July 7


SCPA lawyer advises to push for access to juvenile hearings
bendersig Columbia attracted unfavorable national attention last week and this time it wasn't related to our usual suspects, misbehaving elected officials. This was serious.
A recent high school graduate was running home at midnight through the "Five Points" area when he was set upon by a roving gang of young men. Between four and eight of the gang attacked and beat the victim causing severe injuries.
The area's merchant association had previously installed security cameras, and the attack, and others attempted by the gang the same night were recorded.
Eight of the alleged attackers were arrested within a few days.
One of the attackers, now designated defendants, is 19 years of age. Other defendants are between 13 and 16 years of age. The Solicitor has announced that he will try the 16-year-old as an adult, and will seek to have the Family Court allow two more defendants, ages 14 and 15, to be tried as adults.
News coverage of the initial bond hearing reported that the court was closed because the defendants were juveniles. Unfortunately, it does not appear that anyone tried to break open the courtroom door.
The Supreme Court of South Carolina has ruled, frequently at the urging of the newspapers of South Carolina, that the courts of South Carolina, including juvenile proceedings in Family Court, are open to the public. This openness is secured by the constitutions of South Carolina and of the United States. read

News Exchange is a great free resource for editors
The Press Association’s news exchange website continues to be a resource for S.C. member editors, as demonstrated by the photo coverage last week of the Gamecock national championship.
But SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers still believes many editors aren’t aware what is on the site, or forget to use it.
“We have good regular postings, including a weekly NASCAR column and editorial cartoons,” said Rogers.  “We also have a number of papers posting stories to the site...but we’d like to have more.”
Rogers encouraged editors to check the site regularly and sign up for an RSS feed to know when things are posted.
The exchange will post game photos for the Clemson and USC home football games again this fall.
“We welcome your suggestions on making this site more meaningful,” Rogers said.


Editor & Publisher of
The Post and Courier, Charleston

SCPA President

What do you like best about your job?
Working with a wonderful management team that shares a vision for the importance of putting out the best possible newspaper in the greater Charleston area. They make it easy.

What is your biggest challenge and how are you facing it?
Turmoil in the economy that we cannot control -- it's not getting better any time soon. It is forcing us to constantly adjust and seek alternative revenue streams such as a new tourism site we're creating, and other new products rolling out in the coming months (ex. North Charleston magazine, just produced another issue)

What's the best part of working in the newspaper industry?
It's still surprisingly vibrant, and populated by very creative people who remain committed to journalism at its best. We love chasing good stories!

What's your favorite SCPA member service?

The Legal Hotline.

Any big plans for the summer?
I don't have any personally, but the paper is launching its tourism initiative in July.

people and papers

howardBrad Howard, an advertising executive with more than a decade of experience in large and small markets, has been named Director of Advertising at The Sun News in Myrtle Beach. Most recently Howard was the multimedia key accounts manager for The Clarion-Ledger Media Group in Jackson, Miss., an 85,000-circulation daily newspaper. His other publishing experience include roles as the retail sales manager and circulation director for The Baltimore Sun, and as an account executive, real estate team leader and retail sales manager for The Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times.

Nathan DiBagno has been named general manager and editor of The Tribune in Elkin, N.C., and Yadkin Ripple in Yadkinville, N.C. DiBagno was previously the editor of the Powerdersville Post, a paper also owned by Heartland Publications. DiBagno served at the Easley paper for more than four years. Prior to his tenure at the Powdersville Post, DiBagno was an education and general assignments reporter with The Press and Standard in Walterboro. DiBagno received his journalism degree in 2005 from Bob Jones University and he is currently working on his Master's in Business Administration through North Greenville University.

patWhen Pat Gunnells graduated from Greenwood High School, she was offered a job at the Index-Journal that she didn’t even seek. She’s been at the paper ever since... Gunnells needed a job right out of high school, so she accepted the offer. Two weeks after graduating, she started working at the newspaper on June 13, 1961. She recently celebrated 50 years with the newspaper.
Even though Gunnells has remained at one company for her entire career, a variety of jobs kept her work interesting.
Gunnells was hired as a dispatch clerk in the advertising department where she handled paperwork and prepared ads to be laid out on the paper. From there, she moved to the classifieds department where she was head cashier. She worked as the newspaper's personnel manager, and in accounts receivable and payroll. Gunnells is currently the assistant controller over the business office.
“I’ve always had a variety of jobs and things to do,” she said. “It hasn’t been the same things all the time.”

foi briefs

Greenville County provides better access to mugshots after threat of legal action
The Greenville County Department of Public Safety recently upgraded its website to provide the public with better access to criminal mugshots and arrest information, a move that came after the threat of legal action by The Jail Report Inc. Instead of requiring citizens to purchase a jail log with names of those arrested before they could view mugshots online, the county now allows website users to search online without knowing the name. This allows the public to have free access to see who has been arrested and formally charged with crimes in Greenville County. “After a year-long battle with Greenville County, we are pleased to declare victory in our fight to get better access to mugshots, which the state has clearly deemed are public records under the Freedom of Information Act,” said Greg Rickabugh, Publisher of The Jail Report. “The public has a right to know and see who is being formally charged with a crime. While there is still room to grow, we are happy that the county has decided to join other law enforcement agencies in South Carolina in providing more openness.”

industry news

Readers in Columbia hot for Gamecock commemorative memorabilia
The State newspaper in Columbia is capitalizing off the Gamecock's back to back College World Series win. In addition to printing 10,000 more newspapers than usual for single copy sales, The State is has created a commemorative book celebrating the victory that will be available on July 29. The paper also created posters of the front page and offered reprints of all of the photos taken in Omaha and at the Gamecock homecoming celebration and parade. In addition, The State's Gerry Melendez has posted a page containing free desktop wallpapers.

E.W. Scripps Co. issues social media policy
The parent company of the Anderson Independent-Mail and many other newspapers and TV stations across the country recently told employees that "while the use of social media enhances the company's commitment to providing a vast array of information to our local communities on a variety of platforms (including blogs, Facebook and Twitter), the use of the broad array of social media by Scripps employees requires special attention." If your personal account contains material that could reflect badly on Scripps, its business operations or your colleagues, or is contrary to Scripps policies, you may be asked to remove your affiliation with Scripps from the personal account or be otherwise disciplined, including termination. The possibility of disciplinary action is not intended to limit your use of social media, but clarify the company's position regarding egregious behavior.

The Joplin (Mo.) Globe thanks those who gave donations
Donations to the Missouri Press Foundation to benefit the staff of The Joplin Globe have made it easier for the staff who were affected by the May 22 tornado to get back on their feet, writes Publisher Mike Beatty. Nearly $63,000 has already been collected for Globe employees and additional contributions continue to be made.

Policy paper calls for creations of regional and local collaborative news networks
The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation have released a new policy paper that calls on leaders of local print and broadcast media to spearhead the creation of regional and local collaborative news networks that meet the information needs of their communities. These interactive news networks are part of a broader set of strategies for re-inventing local journalism that are aimed at addressing the need for media policies that foster innovation, competition and support for business models that provide marketplace incentives for quality journalism.


Legal training video available 24-7 on Web
SCPA's "What to Do When" web-based seminar focuses on legal issues faced regularly in newsrooms large and small across South Carolina. SCPA Attorney Jay Bender and SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers lead members through a 30-minute question and answer session on the most often asked legal questions in the newsroom. Juvenile arrests, shield law, access to birth certificates, copyright of Google maps and naming rape victims are just a few of the topics discussed.
"This video is a great primer and refresher on S.C. laws impacting your newspaper," Rogers said.
The video is available to SCPA members for free 24-7 on the Members Only section of the site. Click here if you have forgotten your password to log in to the members only section.


pumarloStories about employers and employees have a big impact on communities. What happens at the workplace might even overshadow a decision of the local city council. Today's challenging economy warrants even greater attention to business as an everyday beat. Yet, many newspapers struggle for consistent coverage of local business. It's impractical, especially in small newsrooms, to devote one person to the business beat. Editors and reporters still can incorporate business coverage into their regimen of assignments. The first step is to brainstorm stories on a regular basis similar to a local government body or sports beat. A word of caution, however. It's best to proceed slowly. read


Newspapers that take strong positions on controversial issues can take pride in their courage. They are stand-up guys who are showing their community leadership. I wonder if they realize what such practices can do to their credibility. For years our small community newspaper has avoided taking a position on such flash-point issues as abortion, legalizing drugs and other issues in which reason seems to have vanished in the arguments on both sides. You may think this shows lack of courage. We think it actually shows good judgment. read


July 8: Creating Better Black & White Photos

July 15: Collegiate Committee Meeting

July 21: Ad Basics

July 28: Ad Task Force Meeting

August 4: FOI Committee Meeting

August 5: Perfecting InDesign's Secret Weapon to Saving You Time: Tables

August 12: Selling to Main Street - Growing more local ad revenue