The Arkansas Press Association was founded in 1873 to serve the newspapers of Arkansas. Currently, there are 126 newspapers that are members of the APA, 91 weeklies, seven semi-weeklies, 25 dailies and three free newspapers. Additionally, the press association has more than 150 Associate Members—suppliers, manufacturers, educators, individuals, media organizations, etc. The APA, whose motto is "Free Press, Free People," is the oldest professional association in the state.
The non-profit APA has two subsidiaries, Arkansas Press Services, Inc. (APS) and the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation (ANF). APS offers numerous advertising services to the public and newspapers. The Foundation provides funds for scholarships, internships, other educational programs and the Arkansas Newspaper Museum.
The primary function of APA is to serve its member newspapers by providing to them the information and training opportunities to allow them to grow, develop and compete in the marketplace. APA serves the public by helping protect basic freedoms of press, speech and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
APA conducts an annual convention (Summer), an annual advertising conference, a multi-state circulation conference each fall and numerous workshops and seminars during the year. It is active in legislative matters that concern areas of interest to both newspapers and the general public.
Publications include a newsletter that is distributed every Thursday, The Arkansas Publisher Weekly; a quarterly magazine, The Arkansas Publisher; the annual Arkansas Media Directory; The Public and Legal Notices Digest, a comprehensive, searchable compendium of publication requirements for notices; AdNews, a monthly newsletter for newspaper advertising managers; Jobs Bulletin, a weekly job bank listing, the Freedom of Information Handbook, published biennially, and a Legislative Report issued when the Arkansas General Assembly is in session.
Other member services include conducting two Better Newspaper Contests, an annual trade show, legal advisory resources on issues such as postal regulations, taxes, FOIA, HIPAA, libel, etc.; and providing a member-contact Buyer-Sellers Guide, placement services, a news release distribution service, Arkansas Public and Legal Notices Online, the press credentials programs, a free legal hotline and leadership training through various sessions and webinars.