Mortgage foreclosure notices back on track
Almost every paper in South Carolina, and especially the non-daily papers, publishes notices relating to actions brought to foreclose on home mortgages. The publication of such notices is a legal requirement in the foreclosure litigation and a source of revenue for newspapers.
Then there was a bump in the road and the notice advertising went away.
The short answer is that the national foreclosure crisis caught up with and clogged up the South Carolina court system. Chief Justice Jean Toal of the Supreme Court of South Carolina responded on May 2, 2011, by issuing an administrative order stopping foreclosure actions until attorneys for the lenders could certify with respect to owner-occupied dwellings that the borrower had been given notice of an opportunity to seek a settlement of the foreclosure action by loan modification "or other loss mitigation efforts."
For foreclosure actions pending on May 9, 2011, attorneys for the lenders were required to serve on the borrowers and file with the court a notice of foreclosure intervention. No foreclosure hearing could then be held until the lender's attorney certified that notice had been given to the borrower and the borrower had been given an opportunity to submit information in support of loan modification.
2011 News Contest Rules now available
It's contest time again!
We may have tight budgets and short staffs, but we still have some outstanding journalism being done in South Carolina. Please recognize the fine work being done at your paper by entering this year's SCPA News Contest.
We've added a new contest on the best single editorial in support of the FOIA or open government. This was suggested by the FOI Committee and approved by the Contest Committee, and it is certainly a worthy addition. We've also added a number of online contests to reflect changes in our industry... from best Twitter feed and Facebook page to an expansion of our online video contests and a contest for best affiliated website. We hope you'll take advantage of these new contests. We've also added a faith reporting beat contest and a category for single page one design.
Because the photography submission revisions last year went so well, we'll continue to accept only JPGs for photo entries (including Photojournalist of the Year and Series of Photos).
All online contests will now be submitted digitally, too. For online contests, you'll just need to copy and paste your URL into the appropriate tag and upload to the FTP or save to a disk.
The rules, fillable entry tags for writing and design contests, digital tags for new contests, auto-calculating Master Entry forms, arrows and more can be found on the SCPA Contest site. Bill and Jen will also blog updates, questions and answers and more throughout the contest season.
Dec. 2 will be here before you know it, so get an early start!
Special thanks to the Contest Committee for their hard work in revising the 2011 Rules.
What do you like best about your job?
Meeting and interacting with the people of Cherokee County.
What is your biggest challenge and how are you facing it?
Declining revenue: We are cutting expenses no matter how small and trying new, creative ideas to generate income.
What's the best part of working in the newspaper industry?
provides a sense of doing something meaningful for my community.
What's your favorite SCPA member service?
Any big plans coming up?
Expecting my first grandchild in November.
Editor pushes for open government
Recently, Horry County began an internal investigation of the Horry County Police Department based upon anonymous allegations of misconduct. Michael Smith, editor of the Carolina Forest Chronicle in Myrtle Beach, spoke during the public input part of the county council meeting imploring council to discuss the investigation's conclusions in open session. See Michael's testimony to the council in which he also presents FOI Guides to them (on video clock 00:03:00-00:06:00). Smith's publisher, Steve Robertson, said that to his surprise, the council agreed to hear the findings in open session. "Here's a good example of how journalists can be proactive in keeping meetings open," Robertson said.
|SCPA welcomes new members
The Executive Committee of the S.C. Press Association recently voted to accept the following new members. Please join SCPA in welcoming:
- Beasley Allen Law Firm, Montgomery, Ala. as an Associate Member
- Patricia O'Connor of Coastal Carolina University as an Individual Member
Jim Fair of Greer as an Individual Member
The Times and Democrat celebrates 130 years
The Orangeburg-based daily newspaper, The Times & Democrat, marked its 130th anniversary in late September.
"Newspapers are successful and go on as long as they do because they are closely linked with their community," said Bill Rogers, S.C. Press Association executive director. "The Times and Democrat started right after the Reconstruction Era ... and continues to be one of the leading papers of its size in the state." Rogers credits The T&D's longevity to its ability to meet a need and niche in providing local news readers cannot receive elsewhere.
SCNN redesigns logo
The South Carolina Newspaper Network has redesigned its logo. SCNN, the advertising division of the S.C. Press Association, offers busy advertisers “One Order, One Payment” ad placement throughout South Carolina and across the nation. SCNN is also redesigning its website, which will debut later this fall.
Anderson daily turns 30
The Anderson Independent Mail recently celebrated 30 years of publication.
“Everything has changed,” said Susan Campbell, executive administrative assistant, who has worked directly for each of the publishers of the Independent Mail. “All of it: the technology, the people have changed, the way we do business -- everything. But we’re still going and we’re still getting better at it.”
Campbell has worked for the paper for 46 years, longer than the Independent Mail has been around, because she was with the Anderson Independent and the Anderson Daily Mail when the two merged to put out the first Anderson Independent Mail on Sept. 30, 1981.
For Executive Editor John Huff Jr., the 30-year-old name says it all.
“The name of a newspaper, like the newspaper itself, becomes synonymous over generations with the identity of a community,” he said. “You couldn’t pick a better identity for Anderson than ‘Independent.’ Proud community. Proud newspaper. Good match.”
Brandt to serve second SNPA term
The Southern Newspaper Publishers Association recently announced that Steven R. Brandt, president and publisher of The Greenville News, will serve a second term as chairman of the Board of Directors.
Free military workshop to be held at Ft. Jackson on Nov. 4
The School of Journalism & Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, SCPA, the S.C. National Guard Office of Public Affairs and the U.S. Army will host a full-day interactive training event on reporting on the military on Friday, Nov. 4, at Fort Jackson in Columbia. This is a unique opportunity to meet and network with senior military commanders and public affairs officers and improve your reporting skills about military affairs. Click here to view the detailed schedule of events. There is no registration fee to attend this event and lunch is provided. Sign up here. The deadline to register is Oct. 15.
AP offers World Series Style Guide
Major League Baseball’s regular season ended last week and the Associated Press Stylebook team figures it would be timely and helpful to reiterate for subscribers AP style on essential baseball terms.
“The World Series Style Guide is a brief lexicon of key baseball terms as spelled and defined by The Associated Press,” said Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn, a member of the AP Stylebook team. “We hope subscribers will find this guide useful as the Major League Baseball season reaches a high point in the playoffs and the World Series. The guide also includes some trite and confusing terms that AP writers try to avoid in baseball stories.”
MultiAd celebrates National Newspaper Week with half-off pricing
In honor of National Newspaper Week, MultiAd is offering discounted, limited-time pricing to both current and new customers for all art service products. New customers are eligible to receive half off the first half of a new subscription to CreativeOutlet.com, while current customers are eligible for half off any added services for the first half of their contracts. This offer provides newspapers the opportunity to access quality art content, including royalty-free photos, illustrations, ad templates and automotive art for a significantly reduced price. The limited time offer is available now through Oct. 14.
How newspapers can profit from tablets -- and do it without news content
What looks like a dark cloud hanging over newspaper financials might actually be the shadow of the tablet market -- a towering giant just a few moons from waking up, pounding down The Fourth Estate's door of opportunity and offering to share a $278.9 billion payload. According to Forrester Research, the U.S. tablet market is about to explode, and 82 million Americans -- one third of the online population -- are projected to own one of the devices by 2015. In concert with these numbers is the growing rate of U.S. online retail sales, which increased 12.6 percent in 2010 to reach $176.2 billion and is expected to reach $278.9 billion by 2015.
Five things journalists need to know about the new iPhone 4S and iOS 5
Apple recently announced the iPhone 4S and the new iOS 5 operating system for all its mobile devices. Among the many upgrades and changes, a handful will have a direct, immediate impact on newsgathering and news business models. The iPhone 4S looks like the version before it, but adds new hardware and software features. Prices drop for older models. While your publisher and managing editor may be able to afford the iPhone 4S for $199 or more, what about the rest of the news organization? It just got easier to furnish iPhones to the reporting staff, as the iPhone 4 starts at $99 and the iPhone 3GS is free for AT&T users (with a two-year contract commitment).
Research says newspapers are beating out other ad mediums in driving store traffic
CNW Research reports that 55 percent of car dealership visitors in the first six months of the year reveal their reason for making the trip was primarily due to a print or online newspaper ad. “(Shoppers) also said that they had pre-shopped online and through social media before considering a vehicle acquisition, but it was the dealership ad that spurred the decision to take a real-life look,” said CNW president Art Spinella.
Halloween expected to scare up $6.9 billion in consumer spending
"Thanks to creative costumes and decor for consumers of all ages, Halloween has become one of the most-anticipated holidays of the year for many people," said Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director at BigResearch. "As a non-gift holiday, even people on the strictest budget can enjoy themselves this Halloween." This year, more people plan to dress in costume, throw or attend a party and hand out candy. Spending on costumes alone is expected to exceed $2.5 billion, while spending on candy will reach $2 billion, and consumers will shell out $1.88 billion for decorations. It's good news for retailers that have suffered as some consumers remain cautious. In fact, more than one-third of consumers still say the state of the U.S. economy will impact their Halloween spending plans. Some consumers say they will make or reuse costumes, use last year's decorations and buy less candy, in order to save money.
Make the most of TV's dirty little secret
When we stopped by to see a former advertiser recently, she proudly said all her ad money was in TV. She was proud, I imagine, because her cash flow had reached a point that she could afford TV. "How's that working for you?" I asked. "I'm not sure," she said. "Do your sales people track response?" I asked. "Well, no," she said. "We're too busy taking care of our customers for that." I shook my head in amazement that any business owner would fail to track her ROI from a big TV investment. That goes on in a lot of communities, maybe yours, too.
Think outside the box
If we continue to think only of stories, we will continue to get... well... only stories. To create a package, we have to think of the package from the beginning -- and realize that the story, though it may be the heart of the package, is still only a part of the package. To really give readers something they can read more easily -- and understand more quickly -- we need to consider giving them information in the most readable and understandable form. In some isolated cases, yes, it's a story. But in most reports, it's going to be a package, a combination of elements all designed (there's that "design" word!) to give the reader better information in a better format. Perhaps a group of photos is better. Or a graphic.