The MPA reminds member newspapers that the deadline for entries in this year’s Better Newspaper Contest is May 24. Photo entries will be judged in a digital format and must be submitted to http://mainepress.wordpress.com/2013-contest-page/. Illustrations and Graphics may be submitted the same way. Use the same URL for entries in all Online categories including Best Website. For other categories, send tearsheets or printouts to the MPA in packages postmarked by May 24. Complete entry information and instructions are in the packet that was emailed to each newspaper in April. Those forms are also online at http://mainepress.wordpress.com/2013-contest-page/
The Legislature has passed a bill to shield personal information on concealed-handgun permits from Maine’s Freedom of Access Act.
The MPA and other advocates of open government opposed L.D. 345, which was submitted by Rep. Corey Wilson, R-Augusta, arguing that the information is in the public interest and that the current debate over gun rights does not justify another exemption to the right-to-know law.
The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee had endorsed the amended version of the bill that the House and Senate passed in late April. The law, which took effect when Gov. Paul LePage signed it on April 26, makes only aggregate data on gun permits public. Information including each permit holder’s name, address and date of birth is now confidential, for the first time since 1981.
The Judiciary Committee’s House chair, Democrat Charles Priest of Brunswick, proposed an amendment to keep the identifying information public while allowing certain permit holders, such as victims of domestic violence, to seek exemptions.
Priest said, “There is no proven need for this. … “The policy of this bill will soon be extended to hunting licenses, I can tell you that, because they too indicate that you have possession of a gun. Passage of this will do untold harm to the right-to-know law.”
In two committee votes, only Priest, Rep. Kim Monaghan-Derrig, D-Cape Elizabeth, and Rep. Matthew Moonen, D-Portland, voted to keep the records open to the public. All three spoke against concealing the public records during debate in the House. The MPA thanks them for taking a stand for the public’s right to know.
See how each representative and senator voted on the bill.
The MPA is seeking volunteers to judge this year’s New Hampshire Press Association Best Media Contest. Newspaper professionals from Maine are needed to pick winners in categories that cover writing, photography, design, advertising and new media.
New Hampshire’s entry deadline is June 14, so judges can expect to receive entries in early summer. Judging requires a modest time commitment, but it’s a good way to find out what – and how – other newspapers are doing.
The MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest will be judged this year by the press associations in New Hampshire and South Carolina. In return, South Carolina will need judges from Maine in early 2014.
Entry forms for the Better Newspaper Contest were sent to all MPA papers on April 12. The deadline for those entries is May 24.
Contact the MPA at email@example.com if you’re interested in being a judge for New Hampshire, or if you’re not sure your newspaper has received its entry packet for Maine’s Better Newspaper Contest.
The MPA has chosen the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch as the venue for its Fall Conference in 2014. Next year’s conference will be held on the weekend of Oct. 17-18 at the hotel and conference center along the Androscoggin River in downtown Auburn.
The association’s directors approved the contract this month, confident that the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch will be an affordable and centrally located site with facilities well suited for the conference.
This year’s Fall Conference is scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 25-26 at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Conference Center in Bar Harbor. The MPA is working now to put together the 2013 conference program and welcomes members’ ideas for Saturday morning seminars. You can send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations are being taken for 2013 inductees to the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame. The deadline for nominations is June 7.
Candidates must be Maine newspaper professionals who have made lasting career contributions to their craft, in or out of the state. Typically, some of each year’s Hall of Fame class is inducted posthumously. A total of 57 journalists have been inducted since the Hall of Fame was established in 1998.
The MPA’s Hall of Fame Committee asks that names be submitted as soon as possible so they can be circulated among the committee members who will select the inductees. Each nomination should be accompanied by supporting material that will help committee members as they make their decisions.
This year’s inductees will be announced in July. The 2013 induction ceremony will be held at the MPA Fall Conference in October.
Nominations can be sent to the committee chair, Bob Caswell, at email@example.com, or USM Public Affairs, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04014. If you have questions, please call 780-4200.