The legal affairs department monitors legal developments affecting the business interests and First Amendment rights of NAA’s membership. Working with the Legal Affairs Committee, the department coordinates joint industry responses and advocates on behalf of member companies through amicus (friend-of-the court) briefs and regulatory filings before the courts and administrative agencies. It also prepares background papers on various legal issues; develops business guidance on compliance issues; provides digests of newspapers cases addressing specific topics; maintains a Web-based database of newspaper labor arbitrations and collective bargaining agreements for members only; and provides online networking opportunities for in-house counsel and employee relations executives at member companies to share information about legal developments and best practices affecting their operations.
February 11, 2013
On behalf of its member newspapers, the Newspaper Association of America filed its initial brief today in its lawsuit against the Postal Regulatory Commission regarding that agency’s August 2012 decision to approve a negotiated service agreement between the U.S. Postal Service and Valassis Direct Mail. The lawsuit is being heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
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Advertising and marketing, sometimes referred to as "commercial speech" enjoys protection under the First Amendment. Commercial speech plays an integral role in the production of newspapers, comprising nearly 80 percent of all newspaper revenue and providing economic stability to the newspaper industry.
With consumers today having a multitude of media choices for news and information, competition among media for readers and advertising revenues is robust. Newspapers utilize various business models to become more competitive in the marketplace. For example, the Newspaper Preservation Act (NPA) permits newspapers in the same city to enter joint operating arrangements (JOAs) – combining business operations – when one of the participants is in probable danger of financial failure.
Newspaper publishers distribute and promote their products through a variety of methods, including hawkers, door-to-door solicitations, newsracks, telemarketing, home-delivery carriers, and other independent distributors.
While print will remain an important medium, newspapers are providing their readers and customers with news and information through a wide variety of digital platforms – from website, desktops, and tablets, to smart phones and other mobile devices. Online newspapers play a vital role in providing the public with up-to-the minute news and information.
The gathering and reporting of vital news and information is a core function of a free and uninhibited press in a democracy. In order to carry out this core function effectively, news organizations must be able to access the information and report on matters of public concern without unreasonable restraints.
Newspapers seek to provide a productive, safe, and fair workplace. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage requirements; regulates child labor; and requires premium pay for overtime worked. The FLSA exempts certain categories of employees from the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.