Posterizing: profit and peril from reprints
If you watch ESPN highlights of the National Basketball Association you are no doubt familiar with the term "posterized." One achieves this status when an opponent leaps high over your outstretched arms to slam home a dunk—a "monster jam," if you prefer. Not only does the shot make the highlight show, the team of the dunker makes a photograph of the dramatic shot into a poster for sale in the coliseum memorabilia store, hence "posterized." For decades prior to television and the 24-hour sports cable shows, the drama of sports was captured by newspaper photographers. And, if you attend the SCPA awards dinners, you can see how this tradition is preserved and acted upon faithfully in member newspapers. For old folks like your writer, an iconic sports photo is quarterback Y. A. Tittle on his knees, helmet off, blood running down his balding pate and a dazed look in his eyes. For less old, and all UNC grads, the shot is Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan soaring high above the rim with the ball cupped in one hand ready to be hurled through the hoop. So how does this relate to newspapers?
Many papers looking for new revenue sources have taken to selling reprints of photos from their pages or posters made from photos that have appeared in the paper. So, you say, we took the picture, we own the copyright, what's the problem? Potential claims for invasion of privacy, for one

Irmo school board needs to open evaluation process
Editor's note:  We have a growing trend in S.C. of school boards using their lawyers to evaluate superintendents, then claiming attorney-client privilege and keeping it all under wraps. Below is an op-ed of one the most recent on in Lexington County.  This has happened in Orangeburg and Berkeley Counties.

The Lexington-Richland District 5 School Board – in collusion with its attorneys – is about to slap public accountability in the face by doing a secret telephone performance evaluation of its superintendent, Dr. Stephen W. Hefner.
Let's hope board members will stand up on behalf of taxpayers and reject this plan.  They have the power, but do they have the intestinal fortitude.  Let's hope they do.  There is no need for this secrecy and courts have consistently ruled that superintendent evaluations are open.
The plan is to have the board attorneys – Childs & Halligan – do the evaluation before June 11 by calling each board member individually over the telephone.  The attorneys will then present to the board in executive session a version of what they were told over the telephone by board members. It is unclear if any of this will be made public or how it will be documented in writing.  (These same attorneys pulled a similar stunt in Berkeley County, causing the school district to spend thousands of dollars trying to defend evaluation secrecy in court.) 
This secret evaluation is problematic in so many ways.
First, it is a waste of money.  Why pay a high-dollar law firm to do employee evaluations when it could be done internally.  Oh,  I forgot to mention that if the attorney does it, the board can claim attorney-client privilege and refuse to release the results.  Believe me, that will happen, and that is problem number two. read

Max Heath to join weekly circulation event by telephone
Last chance to sign up

Every weekly newspaper in South Carolina who uses the post office faces major changes in the year to come.
NNA circulation expert Max Heath will answer your questions via telephone at
SCPA's upcoming roundtable for weekly circulation staffers on May 31. The deadline to register is Friday, May 25.
The workshop will also feature a presentation by Columbia's USPS Business Mail Manager, who will give you a preview of what is going to happen and answer your questions.
For newspapers that do not use the post office, we welcome your attendance for the morning roundtable only. From 10 a.m. until noon, we will discuss topics including new barcode regulations, circulation promotions that work, carrier options, software, CASS certification and more.
The cost is just $25 for the full day. If you'd like to attend just the morning roundtable, email Jen. Register for this great event here.

Publisher, Jasper County Sun & The Hampton County Guardian

What do you like best about your job?
The best part of my job is the wonderful people I work with. As publisher of two weeklies, I can’t be in both places at one time, but I’m fortunate to have two staffs who are dedicated to the communities we serve and who always go above and beyond to educate and inform our readers and provide excellent customer service for our clients. I also am happy to be in rural communities where the newspaper is still important. We help guide the conversations the community is having and help separate small-town gossip from the truth. To me, those are the most important roles newspapers play.

What would you say is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
I started in newspapers when I was 15, so I’ve been the youngest in almost every position I’ve ever held (sports editor of the Lexington County Chronicle, Nation & World editor of The [Raleigh, N.C.] News & Observer, managing editor of BostonNOW, now publisher of The Hampton County Guardian & Jasper County Sun.) It’s interesting to approach things from that angle because I always come at things from a different perspective and approach than my predecessors. I had many bad experiences – but a few triumphs – because of that. One that stands out: I wrote (with an assist from the front page editor and much arguing from the various others in the newsroom that night) the headline SHAZAM! (Subhead 'Boys from Mayberry' defeat Red Wings) on the front page of the Raleigh paper after the Canes’ Game 1 OT win over the Red Wings. The next day, Barry Melrose talked about that headline. If that’s not “making it,” then I don’t know what is!

How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
The future of the newspaper industry is a big, fat question mark that looms over us every day. Because of the failures of industry leaders over the past few decades, we’re now all struggling to determine where to go next and how to continue to be important to our communities. I’ve always been excited about change and I think the best thing anyone in the newspaper industry can be today is adaptable. I think back to hearing an executive editor at a larger daily laugh when I referenced Craigslist in the early 2000s and hope current newspaper leaders don’t fall victim to the same attitude. We need to be ahead of the technological advances, not trying to play catch up. If we can continue to be the top source of accurate information for the community, we’ll ensure advertisers that we’re the best medium available to reach consumers. The presses may not roll every day, but we will still have an important role in educating and informing.   

What’s your favorite SCPA member service?
The SCNN advertising network is a big help to small papers like mine. We’re able to have a variety of ads in each paper that we wouldn’t otherwise have. A close runner-up is the legal advice. Small-town politics can get corrupt, and rural officials aren’t always savvy about FOIA and open meetings laws. It’s great having experts who are just an email away and can tell us who’s in the wrong. They make us look smarter (and, maybe more importantly, keep us from looking stupid.)

Any big plans coming up? (professional and/or personal):
I got married in March, so I’m looking forward to life as a wife. I’ve always loved to travel and we honeymooned in France (Paris was excellent, as expected, but I highly recommend the D-Day beaches. Amazing to see.) so now we’re trying to pick our next destination. (We’re also trying to sell his condo on Hilton Head, so if you’re in the market …)

DHEC criticized for refusal to name Spartanburg restaurant linked to E. coli
The Herald-Journal recently reported that DHEC is being criticized for refusing to release the name of a Spartanburg Mexican restaurant linked to a recent outbreak of Escherichia coli.
DHEC confirmed last week that it is investigating 11 cases associated with the same restaurant, but has declined to identify the establishment. The DHEC spokesman said he understands the concerns of consumers, but the agency does not believe there is a current health risk. The spokesman also said he can't recall a single case in his eight years with the agency where DHEC has identified a restaurant associated with a food-borne illness. There is no agency policy on releasing the name of restaurants linked to food-borne illnesses, he said.
A nationally recognized food safety advocate is lambasting DHEC's decision to keep the name of the restaurant under wraps.
"People have a right to know. Consumers have a right to decide if they want to eat at a particular place, and it makes no sense to me how DHEC can justify protecting them while putting a target -- literally a target -- on every other Mexican restaurant in that area," said Bill Marler, a nationally recognized attorney and author who specializes in food-borne illness cases.
The Herald-Journal has filed an FOI request related to the Spartanburg case, but as of Tuesday evening, no documents had been provided.

The Ohio Supreme Court recently affirmed a lower court's decision denying The Cincinnati Enquirer access to personally identifying information regarding police officers involved in a shootout with a motorcycle gang. Citing the officers' constitutional right of privacy, the court found those portions of requested records identifying particular officers were exempt from disclosure under the state public records law.

The Voice adds editor; opens new office in downtown Blythewood
The Voice announced last week the addition of James Denton as editor of the Blythewood newspaper.
Denton has spent the last two and a half years as editor and general manager of The Herald Independent in Winnsboro. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the Spartanburg campus of USC (now USC Upstate). He has worked as a features writer and reporter for The Dispatch News and has served as sports editor for The Effingham Herald in Rincon, Ga. Denton also served as editor of the SCPA Bulletin and has won many SCPA awards in his career.
The newspaper has opened an office in downtown Blythewood at 303 Main Street.

AP names Williams regional director
The Associated Press named Michelle Williams, bureau chief for Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, as one of its four U.S. regional directors.
The directors are responsible for leading business development in their regions and responding quickly to member and customer needs in changing markets. The directors also will be AP’s primary liaisons with major member groups and commercial entities, lead AP bureau chiefs in each region and address regional issues with colleagues across AP departments. Williams will oversee the 13-state South territory.
Williams was named South Atlantic bureau chief in 2010. She was part of a team examining the changing roles of bureau chiefs and devised a training program for U.S. administrative assistants supporting chiefs with marketing and sales efforts. She was named bureau chief for Arizona and New Mexico in 2007, and before that was assistant bureau chief for Texas, correspondent in Chattanooga, Tenn., and supervisory correspondent in San Diego. She was Tennessee news editor in 2000 during Al Gore’s presidential run and news editor for Texas during President Bush’s second term and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As a reporter in Milwaukee, she covered serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

Two new managers take reins at The Sun News
Kurt Knapek, formerly the online and day city editor for The Sun News, has been named the company’s Online General Manager. Creating the position will provide focused leadership on the growth of digital advertising and audience, said Pamela J. Browning, president and publisher of The Sun News.
Knapek has been with The Sun News since May, 2006, and he has filled a number of roles during that time including, writer, sports designer and copy editor, public safety reporter, online producer/reporter, and most recently, the online and day city editor spot.
Before joining The Sun News, he worked for several news companies in the northeast including the Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Delaware State News, Dover, Del.; and the Carlisle Sentinel, Carlisle, Pa.
Todd Garvin will become the day city editor, where his duties will include leading planning efforts and working directly with news reporters. Garvin joined The Sun News in 2007 as a designer for the sports department. Most recently he has been the chief of the Universal desk, which handles production of the print product and keeps updated at night. Before joining The Sun News, he worked as a reporter, columnist, editor and managing editor at newspapers in Kentucky and Ohio. He won’t officially move into his new position until late May.

USPS loses $3.2 billion in Q2
The Postal Service ended its second quarter (Jan. 1 – March 31) with a net loss of $3.2 billion, compared to a net loss of $2.2 billion for the same period last year. Despite ongoing management actions that have grown and improved efficiency, the losses will continue until key provisions of the Postal Service five-year business plan move forward.
The losses are due primarily to legislative mandates such as the unique mandated pre-funding of retiree health benefits, and prohibiting management from making the needed operational and human resource changes required to address these issues under current laws and contracts. Also contributing to the continuing losses are the declining First-Class Mail and Standard Mail volumes.

Better plan for rural post offices earns NNA plaudits
The USPS's new plan for providing rural residents with new options for keeping their local post offices drew praise from National Newspaper Association. The Postal Service has announced it intends to take another look at its handling of rural post office closings, after taking a battering on Capitol Hill and from rural residents for its earlier plan to close about 3,700 unprofitable offices. Now, it says, it intends to offer communities the opportunity to keep the offices open, but with reduced window hours. Click here to view a list of affected post offices.

Apply for free military workshop
A weeklong program for journalists about covering the military includes lodging, meals and airfare to Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The workshop from Sept. 23-28 will be based at the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center in Kansas.
Journalists who attend should be early to mid-career reporters or editors working near military bases, beat reporters covering the military, or journalists who have an interest in covering military issues. The program is for journalists who have little or no background covering the military and with no active-duty military experience. It is designed to help reporters learn more about today's military.
The University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center coordinate the workshop. It is funded by a grant from the McCormick Foundation.
To apply, contact Barbara Barnett at by July 1.


Ernie Adams, former Post and Courier executive, dead at 76
Ernie Adams, a former Post and Courier executive who helped lead the newspaper online in the 1990s, died at home on May 15.
He was 76 and had battled esophageal and stomach cancer for several months.
Adams, a former Marine sergeant, started with Evening Post Publishing Co. as a classified advertising salesman in 1963. He was promoted to classified advertising manager, followed by advertising director and then business manager.
He was advertising director and then business manager of the Aiken Standard when the company acquired that newspaper. Next he was general manager of The Daily Banner, a subsidiary newspaper in Cambridge, Md., and then general manager and president of The News Virginian in Waynesboro, Va.
He returned to Charleston in 1980 as director of sales and marketing. He was later named president of a holding company for all the subsidiary papers in the Carolinas. He also headed up the team that brought the newspaper online. Adams took early retirement in 1999.
Adams had a national reputation in the industry. He was past president and honorary life member of the Mid-Atlantic Newspaper and Marketing Executives, past state vice president of the International Newspaper and Marketing Executives, and an active member of the state press associations in South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland.

Latest figures boost confidence of newspapers of all sizes
It's been an interesting mix of material that has ended up in my inbox today. A story on National Public Radio's website reports that 23 percent of Americans age 18-24 read a PRINTED newspaper yesterday. Not an online edition of The New York Times or an iPad edition of a magazine. Twenty four percent report having read an actual, honest to goodness, printed newspaper yesterday. These numbers came from the Pew State of the News Media study. I love it when media outside the newspaper world report on our successes. Maybe it's time we did a little of that ourselves. When I was invited to speak at Memphis University a few months ago, I was surprised to learn that the students had actually voted to have their activities fees increased so they could receive three daily newspapers each day. read


Banks, business, economic data offer many opportunities for coverage
Banks are perhaps the most important institutions in your community that don't get adequate news coverage. The state and federal agencies that regulate banks have a wealth of information about them, such as the percentage of their loan portfolio that has gone bad, but they don't get much attention, especially now that the national financial crisis has abated. During the crisis, Congress passed tougher regulations on banks, and now some are changing their charters to become credit unions or be regulated by state agencies. The crisis was especially hard on small to medium-sized banks, which rely more on real-estate loans; a new firm called BancAlliance is helping them compete for larger loans. read


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 28: SCPA Offices closed in observance of Memorial Day

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

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

June 21: InDesign Training, SCPA Offices, Columbia

June 21: Tricks for Faster Photo Processing

June 22: Covering the Presidential Election: Why and How