2023 Better Newspaper Contest Award Winners

Community News & Small Business Support Act

Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia joins growing list of co-sponsors of bill supporting local newspapers and businesses

Eight additional legislators — on both sides of the aisle — have signed on as co-sponsors of the Community News & Small Business Support Act (HR 4756). The act was introduced in the 118th Congress by Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-1), both members of the Ways and Means Committee.

The latest co-sponsors are:

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick [R-PA-1]
Rep. André D. Carson, [D-IN-7]
Rep. William R. Keating [D-MA-9]
Rep. Chris Pappas [D-NH-1]
Rep. Mike Lawler [R-NY-17]
Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter [R-GA-1]
Rep. Marcus J. Molinaro [R-NY-19]
Rep. Jill Tokuda [D-HI-2]

The bipartisan legislation supports two institutions critical to sustaining hometown communities: local news organizations and small businesses. The act makes refundable tax credits available to local newspapers to reinvest in professional journalists who cover local news topics.

The act also makes non-refundable tax credits available to local businesses that advertise with local newspapers, providing an additional stimulus to the local economy.

“Thank you to for supporting this important legislation,” said Dean Ridings, CEO of America’s Newspapers. “On behalf of the members of America’s Newspapers, we appreciate your support of local community newspapers and Main Street businesses. The Community News & Small Business Support Act is a big win for local communities. More local reporting means more access to the hometown news citizens rely on. And stronger newspapers mean stronger advertising vehicles for local businesses.”

Click here to learn more about the Community News and Small Business Support Act!


Local Matters

Send us your Local Matters ideas!

Georgia Press Association wants to know how your newspaper is using the Local Matters campaign materials.

Have you created house ads? Rack cards? Other promotional materials? What ideas have you developed? Local Matters is your opportunity to use a ready-made campaign and improve your business.

Please share with GPA how you are using Local Matters to emphasize the important role your newspaper plays in your community by emailing your custom-made material to GPA at sireland@gapress.org.

Jaillene Hunter joins GPA

Hunter becomes Georgia Press Association Executive Director

Jaillene Hunter has succeeded Robin Rhodes as executive director of Georgia Press Association (GPA). Hunter assumed the role early this month. Rhodes will continue working through a transition period and will continue to represent GPA at the state legislature on issues important to the newspaper industry.

Jaillene Hunter

Hunter joins GPA after a career working in communications at the state and federal government levels. She was press secretary for Rep. Max Burns and Rep. Dave Weldon in Washington, D.C., and then served as communications director for Georgia Lieutenant Gov. Casey Cagle, working on issues such as transportation, economic development, government spending, health care and education. Since then she has worked on communications strategies and initiatives for state government, small businesses, legislative initiatives and nonprofits.

Hunter has been a member of the Marietta City Schools Board of Education since November 2021 and is the board’s legislative liaison. She is a board member of Marietta’s Mentoring for Leadership and Wellstar Kennestone Hospital’s Regional Health Board. Earlier this year, Lt. Gov. Burt Jones appointed Hunter to a term on the Georgia Council on Literacy.

“We were blessed to have a large number of qualified candidates for the executive director position,” said GPA President Patrick Graham, publisher of The Walton Tribune of Monroe and The Covington News. “Jaillene, however, was head and shoulders above the rest. Her contacts and extensive knowledge of the state Capitol, combined with her familiarity with Robin and association members from her previous dealings with the association, made Jaillene’s hire a home run. I’m not sure we could have found a better fit, and credit to Eric [NeSmith] and the search committee for all their hard work to make it happen.”

NeSmith, with Community Newspapers Inc., is GPA’s vice president and led the search committee to find a replacement for Rhodes, who announced she was stepping down earlier this year. Other committee members were DuBose Porter of Courier Herald Publishing Co. in Dublin, Alan NeSmith of Community Newspapers Inc., Otis Brumby of Times Journal Inc., Randy Wind of The Cairo Messenger, Buff Leavy of The Brunswick News, Dan Pool of the Pickens County Progress of Jasper and Graham.

NeSmith said Hunter clearly stood out from among the 200 applicants. “At the beginning of the search, the committee highlighted the two main attributes needed by a candidate to best serve GPA in this position: keen knowledge of our industry and keen knowledge of the operation of our industry within this state. Jaillene’s background is a perfect match to these two desired attributes.”

Hunter has long been familiar with Georgia Press Association and wanted to be part of an industry she views as critical to the state’s success. “I have admired GPA for many years — and even participated in conventions when I was working for the lieutenant governor,” she said. “The work our local papers do to inform the public is essential and one of the most important functions of government.”

Hunter and her husband, Mitch, live in Marietta and have four boys, ages 14, 12, 10 and 8. She is a graduate of Taylor University in Indiana. “My greatest success in life has been my family — my husband and I often say that our home does not lack for energy with four boys,” she said.

“I am a people person and look most forward to getting to know each GPA member,” she added. “It is my hope that folks find me approachable, and I absolutely welcome all feedback and input from members — please reach out anytime.”

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