Editor's Note: There will be no eBulletin on Jan. 19, as we will be in Kentucky for News Contest Judging!

Reap the benefits of your SCPA membership
It is dues time for SCPA members.
We are lucky to have almost every true newspaper in the state as a member.  All 16 dailies and 101 weeklies make up our ranks.
Viewing the Press Association is sort of like the proverbial blind men looking at the elephant.  Often people only know us by how they deal with us... be it contests, advertising, the FOI hotline or press IDs. 
So here is a quick overview of everything we do to give you an overall perspective:

We have eight regular employees and are perhaps the oldest trade association in South Carolina. The S.C. Newspaper Network is our advertising arm.

  • Lobbying:  We work constantly on your behalf to fight for newspaper interests, including preservation of our tax exemption, keeping public notice advertising in print and open government matters.
  • Advertising:  In the year just ending, we placed $3.5 million in display advertising.
  • Legal/FOI Hotline:  We are there on the other end of the phone to help with libel and FOI questions, including pre-publication review of stories and ads.
  • Contests:  Our News Contest had close to 3,500 entries this year, making it larger than most press associations our size. We also have an ad contest in the spring that recognizes the most creative newspaper ads of the year.
  • Networks: We have very successful Statewide Classified, 2x2, Quarter Page and Online Networks, which returned $363,435 to member newspapers last year.
  • Industry Communications: Our new weekly eBulletin is read by more than 750 members each week, and we have nearly 650 Facebook followers. We also communicate with more than 200 SCPA members using Twitter.
  • Training: We host on-site and Web-based training for news and advertising staff members.
  • Meetings: We have two major meetings a year for awards, enrichment and networking.
  • Sharing:  Our News Exchange website continues to grow in offering quality free content to members.
  • Open Government Advocacy: In 2011, we distributed more than 6,000 copies of The Public Official's Guide to Compliance with the Freedom of Information Act to public officials across the state.
  • Press Credentials: We issue hundreds of press cards a year to member newspaper staffers.
  • Website: Our website is one of the best association sites and offers industry news, resources, guides, directories and a job placement board.
  • Internships and Scholarships -- Through our Foundation, we offer paid internships and scholarships to encourage bright students to stay in our industry. We also provide summer coaching to newspapers.
  • Networking -- Through workshops, meetings and other gatherings, we offer a way to get to know your fellow newspaper folks in the Palmetto State.
  • SLED Checks -- Our criminal background checks speed things up for reporters and saved members more than $12,000 in 2011.

Our dues remain very reasonable, and when compared to other Southern press associations, we are a real bargain.  This year we raised our dues slightly for the first time in five years.
If you are reading this, you are a likely member. Thanks for your continued confidence in us. If you have thoughts on how we can better serve you, I'd love to hear them!

Last call to order NAA ad sales book at discounted rate
The Newspaper Association of America has revised its sales training manual, The Great AdVenture: How to Succeed in Newspaper Advertising Sales, Version 3.0. If you would like to order copies of the book through SCPA, your cost would be just $39.99 each, plus shipping.  This is a $10 discount from the NAA non-member price of $49.99 each.
If you would like to be included in the group order, email Bill and include how many books you want.
The Great AdVenture is a very good sales training manual, packed with nearly 200 pages of material, including:
  • How to how to manage time
  • How and what questions to ask customers
  • How to lay out a good ad
  • How to understand customers better
  • How to use co-op funds
  • How to prepare a presentation

It is hard to do this book justice in just a few words, so take a look at the table of contents and some sample pages at http://bit.ly/GreatAdVenture.
There are limited copies available to press associations, so let me know by next Tuesday, Jan. 17, if you want to be included in the SCPA order. We will bill you when they arrive.

Time is running out to apply for an internship or scholarship
The SCPA Foundation awards scholarships and internships to deserving S.C. college students. Three or more interns are placed each summer at daily and weekly member newspapers, allowing students invaluable real-world training experience. Each internship pays $4,000. The Mundy Scholarship, our premier award, for $3,000, is named for the Foundation's first president, the late Frank R. Mundy of the Greenwood Index-Journal. The deadline to apply for a 2012 internship and/or scholarship is next Friday, Jan. 20.

Editor, Belton-Honea Path News-Chronicle

What do you like best about your job? 
The "bestest" thing (as my granddaughter would say) about newspaper work is meeting, interviewing and writing about all of the interesting folks in any community. There is a story on every corner, sometimes two or three, and it's our job to find those stories. It's also nice, as a local newspaper editor, to be able to help those in need by conveying their stories to the community as a whole. It's amazing to see.

What would you say is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
My proudest moment. Hmmmm. Now, that's a good question. There are so many moments of pride. I guess the best thing is to watch talented individuals that we gave a "kick start" progress through the business. Some of those have gone on to be extremely successful in their various newspaper-related careers. Many spend their working lives in the profession or a related profession and then retire and come back to us. It's also wonderful to see members of our staff recognized for their hard work through various honors ranging from SCPA awards to community honors. 

How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
As an eternal optimist, I believe that the future of the newspaper is great, especially for smaller community papers like ours. I do worry about the larger newspapers, especially when they give away their content online.

What's your favorite SCPA member service?  
There are several great services that the SCPA offers. I can always depend on Bill Rogers or Jay Bender in getting advice on the FOIA. The entire SCPA staff is a great source of assistance on a variety of topics.  

Any big plans coming up?

At this time of the year, my biggest plan is sitting still for a few minutes on the couch in front of a good football bowl game (Go Gamecocks!), drink a cup of almost-sugar-free hot chocolate and prepare for another busy, busy year. We'll see what the rest of the year holds after that!

Jeff Kuerzi, former advertising director of The State, left the paper in December. He has been named the director of digital sales at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky.

Michael Leonard, formerly publisher of The Journal in Seneca, has been named publisher of the Clayton (Ga.) Tribune.

Orangeburg daily can say confidently: 'We will be here'
The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg recently ran a great editorial about the future of newspapers. Their stance is that the need for reliable information and expanded ways of delivering news work in newspapers' favor.

Some out-of-state Wal-Marts remove single copy racks
Newspapers in Louisiana and Kentucky are getting letters that say they must take their single copies out of Wal-Mart stores. Everything from company policy to too much mess caused by the extreme couponers has been cited. In a few cases, Wal-Mart officials simply removed the racks from inside of the stores and they won't say where the racks went. In two other cases, the racks have been placed at the exit where shoppers are discouraged from picking up papers and going back through the check-out line. If you hear of this happening in South Carolina, please let us know.

SPJ Journalist's Toolbox updates 2012 election resources
Covering the 2012 Republican presidential primaries? The Journalist's Toolbox, a free site from the Society of Professional Journalists, contains thousands of links helpful for reporters and editors. If you are covering politics and elections, bookmark the site. It includes links to dozens of helpful sources including an election atlases, schedule of primaries and lots of voting data.

How a Digital First reporter should approach statehouse coverage
An editor asked [Steve Buttry] to outline how a Digital First statehouse reporter should work. On his blog, Buttry points out nine themes for the digital emphasis of a statehouse reporter:

  1. Live reporting of events.
  2. Community engagement around the issues and events of the Capitol.
  3. Reporting breaking news and enterprised scoops as the stories unfold.
  4. Curation of content from other sources.
  5. Enterprise and daily reporting based on analysis of data compiled by state agencies.
  6. Video reporting of interviews and news events.
  7. Mapping.
  8. Digitally focused enterprise reporting.
  9. Beatblogging.

What journalists need to know about SOPA
Last week, the Online News Association came out strongly against sweeping federal legislation aimed at curbing illegal copying and distribution of content online. ONA adds its voice to a growing chorus of those opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently being debated in the U.S. House of Representatives, and its U.S. Senate companion, Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT-IP). The bills would allow copyright owners to get court orders to block not only infringing content, but entire websites as well as allow the U.S. attorney general to block content or websites the U.S. Justice Department deems as engaging in criminal copyright infringement. But the language is still murky and too broad, experts say.

N.J. legal ads still must be in newspapers; Legislature drops online proposal
TRENTON, N.J. -- A bill that would end requirements for governments to advertise budgets, bids for services and other public records in newspapers died Jan. 9, when the leadership of the state Legislature withdrew it from consideration. The measure underwent extensive criticism from good-government advocates and newspaper executives at committee hearings nearly a year ago, then was brought back last week when listed for a vote. The legislation would have allowed government entities to self-publish legal notices on their own websites rather than in newspapers.

Nielsen: One-third of mobile users downloaded news apps in past month
One-third of tablet and smartphone owners in a Nielsen survey said they had downloaded a news app within the past 30 days, and 19 percent had paid for one. Fourteen percent of those surveyed had only downloaded free news apps, and three percent only downloaded paid apps. Sixteen percent downloaded a combination of paid and free apps. The survey was conducted in September and October, but this portion of the data was just released. In July, the Project for Excellence in Journalism surveyed tablet owners (no smartphones included), and found only about 11 percent had paid for news directly, but a healthy 77 percent read news through a browser or app at least weekly.


William Chamberlain, retired assistant editor of The Evening Post and The News and Courier, dies
William D. Chamberlain, retired assistant editor of The Evening Post and The News and Courier, died after an illness Jan. 10. He was 88.
An Army veteran of World War II, Chamberlain joined the staff of The Evening Post in 1946 as a reporter. After serving in the Army during the Korean War, he worked with the company until his retirement in 1989.
He served as city editor from 1957 to 1968, and then was appointed assistant editor. He wrote editorials for The Evening Post until 1974, when he was named assistant editor of The News and Courier. In 1981, he was again named assistant editor of The Evening Post.
Arthur Wilcox, a director and secretary of Evening Post Publishing Co., said "No man ever had a finer assistant than Bill Chamberlain. I can't say enough about him. He deserves all the praise I can give him. ... He had some of the best news sense I've ever seen."
Barbara Williams, editor emeritus of The Post and Courier, said of Chamberlain, "He knew that attention to fairness and accuracy is just as critical to editorial credibility as they are to the news report. ... I was privileged to have him by my side."


The year of the newspaper paywall
This may be the year where newspapers finally drop the idea of treating all news as a product, and all readers as customers. One early sign of this shift was the 2010 launch of paywalls for the London Times and Sunday Times. These involved no new strategy; however, the newspaper world was finally willing to regard them as real test of whether general-interest papers could induce a critical mass of readers to pay. (Nope.) Then, in March, the New York Times introduced a charge for readers who crossed a certain threshold of article views (a pattern copied from the financial press, and especially the Financial Times.) Finally, and most recently, were a pair of announcements last month: The Chicago Sun-Times was adopting a new threshold charge, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune said that their existing one was working well. Taken together, these events are a blow to the idea that online news can be treated as a simple product for sale, as the physical newspaper was. read

PDF Properties... Grrrr
I spent my weekend with two clients. The first was a 60,000 circ newspaper in North Carolina. The second was a large shopper in New England. As I've written before, I never know what I'm going to run into when I visit a newspaper. In North Carolina, my assignment was to observe the operation and make suggestions to improve the production workflow. Simple enough. In New England, I was asked to train the staff as they began the conversion from QuarkXpress to InDesign. Again, simple enough. However, as is often the case, my initial assignment turned out, in both instances, to morph into other areas. read


Jan. 20: Scholarship & Internship Deadline

Jan. 24: Circulation Master Strategies, Charlotte, N.C.

Jan. 26: Webinar: Creating Web ads that sell

Feb. 1: News Contest winners announced

Feb. 10: Contest corrections due

Feb. 10: Webinar: Managing Your Changing Workload

Feb. 17: Winning contest PDFs due

Feb. 23: Deadline to make hotel reservations for the Annual Meeting

March 2: Deadline to register for the Annual Meeting

March 16-17: Annual Meeting & Awards Presentation