Sumter publisher to lead state press association
Jack Osteen, publisher of The Item in Sumter, was elected president of the S.C. Press Association at the group's annual meeting Saturday at The Westin Poinsett Hotel in Greenville.
Other officers elected were: Morrey Thomas, publisher of the News and Press in Darlington, as weekly vice president; Judi Mundy Burns, publisher of the Index-Journal in Greenwood, as daily vice president; and Ellen Priest, president and publisher of The Summerville Journal Scene, The (Goose Creek) Gazette and The Berkeley Independent in Moncks Corner, as treasurer.
Elected to two-year terms on the SCPA Executive Committee were: Barbara Ball, publisher of The Voice of Blythewood and Fairfield County, Dan Cook, editor of the Free Times in Columbia; and Jane Pigg of Cheraw, publisher of The Link. Also, Gayle Smith, vice president of advertising for The Post and Courier in Charleston.
Re-elected for continuing terms on the SCPA executive committee were: Debbie Abels, publisher of The Herald in Rock Hill, and Mike Smith, executive editor of the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg.
Osteen succeeds Susan Rowell, publisher of The Lancaster News.
Osteen is the fourth member of his family to serve as SCPA President. H.G. Osteen was president in 1922, H.D. Osteen was president in 1953 and Hubert D. Osteen Jr. was president in 1977.
He is also co-owner of Osteen Publishing Company and OPC News, LLC which owns newspapers in Northern Florida and Southern New Mexico. Osteen has more than 20 years of newspaper experience having worked at various newspapers in both Texas and South Carolina in virtually all areas of the business.
"It’s truly an honor to serve as the first fourth generation Press Association president. I’m very proud of my family’s legacy and it’s humbling to have the confidence from this board and my peers to take on this important role,” Osteen said.
Annual Meeting in Greenville a success; see website coverage
Thanks to all who attended the Annual Meeting in Greenville last weekend! We had nearly 400 folks there to be recognized, to attend the sessions and to network. The program, presentations and winners tabloid are on our website, so check them out and share them with your friends and family. Lots of photos are also posted on Facebook. Please tag yourself and post your own to SCPA's Facebook page.
If you weren't at the meeting and would like a printed copy of the winners' tabloid,
please contact Jarad Greene with the quantity that you'd like. Special thanks to The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette for printing this year's tab.
Also, thank you to everyone that participated in the SCPA Foundation iPad fundraiser. We raised $1,510 for our scholarship or internship program!
If you have comments or suggestions for next year's meeting, we'd love to hear from you.
S.C. House sends open records reform bill back to committee
By Stephen Largen, The Post and Courier
COLUMBIA — State representatives Wednesday voted last week to send a bill reforming the state’s freedom of information law back to committee, with two members of the House’s Republican leadership saying it is not the House’s intent to spike the bill despite the blow.
In the S.C. Legislature, recommitting a bill to committee sometimes results in the proposal dying on the legislative vine.
But the bill’s sponsor, Aiken GOP Rep. Bill Taylor, said Tuesday’s vote is not the death knell for his legislation.
“There’s no way this bill’s gonna get killed,” he said. “It’s gonna get fixed. There’s too much energy behind this bill.”
The House Judiciary Committee, which already cleared the open records proposal once during the ongoing legislative session, will again be in charge of the bill’s fate.
Taylor’s measure would reduce the time public bodies have to respond to residents’ open records requests, limit fees and set stronger penalties for non-compliance, among other changes. The bill passed the House last year but died in the Senate.
Taylor and the House Republican leaders said Wednesday the source of concerns with the bill is an amendment that was added before the bill cleared the Judiciary Committee last month.
The amendment by Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington, does away with the exemption in state law that allows state lawmakers to keep their correspondence and working papers secret.
Quinn has called the exemption “hypocrisy at its core,” saying legislators should have to follow the same guidelines as other public officials.
Before Wednesday’s vote, Gov. Nikki Haley called on House members to support removal of the legislative exemption. She noted in a statement that an ethics reform commission she created had recommended the reform in a report released earlier this year. While campaigning for governor, Haley declined to waive the legislative exemption amid requests to view her emails from her time as a Lexington state representative. Her campaign eventually released some emails. Her spokesman has said that then-candidate Haley would have supported doing away with the legislative exemption had she been asked during the campaign.
The spokesman, Rob Godfrey, said in a statement Wednesday that the governor was disappointed by the move to recommit the bill to the House panel. “There’s no reason for it to go back into committee — the people want this bill, and they deserve this bill,” Godfrey wrote.
Quinn said Wednesday that he was surprised by the 72-34 vote to send the bill to committee. A different consensus had seemed to emerge at a House Republican Caucus luncheon before the vote, he said.
Quinn said there seemed to be agreement that the best course of action would be to keep the bill in the House, with the idea being to hold off on floor debate until an amendment could be developed addressing concerns with the bill as written.
Those concerns center on the potential cost of preserving lawmakers’ correspondence and the privacy of constituents who write to legislators about sensitive issues, according to members of House GOP leadership.
“Constituents who write legislators about issues with the Department of Social Services or the Department of Revenue have told us they don’t want their e-mail inquiries on the front page of our newspapers,” said a joint statement by House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister and Assistant Majority Leader Gary Simrill.
“The House does not currently have the full-time staff or technology available to effectively comply with a new Freedom of Information Act while preserving the privacy of our constituents.”
Bannister and Simrill said they are not seeking to kill the bill, but asking the Judiciary Committee to address the concerns and move the bill back to the House floor as soon as possible.
Movement on the bill will have to wait. The House is on a two-week furlough.
SCPA welcomes new member
The Executive Committee has met and approved former reporter and editor Aida Rogers for individual membership in the Press Association. The board also accepted a flag change. The Independent Voice of Blythewood and Fairfield County has expanded its distribution area and changed its name from The Independent Voice of Fairfield County.
Longtime newspaper executive announces retirement
Paula Ellis, former newspaper executive in Columbia and Myrtle Beach, has announced her retirement from the Knight Foundation at the end of March. A member of the Foundation Executive Committee, she oversaw national programs and new initiatives, and was responsible for developing and gauging the impact of the foundation's overall strategy, according to the foundation web page.
Previously, Ellis was vice president for operations at Knight Ridder, where she oversaw 15 newspapers and was a member of the Management Committee. Throughout her career as a news, corporate and civic leader, she developed deep experience in national and community issues. From Washington, Ellis led Knight Ridder's coverage of the end of the Cold War, the 1988 presidential elections and the Iran Contra Investigation. Later, as publisher of the The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, she worked with local groups to foster civic leadership while drawing new readers to the paper, which was named a Knight Ridder top performer three times.
As an innovator in the journalism field, Ellis chaired Poynter Institute's National Advisory Board, was at the forefront of the coaching writers' movement and helped found the National Writers Workshop. A Harvard Business School case study cited her work at The State in Columbia, S.C., where she, then managing editor, led the transition to a digital newsroom.
Ellis earned a bachelor's degree in government and politics at the University of Maryland, where she was editor of the student daily. She graduated from Northwestern University with a master's degree in journalism. She is married to Gary Galloway, a 30-year newspaper reporter, columnist and editor, now retired. She has four stepchildren and 12 grandchildren.
Post and Courier to debut daily webcast
In a couple of weeks, The Post and Courier will start a daily webcast overview of what's making news that day with an eye to what will be the headlines of tomorrow. It will include short interviews with reporters and editors as their stories are developing. There will be regular features that provide synergy to some of the health, business, food and sports franchises that already exist in print.
This video capsule will surface each day at 4 p.m. on the newspaper's website. Cameras, lights, teleprompter and microphones have been approved and purchased.
The new webcast will be called My Charleston Today presented by P and C TV.
Click here to read more about The Post and Courier's webcast.
Former Anderson publisher honored for economic development efforts
By Michael Eads, Independent Mail
Anderson University official and former Independent Mail Publisher Butch Hughes has been recognized for his local economic development efforts.
Hughes, now associate vice president for development at Anderson University, was named an ambassador for economic development Tuesday by the state’s Department of Commerce as part of South Carolina’s Industry Appreciation Week.
Hughes and 46 others were honored during a ceremony on the grounds of the governor’s mansion.
“Economic development is a team effort, requiring input from organizations and individuals across the state,” said Bobby Hitt, state commerce secretary. “South Carolina continues to enjoy economic development successes because of the work of the individuals recognized as ambassadors for economic development. They are a vital part of Team South Carolina.”
Hughes, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., came to the Independent Mail in 2006. In 2011, he became chairman of Innovate Anderson, a partnership between local government, Clemson University and local businesses. The group has played a role in several projects including First Quality Enterprises and the Electrolux and Michelin expansions, as well as increasing the profile of Clemson University’s Advanced Materials Center.
Hughes retired last year after 31 years with Scripps, the parent company of the Independent Mail, and accepted his current post with the university.
Associated Press wins suit in internet copyright, fair use case
Gary Pruitt, president and CEO of the Associated Press, said the U.S. District ruling that aggregator Meltwater News infringed the use of AP content was “a victory for the public and for democracy.”
“For years all of us have been hearing that if it is free on the Internet, it is free for the taking. That's what Meltwater argued. The judge in this case just rejected that argument,” Pruitt said in a statement. “We won on every single argument we made in the case. We are thrilled.”
In her ruling, Judge Denise Cote said the content Meltwater "relies" on in its service was not produced by them, but taken from the reporting and research that AP "labored to create."
“Investigating and writing about newsworthy events occurring around the globe is an expensive undertaking and enforcement of the copyright laws permits AP to earn the revenue that underwrites that work. Permitting Meltwater to take the fruit of AP’s labor for its own profit, without compensating AP, injures AP’s ability to perform this essential function of democracy,” Cote said.
Cote also weighed in on the "fair use" concept and decried Meltwater appropriating the "lede" from AP stories. "The structure of a news article is itself the product of strategic and stylistic choices,” she said. “A lede is a sentence that takes significant journalistic skill to craft. There is no other single sentence from an AP story that is as consistently important from article to article."
The AP filed its suit against Meltwater on Feb. 14, 2012, claiming copyright infringement. The news organization argued that the aggregator delivered substantial verbatim excerpts from AP stories and other published news stories to its paying customers.
Last month, six publishers and news organizations — including The New York Times Co., Gannett Co. and the Newspaper Association of America — filed an amicus brief in support of AP.
Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow wants to protect content from online pirates
As more newspapers begin to put their content behind a paywall, Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow Connie Farrow, along with Missouri-based American Newspaper Digital Access Corp. (newspaperdigitalaccess.com), is developing a business model that will protect online content and return value to the newspapers.
Farrow said she was approached by ANDAC president and Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune general manager Andy Waters last summer to manage a project that would put online content on one central database in order to help newspapers fight back against online pirates who aggregate a newspaper’s content.
According to Farrow, newspapers would upload their PDFs to an FTP server, and a third-party vendor would “disassemble” the story. She said items such as text, photos, and public notices would be broken out and made searchable. A link to the original PDF would also be available.
Farrow said the database could speed up the tearsheet process for advertisers. “It’s usually a slow turnaround to show advertisers their ad in the paper,” she said. “Now, they can just link the content back to the PDF.”
Farrow said she is also experimenting with protecting public notices. Through this project, public notices can be digitalized and put into one central database, accessible to people around the country.
Pew study shows impact of news cutbacks
By David Bauder, Associated Press
Years of newsroom cutbacks have had a demonstrable impact on the quality of digital, newspaper and television news and in how consumers view that work, a study recently released found.
Nearly one-third of consumers surveyed by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism said they have abandoned a news outlet because it no longer gave them what they had counted on, either with fewer or less complete stories.
Pew’s annual State of the News Media report delivered what has become a common litany of grim business statistics. … Newsroom employment at newspapers is down 30 percent since a peak in 2000 and has gone below 40,000 people for the first time since 1978.
“These cutbacks are real,” said Amy Mitchell, the project’s acting director. “And based on the data that we’ve collected, they are having an effect.”
Government coverage on local television news has been cut in half since 2005, the study said. Sports, weather and traffic now account for 40 percent of the content on these broadcasts; yet that’s just the sort of information readily available elsewhere. That’s a recipe for future erosion, Mitchell said. …
There are many more places that people can go for news or information now. The question is whether consumers are leaving prominent news organizations because they are not getting what they want, or whether these outlets can no longer afford to give them more because consumers are leaving, said David Westin, former ABC News president.
McClatchy partners with Poynter for journalism training
The McClatchy Co. has partnered with The Poynter Institute on a multi-year program that will deliver journalism training to employees. The professional development initiative aims to help journalists stay abreast of rapidly evolving media technology.
Poynter's faculty and experts will lead in-person workshops, online seminars and Webinars, as well as teaching certificate programs -- drawn from Poynter's e-learning curriculum -- tailored to build specific skills. Together with McClatchy's leadership, Poynter staff will conduct assessments and identify specific areas where training is needed to help achieve the company's overall goals.
They will also help McClatchy develop its own in-house training programs for both the sales and editorial staffs at its 30 print and online properties.
Two-Step verification: Why it’s necessary for journalists
By Lauren Hockenson, 10,000 Words
This week, Apple finally announced support for two-step verification for both the iCloud and AppleID. Now, users must use a second device to input a special code in order to access account specifics and iTunes purchases. It may seem like a small, or even unnecessary step, but type as fast as you can to implement it now.
Two-step verification is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for journalists. Implement it now, or risk losing your online identity forever.
One of the hottest stories concerning online privacy and hacking of journalists happened just last year, when Wired‘s Mat Honan was the target of hackers. In one fell swoop, the hackers broke into his gmail, his Twitter and his AppleID, erasing the memory of all of his devices and holding all of his social media hostage. After a thorough investigation, Honan found out that the hackers were able to do all of this simply by calling up Amazon and Apple’s customer service to break into his account, and follow back his daisy chain of email accounts to break into the rest of his life.
So how does two-step verification factor into Honan’s earth-shattering problem? The benefits of implementing two-step verification, when available, guards against the very method Honan’s hackers used to crack his accounts.
Can newspapers evolve into ‘local membership’ organizations?
By Matt Sokoloff, Street Fight
In the days before MapQuest and Google Maps, the first stop you’d make when planning a long road trip was often your local AAA office. There — if you were a member — you could get directions, maps, listings of hotels and attractions, and information on discounts at some of the places you were headed. And, of course, if you got stuck somewhere along the way, AAA would give you the tow, jump or gas you needed to be on your way.
And today, even with the the popularity of digital maps (and the prevalence of insurance companies and car manufacturers providing roadside assistance), AAA’s membership base remains strong with about 53 million U.S. members, up about 50% from ten years ago. Each member pays about $60 annually, allowing the organization to more or less “own” the market when it comes to automotive travel membership.
Meanwhile, AARP “owns” the market on membership for senior citizens, and countless other organizations have a similar lock on their own niche areas — charging yearly dues and providing value through discounts and services. But, so far, I don’t think anyone has really nailed a local membership model, and there are two organizations that have great potential to dominate in this area — local newspapers and the YMCA. ...
Newspapers are well positioned to start these kinds of programs. They have great brands that are well-known in their communities, they already have a membership base in the form of subscribers, and they have strong relationships with local businesses and organizations.
We’ve seen newspapers launch “perk” programs to complement their subscriptions — but this isn’t enough. A membership organization actively understands the needs of its core members and provides an array of products and services targeted to them. It’s also important to separate a membership program like this from a print subscription. The membership should be valuable enough that you don’t give it away to all newspaper subscribers for free — but instead is packaged as part of a larger offering with additional fees.
AP updates Stylebook entries on crime terms
Congress passes resolution to preserve Saturday mail
The AP Stylebook entries on homicide, murder, manslaughter and weapons have been updated.
The homicide entry emphasizes that murder is the formal charge, and that charged with murdering should not be used. Instead, be specific about how the victim was killed or slain.
The weapons section combines assault rifle, assault weapon into one entry. While similar in design and appearance, these military-style guns have different firing capabilities, as underlined in several examples. Added detail in the magazine and clip entries show why these ammunition storage devices are not synonymous. The weapons section also includes new entries on bolt-action and lever-action rifles and details on the difference between pistol and revolver.
Both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that blocks the U.S. Postal Service's plan to halt Saturday delivery of periodicals, first-class and standard mail. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) also determined this week that the USPS is bound by the ruling, due to the financial support provided by the U.S. Government. The legislation is a continuing resolution that preserves mandatory six-day mail delivery. The USPS argues its plan still adheres to the law because it will be maintaining package and Priority Mail deliveries.