Jenkinsville board faces criminal FOIA charges
By Jill Cincotta, Herald-Independent
The six members of the Jenkinsville Water Company have been issued a summons to appear in magistrate court for failure to comply with the S.C. Freedom of Information Act. The criminal charges were filed Nov. 8 by The Herald Independent newspaper against company president Gregrey Ginyard, vice president Joseph McBride, secretary/treasurer Lori Smith and board members Tim Roseborough, Aquilla O’Neal and Tangee Brice Jacobs. Jacobs is currently serving as the Fairfield County Democratic Party Chairperson.
According to Sgt. Jerrod Douglas of the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, five of the six defendants have been served a Courtesy Summons to appear in Fairfield Magistrate Court on Dec. 2. Their appearance is mandatory. (Editor's Note: This hearing has been delayed.)
According to the Summons, “The named defendants known as the Jenkinsville Water Co. Board of Directors knowingly and willfully failed to fulfill the Freedom of Information request made by The Herald Independent on Sept. 27, 2011 for public records from Jenkinsville Water Co. According to (the) opinion of the Attorney General of the State of S.C. (the) Jenkinsville Water Co. is a public body as defined by S.C. FOI 30-4-110. At the time of request, defendants were provided with a copy of the law and still willfully failed to comply with these legal requests. The facts will be proven by evidence provided under Code Section 30-4-110 of the 1976 S.C. Code of Laws as amended. This incident did occur in Fairfield County.”
County Magistrate Judge Will Pope learned this week that attorney Crosby Lewis has been asked to represent the water company. Pope said that Lewis is asking for a jury trial and an out-of county-judge to hear the complaint, which will delay the proceedings, since a date has not been set.
In September, The Herald Independent requested a copy of the water company’s 2010 external audit and several months of meeting minutes under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act.
SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers said this is the second criminal prosecution of the FOI in South Carolina. In the first, fire commissioners in Holly Springs were acquitted.
"We are optimistic about better results this time," Rogers said.
USC J-School planning curriculum updates
The School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at USC is revising its curriculum to make it easier for students to finish their degree in four years, create more flexibility in their program of studies and to better reflect changes going on in the professional field.
All students in the journalism school currently must take 126 hours of courses to receive a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and mass communication. They can major in either advertising, public relations, journalism, broadcast journalism or visual communications. For most students, a full load of courses is 15 hours per semester, thus they have to fit two additional courses into their schedule to graduate in four years.
The new curriculum reduces the number of total hours to 122 by making cuts in the general education requirements, which are non-journalism, liberal arts courses all students must take outside of the SJMC. Under the new standard all majors will be required to take a minimum of 80 general education hours versus the current 84 hours for journalism and broadcast journalism majors and 90 hours for all other majors.
Students will also have the option to chose a minor or design their own 12-hour cognate, a concentration of non-journalism courses similar to a minor. Currently students are required to chose a prescribed 18-hour minor in a non-journalism field.
Within the SJMC curriculum some of the most significant changes will happen in the journalism and broadcast journalism majors. Students will take core courses in Media and Society, Law and Ethics and Media Writing as well as a number of common courses in reporting, editing and production before splitting up into capstone programs where they will produce a cable newscast, a newspaper and various online productions delivered via the web and mobile devices.
"There's more common courses between journalism and broadcast journalism in the new curriculum," said Dr. John Besley, chair of the journalism sequence. "Even in the capstone courses where we split up into journalism and broadcast journalism there will be more collaboration and crossover than what we've done in the past. We envision a future where the broadcast and print students will be in the same newsroom and work more closely together."
Journalism majors will also have more options to take a wider range of journalism courses with three free electives and one directed elective. Currently, broadcast majors only have two free electives and journalism majors only have one.
All of the current majors will retain a heavy emphasis on media-related skills with a strong liberal arts emphasis in the first two years. The school is also considering adding a sixth major in mass communications, which will be less skills oriented and more focused on the social, historical and theoretical aspect of the mass media studies.
All of the proposed changes must first go through university approval channels, and the timetable for implementing the new curriculum is fall of 2013.
Director of Network Sales
S.C. Newspaper Network
What do you like best about your job?
Working with customers to help them select the best advertising program for the product or service they offer.
How do you view the future of the newspaper industry?
We will be around for a long time but with ever shrinking revenue unless we can deliver more customers for our advertisers.
Favorite thing about working at SCPA/SCNN:
Having a staff that within a moments notice will pitch in to help you, if you simply ask.
What profession would you have chosen if you could not have worked at SCPA/SCNN?
Engineering or Accounting
Any big plans coming up?
I am looking forward to retirement in a couple of years but currently am helping with planning a wedding for our youngest son in October 2012.
Gov. Haley not keeping e-records
The State reported last month that under a policy set by the governor’s office, only emails between the governor and the public are being saved and archived permanently.
Other emails that Haley sends or receives - including exchanges with her staff members - are being deleted.
Some say the policy violates the state’s open-records law, meant to ensure the public has access to government records. Because emails are being deleted, they are not available for the public to review.
“If you fail to retain public documents for some reasonable length of time, it’s a violation of (the law),” said SCPA Attorney Carmen Maye.
Historians and others also worry that Haley’s email-deletion policy could result in important correspondence being destroyed. Lost could be emails vital to piecing together the inner workings of Haley’s administration, providing an inside look into her dealings with other leaders, and determining how important economic development deals and other state business has been conducted.
Haley’s office also stands by its email-deletion policy, saying all important correspondence is kept as is required by the state’s open-records law and its record-retention rules. Internal emails are not considered worthy of retention.
Staffers say Haley rarely, if ever, uses email to conduct state business, making the retention of all emails pointless. Instead, Haley relies on the phone and face-to-face meetings, they say.
“Even if for the sake of argument (deleting the emails) is completely acceptable under the (retention) law, that’s ludicrous for an office to do so,” Maye said. “They’re public records.”
Hal Welch, The (Seneca) Journal’s new marketing director, brings to his job years of newspaper experience and a wealth of knowledge about the importance of community journalism.
Born and raised in Macon, Ga., Welch moved to New Smyrna Beach, Fla., in 2000 where he began his newspaper career with the Daytona Beach News Journal. Before joining The Journal, he also worked in Athens and Valdosta, Ga., and Walterboro.
He has sold display advertising, served as both a classified and retail advertising manager, advertising director, general manager and publisher.
Welch and his wife, Amy, have been married 12 years.
The couple has three children, Maddie, 7, Chloe, 5, and Logan, 2.
Bernie Heller, The State's new VP Advertising, has close to 25 years of experience working in sales, marketing and advertising. He began his newspaper career in New Jersey at SJ Newspapers and The Star-Ledger in the early '90s before relocating to Dallas in late 2003.
He worked with The Dallas Morning News for close to four years overseeing national and major retail sales and working his way up to VP Advertising. After leaving The Dallas Morning News, he joined Tribune Media Net as Director of Regional Sales, working with Tribune Company's media properties including The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday. From 2009 to mid 2011 he worked in a business/new product development role with a number of interactive organizations including the Dallas-based e-Miles and Virginia-based Bulletin News Network. Heller relocated to Columbia in June 2011 to work with The State Media Company as Director of Classified Advertising. In September, he was named VP Advertising.
SCPA Associate/Individual Member the S.C. United Methodist Advocate
won 12 writing and general excellence awards from the United Methodist
Association of Communicators.
UMAC gathered Oct. 18-21 in Albuquerque to honor more than 40
individual communicators across the globe with awards of excellence
and certificates of merit for their work in digital and print
production, writing, photography, graphic design and public relations.
Nine best-of-class awards recognized the top entries. The Advocate won the Best in Class writing award (Donn Doten Award)
for Editor Jessica Connor’s article “Spirit Singers,” which ran in
Visit www.advocatesc.org to read the winning articles.
Cheryl Sexton of Seneca has been hired as a sales representative at The Journal. She brings 25 years of marketing experience to her new position.
Sexton is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, who moved to Seneca with her husband, John, six years ago. The couple has two grown children and three grandchildren.
Former Myrtle Beach Herald publisher Debbie Harwell has completed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for Congress in South Carolina’s new 7th District. Harwell owns a government and public relations firm working on publically-funded projects within the Pee Dee. Some projects have included the Myrtle Beach International Airport, the Myrtle Beach General Aviation Terminal, the Aircraft, Rescue, Firefighting Facility at MYR, I-73 Northern sections in Bennettsville, S.C. and Hamlet, N.C., I-73 Southern section in Marion and Dillon counties, the expansion of Carolina Bays Parkway, the Aynor overpass and other projects for Economic Development, Horry- Georgetown Tech and Coastal Carolina University.
For years, she also was the co-host of WRNN’s Talk Radio Show, “Steve, Debbie & Dave,” expounding conservative viewpoints and common sense approaches on political and other issues. She was also the founder and publisher of the Myrtle Beach Herald newspaper and the Myrtle Beach Business Journal.
NNA Survey: Readers prefer community newspapers for local news and information
Readers in areas served by community newspapers continue to prefer the community newspaper as their sources of local news and advertising. The 2011 results of an annual survey conducted by the National Newspaper Association and the research arm of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism show that 74 percent of people in communities served by a newspaper with circulations under 15,000 read a local newspaper each week.
The survey, in its sixth year, shows consistent trends.
Readers prefer the printed copy to the online version, with 48 percent saying they never read the local news online. They prefer to receive advertising through the newspaper (51%) instead of on the Internet (11%). And only about a quarter of respondents said they had found local news through a mobile device in the past 30 days. Slightly more (38%) said they had received local shopping information by mobile device.
They also have a strong preference for government accountability through newspaper public notice, with 80 percent saying the government should be required to publish notices in the newspaper.
Press Credentials for SCADA All-Star Football Game
The SCADA North-South All-Star Football Game will be played on Dec. 10 at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium next to Myrtle Beach High School. Kickoff is 12:30 p.m.
Barry Byers, Sports Director of The Herald, is media director for the game.
If you need credentials, let Barry know the names of journalists from your newspaper who will attend.
Photographers only will be allowed on the sideline during the game because press box space is limited.
Also, if you would like to speak with any of the players, call Barry and he will set up the interview.
Barry can be reached at (803) 372-3359.
After losing court battle, RDU introduces newspaper racks
The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported that after losing a six-year First Amendment fight and paying more than $900,000 in legal bills, Raleigh-Durham International Airport this month introduced a new, old-fashioned customer amenity to the passenger concourse: coin-operated newspaper vending boxes.
Travelers now can buy local and national newspapers from six spots in the airport.
RDU Authority was sued in 2004 after airport officials said they would allow travelers to buy papers only in airport shops, which sometimes were closed when early flights departed or late ones arrived. A U.S. District Judge ruled in 2008 that the news rack ban violated the newspapers' First Amendment right to disseminate the news. RDU was unsuccessful in its appeal of Boyle's ruling and of his order that the publicly owned airport reimburse the newspapers for their legal bills. The airport authority dropped its appeal last year and repaid the newspapers' $450,000 legal costs, after paying its own lawyers $503,000.
Poll: Virginians wants notices in newspapers
Virginians overwhelmingly think it is important for government bodies to place public notices in newspapers, according to a new survey that will be used against attempts in the General Assembly to change public-notice requirements. The public notices are formal announcements about government actions such as scheduled public hearings, proposed zoning changes, and requests for proposals that must be publicized as paid advertisements in newspapers. The survey of 500 Virginians indicated that most support the requirement that government actions or proposals be publicized. It also indicated most people would read public notices less frequently and with less trust if they appeared on government websites, rather than in general circulation newspapers. The survey was commissioned by the Virginia Press Association, an organization of more than 200 newspapers statewide. The group has opposed legislation introduced in the General Assembly for several years that would change the requirements, allowing governments to post public notices on their websites or in public libraries without placing them as paid advertisements in a general circulation newspaper.
Buffett to buy his hometown newspaper
Warren Buffett said he is buying The Omaha World-Herald Co. in a $200 million transaction because well-run newspapers have a future and because Omaha is a "vibrant" community. He said his hometown paper has been true to its role as a primary source of information for the community.
"I wouldn't do this if I thought this was doomed to some sort of extinction," said Buffett.
The World-Herald is the last major employee-owned newspaper in the country. The sale would continue local ownership of the newspaper.
From a business standpoint, Buffett said, "It is a reasonable investment. There is no question it is affected by the fact that I am extremely bullish on Omaha, Nebraska. We live in a vibrant economy here. . . . It's prosperous, and it's a community that has a sense of community. I think that's important to a newspaper.''
For years, Buffett has discussed the challenges faced by newspapers with the rise of the Internet, saying newspapers used to earn high profits as virtually the only information source available. Now, he said newspapers must figure out how to charge for information they post online and control their costs.
Will mobile ads ever work for publishers?
As hype around mobile media continues to build, conversations about the channel with both publishers and marketers invariably return to a common theme: the growing potential of tablet devices. But what about the original mobile media consumption tool, the trusty cell phone? With the Year of Mobile predicted for the 10th straight year in 2012, it might be time to admit that “mobile advertising” might never live up to its promise.
For publishers, mobile could represent the ultimate media price deflation. They watched as their content was instantly devalued by the shift from analog delivery to the Web. Now it seems like an even greater deflation is going on in the shift from the desktop to the phone. Sure, tablets are the great hope, but much of content consumption on the go will still happen via the cell phone. Ultimately, the challenges facing the smartphone ad space in the short term continue to revolve around a lack of advertiser adoption. As more advertisers begin to embrace the mobile channel - and not just tablets - publishers will be better placed to more successfully monetize their content and to distinguish their inventory from the millions of sub-premium impressions that continue to flood the networks.
Will dailies stay daily?
Mark Medici, then-vice president of audience for the Dallas Morning News, triggered a brief media frenzy in October when he said at a conference that within three years the Morning News wouldn’t be publishing seven days a week. Though the paper quickly backed away from his remark, with Publisher Jim Moroney asserting that the Belo-owned paper has no intention of cutting back, the flap raised the question of whether daily newspapers will soon cease to be daily.
The rationale is that eliminating editions that bring in little ad revenue will allow papers to save on production and distribution costs, stave off additional cutbacks in the newsroom and bolster the bottom line in a challenging environment for newspapers.
The struggling Detroit Free Press and Detroit News, partners in one of the industry’s few remaining joint operating agreements, attracted widespread attention in December 2008 when they announced that they were cutting back home delivery to three days a week. Slimmed-down versions of the paper are available at newsstands on the other days.
Three years later, Paul Anger, editor and publisher of the Gannett-owned Free Press, says he’s happy with the new approach. “Basically, what’s happened since then is that we have been pretty successful,” Anger says. “We have, I believe, outperformed industry trends in terms of circulation, and our Web traffic has gone up.”
Top 10 reasons that Top 10 lists are so popular with journalists, readers
There are Top 10 lists for just about everything. There are lists of the top 10 viral videos, the top 10 cryptozoology stories and the top 10 coolest robots. There are even lists of the top 10 lists. (How meta!) Rex Sorgatz, who has been creating lists of lists since 2001, says lists have become increasingly common -- especially around this time of year. They're catchy and easy to create, so it's not surprising that news sites publish them. But why are they so popular among readers? I talked about this with Sorgatz and Stuart Fischoff, an expert in media psychology.
Free Stuff... Look no further than
the Adobe Exchange
Whenever I lead a training related to some type of Adobe application, I always end with a lesson on how to download free scripts, plug-ins and other helpers from Adobe Exchange. Adobe Exchange has been around for a long time. It seems like it used to be called Studio Exchange in the old (longer than three years) days. But whatever you call it, it's a great resource for anyone who uses an Adobe product and, let's face it, that's just about everyone.