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Is it necessary that the traffic ticket was reported in the newspaper again, a reader asks. The original citation was published two months ago. Publication of traffic citations probably generated the most calls during my tenure as editor. No 1, nobody likes being linked with a police report – whether it’s something as common as speeding or something that carries greater notoriety, such as a DWI. No. 2, the offenders get confused – and often angered – between the report of the actual ticket and then the report of the court disposition. more
In the last few weeks, it seems that every time I read or hear the news, police body cams are at the forefront. Even as a bill was being introduced in the General Assembly, and the North Charleston case was making headlines, I got calls on the Hotline asking whether the video from “body cams” and “dash cams” are public record. On Sunshine Day, a panel comprised of NCPA General Counsel Emeritus Hugh Stevens, Frayda Bluestein of the UNC School of Government and Christopher Brook of the ACLU discussed the merits of using body cameras and whether the video they capture is a public record. As of now, the state of the law is unsettled, with different judges reaching different conclusions. more
We’ve all been there, flipping through seemingly endless television listings. A minute goes by. Then two. Then three. Next, a 10-minute scroll and a difficult search through Netflix. And still … more
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I usually do. Sometimes they are elaborate, with different resolutions for different areas of my life – work, home, fitness. … more
School’s out! I am fresh off teaching media law at the UNC School of Media and Journalism over the 2017-2018 academic year. I loved it and loved my students! I am happy, though, to now have time to … more
The North Carolina Press Association will continue to fight to ensure access to public notices for all citizens, not just those with a computer and Internet connection. The statistics clearly show … more
A reader emailed to mention that I’d recently written a column listing New Century Schoolbook (among others) as a typeface to toss, but that I hadn’t suggested a text face that might be … more
When you peel back the layers of advertising philosophy and technique, it all comes down to one thing: Motivation. People buy things because they are motivated. And the most effective ads are … more
Newspaper legal notices can be dull stuff, but they’re attracting a lot of interest from state lawmakers. Bills that would change public notice laws were introduced in 21 states this year. Almost … more
An effort in the legislature, Senate Bill 343, would eventually eliminate the requirement that local governments publish legal notices of their affairs in newspapers. The state House should kill this … more
State Senate Bill 343 is bad law, and residents here should fight it. The bill proposes to keep legal notices out of some, if not all, newspapers, and that flies in the face of laws and … more
Did you know that starting July 1, public agencies can decline to give you hard copy records that are posted online? Or that UNC recently refused to release emails from a faculty member, claiming … more
It's that time again already. The General Assembly opened  its biennial "long session" on January 11. A few, new lieutenants in the leadership ranks remind us that some of the old guard … more
Looking for a sample letter asking for camera access to court hearings? Look no further.  NCPA General Counsel Amanda Martin of SMVT has prepared the following letter for members to … more
You may be familiar with the provision of the Public Records Law that says you get to ask for public records in whatever format you want, so long as they can be provided that … more
Carl is a marketing manager who has been on the receiving end of hundreds of media presentations. He knows a thing or two about effective sales techniques. “Most of the time, I’m the point person … more
I was talking to Greg, a veteran sales manager “Our sales team knows the importance of asking questions and gathering the right information,” he said. “But the key is to write it down … more
I once encountered a car dealer who took advertising puffery to new levels. They publicized themselves as being number one in every conceivable category. Their general advertising theme was, … more
FINDING COMMON GROUND Some of you remember Governor Cooper before he was governor - even before he was attorney general - back when he was Senator Cooper.  In 1995, then Sen. Cooper was … more
Contrast helps to create focal points on a page and a hierarchy for what readers will see first. Here are several ways to create contrast in your design.Contrast of Size. The largest headline on a … more
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