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Membership Criteria

Tennessee Press Association
Constitution and Bylaws
Criteria for Membership

as of November 2016

Section 1. The membership shall be of three classes: Active, Associate and Honorary.

Section 2. Active membership shall be limited to bonafide newspapers of general circulation in Tennessee. Active membership shall be held and recorded in the name of the newspaper and shall entitle the owner, publisher, editor or any person actively engaged in the management to participate in all the Association meetings and activities; provided however, that each membership shall be entitled to but one vote. Each newspaper’s voting representative shall be designated by the publisher or, if there is no publisher, the chief executive officer.

Section 3. A bonafide newspaper of general circulation is a newspaper:
1. having a name or title;
2. regularly issued at least as frequently as once a week, and which is operated for profits;
3. Having a valid circulation that is audited by a third-party company or organization which has been approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Circulation may be subject to further independent audit if requested by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
4. being not less than four (4) pages;
5. published continuously (unless prevented by an Act of God or strike) during the immediately preceding one year period;
6. which publishes news of general interest, miscellaneous reading matter, legal or other announcements and notices, and news and information concerning current happenings and passing events of a political, social, religious, commercial financial or legal nature, and advertisements or bulletins;
7. which is circulated generally in the political subdivision in which it is published and in which notice is to be given;
8. which contains no more than 75% advertising in more than half of the issues published during a 12-month period, including all advertising inserts in said newspaper;

Provided, however, a publication that is published by and for a specific organization, association, profession, religion, denomination, or business; or is a trade journal, or business house organ, or which does not publish news and information as set forth in Subsection 6; or which publishes news and information for its particular organization, association, profession, religion, denomination, or business, is not a newspaper as defined in this section.

Section 4. Associate membership shall be limited to authorized representatives of trade journals of allied industries, advertising agencies, public relations firms and/or public relations departments of private firms and public agencies, vendors to the newspaper industry, schools and departments of journalism, and retired editors and publisher of Tennessee newspapers.

Each Associate Membership shall be reviewed annually by the board of directors, and the board shall approve or disapprove tenure of the membership for the ensuing year. Such membership shall be social only and not entitled to a vote.

Section 5. There will be two classes of honorary members: past presidents or their surviving spouses, and others who have served the Association well. Past presidents no longer active with a member newspaper shall automatically become honorary members and belong to the Past Presidents’ Council. For others to become honorary members, they must be nominated by a representative of a member newspaper, and the nomination shall be considered at two meetings of the Association Board of Directors. The vote on acceptance at the second meeting shall be by secret ballot, and if there is one negative vote it shall fail and the name of that person may not be considered again for at least one year. Honorary members shall be entitled to attend all meetings of the Association and serve on boards and committees, but they may not hold any office or have a vote. The Board may revoke for cause the membership of those who are not past presidents.