Author Archives: James Debilzen

Farewell from the WNA communications director

By James Debilzen WNA Communications Director In journalism school, I was taught to write news stories using the inverted pyramid, putting the most important information up top in a lead that was 35 words or less. This is a column, so there’s a bit more leeway given to the author, but I’ll get right to…

Students, host newspapers sought for summer internship program

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation is accepting applications from students and member newspapers for consideration to participate in the 2018 WNAF Internship Program. Up to five interns will be placed at up to five WNA-member newspapers across the state during the summer of 2018. Schedules will vary based on the newspapers’ needs, but interns will earn…

WNA Foundation announces 2017 contest winners, Newspapers of the Year

MADISON — The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation on Friday presented awards to winners of the 2017 Better Newspaper Contest at the Sheraton Madison Hotel during the organization’s annual convention. The 2017 Better Newspaper Contest included 2,819 entries from 119 newspapers. Eligible entries were published between Sept. 1, 2016, and Aug. 31, 2017. Entries were judged by members of the Iowa Newspaper…

Better Writing With Bart: Mini stories equal maximum payoff

By Bart Pfankuch When I returned to full-time reporting and writing three months ago, I had to skip the warm-up period. As the lone writer for a new non-profit, public-service news service, my task was to immediately develop enterprise material of statewide interest in South Dakota. It hasn’t been easy, but with the help of…

Your Right to Know: Policies put public health at risk

Editor’s Note: Your Right to Know, a monthly column by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, is available for publication at no cost. The Wisconsin Newspaper Association is a founding member of the council. By Christa Westerberg Wisconsin’s open government laws were meant to strengthen our democracy by ensuring an informed electorate. But, sometimes, transparency…

WNA Foundation names five ‘Future Headliners’

Five rising stars working in the Wisconsin newspaper industry have been named “Future Headliners” by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation. The recognition program – first launched in 2014 – honors emerging new leaders (age 30 and under) in the news media industry who display good character, leadership and professionalism not only at work, but in…

Rutledge named 2018 Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog

Raquel Rutledge, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog Award. The award recognizes an individual’s extraordinary contributions to open government or investigative journalism in Wisconsin and is a highlight of the eighth annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards reception and dinner, set for…

Salute your staff in the Better Newspaper Contest awards tab

Celebrate your newspaper staff’s accomplishments and congratulate your colleagues in this year’s Better Newspaper Contest results tab. The WNA is selling signature, quarter-, half- and full-page ads in the results tab, which will be distributed following the Better Newspaper Contest Awards Banquet on April 13. A total of 500 papers will be distributed at the…

Ad-libs: One way to avoid the accidental sales jibe

By John Foust Selling and sailing have a lot in common. Consider the jibe. A sailboat cannot sail directly into the wind, but it can sail at angles to the wind. The closest point of sail is approximately 45 degrees to the left or right of the wind direction. Turning the bow (the front) of…