Internet public notice bill sent to committee
Rep. Wendy Nanney’s bill removing legals from newspapers has been committed to the Judiciary Committee for study Wednesday afternoon.
The action came on a voice vote on a motion by Rep. Bill Taylor of Aiken. The response was a loud and positive vote on his motion... louder than most. No negative votes were heard.
“Thanks to all of you who made contact with your representative(s) on this important bill,” said Bill Rogers, SCPA Executive Director. “It made the difference. We had 71 confirmed votes against the bill, which is a majority.”
SCPA will now fight it in committee, where we have succeeded in stopping Nanney’s bills for the last three years.
Lobbyist Cathy Dreher said she cannot over-emphasize how important publisher calls and contacts were.
“This contact will help us down the road if the bill should come up again or pass out of committee,” she said. "There is a time to work together, and this was certainly such a time. Thank you."
This action came after Rep. Jim Merrill, R-Charleston, raised a point of order Tuesday that the bill had not been on the calendar for 24 hours. Action was then delayed a day.
Contest winners continue to be posted daily
Hundreds of 2012 News Contest winners have been posted to our website, www.scpress.org. Photo winners and the majority of writing, design and Web contest winners have been posted. We'll keep posting the remaining 30 or so contests as the judging sheets are returned to us. We hope to have most back by tomorrow, Feb. 1.
Congratulations to all the winners! I've gotten lots of calls and emails from the judges thanking me for the opportunity and saying how much they enjoyed judging our contest. Many told me they had a difficult time selecting only a first, second and third place winner because of the amount of quality work entered.
And remember, the list of winners on our website is for proofing purposes only. Contest results are not for release in your newspaper or on your website, Twitter feed or Facebook page until March 23. Contest time is our favorite time of the year, too, so we know how excited you are about your wins, but please keep them quiet until after the awards are presented on March 23.
If you simply cannot wait to announce your wins to your social media followers and friends, or you want to congratulate another member, you can generalize, but please don't publish the specifics.
Also, now is the time to email me corrections. Please make sure we've spelled your name and newspaper correctly. The deadline to submit corrections is Feb. 15.
And editors, be on the lookout -- I'll send out instructions next week on how to upload your winning PDFs for all writing and design contests.
Details about the Annual Meeting, including the schedule of events, hotel info, registration and sponsorship information will be available on our website Monday.
SCNN returns nearly $300,000 to SCPA members
More than $296,000 of combined revenue from the S.C. Newspaper Network (SCNN) advertising networks has been mailed to member newspapers this week, an increase of nearly $80,000 over the same period last year. This increase is due primarily to continued growth in the QuarterPage+ Network and a 12% increase in annual classified sales.
These totals include the annual Statewide Classified Advertising Network payout of $200,564; the quarterly Small Space Display (2x2/2x4/2x6) Advertising Network payout of $46,957; the quarterly QuarterPage+ Network payout of $41,531 and more than $7,000 for quarterly Online Network ad placements.
"We thank the newspapers for their participation in the networks. The income from the SCNN ad networks is vital to the continuing operations of SCPA," said Randall Savely, Director of Operations. "The growth of our networks in recent years to include quarter page and online ads help us continue to attract new advertisers and maintain relevance in today's changing media landscape."
If your newspaper is an SCPA member and does not participate in the SCNN networks, contact Randall to learn how these networks can provide added revenue to your newspaper.
Aiken Standard editorial: Move ahead with openness laws
We're glad Rep. Bill Taylor is continuing is fight for stronger freedom of information laws in South Carolina. His fight for the bill last year ended after another legislator added an amendment requiring legislators to make more of their information public.
Taylor's bill prohibits government agencies from charging the public outrageous fees for access to records and copies, and shortens the time agencies have to comply with requests.
The legislation is sorely needed in South Carolina and Taylor, a former newsman, is determined to see it through.
During a recent hearing on the bill, a House panel heard from representatives for local governments and law enforcement who, while they say they want tougher FOIA laws, they worry this bill goes too far.
In a small office with limited employees, it can be difficult to stop the day-to-day work to comply with a request in the shortened timetable. Holly Eskridge, who manages Rock Hill's public records requests, told the panel of a request that took her 45 hours to fulfill, The Associated Press reported.
That's a lot of time, but most requests are not that involved.
Take Albert Wasden of Wagener. She said the town of Swansea tried to charge her $9,996 for copies of four years' worth of town budgets and the board minutes from 10 meetings.
Eskridge suggested including a fee schedule in the bill. That sounds like an idea worth considering – as long as the goal is in the best interest of the citizens.
However, adding more pieces to the legislation could muck the process and prevent this important legislation from becoming law. We hope all sides can work together to push the bill forward and make it law during this session.
Seneca Journal names general manager
Hal Welch, a newspaper/advertising veteran, has been named general manager of The Journal by publisher Jerry Edwards.
Welch, 36, has been with The Journal since 2011, when he was hired as advertising director. He will continue those duties while adding the general manager’s responsibilities, moving up to the number two position at the newspaper.
Welch started in the newspaper business as an ad representative in Daytona Beach, Fla. Over the next 12 years he made stops in Athens, Ga., Valdosta, Ga., and Walterboro where he served as classified manager, advertising director and general manager, respectively.
Welch and his wife, Amy, who teaches at Hamilton Career Center, have three children, Maddie, 9, Chloe, 6 and Logan, 3.
Herald-Journal launches digital subscription plans
The Herald-Journal announced earlier this month the launch of its new digital subscription model, requiring readers to pay for access to GoUpstate.com, either through a print subscription or through a digital-only subscription.
Print subscribers will continue to have unlimited access to the paper's websites, as well as its e-Edition, at no additional cost. But those who don't subscribe to the newspaper will have to purchase a digital subscription to maintain unlimited access to its websites.
The Herald-Journal will offer a digital-only subscription for $9.95 per month. Readers can also get unlimited access to GoUpstate.com by purchasing one of four print subscriptions.
Once the new subscriptions take effect, on Feb. 4, non-subscribers will be able to view five online articles every month in their entirety. After that, a box will pop up on their screens presenting several subscription options.
For more information, visit www.GoUpstate.com/faq.
More people read the newspaper
than watch the Superbowl
168 million people read newspaper -- more than will watch Sunday's Big Game. With a combined print and digital audience of 168 million readers, newspapers reach more people than the most watched program in American television history - 2012's Big Game with 111.3 million viewers. Newspapers deliver a super-sized readership seven days a week. Why? Because they're part of people's daily lives. Americans rely on newspapers and newspaper websites to deliver the best journalism found anywhere. In fact, where are football fans going to find the real story behind Sunday's big game? In our nation's newspapers. - Source: Scarborough USA+ 2012 Release 1 Total (Feb 2011 – Mar 2012)
Nine of 10 Local Advertising Sales Managers Expect Revenue Gains in 2013Nine of 10 local advertising sales managers expect revenue gains in 2013
Nearly 90 percent of local media sales managers are expecting increases in advertising revenue for 2013 compared to last year, according to the newly released 2013 AdMall Local Advertising Sales Forecast. Twenty-three percent of local media sales managers expect increases in excess of 10 percent. Only 5.9 percent are projecting revenue declines, while 4.8 percent expect advertising sales to be flat.
According to AdMall, digital and mobile advertising are expected to be key drivers of growth. More than seven of 10 account executives that sell traditional media like newspaper, television or radio now also sell some form of digital advertising. The number of local media salespeople that sell search engine marketing, for example, is up 68.4 percent from last year and 28.5 percent from six months ago. Email marketing, mobile advertising and online video are also increasing in popularity among local media companies.
“The expanding number of digital product offerings, many at lower price points than traditional advertising, means effective time management is critical for today’s media sales teams,” says C. Lee Smith, president/CEO of Sales Development Services. “Achieving growth from online and mobile is contingent upon a refocused go-to market strategy, more efficient sales processes and multi-dimensional training,” Smith adds.
Nearly 70 percent of media sales managers say that health care will be the hottest advertising category in 2013. The other main sectors of anticipated revenue growth in 2013 are expected to be retail, restaurants and automotive.
Account executives rank competition from other local media (58.9 percent) and overcoming advertiser churn (50.6 percent) as their biggest challenges to growing sales in 2013. This reveals the difficulty of trying to bring in enough new business to compensate for revenue declines and lost accounts. These two concerns also rank among the top challenges for sales managers.
How Facebook graph search can help journalists
Facebook says its new Graph Search functionality has the potential to become a reporter's left hand.
As journalists are always on the hunt for new sources and pictures to accompany stories, the social network's latest smart search features could reveal a wealth of opportunities for uncovering new information. Perhaps the biggest areas for members of the media include sifting through public photos on the site and looking for experts.
Facebook recently announced a new and improved internal search system, allowing users to look within their own social graph for specifics — from revealing which friends like certain TV shows or which pictures were taken by friends in, say, New York City.
"The new search enables journalists to do richer searches when trying to find an expert for a story," Facebook said in a blog post. "For example, say you're doing a story on a specific company and you're looking to interview someone who works at the company in their New York office, you could do this by searching for 'People who work at ACME Inc in New York' to find potential employees to reach out to."
Reporters can narrow the search even more to find those that work at the company with a specific title, and do the same when looking for pictures.
Take inventory of your newsmakers
Here's an action item for your next newsroom meeting: Ask reporters to identify the community newsmakers. Better yet, bring a stack of newspapers from the last couple of months and circle the newsmakers receiving attention in words and photos.
Several individuals are likely to be on the list, no matter the community: for example, the mayor and city council president; the superintendent and school board chair; the county's chief administrator and the county board chair; local legislators; the heads of key local commissions and task forces. And these folks probably appear with some regularity.
Looking ahead to 2013
Courts have determined that fortunetelling is protected as free speech, so let’s freely indulge in some First Amendment-related predictions for 2013:
Given that there is no major lineup of First Amendment cases this term in the U.S. Supreme Court, the main focus here will be legislative.
On the national-security front, expect Congress and the nation to visit again the free-speech and free-press issues surrounding news sources and the leaking of secrets and classified documents. The major prompt: Army Pfc. Bradley Manning’s military trial on charges of aiding the enemy for his massive “data dump” to WikiLeaks. The trial begins in mid-March unless it’s preempted by a guilty plea on lesser charges.