|New website scraping S.C. stories and republishing with slight changes
The world is full of bloggers and aggregators who steal newspaper content for their own use.
There is a new one in our state called scnewsfeeds. Their postings are so bad they are comical, but it is still stolen content.
They scrape news stories in nine S.C. cities, then use some type of software to change the wording slightly to attempt to avoid copyright violations.
For instance, they stole a story from Bill Poovey at the GSA Business Journal.
“The South Carolina agency that represents the public’s interest with utilities has recommended that Duke Energy reduce its $220 million rate request and the utility has agreed to consider less.”
SCnewsfeed left Poovey’s byline on the story and wrote:
“The South Carolina group that represents a public’s seductiveness with utilities has endorsed that Duke Energy revoke a $220 million rate ask and a application has concluded to cruise seeking less.”
This may not be copyright violation, but it makes Poovey look like an illiterate nincompoop, which is false. But his byline is on the story and sources have contacted him about mistakes in these pirated stories.
The newsfeed website lists nine locations in our state: Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, Hilton Head Island, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Rock Hill, Spartanburg, Summerville and Sumter.
They are also stealing stories from AP and TV stations. They have similar sites in other states.
The site lists a link to the originator at the end of the story.
If your stories are being stolen and changed, what do you do?
Well, one problem is that you have no idea who is behind this internet “news source.”
SCPA did some research on the domain name, and the person listed as the administrator listed a bogus address.
Normally, you would send a cease and desist letter and that might end the piracy. That’s hard to do if you don’t know who or where to send the letter.
Our SCPA attorneys, Carmen Maye and Jay Bender, have some suggestions and a legal analysis of the situation for SCPA members. If you would like a copy, call or email me.
|PALMY presentation available Aug. 19
The digital presentation of the 2012 PALMY award-winning ads will be available at scpress.org on Monday. This display of over 260 winners is a great resource for ideas and inspiration over the next year.
Best Overall and President's Awards will also be announced Monday.
There will be no PALMY awards ceremony, however, ad directors can schedule a time for Bill Rogers to come present winners with their awards. Just let us know if you are interested, otherwise we will send them in the mail.
Thank you to all those who participated and congratulations to all the winning entrants!
|Ad design workshop set Sept. 12
Bill Rogers will lead attendees through ad design basics using award-winning ads from across South Carolina. Basic design principles will also be covered including: headlines, color choices, white space usage, font choices, borders,
line art vs. photos, contrast, giving ads stopping power and turning readers into buyers
This hands-on session is perfect for new sales reps and production employees and it is limited to the first 20 people. Lunch will be provided. Cost to attend is $45 for members and $65 for non-members. Click here for more information and to register.
News and Press, Darlington
What do you like best about your job?
Being an editor of a weekly independent newspaper has a lot of perks, but the one that I love most is the connection we have with our readers. It's gratifying to hear how a child cut their photo out of the newspaper themselves, or receive an email from a reader thanking us for a story they particularly enjoyed.
What is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
My proudest moment in my career was taking a young lady with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Emily Childers, around town in her wheelchair to illustrate what was and what was not handicap accessible in Hartsville, as a freelance writer for The Messenger. She was only 11 years old at the time, and an amazing advocate for disabilities in a unique fashion, since she didn't need the assistance of a wheelchair all the time, only during particularly bad flare ups. Accessibility to certain stores and restaurants, and uneven sidewalks were explored. Another issue was the timing of the traffic lights at a wide intersection downtown by the time you were half-way across the street, the light began to turn. It was terrifying for me to imagine how dangerous this could be, and I was the one pushing the wheelchair- wheeling one alone the timing would be even more dangerous. Because of our article, the DOT contacted me directly, and the lights at that intersection are not only changed, they now have timing in place that counts down how many seconds a pedestrian has to cross. It was a proud moment for me personally, and greater still, it was an empowering moment for that young lady to have affected so much change. Our story was read by readers that commented online directly to Emily, and praised her for her courage to affect change. Emily is 16 today and I smile every time I think of how brave that little 11- year-old was.
How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
I see the future of the newspaper industry changing to suit the needs of their readers. In areas such as Darlington County, we will have a population of older people that prefer a print newspaper vs. a digital news source. But even that is changing with more and more people enjoying smart phones with constant access to the news. To succeed in the future, I feel newspapers need to have a smart phone/tablet compatible presence that shares well with social media in addition to the print paper, with advertisers gaining more ways to share their business with others. No matter how the platform changes, the need for a town crier will never end. Small towns need to share their stories in their own voice, not those from an impersonal news source. I see citizen journalism increasing in the future as well.
What's your favorite SCPA member service?
All the SCPA member services are wonderful. We are blessed to have this great resource at our fingertips.
Any big plans coming up?
Professionally: I have plans to update our website and social media platform. Personally: I finally quit driving boring "Mom" cars and bought a Chevrolet Spark, and that was the extent of my big plans for 2013!
Who has had the biggest influence on your career and why?
My Mum, Pat Pye of Bath, Maine. She has always encouraged my writing, and has been a good role model as a woman of strength with optimism.
What are some area attractions/restaurants in your community visitors shouldn't miss?
Darlington County is rich with history, rural beauty, and the kindest people in South Carolina. No visit to our county would be complete without a walk in Kalmia Gardens, it's a treasure.
What is something most people don't know about you?
Most people don't know that I'm a big fan of pulling pranks...until I zap them.
If you could change one thing about the newspaper industry, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about the newspaper industry, it would be to have teachers in public schools partner with us more; I feel we could be a tremendous resource to them, and allow children to learn early on the importance of choosing wisely how they gain their news information. Journalists who take their craft seriously, fact check, and are impartial are becoming more rare in this age of "trash news" and children may not learn from their parents how to properly sort through media. Dr. Pat Ames at Morse High School in Bath, ME, took the time to go through all the major networks and who their shareholders were . It opened our eyes and forever changed how we looked at the news, and which ones were the most fair and impartial.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love spending time with my grown children Dirk, Dylan and Jade; when I have free time, I also enjoy travel, nature photography, community theater, and art.
|South Carolina utility Santee Cooper OK'd $1.34B deal at illegal meeting, attorney says
By John McDermott, Post and Courier
Santee Cooper approved the largest loan in its history at an illegal board meeting last week, a First Amendment lawyer said.
The state-owned utility OK’d the sale of $1.34 billion in bonds Thursday at a “special” unscheduled meeting without telling local media outlets 24 hours in advance, as required under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act.
The agency violated another part of the so-called sunshine law a second time by failing to notify The Post and Courier, said Columbia media attorney Jay Bender, who represents both the newspaper and the S.C. Press Association.
The Post and Courier, which is member of the association, had specifically asked Santee Cooper in April to provide email notices about all board meetings at least one day ahead of time. Such requests are covered under the Freedom of Information Act.
Press group: Dorchester 2 illegally decides Pye ‘exceeds expectations’
By Brenda Rindge, Post and Courier
Dorchester District 2 school board acted illegally when it decided late Monday after a lengthy closed-door session that Superintendent Joe Pye’s job performance “exceeds expectations,” according to the S.C. Press Association.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being illegal in all regards, it’s a 9.5,” said association lawyer Jay Bender. “It might even be a 10 because it appears that there was some decision made in executive session.”
Bender said there were several areas in which the board violated the state Freedom of Information Act:
Records request price reflects poorly on town
By The Island Packet
Little seems reasonable about Hilton Head Island's bill of up to $13,000 to produce public documents.
That's the cost estimate put on a documents request from island businessman Skip Hoagland, who is suing the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. The documents sought are related to the accommodations tax money the town gives the chamber.
|Atkinson joins Chronicle-Independent
The Chronicle-Independent announces the addition of Haley Atkinson as the paper's new Localife editor. Atkinson will also serve as the C-I's county reporter, covering Kershaw County Council and other county stories. She will also write a weekly column.
Atkinson, who lives in Bishopville, graduated from The Citadel's graduate school in May with a master's degree in English. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in English from Coker College in 2008 with an independent concentration on creative writing.
Atkinson once served as an intern at Camden Media Co.'s Lee County Observer in Bishopville, writing stories and columns as well as taking photographs.
“We are very glad to welcome Haley on board as our Localife editor and county reporter,” Editor Martin L. Cahn said. “The combination of education, experience helping others to write better, her own talent and winning personality make her an excellent addition to our staff.”
Atkinson can be reached by email or by phone at 432-6157, ext. 122.
|Bezos, The Post, and the business we're really in
By Janet Coats, Coats2Coats.com
I was tearing through drawers in my office this week, looking for one of the 99 pieces of “signed by a parent” paperwork my kids need for back to school, when I ran smack-dab into myself, back when I was “the face of new journalism.”
There I was, on the cover of the April 1996 “Presstime,” posed with cameras, a calculator, a giant phone handset and lots and lots of newspapers. Because how can you have the face of new journalism without a whole bunch of newspapers in the picture? (I also note that my then 6-months-pregnant stomach is carefully concealed — we wouldn’t want anyone thinking a woman could run a newsroom and gestate at the same time, now would we?)
It’s funny to find this relic of my change-agent past this week, when I’ve been obsessively reading about the latest spasms in the newspaper business. Like most of those in my social media feeds, I was already following the latest from Cleveland and Boston when the news that Jeff Bezos is buying The Washington Post crashed through and overwhelmed all other discussion.
Dear Jeff Bezos, here's what I saw as an analog nobody in the mailroom of the Washington Post
By Kara Swisher, AllThingsD.com
While it might seem an awful cliche, the fact of the matter is — if you go back to a time long before the commercial Internet existed, and well before you became so rich that you have $250 million in spare change to purchase a major metropolitan newspaper — I started my real journalism career in the mailroom at the Washington Post.
On the storied fifth floor of the Post's longtime building at 15th and L Streets, NW — which is now also prepping to be sold for about half of what you forked over for the Post itself (oh, the irony!) — I delivered piles of letters and packages to reporters and editors, starting when I was still a student at Georgetown University.
I had come there as both a mailroom lackey and also as a stringer, after I called and chewed out then-Metro editor Larry Kramer (now the editor publisher of USA Today) about how badly the newspaper was covering the area's colleges, including mine. He told me to come down to the Post and say it to his face, which I did with all the obnoxiousness a 19-year-old could muster.
Why newspapers need big data now
By Nitesh Chawla, NetNewsCheck.com
Jeff Bezos' purchase of The Washington Post has stirred up discussions, perspectives and intrigue in the media industry. It also intrigues me as a big data professor and researcher at the University of Notre Dame and as a big data entrepreneur at Aunalytics.
Why? Because big data will be central to any digital strategy in media.
Here are a couple of my predictions around Bezos’ acquisition of the Post: Consumers will see personalization of content and targeted advertisements; relevant information will be matched to consumers seeking information; relevant recommendations will be served at the right time; and consumers will see “people like me” also read this or respond to a given message.
The Post will drive up revenue of its digital platform because of an enhanced pool of more loyal and engaged consumers. Further, advertisers will see value-added propositions via targeted content and messaging to the consumer and deeper consumer understanding will drive diversified revenue streams.
Leaning towards a better way to gauge consumer media interaction
By David Justus, PaidContent.org
The media business is long overdue to replace the prevailing framework we use to describe consumer interaction with content with one that better reflects current devices and activities.
The current lean-forward, lean-back paradigm, conceived by Jakob Nielsen, was popularized around 2008 and yet (amazingly) it's already showing its age. Consider that it predates the widespread use of touchscreen smartphones, the current dominance of tablets — the entire second screen phenomena — and even the widespread adoption of on-demand streaming media services like Netflix and Spotify. The world has turned in the past 5 years, and yet this framework remains a popular if not standard convention for analyzing data consumption in the media business.
It's time advertisers, marketers and content creators had a more accurate, more nuanced and granular system to describe how consumers interact with their digital content. The result would offer better opportunities for everything from UX design to monetization and marketing.
|Timelines help readers – and reporters –
make sense of fragmented coverage
A city council approves tax incentives for a shopping center after a months-long process that provoked emotions from proponents and opponents alike.
A basketball team completes a perfect season, capping it with a state championship.
A jury convicts a local resident of a triple murder after rumors and legal maneuvers captivate the community for two years.
High-profile stories such as these are commonplace in our communities, punctuated by banner headlines and photos. The stories prompted prominent coverage when they first broke, and newsrooms likely delivered play-by-play coverage at the various steps.
But how many newspapers provide a comprehensive wrap for those individuals who have not followed the stories from beginning to end? That probably applies to a good share of your readers. Chronologies are effective in providing a living history of key events in our communities.
|The newsroom zoo... recognize anyone?
You've heard the expression before: "It's a jungle out there!"
Sometimes, it's a jungle in here. And "here" is our own newsroom.
During my more than 24 years as a consultant, I've encountered just about every animal in the newsroom zoo.
You may not have all of these in your newsroom...but I'm willing to bet you've identified at least a couple of these where you work.
Here they are:
Ursa obstructionensis: The obstructionist is best recognized by body position: sitting back, arms folded, a quiet yet defiant sneer. This is the newsroom animal who dares you to try to accomplish anything—especially in its square acre of jungle.
Mentus nongottus disguisus: This mammal is distinguished by the fact that it mimics real motion and thought. However it has been brain-dead for years.
Aug. 21: SCPA Executive Committee Retreat, SCPA Offices, Columbia
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. 13: Webinar: Digital Subscriptions: Highlights, Trends and Potential
Sept. 19: Advanced InDesign and PDF Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Sept. 20: Webinar: Collaborating for Success: Competitive Business Models
Sept. 20: SCPA Collegiate Leadership Summit, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Sept. 26: SCPA Executive Committee Meeting, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Oct. 10: You Call the Shots: create your own design workshop with Ed Henninger, SCPA Offices, Columbia