PhotoShop training set Aug. 16
You don't want to miss our upcoming training session on basic and advanced PhotoShop to be held August 16 at SCPA Offices in Columbia. PhotoShop expert Michelle Kerscher specializes in teaching print media how to best use Adobe technology to gain better quality results in print and on the Web, and how to work more efficiently.
In the morning, Michelle will teach you all the basics you need to know about PhotoShop's many tools and palettes. In addition to covering cropping and straightening images, she'll also talk about how to properly resize and compress images for print and Web projects. Did you know there are correct file sizes and file types for certain print and Web projects? Michelle will set you straight on all of the basics!
Then in the afternoon, Michelle will go over advanced PhotoShop features, including how to get better results with color and black-and-white photos by adjusting the levels, curves, hue and brightness. She'll also show you her favorite healing, fill, filter and retouching tools, including how to remove noise and refine edges. She'll wrap up the day by showing you how to create actions, which will automate repetitive tasks. After this session, you are sure to walk away with tons of tips to save you time and make your photos look better!
This class is designed for users of all versions of the software in Mac or PC platforms.
The cost for SCPA members to attend the full-day is $65, $95 for non-members. If you would like to sign up for only the morning or afternoon session, the cost is $45 per session for members and $65 for non-members.
View the full schedule and register. Space is limited so sign up today!
|Second criminal FOI case fails
A 6th Circuit Solicitor has pulled the plug on an attempt to prosecute criminal charges for violation of the S.C. Freedom of Information Act.
Solicitor Doug Barfield Jr. notified Kirby D. Shealy Jr., the judge assigned to hear the case, last week that he would not prosecute the case brought last November against the individual members of the Jenkinsville Water Co. Board of Directors by James Denton while he was editor and general manager of The Herald-Independent newspaper in Winnsboro.
“I was not consulted prior to the issuance of these courtesy summonses and did not agree to prosecute them at any time during the pendency of this matter,” Barfield said in his statement to Shealy. “Solicitors in our state are not constitutionally or statutorily mandated to prosecute cases in magistrate courts, although we do in two areas, criminal domestic violence and driving under the influence cases, because we receive grant funding to do so. These courtesy summonses were never mine to prosecute. I was asked to voluntarily assume responsibility for the prosecution of these cases. I respectfully decline to do so.”
Courtesy summonses were served against the individual members of the JWC Board (Tangee Brice Jacobs, Tim Roseborough, Joseph McBride, Aquilla O’Neal, Lori Smith and Gregrey D. Ginyard) in November of 2011 after the Board refused to comply with numerous FOIA requests by Denton and Jill Cincotta while both were with The Herald-Independent newspaper. The Board’s refusal to comply came after an opinion issued Aug. 8, 2011, from the S.C. Attorney General’s Office confirmed that the JWC Board was a public body and therefore subject to the S.C. Freedom of Information Act. Cincotta later provided each board member with a copy of the S.C. FOIA and indicated to each member where the law applied to the JWC Board.
“While we respect the Solicitor’s decision, we are, naturally, disappointed,” Denton said. “It is somewhat baffling that we have a law on the books, a law written to protect the public from runaway secret governments, which contains within it a provision for criminal prosecution – yet it is no one’s mandate to prosecute it.”
Bill Rogers, executive director of the S.C. Press Association, said the group’s FOI Committee has voted to pursue a civil case against the water company.
“This agency is clearly public, but it seems clear now that the wording of the FOIA calling for “willful” violation of the law makes it impossible to win a criminal case,” Rogers said.
Football season around corner, order stringers' press IDs now!
It's almost time for Friday night lights as pre-season practice begins late next month. Make sure your sports stringers and freelance photographers and reporters have their press credentials in advance of the season.
SCPA offers two types of press IDs, which are available ONLY at the request of SCPA member newspaper editors.
Freelancers must contact their editor to order a card. Both cards are recognized statewide and feature your staffer's name and newspaper.
For $6, you can order a sturdy, hard plastic photo ID card (seen at right), which can clip to a lanyard and be worn around the neck.
Standard cardstock non-photo ID cards are also available for 50 cents each.
Repositionable car windshield decals are available for working press vehicles.
Click here to order press IDs and more! Orders typically take a few days to process and ship.
The Colletonian, Walterboro
What do you like best about your job?
First and foremost, I enjoy trying to help people within our community so they can better cope with day-to-day living.
What would you say is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
The proudest moment of my newspaper industry career was being hired as the editor of The Colletonian after leaving the industry for 10-plus years and working as a civil engineer.
How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
The future of our industry is really transcending. What the final product will be when I retire, I can't be sure. I've gone from laying out pages in the mid 1980s and '90s using copy strips pasted onto pages after being run through hot wax machines to this newspaper, which has its own Facebook page and website. For me, this was a big step.
What's your favorite SCPA member service?
My favorite member service is the SC News Exchange. With only four employees running the entire operation, it is nice to be able to use this product, if needed!
Any big plans coming up?
I have no big future plans. I'm still getting adjusted to the requirements of my position and its relation to the local community as a whole.
Court ruling affects agenda changes at city, county meetings
The Free Times of Columbia reported this week that a state court has said local governments can't alter their agendas in mid-meeting.
On June 13, the Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's decision, ruling that Saluda County Council was violating the FOIA by adding items to its agenda during meetings.
State law requires public bodies to notify the public of meetings — and publicize the agenda, if there is one — at least 24 hours ahead of time. The law is silent on whether public bodies can add to those agendas once posted.
The Court of Appeals held that while the FOIA doesn't address whether agendas can be amended, the county should follow a state attorney general opinion that says FOIA should be liberally interpreted.
"Public bodies are encouraged to take all steps necessary to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the Act, to carry out the express purpose of keeping the public informed about the performance of their public officials and the conduct of public business," the court wrote.
"I thought that was a great decision," said SCPA Attorney Jay Bender. "If you add a substantive item without giving public notice, you have violated the intent of the Freedom of Information Act."
|Media General, Berkshire complete sale
Earlier this week, Media General Inc. said it completed the previously announced sale of 63 daily and weekly newspapers to World Media Enterprises Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for $142 million in cash.
Talks to sell The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, the only MG property that wasn't part of the deal with BHI, are currently under way with undisclosed bidders, MG said.
Here's the deal: How newspapers can dominate local online promotions
By Matt Coen, Inland Press Association
Online promotions present an exciting revenue opportunity for newspapers. Online promotions -- such as contests, daily deals, coupons and sweepstakes -- go beyond traditional advertising by encouraging measurable consumer engagement and interaction with advertisers with incentives such as entering a contest, "liking" an advertiser on Facebook or purchasing a deal that brings consumers into the advertiser's store. The marketing world is experiencing an industry-wide shift from advertising to promotions. The numbers back up this shift. According to Borrell Associates, spending on online promotions is expected to surpass $75 billion by 2016 – more than double its current level. Just in deals alone, BIA/Kelsey projects an increase from $873 million in 2011 to $4.2 billion in 2015. This is a major growth opportunity. Newspapers and other local media have the chance to position themselves as indispensable players in the emerging world of online promotions and to secure a potent revenue stream in this realm for years to come. But this outcome is not guaranteed. Major players like Google, Groupon, Facebook, LivingSocial and Amazon are focused on the huge opportunities presented by online promotions. Local media will need to step up to the plate and make a commitment to online promotions to secure their position.
Local news crisis: why newspapers remain so important to the public
Investors see some value in newspaper companies
By Fran Collingham, The Guardian
It's easy to argue that the growth of social media has turned us all into citizen journalists with the ability to make the news whoever and wherever we are. What's simpler than taking a picture of something exciting on your mobile phone and emailing it to the local paper? Why not share your frustrations with the failings of a big organization by blogging about their woeful service and lack of customer care? And Twitter gives us all an instant platform to tell hundreds of people in a moment what's going on in our world. So why bother buying a local newspaper (or listening to the local radio station) when the news is out there in the digital world for us all to share and contribute to, updated constantly, and without a cover price? The best local newspapers are embracing this challenge, and proving that in a world where there are a million views and interpretations of the news at the touch of a button residents, more than ever, need their local media to make sense of the digital cacophony around them. What was the first thing Gandhi would suggest for a village? Setting up a newspaper, a central point through which all the news is filtered and which brings the people together. It may be he didn't have to deal with Twitter in those days but even so, he saw the careful and controlled dissemination of local news as being vital to the thriving heart of any society.
Newspaper companies, of the type News Corp. might spin off, are trading at premiums to book value, suggesting investors still see value in the business. New York Times Co., McClatchy Co. and Gannett Co., three of the biggest newspaper companies, all trade at premiums to the value they would hold if they were liquidated. Warren Buffett has scooped up several newspaper assets in recent months (including last week), though the famed investor's bet has been mainly on local, dominant news sources. Though print advertising revenues remain on a decline broadly, as advertisers follow consumers increasingly onto the Internet, some local newspapers that face less competition have held up and some big publishers have managed to improve returns with online changes.
2011 busiest year for newspaper ownership changes since 2007
The last 18 months have been “a period of intense change in U.S. newspaper ownership,” reports PEJ in the summary for its report “Who Owns the News Media.” Companies like Media General and Freedom Communications have ended decades of newspaper ownership (or nearly so; Media General has one paper left) as new players like private investment firms have expanded their holdings. “A total of 71 daily newspapers were sold as part of 11 different transactions during 2011,” PEJ says of those sales.
Three things journalists should ask about their data
Have you ever read a news article that cited confusing statistics or some fuzzy math that didn't seem to make logical sense or add up? Chances are, the math and stats didn't make sense to the reporter who wrote it either. Whether it's quarterly earning statements, census figures or standardized testing results, journalists on all beats can't avoid data. It's ubiquitous and, thanks to the Internet, readily available. Unfortunately, "data literacy" isn't quite as common.
Read how to become data literate in three steps.
Are you enforcing your cell phone policy?
By Grace Horoupian and Matthew Sgnilek,
Fisher and Phillips, LLP
You Do Have One, Don't You?
Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) proposed a ban on all cell phone calls and texting while driving. The first ever proposed nationwide ban on driver use of mobile devices while driving certainly has a significant impact on employers given employees' increasing reliance on mobile devices. More and more employees are using cell phones to stay connected to their work while out of the office.
||Journalism professionals, academics debate the value of research
By Howard Finberg, Poynter Institute
The debate about the gap between journalism educators and professionals continues, albeit mostly on the AEJMC listserv for that organization's newspaper and online news interest group. The stream of comments started after Jerry Ceppos, dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University, blogged about two recent speeches (one of them mine) that challenged journalism educators to move faster to address the changing digital world. "For more than 30 years," Ceppos wrote, "I've tried to bridge the chasm between the journalism professions and the academy."