Jim Pumarlo has a knack for bringing newspaper ethics out of the clouds and onto Main Street. He presents real-world ethical issues with great clarity and insight and helps editors and reporters make sound decisions that actually make sense to their readers.
American Press Institute
Jim Pumarlo’s presentation on election coverage garnered many very favorable comments. Particularly important was his ability to engage the participants in discussion and the way he dealt with the new phenomenon of mail-in elections, giving many helpful ideas to our reporters and editors. His material was well organized and helpful, and even though I am several years out of a newsroom, every part of his presentation was helpful, innovative and practical. I really could have used this in my active years as an editor. Simply put, the session on Outstanding Election Coverage was just that… outstanding.
John M. Barrows
Montana Newspaper Association
Jim Pumarlo's presentations get to the heart of solid community journalism by delving into the tough issues that good journalists face. What is particularly helpful is that Jim deals with real-life situations rather than simply looking at issues of ethics, consistency, sensitivity and responsibility in the abstract. He balances discussion with direction that provokes thought and helps people think through putting concepts into action.
Tim L. Waltner
Freeman (S.D.) Courier
Past president, South Dakota Newspaper Association
Past president, International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
Jim Pumarlo's training style is inviting and incisive. He's very knowledgeable on the issues smaller newsrooms face and can clearly and concisely provide ways to handle them based on his 25-plus years of experience at community newspapers.
My staff came away from his day with us excited about the ideas they discussed and better prepared to face the challenges of the future. I recommend Jim's candid yet cordial approach to anyone who wants to help their community newspaper excel.
Sauk Valley Newspapers
Attending the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors conference in Oklahoma City recently gave me an inferiority complex. But it also clarified the challenges I face as publisher of the Sanpete Messenger. Ö For instance, Jim Pumarlo, (former) editor of the Red Wing Republican Eagle in Red Wing, Minn., has a national reputation for journalistic courage. He never backs away from a tough story. His book, ìBad News and Good Judgment,î about how to handle tough news sensitively is practically a Bible in the weekly newspaper business.
One reason he is able to keep the curtain open on what is really going on in his circulation area is that he puts a lot of effort into educating his public. When he makes a tough decision, such as running a photo on page 1 of a mother as she is being informed that her teen-age son has shot himself, he writes a column explaining his rationale. . . .
My column will appear more frequently, and often, I will use it to explain journalistic values and why we publish, or donít publish, certain things. Finally, I want to take a step up in community leadership by facing down the tough stories with even more fortitude than Iíve displayed to date. Far from alienating people, I believe reporting what is going on, good and bad, will solidify your support for the Messenger, helping us thrive financially so we can continually put resources back into the paper to make it better.
Sanpete (Utah) Messenger
Sometimes weíre guilty of looking too far for a successful convention speaker. It was nice to find someone close-by who held the attention of our news people for a whole day. The reaction to your sessions on reporting sensitive issues and election reporting was very positive from those attending the annual convention of the North Dakota Newspaper Association. The participants especially liked seeing the examples you provided and having the opportunity to take those examples home.
North Dakota Newspaper Association
Jim has put together information and exercises that are practical and useful to reporters and editors who are grappling with covering sensitive issues. He shares the policies and practices that worked for him at his small daily while engaging the audience in considering what will work for them. News people love the topic and free-spirited discussion.
I highly recommend Jim for seminars and convention sessions. He's an editor's editor.
Former Executive Director
Minnesota Newspaper Foundation
Jim Pumarlo conducted a concurrent session during the National Newspaper Associationís annual Convention & Trade Show in Milwaukee, Wis., in September 2005. His session, ìBad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in a Small-Town Newspaper,î met with great reviews from our attendees. Attendees said it was very timely and useful to them at their newspapers. Many said the session needed to be longer so they could hear what Jim had to say. In addition, we offered his book for sale in our bookstore, and sales went very well.
Sales & Meeting Coordinator
National Newspaper Association
Jim Pumarlo's workshop on handling sensitive issues was spinach to our editors. His message to be courageous, thorough and sensitive to victims in a story, as well as defending the reader's right to know, is important for every reporter and editor to hear. Every editor needs to know the value of having policies in advance on handling sensitive issues and the need to apply them fairly. Jim also believes in the importance of sharing with the readers his decisions on publishing sensitive stories.
Editorial writer and chair of Editorial Board
ECM Publishers Inc.
Coon Rapids, Minn.
The Iowa Newspaper Foundation is grateful for Jim Pumarlo's participation in guiding Iowa newspaper professionals to be the best they can be. Iowa editors have been heard saying:
"Jim's information was valuable. It made me think about my own policies."
"Jim's wealth of knowledge was fantastic and how he related to real-world experiences."
"Jim provides practical examples for daily situations."
"Jim's interactive classes and expert advice have really made me think about why we do what we do."
Jim will remain on the Iowa Newspaper Foundationís list of top-notch speakers for years to come.
Iowa Newspaper Foundation
Jim's practical experience spans the gap between theoretical journalism and the real world. Facing tough situations with a daily deadline looming is how Jim can speak with authority.
Madison (S.D.) Daily Leader
Jim Pumarlo's session on reporting about sensitive community issues resonates with all community newspaper editors. That was very evident when Jim spoke at our annual convention. Jim's session engaged South Dakota editors in a lively, provoking discussion about the tough issues every community editor has faced at one time or another.
South Dakota Newspaper Association