For Starkville Daily News
A veteran newspaper journalist was elected president of the Mississippi Press Association and Mississippi Press Services, Inc., during the association's annual convention July 6 in Miramar Beach, Fla.
James E. "Jim" Prince III will serve a one-year term as president of the state newspaper association and its subsidiary advertising services division. Prince was first elected to the MPA-MPS Board of Directors in 2004.
He is president of Prince Newspaper Holdings Inc., which publishes The Neshoba Democrat in Philadelphia, The Madison County Journal in suburban Jackson and The Kemper County Messenger in DeKalb.
The company also publishes Madison Magazine and Neshoba Magazine.
A Philadelphia native and fifth-generation Mississippian, Prince began his newspaper career while in high school, working summers at The Neshoba Democrat until he graduated from college. He was two-term editor of The Reflector at Mississippi State University.
He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Mississippi State University.
Prince succeeds Vicksburg Post general manager Jimmy Clark who becomes chairman of the MPA Education Foundation.
In remarks after accepting the president's gavel, Prince called on editors and publishers in attendance to stay true to the mission of community newspapers and continue to provide what no other media can.
"Look back to the founding of your newspapers and the principles on which they were established," he said. "Assess the present and, if necessary, renew those principles and build on them. Innovate, adapt and embrace the digital future, but do not forsake print as your core product and brand any time soon.
"Hold elected officials accountable," he said. "Report the truth fairly and accurately. Have a voice."
He encouraged farm team development by hiring young interns who could make a career choice, said the association must promote sales expertise and marketing and that members must work to continue building relationships with each other.
"Good newspapers will prevail, particularly in communities where citizens value liberty highly and possess that sense of place Miss Eudora (Welty) and Willie (Morris) wrote about," he said.