CNPA honors best when shared

JACC President Paul DeBolt posted the following on the faculty listserve last week:

Congratulations are in order for editors and staffers of two JACC-member publications — el Don (Santa Ana College) and Southwestern Sun (Southwestern College) — as they won first and second place honors respectively in the California Newspaper Publishers Association 2005 Better Newspapers Contest. Winners were announced yesterday at the annual CNPA convention.

Kudos and congratulations, indeed! But for a long time I’ve promoted getting more schools to mail out more copies of their papers to more schools. It only take a few minutes a week to mail 50-60 papers; and most schools absorb mailing costs.

We all benefit when we see others’ papers. We see the Southwestern Sun at conferences twice a year, but never get a chance to see the Santa Ana el Don because Santa Ana doesn’t attend JACC conferences. And neither of these schools has an online edition, so we can’t even view their writing. (Southwestern has tried to launch a web site, but has had problems keeping it alive.)

Would that the CNPA award carried a cash prize for their schools to offset regularly mailing copies of their papers to other schools. Contests are great, but we’re all in it for the education. And learning from “best practice” is a common practice.

What does everyone else think about mailing papers to other schools? Don’t do it? Why?

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