Public Policy


NNA works daily on postal issues that affect community newspapers. Its goals are to achieve fair rates, efficient service and a level competitive playing field between newspapers and direct mail competitors.

NNA is fighting for fairness to newspapers. Your gift to NNA’s postal fairness fund will support your industry’s work for fair competition and reliable newspaper delivery. Please click on the donate button.

Current issues / legislation

The National Newspaper Association’s mission is to protect, promote and enhance American’s community newspapers. NNA needs the support of every community newspaper in order to work closely with policy officials to create a legal and regulatory environment conducive to the growth of community newspapers. 

Public notice

Public notices in newspapers are part of the three-legged stool of government accountability. Public notices help to inform the public on activities by the government and other public entities. Public notices have been included in newspapers from the beginning of the Republic. Now they are also on many newspapers’ websites.

Join the Congressional Action Team

The Congressional Action Team (CAT) is NNA's grassroots team composed of newspaper publishers from across the country who volunteer to contact their Senators and Representatives when legislation affecting community newspapers is introduced or when legislative activity is necessary. CAT members are asked to simply call their members of Congress or write a letter to express their concerns on behalf of community newspapers. All newspaper publishers who are members of the National Newspaper Association may join.


National Newspaper Association applauds progress on Fallen Journalists Memorial

January 16, 2020

National Newspaper Association President Matt Adelman, publisher of the Douglas (Wyoming) Budget, today recognized the work of the House Natural Resources Committee for approving the first stages of work for a Fallen Journalists Memorial.

Republicans block HR 2382

January 1, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The days before Congress makes big spending decisions are traditionally the most active for NNA’s Congressional Action Team. That is when House and Senate leadership get serious about packaging bills that are in their queue into one giant measure for an up-or-down vote. 

It is also traditionally when measures that affect the U.S. Postal Service are passed — or not passed. The CAT’s archives in December chalked up one more big effort to improve the odds for maintaining universal service across the United States. But its efforts came to naught as Republicans blocked a bill NNA had supported. 

Legal Standing: Ads for CBD oil are mailable

January 1, 2020

Gentle Reader,

Can you stand one more column about cannabis ads? The guidance on mailing advertising for such products through USPS is becoming clearer, and I want to revisit this topic once more. 

First, while it is evident that the country is moving toward legalization of marijuana and related products, cannabis remains a controlled substance under federal law. There are fines and potential jail sentences attached to violations of the federal law. Thus, the U.S. Postal Service is compelled to follow the federal law and newspapers using the mail must, as well. Given the penalties, it is worth being careful. 

NNA moves Congressional Action Team Summit one week later in 2020

January 1, 2020

National Newspaper Association is taking the unusual step of moving its Congressional Action Team Summit to new dates in 2020. 
The Summit will now be March 25 to 27, 2020, according to NNA’s Public Policy Director Tonda Rush.

“Because NNA has to make event arrangements well ahead of the final Congressional schedule each session, we sometimes find we have chosen dates that land on a Congressional recess. That is what happened for our next Summit. We are now moving the event to make it one week later than previously announced dates,” Rush said.

National Newspaper Association joins request for openness at US Supreme Court

January 1, 2020

National Newspaper Association has joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, National Public Radio and 50 other media organizations to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to put tighter limits on sealed court records. 

In a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts this week, the organizations pointed out a dramatic increase in the Court’s approving requests to seal documents before the Court, which rose from an average of 22 each year from 2011 to 2016 to 46 in 2018. Sealed records were rare in the 20th century and in the first part of the 21st century averaged only 10 per year, the media groups said. 

National Newspaper Association calls for respect for reporters on the job

December 16, 2019

National Newspaper Association President Matthew Adelman, publisher of the Douglas (Wyoming) Budget, issued a call for civility and respect for journalists as they do their jobs. His call follows the release of a news report about a reporter in Chattooga County (Georgia) who was attacked while covering a local meeting.

Publishers evaluate payroll with FLSA salary threshold increase on the horizon

December 1, 2019

Q: Please explain again how a nonexempt journalist can be paid a salary.

A: Happy to. Now that the new Fair Labor Standards Act salary threshold is set to go into effect next year, a lot of companies are re-evaluating their payroll.
It is an enduring irritant to both the newspaper industry and serious journalists that the Labor Department devalues many community newspaper journalists and will not classify them as professionals who can be paid on salary without limitation. Rather, we have an environment now where bosses have to pull journalists off stories when their hearts and souls are intent upon covering the news, just so the budget isn’t busted. NNA hopes the day will come when the Labor Department gives journalists their due so they can be considered exempt across the board. 

However, for now, most reporters and many editors are considered non-exempt under FLSA. So the question of how to predict compensation in a budget and still let the newsroom cover the news is vexing.

There are several possible approaches:

HR 2382 would remove 100% prefunding requirement enacted in 2006

December 1, 2019

Legislation that would relieve the U.S. Postal Service of more than $50 billion in debt is nearing a critical support threshold that could finally reach the House of Representatives floor in the 116th Congress.

A bill by Rep Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., would remove a long-standing irritant to USPS that was put in place by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, requiring it to fully prefund its retirees’ health benefits. 

Publishers should be aware of the shifting legal interpretations of ADA

November 1, 2019

Q: I am being told our website might not be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act because visually impaired people cannot read it. Can we be sued? What do we have to do to get into compliance?

A: Newspapers in several states have been receiving letters from disability activist groups and their attorneys threatening lawsuits 

Labor Department hasn't provided clarity regarding exemption for newspapers with circulation under 4,000 in Fair Labor Standards Act

November 1, 2019

Q: I understand newspapers under 4,000 circulations do not have to apply the Overtime Rule. But what if we have three newspapers whose total circulation is over 4,000? 

A: Your understanding is correct. 

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