Did The Florida Legislature Pass This Bill To Punish Newspapers?
The bill’s sponsor said it’s about making legal notices more accessible. For the second time in 11 months, the Florida House voted on Thursday to send a bill to Gov. Ron DeSantis that would strip Florida’s newspapers of legal notice revenue. Some lawmakers said the move is a jab at publications that sometimes publish stories and editorials critical of the Republican leadership in Florida. “The free press here in the free state of Florida isn’t reporting what the governor’s communications director wants it to report,” Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Lighthouse Point, said during a committee hearing on the bill this week.
House Bill 7049, which now heads to DeSantis, would eliminate the requirement for local governments to publish notices regarding updates on government meetings and budgets, code enforcement notifications and hazardous waste disposal notices in a third-party publication. Instead, governments would be allowed to publish them on a county website. The measure cleared the Senate 26 to 13, and the House 79 to 40, mostly along party lines.
When asked whether he aimed to punish newspapers with the bill, Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, said the bill was heard in the Senate because it’s a policy improvement. “We now have been having things online for many years,” Simpson said. “If you want some additional transparency, going online will give you that transparency.”
Modernizing The U.S. News Report
The Associated Press is taking steps to make its U.S. news report more visual and digital friendly to help local newsrooms thrive in an increasingly digital environment.
In the weeks ahead, AP will begin producing more video, photos, audio and graphics, as well as explanatory content and localization guides to help customers make major stories local news.
We will also make available AP StoryShare, a platform that allows local outlets to share plans and content with one another, to members in all 50 states. “These changes are really about the AP doubling down on our commitment to news for the U.S. states,” said AP Executive Editor Julie Pace. “What we’re doing is providing the content and capabilities our member news organizations need to really meet their audiences where they are, which is in a digital space.” AP maintains an unrivaled U.S. footprint with a reporter in every statehouse.
How 15 Newsrooms Grew Sponsorship Revenue By 250%
The challenges to earning revenue from businesses were varied and significant for the 15 news organizations that joined the second cohort of the Sponsorship Lab from Google News Initiative (GNI) and the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). Reaching out within a rural community where businesses are limited. Getting staff to understand the difference between transactional selling and solutions-based selling. Lacking experience to confidently price ads and event sponsorships. Simply not knowing where to start.
Thanks to a seven-month GNI-INN Lab with the business strategy experts at Blue Engine Collaborative, however, these 15 media outlets – including 6 nonprofit INN members – dramatically grew their revenue from business sources last year. Their year over year numbers for the same period, before and after the program, jumped by 32% for advertising, 250% for sponsorship (underwriting or sponsored content) and 1485% for events. “The Lab was an eye-opener and put my team on notice, so-to-speak,” said Candi Richardson, sales and marketing director for INN member Mississippi Today. “It forced us to reevaluate pretty much everything and to make some immediate changes that were very impactful to business.” Richardson and her team grew advertising from $5,000 to almost $17,000 during the Lab and earned $6,500 from events compared with $0 the previous year. “There’s a common misconception that nonprofit news organizations can’t take advertising,” said Sue Cross, executive director of INN. “INN data showed that our members were earning significant revenue when they dedicated resources to sponsorship and sales. We saw that as a growth opportunity for the nonprofit news field.
Around 20 Mass. Gannett Newspapers To Kill Print Edition, Go Online-Only
As of May, around 20 local newspapers west Boston that are owned by Gannett Co. Inc. will be stopping print publication altogether, reporting solely online.
Several Gannett (NYSE: GCI) papers posted notices to readers on Wednesday saying that as of early May, it will “instead exclusively offer news online” at its Wicked Local websites, as well as “on social media, via digital newsletters and other platforms.” The notice also encourages readers to subscribe.
The McLean, Virginia-based company declined to tell the Business Journal exactly how many newspapers are being affected by the change. “Information about which publications are making this transition can be found on our websites, and we will be notifying our subscribers via mail as well,” the company said in an email. However, a source familiar with the company’s internal conversations said the change would affect about 20 papers in Massachusetts, none of which are dailies. The source said that some papers were also being merged as part of the initiative.
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