RPD: Deep In The Heart Of Texas

109th in a 2022 Series*

We thank the Texas Press Association for embracing the Relevance Project’s resources and the Community Forum strategy as a vital part of its Convention & Trade Show in San Marcos this past Friday and Saturday (July 28-30). The invitation continues the strong support of The Relevance Project by TPA Executive Director Mike Hodges. Much appreciated. Our program focused on detailing “The Texas Relevance Project” by stressing that the content and promotions are for Texan newspapers to use and adapt as they see fit. (No charge!) The added bonus in traveling to San Marcos through Austin was the insightful talk by two publishers whose communities have been rocked by fatal shootings at schools. You could hear a pin drop when Leonard Woolsey of The Daly News in Galveston and Craig Garnett of the Uvalde Leader-News described how the national tragedies overwhelmed their communities and the local newspapers they publish. “You can never prepare for this,” Woolsey said. Added Garnett in referring to the shocking revelation about the delayed police response to confronting the shooter: The “ugly piece of information hangs over us.” A standing ovation greeted Garnett at the program’s end. It was clear emotions are still raw. Hanging in the air was his observation that at age 70, he had thought of retiring. But because of the devastation in Uvalde, he now thinks: “No. This is too important. I want to help our community.” Both Woolsey and Garnett emphasized they were proud of how their staffs rose to the challenge. Also at the convention, Woolsey was elected the new president of TPA, after leading the audience in a Community Forum-like discussion — called Publishers Q&A — on issues of importance to members. The high cost of newsprint, production and distribution, the shift from a printed newspaper to a digital E-edition for daily coverage, the challenges of hiring talent, and expansive revenue ideas filled the hour slot. Woolsey showed his chops as an effective moderator.

New Texas Press President Leonard Woolsey (right, standing) listens to a colleague comment during a Publishers Q&A during the association’s 2022 Convention.

–Tom Silvestri, Executive Director, The Relevance Project

*ABOUT THE SERIES: Our goal is to share a Relevant Point of the Day (RPD) throughout 2022. Our target is at least 222. Thank you for supporting The Relevance Project. Your success is our focus.

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