Contest committee fine tunes news contest
Pat yourself on the back... we do some very good journalism in South Carolina.

Having recently judged another state's FOI contest, and having taken part in the judging of our S.C. FOI contest for many years, I can say our entries were much stronger top to bottom.

And our SCPA contest recognizes similar good work in a broad range of categories and divisions.

The contest committee met here last week to set the rules for the upcoming contest. They did a great job of fine tuning and looking at changes in our industry.

By the way, you should know that our news contest is one of the largest in the entire country. The Newspaper Association Managers recently surveyed all the states about contests. South Carolina's contest – with 3,600 entries – leads the pack. The N.C. Press Association contest says it has between 3,500 and 4,000 entries and Virginia Press has 3,500. California has about 3,500 entries and Georgia about 3,000. 

I think our numbers show that our newspapers take good journalism seriously.

I have repeatedly said that to win a 2nd or 3rd place in our contest is something to take great pride in.  Many good entries don't place.

How contests are judged is changing.

For years, we invited our winning journalists to Columbia to take a day judging. We fed them barbecue and folks enjoyed judging with their peers. Other states did the same.

Times have changed, and most states we exchange with can't get enough in-person judges and are shifting to judging by mail or the Internet. This year, our members have judged two states via mail and internet: Maine and Florida. Those states will judge us next year by mail. We have judging exchanges with other states scheduled through 2025.

The Newspaper Association Managers' survey found that 23 states have already switched to online judging.

We will have to do this also, but not for the coming 2013 News Contest. We are looking at changing in 2014.

Electronic judging allows folks to judge at their desk or at home at their convenience. But there is no BBQ... sorry about that.

The main changes in next year's contest are:
  • The unpublished photo category has been eliminated.
  • The President's Cup sweepstakes award will be awarded solely on points earned, eliminating the requirement that at least 6 points need to be earned in writing, design and photography.
  • Entries from mobile and tablet apps are now allowed.
  • Entries from group newspapers should now be entered in the category where the entry was produced, not in the category for the largest paper in the group.
Entry deadline for the contest is Dec. 6 and the contest period ends Nov. 7. Rules, tags and entry forms will be available by Oct. 7.
SCNN pays out $106,000 to member newspapers this quarter
S.C. Newspaper Network mailed out more than$106,000 of third quarter payouts to member newspapers last week. Papers participating in the QuarterPage+ Network received $47,638. For the Small Space Display Network (2x2/2x4/2x6), members were mailed $41,248 and Online Network members were paid $17,626. Statewide Classified Network checks are mailed annually, so they were not part of this quarter's payout.
"Our networks just ended another strong quarter as evidenced by another quarterly payout of more than $100,000," said Randall Savely, Director of Operations. "While the breakdown among networks continues to change, the amount paid by SCNN to member papers continues to grow each year."
If your newspaper is an SCPA member and does not participate in the SCNN networks, contact Randall Savely to learn how these networks can provide added revenue to your newspaper.
Holder expresses support for federal shield bill amendments adding judicial role to notice process
By Jeff Zalesin,
The Department of Justice is backing a bipartisan effort to turn parts of the department's report on news media policies into federal shield law provisions, Attorney General Eric Holder announced this week in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman. At a markup session scheduled for Thursday, a group of senators from both parties will try to amend the Free Flow of Information Act, S. 987, to create judicially enforceable requirements modeled after some of the internal guidelines Holder recommended in the July 12 report. S.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham is a co-sponsor of the bill.

Kentucky to delay enforcing law against advice columnist pending First Amendment lawsuit
By Amy Zhang,

Enforcement of a Kentucky law forbidding out-of-state psychologists from practicing in the state will be delayed after a Friday meeting between the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology and advice columnist John Rosemond.
The meeting came after Rosemond, 65, sued the psychology board in U.S. District Court in Frankfort on July 16, claiming the board attempted to censor his work in violation of his First Amendment rights. The Attorney General's office sent Rosemond a cease-and-desist letter on behalf of the psychology board in February, asking him to stop all publication of his column in the state of Kentucky.
According to the board, Rosemond's February 12 column was "unlicensed practice of psychology" under Kentucky law because it provided specific advice to a question from a parent about how to handle her teenager. The board also asked Rosemond to stop identifying himself as a "psychologist" at the end of the column because he is not a licensed psychologist in Kentucky.

Kay Byrd named advertising director for Swartz Media
Swartz Media announces that Kay Byrd, a native of Charleston, and a Marion resident has been named advertising director of The News Journal, Hartsville News Journal, Marion County News Journal and the Chesterfield County News & Shopper.
Byrd is a graduate of Trident Technical College with an associate degree in business and marketing. She has 12 years experience in advertising sales.

Methodist press group needs help with judging
Judges are needed for a national United Methodist communicators news contest. Can you help a fellow South Carolina journalist? Jessica Connor, an associate member of SCPA and editor of the S.C. United Methodist Advocate newspaper, is one of the contest coordinators, and she needs judges for the following categories: writing, print publications, digital publications, visual design and advertising.
You would receive the work in late August and have about 2-3 weeks to complete your judging. 
If you can help, please email Jessica directly at or call her at (803) 786-9486 ext. 338 or (803) 807-0018.

Gawker is letting readers rewrite headlines and reframe articles
By Adrienne LaFrance, Nieman Journalism Lab
Relegating online comments to the bottom of an article seems so old-school newspapery in retrospect, doesn’t it?
Long the default for many news organizations online, the message is that reader comments are an afterthought, a footnote, less important than the story itself.
Gawker Media wants to change that perception. Founder Nick Denton has been obsessing over how to reinvent online commenting for going on a decade now, and it seemed as though the publishing-and-discussion Kinja platform his sites unveiled last year was finally approaching his ideal. …
Gawker is rolling out a new kind of reblogging functionality to Kinja so that readers can top the articles they share with their own headlines and introductions. …
Anybody can create her own Kinja page, which is a personal micro-site meant to enable constructive conversations “without fear of trolls poisoning your comments,” according to the Kinja front page. (Kinja’s front is a place where Gawker editors will feature the most popular stories and discussions from across all Gawker Media sites and Kinja.)

Are traditional news operations really ready for innovation?
By Larry Dailey,
As news professionals — and journalism educators — rethink their businesses, they are championing the words “innovation” and “disruption.”
But do they really understand the complexities and the costs (both financial and cultural) of innovation and disruption? And are news organizations truly prepared to innovate, or they are merely playing a kind of organizational “keep up with the Joneses” (a phenomenon that  scholar Wilson Lowrey would call “institutional isomorphism”)?
Since the news industry is one of research and explanation, it seems reasonable to look at what we know about innovation and compare that knowledge with what news organizations are actually doing. This might be helpful in determining whether they are likely to accomplish meaningful innovation in journalism and, if not, what may need to change.

Digital Tools Catalog offered for new and better journalism
Digital tools can make your journalism and your business far more powerful. So Poynter, API and the Knight Foundation have partnered to create a digital tools catalog to guide you to the tools that can help you the most. Whether you're reporting and publishing news, engaging with your community, or looking for ways to make your business practices more profitable, the digital tools catalog can help.
If you're already using these tools, please add your comments about how you're using them. Your feedback can help other newsrooms in their digital transformation.
Have a tool you'd like to share? Simply log in and fill out the submission form.
Buddy McCarter, longtime Rock Hill sports editor, dies
William Harley "Buddy" McCarter Jr., 73, died on July 22, at Carolinas Medical Center in Rock Hill following a stroke suffered on July 16. For more than 20 years, Buddy covered sports in York County -- 18 of those years as sports editor for first The Evening Herald, then The Herald newspaper. He was a great sportswriter, with honors that included three times at the top of his field as voted by his peers. In 2005 he was elected to the York County Sports Hall of Fame.
Search the typefaces you already own
There’s an aphorism I heard many years ago that has stuck with me since: “Ya gotta dance with the girl whut brung ya.”
During my almost-quarter-century as a design consultant, I’ve used that saying to reassure many of my clients about typefaces we can use as we redesign their newspapers.
The point I’m making with them is that they may already own all the typefaces they need.
I recently proved the point again while redesigning two small sister papers in Iowa. I took a close look at their font list and I was able to reassure the publisher that we had everything we needed in the way of type to create a crisp, contemporary look.
Before continuing, let me make clear the difference between “typeface” and “font.” It’s a pet peeve of experienced designers that others use the terms interchangeably. They are not the same thing.
A typeface is the design of a type family, such as Times or Helvetica.
A font is a variant within the family, such as Times Italic or Helvetica Bold. So, a list of typefaces would be something like: Bell...Bell Gothic...Birch...Blackoak... But a font list would read as: Bell Regular...Bell Italic...Bell Semibold...Bell Semibold Italic…

Aug. 5: PALMY Ad Contest winning PDFs due

Aug.15: Essentials of Adobe Illustrator Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia

Aug. 16: Webinar: How To Reinvent Your News Media Brand

Aug. 21: SCPA Executive Committee Retreat, SCPA Offices, Columbia

Aug. 22: Digital and Database Marketing, Georgia Press Association, Atlanta, GA

Aug. 28: Webinar: The Latest Apps For News Reporting

Sept. 12: Ad Design Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia

Sept.13: Daily Publishers Roundtable, SCPA Offices, Columbia

Sept. 19: Advanced InDesign and PDF Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia