Position Your Newspaper for Growth

If your New Year's resolutions include "position my newspaper for future growth," the best way to jump-start your effort is to attend the 2018 Carmage Walls Leadership Forum, Feb. 4-6 in Chapel Hill, N.C. It is designed specifically for executives from newspapers with circulations of 30,000 or less.

Time is running out to register. Please register right away to ensure your spot at this conference.

Hotel Rooms: SNPA is still holding a few rooms at The Carolina Inn. To reserve a room, contact Edward VanHorn at (404) 256-0444 or edward@snpa.org.

"I consider this the most valuable industry experience available."
Leonard Woolsey, publisher of the Galveston County Daily News

The Leadership Forum – SNPA's premier program for the publishers and owners of small newspapers – is a unique event where newspaper executives explore issues most important to them and tap the industry's best minds for practical solutions.

This year's program will be led by Tim Griggs and Steven King, who specialize in new revenue models for sustaining journalism.  They will lead discussions about diversifying and growing ways to earn revenue, partnership possibilities, targeting content to meet audience needs, and strategies for moving occasional users into loyal, paying customers.  You can't afford to miss this!

  • Register here. The $525 registration fee includes group meals and all program costs.

"Publishers who attend this conference will leave Chapel Hill energized
and motivated to meet the challenges they face."
Les High, editor of The News Reporter, Whiteville, N.C., and program moderator

For more information, contact Edward VanHorn in the SNPA office: (404) 256-0444 or edward@snpa.org.

The Leadership Forum is named in memory of the late Benjamin Carmage Walls whose newspaper career spanned seven decades. Walls primarily owned community newspapers and advocated strong courageous leadership.

Calendar of Events
January 11, 2018

This webinar offers a close look at the new ideas that could easily grow your revenue in print, online and social media. Includes a 12-month strategic calendar any newspaper can follow. SNPA members can register at no cost.

February 26 - 28, 2018
Your entry is due by Jan. 11

Michael Maness, innovator-in-residence at Harvard Business School, noted during the 2016 inaugural year of the Mega-Innovation Award that lots of newspapers seem to be doing incremental innovation. What he said he doesn't see very often is revolutionary innovation: new products with new consumers that you haven't had before. "This is the kind of system that we want to be seeing," Maness said. Read more from comments made by the 2016 contest judge

Is your newspaper or corporate office doing something innovative? If so, resolve to submit a nomination for this year's Mega-Innovation Award. The deadline for entries is Jan. 11. There is no cost to enter.

Submit an entry

Don't think you can't compete with the large metros? In 2016, the winner was a three-day-a-week paper: The Forsyth County News in Cumming, Ga.

Last year, Calkins Media took top honors. When the company was a finalist in 2016 for the Mega-Innovation award, its video stream produced by the Bucks County Courier Times was a repeating four-hour content block. Now, it is essentially a local TV station.

Read more about the previous winners and then nominate your paper this year!

Branding and Marketing: Mega-Conference Workshop

Andy Cunningham
Attendees at the 2018 Mega-Conference will learn from marketing guru Andy Cunningham a new framework for positioning that will help answer the two most difficult questions our industry faces in the digital age:

  • Who are you?
  • And why do you matter?

Repositioning an old industry for a new relevance is possible. Come to San Diego Feb. 26-28 and learn how. The first 150 attendees in the room for this session on Feb. 28 will receive a copy of Cunningham's book titled "Get to Aha!"

Her book lays out the step-by-step framework that she will be presenting in her Mega-Conference workshop. This framework is designed to help companies determine their precise position in the marketing landscape, using her DNA-based methodology. "Then and only then," Cunningham says, "can you create a branding and marketing strategy that will build market momentum and crush the competition."

View the full conference program

Register for the Mega-Conference

Cunningham is CEO of Cunningham Collective, a marketing, brand and communication strategy firm that helps companies get traction in the market. She says, "Newspapers are like railroads – an old paradigm facing a new audience. If the railroad industry positioned itself in the transportation business, it might have thrived in a new era. Can newspapers make a shift before it's too late?"

She said, "Positioning a company for a new relevance in the digital economy may seem like a daunting task; but definitely doable. Here's what's required: an inventory of relevant assets; a new look at positioning with consideration of corporate DNA, category, community, competition, and consideration of context; and finally a decisive list of criteria for a new position."

Industry News

Cox Communications has announced the launch of Converge, the company's new storytelling platform designed to inform, inspire and connect people to the things they enjoy through technology. Stories on Converge are organized into three categories:

  • Community: Stories that illuminate the lasting changes Cox is making for the people that live and work in Cox's communities.
  • Entertainment: Stories that connect people to the hottest shows, movies, sports, places and names in today's culture.
  • Technology: Stories that inform and connect people to enable moments that matter.



Matt Coen
By Matt Coen, president and co-founder, Second Street

It's now simpler than ever to create a basketball strategy to drive huge results.

SNPA Jobs Network

Press Operator, Longview News-Journal, Longview, Texas
The Longview News-Journal, an award-winning daily newspaper, is seeking a Press Operator to join our production team. Learn more and submit your resume

Audience Development Manager, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Chattanooga, Tenn.
We are looking for an individual who has experience leading sales and retention efforts related to both print and digital subscription audiences. This position reports directly to the President of the newspaper. Learn more and submit your resume

Associate Editor/Special Projects, SC Biz News, Greenville, Columbia or Charleston, S.C.
SC Biz News, a B2B publications company in South Carolina, is looking for a well-organized writer/editor to join our growing custom publishing division. The position will be responsible for helping with a variety of projects across the state and will be located in one of our offices in Greenville, Columbia or Charleston. Learn more and submit your resume

Reporter, The Columbia Regional Business Report, South Carolina
The Columbia Regional Business Report, a business-to-business news and information resource for small and mid-sized businesses in the Midlands of South Carolina, has an opening for a business reporter to cover a variety of beats related to economic development and industry. Learn more and submit your resume

Research Specialist, SC Biz News, Charleston, S.C.
SC Biz News, a leading B2B publications company in South Carolina, is seeking a research specialist to gather data. Learn more and submit your resume

Publisher, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, Okla.
GateHouse Media is searching for a visionary leader to guide The Oklahoman, headquartered in Oklahoma City, into a new era.  First published in 1889, The Oklahoman is the leading news organization in Oklahoma City and publishes high-quality, local content while offering innovative multimedia marketing solutions. Learn more and submit your resume

Post your job openings with SNPA. There's no cost to SNPA members. If you have any difficulty posting your openings, send the information for your employment listings to cindy@snpa.org.

Training and Development

This webinar offers a close look at the new ideas that could easily grow your revenue in print, online and social media. Includes a 12-month strategic calendar any newspaper can follow.

SNPA members can register at no cost for this Jan. 11 webinar.


It's not easy to keep video in the forefront of your newsroom strategy. As an editor, how do you keep the focus on adding video, and what topics are better than others? And as a reporter, how do you produce quick-hit videos getting the best quality from their phones or basic cameras? Tim Schmitt will lead a discussion about moving your video strategy forward.

SNPA members can register at no cost for this Jan. 12 webinar.

Reader's Corner

Students Michael Lopez-Brau, back, and Stefan Uddenberg show off the internet browser extension Open Mind. (Pat Eaton-Robb/AP )
By Pat Eaton-Robb, The Associated Press

A team of college students is getting attention from internet companies and Congress after developing a browser extension that alerts users to fake and biased news stories and helps guide them to more balanced coverage.

The plug-in, Open Mind, was developed during a 36-hour problem-solving competition known as a hackathon at Yale University.

The winning team was made up of four students: Michael Lopez-Brau and Stefan Uddenberg, both doctoral students in Yale's psychology department; Alex Cui, an undergraduate who studies machine learning at the California Institute of Technology; and Jeff An, who studies computer science at the University of Waterloo and business at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario.

That team competed against others to win a challenge from Yale's Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, which asked students to find a way to counter fake news.

The team's software, designed as an extension for Google's Chrome browser, will display a warning screen when someone enters a site known to disseminate fake news. It also will alert a reader if a story shared on social media is fake or biased.

Read more from The Associated Press


In a column in Monday's New York Times, Publisher A.G. Sulzberger writes: "There was a reason freedom of speech and freedom of the press were placed first among our essential rights. Our founders understood that the free exchange of ideas and the ability to hold power to account were prerequisites for a successful democracy. But a dangerous confluence of forces is threatening the press’s central role in helping people understand and engage with the world around them."

Read more from A.G. Sulzberger, publisher, The New York Times


Fake news evolved from seedy internet sideshow to serious electoral threat so quickly that behavioral scientists had little time to answer basic questions about it, like who was reading what, how much real news they also consumed and whether targeted fact-checking efforts ever hit a target.

Sure, surveys abound, asking people what they remember reading. But these are only as precise as the respondents' shifty recollections and subject to a malleable definition of "fake." The term "fake news" itself has evolved into an all-purpose smear, used by politicians and the president to deride journalism they don't like.

But now the first hard data on fake-news consumption has arrived. Researchers last week posted an analysis of the browsing histories of thousands of adults during the run-up to the 2016 election – a real-time picture of who viewed which fake stories, and what real news those people were seeing at the same time.

Read more from The New York Times


News and commentary of interest to journalism innovators and entrepreneurs. Read the latest from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

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