SCPA sends objection to Spurrier's snub of print reporters
USC's ole ball coach may have a strategy behind his petulant and juvenile behavior in canceling a news conference with newspaper reporters because The State's columnist Ron Morris was there.

Or maybe Steve Spurrier just lost it.

Whatever the motive, SCPA President Bill Hawkins has sent a letter of objection to USC President Harris Pastides.

The NCAA has a phrase it uses frequently (and may use soon about USC): "Lack of Institutional Control." Well, it applies here. President Pastides needs to make it clear to his football coach that he can't treat newspaper reporters one way and broadcast reporters another.

Where does Spurrier get off taking TV reporters into another room for interviews leaving the print reporters to cool their heels in a room. Then coming back, and seeing Morris, walking out again.

We'll see if this is an ongoing problem, because it certainly could be if Spurrier continues this behavior in future press conferences.

USC fans may not agree with Morris all the time, but he has made some good points about Spurrier and the USC football program in his columns. His job is not to be a cheerleader for the university. (Spurrier called him a "negative guy" at his aborted press conference.)

The ball is in Pastides' court. He needs to rein in his thin-skinned coach.

Are we seeing a trend here? First Nikki Haley calls an award-winning reporter a "little girl." Now Spurrier attacks a reporter. In both cases, reporters were inserted into the news where they didn't want to be and the focus was shifted.

Draconian cuts in mail processing plants will slow delivery of newspapers
By Max Heath, NNA
The Postal Service, reacting to worsening finances, and perhaps to get the attention of Congress on its need for legitimate relief, announced plans Sept. 15 to study closing more than half of its mail-processing facilities around the country.

As explained by Vice President Network Operations Dave Williams, the existing network was expanded over time primarily to serve growing First-Class volume. With that class in sharp decline, the network must be reconfigured. Therefore, the sad reality is that because First-Class Mail is declining, USPS thinks that it must make plant changes that will, in effect, ensure that other volumes face the same fate.

Although proposals on service standards would end overnight First-Class delivery, and on paper, only change Periodicals standards nationwide from one to nine days to two to nine days, make no mistake: Service will decline for Periodicals and other classes of mail not entered at the office of delivery. USPS is effectively becoming a last-mile delivery agent only. Otherwise, it will not be a reliable “delivery partner.”

The proposed plant reduction can only be termed Draconian, and it holds special significance for community newspapers, which enter their mail mostly in or near small Sectional Center Facilities. Then it flows from those SCFs to many other ZIPs within the news coverage territory, or trade area where advertising is most effective. read

Am I reading that correctly?
Thanks to the Iowa Press Association for sharing these headlines that slipped by the editor's desk:

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Miners Refuse to Work after Death Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
War Dims Hope for Peace Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Longtime Post and Courier crime reporter Andy Paras has been named social media coordinator for the newspaper. In his new position he will oversee and coordinate the newspaper's social media initiatives to increase the paper's presence and reach for news, advertising and marketing. Paras is also responsible for training staff, researching new trends and studying analytics. He studied journalism at Ball State University and was recently voted "Best Local Twitter feed" by residents of Charleston.

Last month, Item staff writer Nick McCormac participated in the 2011 Military-Journalist experience at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. McCormac, who covers Shaw Air Force Base, was selected as one of 18 journalists from around the country to participate in the weeklong experience, where he networked with military officials to better understand how the military operates, and how to improve the relationship between the media and the military.

Less than a month after taking his second medical leave in two years, Craig Dubow has resigned as Gannett's CEO and chairman, the company said in a statement. With this news, Gracia Martore, president and COO, who has been serving as principal executive officer while Dubow was on medical leave, has been chosen to replace him permanently and joined Gannett's Board of Directors.

industry news

Papers asked to run promo ads through the fall
Although National Newspaper Week is over, we have a series of great promotional ads for your newspaper and our industry.  Please consider running these ads throughout the fall.  We as an industry need to tell our story on an ongoing basis... not just via a one hitter. Access the ads, which are quarter page and available in B&W or color.

Television advertising in 2012 election could top $3 billion
The Chicago Tribune reported earlier this month that candidates, party committees and outside groups combined could spend as much as $3.2 billion on TV advertising in the 2012 election. That estimate comes from Ken Goldstein, president of Campaign Media Analysis Group, a firm that tracks and analyzes political advertising. To put those numbers in perspective, about $2.1 billion was spent on television advertising in 2008, up 30% from the previous presidential cycle in 2004. The 2010 midterm saw $2.4 billion in TV ad spending, up 30% from 2006. Goldstein expects TV ad spending to exceed 2010 levels, but doesn’t see it increasing as drastically as in previous years. The “$3.1 billion to $3.2 billion is the most that would be spent,” he said, noting it could be as low as $2.5 billion. Despite the growing popularity of Internet advertising, TV will continue to dominate the political ad market because “it’s still the only way to reach passive voters,” Goldstein said.

Morris Communications merges print and online divisions during digital-first transition
Morris Publishing Group is absorbing the company's once-independent digital division, Morris DigitalWorks. The move comes as the newspaper company makes a "digital first" transition and wants its digital audience and sales experts to be part of the core company, Executive Vice President Derek May writes. Morris digital strategist Steve Yelvington welcomed the transition in a blog post: "The old battles are over and we've won. We're digital-first. It's time to turn the page. Instead of being part of a specialized, separate 'Internet division' pushing for change in the newspaper division, we'll be in the publishing group, pushing to change ourselves." One of Yelvington's first projects is to form an R&D innovation team "consisting of smart people at our 'formerly known as newspapers' business units," who will "devote a percentage of their time to designing, prototyping and real-world testing."

Media Law in the digital age conference: The rules are changing. Have you?
The Media Law in the Digital Age Conference is a must attend for anyone who publishes online content or works in digital media. It will be held at Kennesaw State University (outside of Atlanta) on Oct. 22. The rules in digital media law are constantly changing. The best way to protect your organization -- and yourself is to know what the rules are today. Experts in the fields of law, digital media, internet security, journalism and academia will lead panel sessions in an intensive day-long conference where attendees will get key take-aways. The cost to attend is $69 and you can view the full schedule and register here.

Press+ offers pay-wall service to college papers
RR Donnelley is extending its Press+ pay-wall service to college newspapers looking to set up an online subscription or collect donations from nonstudent readers. Donnelley, whose Press+ is used by metropolitan newspapers such as The Sun of Baltimore, said the service can provide students real-world experience in monetization.

Where do you get your news?
When it comes to a free press, Americans seem - more than ever - to be of at least two minds.
In several surveys, a majority of us say the press is biased, often inaccurate and too likely to be influenced by powerful people or groups -- except for the news sources we use the most, trust the most and turn to most often for essential news. Logic tells us we can’t have it both ways. But the good news -- thanks to the First Amendment, a diverse traditional press and growing cable and online news outlets -- is that in a practical sense, we can. Surveys, most notably reports by two Pew Research Center projects, set out the numbers behind the conflicting views.
A worrisome 66% of Americans say that “in general” news organizations report facts incorrectly, according to a just-released survey by Pew’s Center for People and the Press. But 62% of those surveyed defend the accuracy of news operations they use most.
Then there are 69% of us who say we have “a lot or some” trust in local news outlets. That’s 10 percentage points higher than those who say they trust national news sources.

Newspaper starts online radio station
The Choctaw Sun-Advocate in southwest Alabama has started on online radio station that has been so successful so quickly that advertising sales have already paid for the equipment, uploading expenses and licensing fees, Publisher Tommy Campbell told AlaPressa, the monthly newsletter of the Alabama Press Association.
"We've already sold more than $6,000 in ads and sponsor fees," Campbell said in late August, about a week after the launch. The station plays classic rock from the 5,000 songs Campbell has downloaded from iTunes, and it plays a variety of Christian music and church programming on Sundays. It also features local and state news and weather, calendar of events, online classified ads, public affairs programming, local obituaries and warnings of severe weather.
"I definitely think it's something that smaller papers could benefit from," Campbell told AlaPressa.

columns

Spurrier's rant can't mask problems
Hard to say if it was the most bizarre day in University of South Carolina football history. I've only been around the program for a quarter-century. Taking stock of the two primary developments Tuesday:
-- The Gamecocks lost a quarterback.
-- Head coach Steve Spurrier might be losing his marbles.
It's hilarious when a head coach gets ticked off enough to become must-see YouTube, unless he represents your favorite team or the largest institution of higher learning in your home state. Or unless he is acting. It's constructive to roughly dissect the timeline of South Carolina's odd start to Mississippi State week. A little after noon, Spurrier entered his weekly news conference at Williams-Brice Stadium and, without taking a seat, said he no longer will take questions in the presence of Ron Morris, a columnist for The State newspaper whom Spurrier accused of inaccurate reporting in a story that included a reference to basketball point guard Bruce Ellington joining the football team. Uh, yeah.
read

Why journalists should use multiple browsers
How many browsers do you have on your desktop? How many do you use? If either answer is just one or two, you may be missing some tools that can help you as a journalist. Unfortunately, I still often hear in newsrooms or from my former students now in the field that their IT folks have restricted them to one - usually Internet Explorer - or maybe two browsers. I regularly use three - Firefox, SeaMonkey and Safari - as well as Chrome and Opera as needed on a PC or Mac. I use Internet Explorer only when an online form or Web page won't function correctly otherwise. There are dozens of browsers. read

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Oct. 20: Ad Basics Workshop
SCPA Offices, Columbia

Oct. 27: Design That Sells Workshop
SCPA Offices, Columbia

Nov. 3: SCPA Government Affairs Committee
SCPA Offices, Columbia

Nov. 4: Media & Military Workshop
Ft. Jackson, Columbia

Nov. 9: Save your organization time and money by utilizing InDesign's lesser known features
SCPA Offices, Columbia

Nov. 11: Webinar: Anatomy of a Sales Call

Dec. 2: News Contest Deadline

Dec. 9: Hall of Fame Nomination Deadline

Jan. 20, 2012: Scholarship & Internship Deadline


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