WNA offers Memorial Day special section to members

May 9, 2016

Wisconsin newspapers are credited with finding more than 450 photos


By Andrew Johnson and Beth Bennett
Publisher Dodge County Pionier | WNA Executive Director 

MADISON, WI—For the past two years, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and its members have joined the effort to find all of the photos of Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans who are listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. WNA members have been credited with finding more than 450 of the photos and were integral in the project’s completion just before Memorial Day 2015.

It should be noted that the National Newspaper Association has also supported this project for the past two years by publishing information in Publishers’ Auxiliary and by coordinating the project information to many state press associations. Only one state had found all of its photos when NNA joined the project. Since then, more than 10,000 photos have been found, and nine states have found all of their photos since newspapers from around the country have provided their help.

For the first time, a state press association, the WNA, in collaboration with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the Dodge County Pionier, has made the photos found through this effort available to members for publication via a tab memorial insert, which included stories highlighting the efforts to find the images and space made available for advertising opportunities. (See Johnson’s regional director’s column on Page 4.)

A draft publication was made available to WNA members, so that newspapers would have enough time to sell sponsorships ads and plan for publication. To view a draft version of the project, visit http://tinyurl.com/WisconsinFaces.

The Dodge County Pionier designed a 36-page tab model that is available in its entirety in Quark and PDF file formats to WNA members. Each WNA member has been encouraged to personalize the cover and some of the copy. Members also have access to the stories and photos in the model tab. Photos of the Wisconsin 1,161 military service members (also other states) can be accessed online at VVMF.org with an option to sort by city or county through the VVMF’s virtual Wall of Faces.

A spreadsheet of all Wisconsin service members and their locations was released in early April with the model tab materials so publishers could find out what soldiers were local to their area. This information can also be accessed by using the advanced search option, made available through the VVMF’s virtual Wall of Faces.

Information about the service members was provided to the VVMF by the Department of Defense. The photos for the project were provided to the VVMF Faces project in good faith by various volunteer sources, including family members, service members, veterans, teachers, WNA member newspapers and the public.

The copyright releases of the photos and editorial copy created by the WNA, Andrew Johnson, Dodge County Pionier, University of Wisconsin Journalism lecturer Jessica McBride, and the VVMF were provided free to WNA members for the specific purpose of publishing a newspaper supplement the week before Memorial Day.

It is the hope of the VVMF and the WNA that other states press association will follow and make available copy to their respective members so newspapers from around the country could publish similar special sections for Memorial Day.

For more information:  Andrew Johnson, dodgecountypionier.com, 920-387-2211; Beth Bennett, Beth.Bennett@wnanews.com, 608-283-7621; Heidi Zimmerman, manager of communications, VVMF, hzimmerman@vvmf.org, 202-393-0090 ext. 118.