News sharing site to offer football photos
Starting this weekend, SCPA will again be posting USC and Clemson home game photos on the SC News Exchange site.

"This member service has been helpful in past years, so we are excited to offer Carolina and Clemson photos this season," said SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers.

No password is required to download the photos. Simply go to the site after the game and click on the thumbnails to download the high resolution photos.

Rogers also wants to encourage newspapers to share out-of-local-region high school football stories and photos on the site. 

"With travel and staff limitations, sharing can help provide coverage," he said. " Let us know if we can help set this up with a paper in another area."

Also on the News Exchange site is a weekly NASCAR column, an Op-Ed from Phil Noble, a weekly editorial cartoon and other great features and stories from newsrooms across the state. When you have a great feature or news in your paper that is of statewide interest, please post it. If you need help posting, just let us know.

The News Exchange is a cooperative sharing site exclusively for use by members of SCPA. Please use appropriate bylines and credit lines. Stories, editorials and photos are for use only in member publications and on their websites.

63% of readers don't care about your comments
By Matt Carmichael, Ad Age
Recently Anil Dash called out news publishers. The gist was: If the comments areas on your site are over-run by jerks, you have no one to blame but yourself. I've often wondered about the value of website comments, which all-too-often are an ill-informed, venomous echo chamber populated by the same handful of trolls. I'm generalizing here. Slightly. And I'm especially calling out anonymous comment sites. I'm certainly not talking about you, dear readers. I think the @adagestat comments are a lot of fun -- even and perhaps especially when they take this blog to task. But I digress.

Publishers, meanwhile, can't stop harping on engagement with the audience as the future of news. It's not just websites, either. CNN has its iReporters. Fox has "News Remixed," which peppers somewhat fluffy news segments with clips from YouTube. But is it really what readers/viewers/surfers are looking for?

This month's Ad Age/Ipsos Observer American Consumer Survey dove into the issue. Fully half of the 1,003 households that took part in our online survey said that adding more tools for engagement would have zero impact on the likelihood that they would visit a news site. Add in the 13% who said they would be less likely to visit and you get nearly two thirds of site visitors seemingly uninterested in having comments, photos and videos from their peers mixed in with the news content from the staff reporters and editors.

Only 15% said that they "often" or "always" comment on stories -- and this from an audience of people who are willing to take online surveys who likely would over-index for such behaviors. More people read the comments, and six in 10 find them to be offensive sometimes. To Anil's point, roughly the same number feel that publishers should do more to monitor the comments on the site. Adding fuel to his argument, a lack of civility in the comments is a turn off for readers. Nearly a quarter said they would stop reading the comments if they found them offensive and 9% said they'd visit the site less frequently. Only 6% said they would dive into the debate.

Executive Editor
Index-Journal, Greenwood

What do you like best about your job? 
I enjoy the fact that every day, even though the format is essentially the same, we produce a totally new product for our "consumers." I also thrive on the fact that we are recording our community's history and shaping its future simultaneously. Producing a daily community newspaper is an awesome and rewarding experience.

What is your biggest challenge and how are you facing it?  
Biggest challenge is the changing face of how we do what we do as technology shapes and reshapes the process. That I am answering these questions from the comfort of a porch at home nestled in a comfy chair while using an iPad is a testament to my/our willingness to adapt and embrace. We still provide news and information in any various forms; we simply must find ways to make it profitable and sustainable.

What's the best part of working in the newspaper industry? 
I would have to say the best part is working at a community daily, in which we thrive on providing what the conglomerates have not quite successfully tapped into. They are trying, but it's our market to corner and maintain. We are established as a trusted, reliable and credible source. And we have a responsibility to maintain that foothold.

What's your favorite SCPA member service?  
That's a tough question. Seminars, training and a vast resource to tap into are major benefits. I appreciate how SCPA is constantly working for and with it's members toward a common goal: sustaining our viability.

Any big plans coming up?
I'm working on an app that will make every reporter a math genius! OK, that's not only false, it is impossible. Professionally, we are continually working on improving who and what we are to better serve the readership. Personally, I am getting the hang of being a grandparent after a year's trial. And loving it.

Gaffney Ledger staff writer Scott Powell was one of five people in the country awarded a Terry Harper Memorial Scholarship to attend a national journalism conference in New Orleans in September.
The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation awarded five convention scholarships in memory of Harper last month. He was executive director for the Society of Professional Journalists from 2002 to 2009.
As a Harper scholar, Powell will attend SPJ's annual convention on Sept. 25-28 in New Orleans.
Powell has spent his entire professional career at The Gaffney Ledger where he has covered education issues since August of 1995. He has received multiple awards from SCPA over the past decade.
Powell was active in a student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for two years while studying journalism at the University of South Carolina. This January he joined a new SPJ professional chapter in the Greater Charlotte area.

The State newspaper retired its weekly Neighbors section of community news, a concession to a lagging economy and an adjustment to changing times and technology. The Neighbors sections were introduced in 1981 to provide readers a closer look at community news and to enable advertisers to take their message to specific communities in and around Columbia. For three decades, Neighbors has been an essential source of news and information about neighbors, schools, community groups and local activities. Community news continues to be essential to The State's coverage of the Midlands, in print, online and through mobile devices. The newspaper's Metro section continues to cover news about local schools, government and civic affairs. The State newspaper also is creating a weekly, print environment for advertisers seeking ways to reach specific areas of the Midlands. The Life&Style section each Thursday will include zoned advertising opportunities similar to those previously available in Neighbors. This makes it possible to target their message in a popular, colorful section of The State.

Ryan Quinn, one of two recipients of the SCPA Foundation's Mundy Scholarship, has been named news editor of The Daily Gamecock at USC. Quinn is a senior studying journalism and political science. During his college career, he has served as both assistant editor and editor of the "Viewpoints" opinion section.
The Mundy Scholarship is given in memory of R. Frank Mundy, the late publisher of the Index-Journal in Greenwood and the first president of the SCPA Foundation.  It is a $3,000 yearly scholarship to help students pursuing newspaper careers.
Scholarships and internships are provided from contributions from S.C. newspapers and interested individuals. If you'd like to make a gift to the Foundation, contact Jen Madden at SCPA.

Subscriptions to The Post and Courier Kindle app can be purchased through Amazon. As with all newspapers on the Kindle eReader, there are no ads and limited graphics. Kindle subscriptions can be purchased for $8.99 per month.
Free mobile apps for The Post and Courier also are available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android operating systems. Visit the newspaper's mobile site at

Survey: People want more government transparency, traditional media less likely to sue to get it
While a lack of resources have made news organizations increasingly less inclined to file freedom of information lawsuits, citizens have a growing interest in government transparency and are becoming more active in asserting their right to government information.
The rise of citizen interest and the decline of newsroom aggressiveness are among the findings of an informal open government status study by the Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) and the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC).
Highlighting a trend identified in an earlier assessment, the companion surveys by the two groups show that news organizations, hampered primarily by a lack of resources, are increasingly less inclined to bring lawsuits to enforce compliance under state and federal freedom of information laws.

Filming police in public is protected by the First Amendment
The right to film police in the performance of their public duties in a public space is a "basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment," a federal appellate court held last week, marking a major victory in a time when arrests for such activities have been on the rise.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston (1st Cir.) ruled on Friday that three Boston police officers are not immune from liability for arresting a man who, believing the officers were using excessive force to arrest a young man on the Boston Common, recorded the October 2007 scene on his cell phone. The officers arrested the spectator, Simon Glik, confiscated his cell phone and a computer flash drive and charged him with violation of the Massachusetts wiretap statute, which requires the consent of all parties to record a conversation. The state Supreme Court has interpreted the statute to criminalize only secret recordings made without such consent.

industry news

9/11 tenth anniversary supplement now available
The NIE Institute has produced a 9/11 Tenth Anniversary supplement in partnership with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in NYC, the National Pentagon Memorial, the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa., and the HISTORY Channel. The supplement is free to subscribers. It may be run by NIE, your editorial department as content, or as an advertising supplement. The supplement provides an overview of the events of 9/11, a detailed Timeline with images of each moment of the events, information on each of the Memorials, and a section to help teachers, students, and readers understand what led to 9/11 including an overview of Islam, the Rise of Islamist Extremism, the Declaration of War by al Qaeda, and the Osama bin Laden worldview. A final section offers ideas for how schools and communities can commemorate 9/11.

Customized watchdog training to be held in Charlotte Sept. 14-15
Queens University and McClatchy Newspapers will host customized watchdog training in Charlotte on Sept. 14-15. This training is sponsored by McClatchy, but registration is open to all journalists.
Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. IRE will offer several core sessions that will improve your ability to find information on the Web quickly, point you to key documents that will help you produce quick-hit enterprise stories and give you tips on the best approaches when conducting interviews or developing sources.
In addition, this workshop will give you tips on how to bulletproof stories, how to deal with freedom of information laws and public records, and useful websites and strategies for using Internet tools such as wikis, blogs, robots and RSS feeds.
The cost to attend for professional journalists is $55. To register and view the schedule, click here.

Authorities investigate fire at Post and Courier outbuilding
Authorities are investigating a small fire that was burning on Aug. 20 inside a Post and Courier outbuilding.
Charleston police responded to a call about a fire in a 20-gallon trash can.
The fire was out when police arrived. Police and fire officials are investigating the cause.
It appears someone wrapped a napkin around a pencil, lit it on fire and then placed it in a trash can full of paper, said Mitzi Brown, a downtown distributor for The Post and Courier.

Postal Service tells postmasters not to sell against newspapers
The U.S. Postal Service headquarters is telling its marketing and management team to back off comments critical of newspapers as they promote the new Every Door Direct Mail advertising option. A spate of complaints from newspapers about postmasters and marketing reps who were "trashing" newspaper advertising when they introduced local businesses to the new EDDM saturation mail program led the National Newspaper Association to urgently seek a correction from USPS. Postal Service headquarters advised Max Heath, NNA Postal Committee chair, this week that a new directive has now been issued. Postal employees are being directed to position direct mail as an option to be used in addition to other media, not as a replacement.

S.C. Aviation Association journalism award announced
In an effort to advance the understanding of aviation in the state of South Carolina, the S.C. Aviation Association will provide an award to a reporter who best portrays aviation in a fair, accurate and insightful manner in either print form or broadcast form. The entry must be published or broadcast between the time of Sept. 1 of this year and Sept. 1, 2012. The deadline to enter the contest is Sept. 15, 2012. The amount of the award will be $1,000. 
For questions on the award, call SCAA headquarters at 1-877-359-7222.

Two new studies reinforce the value of newspaper media
Scarborough Research just released a new study on coupons and daily deals that reveals that the Sunday newspaper is the “category killer,” with nearly one half of all Americans getting their household coupons from the Sunday newspaper. The 2011 study also points out that 22 percent of Americans are utilizing some form of digital media to obtain coupons, ranging from e-mail to text messaging to Internet sites. Visit the Scarborough website to learn more about the study. In addition, Scarborough also released 2011 Newspaper Audience data. The latest release indicates that newspaper readership remains strong, with nearly 70 percent of all U.S. adults reading a newspaper in print or online in the past week.

Despite digital focus, print remains key
Even as newspapers' efforts to attract more digital revenues get most of the industry's attention, print continues to be the engine that drives the business. The numbers don't lie: Of the $5.5 billion in ad sales newspapers attracted in the first quarter of 2011, print ads generated more than 85% of the total, according to NAA. Although digital ad sales are in fact rising, the amount of money newspapers are bringing in from their mobile and online efforts is far too low to support their current operations.

News sites using Facebook Comments see higher quality discussion, more referrals
News organizations that have turned to Facebook to power their website comments say they are seeing a higher quality of discussion and a significant increase in referral traffic. How does Facebook Comments reduce the endemic name-calling and invective of unrestrained online forums? By tying a real name to every comment.
“Trolls don’t like their friends to know that they’re trolls,” explained Jimmy Orr, online managing editor of the Los Angeles Times. “By using Facebook, it has made a difference.”


7 steps for building an effective community management plan
By Shane Snow, Poynter Institute
The growth of social media in newsrooms has sparked the need for community managers -- people who are responsible for regularly interacting with a site's audience and executing a community growth strategy. The challenge with a new profession like community management is the lack of a template to follow when getting started. Every community is different, but the following seven steps will help you kickstart a community management plan:read

Newspaper paywalls:
Lessons learned

By Ellie Behling, emedia vitals
News sites have launched a variety of different online paywall models this year, some with more success than others. There's no one way that works for every local market, but a few best practices are emerging for any news publisher to consider before charging for digital content. In the last month, we've looked at how traffic was affected by paywalls that were launched this year, and we've also talked to several publishers that put up paywalls, including a few that managed to avoid major traffic damage and even improve revenue. What have these publishers learned that could help other sites considering paid content? read


Sept. 8: Daily Publishers' Roundtable
SCPA Offices, Columbia

Sept. 8: Webinar: Tired of Losing Money Online? Get the Facts on What E-Commerce and Paywall Strategies Work  

Sept. 9: Webinar: Making Objections Obsolete

Sept. 16: Collegiate Boot Camp
Coastal Carolina University

Sept. 20: Webinar: Lessons From the Joplin Globe Tragedy: Covering and Managing the Newsroom During a Crisis

Sept. 22: Webinar: Leading the Way, Today!

Sept. 22: Webinar: Better Newspapers by Design

Sept. 29: Webinar: Leveraging Facebook to Drive Readership

Sept. 30: Webinar: Online Sales:  We’ve Got the Butter!  

Oct. 2-8: National Newspaper Week

Oct. 7: News Contest Rules Available

Oct. 7: Webinar: Understanding The NEW Local Online Competitors

Oct. 20: Ad Basics
SCPA Offices, Columbia

Oct. 27: Design That Sells
SCPA Offices, Columbia