NNA & NNAF Annual Report 2022

Feb 1, 2023


NNAF would like to thank its allied partners, Interlink, Walterry and the Google News Initiative. We are able to do a lot more for our members because of their continued support.


BNEC/BNAC: 1,333 entries (1,229 last year) were received in the BNEC and 222 entries (180 last year) in the BNAC for a total of 1,561 entries (1,409 last year).

  • 112 newspapers (135 last year) in 37 states (34 last year) entered the contests. A total of 586 awards (509 last year) were won by 92 member newspapers (83 last year) in 37 states (33 last year).
  • The Wyoming Press Association was awarded the third annual “Best of NNA” Award for their 81 winning entries, beating out the Iowa Newspaper Association with 51 wins.
  • BNEC/BNAC entry fees totaled $26,660 in revenue. Thank you to Legacy.com for sponsoring the Best Obituary Tribute category, Metro Creative Graphics for sponsoring the Best Advertising Idea, the Public Notice Resource Center for sponsoring Best Public Notice Journalism and Modulist for sponsoring General Excellence.

NNA special awards: NNA’s Congressional Action Team awarded the Community Newspaper Champion Award to Sharon Burton, Farmland Publications Inc., Columbia, Kentucky; Al Cross, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community, University of Kentucky, Lexington; and David Thompson, Kentucky Press Association, to thank them for their support in the passage of the Postal Service Reform Act (PSRA), helping NNA persuade Congressman Jamie Comer of the Kentucky’s first district to help us. Newspapers can send up to 50% of their Within County list to nonsubscribers as part of a sampling program. If you want more detail on that, take a look at NNA Foundation’s April 21 webinar in the Max Heath Postal Institute, available to NNA members online.


Exhibitors and sponsorships continue to play an important role in allowing NNAF to deliver a first-rate convention program while keeping the registration cost affordable for members. A total of 35 companies participated as sponsors and exhibitors at the 136th Annual Convention & Trade Show in San Francisco. Total trade show income for the convention (based on sponsorships, advertising and registration-driven memberships) was $74,705, as compared to $72,900 in 2021.


Overview: NNA completed a decade-long quest for postal reform in 2022 with the Postal Service Reform Act. The new law gave publishers an expanded privilege to use the lowest–cost postage rate to attract new customers through sample copies. The law also relieved financial pressure on USPS, but some anticipated benefits for mailers through lower postage rates were not realized when a new Postmaster General announced he intended to pursue maximum postage increases to pay for an expanded mission in package delivery. NNA continues to seek relief on rates.

Federal Advertising: Realizing that federal agencies are largely unaware of the benefits of community newspapers, NNA discovered during the COVID-19 advertising campaign that smaller market newspapers were being overlooked in federal budgets. NNA began a campaign to build awareness of community newspapers as advertising vehicles, beginning with an educational effort on Capitol Hill and with targeted federal agencies.

Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA): An industry–wide effort lead by News/Media Alliance to allow newspapers to jointly negotiate with Facebook and Google for payments when news articles are linked or scraped from newspaper websites made significant progress in the 117th Congress. A close miss occurred in December 2022 when JCPA almost made it into a massive appropriations bill, but opposition from some members of Congress blocked enactment.

Local Journalism Sustainability Act (LJSA): NNA continued its efforts to support refundable tax credits in LJSA, although the conclusion of the official COVID-19 pandemic weakened the ground for the original LJSA rationale. Refundable tax credits became unpopular with Republicans toward the end of the 117th Congress. NNA pursues tax policy changes to support journalism sustainability wherever opportunities can be found.

Postal Policy: With the Delivering for America plan in force at USPS, which activates major postage increases and a deterioration of service, NNA fights on many fronts. It took an appeal of the aggressive postal rates to the U.S. Supreme Court but was denied a hearing. NNA also has petitioned the Postal Regulatory Commission to provide relief on several occasions. The most dramatic successes have been in operational gains within USPS, as an experiment to improve mail entry processes at USPS sorting plants initially indicated better service for publishers. NNA also partnered with NNA Foundation to initiate the nation’s only formal training process for publishers using Periodicals mail. A seven-course certification process was rolled out in 2022 and will be updated for new offerings in 2023. NNA also added another expert to its delegation to the Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee. NNA chair John Galer joined Matthew Paxton, Brad Hill and Tonda Rush as part of NNA’s team.

Open Courts Act: While a favorable result in recent litigation has partially alleviated the issue of the cost to access court documents for news organizations, NNA continues to support the Open Courts Act that would firmly limit fees for obtaining court documents.

Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Restoration: Since the fourth quarter 2021 ERTC credit was eliminated to pay for the Inflation Reduction Act, NNA has advocated for restoration of the credit as part of a year-end tax package. Unfortunately, the measure appeared to have a high cost for the federal budget, and it failed to gain a supporting majority. NNA continues to examine tax bills to seek possible avenues for financial relief for publishing organizations.

ISSN numbers: NNA discovered that many newspapers had registered as publications with the Library of Congress but did not know their International Standard Serial Numbers. And some newspapers had never registered. Using ISSN to delineate recognized newspapers in an age where fake news has become a concern has arisen in legislative proposals, such as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. To be prepared for the future, NNA assisted more than 600 newspapers in procuring their ISSNs, which now becomes an important part of each title’s intellectual property.


NNA Past President and Director of Creative Resources Robert Williams, Blackshear, Georgia, continued the NNAF’s Great Idea Exchange Live webinars this year, sponsored by Google News Initiative.

Williams also has a monthly column in Pub Aux. These terrific success stories, along with other great ideas we find throughout the year, are available to NNA members 24/7 at https://www.nnafoundation.org/great-ideas

And, members are encouraged to submit and share their great ideas at any time to grow this valuable resource. Email Williams at robert@nna.org or call (912) 281-5438 from 10 a.m–3 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday.


The Max Heath Postal Institute™, a project of NNA Foundation, launched a certification course in Newspaper Mail for Periodicals Mailers in 2022. A seven-course curriculum offered via Zoom was offered for free to NNA members and at reasonable cost to non-members. A grant from News/Media Alliance also made larger newspapers eligible to participate. Faculty were Matthew Paxton, Bradley Hill and Tonda Rush, all members of the USPS Mailers Technical Advisory Committee where they represent NNA. Students took on the basics of Periodicals eligibility rules, mail preparation, addressing, best business practices and finally public policy formation. Certificates of achievement were granted for successful completion of the courses, given in four tranches from Bronze to Platinum levels. Executives from more than 150 newspapers participated in the programs. NNAF granted 16 platinum certificates to newspaper executives who completed the program. The Newspaper Mail course will be updated for changes in postal policy and practice and launched again in 2023.


In 2022, NNA added 116 members and lost 102. As of December 31, 2022, there were 1,730 members.

The nine partner state press association receipts totaled $97,936 ($97,909). Thank you to these press associations that continue to support NNA by this partnership: Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Three states participated in our tier program — joining all newspapers that belong to their association — Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. All state associations that participate in these programs have access to NNA’s member–only materials on nna.org. If you are interested in a quote for all your newspapers to belong or would like to partner with us in invoicing those newspapers in your state that belong (your association will receive a rebate on total dues paid), please contact lynne@nna.org.


Thanks to a grant from NNA, the Foundation was able to put on several journalism education webinars. Jim Pumarlo held two sessions on covering elections along with Al Cross, director, Institute for Rural Journalism, University of Kentucky — The Elements of Outstanding Election Coverage and Your Role in Election Coverage: Why You Should be on the Front Lines.

In partnership with Michigan State Police Trooper Corey Hebner of Gaylord, Michigan, Pumarlo also hosted a webinar on INTERVIEWING SKILLS: De-escalation Techniques & Improving Observation in Volatile Situations.

Members can login and view these on nna.org.


Publishers' Auxiliary (“Pub Aux”) is the only national publication serving America's community newspapers. (Print ISSN 0048-5942 | Online ISSN: 2833-8065)

Pub Aux is also available online to NNA members via a Dirxion (pronounced “direction”) portal.


Pub Aux advertising and sponsorship programs generated $75,958.38 in 2022, reflecting display and classified ads, as well as custom advertising packages, special sponsorships and digital promotions. This represents a 10% increase over 2021, continuing a growth trajectory of 10% or greater since 2019.

Allied Partners represent a significant share of revenue in this area; 2022 Allied Partners included Google News Initiative, Interlink and Walterry.

Allied Members providing ongoing resources and special programs for members also account for a notable share of earnings; Modulist (Bingo nights) and Our Hometown (informational webinars) maintained their strong history of support for members in 2022, while King Features and Vendasta each expanded their relationship with NNAF through informational email programs.

In addition, in 2022, Dirxion began supporting the creation and delivery of Pub Aux digital through both in-kind and monetary support of the Foundation.


NNA investments continue to be held with Town and Country Bank Trust and Investment Services in Springfield, Illinois.

NNA began the year with $508,520.61 market value invested in four types of investments according to our investment policy. The fund types and their year-end market values are: Equity Exchange Traded Funds, $18,678.60; Pooled Equity Funds, $236,399.93; Fixed Income Securities, $134,063.62; Marketable CDs, $24,017.75. Cash and Equivalents totaled $20,586.58. We ended the year with investments valued at $433,746.48.

NNAF began the year with $238,437.84 market value invested in three types of funds according to our investment policy. The fund types and their year-end market values are: Equity Exchange Traded Funds, $8,820.45; Pooled Equity Funds, $106,788.28; Fixed Income Securities, $74,555.85. Cash and Equivalents totaled $10,815.16. We ended the year with investments valued at $200,979.74.