The First Amendment and the AP, Fox subpoenas
I have written before about having a plan in place and training for your staff on how to respond to a subpoena. The key points: make certain that the person who receives the subpoena knows to give it immediately to a designated editor or the publisher, recognize that court rules establish a relatively short time for a response, and be prepared to assert the reporter's privilege in a letter to the person sending the subpoena. Train your staff not to agree to testify or provide information to litigants. Those decisions are to be made by management so that the privilege is not waived.
In South Carolina the reporter's privilege is created by a state statute prefaced by a finding by the General Assembly that subpoenas to news organizations interfere with the flow of information to society, a flow that the General Assembly found to be vital in a democracy.
The U.S. Supreme Court has addressed the question of a reporter's privilege arising under the First Amendment, but a divided court in the leading case did not endorse protection for newsgathering in a way that would bind lower courts. Some courts, both federal and state, have interpreted the case of Branzburg v. Hayes as recognizing a privilege, but other courts, including the Supreme Court of South Carolina, reached the opposite result.
Interestingly, in South Carolina reporters are protected by a First Amendment privilege in federal court because the Court of Appeals that rules on cases from the South Carolina federal courts has interpreted the Supreme Court decision as creating a privilege against compelled disclosure of information obtained in the newsgathering process. In state court, reporters are protected by the state's shield law.
A key weakness in the protection provided reporters under both the Constitution and shield laws is that these protections do not extend to third parties, such as telephone providers or persons who might have been the source of information.
This weakness is why the United States issued subpoenas to telephone service providers for the Associated Press and Fox News. Telephone companies cannot claim, even in the unlikely event they might be so inclined, a privilege against disclosure on grounds that the phone service was provided to a news organization. Remember this: telephone companies are licensed and regulated by government, thereby reducing the vigor with which any phone company would be willing to resist a subpoena from the government or authorized by a branch of government.
So, did the Justice Department abridge the First Amendment rights of either AP or Fox?
Ad basics training set June 13, scholarships available for newspaper members
SCPA's popular quarterly ad sales training event is coming up on Thursday, June 13. Register your newer sales people to attend this great session from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., at SCPA Offices in Columbia.
Newspaper Members - Thanks to a gift from an anonymous member who believes that quality sales people are one of the keys to our industry's future, we still have a few scholarships left for this event. These scholarships are available to newspaper members only and are first come, first served. Each newspaper is limited to two scholarships. Newspaper members can email Jen to see if scholarships are still available.
This workshop is designed for newspaper ad sales employees with less than a year's experience. We'll cover the basics in advertising sales and get your revenue-producing staff off to a great start. Alanna Ritchie, ad director for the S.C. Newspaper Network and a veteran of weekly and daily newspaper sales, will help attendees understand the basics of sales, including selling against competition, dealing with objections, closing skills and consultative selling.
For non-newspaper members, you can sign up here.
If you are interested, do not delay. There are only a handful of seats left for this event!
Executive Editor, Aiken Standard
What is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
Working at a smaller daily, I love to watch employees grow into amazing journalists, and help them along the way. I also love that I can still get my "hands dirty," even though I am the executive editor. There are always opportunities for me to jump in and lay out a page or write a story. I also love working in a hyper-local news environment, and I love the community service that can be done through news, such as publicizing events for nonprofits or raising awareness on issues that affect our community.
How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
News will always have its place. There will never be a lack of interest in news and what can be offered in our industry. The medium will continue to change - we've already seen the impact of the internet on our industry, but I think with technology developing as rapidly as it does, that medium will change again and again. Even now, the internet is old news and smart phones and tablets are our focus. The need for news will ALWAYS be there; we just need to be ready to quickly adjust to change in how we deliver it.
What's your favorite SCPA member service?
I think the best service offered by the SCPA is access to attorney Jay Bender. He's very knowledgable and quite helpful.
Any big plans coming up?
No big plans - I just got done making major changes in my life! After spending seven years with the Athens Banner-Herald in Athens, Ga. (two of those years as executive editor), I just moved back home, and am honored to now be the executive editor at the paper at which I began my career 16 years ago. It all came full circle for me, and I couldn't be happier.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career and why?
My mother, who has taught me patience and empathy. Also, Arthur Northrop, who was my high school newspaper teacher - he taught me responsibility more than any other person in my life. And finally, and most importantly, Tim O'Briant, who worked many years in the job I now hold, and talked me into coming back to the Aiken Standard. Over many years, he has been a wonderful mentor and friend.
What are some area attractions/restaurants in your community visitors shouldn't miss?
Hitchcock Woods is a big one in Aiken that visitors should not miss. It consists of 2,100 acres of protected forestland, right in the heart of the city. Cars are not allowed, but there are plenty of walking trails, and the beauty there is breathtaking, no matter the season. I would also recommend the Big Mo, located in Monetta in Aiken County. The Big Mo is one of the few drive-in theaters left in the country.
What is something most people don't know about you?
I have never seen ANY of the Star Wars movies. And I'm a certified SCUBA diver, although I haven't had time to take advantage of that in years.
If you could change one thing about the newspaper industry, what would it be?
Frankly, I wish the business had the ability to be more flexible without adding manpower. As mentioned above, to do well, we must be able to adjust quickly, yet we still are so dependent financially on our core print product. It makes it quite hard to do things well across all mediums with the growing decline in staff we are seeing happen every day across the nation.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Coffee is my only hobby. I have owned many espresso machines and grinders and spent thousands over the years on machines and the coffee itself - I love the art of making the perfect latte or cappuccino. Coffee and the art of making it is the one thing in my life that I will freely spend quite a lot of money on.
Know someone interesting that you'd like to see featured here? Let us know!
Fairfield County administrator disputes p ornography allegations, demands $30,000 in FOI costs
By Kevin Boozer, The Herald Independent
Allegations of County Administrator Phil Hinely using his county computer to view and send p ornographic emails have surfaced, some three years after the alleged activity.
A State Law Enforcement Division case file into Hinely’s conduct was closed in February 2013 and according to SLED, Solicitor Doug Barfield examined photos that Hinely had shared with people via email from his county email address, and Barfield determined, in his opinion, that the images were not illegal.
Hinely told the Herald Independent that in 2010 “questionable adult material” was emailed to him by a friend, and up until 2010 he had some of it on his county computer. ...
The story of Hinely’s activity may reveal more, since WIS TV reporter Jody Barr was informed one of the options required for him to have access to all of Hinely’s emails, some 5,000 of them, would be to pay the county $29,395 in legal fees and copying fees. That solution to Barr’s request for access to the documents did not sit well with Bill Rogers, executive director of SCPA.
As further explanation, Hinely said he never looked at the emails during county work hours. According to Hinely no county employees received the emails in question from him.
“I sent this to no members of county council,” he said. “We’re talking about 18 emails over a five month time period. Three years ago, eighteen times I did stupid things. I came to my senses and we moved on. Now, three years later you’re telling me there’s this big investigation.”
“This represents outrageous abuse of the Freedom of Information Act. My rule is the bigger the secret, the more they charge for you to see it,” Rogers said. “These are public documents and the public should be allowed to view them for free. The law does not allow for the county to charge for the time a lawyer takes to review the documents. Citizens should be outraged. This is a total abuse of power. There may be things they need to redact, but it should not cost $30,000. This is one of the more outrageous bills I have seen in over 25 years.”
To read the WIS story, click here.
|Evening Post picks developers for first phase of Courier Square in downtown Charleston
Evening Post Publishing Co. Inc. has picked two real estate companies to develop the first phase of its Courier Square project in downtown Charleston.
Greystar Real Estate Partners and Lincoln Harris will build out a vacant, 2.8-acre site at Meeting and Columbus streets that would include a mix of apartments, offices and other commercial space, and a parking deck.
The Post and Courier’s parent unveiled plans in 2012 to redevelop the real estate it owns under and around its main newspaper building in phases over 10 to 15 years. Nearly three city blocks are in play.
The project is expected to extend the rapid rebuilding of Upper King and Meeting streets, where development activity just to the south has surged in recent years.
The city permitting process, which will spell out exactly what will be built on the site, begins in June. Construction should start a year to 18 months after the approvals are in hand.
|McClatchy digital subscription program getting results
The digital subscription initiative that The McClatchy Co. rolled out last year is exceeding expectations, McClatchy’s top executive told shareholders at the company's annual meeting.
“The Plus Program is on pace to generate approximately $25 million in new revenues this year,” president and CEO Pat Talamantes said in a news release on highlights from the media company’s meeting. With this program, McClatchy shed the print-only option for subscribers. Subscribers can get a digital-only subscription or a bundled package of print and digital.
As McClatchy continues to invest in digital efforts, digital ad revenues have grown to make up nearly a fourth of the media company’s total advertising revenue, Talamantes said.
McClatchy also is updating its technology and using cloud computing, which is saving the company money and increasing efficiency, Talamantes said.
AP Stylebook marks 60th anniversary with new edition
By Mallary Jean Tenore, Poynter
The new print edition of the AP Stylebook, which came out this week, features new entries on a wide range of topics — weapons, fashion and social media, to name a few.
The Stylebook, which turns 60 this year, has traditionally done a good job reflecting the evolving nature of language.
Some of this year’s changes — such as the updated entries on illegal immigration and the new entry on mental illness — were in response to ongoing debates about the way journalists use certain terms and phrases in news stories about these topics. AP spokesperson Paul Colford, for instance, has acknowledged that the Newtown school shooting was a factor in the updated entries on mental illnesses. The Stylebook has also made a greater push in recent years to avoid labels, such as “illegal immigrant” and “mentally ill.”
Here are some of the notes or changes in this years new print edition:
69% of Americans access newspaper media
The vast majority of U.S. adults read newspaper media content across a range of technology platforms, including 59% of Americans ages 18-24. This observation is from an analysis of the newest data on media usage from Scarborough Research, conducted by researchers at the Newspaper Association of America.
- 69% of Americans, more than 164 million adults in the United States, access newspaper media content in print or online during a typical week or on mobile devices during a typical month. And, according to the available monthly data, nearly 34 million adults accessed content from newspaper sources on tablets and smartphones in a typical month, an increase in mobile audience of 58% from the same period a year earlier.
- 17% of these mobile users are “mobile only,” meaning they access newspaper content exclusively on mobile devices. That translates into nearly 6 million adult Americans who are mobile-only newspaper users and constitutes a significant new audience group. Without mobile users included, 67% of U.S. adults, or 158 million, read content from newspaper media in a typical week.
To get a sense of just how much the rise in mobile may impact the age of media users, consider that almost half (47%) of the newspaper mobile-exclusive audience is age 18-34. Only 4% is 65 or older.
Instagram for newsrooms: A community tool, a reporting tool, a source of Web content
The younger audience is being increased by the growth in mobile, the population connected to the Internet by either smartphones or tablets. For instance, 54% of adults 18-24 consume newspaper content in print or on conventional computers, according to the report. When combined with the audience for that same group who uses smartphones or tablets exclusively to connect with newspaper content in an average month, the 18-to-24 audience rises to 59%.
While some may imagine that young people never read the newspaper, says the report, the empirical data tell a different story. The print audience for newspaper content does skew older; the median age of the newspaper reader is 54, about the same as the audience for local television news.
By Meena Thiruvengadam, Poynter
For news organizations, Instagram isn’t just about pretty pictures. It’s about the people they’re interacting with and the stories behind the images.
“Instagram is so immediate and intimate that it creates this close connection with the user,” said Cory Haik, executive producer for digital news at The Washington Post. The Post uses Instagram to share photos, collect photos from users, report stories and have personal interactions with its audience. It’s a strategy aimed not at driving traffic but at building community.
At the Chicago Tribune, each week brings a new theme for Instagram users to contribute photos around. “Our approach to Instagram at the Tribune is to make sure followers are included whenever possible. So while we do post photos from staff photographers from big events, we spend much of our time focusing on weekly themes and showcasing the photos of the people who engage with us,” Chicago Tribune Social Media Editor Scott Kleinberg said via email.
NBC News makes weekly callouts related to topics in the news like the Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, holiday weekends and graduation season. It also gives users multiple opportunities to contribute. “A few days after you make a callout people tend to forget about it,” Anthony Quintano, senior community manager for NBC News, said by phone. “We remind them by featuring user photos.”
The future of news, as viewed from 1993: What we got right, and very wrong
By Frank Catalano, GeekWire
For journalism, the future isn’t what it used to be. Especially when viewed from two decades ago.
I recently undertook an archaeological dig (others call it “cleaning out files”) and came across a remarkable artifact of the pre-web days: a physical printout of a spirited debate on the future of the news media from CompuServe’s JForum (a.k.a. Journalism Forum) — dated May, 1993.
Twenty years ago, we sat at the dawn of the web age (Mosaic, the first image-friendly, general-use web browser, was introduced later the same year). It was a time before widespread broadband, smartphones, social media, Google or Chat Roulette.
Reviewing the transcript from JForum’s Future Media board (written as individual email-like posts strung together over several weeks under the common subject line, “Are Newspapers Dead?”), the messages reveal impassioned predictions and obligatory snipes, and retroactively show how prognosticators could wind up off track, sometimes wildly so.
I’ve also been wrong. In a lengthy 1992 essay for Analog Science Fiction and Fact (later excerpted in the Seattle Times), I predicted that the coming plethora of news channels and “online” news would lead to a renaissance in original reporting to fill the increased news hole. It never occurred to me that the extra time would instead largely be filled by talking heads commenting on the reporting of others, an oversight that makes anything I wrote that did turn out to be correct (such as the democratization of information and the use of smart filters to select news) pale in comparison.
Here are historical views of the future of news from 1993, along with thoughts on where, and perhaps why, some went sideways:
May 31: PALMY Ad Contest deadline
- rules for newspaper members
- rules for associate members
June 6: Daily Editors Roundtable, SCPA Offices, Columbia
June 13: Ad Basics Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia
June 14: Daily Publishers Roundtable, SCPA Offices, Columbia
June 20: Basic and Advanced InDesign Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia
June 27: Webinar: Top Strategies and Tactics for Sales Success!
July 18: Basic and Advanced PhotoShop Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia
August 2: Ad Directors Roundtable, SCPA Offices, Columbia (More details coming soon!)
August 8: Weekly Editors Roundtable, SCPA Offices, Columbia
August 15: Basic and Advanced Adobe Illustrator Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia (More details coming soon!)
September 12: Ad Design Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Sept. 19: Advanced InDesign and PDF Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia