Two weeks left to enter SCPA News Contest!
The deadline to enter the annual News Contest is two weeks away, on Dec. 2.
Entries must be hand-delivered or shipped by 5 p.m. on Dec. 2, or postmarked by midnight on Dec. 5.
Download updated rules, entry forms and tags for your newspaper.
If you have any questions about the rules, email Jen or Bill.
Internship program places quality students in S.C. newsrooms
The S.C. Press Association Foundation internship program is a great way for students to gain meaningful experience that will make them better journalists.
The Foundation awards 10-week paid summer internships to students who want to work at a S.C. newspaper after graduation.
Each intern is paid $4,000 by the Foundation.
Last year the Foundation awarded three internships.
If you want to host an intern, now is the time to contact Bill Rogers and let him know.
Much thought goes into making sure that both the newspaper and the intern make a good fit.
The Foundation's internship and scholarship programs are supported through donations by member newspapers and interested individuals in the industry. If you'd like to support the internship program, please mail your tax-deductible holiday gift to PO Box 11429, Columbia, SC 29211.
Applications for the internship and scholarship program are being accepted through Jan. 20.
Editorial Page Editor
Anderson Independent Mail
What do you like best about your job?
Some days it’s a reader’s compliment, other days it’s a reader’s complaint that I can manage to turn around into a conversation. But I’d have to say the consistent highlight is when I get the next day’s editorial finished and move on to the next one, when I feel like I've done something that might make a difference, no matter how slight.
What would you say is your proudest moment from your career in the newspaper industry?
There are too many to pick just one. From the first byline to the next phone call to today’s editorial, I try to make every day one of which I can be proud. Of course, I’ll have to say winning the Ramsaur Award three times was a real treat -- and I’m ready to go for number four this year. But it’s probably one of those things that most people would consider a small moment in time. I had a faithful letter writer, a gentleman who came to see me my very first day at the newspaper. He died a few years ago, and I wrote an editorial about him and others like him who contribute their voices to editorial and op-ed pages. His son read that editorial at his father’s memorial service. I’m pretty sentimental, but that really touched me and made me happy to be in a position to make a son proud and recognize an average reader as an important person in the community.
How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
Like everyone else, with a mixture of trepidation and anticipation. When I wrote my first column, I typed it on an IBM Selectric typewriter and thought that was the high point in technology. After all, my “spec” story for the job interview was done on the manual typewriter my parents gave me for my 15th birthday. (I still have that typewriter, by the way.) It’s been interesting watching the way the industry has changed and progressed over the years. But I think it’s important to remember that the basics don’t change. No matter how we gather the news (or in my case, craft opinion) and get it to the people, the content has to stay true to our innate obligations: to be fair, to be factual and, as the Scripps motto says so well, to: “Give light and the people will find their own way.”
What’s your favorite SCPA member service?
Again, it’s hard to pinpoint. But I’ve always enjoyed the bulletin, both for member news and professional help, and the people at SCPA have always been more than willing to help. Oh, and I love Bill’s bowties.
Any big plans coming up?
By the time anyone sees this, I think we’ll be back from our annual trip to the “Southern Outer Banks” on the North Carolina Coast. We’ve been going to the same place, Atlantic Beach, for 25 years and it carries a lot of memories for both of us, especially for David, because he grew up near there. It’s like going home in a way. We do a lot of the same things every year -- shopping, walking the beach, eating at our favorite restaurants and visiting the aquarium and the museums -- but never get tired of the atmosphere, the history and -- let’s be honest -- the time away from work. Professionally, I just hope I have a good reason to see everyone at the spring meeting!
Citadel complies with FOIA and releases documents
At first, The Citadel refused to release documents to The Post and Courier regarding a camp counselor who has been charged with sexually abusing campers. However, last week the school reversed course and gave the newspaper documents related to a 2007 complaint involving Louis ReVille, a former cadet now charged with sexually abusing young men. An attendee at the school's summer camp accused him of inappropriate behavior while ReVille worked as a counselor.
The Citadel's president Lt. Gen. John Rosa publicly apologized for the school's handling of the complaint, and The Citadel turned over hundreds of pages of documents in response to a Freedom of Information request from the newspaper. He acknowledged that the school bungled the ReVille case, but insisted that he and Citadel officials acted in good faith and thought they were making the right decisions at the time. The right thing now is to be accountable, he said.
Rosa said Monday that the school failed to act appropriately on a complaint of sexual misconduct: "We are sorry we didn't pursue it more."
Gov. Haley seldom uses state-issued cellphone
The State reported that a review of Gov. Nikki Haley's use of her state-issued cellphone raises questions about whether she is using public communications to do state business or communications that the public cannot scrutinize. According to a review of public records provided to The State by Haley's office, Haley's state-issued cellphone has been used 197 times over nine billing cycles - an average of about one call a day. That total includes eight calls to check her voicemail. Haley ran on a platform of government transparency, promising to bring a new level of accountability and openness to state government. The public and media, under the state's open records laws, can access the phone logs of the state-issued cellphones given to Haley and other public officials to see who their elected officials are speaking with and when.Most of the calls were to or from other S.C. numbers, including a handful of calls that Haley made while was she was in France for the Paris Air Show. Most of the calls are to Haley staff members. Others are to elected officials, including Attorney General Alan Wilson and Adjutant General Bob Livingston, both Republicans; House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham, R-Lexington; and Department of Commerce officials. In its busiest phone-usage period, Haley's phone was used 54 times from March 29 to April 28. In the slowest period, the phone was used seven times for the July/August billing cycle.
P&C tells readers Facebook link a must to comment
Starting earlier this week, The Post and Courier's website made a major change in how readers comment on stories. Users of postandcourier.com who want to comment on a story now need to log in using Facebook Connect. The objective is to eliminate anonymous comments and thus help ensure both greater accountability and more civil discourse. All users that want to make comments must have a Facebook account to participate in the online conversation.
"What we're after here is more civility," said Tom Clifford, Executive News Director at the newspaper. "This isn't about censorship. We embrace a lively dialogue. It's a valuable part of the website. But what we do not embrace are the crass, vulgar, sometimes hateful comments of people who hide behind the veil of anonymity to spew bile. Lifting the veil will, hopefully, tone down the vitriol."
Facebook is not a foolproof method of guaranteeing that real names will be used, or that nasty comments will stop. The Post and Courier will continue to offer the "Report Abuse" functionality that allows the community to police itself. Also, as before, editors will review these reports and handle serial abusers accordingly.
In coming months, The Post and Courier plans to allow readers to use their LinkedIn accounts to sign-in or comment.
USC to receive Reynolds visiting business journalism professor from Wall Street Journal
The University of South Carolina is one of four schools to host a business journalism professor this spring through the inaugural Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professors program, financed by a $1.67 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
Rob Wells will be the University of South Carolina visiting professor. Wells is deputy bureau chief for Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal in Washington, and previously worked for Bloomberg News and The Associated Press.
The professorships will enable students at the four universities to get valuable training in a specialized and increasingly critical area of journalism.
Besides teaching courses in business journalism, visiting professors will help establish partnerships with local media and contribute to BusinessJournalism.org, the Reynolds Center’s site to help journalists cover business better. The program also includes funding for student internships and guest lectures by professional business journalists.
Times and Democrat wins top Lee award
"Slammin' and Jammin'," The Times and Democrat's three-week-long basketball dunking contest in which more than 20,000 votes were cast at TheTandD.com earlier this year, has earned a 2011 President's Award for innovation.
Presented by Lee Enterprises, parent company of The Times and Democrat and 47 other daily newspapers, the President's Awards recognize outstanding journalism in categories including innovation, news, exceptional achievement and spirit.
"Slammin and Jammin" was an interactive video contest that engaged local high schools to showcase their best basketball slam dunks and team spirit. According to the Lee award announcement, "The contest attracted enthusiastic audiences and advertisers. Cited for special recognition are Emery Glover, Brian Linder, Thomas Grant and Larry Hardy."
In her nomination letter written earlier, Publisher Cathy Hughes stated, "All in all, it was a successful contest on all fronts: innovation, scope, use of multimedia, impact, effectiveness, revenue and the ability to share throughout Lee. Best of all it was developed in Orangeburg, S.C., by a three-man sports department plus one photographer."
Romenesko resigns after 12 years at Poynter
Jim Romenesko, the media blogger, resigned from the Poynter Institute last week after his boss, Julie Moos, published an article detailing his occasional failure to indicate that the language he was using to summarize the stories he linked to was, in fact, taken verbatim from the stories themselves. Over the weekend, Poynter changed the name of its main media news blog from Romenesko to The MediaWire. According to Romenesko's Twitterfeed, his new media blog, jimromenesko.com, will be live soon.
Newspapers show Sunday readership increases
One underreported story of the contemporary newspaper industry is the success that many newspapers are experiencing from targeted efforts to grow Sunday circulation. More consumers are recognizing the value of their Sunday products through relevant content, special promotions and community events that boost brand awareness, resulting in increased Sunday home delivery and single-copy sales.
For many papers, Sunday is the most profitable day of the week, given heavy advertising spending in both display and preprint advertising to reach a broad, local audience. In addition to the traditional Sunday print edition, newspaper publishers are launching free opt-in products to nonsubscriber audience segments highly valued by advertisers.
National newspaper reader survey results
find newspapers are delivering customers
Pulse Research has released the results of the just concluded Third Quarter, 2011 Pulse of America readership and consumer shopping survey, with over 5,000 sample from all 50 states.
At a time when many are saying newspapers are "dying", a recent national reader survey proves otherwise. Key measures such as believability, advertising source, classified results and reader purchasing plans prove that community newspapers remain strong and viable.
When many institutions have lost respect in recent years, local newspapers remain credible with 88% of respondents stating they believe what they read in their local newspaper.
Home Depot moves from traditional inserts to digital ads
For The Home Depot, freestanding print inserts were key drivers of store traffic for many years. But with steady declines in newspaper circulation and readership, the company has shifted strategy and is moving away from FSIs and toward digital buys. According to Robyn Simburger, director, media at The Home Depot, the new strategy was put into place earlier this year, around the time the company changed media agencies.
“It’s all about reaching the right audiences with the right messages at the right time,” Simburger said. “And it’s really quite challenging,” she added. During any given week, the company is running 15 to 20 different campaigns targeting different groups, such as contractors, do-it-yourselfers, and multicultural segments as well as the general market.
Reporters Committee disturbed by detention of credentialed journalists at "Occupy" protests
The singling out of credentialed journalists in an attempt to separate them from the news events unfolding at the police disbanding of the Occupy Wall Street protests is outrageous and unacceptable, according to Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Executive Director Lucy A. Dalglish.
"It's extremely disturbing that credentialed reporters would be singled out in a roundup aimed at preventing them from witnessing police activity at the disbanding of the Occupy Wall Street camp," Dalglish said. "What country are we living in? "If it's obvious to police that these are bona fide newspeople -- they have visible press credentials and they have clearly identified themselves -- they should be allowed to cover these news events without interference," she added.
Borrell: After two years of no growth, local ad spending will spike in 2012
The local online ad marketplace has experienced two years of fairly flat revenues, but Borrell Associates says that the space is on the verge of a major rebound. The local researcher says that local digital advertising will rise 18 percent in 2012 to $18.5 billion, surpassing the traditional leader in the local ad spending, newspapers. Over the longer view, mobile advertising (including tablets) will push digital advertising to over $26 billion by 2016, the company predicts. In addition to the resurrection of the local online ad space in general, which has suffered greatly from the weak economy and the inability to fully coax small business into increasing their digital marketing budgets, traditional local media players will also experience a reawakening.
Local TV broadcasters, newspapers and radio stations already command 92 percent of all local ad spending -- including half of all local dollars spent online advertising. Aside from the economy, one of the main things that have been holding back small business from loosing the purse strings for greater online ad spendhas been traditional companies’ reliance on “upselling” their print or broadcast ads to their respective website appendages. For the most part, when marketers are upsold, they tend to divide their existing budget between online and traditional media, diluting chances for growth on both ends.
Can Twitter advertising really work for newspapers?
Remember when newspapers debated the value and merits of using Twitter? Well, there's a new question for news organizations to consider: Can newspapers use Twitter for advertising? In the last few weeks, The Hartford Courant and The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune have experimented with using Twitter as a new advertising channel. At the Courant, they've started offering twice-daily deals to local businesses -- think Groupon by tweet -- to their followers. The Times-Picayune, more controversially, used Twitter to advertise itself -- or at least its website, as the online division of its parent company, Advance Publications, paid New Orleans Saints players to tweet about the newspaper's relaunched Saints site on Nola.com.
How to get ready for 2012
It's that time of year again and you're busy working your brains out. If you have not yet come up with your 2012 plan, it's not too late. I once worked with a man who gave me a lot of latitude. "You focus on tomorrow, next week, next month," he said. "I'm going to focus on what we'll do a year from now." He was thinking well ahead and it paid off for both of us. Too many newspaper people fly by the seats of their pants. That's a mistake. We need detailed plans and specific goals. Suggestion: Close the office and go where the phone can't find you. Set four ground rules that will NOT be broken.
WYSIWYG? Well... not always
WYSIWYG. It's an acronym so commonplace that it means the same thing in almost any language... in almost any country. It's even part of the nomenclature in computer software, as in: "Turn WYSIWYG font list on." For the uninitiated, it stands for "What You See Is What You Get," and it means that what you're seeing on the screen is what you will get when the page is printed. But there's this thing called the human mind that sometimes gets in the way of us really seeing what's in front of us -- because our minds are filled with what we want to think of as knowledge. To put it another way, we're sometimes too smart for our own good.