Trade Commission unanimously votes to reverse newsprint tariffs

 

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David Chavern

The International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted unanimously to reverse newsprint tariffs. Paul Boyle, senior vice president/public policy for the News Media Alliance (NMA), made the announcement on Aug. 29. A final report will be issued on Sept. 17 that will include the commission’s reasons for the decision. Boyle expressed thanks “for everyone’s help in this fight … it was a total team effort,” adding that “cash deposits will be refunded to newsprint manufacturers but that will take several months.”

David Chavern, president and CEO of NMA, also issued a statement, applauding the ITC “for today reaching a final, unanimous negative determination that Canadian imports of uncoated groundwood paper, which includes newsprint used by newspapers, do not cause material harm to the U.S. paper industry.” He noted that the U.S. Department of Commerce recently upheld the tariffs, and although it revised them to slightly lower levels (“but still as high as 20 percent”) the tariffs would have been “unsustainable for newspapers, other printers and publishers and printers.”

Chavern continued: “Over the last several months, while the Department of Commerce and the ITC conducted their investigations into the trade case (brought by one paper mill, NORPAC) we have emphasized that the decades-long shift of news and information from print to digital platforms – not imports from Canada – is the cause of the decline in demand for newsprint.”

Unfortunately, he also noted that: “the damage to newspapers from preliminary tariffs imposed by the Department of Commerce since January has already been done. The tariffs have disrupted the newsprint market, increasing newsprint costs by nearly 30 percent and forcing many newspapers to reduce their print distribution and cut staff.” But he expressed hope that “today’s reversal of these newsprint tariffs will restore stability to the market and that publishers will see a full and quick recovery. Our democracy depends on it.” 

 

Sign up now to get your pick of 2019 CPA Convention Sponsorships

 

Thanks to the hard work of CPA staff and volunteers, Colorado Press Association is recognized as hosting one of the best annual conventions. You can sign up now to have your choice of a number of unique sponsorship opportunities.

Sponsorships allow CPA to offer high-quality programs featuring industry thought leaders and attracting participants from around the state. In turn, past sponsors return annually because attendees value the products and services they offer.

Consider underwriting our industry convention by becoming one of those valued sponsors. There are several tiers and packages to fit your organization’s specific requirements. For more information on CPA Convention Sponsorship, contact Jill Farschman via email at ceo@colopress.net or call her at 720-274-7171.

 

Call out for volunteers for Constitution Day Sept. 17

 

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Andy McKean

The American Legion Department of Colorado has passed a resolution urging all posts to work with their communities and schools to “educate ‘We the People’” about the Constitution of the United States. Andy McKean of Lakewood – director and founder of Liberty Lives Forever, and former founder and president emeritus of the Liberty Day Institute – has issued a “call to action” to the newspaper industry in Colorado to support this work.

Notes McKean: “A number of years ago Congress passed a unanimous law, signed by the president, that requires ‘all educational institutions that receive federal funds shall hold an education program on the U.S. Constitution for their students every year on Sept. 17, Constitution Day.’ I am asking all Coloradans to volunteer their time to reach out to a local school in your community and assist, in any way you can, to help educate the students about the contents and importance of the U.S. Constitution.” To help or for more information, contact McKean at andy@libertylivesforever.org.

 

 

Daily Camera promotes two longtime journalists

 

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Quentin Young

The Daily Camera in Boulder recently promoted two veterans to new positions. Award-winning journalist Quentin Young is the new opinion page editor, while reporter/editor/columnist Christy Fantz takes over as the newspaper’s features editor. Young has been a journalist since 1998, most recently central features editor for the Camera and The Times-Call in Longmont. His new position is the one most recently held by Dave Krieger. Fantz replaces Young as features editor, for both the Camera and Times-Call.

Said Young: “Rarely do I come away from the page without having learned something or thinking about the issues in a different way. It will be a privilege to oversee the opinion page and help give expression to new ideas about the community and the issues it faces.”

Young now oversees the daily editorial page, open forum and Sunday Insight section, and manages the members of the Editorial Advisory Board, as well as being the Camera’s editorial voice. During his career, he has been a freelance writer, associate editor of Scene Magazine in Fort Collins, and a reporter/photographer for The Villager in Greenwood Village as well as the Lafayette News before becoming a reporter (and in 2010 a member of the editorial board) for The Times-Call in 2007.

In 2014 Young became a staff writer for music, arts, lifestyle and feature articles at the Camera, then central features editor for the Camera, Times-Call and the Reporter-Herald in Loveland in 2016. Young also hosted the Camera’s Second Story Garage music video series for nearly four years, March 2012-Dec 2015, booking and interviewing artists and overseeing tapings.

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Christy Fantz

Fantz has worked in reporting and editing at the Camera and the Colorado Daily in Boulder. She will continue to write her weekly Colorado Daily column, “Fantz in Your Pants.” She began as a layout editor for the Colorado Daily in 2004, then worked her way up as features editor, assistant editor and editor. She became a features reporter for the Camera in 2016.

Fantz said she is “super-excited to bring some fresh ideas and content to the paper. Boulder is a place that raises the bar when it comes to forward-thinking arts, culture and creativity, and quirky weirdness, of course. I’d love to help cultivate that atmosphere.”

 

 

Poynter Institute offers Seven Next Steps For #Free Press

 

In an article on The Poynter Institute website, Melody Kramer (innovation columnist for Poynter, and senior audience development manager for the Wikimedia Foundation) and Betsy O’Donovan (assistant professor of journalism at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash.) offer up Seven Next Steps For #Free Press, noting “Existential threats are not new to this generation of journalists.” The duo reported that last year Pew Research Center said 23 percent of newsroom jobs had “vanished in the past 10 years,” and that fears of pink slips as well as disgruntled people who dislike journalists were “an assault on the rights of all Americans.”

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Melody Kramer

But in August, more than 400 news organizations joined the Boston Globe’s editorial board to “speak within their own publications about the importance of a free press,” at last showing a “concerted resistance to the president and his allies’ regular, repeated characterization of journalists as ‘the enemy of the people.’”

The next step, they say, is that “news organizations must advance a steady series of actions in a larger campaign to confront attacks on the press.” Beyond editorial boards and newsroom resources on similar campaigns, here are the Next Steps to “rebuild a national belief that journalism is a public service, not Public Enemy No. 1.”

1 – Define a Goal. Do we want Congress to support the First Amendment, and also censure the president’s characterization of the press? Endow a legal defense fund? Raise funds and build alliances to add media and information literacy to K-12 education? Revise the First Amendment? Shared goals are needed to design an effective campaign.

2 – Don’t paywall your pleas for help. Put your public service work in front of any paywalls, and consider loosening your articles-per-month meters. Make accessible information such as public employee salaries, investigations into government malfeasance, and consumer services.

3 – Consider a rolling blackout. Could a series of rolling digital blackouts make a point? What if a TV station’s website “went dark for a day, with a message explaining the strike and redirecting its regular users to get their news from a local newspaper partner?” And what if a newspaper dropped its paywall and did the same, redirecting users to the local NPR affiliate? Noted the article: “Broadcasts and print distribution – the most critical revenue operations for traditional news organizations – could continue as usual, while still driving attention to, and illustrating, the threat” that news organizations face.

4 – Borrow strength, signals and space. Go beyond the base of people who value the media and seek allies to help share the message, “in their own words, on their own platforms, to their own audiences.” Powerful messages could come from those outside journalism, “without a personal stake in the matter, like country musicians and YouTube stars and comic book artists and chambers of commerce.” Then borrow signals, “including paid media, rather than platforms we own – to extend our footprint and increase basic media literacy,” educate non-journalism audiences in what journalists do, and learn how to evaluate information. And be sure to include young people.

5 – Go far, far beyond Twitter. According to a Pew Research Center study, Twitter is still only used by about 24 percent of Americans, while YouTube is used by about 73 percent. Journalists should expand their message to include more YouTube, Reddit accounts and platforms that reach non-English speaking people.

6 – Be as service-focused as the chamber of commerce, synagogues and PTAs. Non-journalism organizations often list their membership benefits. This is a go-to tool for communication value. “If you have trouble putting meaningful stuff on that list, then maybe it’s time to recommit to the role of public service journalism,” notes the article. If you have a great list, look at how you recirculate the info and make it accessible.

7 – Show your work. Tell process stories about your journalism. “How did your newsroom serve the public interest this week? How did the story come together?” they ask. Tell that story on your website, and use it in conference presentations and write-ups for industry press.

And one more … Share your ideas. This list is intended as a starting point, not a to-do list. Questions include: Who will organize a campaign like this? How do we ensure sufficient support for newsrooms to engage in this kind of advocacy? Who gets to design our goals? How do we measure our progress? How do we make sure this movement stays true to journalism’s core ethics?


Reported by Contributing Editor Cheryl Ghrist. Send your news brief information to her at caghrist@comcast.net.