May 31 deadline to register for PALMY Ad Summit
Winners of the 2011 PALMY Ad Contest will be recognized at the PALMY Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 7, at 300 Senate in downtown Columbia.
If you did not participate in the PALMY Contest, we welcome you to attend the educational portion of the meeting at no charge. We'll begin at 10 a.m. with a roundtable discussion for advertising reps, designers and publishers. Topics will include special sections and niche publications that have sold well, new innovative ideas and dealing with objections in a tight economy.
From 11 a.m. until noon, 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.
Thursday, May 31, is the deadline to register. Sign up to attend PALMY events here!

Candidate SLED checks available from SCPA
This is a reminder that SCPA will do SLED background checks on local political candidates for use in news stories.
To do such a check, we need the full name and date of birth.
If you have a large number of checks, please email them to Jen Madden. We will get them done within 48 hours.
For regular news stories, please call in your background checks so that SCPA staffers can get them back to you more quickly.
Since SCPA started doing the SLED checks for member papers two years ago , we have done more than 1,600 background checks, saving members more than $40,000.
If you are not using this service and would like more information, please contact us.
Aggregation Aggravation: dealing with content thieves
SCPA members express frustration when they discover their original content has been reproduced in whole or in part on websites and blogs without permission and, sometimes, without attribution. This column examines when and how this "borrowing" occurs and what, if anything, can legally be done about it.
The first type of borrowing amounts to theft for which copyright law allows clear recourse. For example, one member newspaper recently reported that entire articles were showing up on a website with a name and web address very similar to that of the newspaper. All content on the website was posted anonymously and without attribution, and the website's "publishers" had seemingly taken great pains to avoid being identified. In addition to clear copyright infringement, the rogue website also was treading on the newspaper's trademark.
If this kind of borrowing happens to you, a good first step is to identify the entity behind it and send a firm, but friendly, letter insisting that the practice stop. In the recent South Carolina example, the legitimate publisher had an idea of who was behind the rogue website and took steps to confirm the identity in order to dispatch an official cease and desist letter.
Whether you engage an attorney at this point to send a letter on your behalf depends on your degree of outrage and your budget. Often, these questionable websites are operated by people who think anything on the Internet is theirs for the taking. These folks simply don't know any better and often will respond appropriately to a "bigfoot" letter from you or your attorney.
If you cannot identify the entity behind the offending website, you may need to engage an attorney to subpoena the internet service provider (ISP) to reveal the IP address associated with the offending content. Some ISPs will readily hand over this information, but many will respond only to a court order requiring them to do so. Whether you litigate fully will depend on what kind of initial response you receive and your level of annoyance and resources. read

Editor, Union County News

What do you like best about your job?
I enjoy working on Main Street and interacting with people who stop by to visit while they are downtown. Our office is within walking distance of the Union County courthouse, City of Union municipal building, school district offices and USC-Union, so we are close to many of our news sources. I also enjoy the freedom I have been given to do my job and the good working relationship I have with my associates, Anna Brown and Brian Whitmore.

What would you say is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
When the first edition of the Union County News rolled off the press in October 2009. It represented the culmination of several months planning and hard work. Some people thought we were crazy to start a newspaper in the midst of a recession, when larger papers were cutting back or even going out of business, but we had faith that we would succeed. We started this paper with the goal of doing our best to report the news and have a good time doing it. With the tremendous support we’ve received from the community through advertising and subscriptions, we’ve been able to accomplish that.

How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
While the industry must change to reflect the changes in technology, I believe there is still a place for small town newspapers. People enjoy reading about their friends and neighbors and like the convenience of a printed product. At the same time, we utilize Facebook, Twitter and the Internet as a way of reaching our readers with breaking news stories.

What’s your favorite SCPA member service?
I have always been impressed with the support the SCPA provides its members, whether it’s a legal matter, a question about a contest entry or newspaper-related seminars. Bill and his staff have always been there when I need them and I appreciate it.

Any big plans coming up?
High school graduation is just around the corner and we publish individual photos of every graduating senior from three area high schools, as well photos from commencement exercises at USC-Union.

Midlands school chief favors public evaluation
The State reported last week that Lexington-Richland 5 school superintendent Stephen Hefner endorsed an open evaluation of his performance.
Hefner urged the school board to “proceed in this manner” of rating him in public to allay controversy over the traditional method of a review behind closed doors, with a summary made available later.
He is likely to get his way as the seven board members undertake their assessment next month, Hefner’s first since taking over supervision of schools in January 2011, following 16 years in the same role at another district.
The approach was settled on after SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers complained about the possibility of an evaluation in which school lawyers would take part and could keep secret, even in limited form.
That option drew fire from Rogers, who lives in the district, as obstructing public disclosure and similar to a practice banned by courts.

Former state GOP official files open records request over recent Winthrop Polls
After Republican criticism of Winthrop University’s widely published surveys of public opinion, a former state GOP official has asked the school to turn over all records related to the last three Winthrop Polls, including respondents’ identities, The Herald reported last week.
Kurt Pickhardt, who worked for the S.C. Republican Party and then for former GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty, requested a broad bundle of documents, including records of how respondents were chosen and who questioned them.
Citing academic freedom, Winthrop declined to provide many of the details Pickhardt requested, including faculty emails, according to documents the school sent to media.
Refusing to release documents claiming “academic freedom” is rare, said SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers.
But the university is likely allowed to withhold much of the information Pickhardt requested.
“The Freedom of Information Act shields the release of research done by faculty members, and this likely applies to most of this request,” Rogers said. “However, any financial records of the poll involving the expenditure of funds would likely be open.”
Rogers added that correspondence with the media would not likely be covered by the academic exemption to the open records law.

Five S.C. Media General newspapers sold to Berkshire Hathaway
Last Thursday, Media General, Inc. announced that it has signed agreements with Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., for the purchase of newspapers and new financing. A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, BH Media Group, will purchase all of the newspapers owned by Media General, with the exception of the Tampa group, for $142 million in cash. Media General said it is in discussions with other prospective buyers for its Tampa print assets.
The newspapers being purchased by BH Media Group include 63 daily and weekly titles in South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama, in addition to digital assets, including websites and mobile and tablet applications. The newspapers also have a substantial commercial printing business.
In South Carolina, newspapers being purchased include the Morning News in Florence, The Hartsville Messenger, The Marion Star & The Mullins Enterprise, The Lake City News & Post and The Weekly Observer in Hemingway.
"In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper... The many locales served by the newspapers we are acquiring fall firmly in this mold and we are delighted they have found a permanent home with Berkshire Hathaway," said Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

Fritz joins board of Evening Post Publishing Co.
H. Laurence Fritz has joined the board of directors of Charleston-based Evening Post Publishing Co. Fritz has a bachelor's degree, a Master of Accountancy and a master's degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina. He recently retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers after a 30-year career. He was the managing partner for the firm's S.C. practice and was the Carolinas Market Leader for Private Company Services representing offices in Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh and Spartanburg.

USC grad takes job at the Wall Street Journal
Josh Dawsey, SCPA's 2011 Collegiate Journalist of the Year and former SCPA Foundation intern is heading up to New York City next month to take a full time position at the Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires.
Dawsey graduated from the University of South Carolina's College of Journalism earlier this month.

Orangeburg sports editor takes new post in the Sunshine State
Brian Linder, sports editor of The Times and Democrat, has taken a job as sports reporter at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, a 61,000-circulation daily in North Florida. Linder started his career as a part-time high school football writer for The Press and Standard. He moved up to sports editor of the Walterboro weekly before taking a gig as a sports writer and photographer for the Times and Democrat in Orangeburg. Linder was named sports editor of the paper at age 24. He has won numerous SCPA awards during his career.

Indian telemarketing firm rents space from The State
WNS Global Services, an Indian company that plans to invest $4.25 million in Columbia and bring 300 jobs to the midlands, will open its first U.S. facility in a space leased from The State Media Co.
WNS's facility, which will open in July, could be used as a call center, and for tasks such as insurance-claims processing and accounting services.
WNS will take up about 23,000 square feet in The State Media Co.’s building. The company has been leasing out space for the past couple of years and has two other tenants: The Associated Press and InMed Diagnostic Services. It still has up to 15,000 square feet available for lease, said Publisher Henry Haitz.
“Today’s tenant agreements are examples of how the media are adapting to disruptive technologies, changing consumer behaviors and the most difficult economic environment since the Great Depression,” Haitz said.

Aiken police search for paper rack thieves
The Aiken County Sheriff's Office is investigating several newspaper rack thefts around the county reported at several U.S. Postal Service offices this week. At least six change-operated newspaper racks selling Aiken Standard, The Augusta Chronicle and The Star of North Augusta were reportedly ripped from off of their bases. The racks were bolted to the ground and still full of change. Aiken Standard Publisher Scott Hunter said the newspaper is offering a $100 reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of the person or persons repressible for the theft of The Star and/or Aiken Standard racks.

NNA opposes USPS ad deal with Valassis
The National Newspaper Association said it would oppose a proposal by the U.S. Postal Service to give advertising aggregator Valassis Direct Mail Inc., postage discounts that are not available to newspapers' Standard Mail shoppers in competition for advertising supplements. NNA President Reed Anfinson said NNA is watching with growing concern the actions being taken by USPS to insert itself increasingly into the local advertising marketplace. The proposed Valassis deal adds to an earlier program called Every Door Direct Mail, which calls for postmasters to solicit newspaper advertisers to send out ad mail directly from the post office rather than advertising in news media, which weakens local news organizations' ability to serve readers.
SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers urged member papers to contact their congressmen to stop this sweetheart deal that would hurt newspapers. If you need a sample letter, contact SCPA.

Why misspelled names are so common and what journalists are doing to prevent them
Warren Buffett, Michele Bachmann and Elliott Gould all have something in common: they know what it’s like to have journalists repeatedly misspell their names. News organizations frequently run corrections for misspelled names, and some have misspelled the same name dozens of times. ... It’s so easy to check the spelling of names — especially those of famous people — and yet we often fail to take this extra step as journalists. We forget to ask for the right spelling, we write the name from memory, we misread our handwritten notes, we’re misled by incorrect sources online, or we assume a name is spelled the “normal way.”
Other times, we confuse people with similar-sounding names — like when journalists reporting on Osama bin Laden’s death last year referred to him as “Obama.”
When we misspell names and don’t write corrections acknowledging our mistakes, we chip away at our credibility (which isn’t that high to begin with). Our audience may begin to wonder what other facts we’ve gotten wrong, or think we’re trying to hide our errors. read

McClatchy to begin ‘robust test’ of pay model
McClatchy vice president of news Anders Gyllenhaal tells employees that “after more than a year of experiments and analysis on pay models, McClatchy newspapers will begin a robust test of a pay plan that looks like the right balance for our websites.” He writes: " We’ve learned that many light online users are unlikely to become subscribers — but that our loyal print and online customers are willing to sign up in exchange for a multi-media subscription that would include the print edition, web, smart phones and the e-edition. Above all, we found that the impact of placing a clear value on our content is among the most important messages we can send as part of this transition."

Patch realigns, lays off key leadership, a network of small-town news sites owned by AOL Inc., has emerged at the center of a tug of war over the Internet company's future.
The high cost of running the local-news sites has fueled a campaign by dissident investor Starboard Value LP against AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong's strategy of investing heavily in online content.
Starboard, which is waging a proxy battle to win several seats on AOL's board at next month's annual meeting, says that Patch should be closed, sold or put into a joint venture, with a partner sharing the cost.
Inside AOL, Patch is also a flash point. Arianna Huffington, who took charge of Patch and AOL's other news and entertainment sites after AOL acquired her Huffington Post last year, distanced herself from the business after disagreements over how it should be run. ... Mr. Armstrong, has held his ground in defending Patch, which he co-founded in 2007 before he joined AOL, but he recently promised to make it profitable by next year. In a small step toward that goal, Patch said Tuesday it will cut around 20 jobs, or less than 2% of its workforce. The cuts will come from merging the management of its eastern and southern regional reporting operations.

Five essentials of success
There's a much well-meaning advice on succeeding. We can read about it, hear about it, learn about it. But until we practice it, it's just a lot of advice. Business coach P.T. McClure prescribes these steps:
1. Know your purpose. It seems fundamental. Have you taken on a task without a clear purpose? Without knowing what you want to accomplish? Purpose is one key to live a fulfilling life. I stumbled into journalism because it looked exciting. I did not think about its essential purpose. That took years to figure out, slow learner that I am. 2. Be willing to change bad habits. This usually takes a painful wake-up call.


Ten tips for teaching journalists how to effectively use social media
When I first wrote about Twitter in September 2007, I got emails from journalists who said I was highlighting a tool that would never have journalistic application. A lot has changed since then. There's now a greater willingness to embrace Twitter and other social media tools — or to at least see their potential. As more tools emerge, we need to be open to teaching others how to use them and how to integrate them into our workflow. I've put together some tips for teaching social media based on teaching I've done here at Poynter. While the tips are mostly geared toward journalism educators, journalists who are coaching their colleagues may also find them useful. read