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NYNPA produces two regular electronic newsletters: "In a New York Minute" is NYNPA's weekly e-newsletter containing NYNPA, member, and industry news, while the "NYNPA News Media Literacy/NIE News" is a monthly e-newsletter containing news related to the NYNPA and New York Newspapers Foundation's initiatives related to News Media Literacy and Newspapers In Education.

For Association news, see below.



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May 5, 2021

Local Eats & Essentials Experiencing Explosive Growth

Partnering with local media companies, site is reaching well over one million unique visitors monthly

LocalEatsandEssentials.com, an online platform to order food from locally owned, non-chain restaurants, has brought on eight local media companies as partners – with a combined audience reach of more than one million monthly readers via more than two dozen print titles, websites and social media pages.

The Clifton Park–based company now is operating in locations from Central New York to the Catskills and into the Berkshires in Massachusetts through these media partnerships. The latest media companies to come aboard include Oswego County News Now, The Mountain Eagle, Newspapers of New England and the Catskill Mountain Region Guide magazine.

Several other media companies currently are in various stages of onboarding with the program, and they have indicated the program is beneficial to their future plans to fund local journalism. Current partners rave about the ability to rapidly begin this program in their markets. As one publisher stated: “It’s not reinventing the wheel; the program already exists and is successful.”

The past year has been incredibly challenging for restaurants. The lockdown has forced many to close their doors (some permanently). “Restaurants need our support right now, and this new program will help those who live in these communities to show their support by going online and ordering take-out from their favorite restaurants,” said Mark Vinciguerra, Local Eats & Essential partner. “This program is unique because unlike other expensive online ordering programs, Local Eats is entirely free for the restaurant.”

Local Eats & Essentials helps promote the program to local consumers using print, social and digital advertising and a marketing program that supports local journalism – in collaboration with its media partners. “We are thrilled to be part of this program and are always looking for new ways to support local restaurants and local businesses in our community. We’re looking forward to making it easier for restaurants in our community to get more online orders without paying the big fees,” said Doug La Rocque, publisher of Eastwick Press, one of the media companies involved. “We feel partnering with Local Eats & Essentials provides the e-commerce platform our Facebook page can use, and the mission of supporting local restaurants and journalism is a major benefit as well.” Local

Eats & Essentials partners encourage communities to support the program and their local restaurants. To learn more and to order take-out, go to www.localeatsandessentials.com.

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About Local Eats & Essentials: Local Eats & Essentials is an online takeout service that makes it easy to order from more than one restaurant in your community at a time. The program is free for restaurants, and customers pay a nominal local restaurant support fee (between $1 and $5) depending on the size of their orders. For more information, visit www.localeatsandessentials.com.

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April 15, 2021

Statewide journalism association calls on New York state governor to re-open press conferences, events to the press

The Journalists Association of New York, a nonprofit organization that advocates for radio, television and print journalists from dozens of news media organizations and colleges throughout New York state, is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to immediately cease his recent practice of closing all of his public appearances to the press.

This practice is an affront to the public that the governor serves; that public is represented by journalists when they are covering the activities of elected officials.

Since allegations of sexual misconduct became public in late February, the governor has held numerous public events in which he has made announcements around the state, but he has refused to allow journalists to attend any of them. The effect has been that the governor has not had to answer questions from journalists in person.

The governor has cited COVID-19 restrictions as reason for many, but not all, of these events being closed to the press. Most have been held in large facilities or outdoors where social distancing protocols could easily be followed by journalists, just as they were by the invited guests who have attended. We are taken aback that New York journalists who have been on the front lines covering COVID-19 for a year and cover communities across the state have seen their access curtailed.

In addition, COVID-19 case levels are much lower than where they were in the spring and fall of 2020, when the governor still held in-person press conferences and most public events were open to the news media. With vaccinations now available to all New York adults, most journalists also are now vaccinated, providing an additional layer of protection.

The governor's attempts to assuage journalists' concerns about this lack of access by holding occasional conference calls are woefully inadequate. The number of questions reporters can ask during these calls is severely limited, the governor or his staff choose the reporters given the opportunity to ask the questions, and there is typically no opportunity for follow-up questions.

These restricted-access events are a blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars in an attempt to bolster the governor's image while at the same time attacking the public's right to know about the activities of government, a right that is exercised by the news media when covering the governor's public events in person. No governor should refuse to provide this basic level of access and transparency.

As an organization representing hundreds of journalists in New York state, we call upon the governor to restore full press access to his events and to reinstate in-person press conferences.

The Journalists Association of New York, formerly known as the New York State Associated Press Association, is a nonprofit organization overseen by a board of directors representing broadcast, digital, print and academic journalism organizations throughout New York state.

Jeremy Boyer Executive editor,
The Citizen and auburnpub.com
on behalf of the Journalists Association of New York

Journalists Association of New York Board of Directors:

President Tena Tyler, senior editor, Times Union, Albany; Vice President Randy Gorbman, director of news and public affairs, WXXI Public Broadcasting, Rochester; Peter Crowley, managing editor, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Saranac Lake; George Bodarky, news and public affairs director, WFUV‐FM, New York; Scott Norris, news director, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester; Claire Regan, assistant professor, Wagner College, and Director at Large, SPJ National Board of Directors, Staten Island; Tim Scheld, news director, WCBS‐AM, New York; Sara Kugel, producer/reporter, CBS News, New York; Steve McMurray, general manager, WKTV, Utica; and Jeremy Boyer, executive editor, The Citizen and auburnpub.com, Auburn.

Contact: Jeremy Boyer, jeremy.boyer@auburnpub.com, (518) 282-2231; Tena Tyler, ttyler@timesunion.com, (518) 454-5324

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March 11, 2021

Memorandum in Opposition S.1185-b and A.5801 Extended Producer Responsibility Act

The newspapers of New York State are deeply concerned about the financial and Constitutional issues raised by this legislation. As currently drafted, the bill would curtail the availability of accurate news in many areas of the state and invite litigation to defend against government actions that would suppress distribution of news via newspapers. This legislation also unfairly forces newspapers to share the costs incurred by single stream municipal recycling programs and the negative effect of comingled plastic on the market for recovered paper.

The newspapers of New York State have long supported the recycling and reuse of newsprint. More than 30 years ago, our association engaged in a cooperative agreement with the administration of Governor Mario Cuomo to encourage newsprint recycling. Today, more than 64% of old newspapers are recycled into products including home insulation, egg cartons, cereal boxes and eco-friendly cat litter (Yesterday’s News is made by Purina, a company with US manufacturing facilities). Newsprint is compostable and eco-friendly. Inks are non-toxic. Newsprint can be safely used as garden mulch, and old newspaper completely biodegrades in two to six months.

This legislation is an attempt to shift the cost of municipal recycling programs onto highly recyclable products, such products as newspapers and magazines, which represent a small percentage of the municipal waste stream, 1.7 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, according to the EPA (Nondurable Goods: Product-Specific Data | Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling | US EPA). The loss of markets for recyclable waste followed China’s 2018 decision to stop importing most US waste. Previously healthy markets for clean waste paper were damaged when paper was comingled with other materials. China’s purchase of recovered paper was decreased by about 30% due to contamination issues. An article in Yale Environment 360 makes clear where the responsibility lies:

“China’s action came after many recycling programs had transitioned from requiring consumers to separate paper, plastics, cans, and bottles to today’s more common “single stream,” where it all goes into the same blue bin. As a result, contamination from food and waste has risen, leaving significant amounts unusable. In addition, plastic packaging has become increasingly complex, with colors, additives, and multilayer, mixed compositions making it ever more difficult to recycle. “ Piling Up: How China’s Ban on Importing Waste Has Stalled Global Recycling - Yale E360

Newspaper recycling has been a success story and might have continued to pay for itself absent adoption of single stream collection. This legislation would impose costs on newspapers in an attempt to cope with problems created by others.

Newspaper revenues are not elastic, especially in the COVID era. Most newspaper revenue is derived from advertising, and even before COVID, more than half of ad revenues had migrated to the cheap, unregulated and personally targeted environments of Google and Facebook. In the era of COVID, local restaurants, shops and event spaces are closed or suffering extreme financial hardship and can’t afford to advertise. Many newspapers have extended free or deeply discounted advertising to their local businesses in order to help them survive. The cost of newsprint is a newspaper’s second largest expense (personnel is the largest) and there is little competition to keep that cost affordable. The number of newsprint mills has dwindled to a handful in recent years, and nearly all are in Canada.

Newspapers simply cannot “find” additional funding except through staff or distribution cuts.

The legislation would incentivize urban and suburban newspapers to shut down their presses, converting entirely to digital delivery. Pressroom jobs would be eliminated.

The threshold contained in the legislation would capture even the smallest newspapers. Many smaller community newspapers in New York State are owned by families who publish a number of newspapers and would therefore reach the threshold for regulation under this bill. Even the smallest weekly and free papers would be affected, as they are printed by commercial printers , which would pass along the compliance costs.

Home delivery in rural communities is accomplished by local delivery contractors or the US Postal Service. Fees on printed newspapers would have to be managed by curtailing distribution to the most rural locations. A rural printed newspaper provides news about food pantries, volunteer fire department fundraisers and town board meetings that is unavailable in any other media. Rural small businesses and local residents rely on classified and small-space ads in local newspapers to sell goods and services.

The bill exempts standalone retailers from participation in collection requirements, but not coffee shops and diners, which will discourage those local community gathering spots from selling newspapers.

The distribution of newspapers has for 300 years been considered a public good, worthy of citizen and government support and even some cost subsidization. Benjamin Franklin founded the US Postal Service in order to ensure the delivery of newspapers, and “bind the nation together.”. Newspapers are entitled to special discounted mailing rates in order to support distribution to all homes, no matter how remote. This legislation turns that founding philosophy on its head, proposing that newspapers should face government-imposed fees that are not imposed on electronic media. In doing so, the legislature would unfairly burden residents who live in rural areas or who do not have access to broadband internet. Many seniors prefer to receive their news on paper, and this legislation could deprive them on the right to receive news in the format they prefer.

Further, this bill poses serious First Amendment issues.

    1. It authorizes the government to regulate and discourage delivery of news to citizens based on the format on which it is provided.
    2. It provides an avenue for government to assess costs on newspapers that could be adjusted in order to be punitive or restrictive, should government officials wish to retaliate for unfavorable coverage.
    3. It may look like a fee but is actually a tax on citizens’ right to receive information.
    4. It enacts a governmental preference for one type of news media (radio, social media and broadcast TV) over others (newspapers and magazines).
    5. It also includes imposition of a consumer education program. Legislation which grants government the right to compel publication of government messages is a violation of the First Amendment protection of freedom of the press. (Miami Herald v. Tornillo, Washington Post v. McManus)

For these reasons, we urge Senator Kaminsky and Assm. Englebright to amend their legislation to exempt newspapers and magazines, and to pursue other avenues to revitalize the markets for recyclable and compostable materials that previously existed.

Respectfully Submitted,

Diane Kennedy
President

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February 4, 2021

Local Eats and Essentials Expands into three new markets

Press release contact Mark Vinciguerra at markv@manchesternewspapers.com

Now you can order takeout and support local restaurants in Central NY, in Rensselaer County, NY, and the Berkshires region of Massachusetts with a new LOCAL partnership between Localeatsandessentials.com and three media companies, announced today.

Readers of The Daily Orange, The Eastwick Press, and New England Newspapers can now order from their favorite local restaurants online. This program is unique because it's 100% FREE for LOCAL restaurants to participate. “This has been an incredibly challenging time for restaurants.

The lockdown has forced many restaurants to close their doors (some permanently). Restaurants need our support right now and this new program will help those who live in these markets to show their support by going online and ordering take-out from your favorite restaurant” says Katherine Haine, Local Eats partner. “This program is unique because unlike other expensive online ordering programs, Local Eats is entirely free for the restaurant,” adds Haine.

These media companies have partnered with Local Eats to help promote the program to 100,000s of LOCAL consumers using print, social and digital advertising. The media partners and Local Eats share in the revenue derived from the Restaurant Support fee, paid for by consumers, while the restaurants earn the full cost of the meal being purchased at the rate they set. Unlike other online ordering options, there is no monthly fee, transaction charge, or upfront fee paid by the restaurants.

Local Eats partner Mark Vinciguerra says, “In addition to supporting local restaurants, Local Eats and Essentials provides much-needed support to local journalism. Literally, it creates a new revenue stream for media partners and helps to fund their newsgathering operations. To say it’s the proverbial win/win is an understatement.”

Local Eats is now available in 5 markets throughout upstate NY and Western Massachusetts. The privately-owned company is continuing to negotiate with other media partners and expects to expand into dozens of more markets over the next few months.

About Local Eats & Essentials: Local Eats is an online takeout service that makes it easy to order from more than one restaurant in your community at a time. The program is free for restaurants and the customer pays a nominal local restaurant support fee (between $1 and $5) depending on the size of their order. www.localeatsandessentials.com.

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January 20, 2021

JANY Press Release Contact: Tena Tyler, JANY president and a senior editor at the Times Union 518‐454‐5324 or ttyler@timesunion.com

Rebranded Associated Press Organization will continue supporting journalists across New York state

ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Associated Press Association, a nonprofit organization overseen by a volunteer board of journalists from Associated Press members across New York state, is in the process of reorganizing and rebranding following the wire service's decision to no longer provide administrative support.

The AP informed the board in 2020 that it would no longer be directly involved with the association, which has provided annual free or low‐cost training and an annual journalism excellence contest for members from radio, television and print organizations. AP cited a lack of staff time for its decision.

As a result of AP's termination of its relationship with the nonprofit, the NYSAPA board made the decision to continue with its mission through a reorganization and rebranding that is ongoing. The board intends to formally change the nonprofit's name to the Journalists Association of New York.

“While the organization’s name is changing, the mission is not,” said Tena Tyler, who was elected president of the New York State Associated Press Association in 2020 as the AP announced its decision. “We have a rich tradition of supporting fact‐based journalism and the hard work being done by news organizations across the state. That work will continue through JANY.”

As a result of the timing of AP's notice, the annual excellence contest, which typically would be calling for entries in January, had to be postponed. The board hopes to resume the yearly contest after the legal process associated with the reorganization and name change is complete. The organization cannot at this juncture provide a defini‐tive timetable for when that may happen.

In the meantime, the association will move forward with a major focus on training for new and young journalists across New York. Up first will be the planned State of the Field Journalism Seminar on March 6, 2021, being presented with Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Members of the organization will help present a daylong seminar taking on topics such as reporting in the pandemic age, dealing with disinformation, and multiplatform storytelling. The program will finish with a panel discussion on equity and justice in race and gender at the office and in the field. The State of the Field program will be virtual. Registration information will be available in the next few weeks.

“I can’t say enough about the dedication and enthusiasm of this group of radio, television and print journalists,” Tyler said of the nonprofit’s board. “They are eager to carry on the vital mission of supporting journalists across New York state starting with timely and effective training.”

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June 16, 2020

Trial Court Denies Temporary Restraining Order in First Amendment Win for Local Geneva News Outlet

Cornell Clinic and Greenberg Traurig Team Up to Defend The Geneva Believer

Cornell Law School’s First Amendment Clinic and co-counsel Greenberg Traurig, LLP scored a victory last Thursday for citizen journalist Jim Meaney and his blog The Geneva Believer. A New York judge denied a construction company’s extraordinary request for a temporary restraining order requiring that ten articles be removed from the local government-focused blog.

In its decision, the trial court expressly affirmed that a take down order would violate the First Amendment.

“Fighting for the right of citizen journalist Jim Meaney to report on a matter of significant public concern—how a local government conducts its business dealings—is the most recent example of the crucial work that our Local Journalism Project is doing to defend local newsgatherers,” said First Amendment Clinic Director Mark Jackson. “Rulings like this one benefit all reporters by protecting them from efforts to stifle speech at the heart of the First Amendment’s protections.”

Mr. Meaney was represented by Cornell Clinic Associate Director Cortelyou Kenney, Jackson, and teaching fellow Tyler Valeska, along with co-counsel Michael Grygiel of Greenberg Traurig. Cornell Clinic student members Corby Burger, Michael Mapp, and Rob Ward also contributed to the successful opposition to the TRO.

The Geneva Believer covers local government issues in Geneva, New York. In several articles, Mr. Meaney raised questions about construction contracts that Massa Construction Inc. had with the City of Geneva, including potential conflicts of interest of certain City Council members. After Mr. Meaney received a cease-and-desist letter from Massa accusing him of defaming the company, he reached out to the Cornell Clinic for help. Before the Clinic could even respond, Massa filed a defamation complaint against Meaney in state court.

When the Clinic and Grygiel requested Massa withdraw the suit on the bases of defective pleading and New York’s anti-SLAPP protections, Massa filed an amended complaint and a motion for a temporary restraining order.

“The trial court’s decision reaffirms longstanding Supreme Court precedent recognizing that orders such as the one requested by Massa are a classic example of an unconstitutional prior restraint,” said Grygiel. “Unless the case is voluntarily dismissed, we will be filing a motion to dismiss the complaint in the coming weeks. New York’s anti-SLAPP law protects people like Mr. Meaney from the chilling effect of suits brought to restrict or censor their reporting and commentary.” Grygiel co-chairs Greenberg’s National Media and Entertainment Litigation Group.

Massa has filed a notice of appeal of the trial court’s decision to the Appellate Division.

The Cornell First Amendment Clinic is engaged in a variety of cases and projects advancing the interests of free speech and freedom of the press. Its recently launched Local Journalism Project addresses the increasing void in legal representation facing newsgatherers and media outlets that would otherwise be precluded from engaging in expensive litigation to defend their rights and ability to do their jobs. The Clinic’s work extends across disciplines, impacting journalists, researchers, human rights advocates, political advocates, and other individuals targeted based on their expression.

To view a copy of the full brief filed on behalf of Mr. Meaney in March 2020, click here.

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March 27, 2020

News Media Alliance Summary of Small Business Loans to Help Struggling Newspapers

Click here for a summary of the CARES Act (or stimulus 3) to identify available funding and implications for news publishers that will result from the legislation, which has just been passed by the House and signed by the President.

For practical purposes, for those interested in SBA funding, the latest SBA-approved lenders are listed at this link (https://www.sba.gov/content/lender-list-april-2018). This list will grow significantly now that increased discretion is provided to expand those who qualify as lenders.

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March 20, 2020

COVID-19 Safety Practices in the Newspaper Industry

Newspapers throughout the state have shared the steps they are taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to gather accurate and necessary information to provide to their readers, and to connect readers with their communities. While many employees can work remotely, some staff must use computer networks that contain sensitive information, such as personnel records and credit card numbers, which are not accessible off-site.

This is a compilation of ways in which newspapers are working to keep staff, contract workers and readers as safe as possible. The steps at each location may vary.

Newsgathering and General Office Practices:

  • Many or all staff work remotely, communicating through Skype, Teams, etc. Buildings are closed to all visitors and customers.
  • Reporters interview people by phone wherever possible. Photos are taken outdoors at a safe distance wherever possible. Photojournalists are given antiseptic wipes to clean equipment frequently.
  • Offices are stocked with hand sanitizer and feature posters on proper hand-washing, social distancing and other CDC recommendations. Staff are provided with gloves and masks where supplies allow. Employee work stations are relocated within the building to maximize social distancing.
  • There is frequent sanitizing of equipment, mobile devices, doorknobs and other surfaces, and more frequent visits by cleaning services and complete scrub-down of facilities.

Printing and Distribution:

  • Frequent cleaning of printing/distribution areas, including sanitary wipe-down of surfaces during high use times and complete scrub-downs at intervals.
  • Distribution of CDC safety materials to staff and contractors. Provision of disposable gloves to newspaper delivery persons, or rubber gloves that are sanitized daily.
  • Staggered loading area pickup times for delivery persons to enhance social distancing. Loading areas are outdoors.
  • Bundles of newspapers to be sold at stores are bagged and left outside the store, with a bag for returned newspapers, which can also be left outside.

New York News Publishers Association, Inc.
Phone/Fax (518) 449-1667 - Toll-free: (800) 777-1667

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