September 2014 Community Journal Newsletter

Improving editorial pages

ISWNEMembers of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors participate in an editorial critique session at the organization’s summer conference held at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. From left, Interlink customer Sarah Kessinger, editor and publisher of the Marysville Advocate in Kansas; Merle Baranczyk, publisher of the Mountain Mail in Colorado and Immediate Past President of the National Newspaper Association; Steve Bonspiel, editor and publisher of the Eastern Door in Quebec, Canada; Jim Painter, city editor of the Temple Daily Telegram in Texas; and (back to camera) Clyde Willis, retired publisher of the Metropolis Planet in Illinois. The editorial critique session above was facilitated by retired Missouri publisher, now Interlink Senior Sales and Marketing Manager Helen Sosniecki, whose husband, Gary, is the current ISWNE president. Conference hosts were former Interlink customers Guy and Marcia Wood of New Mexico, now retired. The Sosnieckis will host the 2015 conference at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. Click here for photos from the Colorado conference.

More publication now submitting postage statements electronically

By Brad Hillphoto_brad_hill

Nearly 250 newspapers now are using Interlink Circulation to submit postal documentation online for every issue. In doing so, publishers are freed from having to provide hardcopy PS Forms 3541 (Periodical Mail) and 3602 (Standard Mail), as well as the USPS Qualification Report.

In lieu of clicking Print, eDoc users choose Send to USPS to submit their reports, which are then immediately available to the local post office. Printed copies still are available for determined record-keepers, from within Circulation or by logging into the USPS Business Customer Gateway at

The Postal Service reported in August, that 77% of all eligible commercial mail now is being entered as Full-Service Intelligent Mail using eDoc. That figure continues to climb, despite the last minute belay of USPS’ plan to require Full-Service for automated (barcoded) mailings back in January. Full-Service eDoc transmits more detailed information about a mailing than what is included with basic eDoc. Roughly half of the newspapers submitting eDoc through Interlink Circulation are sending it as Full-Service.

Configuring Full-Service eDoc has been simplified through the Full-Service Setup Wizard, found under the PostalOne! menu in Circulation. Moving to Full-Service also changes the format of 2″ sack/tray tags in order to accommodate a different barcode, and the new format is compatible with existing perforated tag stock from Interlink.

We have heard reports of postal employees attempting to demand the use of eDoc, which is not a policy of the Postal Service. The decision of whether or not to submit electronically remains at the discretion of each mailer. Many postal clerks favor eDoc as it relieves them from manually entering each value from a hardcopy postage statement into their PostalOne! system. This can result in significant time savings, and reduces the likelihood of human error.

Interlink recommends the use of eDoc for all newspapers and other publications using Interlink Circulation, and encourages publishers to configure for Full-Service to take advantage of the additional benefits it provides.

For additional information on eDoc and Full-Service, visit


Is publishing like a Spartan Race? Well, it certainly tests your limits!

By Helen Sosnieckihelen sosniecki
Senior Sales and Marketing Manager

Last month, Interlink owner and founder Bill Garber forwarded an email to me about blogger Chris Brogan’s life-changing experience of a grueling Spartan Race. ( says a Spartan Race “is designed to push your limits, test your strength, challenge your endurance.”)

Bill’s question to me as a longtime owner/publisher was “is publishing this kind of an all-out experience?  Is publishing measured by time to finish … or … just finishing.”

He asked if, in publishing, you are a Spartan just by showing up, not by where you finish. He further used this example… “What my takeaway here is more like skiing at Taos.  You show up.  You have never skied.  You are in the beginner’s class.  You are in the St. Bernard for dinner at a table with level 10 (on a scale of 1-10) skiers. They treat you like you belong because you are at Taos.”

Well, Bill, there are certain activities or events (like Spartan) where just showing up is enough.

Husband Gary and I did the Bix 7 in Davenport, IA, again this summer – along with about 18,000 people who took to the 7-mile course. I was among the thousands of walkers — rather than the thousands of runners – who tackled Brady Street hill. But we were all part of the Bix and cheered one another on.

Unless you were the professional runners vying for money, it was all about just finishing – since so many walkers and runners don’t.

And, you are part of the Bix experience by showing up, lacing up your shoes and tackling Brady Street hill… no matter if you walk or run … as long as you cross that finish line no matter your time. It’s a personal experience, but, at the same time, a shared experience with everyone else who laced up their shoes that morning.

Publishing is – and isn’t – the same.

If you are a publisher and show up at your regional or state press association meeting or NNA or ISWNE or other newspaper organization, you are treated like you belong by virtue of shared positions, issues, problems, challenges.

That being said, independent owners/publishers and publishers working for groups (large, small or in-between) may share position (publisher) but have different challenges.

The independent owner/publisher many times has a lot more at stake personally than the group publisher simply because of the financial commitment of ownership. The owner/publisher not only has to be dedicated to covering his/her community putting out the best paper possible with the resources available, but also ultimately is solely responsible for the availability of those financial resources, whether they meet the day-to-day expenses and managing any long-term mortgages as well – along with his/her banker. And, thus, is directly responsible for the livelihoods not only of family but also of his/her staff members. And, in a downturn like we have suffered in recent years, they have continued the grueling 60-, 70-, 80+ hours a week, all the while in many cases, they have watched the value of their business slide or in some cases plummet.

The group publisher, on the other hand, likely answers to a board or family owner who may live elsewhere who is gauging success or failure most heavily on the financial side. (And, whose signature is on the bank loans, rather than the publisher’s.) Thus, depending on the group, the publisher’s main focus may be the bottom line because that may be a big determinant in whether that publisher stays at that publication, moves to a larger publication within the group or is checking for openings next month. A high-quality product may or may not get a publisher kudos from above in group ownership. (A big pat on the back to groups that do recognize and promote quality journalism as well as fiscal responsibility.)

However, publishers share a bond (no matter the experience level and ownership type) because of the unusual nature of what they do.

How many businesses start each day or week off totally manufacturing a new product from scratch? Not knowing what the driving news force of that day/week’s edition will be? Or if enough advertising will be sold to support that day/week’s edition?

Covering disaster and tragedy in their home community upfront – fires, fatal accidents, suicides, murders, etc. — with people they know well and see on a routine basis being the victims of those events. It’s business, yet it’s very personal.

Digging into wrongdoing in their local governmental bodies where friends, fellow church members, their child’s teacher, etc., may be sitting on that board.

It’s a position that lets you know the best — and worst — about a community and the people in it.

However, unlike a Spartan experience, time IS important in publishing. And, newspaper offices live by the clock.

If you have a press deadline of 6 a.m., and you finish your last page at 10 a.m., it doesn’t matter up or down the chain how great that front page looks, you still failed. Even on 9-11, presses around the country and around the world rolled on time. Extra editions may have been printed after deadline, but deadlines are sacred in the newspaper industry. It’s how we work. It’s how we deliver. It’s how we are wired.

When I worked on the desk at a group-owned metro in the 1980s, if the press started one minute after the scheduled final press run at night, incident reports had to be filed detailing why… not that anyone was going to be fired over a 60-second delay, but to determine what happened to make sure it didn’t happen again because the entire business worked on the premise that everyone had a deadline and everyone met it. And, that minutes count!

People in the newspaper industry don’t have to be reminded of deadlines. Everyone knows them. Everyone knows their importance. And, if you want to survive in the business, you meet them.

In that way, publishing isn’t like a Spartan Race … just showing up isn’t enough … but it can be just as grueling.


Cough, cough… those deadlines can be demanding!Dan Thalmann

By Dan Thalmann, Owner/Publisher
Washington County (KS) News;Linn-Palmer Record
Reprinted with permission
Published Aug. 13, 2014, in The Kansas Publisher

Last week I processed pictures from the hospital bed. We got a paper out, but it was small and, honestly, not something that made me proud.

This week I finished up pages on just three hours of sleep and a fast food bag of medication working against my slim energy reserves.

I’ve been dealing with walking pneumonia for almost a month now. I don’t ever get sick; before this incident, I couldn’t tell you the last time illness forced me to stay out of the office.

I’m overweight, but generally healthy otherwise and I’ve always been proud to have the ability to work much longer hours than people half my age. A cough or sore throat might have caused me to keep my office door closed, but it wouldn’t keep me out of the office. I was unstoppable.

But this one hit me hard. General lethargy, violent coughing, and eventually dehydration from lack of eating and drinking got me two trips to the hospital, one of which turned into an overnight stay.

That was last Monday night… a night that is pretty darn important in my routine of getting a paper out.

My staff is great and we got the paper out, but cruddy lungs have hampered my nights and while I wasn’t in the hospital this week, I haven’t had a great night of sleep in probably three weeks and I’m feeling it. This week’s paper was less than my best effort, too.

But I got it out. Someone on the street asked me why I don’t just skip a week. Yes, I know: we’re allowed a couple. But we never have missed a week and I don’t want that to happen on my watch.

Funny thing is, I know my story is repeated many times, with more drastic illnesses, across the newspaper industry all the time.

What is it with newspaper people and work ethic? Why do I hear stories of publishers having heart attacks, or serious car accidents, and yet they feel committed to get a feature story finished up or get a couple pages laid out?

Honestly, I’m proud of our work ethic. It seems to be a diminishing value in society these days, but I guarantee our industry works as hard as it ever has.

That work ethic is probably a vicious circle though. The stress of a deadline can have direct and indirect affects on our health.

We need to remember to take care of ourselves so we can continue to put out our best work each and every day.

Thalmann is the owner/publisher of the Washington County News and Linn-Palmer Record and 2014-2015 president of the Kansas Press Association.


Speaker shares newsroom resources

From Missouri Press Association
Reprinted with permission

Jonathan Groves, a professor at Drury University in Springfield, MO, recently presented a list of Newsroom Resources to attendees at the Ozark Press Association conference in Springfield.

The following are several useful links.

Data journalism resources:
The Data Journalism Handbook:
National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR):
ProPublica Nerd Blog:
The Guardian datablog:

Social media resources:
NPR’s Social Media Desk:
The Verification Handbook:
Drury’s Social Media Certificate:
Search Engine Land:
Social Media Examiner:

Future of journalism resources:
American Press Institute:
Engaging News Project (University of Texas at Austin):
Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab:
Knight’s J-Lab:
USC’s Media Impact Project:
Pew Journalism Project:
Poynter Institute:

Free online tools:
Animatron (free animation tool):
YouTube video editor:
Storify (social media curation):
Google Fusion Tables (data mapping):
Google Analytics:
QGIS (mapping):
Tableau Public (data analysis):
Quickmeme (free meme creator):


Sosnieckis among Missouri Press Hall of Fame inductees

Gary & Helen photoFormer Missouri newspaper owners and publishers Gary and Helen Sosniecki are among six newspaper people, including another husband-wife team, who will be inducted this month into the Missouri Press Association Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Helen is Interlink’s Senior Sales and Marketing Manager, and Gary is a Regional Sales Manager for The induction is planned Sept. 26, during the 148th annual Convention of the Missouri Press Association (MPA) in Columbia.

This year’s other inductees are David Bradley, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News-Press & Gazette Company, St. Joseph; Judy Dixon, Festus, a cartoonist/illustrator with more than 30 years in the newspaper industry; and Don and Kathy Ginnings, longtime publishers of the Hermitage Index.

Hall of Fame inductees receive Pinnacle Awards in honor of their service to the Missouri newspaper industry and their communities. Inductees’ plaques will join the permanent display of inductees in the MPA office in Columbia and in the student lounge in Lee Hills Hall at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The Sosnieckis owned weekly newspapers in Humansville, Seymour and Vandalia and published The Lebanon Daily Record during a 34-year newspaper career that also included newspaper jobs in Tennessee, Illinois and Kansas.

They are 1973 graduates of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and will host the 2015 summer conference of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors at Mizzou.

Their many awards include ISWNE’s lifetime-achievement honor, the Eugene Cervi Award, in 2003. Gary’s editorials won Golden Quill awards from ISWNE in 1998 and 2006. The Sosnieckis received the National Newspaper Association’s Community Development Award in 1998 for their efforts to build a new library in Seymour and its President’s Award in 2007 for their work on postal issues.

Helen was the NNA’s Emma C. McKinney Memorial Award winner for 2011. Gary was 2004 president of the Missouri Press Association and is the current president of ISWNE. Helen was MPA’s state representative to NNA. Both served as presidents of the Ozark Press Association.

The Sosnieckis live in Le Claire, Iowa.


Employee’s mother helping provide wreaths for soldiers buried at Arlington

Juanita MillerJuanita Miller, mother of Interlink Associate Sales Manager Jessica Hughey, was featured last month in a story in the Press & Guide Newspapers in Dearborn, MI, for her efforts to help provide wreaths for military personnel buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Miller, who was a colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, and some of her friends have been involved for several years in raising money for wreaths to lay at the Capitol in Lansing, MI.

With this being the 150th anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery, they decided to join the Wreaths Across America project.

Read about their efforts here…



Client Solutions Q&A

Q. While updating Interlink Circulation to the latest version, my icon disappeared. How do I get it back?

A. When updating to a newer version of Circulation, occasionally the icon will disappear from the desktop as the older version is being uninstalled in preparation for the new version. An interruption of this process (connectivity issues, cancelling the install and/or power failure) could leave a missing icon from your desktop. If your update has been interrupted, simply download the software here  Depending on your browser, you may be prompted to Run or Save the installation package.  Running is the preferred method, but if you’re required to Save, you will then need to locate/Run the Circulation.exe file to complete installation.  Once successfully installed, you should be able to open your Circulation list as normal and with minimal interruption.


Interlink welcomes…

Riggle is new Administrative AssistantBethany Riggle

Interlink welcomed Bethany Riggle as our new Administrative Assistant this summer.  Bethany recently moved to the area from Washington where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, with an emphasis in Marine Ecology.

During her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, baking chocolate chip cookies and catching up on Netflix with her boyfriend.





Vogt joins Client Solutions

Kara VogtKara Vogt joined Interlink’s Client Solutions Team after many years of providing outstanding customer service in varying fields.  She has provided technical support for Macs and windows in the past and is a self-taught web developer.

Kara has also done professional work as a photographer, and says she can get a “good picture” out of anyone.

In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her two children, Zachary, 2, and Alexis, 14. Kara also enjoys dancing, roller-skating and the ever popular Hula Hooping…of which she makes her own!





Take a bow…

McNeece elected MPA presidentMcNeece, Joel

From Mississippi Press Association

BILOXI – The publisher of The Calhoun County Journal in Bruce was elected the 142nd president of the Mississippi Press Association during the newspaper trade group’s annual meeting on the gulf coast this summer.

Joel McNeece, 44, will serve as president of MPA and Mississippi Press Services, Inc., an affiliated advertising and marketing service.

McNeece and his wife, Lisa, and sister-in-law, Celia Hillhouse, own and operate the 5,000-circulation weekly newspaper. Lisa McNeece is a former president of MPA and her father, the late S. Gale Denley, is a past president and member of the MPA Hall of Fame.

McNeece has worked in the newspaper industry for more than 20 years during which time he has won numerous awards for writing in news, sports and his weekly column.

In 2009, McNeece was honored with the Dan Phillips Leadership Award from the National Newspaper Association. He currently serves as Mississippi state chairman for NNA.

McNeece and others were installed during ceremonies at a joint convention with the Louisiana Press Association.

Another Interlink customer also was elected to a board leadership position. Paul Keane, publisher of the Wayne County News, was elected second vice president.
Interlink customers Jim Prince, publisher of The Neshoba Democrat and president of Prince Newspaper Holdings, Inc., becomes Immediate Past President and Chairman of the MPA Education Foundation, and Stephanie Patton, editor and publisher of The Leland Progress, was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors.


Mississippi honors newspapers, publishers

Newspapers singled out as General Excellence winners in the annual Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Contest during the summer convention included Interlink customers The Northside Sun of Jackson, the Madison County Journal of Ridgeland and The Petal News of Hattiesburg.

Publishers honored included three Interlink customers:
• Charlie Smith, publisher of the Enterprise-Tocsin in Indianola, won the Bill Minor Prize for General News Reporting;
• Wyatt Emmerich, publisher of The Northside Sun, won the Bill Minor Prize for Investigative Reporting for Non-Daily Newspapers.
• Colin Krieger, publisher and editor of The Columbus Packet, was awarded Photo of the Year.



Rush County News publisher dies

Rush County (KS) News editor and publisher Mary Alice Engel, 73, of La Crosse, KS, died July 20, 2014, at her home.

She was married to Duane G. Engel in 1962 in Hays, KS. He preceded her in death Sept. 19, 2009. She was a resident of La Crosse for more than 50 years.

She was the publisher and editor of the Rush County News and co-owner of Triple E Enterprises LLC.

Survivors include sons Tim and Troy and daughter Melissa and their families, all of LaCrosse.

Services were held at St. Michael Catholic Church in La Crosse with burial in La Crosse City



Longtime Herald owner dies at 81

John Franklin Turner, 81, longtime owner and editor of the Greene County Herald in Leakesville, MS, died June 22, 2014, at Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg, MS.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Leola Manasco Turner; daughter, Cheri Culpepper; son, Russell Turner and their families.

Services were held June 26 at Freeman Funeral Home with burial in Leakesville’s Mcleon-Magnolia Cemetery.


Postal Calendar

Wednesday, Oct. 1: Publishers are required by the Post Office to file a Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (PS Form 3526) annually with their Post Office of Entry by Oct. 1 to show proof of continued eligibility for mailing under a Periodical permit. Publishers also must publish the report before Oct. 31.

Postal Holidays: Upcoming postal holidays with no regular mail delivery: Monday, Oct. 13, Columbus Day; Tuesday, Nov. 11, Veterans’ Day; Thursday, Nov. 27, Thanksgiving Day; Thursday, Dec. 25, Christmas; Thursday, Jan. 1, New Years.


Interlink Calendar

Thursday, Nov. 27 – Closed
Friday, Nov. 28 – Closed. Emergency response via callbacks

Wednesday, Dec. 24 – Close at noon Eastern
Thursday, Dec. 25 – Closed

New Year’s
Thursday, Jan. 1 – Closed


E-subscriptions, print subs to be on Form 3526

From National Newspaper Association
The National Newspaper Association has confirmed that the unified reporting of electronic subscriptions on one form with print subscribers, PS Form 3526, Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation, is scheduled for release in hard copy and in the PostalOne! postage payment system computers for use in September for the Oct. 1 filing date.


What customers are saying…

From Texas…

“Just touching base with you to let you know how happy we are with Interlink.

“It is saving us so much time and $$$$$money$$$$$; approximately $60-$70 a week on our postal reports!!!!!! And, it’s so easy to work with.”

“Thank you for introducing us to Interlink.”

Gabriel Garcia, Circulation Manager
San Juanita Olivarez, Bookkeeper
Marcelo Silva, Publisher
Falfurrias Facts


Interesting links…

Ramen Noodles Theory of online news
NAA Content Producer Catherine Payne notes that “Journalists might have gotten a taste of the Ramen Noodles Theory years ago. The theory, which suggests that online news, like Ramen noodles, is an inferior good, might have been hard for some to swallow, but it is still interesting food for thought.”
Read more:

‘Mail jumpers’ part of lake tour in WI
In Lake Geneva, WI, summer tourist boat tours include ‘mail jumpers’ delivering mail to docks around the lake. You can read the NPR story here…

Kids deliver most papers in this town
The childhood paper route is still alive and well in this Iowa town. You can read the NPR story here…

A funny look at Mac vs. PC
Mac users especially will enjoy these humorous Mac vs. PC videos…

Journalism student attitudes
Journalism professor is concerned today’s journalism students “don’t have the slightest inkling why their coverage matters from a historical perspective.” Read more:


Interlink Classifieds

NEED A NEW LABEL PRINTER? No need to spend your cash buying a new one. Just use Interlink’s Monthly Printer Service. For only $24.95 per month, Interlink will provide you a fully supported thermal label printer for unlimited use in your office. Current model being supplied is the Citizen CL-S621. Label/ribbon packages are available from Interlink. Call 888-473-3103.

FREE TRAINING! Our Fall Special lets three lucky customers keep the standard $190 training fee to stimulate their local economy. We will provide a FREE two-hour training session to the first three Interlink customers who respond to this ad. Call Helen or Jessica at 888-473-3103. A trained, efficient Interlink Circulation operator can save your newspaper time and money. If you have an operator who has not been through our training process, who learned by sharing information internally with the last operator, chances are not all of the program’s efficiencies are being utilized. If you don’t respond in time to grab one of the free offers, we still can sign your operator up for an intense two-hour training session for only $190. Let us help get your operator up to speed on all Interlink can do to help you and your operation.