Investigative journalism conference set for Sept. 24 in Columbia
A diverse group of nonprofit and journalism organizations in South Carolina is sponsoring a conference this month in Columbia on investigative reporting of state and local government and politics.
The conference will be held Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel at 1615 Gervais St. in downtown Columbia, located several blocks from the State House. The conference will feature two panel discussions by South Carolina journalists – one on state government and politics, and the other on local government and politics.
The event is free and open to the public.
Sponsors include Common Cause of South Carolina, the League of Women Voters of South Carolina, South Carolina Policy Council, South Carolina Progressive Network, South Carolina Press Association and the University of South Carolina College of Mass Communications and Information Studies.
The Clarion Hotel restaurant will open at 11:30 a.m. to accommodate those who wish to purchase their own meals before the conference. Free beverages and snacks will be provided during the mid-afternoon break.
The hotel can be reached at (803) 771-8711. For questions about the conference, contact John Crangle, executive director of Common Cause of South Carolina, at (803) 776-2592.
Following is the conference schedule:
|12:30 – 1 p.m.
||Registration in Salon Room, Clarion Hotel
||Presiding: John Crangle, executive director, Common Cause of South Carolina
Welcoming remarks: Ken Gaines, University of South Carolina law professor and Common Cause state chairman
Opening remarks: Bill Rogers, executive director, South Carolina Press Association
||Panel discussion: “New Topics on Investigative Journalism in S.C. State Government and
Moderator: P.A. Bennett, South Carolina ETV
Panelists: Seanna Adcox, Associated Press
Rick Brundrett, The Nerve (South Carolina Policy Council)
Sammy Fretwell, The State
Corey Hutchins, Charleston City Paper
Jack Kuenzie, WIS-TV News
|| Panel discussion: “New Topics on Investigative Journalism in S.C. Local Government and Politics”
Moderator: Andy Burns, WOLO-TV News
Jody Barr, WIS-TV News
Clif LeBlanc, The State
Lyn Riddle, Greenville News
||Closing remarks: Charles Bierbauer, dean, University of South Carolina College of
Mass Communications and Information Studies
File your USPS statement by Oct. 1
It's time again for paid newspaper members to file your annual U.S. Postal Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation with your postmaster. The deadline for filing this form is Oct. 1.
SCPA members must also mail or email SCPA a copy of the form to P.O. Box 11429, Columbia, SC 29211. This is a requirement of membership.
This form also must be published in the newspaper as follows:
- For publications issued more frequently than weekly, by Oct. 10
- For weekly or less frequently, but more frequently than monthly, by Oct. 31
- Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation (PS Form 3526)
- Additional form if have electronic distribution (PS Form 3526-X)
Beginning in 2012, the PS Form 3526 was revised to allow you to indicate if you want to include electronic subscribers with your Statement of Ownership. Electronic subscriber figures are not to be entered directly onto the PS Form 3526, as the figures on this form include only printed copies. Line 16 of PS Form 3526 has a box you would check indicating that your total circulation includes electronic subscribers. The actual figures for electronic subscribers are to be entered on a worksheet, PS Form 3526-X. This would be an attachment to PS Form 3526 and submitted to your original entry post office. PS Form 3526-X is optional and should be completed only if you want to include electronic subscribers. Unless you are including electronic subscribers, you complete and submit only PS Form 3526.
A print subscriber that is given free access to your electronic version is not a paid electronic subscriber. A paid electronic subscriber must pay a separate subscription rate that you have established for electronic subscribers. You are allowed to offer discounts to this rate but there are limitations. If you are submitting your Statement of Ownership through PostalOne, you cannot include electronic subscribers as PostalOne does not have a PS Form 3526-X attachment available.
For more information, go to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 300, section 707.8.3.1.
What do you like best about your job?
I enjoy having editors and co-workers who trust me and work with me to tell stories visually in innovative ways, whether it is light painting a portrait series on high school spring sports or building a website to hold multimedia elements that illustrate the story of Indy wrestlers. Above all, I love learning about this community while documenting it visually.
What is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
Aside from winning a stash of SCPA awards and being recognized by my peers, being published in the New York Times was the proudest moment of my career. It was amazing to call my family all over the country and show them my photo in the paper the next day. That kind of excitement still resides in me everyday when my photos are published in the Index-Journal.
How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
In the original Star Trek series, James Kirk used a device called a communicator to correspond with his comrades aboard Starship Enterprise. That was in the '60s, and the communicator was avant-garde. Today, we call that device a cell phone and it delivers most of our news now. If newspapers can stop trying to adapt and instead start making attempts to innovate, the industry will live long and prosper.
What's your favorite SCPA member service?
My favorite SCPA member service is the newsletter. I love reading about the newspaper industry across South Carolina. Also, there is nothing I love more than camaraderie -- especially in this industry nowadays -- and you guys also throw a heck of a party for us every year. So, cheers to that.
Any big plans coming up?
Senior Writer Chris Trainor and I just finished the Index-Journal's first-ever interactive multimedia special on indy wrestling, and we are talking about our next project. I am really excited about that. Personally, I am looking forward to watching my Florida Gators beat the Gamecocks at Willie B this year with some co-workers.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career and why?
My mentor from college, Rob Witzel. He has always been the best critic of my work, and that has meant a lot to me in the last few years when I have been searching for feedback. It has been nice to have a solid mentor throughout my short career, and he has been the man.
What are some area attractions/restaurants in your community visitors shouldn't miss?
The Auto Drive In Theatre on U.S. 25 South in Greenwood is possibly the greatest movie experience there is.
What is something most people don't know about you?
I recently became a Harry Potter fanatic. I criticized it for a long time, but then I read the entire series this year and loved it.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Sometimes, I'll jam out a few tunes on my mandolin and pretend that I am John Paul Jones for a few minutes. I also like to play golf and surf occasionally.
|Summerville police withhold incident report on fatal shooting
Dorchester County’s coroner said a 32-year-old man died after he was shot Sept. 9, in Summerville, but Summerville Police Department officials have refused to release a report about the incident until they get a chance to interview more witnesses.
Capt. Jon Rogers would not provide any public accounting of the shooting.
He said officers had drafted an initial incident report but that investigators needed to interview witnesses before they hand over the document. Such a report usually includes data about who called the authorities, when the police arrived and what they found.
Jon Rogers declined to give a timetable for the document’s release or to state the precise reason for withholding the public information. He wouldn’t discuss whether any curious circumstances about the shooting played into the decision.
Under the FOIA, a law agency is required to divulge its crime reports unless it can show that their release would foil a prospective police action. Jon
Rogers wouldn’t detail how the shooting report would do that.
Courts also have ruled that an open investigation is not a valid reason under the FOIA to withhold information.
“The courts have been clear: There’s no exclusion for matters under investigation,” said SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers, who is not related to the police captain. “It hurts the credibility of the Police Department to be so secretive.”
Summerville police have released reports regarding past incidents in which the investigation was not yet finished. Bill Rogers said the fact that police won’t hand over the report this time poses questions.
“I would be concerned that they’re trying to protect someone,” he said. “It gives the impression that they’re trying to cover something up.”
Reporters Committee, media organizations argue NSA metadata collection interferes with rights
The wide-scale collection of telephone records by the National Security Agency threatens the ability of journalists to gather news and protect confidential sources, and it should be stopped, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 18 news media organizations argued in a friend-of-the-court brief to the U.S. District Court in New York City.
The Reporters Committee brief supports a motion by the American Civil Liberties Union to stop the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata, but it focuses specifically on the implications for the news media's confidential sources.
“There is a long history in this country of news media reporting that has exposed abuses of official power, and when that power is brought to bear in a way that directly threatens the ability of journalists to gather news and to promise confidentiality to their sources, it is ultimately the public that suffers,” the brief argued. “Many of the most significant stories in the history of American journalism have relied heavily on confidential sources.”
“The Reporters Committee and news organizations have been in very productive negotiations with the Justice Department over the guidelines for investigating leaks and subpoenaing journalists,” explained Reporters Committee Executive Director Bruce D. Brown. “But in the face of such an overbroad telephone tracking program, that cooperation is almost rendered pointless if the government can smother routine newsgathering with ever-present surveillance.”
E&P names Post and Courier publisher one of '10 women to watch' in news business
P.J. Browning, the publisher of The Post and Courier, has been named one of “10 Women to Watch” in the news business by Editor & Publisher.
“These female journalists, editors, executives and company presidents are leaving their mark for the next generation of women who are eager to deliver news on whatever platform — and that is something worth watching,” the trade magazine said.
Browning, 48, was named publisher of The Post and Courier in August 2012. Previously, she was publisher of The Sun News in Myrtle Beach. Before that, she was a publisher at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa.; The Sentinel in Carlisle, Pa.; and The Telegraph in Macon, Ga.
Here's what P.J. had to say:
What is your advice to aspiring women in the newspaper industry?
Keep yourself in the know. One of the best pieces of advice I was given early in my career was to take advantage of training opportunities as they came along. To stay relevant and in many cases ahead of your peers, it's important to know what's around the corner and to be forward thinking. Many companies focus on best practices which are important but if you're always doing a best practice—just remember it's already been done. Be innovative and stay ahead of the curve.
How do you keep your staff motivated?
Recognition, a career path and willing to roll up your sleeves to help others learn has always served me well. I've always believed that people come to work to succeed and not to fail. Growing up in the Midwest and in a family dominated with teachers, people have always thanked me for taking the time to teach them new things as well as having a strong work ethic and not afraid to roll up my sleeves to help get a job done.
Investing a little of your time to help others succeed is important. And, I believe my personal success is measured by the promotions of others that I've helped out along the way. We've all read books on how money doesn't motivate people but my observation in the last few years as we've had to tighten our belts and pull through some extremely difficult times with furloughs and layoffs, is that remembering to pay your top talent and those that would be by your side no matter what is important.
Recognition is so important. It's something I strive to do daily no matter how large or small the deed. Setting up a system that allows you to know what's happening in the company is such an easy way to recognize others whether it's sending an email or seeing someone in the hall or stopping by their desk to let them know they made a difference today.
Gannett names Dave Neill regional president of the Carolinas
Dave Neill, a veteran newspaperman, has been named as the new president and publisher of the Asheville Citizen-Times. He will also serve as the Gannett East Group’s regional president of the Carolinas, overseeing the Asheville Citizen-Times and the Greenville News.
“I think the newspaper’s responsibility is to help lead the community, by educating and asking the community to think, and giving the community a progress report on daily basis on how things are going,” he said. “There has to be a close connection to the community or the business model fails.”
Neill, 51, most recently served as publisher of the Naples Daily News. He has a long career in newspapers, starting as high school photographer intern for the Detroit News in his hometown. Starting in 1980, he served as chief photographer at the Chandler Arizonan, then as pre-press production manager at Tribune Newspapers Meza, Ariz.
Mailers brace for Jan. postage rate increase
By Tonda F. Rush, NNA
The USPS Board of Governors has scheduled a meeting for Sept. 5.
Although no public announcements of its plans have yet been aired, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has declined to rule out the possibility of steeply higher rates. Meeting with mailers groups around Washington in August, he reportedly has said that the governors' principal responsibility is to keep the lights on. A postage increase of some magnitude is expected to take effect in January. The governors September decision will determine how much it will be.
USPS expects to have fewer than five days of operating cash by the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30. Even though its finances are gradually improving with the economy, the burden of a more than $5 billion annual payment to prefund employee health care -- which Congress began to require in 2007 and which USPS has booked but not paid for the past three years -- is weighing down its balance sheet. The current law prohibits USPS from increasing postage rates above the annual average of the urban Consumer Price Index, which has fallen below a 2% monthly growth rate since Jan. and was 1.7% in July. But the law also permits USPS to increase rates above the index under exigent circumstances if its regulator approves. The Postal Service has attempted to do so only once but failed to persuade the Postal Regulatory Commission that it was addressing exigent circumstances.
Now, however, the persistent losses on the bottom line, coupled with a $15 billion debt and continued failure to pay its retiree health benefit requirement may cause the PRC to look at the matter differently. In addition, some mailing classes, including catalogs and periodicals, have not contributed sufficient revenue to USPS to cover their costs for the past several years, which may provoke the PRC to look more favorably upon passing along larger increases to that mail.
Readers to the defense of the printed circular
By Chuck Martin, MediaPost
Based on comments from a number of readers, in the grand scheme of mobile commerce, those printed circulars may not be ready for the recycle bin.
Last week in this space, I wrote about the effectiveness of circulars (Mobile Coupons & the Waning Impact of Printed Circulars) based on a stat from digital marketing firm Catalina.
The company analyzed millions of transactions over a holiday shopping period and found that a large percentage of items advertised in the circulars were not purchased at all.
One reader referred to another recent study that showed many back-to-school shoppers preferred print ads. “There could be other factors, such as industry, age, location, but please, let's not relegate print to the recycle bin just yet,” wrote Greg.
Several readers took issue with the idea that various forms of mobile couponing would edge out the circular.
“Not so fast,” wrote Gian. “The vast majority of POS scanner systems being used by supermarket chains today can't even read a UPC bar code on a phone, so there's no way they can handle the scanning of mobile coupons at checkout.”
Another reader sees longevity in circulars.
“I think circulars, which are more targeted than given credit for (by zip code at the very least) have some legs to them for a number of years yet, especially with older demographics,” wrote Kern. “Plus, only measuring which featured items were actually bought (during one specific shopping weekend) does also under-measure the suggestive value of delivered print material. Mobile is still an opt-in medium, and therefore less able to draw in new customers from competitors.”
'Riptide' tells the story of digital news from teletext to Twitter
By Russell Brandom, The Verge
What did the internet do to the news business? It's a big question, but three Harvard Shorenstein fellows are about to give it the longest and most in-depth treatment it's ever received, in the form of an interactive article called Riptide that launched this week.
Subtitled "what really happened to the news business," the newly launched Riptide site looks at the history of digital media, starting with the Teletext experiments that promised to deliver news over phone lines in the mid-70s, all the way to Jeff Bezos' purchase of the Washington Post last month. Along the way, the authors dig up untold stories from AOL's early courtship of newspapers and other rarely explored corners of news history. All told, the book-length oral history pulls together 61 interviews spanning nearly half a million words, from figures like Google's Eric Schmidt, AOL co-founder Steve Case and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.
Riptide holds that, contrary to popular belief, many in the news business did see the rise of the internet coming, but shackled to old habits, institutions and revenue streams, they weren't agile enough to stay ahead of the curve. Even forward-thinking companies like Conde Nast, which launched the first generation of editorial sites like Epicurious and Style.com, eventually found themselves fighting tooth-and-nail with blogs that could draw the same audience at a fraction of the cost.
The biggest lingering question is, could it have been any different? For the most part, Riptide's subjects seem to think it couldn't. The fundamental shift — the riptide that the title refers to — was simply too strong. But while many companies were irrevocably damaged, countless others were created, and even the staunchest of the old guard show a little optimism about the future of media in the internet age. As Gerald Levin, former CEO of Time Warner, puts it, "I think we're where we were meant to end up. The disruption was simply the notion of a network that has no central control that can deliver near infinite capacity… No one owns it. I think it's a beautiful thing."
Retired Evening Post editor Ripley dies at 92
William Young Warren Ripley, of Charleston, a retired special books editor with The News and Courier and The Evening Post, died Sept. 7. He was 92.
Ripley’s journalism career began with a brief stint as a reporter with The State in Columbia until he joined The Evening Post staff in Charleston in 1947. In his 39-year career with the newspaper, he worked as a reporter, state editor, special sections editor and special books editor. He retired in 1987.
He graduated from Yale University and was a veteran of World War II.
Ripley was a fellow with the Company of Military Historians and authored many historical books about the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, including “Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil War” and “Siege Train, the Journal of a Confederate Artilleryman.”
Ripley served as president of The Charleston Library Society from 1975 to 2006. He was also the president of the Charleston Ancient Artillery Society. He was a member of the Carolina Yacht Club, the St. Cecilia Society and St. Michael’s Church.
|We have to do better than this
It wasn’t an email I enjoyed reading. Here are the essential paragraphs:
“He [the editor] pretty much admitted they don't know anything about design, just basic layout and what you so aptly called 'assembling the paper' each week. They appear to have never thought about what readers respond to at all.... I don't think they're even aware of the many readership / visual impact studies that have been conducted over the years.
“In fact, get this [bold is the writer’s emphasis]: the writers do all the graphics and the layout on each of their pages/stories!!! They are in charge of the design.
“Their fonts are a mess, a pull down menu of 300 fonts to choose from every time they do anything. They have no templates, no stylesheets, nothing, except the nameplate and bottom footer.”
|Who do you trust?
Editor's note: Jerry wrote the following editorial for the readers of his newspaper.
One question people frequently ask me is, "How is the Chronicle holding up in this economy?" They aren't just being polite. They seem genuinely interested.
The truth is, the last four years have been hard on all of us.
But you, our readers and advertisers, have not lost faith in us.
You have been a welcome source of friendship and support in trying times.
The common wisdom seems to be that the Internet is eating everyone's lunch in the news and advertising business. Not true, at least as far as the Chronicle is concerned. In fact, the Internet has given us additional opportunities to serve our community with news and advertising.
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. 3: Webinar: The Five Most Important Questions In Sales
Oct. 6-12: National Newspaper Week
Oct. 10: You Call the Shots: create your own design workshop with Ed Henninger, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Oct. 10: Webinar: How Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Can Benefit Your Advertisers
Oct. 11: Webinar: More Detail, Less Clutter In Your Writing
Oct. 24: Ad Basics, SCPA Offices, Columbia