All posts by The Maine Press Association

Better Newspaper contest material coming soon!

The 2014 Better Newspaper Contest packets are being prepared this week, so expect them to arrive at your paper very soon. Sometimes the packages get misplaced in large newsrooms; so if you don’t see one at your paper, check with the editor or drop us an email and we’ll try to straighten things out.

Here’s a recap of a few changes we’ve announced previously.

New categories have been added to Sports: Game Story, Sports Profile, Sports Section, and Sports Page Design.

There will be two General Excellence Awards presented in all circulation divisions: Print and Digital. The digital award replaces the Best Website awards.

The Best Newspapers in Education (NIE) Idea category has been changed to Best Youth Engagement. However, NIE sections are still eligible under the revised rules.

A Food Story entry has been added to the Writing category. In previous years, many food articles were entered under Arts/Lifestyle Feature.

Best New Revenue Idea has also been added to the Advertising category. This could include something outside of in-house sales or promotions such as participation in community events or trade shows.

All stories and photos will be submitted online this year with articles in a PDF format.

However, tear sheets of sections and pages (Specialty Page, Sports Section, Supplement, etc.) will still be required.

So please read the instructions carefully and send us your best work!

On Board

Alicia Tuttle of Augusta has joined the advertising team at the Kennebec Journal as the creative services assistant.

Tuttle was the graphic designer/office manager for The Capital Weekly for six years, where she was responsible for creating and designing advertisements, supplements, layout design for the weekly publication, processing press releases, customer service, payroll processing and assisting with day-to-day office operations.

She is a graduate of Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale and is currently pursuing her associate’s degree in graphic communications from Central Maine Community College.

State police discontinue media credentials

The Maine Department of Public Safety has stopped issuing media credentials, according to spokesperson Steve McCausland.

The laminated cards were issued for several years and often made it easier for reporters and photographers to get access to crime scenes, fires or serious accidents.

However, McCausland said that since there were very few reporters requesting them in recent years, the service was dropped.

Tips on covering extreme winter

From Jim Digital editor-at-large David Newhouse put out a memo during the last cold snap with tips on covering extreme winter weather.

“How often should you update a forecast?” he writes. “Whatever number probably just crossed your mind, double it. The most successful sites update a storm’s approach obsessively …”

Here’s one interesting point about school and business closings and cancellations that may be helpful to dailies that update their websites frequently.

The old view: TV does them, so why should we?

The new view: People look to us as their primary storm news source; and besides, it’s quicker to look them up online than to wait for the TV anchor to get to your school.

PPH production director James Sanville passes away

James Sanville, a retired assistant production director for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram who had passions for reading and technology, died Jan. 8 after a brief illness. He was 79.

Mr. Sanville began working for the newspaper as a delivery boy in Portland. At the age of 16, he got a job in the mailroom. For many years, he worked in the stereotype department, which made the lead plates used to print each day’s newspaper on the presses. He also worked in advertising as a makeup person, laying out the position of advertisements on each page of the newspaper.

Mr. Sanville, a 47-year employee of the Guy Gannett Publishing Co., retired in 1996 as assistant production director. He also served on the South Portland Board of Appeals. He was also a member of the Portland Elks Lodge.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jaqueline, and three children.

(Courtesy of the Portland Press Herald)

The MPA Newsletter is back – and we need your news

The MPA Newsletter is back. The format is actually the same, but we plan to send two editions per month, providing we have enough material.

So tell us about your new hires, awards and promotions. Let us know if you’ve ran into a sticky Freedom of Access issue. Are you adding new features to your publication? All this is news that you can share with others in the association.

Are all your coworkers on our email list? If they’d like to be added, send their email addresses to Newsletter Editor Mike Lange at

As you know by now, dues notices have been sent to all member papers and prompt payment will certainly be appreciated.

However, old habits die hard and some checks are still going to old addresses. Please note that mail should now be sent to Diane Norton, The Maine Press Association, P.O. Box 336, Camden, ME 04843

Executive Director Diane Norton can be reached at 691-0131 and the MPA’s email address remains

New director on the job for MPA

Please welcome the Maine Press Association’s new executive director, Diane Norton.
Diane, a former MPA president, contest chair and Advertising Person of the Year, takes over as executive director today from Jeff Ham, who served for the last two years and, before that, from 2002 through 2008.
With a new director comes new contact information for the association. Mail should now be sent to P.O. Box 336, Camden, ME 04843, and Diane can be reached at 691-0131. The MPA’s email address remains
Here’s to a great 2014 for Maine’s newspapers.

Papers face New Year’s public notice deadline

The Jan. 1 deadline is approaching for Maine newspapers with websites to post all public notices that appear in their print editions.
Under a state law passed this year with support from the MPA, the notices must be:
• Posted online no later than the day they appear in print.
• Accessible via a link from the home page of the newspaper’s website.
• Presented “in a clear and conspicuous manner,” large enough to be “clearly readable.”
• “The dominant subject matter” of the page on the website where they appear.
The law does not require newspapers without publicly accessible websites to develop them.
If you have questions about the requirements of the new law, contact the MPA at

MPA names Diane Norton its next director

Diane Norton, a former Maine Press Association president who was publisher for the Courier Publications newspapers, has been named to be the association’s next executive director.
Norton will start work Jan. 1, succeeding Jeff Ham, who served as director from 2002-08 and again through 2012 and 2013. He said, “I’m stepping down to spend more time with the rest of my life,” but will join the MPA Board of Directors as of Jan. 1.
Norton was the MPA’s Advertising Person of the Year in 1995. She was the Better Newspaper Contest chair in 2006 and was president of the MPA in 2006-07. She worked for The Camden Herald and Courier Publications for 20 years, until 2008, when the newspaper group was sold to VillageNet Media.
More recently, Norton was vice president of marketing for Camden National Corp. She is now working as an independent professional in advertising, business development, public relations and communications.
She said, “I’m pleased to be returning to the Maine Press Association and look forward to working with the MPA board to promote and support the best interests of the newspapers, journalists and media organizations that form the MPA membership.”
MPA President Kelly Morgan said the board was impressed with Norton’s long history in the newspaper industry in Maine.
“She’s a wonderful fit for the Maine Press Association and we look forward to working with her,” Morgan said. “We also are fortunate that Jeff Ham is willing to continue to offer his time to the board by joining after he steps down as executive director.”