one can
argue that the British have not
become expert down the centuries in
how to learn from other peoples and
to adapt
their best
ideas. It is
an ideal
time to see
how we
learned from
you. It is
also a time
to show off
the changes
and achievements that
make Britain Bob Satchwell
modern and
But most of all, I suspect there are
other factors that attract visitors to
our tiny but culturally diverse islands.
A long history provides maturity and
a neighbourliness that is as comforting as a pair of old shoes. Years of
experience have also created levels of
security that are understated yet second to none.
In short, Britain shared the terrible
events of last September and the economic aftermath. We hope that in
2002 you will remember the ties that
bind our two nations. A visit this year
will be especially valuable and appreciated.
Don’t be party poopers — come and
help us celebrate.
You can get more information about
travelling to, and in, Britain from
Paul Duboudin
Manager Public Relations USA
British Tourist Authority
551 Fifth Ave, Suite 701
New York NY 10176-0799
Ph (212) 850 0311
Fx (212) 986 1188
For media information on Britain visit and
for information about the Queen’s
Jubilee including a searchable geographic database take a look at
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
And the bad news is...well read
By Dave Berry
Bolivar (Mo.) Herald-Free Press
The Internet is far from replacing
the printed page as a medium for
news, but it does offer certain
advantages for readers on occasion,
and it is an interesting tool for
those of us who disperse the news.
When we publish a printed version
of the Herald-Free Press (which I
believe will continue to happen
long after I’m no longer alive,
regardless of how long I live), we
are left to depend on what we hear
from people as to what they read.
And more often than not, when
people tell us something, they tell
us they like to read the “good”
I could afford to retire tomorrow if I
had a dollar for every time in my
life I’ve heard someone say they
don’t like newspapers because all
they ever print is the bad news.
Same for TV and radio.
When a person hears that often
enough, he comes to believe it and
even agree with it. Contrary to
what we are sometimes accused of
doing at this newspaper, more often
than not we’ve caught ourselves
over the years trying to protect the
community from bad news. We
don’t leave it out, but we have
sometimes gone the extra mile to
display the positive news ahead of
the bad news, unless the bad is just
so overwhelming that it can’t be
That’s not the way it’s supposed to
be done. The biggest news is supposed to have the biggest play,
whether it be bad news or good
One thing we can do with our Web
version of the newspaper
( that we
can’t with our printed version is
find out exactly what people are
clicking on. We don’t know who
clicks on what, but we can count
the clicks.
And I’m here to tell you we can all
go to our graves saying we like the
“good” news, but the click reports
I’m seeing tell me that it’s the
“bad” news we are reading, even if
we have to navigate around the
positive news to find it.
This would be a good time, though,
to remind myself and readers of
what I’ve often told students when
I’ve talked at schools. Sometimes
the difference between “good” news
and “bad” news is all in the eyes of
the beholder.
A person convicted for driving while
intoxicated, along with his grandmother, will think that to be bad
news when it shows up in the newspaper, but I’ve always chosen to
view that as a form of good news. It
may not be good that he was doing
what he was doing, but it’s good he
was caught and convicted.
That can’t be said about all of the
“bad” news, though. Sometimes, it’s
bad no matter how one looks at it.
One “electronic” version of the
newspaper produced this result over
a six-day period:
• 250 clicks on “Bolivar woman
charged with plotting to murder
• 134 clicks on “Pleasant Hope man
killed in Friday wreck on slick
• 126 clicks on “Presley will stand
trial for murder.”
• 78 clicks on
Dorothy Marie
Jump’s death
• 74 clicks on
Russell Van
death notice.
• 65 clicks on
business of the
year news
about Polk
County Bank
Dave Berry
HutchesonCoker Real Estate.
You get the drift. And that is the
case week after week.
The click reports seem to tell us that
if we are without crime and punishment, we would serve readers best
by running the death notices on the
front page. They are always popular on the Web site, but we also
know they draw great interest in
the printed version.
We are not about to stop publishing
positive news. Nor are we going to
rush to any premature conclusions
about the makeup of our Web readership vs. readership of the printed
We’re still going to print all the
news that’s fit to print and all that
will fit. We’re still going to be a
cheerleader for the community
while at the same time not pretending our community blemishes don’t
And we are going to be cognizant
of the fact that our printed version
has far, far greater readership than
the Web site.
March 2002
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Reaction of marketplace is punishment enough
By Dale Blegen
Editor & Publisher
The De Smet News
De Smet, South Dakota
Newspapers, especially the Argus Leader,
are being roughed up by the Legislature
this year over charges for obituaries.
Sioux Falls Rep. Hal Wick introduced a
bill that would have taken a newspaper’s status as a legal paper away (one
eligible to publish paid notices from various units of government) if it charges for
obituaries. The bill died Tuesday in committee. But not without more than a
half-hour of debate.
The Argus raised the ire of many
throughout the state when it began
charging for obituaries last year. I’m
sure they got a truckload of letters and
calls on the subject. And I’m betting not
many favored the charge.
They backed off from their original policy to charge for every word and now
offer the first three inches of an obituary
for free.
They charge $35 a column inch for every
inch thereafter. Maybe it’s this amount
that angered people. But managers there
know what it costs to run their newspaper, and news isn’t “free.” Gathering,
processing and presenting it isn’t even
cheap. And your subscription dollars
cover only a small portion of total costs.
Paid advertising is what really carries the
I don’t agree with their decision to
charge for obituaries. But it is their decision to make and they and every other
paper in South Dakota should have that
same right.
And, we should note, they are not the
only newspaper to charge for obituaries.
Several other dailies charge. And some
weeklies charge for extraordinary coverage such as inclusion of a poem.
Obituaries are well-read and are highly
regarded by readers. If anything is considered “news” in a newspaper, obituaries fit the bill.
And South Dakotans are used to getting
such news items in their hometown
paper without charge.
This is tough to change.
But understand this — newspapering is a
business. It must turn a profit to provide
coverage within its market. Advertising
revenues nationwide are down. The
economy is slumping. Newsprint and
other costs are rising and newspapers are
looking at every possible way of maintaining or increasing revenues.
And charging
for what has
been free is an
attempt to
remain economically
viable in a
tight market.
In South
Dakota, at
least, charging
for obituaries
was an unforDale Blegen
tunate choice.
Lots of people
got angry. And politicians, like Wick,
saw an opportunity to strike back at an
aggressive paper that may not always
have kind things to report or kind things
to say editorially.
That’s petty.
The Argus boldly made its business decision. Readers reacted. The newspaper
altered its policy.
I think it has suffered as a result of its
choices. Legislative restrictions are
The reaction of the marketplace should
be punishment enough.
Five hot-type weeklies remaining
Jerry Lee Morton, author of The Sound of
Words (see November ISWNE newsletter),
reports that only five hot-type weeklies
remain in the United States.
“Since I published the book last year, the
Sherburne (N.Y.) News has gone ‘cold type’
and is still going strong,” Morton says. “And
the hot-type Boswell (Ind.) Enterprise will
shut down following publication of its April
24 edition. Boswell is near the Illinois line,
about 25 miles from Lafayette, Ind. Publisher Jerry Lee Morton
Cecil Krebs says he will continue to do job
printing by computer.”
The five hot-type weeklies that will remain: The Montpelier (Ind.)
Herald, The Edinburg (Ill.) Herald-Star, The Saguache (Colo.)
Crescent, The Westminster (Calif.) Herald and The Montebello
(Calif.) Messenger.
The Sound of Words, which tells the story of the demise of The
Freeport (Mich.) News in 1999, sells for $19.95. Please contact Jerry
Lee Morton at 6120 Gossard, East Lansing, MI 48823 or at 517-3366832. His email address is [email protected].
March 2002
Roy Miller Cornett, Jr., and AnnaMarie Walter
Roy Miller Cornett, Jr., and AnnaMarie Waltner of Georgetown,
Ky., are pleased to announce their engagement.
The future groom is a 1996 graduate of Scott County High
School. The bride-to-be is a 1997 graduate of Freeman Academy.
The couple met while attending Bethel College in N. Newton,
Cornett is the son of Thelma Cornett and Roy Cornett Sr. of
Georgetown, Ky. Waltner is the daughter of Tim and Mary
Waltner of Freeman, S.D. An Aug. 10 wedding is planned in
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Use of e-mail frees up the language,
but often short on common courtesies
By Jim Sawyer
A few years ago, I was the typical oldtimer holding out from the high-tech
age. I had all kinds of rationalizations
about why I didn’t need computers. But
nowadays, thanks to advancements in
user-friendliness, even fossils like me
can figure them out. It’s far easier than
interpreting the directions on a box of
laundry detergent.
I’m very concerned, however, about
what I see happening to common courtesies because of e-mail. The lightningspeed expediency is having a negative
effect in terms of the well-crafted attention to etiquette that in the past was
used to make our language convey a
certain amount of class.
Sure, when it comes to the mechanical
end of semantics, there’s that gizmo we
use with computers to check proper
spellings. One to check grammar, too.
But lots of folks don’t bother with them
because they’re in such a hurry.
Besides, the recommendations of grammar-check can cause nervousness and
confusion to the point that one begins
to bite other people’s fingernails.
But the spell-check functions of computers can reveal big mistakes. For example, my Missouri newspapering friend
and fellow ISWNE member Gary “Soz”
Sosniecki has been spelling his name
wrong. Soz should be spelling it “Gary
æSo’ Cessnook,” according to my computer. Same thing with Goodloe Sutton,
another ISWNE friend from Alabama
whose name is supposed to be “Godly”
Sutton. After all, he did get a crooked
sheriff put in the pen.
And my computer also lets me know
that it’s OK nowadays to use various
spellings of same-sounding words, no
matter how I use them or where they’re
located in the context. Take the spelling
of the word “to.” I’d been having too
watch that all my life, and you probably
have, two.
That’s the good side of how computers
help us with our language. But the
biggest problem is the pollution of the
common-courtesy thing when we write
to each other using e-mail.
What ever happened to greetings and
salutations in letters — the “Dear Fred”
and “Sincerely yours” stuff?
I once sent an e-mail message to someone I don’t know but who had some
information I needed relating to a
national organization we’re both members of. “Dear Liz,” I started the message. “Like you, I’m a member of blah,
blah, blah. I’m in need of blah, blah,
blah. Do you have this? Thank you in
advance for your reply.” And I signed it
“Regards, Jim Sawyer.” Lots of people
don’t even bother to sign their e-mails.
About two minutes later, Liz sent me a
rather lengthy letter. Here’s what it
Now stuff like that’s a shocker to oldtimers like me, computer age or not.
Sure, the message told me Liz had sent
it, listed her e-mail address again in
case I might forget it, and even the
date, hour and minute it had been sent.
But something was missing that I would
have appreciated from Liz. Warmth,
not just a blunt “No.” And something
was present that hit me like a rock.
Aloofness and coldness in face of the
possibility that Liz may very well be a
warm and loving person. But whether
she is or not, with treatment like that I
really don’t give a rip.
I know that the “Dear So and So” and
“Sincerely yours” stuff can be looked
upon as redundant. But let’s
face it. Why
should it be
more redundant with computers, of all
things, than
with handwritten or typed
messages? In
fact, the speed
of e-mail
Jim Sawyer
should free
more time for
those little niceties.
Another thing, speaking of handwritten
messages, is that people who heavily
rely on computers actually forget how
to write anything by hand. What used
to be penmanship with at least a hint
of legibility is fastly starting to look like
graffiti from another language
expressed on a piece of paper instead of
a brick wall. But that’s another subject.
I guess this whole thing amounts to just
a few examples of some of the more
personal and warmer expressions of
humanity going down the drain as we
become a busier and more faceless society.
I’d like to point out to any critics that I
used spell-check on this piece, and it
passed in flying colors. So that proves that
not only can some of us old-timers spell,
but we can get the hang of new-fangled
computer inventions to check it out.
But grammar-check locked me up.
ISWNE member Jim Sawyer writes a
widely carried column for weeklies. It’s
issued by e-mail. For details, contact
him at [email protected] or (417) 7425211. Or write him at 711 South Main
Street, Willard, MO 65781, USA.
March 2002
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Brake finally having fun
with his upstart paper
By Allison Rosewicz
Junior Communications Major
Missouri Southern State College
Running a newspaper alone seems next
to impossible, but Jon Brake, editor and
publisher of the Manhattan, Kan., Free
Press, makes it happen.
“I sell the ads, write the news, attend
the meetings, take the photos, lay out
the paper, take it to the press, deliver to
the stores and do the billing,” he said.
Unfortunately, that is not all the work
being the sole staff member entails.
“I also clean the bathroom on
Saturday,” Brake said.
The Manhattan Free Press is published
on Thursdays, so Wednesdays can be
hectic. Brake’s wife, Linda, owns
Roche’s Family Hair Care in
Manhattan, but she occasionally helps
out with the paper.
“She will come in on Wednesday if I am
running late,” Brake said.
Although he loves what he does now,
Brake has not always been involved
with journalism. He attended Kansas
March 2002
State University in Manhattan for two
and a half years as a history major
before being called for active duty in
Berlin, Germany, in 1961.
At age 22 Brake began selling advertising for a twice-weekly newspaper in
Marysville, Kan. After seven years in
that job, he switched careers and
became a real estate broker. Ten years
later, in 1980, Brake returned to journalism.
He may have come back to the field,
but Brake felt a bit jaded by the business.
“I was tired of being fired by others,” he
After more than 20 years of working in
journalism, Brake started his own
paper, the Manhattan Free Press, in
1991. The paper was started with only
$487. The first office on Poyntz Avenue
cost $300 a month, but the office owner
offered Brake a special of six months
free rent. Brake also convinced a computer store to sell him a used Mac in
exchange for free advertising.
Following that exchange, however,
advertising went downhill.
“The first issue
was one week late
because I could
not sell the ads,”
Brake said. “I had
the news ready to
go, but every time
I talked to an
advertiser, they
thought it was a
good idea, but
they wanted to see
the first issue.
Which comes first,
the newspaper or
The second week
Brake came up
with a different
strategy. He
offered a doubletruck ad to a fur-
niture store and
a full-page ad to
a car dealer at
half price if they
paid in advance.
“That did the
trick,” he said.
“That first
Thursday morning was special.”
Brake had 2,000
newspapers in
bundles of 100.
He planned on
rolling the news- Jon Brake
papers, loading
them into his car and throwing them
up and down the streets of Manhattan.
“After about 15 minutes, I could see
that this was going to be a much larger
job than I had planned,” Brake said.
“About that time I heard people coming down the hall.”
His brother, Clark, and his 78-year-old
mother had driven 45 miles to help,
and they continued to do so each week.
“For the next two years, the three of us
looked like the Beverly Hillbillies,”
Brake said. “Our mother would be in
the back seat rolling papers, and Clark
and I would roll and throw the papers.
‘A good time was had by all.’”
Today the Free Press is distributed in 15
locations within Manhattan. And
advertising definitely picked up after
that first disheartening week.
“For the first two years, I had advertisers that paid every week,” Brake said. “I
still have advertisers that reach for their
checkbooks when they see me coming.”
The current circulation of the Free Press
is 2,000. It is a free distribution paper,
but 200 people subscribe for $25.38 a
“Most subscribed because the Free Press
would be gone before they could pick
one up,” Brake said.
The Free Press currently runs 20 to 24
continued on page 20
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Joplin Conference Registration
To register, please complete this form and send it with your check in U.S. funds to:
Registration Fees
By May 15
Children (ages 6-17)
2 Adults & 1 Child
2 Adults & 2 Children
2 Adults & 3 Children
2 Adults & 4+ Children $1,400
After May 15
ISWNE 2002
Chad Stebbins
Missouri Southern St. College
3950 E. Newman Rd.
Joplin, MO 64801-1595
(417) 625-9736
All Prices in U.S. funds, payable to ISWNE 2002
Phone Number
Newspaper Affiliation
Others in my party (please include names & ages of children)
If single, would like to share a two-bedroom apartment with:
Any special dietary needs or other considerations:
Names of children for June 27 Roaring River trip:
Check tour you prefer for afternoon of June 28: Trucking industry
Check activity you prefer for June 29: Silver Dollar City (all day)
King Press
Music Show
March 2002
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
2002 ISWNE Conference - Joplin, MO (USA)
Wednesday, June 26
8 a.m. - noon
9 a.m.
1 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
6 p.m.
7 p.m.
10:30 p.m.
ISWNE board meeting
“Joplin’s colorful history and scientific wonders”
— Brad Belk, director of the Joplin Museum Complex
“Ozarks Culture & Folklore” — Kim McCully, editor of The Aurora Advertiser
Depart from Student Life Center for John Morre cabin on
James River, near Galena, Mo.
Dinner — A fish fry, hamburgers, hot dogs, cole slaw, hushpuppies, and watermelon
An Ozark Hootenanny — Bluegrass music, storytellers, and the Mountain Maid
Expected return to campus — Hospitality suite open until midnight
Student Life Center
Webster Hall 357
Student Life Center
Webster Hall
Webster Hall
Galena, MO
Galena, MO
Galena, MO
College Skyline Center
Thursday, June 27
7-8 a.m.
7-9 a.m.
8-9:30 a.m.
9 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
11 a.m.
12:15 p.m.
1:30 p.m.
3 p.m.
5 p.m.
5:30 p.m.
8:30 p.m.
March 2002
Student Life Center
Swimming — Available in the Missouri Southern indoor pool
ISWNE business meeting
Webster Hall Auditorium
Children depart for Roaring River State Park
Cassville, MO
“Romancing the Mother Road” — Michael Wallis, author of Route 66: The Mother Road
Webster Hall Auditorium
“When the big one lands on your doorstep” — David Burke, Tuam (Ireland) Herald;
Webster Hall
Betty Stanley, Ozark County Times; Don Ginnings, Hermitage Index;
Gerald Elkins, McDonald County Press Inc.
Student Life Center
“Trends in Community Journalism” — Jock Lauterer, director of the Carolina
Community Media project at the University of North Carolina; Gloria Freeland,
Webster Hall
director of the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media at Kansas State
University; Harry Hix, the Engleman/Livermore professor of Community Journalism
at the University of Oklahoma; and Jim Sterling, Missouri Community Newspaper
Management Chair at the University of Missouri
Presentations — Greenslade Bursary Editor and Brian Burmester, editor and publisher
Webster Hall
of Local News New Zealand
Depart for George Washington Carver National Monument
Diamond, MO
Brisket dinner — Sponsored by the Missouri Press Association, with program to follow
Diamond, MO
Expected return to campus — Hospitality suite open until midnight
College Skyline Center
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Friday, June 28
7-8 a.m.
8-10:45 a.m.
11 a.m.
12:15 p.m.
1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m.
2:45 p.m.
2:45 p.m.
5:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m.
9 p.m.
Editorial critiques
“The Young Brothers Massacre” — Holds the record for the most law enforcement
officers killed in a single incident, Tony Stephenson
Lunch — Youth team-building rope exercises with Susie Cook, from Branson
Children depart for the Joplin Water Park
“The Human Truman” — A 45-minute monologue by Niel Johnson, a retired archivist
and oral historian from the Truman Library
Depart from Webster Auditorium for the “war room” at Contract Freighters, Inc.,
an international truckload carrier based in Joplin, and a program on the Joplin trucking industry
Depart for a tour of King Press, one of the principal manufacturers of web offset
presses for newspapers
Children return from Joplin Water Park
Dinner and Banquet in the Connor Ballroom
Pizza party for the children
Hospitality Suite — open until midnight
Student Life Center
Webster Hall Auditorium
Webster Hall
Student Life Center
Water Park
Webster Hall
Contract Freighters
King Press
Billingsly Student Center
Student Life Center
College Skyline Center
Saturday, June 29
8-9 a.m.
9 a.m.
11 a.m.
11 a.m.
12:15 p.m.
1 p.m.
2 p.m.
4 p.m.
6 p.m.
7 p.m.
8 p.m.
10:30 p.m.
Depart for Branson, MO
Arrival at Silver Dollar City
Lunch at the Hard Luck Diner for the music show group
Shopping at The Grand Village for music group — 26 unique shops
Music show group departs for “Lost in the Fifties”
“Lost in the Fifties” music show begins
Music show group departs for Factory Merchants Outlet Mall — 90 shops
Silver Dollar City & music/shopping groups both depart
Arrival of both groups at Showboat Branson Belle
Dinner cruise
Depart for Joplin
Student Life Center
Student Life Center
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Branson, MO
Sunday, June 30
8-9 a.m.
Breakfast and goodbye(s)
Student Life Center
don’t miss the fun...
March 2002
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Statement :
International Society
Weekly Newspaper
Due by January 31, 2002
2002 ISWNE Dues ......................................................................$50
All Membership Dues Must be Paid in U.S. Funds
For Our Records
You may wish to do one of the following:
• Be a Sustaining Member at $100
• Make your editor-friends members of
ISWNE at a special price of $20 per year.
If you do, please list their addresses
below in space provided.
Phone Number:
Fax Number:
E-mail Address:
Total Enclosed: $
Web Site:
Please make checks payable to ISWNE
If You Are A New Member :
Please attach a brief description of yourself for the ISWNE Newsletter if you are a new
member. A mug shot would be appreciated.
Mail To:
March 2002
Dr. Chad Stebbins, Missouri Southern State College,
3950 East Newman Road,
Joplin, MO 64801-1595
Phone: (417) 625-9736
Fax: (417) 659-4445
E-mail: [email protected]
Brake finally having fun with upstart paper from page 15
tab pages. Brake would like to get up to 32 pages by the end
of the year. He would also like to see a slight increase in the
size of his staff.
“Four employees would be nice,” he said. “If and when Linda
retires, I hope she will work full-time here. She knows everyone and has a good, real interest in the news of Manhattan.”
Brake and his wife stay very busy, so it is hard to find time
for the rest of their family. Brake has two sons with one
grandson and one granddaughter, and Linda has two sons
with four grandsons. But Brake said no matter what, he and
Linda make time to be with them.
On top of the stress of a small staff and finding time for family, Brake has to worry about competition with two of the best
newspapers in Kansas. The Manhattan Mercury is a 10,000circulation daily, and the Kansas State University paper, the
Kansas State Collegian, has a pressrun of 12,000 each weekday of the college’s fall and spring semesters. But Brake does
not allow the competition to intimidate him.
In fact, he said having the KSU paper near helps him. He
uses the university’s news service items, and if its paper has a
good story, Brake uses it and gives KSU credit. He also takes
photos at all the Wildcat football games.
Brake said the Free Press has its own place between the
Mercury and the Collegian because his paper deals solely
with community issues rather than national and college
“I think a newspaper should report on everything the city,
county and school district is doing,” he said. “We run a lot of
memos, minutes, and charts. I have never seen any budget
that I did not want to run.”
Although Brake loves running a community paper, he said it
does come with its disadvantages. He said government
employees are often difficult to deal with because they do not
want to open public records.
“In most cases it is because their office has done something
they do not want the public to know about,” he said. “Several
years ago a county clerk would make me wait three days
each week to get the approved minutes of the County
Commission. Today all of my requests for open records must
go through the city manager’s office. It is next to impossible
to get the county attorney or attorney general to look into
open meeting or open records violations.”
Despite these difficulties, Brake continues to believe that
working for a large newspaper pales in comparison to practicing community journalism.
“When invited to speak to journalism classes, I tell them that
they cannot work for other people and do what I do,” he
said. “We cover city, county and the school district in a way
that a large newspaper cannot.”
So although Brake has not always been interested in journalism, and even though he left the field for a decade, he eventually could not resist the draw of running a community
“It is more fun today, more fun than anything I have ever
done,” he said.
The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE) was founded in 1954 at Southern Illinois
University (SIU) by Howard R. Long, then chair of SIU’s Department of Journalism at Carbondale, and Houstoun
Waring, then editor of the Littleton (Colo.) Independent. ISWNE headquarters were at Northern Illinois University
at Dekalb from 1976 to 1992, at South Dakota State University in Brookings from 1992 to 1999. Missouri
Southern State College in Joplin became the headquarters in 1999.
ISWNE’s purpose is to help those involved in the weekly press to improve standards of editorial writing and news
reporting and to encourage strong, independent editorial voices. The society seeks to fulfill its purpose by holding
annual conferences, presenting awards, issuing publications, and encouraging international exchanges. There are
ISWNE members in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the
Philippines, Japan, and India. There are subscribers to Grassroots Editor, the society’s quarterly journal, in still
more countries.
International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Institute of International Studies
Missouri Southern State College
Joplin, MO 64801-1595
Dr. Chad Stebbins
Editor & ISWNE Secretary/Treasurer
Director, Institute of International Studies
Produced by the Institute of
International Studies
Missouri Southern State College
3950 E. Newman Road
Joplin, MO 64801-1595
(417) 625-9736
(417) 659-4445 FAX