Steve Baker, publisher of the Capital Journal in Pierre, was elected president of South Dakota Newspaper Association on April 26 during the annual newspaper convention in Rapid City.
Baker has been a publisher for Ogden Newspapers in Minot, N.D., Lee Enterprises in Burley, Idaho, and Media News in Red Bluff, Calif.
Baker returned to the Dakotas in 2008 when he was named the publisher of the Capital Journal in Pierre. The Capital Journal is owned by Wick Communication, a family-owned media company with holdings in several
Baker and his wife, Kim, have one child, Kelly. Kelly, his wife, Danielle, and their son, Lucca, live in Fargo, N.D.
Baker said one the focuses of his term as president will be to continue the work on open government issues including the publishing of public notices.
"This is not just a media issue; our readers need to be aware of the consequences of government policing itself," Baker said. "Freeman Courier Publisher Tim Waltner said it best when he said there are three key aspects of public notices: permanence, verifiability and independence."
Baker has also been an advocate for the newspaper industry in the South Dakota Legislature.
During this year's legislative session, Baker testified on Senate Bill 119, which prohibits public schools from entering into exclusive contracts for news media coverage of interscholastic events such as football and basketball games. The bill was approved by legislators and signed into law by Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
Baker said after living and working in other states, he is thrilled to be in South Dakota.
"This is home for us," he said.
Also elected to the SDNA Board of Directors were: First Vice President Paul Buum, publisher of The Alcester Union & Hudsonite; Second Vice President John Suhr, publisher of the Reporter & Farmer, Webster; Third Vice President Jan Kittelson, of the Miller Press, Wessington Times Enterprise and Wolsey News; Director Randell Beck, publisher of the Argus Leader, Sioux Falls; Director Becky Tycz, publisher of the Scotland Journal, Tyndall Tribune & Register and Springfield Times; and Immediate Past President Charley Najacht, publisher of the Custer County
Chronicle, Hill City Prevailer and Winner Advocate.
The SDNA Board members were elected at the association’s annual business meeting held in conjunction with the convention.
South Dakota Newspaper Association, founded in 1882 and based in Brookings, represents 130 weekly and daily newspapers with a total readership of more than 600,000.