News Contest deadline is one week away
The deadline to enter the annual SCPA News Contest is NEXT Friday, Dec. 7. This is also the deadline for the Associate and Individual Member Contest.
Entries must be hand-delivered or shipped by 5 p.m. on Dec. 7, or postmarked by midnight on Dec. 7.
Folks that hand-deliver entries can enjoy a hot holiday beverage and cookies with SCPA staffers.
Download rules, entry forms and tags here.
If you have any questions about the rules or how to submit your entries, please email Jen or Bill or call SCPA at (803) 750-9561.
We can't wait to
see what you enter!
Hall of Fame nominations due Dec. 7
SCPA is seeking nominees for the S.C. Journalism Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame was established in 1973 to recognize and honor men and women who have excelled in their craft and made significant contributions to journalism and their communities.
More than 70 newspaper journalists -- from Colonial and Civil War days to the present -- have been chosen by their peers for recognition.
The requirements for nomination state that the nominee must have made his or her journalistic reputation in South Carolina. If the reputation includes achievements outside of the state, then the nominee must be a native of South Carolina. The nominees must have been deceased for four or more years.
Last year's inductees included Peter Manigault, Bob Perry and Benjamin F. Perry.
For more information on the nominations,click here.
SCPA files amicus brief in Supreme Court case over FOIA v. First Amendment
The S.C. Press Association, joined by the S.C. Broadcasters Association, has filed an amicus brief in an appeal regarding a case pitting the First Amendment v. the Freedom of Information Act.
The case involves Charleston resident Rocky Disabato, or "Rocky D, " who is suing the S.C. Association of School Administrators (SCASA) seeking access to its internal records, including telephone records.
The association is subject to the FOIA because it gets broad support from taxpayer dollars as many of its members – school administrators – pay their dues with money from their school districts’ coffers, Disabato's attorney Kevin Hall said.
John Reagle, the attorney representing the association, acknowledged that technically the group is a public body, but he said it is a nonprofit corporation set up to be an advocacy group for public education issues in South Carolina. He urged the court to find that the FOIA can’t be applied to any private, issue-oriented advocacy organization. As a private group, the association has First Amendment rights of freedom of speech – which means it needs to be able to formulate policies in private without intrusive public scrutiny, Reagle argued.
The case is in the Supreme Court because Disabato's lawyers appealed directly to the S.C. Supreme Court after a circuit judge ruled in 2011 that the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to the S.C. Association of School Administrators.
SCPA Attorney Jay Bender filed the brief last week asking that the court reverse the ruling and allow the matter be remanded for a trial on the merits for the determination of whether the SCASA has violated the FOIA by refusing to allow Disabato to inspect and copy public records.
Bender wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a limitation on the political activities of an organization subsidized in part by public funds does not violate the First Amendment.
He said SCASA could accomplish its goal of sheltering its activities from public scrutiny simply by forming a second organization supported entirely by private funds to engage in political activities.
"It seems clear beyond doubt that the public policy of South Carolina is to condition the receipt of public funds on the recipient's obligation to be subjected to the public scrutiny protected by the FOIA. The imposition of this condition on [the SCASA] and others in no way restricts the right of [the SCASA] or its members to associate with like-minded persons or engage in political activity so long as those associations and activities are undertaken through privately-funded entities.
If [the SCASA] wishes to avoid the disclosure requirements of the FOIA, all it is required to do is forego public funding or obtain private funding sources for the activities it wishes to keep confidential. But on the other hand, if [the SCASA] wishes to continue as a public body by its receipt or expenditure of public funds, it will remain subject to the FOIA. [The SCASA] and its members return fully their vital rights to associate and engage in political activity free from governmental abridgement so long as the associations and political activity are undertaken independently of any public subsidy or the expenditure of public funds."
S.C. panel hears ethics-reform ideas
By Andrew Shain, The State
South Carolina needs independent groups resolving open-records disputes and investigating ethics complaints against lawmakers, an ethics-reform commission appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley was told at a sparsely attended public hearing earlier this week.
SCPA Attorney Jay Bender advocated for better ways to enforce the state’s open-records law.
Bender told the S.C. Commission on Ethics Reform that the state’s existing law is good, but that the media and public need a faster way to resolve disputes than going through the courts, which can take years and cost thousands of dollars. About 20 lawsuits are filed over state Freedom of Information Act battles each year. (Click here to read Bender's full remark.)
“We have a culture that is willing to accept governmental secrecy,” Bender said.
Commission co-chairman Henry McMaster, a former state attorney general, suggested using the administrative law courts, a quasi-judicial executive branch agency that hears contested cases with state agencies, to resolve freedom-of-information conflicts. But Bender said the law would need to be changed to allow that.
Another public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 10. After three more meetings, including hearing testimony from state agency officials, lawmakers and government watchdogs, the commission will submit a report to Haley by Jan. 28.
Editorial: Openness, not tactics, should guide officials
It’s not a crime to record cops, Supreme Court decides
The Island Packet
Newly elected Beaufort County school board member Paul Roth has gotten off on the wrong foot when it comes to public transparency, and he has offered his colleagues some bad advice.
Last week, at an informal luncheon attended by seven board members-elect, a discussion about the next school board chairman resulted in this exchange: "I think any discussions regarding the chairmanship is inappropriate in front of the press without the rest of the entire board," said Roth, who will represent District 6.
Mike Sanz of Hilton Head Island responded that the group was just having a "general discussion."
"No, it's not a general discussion, Mike," Roth said. "The press is here."
"Right, and the press should be here at all times," said Sanz, who will represent District 10.
"No, they shouldn't," Roth said.
We would argue there is very little, if anything, about public education that shouldn't be discussed openly and while notes are being taken.
Roth also cautioned his colleagues about dealing with the news media. He urged them not to "go public" before they had a chance to "consult with the team."
That's bad advice, particularly when state law lays out a goal of openness on public issues and spells out what must be done to achieve it.
Roth seems to have it backward. Private debate should be the very rare exception, not the rule, for public officials.
People who live in board members' individual districts should know what their representative thinks about issues affecting their community and their children. They should know why they vote the way they do and what led them to the conclusions they reached.
The school district isn't a private enterprise involving private investment. This is a very public undertaking, and the people footing the bill for public schools should know exactly what decision-makers are doing and why.
That means any discussion of public issues should be as open as the final votes. It's right, and it's the law.
Here's our advice to incoming school board members: Read and understand the state Freedom of Information Act before you're sworn in Jan. 2.
And when asked a question, answer honestly and openly, recognizing that your first duty is to your constituents and the children of Beaufort County, not the organization.
The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week left in place a lower court ruling that prevented Illinois from prosecuting people under its Eavesdropping Act if they recorded police officers. A federal appeals court ruled the statute “likely violates” First Amendment rights.
Alissa Groeninger sketched out the law’s peculiarities earlier this year: "In Illinois, citizens used to whipping out a cellphone and recording almost anything at any time are confronted by peculiar circumstances if they record police. People can legally record video — but not audio — of law enforcement officers on duty. Get found guilty and face a prison term of up to 15 years, though judges and juries have been reluctant to convict people charged with recording audio of police."
The ACLU was pleased with the ruling: "
The ACLU of Illinois continues to believe that in order to make the rights of free expression and petition effective, individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents – especially the police. The advent and widespread accessibility of new technologies make the recording and dissemination of pictures and sound inexpensive, efficient and easy to accomplish."
Hanson named chair of FMU Department Mass Communications
Tim Hanson has been named chair of the Department of Mass Communications at Francis Marion University.
He replaces Professor Don Stewart who passed away last year.
Hanson earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Washington University and worked as a reporter for three newspapers in the Northwest - including a five-year stint with “The Spokesman-Review” in Spokane, Wash. - before moving to Asia in 1985. After spending more than 20 years as a newspaper writer, wire service reporter, magazine editor, news bureau chief and foreign correspondent, Hanson joined the FMU faculty in 1996.
Hanson lived and worked in Asia for nearly a decade. He served as news bureau chief for “Pacific Stars & Stripes” in the Philippines and later as that paper's assistant pacific editor in Tokyo. He also was South Asia Correspondent for United Press International in New Delhi and, in Hong Kong, was managing editor of “The Reader's Digest” (Asian Edition). During his time in Asia, Hanson covered a variety of stories, including the People Power Revolution in the Philippines, the fall of Prime Minister V.P. Singh's government in India, the long-running Tamil revolt in Sri Lanka, and the Pro-Democracy Movement in Nepal.
Returning to the United States in 1994, Hanson accepted a teaching fellowship at the University of Montana's School of Journalism in Missoula where he earned his master's degree in journalism.
Hanson has received several writing and reporting awards, including one for investigative reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists. That award stemmed from a series of articles Hanson wrote about a man who had been arrested for kidnapping and armed robbery. Hanson's reporting proved that police had arrested the wrong man.
Hanson is a member of SCPA's Collegiate Committee.
NNA opposes forced ‘full-service’ mail tracking barcodes proposal
Benefits to community newspapers from the U.S. Postal Service’s proposed mandatory use of a “full-service” Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) are meager and do not justify the substantial investment in the technology, the NNA told the Postal Service recently.
USPS is considering a new requirement for the use of a full-service IMb after Jan. 2014 for newspapers that want to claim automation mail processing discounts. NNA’s Postal Committee Chair Max Heath has long questioned the value of the full-service IMb, which attaches an individual identifier to each newspaper. USPS wants these tracking codes on the mail so it can measure service and provide data back to mailers, such as address changes.
But the software and implementation can be tricky for a smaller newspaper, Heath told USPS. Much larger mailers with information technology departments have struggled with the installations and training, he said.
Community newspapers are already facing a January 2013 requirement to upgrade to a simpler IMb, which codes in certain mailer information but does not track individual mailpieces. NNA’s objection is to requiring a second upgrade, which USPS once said would be forever optional but now wishes to require for all mail.
Heath detailed the reasons for newspapers’ lack of enthusiasm for the more sophisticated IMb.
Lee Enterprises and E.W. Scripps to set up paywalls
Lee Enterprises, owner of The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg, said it will have metered paywalls in operation at “substantially” all of its 51 newspaper sites before the end of the year.
The publisher disclosed the progress it made to roll out the digital strategy as part of its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report.
For the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, Lee said it lost $7.7 million on revenues of $180.3 million. It said mobile sales more than doubled, to $2.7 million for the period, contributing to a 9.7 percent jump in digital revenues in 2012.
E.W. Scripps, owner of the Independent Mail in Anderson, plans to place paywalls across its remaining papers in 2013.
Senior Vice President Tim Stautberg told the Business Courier in Cincinnati that the rollout will be complete by year-end 2013.
NAA: Q3 ad sales drop 5%
U.S. newspapers' ad sales fell 5 percent in the third quarter of 2012, according to statistics released last week by the NAA.
The group said papers brought in $5.27 billion in ad revenues, with digital sales accounting for $758.9 million of the total. Digital sales grew 3.6 percent for the three-month period while print sales dropped 6.4 percent from the year-earlier period, to $4.5 billion.
Overall, digital sales represented a little more than 14 percent of the industry's advertising revenues.
The quarter's decrease was more moderate than the 6.4 percent drop in sales recorded in the second quarter of the year, NAA said, but is the 25th consecutive quarter in which newspapers' ad revenues have fallen.
Classified sales totaled $1.1 billion, a 4.8 percent decrease from the year-earlier quarter.
A journalist's quick primer on who uses cell phones (and how)
By Kevin Loker, Media Bistro
A big push in journalism right now? Mobile. An important piece of information for knowing how to make a good journalism strategy for mobile? How people actually use mobile. There are many types of "mobile" out there, of course (mobile phones, yes, but also an increasing amount of tablets and the like). But the Pew Internet and American Life project just compiled much of its research on cell phone usage and demographic statistics into one handy location. And because the cell phone is still the major mobile device, I thought it might prove helpful to highlight some significant stats as they relate to journalism strategy. Many of these stats may at first seem most helpful to those dabbling in the business of journalism, but knowing them could also benefit to the savvy journalist. Some stats may be promising for your strategy; some may be a reality check. In any case, "knowing your audience" (and source) is always important, as we have blogged about heavily as of late. The connected world is not quite flat. It's worthwhile to have a baseline of probability for content success or finding the right social voices in a pinch. Here's a quick primer for how the mobile phone world looks as we approach the end of 2012, along with some brief thoughts on where that knowledge may be useful.
By Matt Straz, Online Spin
Agencies, ad tech firms, and start-ups tend to be staffed by younger people. The hours are long, the problems are complex and the technology is constantly changing. As a result, high growth companies are now mostly comprised of Millennials, the massive generation of Americans born after the year 1980.
I sometimes hear my fellow Gen-X managers complaining about this younger generation. They feel that Millennials, after years of schooling and parents who doted on them, have an outsize sense of entitlement. This is in contrast to the broken homes and harder path that many Gen-Xers experienced.
But after getting to know the Millennials, I’ve come to appreciate their unique qualities. Sure, they can be self-absorbed at times. But they also work great in groups, are open-minded and respectful of others. Here’s how they’re different, and how I have responded as a manager.
Morning News columnist Dwight Dana mourned after tragic death
James Dwight Dana, age 67, died tragically along with his son, Radisson, in a house fire on Nov. 25, in Darlington.
Dwight was born on August 23, 1945, in Darlington, son of the late Richard and Madge Dawkins Dana. He received his BA in Journalism from the University of South Carolina, where he was in the Chi Psi Fraternity, and worked for the News and Press, The State, Coker College, Hartsville Messenger and the Morning News.
An avid reader, Dwight was known to have a flair for writing and enjoyed penning humorous columns. He held a special place in his heart for animals and enjoyed listening to the music that played on his home jukebox.
Mr. Dana was very involved in St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Darlington where he served as a former Vestry member and was in charge of the Usher list. He was a former member of the Darlington Kiwanis and the Hartsville Rotary Clubs and a current member of the Darlington Men's Club.
He is survived by his former wife, Paula Fleming Dana of Darlington, a son, Robert Brenton Dana of Hartsville, and a sister, Bonnie Clair Dana of Hartsville and numerous friends and colleagues. He was preceded in death by two of his triplet sons, Richard Payson Dana and James Radisson Dana.
Memorials may be made to St. Matthews Episcopal Church, 210 South Main Street or the Darlington County Humane Society, PO Box 1655, Hartsville, SC 29550. A guestbook is available online.
More from the Morning News:
- Dwight Dana our friend, our inspiration
- A collection of memories
- ‘Who’ll tell the stories’ now that Dana is gone?
- The unique, clever, unpretentious Dwight Dana
Dec. 5: Webinar: Mobilize your classifieds
Dec. 6: Daily Publishers' Roundtable, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Dec. 7: News Contest Deadline; Rules, tags and forms available here
Dec. 7: S.C. Journalism Hall of Fame Nomination Deadline
Dec. 7: Webinar: Will Paywalls Kill Newspapers' Web Advertising?
Dec. 21: Collegiate Contest Deadline' Rules, tags and forms available here
Jan. 3, 2013: Legislative Workshop for the Media, More details coming soon!
Jan. 11: Weekly Publishers' Roundtable, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Jan. 18: SCPA Foundation Internship and Scholarship application deadline
March 22-24, 2013: SCPA Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation, The Westin Poinsett Hotel, Greenville