SCPA PhotoShop training set July 18
Seats are starting to fill up for our upcoming training session on basic and advanced PhotoShop. This event will be held Thursday, July 18, at SCPA Offices in Columbia. Adobe expert Michelle Kerscher specializes in teaching print media how to best use Adobe technology to gain better quality results and how to work more efficiently. Here's the training schedule:

PHOTOSHOP BASICS 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.Learn the basics of PhotoShop editing! In just three hours, Michelle will teach you all the basics you need to know about PhotoShop’s many tools and palettes. In addition to covering cropping and straightening images, she’ll also talk about how to properly resize and compress images for print and Web projects. Did you know there are correct file sizes and file types for certain print and Web projects? Michelle will set you straight on all of the basics!

LUNCH ON YOUR OWN 12:30 – 1:45 p.m.

ADVANCED PHOTOSHOP 1:45 – 4:00 p.m.
In the afternoon, Michelle will go over advanced PhotoShop features including how to get better results with color and black-and-white photos by adjusting the levels, curves, hue and brightness. She’ll also show you her favorite healing, fill, filter and retouching tools, including how to remove noise and refine edges. She’ll wrap up the day by showing you how to create actions, which will automate repetitive tasks. After this session, you are sure to walk away with tons of tips to save you time and make your photos look better!

Michelle is a graduate of the Newspaper Institute of Technology. In addition to working as a trainer for SCPA, she has mastered design and use of Adobe products as a newspaper designer, Web designer and commercial press designer. She has a real knack for explaining high-tech topics in plain-language. This training will be easy to understand for all levels of Adobe users. Though Michelle will touch on some of the latest features of CS6, her classes are designed for users of all versions of the software in Mac or PC platforms.

Space is limited and approximately 25 seats remain so sign up today if you are interested!

Career advice from a big haired career rookie, 30 years later
Last month marked the 30th anniversary of my first day in the work world. On May 23, 1983, I walked into 128 Cannon House Office Building next to the U.S. Capitol. That day, I started my job as a receptionist for Congressman Robin Tallon after he hired me, sight unseen, over the phone three weeks earlier. It had been nine days since I crossed the stage at USC to get my Journalism degree (and paid some $300 to settle up my parking tickets).
I had a head full of big permed hair, big expectations and little idea of what I was supposed to do as an employed and fully responsible adult. Looking back, I didn’t have specific career goals in mind at that point, but I did know what I was good at and the type of work I wanted to pursue. Here, 30 years later, I’ve been fortunate to have a rewarding career that combines my love of writing, communications and politics with my curiosity about people and places.
In 1983, I never dreamed my jobs would give me the chance to travel with a Congressional delegation to Taiwan; raise money for causes I believe in; lobby the legislature and Congress for millions of dollars; ride in a fire truck; bike the Golden Gate bridge; get published in national magazines; pick tobacco; work with great S.C. mayors; have pictures made with famous people like Tip O’Neill and Mr. Rogers; visit 38 states; work on national, state and local campaigns; stand at the podium in the White House press room; or be in the State House dome the day the Confederate flag came down.
I’ve figured out a few things along the way that I wish someone had told that 22-year old with big hair walking into her first day on the job. Maybe the thoughts below will be helpful to others just starting out. I write this with huge thanks to all of you - my bosses, mentors, co-workers, friends, family and colleagues I have had the privilege to work with and learn from over these 30 years.
  • Establish you own personal brand. Decide what you want your reputation in the workplace to be and let your actions define you. Keep promises and make deadlines. Under-promise and over-deliver. Avoid behavior in your personal life that could reflect negatively in your professional life (even more true today with all the risks of social media in the mix). Remember details count, especially when getting the details right sets you apart from others.
  • Seek out a mentor. I’m guessing many busy professionals may say, “I don’t have time to be a mentor.” But most mentor relationships happen naturally rather than being established formally. Be on the look-out for them. I bet my best mentors probably don’t know they even served that role.

Reprinted with permission from MIdlandsLife. Sign up to receive MidlandsLife.

The Item/Osteen Pub. Co.

What do you like best about your job?

I like the fact that every day is different (and a challenge) in this job. It seems that just when you think nobody appreciates the job your newspaper does for the community someone will give you a compliment about a story of something good one of your staffers did.

What is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
I’ve had a lot of proud moments but a highlight has to be serving as the first fourth generation Press Association President for this organization.  I’d like to think my father is proud and my grandfather and great-grandfather would have also been proud that our family business is still making a difference.

How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
I’m generally a  "glass is half-full” kind of guy so I’d have to say our business still has a long, profitable life ahead.  I do believe we are going to have to find ways to offset the decline of traditional newspaper revenues which needs to be viewed as an exciting challenge as we go forward.

What's your favorite SCPA member service?
My favorite service are the ones that bring us revenue to the bottom line!  Well, that and the workshops and Publisher roundtables help me individually quite a bit as well.

Any big plans coming up?
My family and I just did a two week trip to Europe (see picture) and we will also go to New Braunfels, Texas, later this summer to visit my wife’s family.  I will spend a few days in Las Cruces, N.M. to check on our newest acquisition (Las Cruces Bulletin) as well as our Northern Florida newspapers.

If you could change one thing about the newspaper industry, what would it be?
I don’t know if I would change anything now about our industry.  However, I would have done things a bit differently starting about 10 years ago armed with the information we have now about our industry.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I know it’s a cliché, but I like spending most of my time with my wife and two kids.  My kids are at a great age and I enjoy coaching both their soccer teams and my son’s basketball team.  Before too much longer they will be participating in high school sports and I probably won’t be able to do as much of that.  I love golf and play when I can but there will be plenty of time for that when my kids get a little older and start doing more of their own thing.  Also, I love volunteering my time in various organizations whether it’s at a local, state or national level.  I feel blessed to be in a family business that affords me the time to give back to our community.

Know someone interesting that you'd like to see featured here? Let us know!

Pinewood skirting FOIA law
By Robert J. Baker, The Item
Pinewood Town Council is requiring residents to jump through several small hoops when they request public documents under the state Freedom of Information Act, undermining the purpose of that law, according to SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers.
Town officials have been seeking written requests from all residents who seek public information, a policy Mayor Al Pridgen said is mostly to help out the town's interim part-time clerk.
"They can have any policy they want as long as it doesn't flout the law," Rogers said. "The law says that certain public records must be made available immediately without a written request. This includes the minutes of all meetings for the preceding six months."
Councilman Leonard Houser said that he would like council members to also begin thinking about fees for FOIA requests.
Rogers said Pinewood cannot, however, set a specific fee for requests.
"They can charge no more than the actual costs for the copies and for searching and copying the records," Rogers said. "Typically, anything from 10 cents to a quarter a page is considered reasonable around the state. However, there are incidents where people try to charge outrageous amounts. The Fairfield County administrator wanted $30,000 for a reporter to see his emails, and in Lexington County a school board wanted $500,000 to reveal copies of emails. That's a problem. And it's against the law."
He said the actual cost to search for the records could be tabulated by looking at the time a clerk spends doing so.
"Whatever her hourly wage is, for example, they might charge for that if it takes a long time," Rogers said. "And they cannot charge someone for a lawyer to look at the documents."
Rogers said public bodies cannot even ask a person why they want documents.
Pinewood resident Manley C. DuBose said he was asked for even more than his name when he requested minutes for all meetings held since January, a copy of all the town's business licenses and other documents in early May. He said town officials asked him why he wanted the information, which Rogers said is a clear violation of the state FOIA.
"They cannot ask why you want a document, unless they think it's for commercial solicitation," Rogers said.

AP CEO says government sources won’t talk after Justice Department probe
The CEO of the Associated Press told an audience Wednesday that the Department of Justice has succeeded in muzzling government employees from talking to AP reporters in the weeks since the seizure of AP phone records was revealed.
“What I learned from our journalists should alarm everyone in this room and I think should alarm everyone in this country. The actions of the DOJ against AP are already having an impact beyond the specifics of this particular case,” AP CEO Gary Pruitt told an audience at the National Press Club. “Some of our longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking to us, even about stories that aren’t about national security. In some cases, government employees that we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone, and some are reluctant to meet in person.”
After it was made public that the Justice Department took AP Washington bureau phone records as part of the Obama administration’s aggressive anti-leak operation, Pruitt said the fear among potential sources has spread to reporters from other outlets.
“I can tell you that this chilling effect is not just at AP, it’s happening at other news organizations as well,” he said. “Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me it has intimidated sources from speaking to them.”
Pruitt said he believes government officials are happy to see the process of newsgathering become more difficult in Washington.
“The government may love this. I suspect that they do,” he said. “But beware the government that loves secrecy too much.”
During a question-and-answer session after his speech, Pruitt said he did not believe the Obama administration has had a different relationship with the press than past administrations, but he said that the Obama administration’s aggressive attempts to prosecute leakers have put the administration’s view of the press front and center.

NAA: Limit government overreach through Free Flow of Information Act
Editor's Note: Caroline H. Little, president of NAA, has written an op-ed on the Free Flow of Information Act.
Please consider it for your editorial page.  

By Caroline H. Little, NAA President and CEO
The nation learned in May that the Justice Department secretly obtained the phone records of more than 100 Associated Press reporters and monitored Fox News reporter James Rosen’s personal e-mail and cell phone records, branding him a “possible co-conspirator” in a classified leak case for asking questions to a government source.
These revelations sent shockwaves throughout newsrooms nationwide. Reporters can no longer assure their sources that interviews will remain confidential because there is no way to tell whether the government is listening. This attack on journalism reaches far beyond hardworking journalists and their sources. Make no mistake: The ultimate victims are the millions of Americans who rely on investigative journalism to inform them about their communities. When the government creates a chilling effect in newsrooms, it keeps important news away from the American public.
Click here to read the full column and download Little's photo.

Aiken Communications Inc. wins USC Gamecocks publication
Aiken Communications, Inc., has been awarded a five-year contract to handle print and digital publications focused on athletics for the University of South Carolina Gamecock Club.
The Gamecock Club was seeking to modernize communications with its membership. The new offerings will include a tabloid newspaper, slick magazines, online features and tablet and mobile apps that will be tied closely to social media. Gamecock Club members at the Century giving level and above will receive the print publications as part of the membership in the Club, and all members will have access to the subscription-only digital products. Fans who are not members of the Gamecock Club can subscribe to all of the offerings for $49.99 per year.
After a bid process, Aiken Communications Inc., replaced Gamecock Associates as the publisher of Spurs and Feathers, which was led by editor Dexter Hudson.
Aiken Communications Inc., publishes the Aiken Standard and The Star of North Augusta. It also operates a commercial printing venture and a division called TootSuite Communications that focuses on traditional and digital marketing services. Aiken Communications Inc., is a subsidiary of Evening Post Publishing, LLC., publisher of the The Post and Courier of Charleston.
“We are very pleased with the confidence the Gamecock Club is showing in us,” said Scott Hunter, president of Aiken Communications Inc., “The is a very exciting time for the USC and Gamecock sports. We are proud to partner with them on these key products. We have already developed a very strong staff, and they can't wait to get started.”

Award-winning food writer to join Post and Courier staff
Hanna Raskin, an award-winning food writer and blogger, will join The Post and Courier’s features staff in August.
Raskin will become the paper’s primary writer in covering the burgeoning food culture and restaurant scene in Charleston and the Lowcountry. Raskin also will begin writing a blog at
Teresa Taylor, the paper’s food editor for the past 10 years, will concentrate on the job of features editor that she assumed in September. Taylor will continue to write Sunday’s recipe column, “Now We’re Cooking” in the Homes & Real Estate section and contribute to food coverage on occasion.
Raskin returns to the South from Seattle, where she was food critic and lead food blogger since 2011 for the Seattle Weekly.
Previously, Raskin worked for the Dallas Observer and the Mountain Xpress in Asheville, N.C. She was founder and director of American Table Culinary Tours in Asheville and organized an Appalachicola tour for the Southern Foodways Alliance in 2005-06.
Raskin has been published in the Journal of Popular Culture, Garden & Gun Magazine, Living, Cooking Light, Heritage, Gravy, Epicurious, Repast and Cornbread Nation. She won an award in 2010 for Best Newspaper Food column from the national Association of Food Journalists. She was a finalist for UC Berkeley-11th Hour Farming Fellowship in 2013; a finalist for Best Food Writing from the Association Alternative Newsmedia in 2011; and a finalist for Outstanding Group Blog from the James Beard Foundation in 2011.
She is a journalism division judge for the James Beard Foundation Awards and is ethics committee chair for the Association of Food Journalists.

6 marketing and research lessons for sophisticated selling of digital subscriptions
By Dena Levitz, American Press Institute
As news organizations increasingly rely on subscription revenue, this shift demands a new approach toward audience. Publishers must understand user behavior better, take advantage of analytics and be more audience focused.
A leading market economist and two executives from the New York Times outlined increasingly sophisticated methods to hone in on reader preferences during a recent American Press Institute symposium. These methods helped The Times’ 2-year-old digital subscription plan gain traction and positioned the media organization to create more personalized digital experiences for users.
Shane Murray, the Times’ executive director of analytics, James Dunn, executive director of digital subscription marketing for the Times and Matthew Lindsay, managing partner of Mather Economics who works with hundreds of media companies on their pricing strategies, supplied data and insights. API identified six key takeaways from these speakers’ remarks:
1. Modern marketing is an entirely new way of looking at the relationship between brands and customers.
Dunn pointed to 10 rules of modern marketing, identified by the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange. The rules govern how companies should interact with current and potential users.
The rules encourage two-way communication with users, as opposed to the brand simply pushing promotional material to its audience. For instance, one of the rules is for marketers to provide ways for customers to spread the word about a product to their networks. Word-of-mouth endorsement is more genuine and potentially more effective.

How newsroom managers can invest more time developing their staff — and why it matters
by Butch Ward, Poynter
It was the day I finally got it — what it means to be an editor.
My first day as managing editor of the old News American in Baltimore was almost over. I was sitting alone in my office, looking at the To-Do list I had created 10 hours before — and hadn’t touched since.
My editor stood in my doorway. “How did your first day go?” he asked.
“I didn’t get anything done,” I said, holding out the list. “All I did was talk to people.”
“That’s your job!” he shouted at me, laughing. “That’s what I need you to do!”
Call me slow. But what I began to realize on that March evening in 1981 is that managers who take responsibility for a staff and its work have two primary jobs:
Product and People.
And here’s the important part: They are equally important, but rarely treated that way.
I had worked in a variety of editing jobs before that day, and I had always devoted some portion of my days (or nights) to talking with my staff. But as I looked back, I realized that I had been focusing most of my energy on the “Product” — whether it was stories or pages or headlines or visuals.
The “People” — and their development — received my attention when I had time.
And on most days, getting out the “Product” required all of my time.
Sound familiar?
That was more than 30 years ago, and I know that managers in today’s newsrooms find getting out the Product more consuming than ever. But that reality hasn’t changed the dual nature of the manager’s responsibility:
Product and People. And they remain equally important.
Yes, managers who are responsible today for staffs of journalists need to produce comprehensive, timely, insightful coverage. They need the writing and visuals to be engaging. And they need to direct their staffs in a variety of other activities (social media, blogging, etc.) that deepen the coverage’s impact on the community.
That’s a lot. Too much on some days.
But it’s still just half the job.
Organizations also expect managers to help their staffs improve. To become better interviewers, better researchers, better writers. To deepen their expertise. To learn and use new technologies. To grow.

SND: We need photojournalists and we need to talk about keeping newsrooms together for journalism to thrive
By SND Headquarters
The decision of the leadership of the Chicago Sun-Times (and its sister publications) to lay off virtually all of its photographers and most of its picture editors is simply the most recent — albeit the most extreme — example of the continued devaluation of content and journalists by those on the business side of our industry.
While the challenges faced by media companies today are daunting and well documented, and efforts to rethink old models are being rolled out almost daily, we are concerned about the unintended consequences of a decision to replace decades of photojournalistic experience with reporters with smart phones.
For several years, news organizations have been cutting space, then journalists, then repeating the cycle. This spiral leaves a string of casualties, from professional standards to communities left without advocates and readers left without compelling, engaging local media.
Some will view the Sun-Times’ move as a legitimate strategy for short-term savings. It is our hope that before others take similar action, we can use this moment to start a renewed conversation about the value of journalists and content in our business today.
As leaders of the Society for News Design, the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) and the American Copy Editors Society (ACES), we intend to invite leaders across all spectrums – visual managers, upper newsroom leadership and media business leadership — to participate in a consortium on the New Values of Content at SND’s annual workshop this fall in Louisville. Our intent is to host a realistic and forward-facing discussion of how to reconcile the need for quality photojournalism, copy editing and presentation with the changing reality of the bottom line. We aim to help come up with solutions that don’t involve eliminating entire skill sets from our newsrooms.

Johnny McCracken, former McCormick publisher and editor, dies at 87
John Samuel “Johnny” McCracken, 87, died May 22, at the Hospice House in Greenwood. 
Born in McCormick, Dec. 15, 1925, he was publisher and editor of the McCormick Messenger until he sold the paper in 1974 although he continued to contribute to the paper covering meetings and writing his “Crack’n’s Corner” and “Knothole Off Main” columns. He also worked as McCormick County Assessor until his retirement in 1992 and previously served as a McCormick County Commissioner and McCormick County School Superintendent. He was a lifetime member of Mine Lodge 117, active in the Democratic Party, and was one of the early volunteer EMT’s for the McCormick County EMS. Until his health failed, Johnny held many roles as a member of the McCormick United Methodist Church, having previously served as chairperson of the church council, chairperson of the PPRC, Sunday school teacher, and, most recently, church historian.  He loved photography, writing, NASCAR, and Atlanta Braves baseball.
Johnny was a veteran of World War II having served in the European Theatre as a platoon runner and sniper in the 7th Armored Division and was a recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster.


June 27: Webinar: Top Strategies and Tactics for Sales Success!

July 18: Basic and Advanced PhotoShop Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia

August 2: 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