SCNN debuts
new website

S.C. Newspaper Network, the advertising affiliate of SCPA, launched a redesigned website on May. 1

The graphical, user-friendly site was produced in-house and provides an updated platform for SCNN to inform marketers of the vast array of advertising options available through SCNN and its member newspapers across South Carolina.

“Our new site tells our industry’s story so effectively and is a terrific resource for potential advertisers,” says Alanna Ritchie, Director of Advertising. “The site’s more contemporary look and feel really helps highlight the broad range of services SCNN offers.”

The site is easy to navigate, with SCNN's core services highlighted on the home page:
display and preprint advertising
- discounted ad networks (including the small space display network, statewide classified network, QuarterPage+ network and online network)
- Web and interactive
- press releases

SCNN offers busy advertisers “One Order, One Payment” ad placement throughout South Carolina and across the nation.

Please visit our site and let us know what you think! And while you're there, like us on Facebook!

PALMY winners will be announced later today
The results of the 2011 PALMY Advertising Contest will be posted on Thursday afternoon. The PALMY Advertising Contest annually honors the best newspaper advertising in South Carolina. This contest recognizes and promotes individual efforts by advertising staffs of South Carolina newspapers, encourages creativity in advertising sales, layout and copy writing, and fosters excellence in newspaper advertising, which in turn produces maximum results for newspaper advertisers.

Please note that these winners are for proofing purposes only and are not for release until June 7. Corrections should be emailed to Jen Madden no later than Monday, May 14.

We need PDFs of your winning entries!
The deadline to submit your winning ads as PDF files for use in the Awards Presentation is Monday, May 21.

We've made it easier than ever to submit your PDFS this year! By Friday, May 4, Jen will have emailed all ad directors a link to an online folder where your PDFs can be dropped. All you need to do is gather your winners' PDFs, click on the link we send you, and follow the instructions on how to upload your ads. If you cannot access the online file folder, contact Jen immediately.

Winners will be recognized during the PALMY Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 7, at 300 Senate in downtown Columbia. We'll begin at 10 a.m. with a roundtable discussion for advertising reps, designers and publishers. At 11 a.m., Gerald Glascock, director of the Southern Institute of Etiquette and Protocol, will instruct attendees on effective sales communication through body language and handwriting. This informative and fun session is geared for business professionals and will help attendees enhance their social skills and self-confidence. The awards luncheon will start at noon and last until about 2 p.m. This year's menu will feature fresh local produce. Registration information and a schedule of events will also be available on Thursday.

Bill to strengthen FOIA passes House, heads to Senate
The S.C. House approved on final reading a bill Tuesday strengthening the state's open records law.  The bill now heads to the Senate, barely beating the crossover deadline.
Thursday the house bill was approved 101-1.  It bars public agencies, governments and school districts from charging excessive fees for public records and for charging for research, and requires them to respond more quickly and deliver documents within 30 days. It also removes legislators' broad exemption from the law.
"The intent is to make documents more easily accessible not costly. It's as simple as that," said Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken.
As a former newspaper reporter, TV anchorman and TV news consultant, Taylor said he's well acquainted with governments' tactics of delay and excessive charges.
"I've always believed this. I believe in transparency and open government," he said.
His bill limits charges for paper copies to the market rate -- basically whatever FedEx or Staples is charging per copy, he said. There can be no charges for information stored or transmitted electronically. And it requires public bodies to either post online or have immediately available, without the requirement of a written request, documents handed out in public meetings over the last six months, as well as meeting minutes. read
Register for SCPA's weekly circulation roundtable on May 31
SCPA will host a roundtable on circulation issues for weekly newspapers on May 31, from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., which will feature discussion leaders from our membership and a session with the USPS manager of business mail entries. Discussion topics will include: dealing with mailing issues, software, CASS certification, promotions that work and carrier options. After lunch, Brad Lammers of the Columbia Post Office will discuss upcoming changes in the state's service centers and how to best deal with them. He will also offer tips and suggestions to cut down postal delivery problems.
The cost to attend is $25, which includes lunch.
"Most of all, this is a time to talk to your counterparts at other newspapers and share ideas," said Susan Rowell, SCPA President.
Register here.

Have you checked out SCPA's news sharing website lately? 
In addition to great features stories and editorials, the S.C. News Exchange has lots of great content posted every week including:

  • a Homestyle Healthy cooking column by Blythewood's May Vokaty
  • a NASCAR column by Cathy Elliott
  • a TREE TALK column by Master Tree Farmer Joanne Angel
  • a political column by Phil Noble
  • photos from Upstate photographer Gwinn Davis
  • an editorial cartoon by Stewart Neiman of Tacoma, Wash.

These stories and photos are available for you to use in your print edition or online. Also, if you've written something or photographed an event that you'd like to offer for other papers to pick up and run, please upload your content to the News Exchange. If you've forgotten how to log-in, just let us know and we'll send your username and password.

Mary Jean Baxley is a Columbia-based freelance writer and photographer. She works for magazines and newsletters mostly, but writes occasional newspaper guest columns and works as an AP election freelancer. Mary Jean writes feature and news stories about international disasters, as well as features profiling singers, authors, veterans, charitable groups and politicians.
Mary Jean says the best part of working in the media are the fantastic friendships and support all over the world with other journalists.
She said she also loves that she is able to interview and tell the story of people here in South Carolina and around the world.
" I can always find a story -- whether its human trafficking here in Columbia or starving babies in Kenya or refugees from Burma/Myanmar, Sudan, Uganda who want freedom. In Haiti, mothers wanted me to record their dead children's names so the world would remember," she said.
She said the worst part of the job is seeing the destruction after disasters.
"The camera doesn't fully capture it," she said. "I was in the slums of Kenya and watched a man be stoned and burned to death for stealing a cell phone.
" As a journalist, I must do justice to the story without becoming part of the story. For every bad person, I meet hundreds of wonderful people helping each other survive daily."
In addition to being an individual member of SCPA, Mary Jean is a member of the Overseas Press Club of America and the Hack and Flack group.
She also volunteers with the American Red Cross as a disaster relief volunteer and she works with refugees.
In March 2010, Mary Jean went to Haiti after the earthquake that devastated the country. She was there when the last American student's body was recovered. She visited clinics, tent cities and went into areas where the only way in was by foot.
Mary Jean also has an unpublished book about her sons and the struggles from birth to death that people with special needs experience.
Mary Jean and her husband, Norman, have homes in Columbia and Georgetown. Mary Jean's son, Burt, wins gold medals in Special Olympics and she and Norman are very proud of him. Mary Jean lost her other son, Norman Jr. "Grief does not end, it just progresses to different stages in our daily lives."
In addition to traveling for stories and disaster relief, Mary Jean loved to travel with her family. In the past several months, Mary Jean has been on a cruise, visited Key West, and counted 31 bears in Glacier National Park.
"The people of America and around the world all have a story that needs to be told," she said. "Every time, I eat at Pete's Tavern in New York City where O'Henry used to frequent, I am reminded of all his stories of what some call ordinary people. There are no ordinary people. Ask a question and you will get information."
Mary Jean says she is happy to get any and all assignments.

Three S.C. dailies make major changes
On May 1, The Post and Courier in Charleston rolled out its Advantage Membership.
Most noteable is that the P&C's website will no longer be free for non-members. After five story views a month, visitors will be offered the opportunity to subscribe to The Post and Courier with all of the advantage benefits, or opt for a digital only subscription at $10 a month or $99 a year. Mobile and tablet sites will be metered as well.
The paper's home page, section fronts, obituaries and ads will remain free.
Membership benefits include home delivery of the paper and other niche publications, unlimited access to content on via the Web, tablets and smartphones, access to digital news archives, an e-edition of the newspaper and enrollment in an expanded subscriber rewards program that includes valuable discounts at hundreds of stores and restaurants.
In a letter to readers, Editor and Publisher Bill Hawkins said, "there is no sustainable business model in giving away our valuable journalism for free on the Web or digital devices. The Post and Courier invests millions each year to maintain the largest and most honored news staff in the state. It is part of our unique role in serving as the Lowcountry's most trusted and valued news source for the past 209 years. We believe this new model makes good business sense and will help provide resources to sustain our mission, for generations to come, as our community's trusted voice and center of commerce."
* * *
The Greenville News has been redesigned with an updated nameplate, new color-themed section flags and larger body type. Greenville's skyline has replaced the state flag in our nameplate.
The paper, which has a paywall, will offer unlimited access to popular photo galleries and subscribers will be able to share a link to a story on Facebook that everyone can access. The login process has also been improved.
Soon subscribers will receive free apps for accessing Greenville News content on their smartphones. Subscribers with a tablet will be treated to a custom display designed for their device -- no app required.
The paper is also refocusing its Sunday Business section on to spotlight Greenville entrepreneurs. In its City People section, the paper will highlight people who are making a difference in the community. Tuesday's Health section is also being revamped, and the newspaper will have more news columns, the equivalent of an additional page of content every day.
* * *
The Herald in Rock Hill is launching a new design for that will make the website faster and easier to use. Changes include an uncluttered design, more powerful displays of photos and videos and a better search function.

Make sure you are using the correct email address for SCPA staffers
SCPA upgraded our email server at the end of April. With the change, Jen Madden's old email address,, was deleted. If you are still sending messages to, they will not come through to Jen and you may not even get a bounceback. Several members have reported problems with this earlier in the week. Please update your address book and email autofill to the new address: If you have sent Jen or another Press Association staffer a message in the last week and you haven't gotten a response, please give us a call at (803) 750-9561.

Reporters Committee to host free webinars on covering protests and courts
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is hosting two free webinars in May and June to help journalists understand their rights to attend, report on and photograph protests and court proceedings.
The first webinar, “Police, Protestors and the Press,” is scheduled for May 9 at 1 p.m. It will give legal tips to reporters, photographers and others covering events where it is possible they may be arrested or otherwise hindered in covering the news. It covers not only their basic rights to record and report the news, but also what they should do if detained.
The second webinar, “Secret Courts,” will to be held June 5 at 1 p.m., and will focus on court secrecy issues and access to trial information and proceedings.
Thanks to funding from the Gannett and Harnisch Foundations, the Reporters Committee is able to present both webinars at no cost to participants.

The truth about postal reform
Now that U.S. Senate has passed a bill, S 1789, to reform the ailing U.S. Postal Service, critics are trying to disable the bill on its way to the House of Representatives. Business Week recently catalogued unhappy stakeholders, including postal unions, postal management and some Republicans who wrongly think the bill burdens taxpayers. ... Some see the Senate bill as the inevitable product of the sausage machine. But it is neither a budget buster nor processed meat. It is the expression of a better vision of the Postal Service.
If you consider that survival of the service means maintaining the circulatory system for a $1.1 trillion mailing industry - or in other words, making sure cash, greeting cards, packages and newspapers and magazines arrive on time, the Senate bill is good medicine.
Consider some of the alternative fixes. read

ABC: U.S. circ up daily, Sunday
Sparked by increases in digital consumption of mobile, Web and branded editions, circulation for U.S. newspapers rose both daily and Sunday. The Audit Bureau of Circulations’ semi-annual Fas-Fax and Audience-Fax report, issued today, showed that average daily circulation among more than 600 papers rose 0.68%. Sunday circulation grew by 5% for the 532 papers studied.
ABC said much of the increase stemmed from papers’ digital efforts, which range from mobile apps to replica e-editions. Digital circulation now accounts for 14% of the industry’s total circulation mix, up from 8.6% in March 2011.

Muller tapped as keynote speaker for NNA conference in Charleston
Judy Muller will be the keynote speaker at the National Newspaper Association’s 126th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Charleston, which will be held Oct. 3-7.
Muller is a professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Her latest book, “Emus Loose in Egnar: Big Stories from Small Towns” is about weekly newspapers in America.
Muller will share what she discovered when she visited with small-town newspaper editors all across the country, a heartening journey down the blue highways of journalism in her address “Weekly Newspapers: Hyper-Local before Hyper-Local was Cool.”
Muller had been a correspondent for ABC News, reporting for such broadcasts as “World News with Peter Jennings,” “Nightline” and “20/20.” She has also been a commentator for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition."
Registration information will be available this summer. Hotel registration is now open by calling 843-747-1882 and requesting the NNA rate of $150 or you can also make reservations on NNA’s website.

Changing metrics reflect total brand reach
This year, the National Post (Canada) became one of the first news media companies to replace the standard industry measurement of paid circulation with a consolidated media report showing its reach at almost 10.8 million. Is this the future of our industry metrics? Here's a look at the thinking behind that decision.

Study: J-school grads' unemployment rate better than average
Recent college graduates with an undergraduate degree in journalism have a 7.7% unemployment rate, a new Georgetown University study says. Experienced grads have a 6% rate, and people with graduate degrees in journalism have only a 3.8% unemployment rate. Median earnings, according to the study: $32,000 annually for recent grads; $58,000 for experienced college grads; $66,000 for people with graduate degrees. Those unemployment rate figures compare well to the national unemployment rate (8.2%) and to the unemployment rate for 20-24-year-olds (13.2%). This is welcome news to anyone who’s followed a string of recent morale-plunging speeches given to aspiring journalists: Roger Ailes told journalism students at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, “I think you ought to change your major”; Malcolm Gladwell told Yale students “Newspapers are kind of dreary, depressed places“; and The Daily Caller’s editor, Tucker Carlson, told a luncheon attended by writer hopefuls that “Most people's voices are not worth being heard.”

A Twin Cities turnaround? The Star Tribune carves a path back through growing audience
Out of bankruptcy, Minnesota's largest newspaper is starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
In 2009, the Star Tribune found itself on a dubious list: Time's 10 Most Endangered Newspapers in America. That was the year Minnesota's largest daily entered into bankruptcy after rounds of cost-cutting couldn't help the company ease its debt load. It wasn't particularly unusual to see a newspaper company enter into Chapter 11 in those dark days.
The Star Tribune today, four years later, seems to have lifted itself off the endangered list -- although, to extend the species metaphor, it still has work to do before its survival becomes a matter of Least Concern. It's out of bankruptcy; its debt has been reduced from around $500 million to $100 million. And, maybe most importantly, it's growing its readership in print and through digital and keeping an eye towards growing consumer revenue.

Longtime newspaperman Bob Bentley passes away
Robert Bentley, an innovative journalist whose newsroom career began with writing obituaries and concluded with this one, died April 26.
Between these jobs, he was editor of six daily newspapers, a news executive on two others. The paper he led at Cape Canaveral as the nation's youngest editor at age 29, was delivered to the moon to honor its prize-winning aerospace coverage.
Bentley, 73, was a national pioneer in the logical, consistent positioning of the news. During Bentley's 1995-2001 tenure at The Index-Journal, he initiated "Lakelands" as a geographical identity, presided over a redesign and was instrumental in creating the Saturday paper and conversion to morning delivery.
From obituary writer for The State as a student at USC, Bentley rose to copy editor and then joined the Miami Herald for seven years in management. Innovations made during his first editorship at Florida Today were later used in creation of Gannett's USA Today. Alan Shepard delivered a microfilm copy of the paper to the moon's
surface in 1971.
In the next 10 years Bentley edited two other Gannett papers in Fort Myers, FL, and El Paso, TX, which quickly became recognized for their journalistic quality.
He was hired away by the Washington Post Co. to edit The Trenton, N. J. Times. Two years later he was lured back South as an assistant editor of the Atlanta Journal, then west as editor of The Bakersfield Californian. Bentley returned to S.C. in 1995 where he concluded his career leading Greenwood's Index-Journal -- which he had delivered as a McCormick youth. read

Why we need to ask
When we were kids, many of us drove our parents to distraction with "why" questions. The classic, of course, is "why is the sky blue?" You can be sure there were others:
• Why does it get dark at night?
• Why is the water wet?
• Why is up?
We were full of "the whys" back then.
As designers, we can take a good lesson from that.
We can remember to ask "why." As in:
• Why am I putting this in a box?
• Why am I jumping this story?
• Why am I using this color?


Save postage costs for periodicals
Certain Periodicals Mail postage discounts are less obvious than others.
Based on early results from the National Newspaper Association's recent circulation survey, we are starting an occasional series of refresher columns.
To help ensure members get the maximum postage savings possible under rules and regulation changes achieved by NNA, please review for compliance and speak with your software vendor as necessary.
This month, two significant discounts are explained.

May 6-8: MACMA Circulation Conference, New Bern, N.C.

May 8: Webinar: Launching the perfect paid model: data and insights from 300+ publishers

May 10: Webinar: Our "Doing it Right" series: Hip to be square - migrating to modular ads

May 11: Webinar: Don't Sell, Ask Questions!

May 15: Webinar: Better headlines for advertising

May 16: Webinar: Our "Doing it Right" series: Pioneering live event coverage

May 17: Webinar: Cornering new markets with digital-out-of-home video

May 22: Webinar: Our "Doing it Right" series: Creating a modern newsroom - integrating print and web

May 24: Call-inar: SCPA Ethics Hour with Winthrop's Guy Reel

May 24: Webinar: Defining Your Role in Newspaper Version 2.0

May 24: Webinar: Finding the Dog That is NOT Barking: New Revenue and Editorial Insights from Polling and Data Register

May 31: Circulation Roundtable for Weekly Newspapers, SCPA Offices, Columbia

June 5: Webinar: Writing better headlines for the web

June 7: PALMY Awards and Advertising Summit, 300 Senate, Columbia
More details coming later today!

June 14: Webinar: Mobile's secret weapon: Using smart push messaging to engage readers after the app download

June 21: Intermediate/Advanced InDesign Training, SCPA Offices, Columbia
More details coming soon!