Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Sept. 3, 2020

Celebrate National Newspaper Week Oct. 4-10

National Newspaper Week will be celebrated Oct. 4-10.
“America Needs Journalists” is this year’s theme.
The content kit currently contains promo ads, logos, editorials and cartoons. More materials will be added to the site as they become available.
We also encourage you to editorialize about your newspaper’s unique relevance to your community.
National Newspaper Week recognizes the service of newspapers and their employees across North America and is sponsored by Newspaper Association Managers.

Awards being shipped, schedule set for #SCPRESS20 Virtual Meeting

SCPA's #SCPRESS20 Virtual Meeting, presented by AT&T, is coming soon!
We're starting to ship out plaques and certificates, and all are set to be delivered over the next 10 days via USPS Priority Mail. Included in your shipment will be President's Cups, cash prizes and copies of the program (containing a list of all winners and comments for first place).
Awards videos will premiere Sept. 14-18 at 4 p.m. on SCPA's Facebook page. Recordings will also be available after each broadcast. Here's the schedule:
  • Collegiate Awards Presentation – Monday, Sept. 14
  • PALMY Advertising Awards Presentation – Tuesday, Sept. 15
  • Associate & Individual Member Awards Presentation – Wednesday, Sept. 16
  • Weekly Awards Presentation – Thursday, Sept. 17
  • Daily Awards Presentation – Friday, Sept. 18

Member Spotlight: Abbie Sossamon

Abbie with her husband, Drake, and pup, Scout
Associate Publisher and News Editor, The Gaffney Ledger
What do you like best about your job?
I enjoy being able to tell the stories of our community. I like getting out (though that’s been difficult lately), meeting new people and learning the details of their story. We have a lot of people in Cherokee County with interesting stories to tell. 
Also, working for and learning from my dad is one of the best parts of this job!

What is your proudest career moment?
For me, it’s not one single moment. I am the fifth generation of my family to work at the Ledger. My grandfather, Louis Sossamon, was the third publisher of the Ledger and was well-respected among the S.C. newspaper community. I began my career in 2015 and “Honey,” as us grandkids called him, often told me how proud he was of me, how much he enjoyed my stories, and — as a slight jab at my dad — he would remark how much better the paper looked since I started at the Ledger.
Honey passed in February of 2019 and knowing that he was proud of me is greater than any award or recognition.

What's the most exciting thing going on at your paper?

Coverage of local elections. Gaffney’s mayor is up for re-election August 11 and faces four challengers. It’s become the most talked about and most interesting election of local politics in decades. 
We recently partnered with our local radio station and hosted a mayoral candidate forum which was live-streamed on Facebook and broadcast over the radio. There was much buzz surrounding the event and even more talk about it afterwards. In less than 24 hours, our live stream had been viewed by 11,000.

What’s your favorite SCPA member service?
Here at the Ledger, we enjoy utilizing the S.C. News Exchange for a good bit of our editorial page content.

What adjustments have you made during COVID-19?
We continued to work in the office, as we are easily able to stay six feet away from one another, but I have spent much more time inside the office than out. Almost all interviews are conducted via phone rather than in person. We’ve also had to get pretty creative with fresh story ideas and photo opportunities as most events, sports, etc. have been cancelled.

When it’s safe to get out and about again, what are some area attractions/restaurants in your community we shouldn’t miss?
People often don’t realize what gems are hidden in Cherokee County. Harold’s Restaurant is a downtown Gaffney staple and was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Daddy Joe’s is also an excellent choice and was named a Southern Living favorite several years ago. I’ve eaten at both just this week!
For those who love the outdoors, be sure to check out the Lake Whelchel Trail. The 7-mile loop walking/hiking/biking trail opened last summer and gives gorgeous views of the lake and surrounding area. The trail is part of the Overmountain Victory Trail, one of three national parks in Cherokee County. People come from all over South and North Carolina to check it out, and the parking lot stays full on the weekends.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I consider myself to be a shy person as well as an introvert. I often time have to give myself a pep talk before interviews.

What do you like to do outside of work? 
I enjoy working out, golfing with my husband (though I’m not going pro anytime soon), cheering on the Gamecocks, and binging my Netflix queue with my furbaby, Scout, cuddled in my lap.

Know someone that you’d like SCPA to spotlight? Email us your recommendations.

FOI Briefs

Editorial: Documenting ways police, public interact 

South Carolina lawmakers are in the process of reviewing all facets of criminal justice in the state, from how police operate to sentencing laws to prison reform. House Speaker Jay Lucas appointed subcommittees to begin such work after the national outcry over the May killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota who pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes as Floyd pleaded for air.
Since that time, other incidents, including the most recent one in Wisconsin in which a Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot seven times in the back by a police officer, have increased calls for implementing reforms in policing. Changes are due, for the good of police and the people they are sworn to serve and protect.
Without any formal measurement, it is frequently stated that 99% of law enforcement officers do their jobs responsibility and adhere to professional standards. While there is surely disagreement over the number – and disagreement on what those standards should be – there is more than ever a need for ways to improve the way police and public interact.
In the world of 2020, the reality of cell phone video has made it such that just about any encounter can become the subject of social media posts. The videos can tell a misleading story in some instances but have been integral to exposing police abuses in cases such as Floyd’s in Minnesota and Blake’s in Wisconsin.
There is a better way: All police wearing body cameras – and making the footage from the cameras available for public inspection.
From The Times and Democrat | Read more

Greenville County Council meetings aren't violating FOIA, judge says

A lawsuit filed by a Greenville County woman requesting more accommodations for public participation in county council meetings suffered a setback Monday.
Greenville Circuit Court Judge Edward Miller decided to deny a motion for injunctive relief in a lawsuit brought by Faith Adedokun, a young professional living in Greenville County.
The lawsuit sought an order from a judge directing Greenville County Council to establish a remote location for people to watch virtual meetings, provide an opportunity for public comment on non-agenda issues, archive and publish recorded meetings and to not hide video of members of the public as they address council.
By Haley Walters, Greenville News | Read more

Editorial: Public owed information from hospital

Before the coronavirus, public bodies infrequently had large crowds at their meetings. Now that most sessions are being conducted virtually, attendance is equally sparse. While public officials are by law to do their business in open sessions, there is no mandate that people attend nor take the time to learn what officials are doing.
Things generally rock along with relatively little controversy about meetings until a particular issue raises public concern. Most often people learn about such an issue via the press, which is guaranteed the same access as the public under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.
In fact, the role of the press in informing citizens about public bodies and their meetings and actions is specifically acknowledged in the FOIA, which mandates that public bodies inform any media so requesting of their meetings and agendas for said meetings. Such notice, which is to be a minimum of 24 hours in advance, allows the press to inform the public about meetings.
From The Times and Democrat | Read more

People & Papers

Charleston City Paper debuts new website

By now you’ve noticed: Gone are the yellow, teal and orange that have been part of the Charleston City Paper‘s website for a decade — replaced by a faster, better-optimized home for your favorite alt-weekly.
Out with the old and in with a long-anticipated, crisp new website to connect Lowcountry readers with the most interesting news and information in one location. In case you have already forgotten what our old website looked like, here’s a handy reminder.
Our new site is responsive, faster and an overall cleaner experience. It loads faster and looks better on more devices — especially when you’re on the go — and it will make it easier to find and read about what you care about, whether it’s local food, politics, music, arts or events.
“The new site offers a lot of flexibility for us to be able to showcase breaking news, compelling feature stories and pictures that tell stories about real people across the Lowcountry,” said publisher Andy Brack. “We’re excited about how we’ll be able to offer more to readers and advertisers through our dynamic, fresh site.”
From Charleston City Paper | Read more

Moultrie News editor receives award from S.C. Daughters of the American Revolution

The Fort Sullivan Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution presented Cecilia Brown, editor of the Moultrie News with the South Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution Public Relations and Media Award on Tuesday, Aug. 25.
Entries for the award were submitted from several of the society’s chapters across the state. The award is granted for the outstanding coverage of Fort Sullivan’s activities and events. The chapter activities are centered around God, home and country, supporting education, patriotism and historic preservation. Brown, champions the Fort Sullivan chapter.
By Joye Ridgeway, Special to the Moultrie News | Read more

Post and Courier writer wins award

Post and Courier journalist Jennifer Berry Hawes is the recipient of a 2020 Christopher Award for her book “Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness,” published by St. Martin’s Press.
It is one of 11 books for adults and young people by 16 authors and illustrators honored. They join the creators of nine winning TV/Cable and feature films also being honored. ...
The Christopher Awards were established in 1949 by the Maryknoll priest James Keller and meant for members of print and entertainment media who “remind audiences and readers of their worth, individuality and power to positively impact and shape our world.”
By Adam Parker, The Post and Courier | Read more

Industry Briefs

SCPA members invited to participate in newspaper survey

A journalism professor at the University of Oregon is relaunching a survey to better understand life at local newspapers in 2020. This survey is being done in collaboration with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.
This survey builds on the “Local News in a Digital World” research project produced in 2016–17, and the hope is that the results of this new study can help better inform industry decision-making. 
If you can spare 8-12 minutes, complete this survey to tell researchers about the impact of COVID-19, digital journalism and the future of local news. Responses will be confidential and anonymous. The survey will close on Sunday, Sept. 5.

Carolina HBCU Career Talent Showcase to be held virtually on Oct. 20

The Carolina HBCU Virtual Career Talent Showcase is a premier diversity recruiting and interviewing event, attracting students from throughout the Carolina region. It will be held Oct. 20 from 1-5 p.m. This is a great opportunity for employers, graduate programs, and professional schools to engage with students from Benedict College, Claflin University, Voorhees College, and other institutions of higher learning in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Please note this career fair is not exclusive to journalism and communications students. If you'd like to participate, please register by Sept. 20.

Americans see skepticism of news media as healthy, say public trust in the institution can improve

In a year filled with major news stories – from impeachment to a contentious election, from a global pandemic to nationwide protests over racial injustice – Americans continue to have a complicated relationship with the news media.
While large swaths of the public often express negative views toward journalists and news organizations, a major Pew Research Center analysis – culminating a yearlong study on Americans’ views of the news media – also finds areas where U.S. adults feel more affinity toward the media and express open-mindedness about the possibility that their trust in the industry could improve.
Many Americans remain skeptical toward the news media, questioning not only the quality of journalists’ work but their intentions behind it. For instance, no more than half of U.S. adults have confidence in journalists to act in the best interests of the public, or think that other Americans have confidence in the institution. And the public is more likely than not to say to say that news organizations do not care about the people they report on.
By Jeffrey Gottfried, Mason Walker and Amy Mitchell, Pew Research Center | Read more


By Andy Husk, Newberry Observer

New Publisher, Old Building

I am about a month into my new role as publisher here at The Observer, and have been spending too much of my time seeing what 40 years of accumulating newspaper by-products looks like in this old building.
In 1980 The Newberry Observer (The Newberry Printing Company) moved into the current location at 1716 Main Street to write, print, and produce The Observer and other area newspapers. In that time, various parts of the building have been idled, disused, reused, and repurposed. Past companies, publishers, editors, and managers have all stored things, moved furniture and equipment, and put their own stamp on how the paper operated in this space. Now I am in a position to do the same, but with an eye looking forward to community partnerships and potentially a new location, but also being aware that there is value in some of the old bits and pieces that have been neglected in corners of the attic and pressroom of this old barn.
My task as I try to run day-to-day operations, restore old relationships, and — let’s not sugar-coat it — make money, is to make sure the history of The Observer is respected and accurately recorded.
Luckily Newberry County has a great new museum and Executive Director Sheridan Murray has offered to help let the public see what we have left in the building after all these years. Read more
By Kevin McClatchy, McClatchy

It’s time to bid farewell — and say thank you

Editor's Note: McClatchy, which owns five S.C. newspapers, will emerge from bankruptcy, likely on Sept. 4. It will be owned by Chatham Asset Management. The following column represents a farewell to readers from the departing McClatchy chairman.
Five generations of McClatchys have run this local media company since the founding of its first newspaper in Sacramento 163 years ago. That’s a long run for any business, especially a family-run enterprise.
But that streak will end soon when Chatham Asset Management takes control and I step down from my position as chairman of the board along with my three cousins, Molly Maloney Evangelisti, Brown McClatchy Maloney and William McClatchy.
While the McClatchy family has run the business since 1857, our story begins even earlier with a 17-year-old boy leaving his home in what is now Northern Ireland and sailing to New York. The year was 1841 and that boy was my great, great grandfather James McClatchy.
James McClatchy’s journey represents more than the chronicles of an adventurous, industrious emigrant who embodied the American dream. It encompasses the ambitions of a growing nation and the blossoming of an industry that would become one of the great pillars of our democracy. Read more

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