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January 30, 2014

Publisher's Notebook: Sometimes, it’s better to stay out of the way

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — This is the speech I gave Friday at the Kentucky Press Association annual convention in Lexington.

 

I consider my year as president of the Kentucky Press Association to be highly successful, primarily because I didn’t do anything to muck it up.

Yes, the doors are still open at 101 Consumer Lane in Frankfort. We sold a lot of advertising for newspapers in 2013. We planned a great convention for you this week. We laid the groundwork for a very good 2014 when another president takes over. In other words, it was business as usual for KPA.

You see, when you’re part of the best press association in the country, with the best executive director and the best staff in the country, and the best board members, the best thing you can do as president is just to stay out of the way. I think I did that very well.

I do believe that my tenure as president made history though. I presided over what has to be the longest board meeting in KPA history. The summer board meeting in July lasted so long that some of our board members, perhaps for the first time in history, finally got tired of talking. I’m not going to mention any names, but, yes, it was a historic occasion.

It lasted so long because we had some very important issues to discuss. One was the creation of a director’s position for the KPA Journalism Foundation, whose primary job is to seek additional funding for our college internship program. We have a director in place now. Her name is Julia Meister, and she’s already beating the bushes so we can give more college students practical experience in the newspaper and public relations industries.

While some press associations are struggling to maintain existing services, KPA has made a substantial financial commitment to a brand new position, which I think will pay dividends.

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