SCPA Foundation places 4 interns
The South Carolina Press Association Foundation is placing four S.C. college students in paid internships at S.C. newspapers this summer.
The Foundation's internship program promotes the value of working at newspapers in the Palmetto State and benefits students as they begin their professional careers.
"Our internship program provides a meaningful, hands-on training experience for students interested in print journalism. We know that this internship program will prepare these students for careers at S.C. newspapers after they graduate," said Bill Rogers, secretary of the Foundation. "The Foundation Board was very impressed by these four students and we are happy to award $16,000 from the Foundation to cover these internships."
Each intern will be paid $4,000 for a 10-week internship.
After the summer is over, SCPA will update you on each of the intern's experience.
The Foundation's internships are provided by contributions from S.C. newspapers and interested individuals. If you would like to make a gift to the Foundation, contact Jen at (803) 750-9561 or

Meet the 2012 Foundation Interns:

USC rising senior Cassie Cope has been selected to intern at the Index-Journal in Greenwood this summer.
Cope, of Lugoff, is a print journalism major with a minor in business administration.
She recently served as news editor for The Daily Gamecock.  She also works as a resident mentor at the environmentally-friendly residence hall on campus and works with Sustainable Carolina to host programs about green values and environmentally friendly concepts.
"Cassie can be quiet at times, but when it comes to the important work of journalists, both holding people and institutions to account but also always elevating the interests of the readers, Cassie knows her way through the swamp,'' USC J-School Instructor Doug Fisher said. "As I told an editor at the newspaper where she will be interning this summer, you don't hear a gator coming either -- until it's too late.''
Cope also recently won the university's David J. Morrow Scholarship for Business Journalism.
Last summer Cope held an internship with the West Wateree Chronicle.
"I'm really looking forward to spending the summer at the Index-Journal in Greenwood," Cope said.

Amanda Phipps, a senior print journalism and biology double major at Winthrop University, will work at the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg this summer.
Phipps is from Charleston, and has worked for The Johnsonian, Winthrop’s student newspaper for four years.
Starting as a writer for the health and science section, Phipps became a section editor for the paper her sophomore year. After working as assistant news editor, Phipps will be the editor-in-chief of The Johnsonian next semester.
Phipps had a marketing internship at the McCelvey Center in York, but her passion is journalism. She was inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha earlier this year.
“I am excited to experience the world of daily newspapers and have the opportunity to grow as a professional journalist,” Phipps said. “I look forward to the many challenges I will overcome at the Herald-Journal and hope to offer as much to the paper as this internship will give to me.”

Austin Price is a rising junior visual communications major at the University of South Carolina. He will spend his summer at the Free Times in Columbia.
Price works on the campus newspaper, The Daily Gamecock, where he is the assistant design director, but he also serves as a staff photographer and reporter.
His goal is to have a career in journalism.
"I look forward to gaining valuable experience through my internship at the Free Times, which will help me develop into a better photographer, designer and overall journalist," Price said. "Whether reporting, doing visual journalism or learning new skill sets as technology changes, I hope to be a truth-seeker and storyteller."

USC rising senior Erin Shaw will spend her summer at the Summerville Journal Scene.
Shaw, who is from Prospect, Ky., is a print journalism major and Spanish minor.
After she began writing for her college newspaper, The Daily Gamecock, Shaw discovered her love of journalism and mass communications. She has since interned at The State and looks forward to the new experiences and opportunities to come as an intern in Summerville.
Outside of journalism, Shaw enjoys fiddling with Photoshop and InDesign, and runs and plays ultimate frisbee in her spare time. She also enjoys traveling. Shaw took a semester to study in Salamanca, Spain last spring.
"At The Daily Gamecock and The State, I mostly wrote about arts and entertainment," Shaw said. "I hope to expand my knowledge in different areas of reporting at the Journal Scene this summer."

You can still register for coaching by a senior pro
It isn’t too late to sign your newspaper up for a coaching visit by a retired veteran newspaper professional.
Instead of having a single coach this summer, the SCPA Foundation has set up a cadre of retired or senior journalists, professors or publishers who would be available to come to a selected newspaper for a half-day of coaching on a particular news, management or advertising topic. This includes one-on-one work with writers, editors or sales reps.
The visits could also be simply a visit with management to share ideas.
There is no cost to the newspaper.  The coaches are volunteering their time and the Foundation is paying their travel expenses.
Four of the coaches are already scheduled.           
If you would like to have a visiting coach, or if you would like to volunteer to be a coach, email or call SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers (803) 750-9561 or
“These folks have a wealth of experience that they are willing to share,” Rogers said. “We hope member newspapers will take advantage of this opportunity.  Just give me a call and we’ll set it up.”

Reporter for the Free Times in Columbia
Weekly Journalist of the Year

What do you like best about your job?

In one word: autonomy. As a staff writer for Free Times I have flexibility and freedoms that I wouldn't have at a daily newspaper. Editors let the reporters be reporters and give us the time, tools and resources to do so. We're encouraged to come up with our own story ideas. I like to write long-form, research-intensive narrative pieces that can sometimes take weeks to report. The dailies seem to have gotten into this feed-the-beast mentality of reporting -- a game of constantly playing catch up -- and because of varying afflictions affecting the industry right now print stories are getting shorter and there are less reporters out there writing them. Not having to file something every other reporter on the beat is working on by 7 p.m. each evening is a relief. Being able to freelance for national publications and work on independent projects has also been really rewarding.

What would you say is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
I was honored to receive the award for journalist of the year in my newspaper division from the S.C. Press Association this year. Opening my mailbox and seeing my name as a contributor on the cover of a magazine I'd subscribed to since college is real close.

How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
Some days I think sports coverage might eventually eclipse government watchdog reporting because it's more profitable; corporate bean counters might lay off or reassign their paper's best writers, copy editors and photographers because of the bottom line; old editors might remain allergic to new innovations; advertising revenue might become more important than news gathering; PR firms might be able to increasingly mislead the public; and everything will be fine. Other days I think otherwise.

What's your favorite SCPA member service?
Those conference calls with First Amendment attorney (and SCPA official) Jay Bender that make my editor breathe a very certain sign of relief.

Any big plans coming up?
I plan to beat Free Times editor Dan Cook in ping pong at least one more time this year. 

Nerve: FOI bill faces rocky road in Senate
The Nerve reported earlier this week that a S.C. House-passed bill to monumentally strengthen the state’s open-government law faces a precarious road in the Senate.
Most immediately, the Senate is consumed with crafting a legislative response to an S.C. Supreme Court decision. The ruling last week disqualified scores of candidates from the June 12 statewide primary elections.
Beyond that, the Senate is preparing to debate a budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year that starts July 1.
Moreover, the committee chairman who has frontline jurisdiction over the sunshine bill in the Senate says he is concerned about a provision that would eliminate an exemption in the open-government law for legislators.
Those three strikes against the bill, however, do not necessarily mean it’s out.
Despite his reservations about ending the legislative exemption, the committee head, Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin, R-Pickens, says he is working to get a hearing on the bill.
Sponsored by Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, the measure would close several big loopholes in the S.C. FOIA, which is widely regarded as one of the weakest such statutes in the country.
In addition to the legislative exemption, the weaknesses in the Palmetto State’s law allow state and local government entities to subvert the intent of it and instead use it to stonewall or thwart efforts to obtain information by the public, the press and, on occasion, even government officials.
“I have referred that FOIA bill to a subcommittee with a request that they get it up for a hearing as soon as they possibly can, maybe even this week,” Martin told The Nerve. read

joins FOI law suit appeal
The National Newspaper Association (NNA) and the Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi Press Associations joined other media organizations in April before the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Fifth Circuit to help protect openness in government. The law is under challenge by a coalition of public officials from Texas and 17 other states, which argues that open meetings violate the First Amendment rights of elected officials.
Defending the act was the Texas Attorney General and the media group, represented by James Ho, former state solicitor general and now an attorney with Gibson Dunn and Crutcher in Texas.
The case arose from a 2005 criminal indictment of two Alpine, Texas, city council members who used electronic mail to discuss a public matter with four of the five city council members. The case was taken to federal court
to determine whether the criminal sanctions in the Texas law violated the First

Wisconcin council emails, texts present challenges for laws governing open meetings, records
Madison (Wis.) City Council members are emailing or texting colleagues, lobbyists, staff and others during public meetings, raising questions about whether the state's Open Meetings Law has kept pace with changing technology.
The unseen flow of electronic communications -- from the snarky and playful to real-time conversations on key matters before the council, including millions of dollars in public funds for redevelopment of the Edgewater Hotel or Overture Center -- is revealed in records obtained by the State Journal under the state Open Records Law.
A review of 7,656 emails and hundreds of texts exchanged during council meetings from April 2010 through 2011 suggest awareness of the state Open Meetings Law, and no apparent violations of it. read

John F. Sturm, former president and chief executive officer of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), has been appointed associate vice president of federal and Washington relations at the University of Notre Dame effective June 1.

Jon Buchan, First Amendment lawyer and a founder of the Osceola alternate newspaper in Columbia in the late ‘60s, will be featured at the 16th annual S.C. Book Festival, which will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center from May 18 - 20.
Buchan, who has practiced law in Charlotte for over three decades, focuses much of his practice representing broadcasters and newspapers, including The Charlotte Observer, in First Amendment and libel cases. His book, Code of the Forest, is a fictional account of a libel suit brought by an S.C. State Senator against a small-town newspaper and its editor. In 2000, the N.C. Press Association awarded him the William C. Lassiter First Amendment Award for his "tireless efforts to defend the First Amendment and to protect the public's right to know." Visit the schedule page of for more information.

Police seek Twitter data in beating of Va. journalists
Police have issued search warrants for four Twitter accounts seeking information about an April assault of two Virginian-Pilot reporters.
The warrants request personal information, including all tweets, email addresses and locations of users, from Twitter, according to court records. Messages on the online accounts mention the assault.
In one tweet written about 90 minutes after the attack, a user wrote that she feels sorry "for the white man who got beat up at the light." Another user responded that he did not feel bad, writing "do it for trayvon martin."
Other comments posted on the accounts joked about the assault and mocked police for their response.

Henninger Consulting debuts new website
After months of work on content and design, the new Henninger Consulting website is up and running. Check out the redesigned site at Updates are planned.

Couponing helps consumers save, and helps save newspapers, too
Even as the overall economy ticks back, consumers are still couponing, and newspapers are still retrenching. Sundays, when preprinted coupons and circulars hit, have been a notable success for newspapers in the past few years. Average Sunday circulation is up 5 percent overall at the 532 newspapers that report to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, and coupons are often credited for contributing to those gains. read


Mim Woodring, former editor and owner of The Star, dies at 83
Mim Woodring, former editor and owner of The Star newspaper in North Augusta, died at home May 2. She was 83. She was president of SCPA's Women's Division in 1961.
Woodring and her husband, Sam, came to North Augusta in 1951 and spent the next 50 years as cheerleaders, chroniclers and conscience of their adopted town through The Star, the North Augusta newspaper they bought in 1954.
The pair worked side-by-side on the newspaper, covering everything that happened in North Augusta. As a couple, they led the way in establishing a more open government, helping get a young Chamber of Commerce in place, serving as the conduit between the people and what was going on around them, and even playing a major role in rallying North Augustans in a fundraising campaign to build a stadium at the then-new high school.
And while she helped build a successful weekly newspaper, Mim quietly and in a genteel manner forged her own way into places women had not gone before. She paved the way for so many others as a three-term member of Aiken County Council, North Augusta Women's Club, Nancy Carson Library Foundation, North Augusta Cultural Arts Council, North Augusta Board of Health and North Augusta Health Center, North Augusta Chamber of Commerce and more.
The couple sold the paper to Aiken Communications, the parent company of the Aiken Standard, in 1998.
"Both Mim and Sam Woodring were legends," said Scott Hunter, publisher of the Aiken Standard and current publisher of The Star. "They loved their work and their community, and poured their hearts and souls into both. It was very difficult to separate any part of their life from their newspaper work.

Communities need to be connected to paper
"We're community newspapers -- not the media."
I've heard this a hundred times. I've said it at least a thousand.
In a "media" world filled with 60-second sound bytes and 140-character tweets, we can lose sight of the value we bring to the information age.
As the publisher of a community newspaper, my job is not about filling a sound byte or telling a story in 140 characters or less. It's about printing news and information that is relevant to the people who live in my community. A few questions we should all be asking as we take a look at our newspapers:


Along came a spider and...
Some years ago, I met with a foreign car dealer to learn about his advertising. In the showroom, there was a beautiful red sports car -- a new model that had just arrived that week. When I commented on the car, the dealer said, "Yeah, and we didn't even find a Black Widow spider in this one." Say what? "When these cars are shipped from Europe, they usually pick up spiders along the way," he explained. "Just about every car we've gotten lately has had a spider under the hood. But our customers don't have to worry about that. We always find 'em when we clean up the cars." Aw shucks! For a minute there, I thought we had a great headline: "Free spider with every car." read


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!