Adobe opens can of worms with Creative Cloud
When I was a college student living in Texas, I got used to hearing people say, “Boy, howdy.”
This wasn’t a greeting, as you might think. It was more along the lines of “You’re not kidding!”
It’s struck me as funny that, as I thought about the best way to explain the reaction to Adobe’s Creative Cloud announcement, the first words that came to mind were, “Boy, howdy.”
Did Adobe open a huge can of words by moving to the Creative Cloud model? Boy, howdy. Did they ever. Is the creative and publishing world up in arms about it? Boy, howdy. Are they ever.
Is there anything we can do about Creative Cloud? Probably not.
For those who have been hiking the Appalachian Trail for the past two months and aren’t familiar with the changes at Adobe, here’s the short version: You no longer buy Adobe software. You lease it. Think of your cable company. For a monthly fee, you have access to hundreds of channels, even though you probably don’t watch more than three or four.
Cable seemed like a good idea when I moved into my place three years ago. I got 200 channels, HBO, high-speed Internet and a phone line for $99 per month. It’s hard to argue with that. What I haven’t been able to figure out is how my cable bill went from $99 per month to over $200 without my noticing it. And I don’t even get HBO anymore.
And that’s the catch about Creative Cloud, isn’t it? Sure, we get InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Acrobat InCopy and a couple of dozen other apps. But let’s face it, how many of our people use more than two or three Adobe applications?
And that price of $30 per month per user? That sounds like an OK deal. $360 per year for the latest version of Adobe software. But what about next year. That price is only guaranteed for the length of the one-year agreement. And, unless something changes, the $30 per month goes up to $50 for folks who sign up after July 31, 2013. So beginning August 1, that $360 moves up to $600 annually.
Are people upset? Boy, howdy. There are blogs and online communities dedicated to complaining about the changes at Adobe. They’ve recently been compared to Quark, whose corporate attitude in the 1990s led to their quick descent from their lofty perch as king of the creative world.
Open Government: I’m not sure what horses have to do with it
Two elected officials with the strongest public commitment to open government and the Freedom of Information Act in South Carolina are Cindy Wilson, a member of Anderson County Council, and Lucy Parsons, Chair of the Marlboro County Board of Education.
Cindy and Lucy don’t know each other, and besides being among the very few women elected to public office in South Carolina, each raises horses.
Last week Lucy invited me to address the Marlboro County Board of Education on the prohibition against amending an agenda to add an item without giving the public at least 24-hour advance notice. Lucy’s request was prompted by the addition of an item to an agenda even though she correctly told her board members that the practice was illegal.
The Court of Appeals decided that issue about a year ago ruling that the Saluda County Council had violated the law by adding an agenda item without providing the statutory notice to the public.
Notwithstanding Lucy’s objection to the amendment, a majority declared “we don’t care,” voted to amend the agenda and then took a vote approving action on the item added to the agenda.
Cindy was constantly rebuffed by the Anderson County Administrator in her efforts to obtain access to the financial records of the county. A majority of the council voted to instruct the Administrator not to provide the data to Cindy. A suit to compel the Administrator to provide records was unsuccessful, but in the next election the Administrator’s supporters on council were turned out of office and the Administrator replaced. Anderson County financial records are now on the county website for all to see and question.
Interestingly the Marlboro Board’s agenda the night I was there listed topics for executive session discussion. No listing would satisfy the requirement of the statement of a specific purpose for an executive session because they were the oft-used generic terms of “personnel” or “contractual” matters. And the minutes of prior meetings confirmed that amendment of the agenda and insufficiently specific statements of the purpose of executive sessions were routine.
|Digital Products Manager
What do you like best about your job?
This summer marks my 40th year as a professional journalist, and I still love the variety of the work and the surprises that come almost every day. I like the fact that we keep telling stories that provide value to the community. I love the technology we have available today to help us, and I particularly enjoy using that technology to create something new. We have something to be proud of every day.
What is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
At The State we created and printed the country's first personal computer graphic and also the first in color. That's right: before everyone else. We also tested digital photography and printed the first newspaper image shot and transmitted with a digital camera. At PressLink we were the first to experiment with and transmit digital photos around the world and we created the first all-digital online photo system. Those are pretty good memories.
How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
We're still in our infancy in digital journalism. I suspect we'll all be getting most of our information from handheld devices eventually. We as an industry need to realize that and get very mobile very quickly.
What's your favorite SCPA member service?
I love Jen Madden's weekly newsletters, but I'd have to say my favorite is the continued defense of the Freedom of Information Act. Jay Bender and Bill Rogers are strong defenders of the FOIA. That's extremely valuable.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career and why?
I have had some great mentors, including "Slim" Hembree at Anderson, Dr. Louis Henry at Clemson University and Roger Fidler at PressLink, but Tom McLean at The State was absolutely pivotal in my career. He's a great newspaperman and mentor. I owe him quite a lot.
What are some area attractions/restaurants in your community visitors shouldn't miss?
I spend a lot of time at Fluor Field in Greenville. If you like baseball you won't be disappointed by seeing a game there.
What is something most people don't know about you?
I suppose many people don't know that in my spare time I photograph college and Minor League baseball for trading cards, magazines and websites.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Other than work and shooting baseball, I love spending time with my wife, daughters and two grandchildren. I also read lots of novels, particularly Michael Connelly, Lee Child, John Sanford, James Lee Burke and Robert Crais. (And I should add: I read them on a mobile device.)
Know someone interesting that you'd like to see featured here? Let us know!
Opinion: U.S. shield law should be high Congress priority
The Times and Democrat
The Issue: Protecting journalists; Our opinion: South Carolina offers model of guarding reporters’ right to do their jobs
Much is written about the public’s right to know guaranteed by freedom-of-information acts on the federal and state levels. Sadly, most of the news is about violations by elected officials, government bodies and agencies, and their appointees and employees. The battle to ensure access is a daily one.
But there is a related and growing problem — one that goes to the root of the freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment. The press, as watchdog of government, must have the ability to do its work.
A top public policy priority for journalists is enactment of a federal shield law that would enable reporters to protect confidential sources when subpoenaed in criminal and civil cases.
In the wake of recent scandals involving the Justice Department’s secret seizure of phone records that swept in communications of more than 100 Associated Press journalists, and the monitoring of Fox News reporter James Rosen’s personal e-mail and cell phone records, this legislation is critical to protecting the free flow of information and the public’s right to know.
Around the nation, reporters are increasingly encountering difficulty in reporting stories as judges order journalists to disclose the identity of sources who provide valuable information in exchange for confidentiality.
While press and public are one and the same in the right of access to their government, judges and lawmakers historically have recognized the need for certain reporting privileges if journalists are to fulfill their mission. One is limited immunity from being summoned to court to testify about sources and provide information available by other means.
In South Carolina, our legislators deserve credit for putting into law that protection for journalists. The General Assembly two decades ago passed a shield law. It grants news organizations limited protection against orders to testify and turn over information in cases about which they have reported.
Most citizens — indeed some in the legal community — know little about the shield law. Others question the need for it. Some say it is not right that a reporter enjoy a shield.
Here’s why reporters need such “privilege” and why you should care:
New fair use principles show how copyright can be journalism's friend
By Ellyn Angelotti, Poynter
Fair use is an area of copyright law that’s often misunderstood — and feared.
Some publishers think they have limitless rights to use any image they find on Google or social media as they wish. (They don’t.) Another common misconception is the oft-cited yet non-existent “30-second rule” — the idea that you can use up to 30 seconds of audio or video in your work without infringing on an original publisher’s copyright.
Such misconceptions about fair use are all too common — and many journalists fear delving into fair use’s complexities, just wanting to know enough to keep from getting sued.
The American University Center of Social Media is releasing a new set of tools that seek to help demystify fair use for journalists — and to help publishers see how this doctrine actually can help online reporting instead of hampering it. ...
Copyright has two sometimes competing effects on publishers.
Publishers see it as a tool to preserve the value of the work they create by preventing others from violating their rights. Yet at the same time, publishers want to use the work of others in the reporting process, and journalists share and use the work of others frequently, both on social media and in their own publications.
Post and Courier launching new section focused on South
By Mitch Pugh, The Post and Courier
A new look is coming Sunday. The Post and Courier will launch a daily newspaper section focused on news and analysis from across the South. The new section is part of a renewed focus to deliver to our readers the best local, state and regional news, in print and online.
Due to its history and singular culture, Charleston has long been among the most influential cities in the South. We have decided to reflect that influence in the daily pages of the newspaper. The goal of The South will be to give Charleston readers a better sense of what is happening elsewhere in the region and how that might influence or have been influenced by events in the Lowcountry.
The content for the section will be a mix of original stories generated by additional freelance writers from around the region, staff-generated original news and carefully selected wire and syndicated copy. The section will also be infused with opinions from across the South, including columns from South Editor Melanie Balog.
But that's not the only change readers will see beginning Sunday.
In addition to this new section, we will begin leading our newspaper with local and state news. Now, the A section of the paper has local news on the front and nation and world stories on the inside. Beginning Sunday, the entire A section will be local and state news and opinion — barring significant breaking national or world news that requires front-page treatment. The B section will be fronted by The South and followed by your national and world news, obituaries, business news and weather.
As part of our renewed commitment to local news, we will be eliminating our zoned Your Lowcountry sections that appear on Thursdays and will instead share that news throughout the week to all of our readers. This news will be infused into our A section, Sports and other existing print sections. If it's local news, not only will we still cover it, it will be more prominent than ever before.
In another exciting move, Assistant Editor Frank Wooten will be joining our metro columnist rotation. In addition to his editorial board duties, Frank will write three days a week. He joins Brian Hicks, who will continue to write three days a week, and Shirley Greene, who will continue to write a Monday column.
All of these moves fit into a more holistic plan designed to position our news organization to continue to be a breaking news leader in the digital space while our printed products focus on forward-looking, in-depth news that puts recent events into perspective. In other words, we want to take advantage of the inherent strengths of digital and print and deliver relevant products to our readers.
Charlotte Observer religion reporter arrested in Raleigh protest
Charlotte Observer religion reporter Tim Funk was arrested earlier this week at the General Assembly in Raleigh while covering the Charlotte clergy involved in the legislative protests.
Authorities said Funk, a veteran Observer reporter who covered the statehouse in the 1980s, failed to move away from a crowd of about 60 that was demonstrating and peacefully surrendering to arrest. Funk, who was wearing Charlotte Observer identification, was handcuffed and taken along with the arrested protesters to the Wake County magistrate’s office to be arraigned on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and failure to disperse.
Jeff Weaver, police chief for the General Assembly Police in Raleigh who oversaw the arrests, told The Associated Press that Funk did not heed a warning from officers to disperse before the arrests began.
Funk had earlier written about the weekly protests from Charlotte. Monday was his first live coverage of the event in Raleigh. He was released at about 11 p.m.
“We believe there was no reason to detain him,” said Cheryl Carpenter, Observer managing editor. “He wasn’t there to do anything but report the story, to talk to Charlotte clergy. He was doing his job in a public place.”
Watch the arrest
New USC graduate fellowship for business journalists
By Megan Sexton, University of South Carolina
A new fellowship that will allow a business journalist to earn a doctorate degree is being offered by the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications, thanks to a $500,000 gift from a Carolina alumnus.
The Baldwin Business and Financial Graduate Fellowship for Business Journalists is valued at more than $70,000 per year for up to five years, beginning in Fall 2014. The fellowship will last for five years if the journalist starts the program with a bachelor’s degree, and three years if the person starts with a master’s. At completion, the Baldwin Fellow will graduate with a doctorate in mass communications and will be prepared for a tenure-track assistant professor position.
The teaching fellowship also will allow the professional who is chosen to impart his or her knowledge of the craft to students with an interest in business journalism.
The fellowship is being funded by a gift from Kenneth W. Baldwin Jr., a Columbia native and 1949 USC alumnus. This is Baldwin’s second large gift to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. In 2009, he gave a $500,000 gift to establish the Baldwin Business and Financial Journalism Endowment Fund to support teaching, research and other activities.
Baldwin, a former business editor and executive at Norfolk, Va.-based Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC (formerly Landmark Communications), said he believes in the importance of bringing in accomplished journalists to share their knowledge and experience with students.
To qualify for the fellowship, an applicant must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, must be an accomplished business journalist and must meet the university’s standards for acceptance into graduate studies. Teaching experience is desired but not required.
For more information about applying for the fellowship, contact Erik Collins, firstname.lastname@example.org, (803) 777-4105.
Affordable Mail Alliance to again fight major Postal Service price increases
The Affordable Mail Alliance, a coalition of Postal Service customers, has been reestablished to defeat an expected Postal Service proposal to raise postage rates by as much as five times the rate permissible by law. The Postal Service Board of Governors, who must approve the Postal Service’s request, is set to decide on the matter imminently.
The law permits the Postal Service to raise postage rates annually, consistent with the rate of inflation, a standard that should satisfy any well run organization in today’s economy. But a combination of declining revenue and increasing costs has the Postal Service poised to inflict on its customers an “exigent” rate increase designed to subsidize an outdated infrastructure in need of change. Most private sector companies have already made major structural and operational changes in recent years in order to survive. The USPS needs to do the same.
A massive postage rate increase will hit consumers, charities, and large and small businesses at a time when the still fragile economy cannot afford it. The result will be more jobs lost in the private sector in order to maintain an overbuilt postal system, and even less revenue to the Postal Service as mailers flee. There should be a unified call to reform the USPS, not saddle postal customers with higher prices – something that will only accelerate the decline of mail volume, and hasten the Postal Service’s demise.
The Postal Service claims that it will soon run out of cash without major financial relief, a claim it has been making for a number of years. In 2010 the Postal Service proposed a massive postage rate increase to avert a pending financial catastrophe that never materialized. Fortunately for mailers and for the Postal Service, that proposed price increase was rejected through the efforts of the Affordable Mail Alliance.
While the Postal Service may believe it has no other options, a rate hike of this magnitude will hurt postal customers and cause more mail to leave the postal system; therefore, the Affordable Mail Alliance has united to once more say no to exorbitant rate hikes.
Why newsroom managers would benefit from asking more questions
By Butch Ward, Poynter
Ask great reporters to name their most powerful tool, and you just might hear this: The question.
Not just any question, but one that is simple, open-ended and all but requires the subject to abandon the relative safety of a “yes” or “no.” The great question does not just confirm what the reporter knows; it reveals something new. It explains something complex. It leaves all who read or hear its answer smarter.
So why, knowing the power of the question, do so many of us who become newsroom managers forget to include it in our toolbox? Instead of relying upon great questions to help us lead our staffs, we think something else is expected of us: Answers.
I did. No sooner had I accepted my first assistant editor’s title, the desk and the raise (yes, in the old days we got raises with promotions) and promptly became an “Answer Man.” Overnight I was capable of boldly producing opinions upon request — and equally good at delivering them to staffers who didn’t yet appreciate their value enough to ask.
And we wonder why no one participates in meetings.
I started thinking about this phenomenon again a few weeks ago while watching (here goes my cred, such as it was) the Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible,” which each week features a new attempt by celebrity chef Robert Irvine to save a failing restaurant in just 48 hours.
Halfway through this particular episode, the overbearing manager of the week’s floundering restaurant reflected upon what she had been doing wrong.
“I was decisive,” she said. “But I wasn’t effective.”
Bullseye. Many of us who are given the opportunity to manage other people fixate on our need to be decisive. Problem is, we forget about the ingredients that contribute to making good decisions — ingredients like information, experience and other people.
Former Georgetown Times owner Mary Davis dies
Mary Davis — a former owner of The Georgetown Times — passed away on May 30.
Tom and Mary Davis owned the newspaper from 1955 until they sold it to Evening Post Publishing in 1973.
A former Probation Officer with the Juvenile Court in Richmond, Virginia, she was active for twenty years in the newspaper profession with her husband after their move from Virginia to Georgetown in 1955.
Former Times’ news editor Vickie Tompkins was hired by the Davises in 1973.
“She was a role model,” Tompkins said of 88-
year-old Davis. “She had a way of making you learn. I still have a book she put together when she was learning to write. It was her writings.”
Tompkins said Davis loved her family and community and while other reporters were busy writing about crime, taxes and other hard news, Davis spent her time looking for the good news stories for the newspaper.
“She helped with the weddings and social events. This was back in the day when all the birthday parties were written about. She was the social bug of the newspaper. She knew what was going on,” Tompkins recalled.
After selling the newspaper, the Davises moved to Bennettsville but later returned.
“Georgetown was their home,” Tompkins said.
Tom Davis passed away in 1990.
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
September 13: Daily Publishers Roundtable, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Sept. 19: Advanced InDesign and PDF Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia