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Posted by Allan Burke on June 27, 2014
Editor’s note: Recently the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that it is permissible to open a government meeting with prayer. North Dakota journalist Allan Burke has written the prayer all journalists wish they would pray. Our thanks to Ken Blum of Black Inklings for alerting us to this column. Lord, may this meeting include full and open discussion of the issues, and let the public be assured that no deals have been cut or discussion held outside this meeting. We ask that no board business be conducted by phone, email, Facebook, text or Twitter, and that this board follow federal and state laws. Please guide this board to rarely go into executive session and always to be transparent. It is our humble request that the...
Posted by Broc Sears on April 29, 2014
Question: My black isn't black enough. That is to say, I wanted to do a fancy-schmancy reverse for my front cover, a film noir look about two detectives who solved a crime, but when the paper came back from the printer the black background was actually quite grayish. I'm told it has something to do with dot gain. The page proof looked sharp on my computer, just not on news print. Answer: The answer to getting a smooth, crisp, rich black display on newsprint can be very simple or very complicated. The simple answer: Ask your printer. The variables of printing on newsprint are numerous. Quality can depend on the weight and brightness of the newsprint, composition of ink, water acidity, plate and blanket quality, number of copies in...
Posted by Tommy Thomason on April 28, 2014
Question:  A person posts on a Facebook open forum page he manages about witnessing a fire and how he tried to help. Then stated how the fire department was slow to arrive at the scene. He said he didn't want to be quoted during private messaging, then posts it for everyone to see. Can I use this in my story, saying this is what was posted on Facebook? Answer:  Legally, yes printing truthful, accurate information in a public place will not lead to any liability.  Particularly if it was posted on an “open forum” (presumably a Facebook page viewable by the general public, not just those invited to participate or closed and available only to friends). Ethically, that's the reporter's call.  If...
Posted by Chuck Nau on April 28, 2014
"How am I doing?” Remember those moments earlier in your life when you may have asked that question or a similar one of a teacher, friend, or confidant? In many instances, those questions were being asked to open a dialogue, and gather some outside information to confirm that your assessment of your current situation was accurate. In these tough economic times, are you being asked these same questions today by your staff? Do you model and encourage your staff to ASK (Always Seeking Knowledge)? How are they doing, coach? Coaching conversations with your staff help develop teamwork. Fostering an “asking” rather than “telling” environment will give support and encouragement to your team....
Posted by Chip Stewart on April 22, 2014
Question: I asked a city councilman what he and the rest of the board discussed in closed-door session (executive session). He said he could not by law comment, that the law prevented him from disclosing what was said. I told him that he could comment and that there was no law preventing him from telling me what was discussed as per the Texas Attorney General Opinion on the matter. Am I wrong? Has something changed? Answer:  No. You’re not wrong. The city councilman was misinformed. The records of what happened may be closed, but individuals in the meeting are free to disclose what happened. There are some privacy issues to consider if the topic of the meeting was a personnel issue, but to ban a participant from...