MNPA Elects 2023 Officers; Berkshire Eagle Publisher Rutberg Elected President

Fredric Rutberg Berkshire Eagle-169

The Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, the association that represents daily, weekly and other newspapers across the state, has elected Fredric D. Rutberg, publisher of The Berkshire Eagle, as the association’s president for 2023.

Also elected as officers to lead the organization during 2023 were:

The election was held during the MNPA’s annual meeting. The new officers assumed their roles effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Rutberg succeeds Jane Seagrave, publisher of the Vineyard Gazette Media Group, who served as MNPA president during 2021 and 2022.

“As a retired judge and now newspaper publisher who helped bring The Berkshire Eagle back under local ownership, Fred is uniquely qualified to serve as MNPA president,” Seagrave said. “His knowledge of law and publishing will help ensure that the MNPA remains strong in its mission to protect the state’s newspapers.”

The MNPA is an advocacy organization that represents newspapers and the news media on legal and legislative matters of common concern. Its focus is on protecting the rights of a free press under the First Amendment and fighting to strengthen and maintain government transparency.


MNPA Elects Jane Seagrave, Vineyard Gazette Publisher, As President

Vineyard Gazette new publisher, Jane SeagraveThe Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association has elected Jane R. Seagrave, publisher of the Vineyard Gazette in Edgartown, as president for 2021.

Others elected as MNPA officers for the year are:

Before becoming Vineyard Gazette publisher in 2011, Seagrave was senior vice president and chief revenue officer for the Associated Press in New York city. Her long career in journalism spans some three decades on both the editorial and business sides of the industry.

After graduating from Bowdoin College in 1976, she became director of publications for the Massachusetts Municipal Association. She then spent six years as a reporter for AP in Boston, Grants Pass, Ore., and Santa Fe, N.M. In 1987 she went to work for Lawyers Weekly Publications in Boston, and also enrolled at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she obtained a master’s degree in public administration in 1989.

Later she served as chief executive officer of and chief online strategy consultant for American Lawyer Media in New York. From 2003 to 2011, she was at the AP, as a vice president and director in new media markets and then as a senior vice president in global product development, which included presiding over the transformation of AP from a wire service to a multimedia digital news provider.

Register Now to Attend 2020 MNPA Annual Meeting


The Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association will hold its annual meeting and election of officers on Oct. 29, 2020, at 11 a.m. Eastern time.

The event will take place virtually as a Zoom meeting. Preregistration is required. You may register at this page.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

  • Report of the Finance Committee and approval of the 2021 budget.
  • Report of the Nominating Committee and election of officers and executive board members for 2021.
  • Annual report on legislative affairs.
  • Annual report on legal affairs.
  • Annual report of the president.

We hope to see you there. Any questions about the meeting may be address to Robert Ambrogi, MNPA executive director,

MNPA Elects Karen Andreas as President

At its 2018 annual meeting, the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association elected Karen Andreas, regional publisher of The Eagle-Tribune and North of Boston Media Group, as its president.

Karen-AndreasA 30-year veteran of the media industry, Andreas will lead the MNPA for a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2019. She will succeed George Arwady, president and CEO of The Republican in Springfield.

“I’m honored for this opportunity to work with my colleagues from all over the state to ensure that newspapers continue to thrive and succeed,” Andreas said. “The work our journalists provide for their communities is critical to our democracy.”

The MNPA also elected as officers:

Formed in late 1972, the MNPA focuses on advocacy for the newspaper industry in the legislature, courts and executive branch.

The MNPA also serves as a resource for editors and reporters, and for advertising and circulation personnel who seek advice pertaining to business issues.

A resident of Danvers, Andreas has overseen North of Boston Media Group as its regional publisher for the past five years. Along with The Eagle-Tribune, she is regional publisher of The Salem News, Daily News of Newburyport, Gloucester Daily Times, as well as the weekly Andover Townsman, Haverhill Gazette, Derry News and Carriage Towne News. The media group also includes 15 quarterly magazines, such as The Andovers, Haverhill Magazine and North of Boston Business.

Andreas is very active in the community, serving on boards such as the Lawrence Partnership executive committee, Merrimack Valley YMCA board of directors, and Northern Essex Community College’s foundation board, to name a few. She is also one of 15 media professionals on the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, which teaches journalism excellence worldwide.

State Politics and Drone Law on Agenda for MNPA Annual Meeting

SCR0 (1)Stanley C. Rosenberg, president of the Massachusetts Senate, will be the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association on Thursday, Nov. 30.

The meeting will also feature an in-depth program on the law of using drones in journalism, presented by Mickey H. Osterreicher, Esq., general counsel to the National Press Photographers Association.

Sen. Rosenberg was unanimously elected by his colleagues to be the 93rd president of the Massachusetts Senate on Jan. 7, 2015. He is the first Jewish and first openly gay legislator to lead the Senate in its over 300-year history.

The day begins with the MNPA’s annual business meeting at 10 a.m., followed by the program on drone law at 11 a.m. The luncheon begins with a reception at noon. The meeting will be held at Bastille Kitchen, 49 Melcher Street, Boston.

The meeting is open to anyone. Registration, which includes lunch, is $90 for MNPA member newspapers and their employees, $95 for all others.

Click here to register online or click here to download registration forms.

Attorney General Healey to Keynote MNPA Annual Luncheon Dec. 2

Attorney General Maura Healey will be the keynote speaker at the 2016 annual meeting and luncheon of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association.

maura_healeyThe meeting will also feature presentation of the inaugural William L. Plante Jr. Open Government Award. The award will be presented to Sen. Joan B. Lovely, D-Salem, and Rep. Peter V. Kocot, D-Northampton, for their efforts this year to spearhead major reform of the state’s public records law.

The award is named for Bill Plante, the MNPA’s executive director from 1984 to 2004 and former editor of several Massachusetts newspapers.

The meeting will be held at Bastille Kitchen, 49 Melcher Street, Boston. The day’s full agenda is as follows:

  • 10 a.m. Annual business meeting and election of officers and executive board.
  • 11 a.m. Panel: The New Public Records Law: What It Does and Doesn’t Do.
  • Noon. Networking reception (open bar).
  • 12:30 p.m. Luncheon, award presentations and keynote.
  • 2:00 p.m. Adjourn.

The meeting is open to anyone who would like to attend. Registration, which includes lunch, is $90 for MNPA member newspapers and their employees, $95 for all others.

If you have any questions about the event, please address them to MNPA Executive Director Robert Ambrogi, (978) 309-9188, or

To register for the event online please click here or for printable registration forms please click here.

The registration deadline is Monday, November 28, 2016.

Registrations should be sent to: MNPA Annual Meeting, c/o New England Newspaper & Press Association, 370 Common Street, Suite 319, Dedham, MA 02026. Fax to: (781) 320-8055. Payment by check preferred but credit cards accepted.

MNPA Files Comments on Proposed Court Access Rules

The MNPA today filed comments on proposed rules that would govern public access to court records.

The proposed Trial Court Rule XIV, Uniform Rules on Public Access to Court Records, would control access both to physical records in a courthouse and electronic records available online.

The MNPA opposes parts of the proposed rule and supports other aspects of it. Our full comments to the committee considering the rule are posted below.

Gov. Baker to Keynote MNPA Annual Meeting Dec. 3 in Boston

Registration is now open for the annual meeting and luncheon of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at Bastille Kitchen, 49 Melcher Street, Boston. This year’s featured luncheon speaker is Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

governor-charlie-baker-300x450The day’s full agenda is as follows:

  • 10 a.m. Annual business meeting and election of officers and executive board.
  • 11 a.m. Panel discussion: The Right to Be Forgotten: How Newspapers Should Handle Requests to Take Down What They’ve Reported.
  • Noon Networking reception (open bar).
  • 12:30 p.m. Luncheon and keynote.
  • 2:00 p.m. Adjourn.

The meeting is open to anyone who would like to attend. Registration, which includes lunch, is $90 for MNPA member newspapers and their employees, $95 for all others.

Two ways to register:

If you have any questions about the event, please address them to MNPA Executive Director Robert Ambrogi, (978) 309-9188, or

Registration deadline is Monday, November 30.

House Passes Bill Requiring Newspapers to Post Legal Notices on the Web

The Massachusetts House of Representatives today passed a history-making bill that will require newspapers to publish legal notices on the Web. The bill now goes to the Senate.

The bill, House 1566, “An Act Concerning Electronic Publication of Certain Legal Notices,” was sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin) with the support of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, which provided input on the language of the bill.

The bill would require that newspapers publish legal notices not only in their print editions, but also on their own websites and on a statewide website run collaboratively by the state’s newspapers, through the MNPA.

The bill would help ensure that legal notices are available to and accessible by the broadest-possible number of Massachusetts citizens, both through the newspapers’ print publications and online.

The MNPA has proposed additional changes to the language of the bill with the hope that they will be incorporated before the bill can become final.

If you have questions about the bill, please call MNPA Executive Director Robert Ambrogi: 978-309-9188.

Alliance Urges Passage of Massachusetts Public Records Modernization Bill

BOSTON — United under the banner of the Massachusetts Freedom of Information Alliance (MassFOIA), open-government groups today urge the state legislature to quickly pass recently filed legislation intending to modernize and rationalize the Massachusetts public records law. Their call to action coincides with a national celebration of open government known as Sunshine Week, from March 15-21.

swlogo2-300x176The state public records law is supposed to grant the public the right to access information about government operations from the executive branch and municipalities, subject to certain exemptions, such as to protect personal privacy. MassFOIA contends that the law is weak and needs updating for the digital age, having not been substantially amended since 1973.

Rep. Peter Kocot (D-Northampton) and Sen. Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester) filed bills in both the House (HB 2772) and Senate (SD 1235) that aim to reform the public records law by eliminating technological and administrative barriers to its enforcement. Key provisions would update the law to reflect advances in technology, require state agencies to have a “point person” to handle records requests, rationalize fees for obtaining public records by having them reflect actual costs, and provide attorneys’ fees when agencies unlawfully block access to public information.

“Our public records law is broken,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, a founding member of MassFOIA. “Journalists, concerned citizens and others with a need to know how our government is working often can’t get the information they have a right to, because of excessive fees, long delays, or obstruction of one kind or another. The public records law hasn’t been substantially updated since 1973–now it’s time to bring it into the 21st century.”

Other groups included in the alliance are:

According to MassFOIA, the proposed legislation aims to improve access to information that the law already defines as a public record. It would not alter the scope of the public records law or make any changes to existing exemptions, which include exemptions for personal privacy, criminal investigations, personnel records, trade secrets, and many other categories. Rather it would modernize outmoded language in the law and strengthen procedures for compliance and enforcement.

Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Promote access to records in electronic form.
  • Direct agencies to assign a “records access officer” to streamline responses to public records requests.
  • Lower costs for requesters and limit charges for redacting documents to withhold information.
  • Require attorneys’ fees when access to public records is wrongly denied, creating an incentive for agencies to obey the law.

“Let’s take the opportunity this Sunshine Week to discuss the state’s public records law and make meaningful, yet common sense improvements,” said Justin Silverman, executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition. “As winter-weary residents of Massachusetts, we’re all looking forward to more warmth and sunshine. When it comes to the public’s right to know, however, let’s make sure sunlight shines on our government all year round.”

“The outmoded public records law is repeatedly thwarting the news media in their efforts to cover state and local government activities,” said Robert J. Ambrogi, executive director of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association. “The public has a right to know what their government officials are doing, but outrageous fee demands and lack of accountability frequently obstruct that right.”

“The point is to fix the law so it works the way it’s supposed to,” said Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts. “Allowing courts to award attorneys’ fees is a common way to create an incentive for people to abide by the law and to provide a remedy when rights are violated. It’s shocking that 46 states have this kind of provision–as does the federal FOIA law–and Massachusetts doesn’t. As the cradle of liberty, Massachusetts should lead the way, not lag behind the rest of the country.”


Gavi Wolfe, Legislative Counsel
American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts
(617) 482-3170 x340;

Robert J. Ambrogi, Executive Director
Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association
(978) 546-3400;

Justin Silverman, Executive Director
New England First Amendment Coalition
(774) 244-2365;

Pam Wilmot, Executive Director
Common Cause Massachusetts
(617) 962-0034;