Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  May 28, 2021
By Bill Rogers,
SCPA Executive Director

SCPA Executive Director announces retirement

Not to bury the lead, I am retiring in July after 33 years as SCPA Executive Director.
I think it has been a good run and I want to thank our members for their support. I can think of no other group I would rather have worked for. Your support has helped us build one of the strongest press associations in the South and nation.
In my three decades at SCPA, I’ve worked with some great staffers including Alanna Ritchie,  Latitia Smith, Sharon Bailey, Heidi Hoffman and Jill Bettendorf. And current co-workers Randall Savely, Jen Madden and Lacey Breit. Wow, can’t say enough about them.
I’ve worked with too many Past Presidents to mention, but let me mention those who have passed: Ollie Moye, John Heath, Joe Smoak, Scott Hunter, Judi Mundy Burns, David Ernest and Jayne Speizer. And our FOI Chair for 20 years, John Shurr. 
And SCPA would not be where it is today without our longtime attorney, Jay Bender, who preceded me with the association.
FYI, a Transition Committee met yesterday to chart a course forward.
You can stop reading here, or bear with me while I look back over my career.
When I started as a reporter for the Asheville Citizen in 1966, newspapers were a different animal. Editors and reporters were respected in their community. There was no fake news.
We had to count headlines in our heads to be set on a Ludlow machine. There was no shrink it so it fits. There was no leading out a story to fit. We sized pictures with a wheel.
Stories were typed on a manual typewriter with carbons and carried to the city desk.
There were proofreaders.
Wire stories came in on punched tape and were clipped to the printed stories with clothespins.
Type was set on Linotypes. Extra points if you know what Etaoin Shrdlu was.
I also doubled in the photo department, where film was developed in tanks of D-76. Prints were done with an enlarger with hand dodging and burning. AP pictures were transmitted on a drum. 
I had use of a Leica M3, which is still my dream camera.
Staff was like family and had been there for years. 
After a stint on Guam as a photographer with the Navy, I was on to the Roanoke World-News, an afternoon daily in Western Virginia.
I was in a bureau and had to transmit my copy via an AP keyboard and transmitter. You couldn’t type more than 12 words a minute or it would jam. At the end of my two years there, the main newsroom was switching to IBM Selectrics that could be scanned in without retyping. Making changes on copy was a pain.  
Phones were still rotary dials… many a day I wished for a faster system. Ma Bell listened and came up with touch-tone dialing.
I wanted to get back home to the mountains of Western North Carolina and took a job as sports editor of the Waynesville Mountaineer, a three-day a week paper.
It was a learning experience… my first with cold-type production. Headlines and stories were waxed and placed on blue-lined layout sheets. There I learned the hard way about putting lines of the head in the right order.
I also learned about border tape. The publisher was very frugal and sometimes we drew lines with a fountain pen and black ink. We rarely used layout dummies…we just did it in the composing room.
I had never done a photo page layout, but when the editor dropped the pictures on my desk and said get it done by 1 p.m., I did. I liked it, but I later learned I had done almost everything wrong.
I really missed Roanoke and applied for a job advertised in Editor & Publisher for a western Virginia weekly.
I thought it was for Galax, which Roanoke owned. It wasn’t. It was the White Sulphur Springs STAR in West Virginia.
I was editor and general manager for two years, where I also learned a lot and actually joined the Rotary Club.  
There I learned a great lesson: The elderly florist in the club took me aside and said: “Bill, they don’t read your paper to find out what happened, they read it to find out who got caught at it.”
That was my last newspaper job.
I went on to Marshall University where I made more advising a student paper than I did editing a real one. I also used the GI Bill to get my Master’s Degree in journalism and worked with my mentor, Henry Schulte. (He later followed me to USC.)
From there I went to the University of Alabama (Roll Tide) and the University of South Carolina, where I taught in the Senior Semester for five years. I am proud to say a number of my students are still in the business.
It has been a good ride.

Save the date for Bill's retirement party: Thursday, July 15, from 5-7 p.m. in Columbia. More details coming soon!

Gordon Borrell

SCPA partners with sister press association to offer free virtual training for community newspapers

Thanks to support from the SCPA Foundation Smoak Fund, SCPA members can now register for a great series of virtual events from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association at no charge. 
PNA's Community Newspaper Forum focuses on the unique opportunities and challenges involved in running a community newspaper. During the hour-long sessions, industry experts will share thoughts and ideas, exchange best practice tips to maintain and grow business and set a course of action to ensure continued success. Here are details about next week's training:

Diversify Your Revenue Stream by Creating a Digital Agency Featuring Gordon Borrell

Wednesday, June 2 | 10 a.m. 
Many newspapers successfully started their digital agencies more than a decade ago to diversify their revenue stream. In this session, media analyst Gordon Borrell will walk you through the necessary steps to create your successful digital agency. He will share what he has learned from those who have succeeded, as well as from those who have failed, so you can avoid making the same costly mistakes. 
Borrell will also share the results of new research showing what advertisers themselves are saying they need from newspapers.
Borrell is a sought-after speaker for conferences and company meetings and is the local media industry’s leading analyst. He is ranked in the top 2% among Gerson Lehrman Group’s 150,000 consultants worldwide and is quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Ad Age, Forbes and other publications. He has appeared on CNN and other TV and radio programs discussing trends and forecasts for local media. Prior to starting Borrell Associates, Gordon was vice president for new media for Landmark Communications, where he worked for 22 years. Register here.

Upcoming sessions:

Past session topics have included "Top Community Newspapers Share Secrets of Success" and "Provocative thinking. Should you transition your community newspaper to a nonprofit model?" If you are interested in watching a recording from one of these events, please let us know
There is no charge for SCPA members to attend PNA Community Newspaper Forum events, thanks to support from the SCPA Foundation Smoak Fund. A confirmation with log-in instructions will be sent to each registrant one or two days prior to the session. Let us know if you have any questions.

Need training on redistricting?

SCPA has gotten several calls recently about training and resources related to redistricting. In March, we partnered with the League of Women Voters of South Carolina to host a virtual training session that covered legal issues around redistricting including law and court cases, the redistricting process and criteria, the Census, how SC got where we are now, a timeline and what we can expect when the census data appears in late September. If you missed this valuable training and would like to watch the recording and view the LWVSC resources, let us know. We plan to offer additional redistricting resources in the fall. 

Meet our SCPA Foundation interns

In the coming weeks, we'll introduce you to our 2021 interns and Mundy Scholar.
Hannah Wade
University of South Carolina
Intern at Greenville News

Hannah Wade is a third-year journalism major and Spanish minor at the University of South Carolina. A native of Chester, Wade is the daughter of Donnie and Tracy Wade.
Wade has gained media experience through both internships and student media. As a sophomore, she served as the photo editor for her college newspaper, The Daily Gamecock. She also interned with SC ETV and served as a student assistant for SCPA. Wade is interested in both investigative reporting and photojournalism.
Wade has also served as a resident mentor for university housing for the last two years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and her cat, Bagel.
“I hope to work in nonprofit journalism after graduation,” Wade said. “I’m excited for this opportunity to learn and grow as a journalist and a photographer at The Greenville News.”

Invest in the future of our industry

The Foundation's internships and scholarships are provided by contributions from you! Please support the Foundation's valuable work by making a tax-deductible contribution today.

Member Spotlight: Kelly Duncan

Kelly (left), and her sister, Joni, after successfully completing an escape room
Graphics/Staff Writer, The Clinton Chronicle
What do you like best about your job?
I really enjoy coming to work and learning something new every day. Five years into my career and  I find myself constantly learning and developing as a journalist, whether that be through writing or graphic design - something new I've been learning. 

What is your proudest career moment?
Winning my first (definitely not last) first place South Carolina Press Association Award. 

What's the most exciting thing going on at your paper?
Despite being a small newspaper, we are constantly putting out local content for our subscribers. We may be small, but we are committed to putting out the best paper possible each week!

What’s your favorite SCPA member service?
The various job postings from around the state. I visited the job page often after I graduated Newberry College in 2016. 
What are some area attractions/restaurants in your community we shouldn’t miss?
Since I'm not originally from Clinton, I'm still learning where the best spots are in the community. My sister and I recently tried Tacos and Bla Bla Bla in Laurens for lunch a few weeks ago and it was delicious! 

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I had hip surgery in 1995. I still keep in touch with my orthopedic doctor Dr. Al Gilpin at McLeod Health Florence to this day. 

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love reading, particularly Stephen King, journaling, listening to true crime podcasts (check out Crime Junkie, trust me) going on spontaneous adventures with my sister and cheering on the New England Patriots.

Who would you like SCPA to spotlight? Email us your recommendations.

"Signs" by Robert Ariail

If you can't get enough of award-winning Camden cartoonist Robert Ariail, enjoy his new strip featured every week in the Charleston City Paper, which has granted us ongoing permission to republish it. Called "Lowcountry," the weekly feature, which is available for syndication in South Carolina newspapers, focuses on politics, human nature, the environment and public policy. More: Contact publisher Andy Brack.

FOI Briefs

Greenville police are withholding cyclist shooting reports in violation of law

Police reports from the fatal shooting of a cyclist in a Greenville neighborhood and the fatal shooting by police of the cyclist's alleged killer are being withheld from the public in violation of the law.
According to the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, public bodies such as law-enforcement agencies are to make reports that document the location, nature and substance of any alleged crime publicly available for inspection within 14 days.
As of midday May 19, the Greenville Police Department has provided The Greenville News only two pages of a report from the cyclist's shooting. The first page has just one line of text from the reporting officer: "I arrived at the location in response to a disturbance call." The second, supplemental page includes just a two-sentence narrative: "At 5/09/21 at or around 1050 I responded to Rocky Slope Road for the report of a disturbance. My BWC (body-worn camera) was activated."
The city is violating state FOIA law by withholding additional reports associated with the case.
"SC FOIA is clear that reports which disclose the nature, substance, and location of an alleged crime must be provided upon verbal request within 14 days of the crime being reported," Taylor Smith, an attorney based in Columbia who represents the South Carolina Press Association, said in an email. "It is typical for law enforcement to create a report when an officer or deputy is dispatched in these instances, but it is also unfortunately common for law enforcement to then say that they don’t have to give all these reports over to an interested party. These actions not only further imperil public confidence in law enforcement during these uncertain times but they also violate state law."
SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers said the state's FOIA law allows for various exemptions, such as in cases when releasing certain information would interfere with a law-enforcement proceeding or endanger an individual, but he said those exemptions would be cause for specific redactions, not completely withholding entire reports.
"A Iot of it may be complicated, but the law is simple — they have to release it," Rogers said.
Rogers said the actions of Greenville officials obstruct transparency and reflect disregard for compliance with state law over matters of public safety.
"It certainly doesn't build trust," Rogers said. 
By Daniel J. Gross, Greenville News | Read more

Editorial: SC prison opinion reminds all public officials that sunlight isn’t optional

An attorney general’s opinion released late last week has ended a bizarre episode in which the S.C. Department of Corrections refused to release the names of inmates who died in custody.
The 11-page opinion by S.C. Solicitor General Robert Cook concluded that the Corrections Department probably would be considered a “covered entity” under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — as medical officials at the agency had warned, prompting Director Bryan Stirling to stop releasing the names pending an opinion from Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office. 
But the opinion also noted that the federal privacy law specifically allows medical information to be released if another law requires it. And although the S.C. Supreme Court has bizarrely held that autopsies are exempt from disclosure, the May 14 opinion concluded that the names of dead inmates (along with their death certificates — and in fact everybody’s death certificates) are public records under South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act.
The opinion confirms our dismay at a county coroner’s refusal to release the name of a notorious inmate who died in prison this month. And it should serve as a reminder to McCormick County Coroner Faye Puckett and any other coroners who are confused about the requirements of their job, which include obeying state law.
From The Post and Courier | Read more

Fairfield County Council likely violates FOIA in administrator hiring process

Fairfield County Council’s search for a new administrator is heading back to the drawing board.
A day after fielding an offer to serve as interim county administrator, former S.C. Superintendent of Education Jim Rex turned down the job.
Last week, the Fairfield County Council voted 4-3 to offer Rex the position of interim administrator. Council members Clarence Gilbert, Neil Robinson and Doug Pauley voted in opposition.
There was no discussion prior to vote, nor after it.
[Three council members] also voted against motions to approve the agenda, as well as to enter executive session for a “discussion concerning the position of county administrator." ... 
Rex’s candidacy surfaced not long after Council Chairman Moses Bell reached out late last week to the former state education chief, asking him to consider filling in as an interim administrator.
That decision didn’t sit well with other council members, including Councilman Doug Pauley, who said he didn’t learn about Rex until Friday.
Pauley said that left little time for him and other council members to adequately prepare for Monday’s interview.
Jay Bender, a media law attorney with the S.C. Press Association, of which The Voice is a member, said he didn’t think Fairfield County appropriately advertised that it was poised to offer Rex the position.
Bender said the agenda’s description of the executive session was “insufficient” because it didn’t state that anything about a potential hiring decision.
“If the council decided to take action based on the chairman saying, ‘hey, I’ve got a guy,’ then that was illegal because it was not on the agenda for action,” Bender said. “There was nothing on [the agenda] that said they were going to make a decision to interview a specific person. I think the law would require that.”
By Michael Smith, The Voice of Fairfield County | Read more

Suspended Anderson police captain investigated 4 other times; no detail on current case

The personnel records of Anderson Police Department Capt. Mike Aikens — who is under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division — show he has been investigated by his own agency at least four other times in an 18-year career, usually being cleared of wrongdoing. What those records don't show is why he is under scrutiny now from South Carolina's top law enforcement agency.
The Independent Mail and The Greenville News received Aikens' personnel records last week in response to a May 4 Freedom of Information request to the Anderson Police Department, but absent from the files are documents that detail why the agency asked SLED in late April to investigate him. ...
The formal complaint that details the reason Aikens is under investigation by SLED now was not included in the documents provided to the Independent Mail and The Greenville News in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
In the records provided, there is a single piece of paper that references Aikens' current situation — an April 27 document that tells him he is on paid administrative leave until further notice. 
By Nikie Mayo and Justine Lookenott, Anderson Independent Mail | Read more

'We are tired of marching': Greenville activist asks state leaders to enact new laws

Seal the criminal history of the victim who dies or is seriously injured during an interaction with police.
Make police body camera footage accessible via the Freedom of Information Act.
Establish a system that allows a resident to appeal a complaint against a police officer with the Criminal Justice Academy.
Those are three new laws that Bruce Wilson of Greenville Black Lives Matter is asking the South Carolina General Assembly to enact.
His request was made Tuesday while standing in front of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's downtown Greenville office and preceded a ceremony in Falls Park honoring George Floyd.
By Angelia L. Davis, Greenville News | Read more

Blythewood mayor says he’s besieged by council/media conspiracy

When an article in the April 29 issue of The Voice reported that Mayor Bryan Franklin unilaterally hired outside counsel – without town council’s consent – to represent the Town concerning MPA Strategies, Franklin, in a 19+ minute tirade against the newspaper’s account, said it was “absolutely fabricated and false.” He insisted that not he, but the town administrator and town attorney hired outside counsel.
“I did not hire outside counsel,” Franklin stated emphatically at the May 3 council meeting. “I did not direct anyone to hire outside counsel,” he said, claiming that he didn’t even find out about the hire until about the same time council members found out, which was three days after the hire. During Monday night’s town council meeting, however, Town Attorney Shannon Burnett walked back the mayor’s claim that he did not direct or know about the hire. Burnett said Franklin did know about the hire before it was made, and that he approved it.
Burnett said that after she and Town Administrator Carroll Williamson found who they thought would be the right attorney for the MPA Strategy issue, they consulted Franklin.
“Before the [attorney’s] agreement was signed, you did approve it,” she said, looking toward Franklin.
In his second tirade in a month against the press, Franklin also targeted some of his fellow councilmen Monday night as conspiring against him.
By Barbara Ball, The Voice of Blythewood | Read more

NPPA to instruct police and journalists about right to record with $200,000 in new funding

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) will instruct police, first responders and journalists across the country about the right to record police and other officials carrying out their public duties, with a three-year, $150,000 investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and a one-year matching grant of $50,000 from the Press Freedom Defense Fund, a program of First Look Media. The grants will fund the continuation of NPPA’s programs to protect the visual rights of journalists and will benefit the entire journalism community.
“At this moment in history it is crucial that the press be allowed to perform its obligation to better inform the public,” said NPPA President Katie Schoolov. “We are incredibly grateful to the Knight Foundation and PFDF for their generosity, which will allow us to do that by continuing and expanding our training programs as the Voice of Visual Journalists.”
“The laws that protect the rights of journalists and other citizens to record public police work are clear, but they aren’t universally known,” said Paul Cheung, Knight Foundation director of journalism. “The NPPA training will help visual journalists do their jobs safely and without interference, while protecting the public’s right to know.”
From the NPPA | Read more

People & Papers

Paxton Media Groups purchases Landmark Community Newspapers

Landmark Community Newspapers, which has owned The Lancaster News for 32 years, has been bought by Paxton Media Group, a Kentucky-based publisher that after the purchase will own 119 newspapers in 14 states.
The deal, finalized this week, includes the purchase of all 46 newspapers in the Landmark chain, which is based in Shelbyville, Ky.
“We are very excited to add these newspapers into the PMG portfolio,” said Jamie Paxton, PMG president and chief executive officer.
“PMG believes strongly in the value of local newspapers and the vital role they play in the communities that they serve,” he said. “We appreciate Landmark choosing us to be the new stewards of these important community assets.”
No operational or personnel changes have been announced for the Landmark properties, which include TLN and three other S.C. papers – The News & Reporter of Chester, the Pageland Progressive Journal and Indian Land’s Carolina Gateway.
“We are very fortunate to have been part of the Landmark group for over 30 years,” said Susan Rowell, publisher of Landmark’s four local properties. “We plan to continue providing great community journalism, as we always have, while under new ownership.
“Our entire staff is committed to making this a seamless transition. I am so proud of the work we produce for our readers and citizens, and we are hopeful for the new opportunities ahead.”
PMG, which is headquartered in Paducah, Ky., and will own 37 newspapers in that state, is a family-owned business started in 1896. Its leaders are fourth- and fifth-generation descendants of the company’s founder.
By Brian Melton, The Lancaster News | Read more

BridgeTower names group publisher for SC Biz News

BridgeTower Media has named Rick Jenkins group publisher for SC Biz News.
Jenkins formerly served as the publisher for GSA Business Report in the Upstate and will now oversee all operations for the statewide business-to-business media operations.
SC Biz News is the publisher of GSA Business Report, Columbia Regional Business Report, Charleston Regional Business Journal, SCBIZ magazine and many associated digital, print and event-driven media products.
BridgeTower named Jenkins after a nationwide search to replace long-serving group publisher Grady Johnson who stepped down in March.
“I’m so honored to have the opportunity to lead SC Biz,” Jenkins said. “The company has been the leader in producing and distributing valuable content to high-level business executives throughout South Carolina for more than 25 years, and the SC Biz brand is as strong as ever.”
SC Biz News is an Associate Member of the Press Association.
By Andy Owens, Charleston Regional Business Journal | Read more

Post and Courier investigation leads to new SC law to rein in rogue tire recyclers

A new law spurred by The Post and Courier’s reports on a dangerous tire dump near Moncks Corner is designed to crack down on waste tire recyclers who violate state regulations, with potential jail terms for the worst offenders.
Gov. Henry McMaster signed the legislation May 17, making violations of waste tire rules and permits a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine up to $10,000 a day for the first time and up to $25,000 per day for the second and succeeding violations. The law also calls for a possible jail term of up to one year for violators.
State Rep. Sylleste Davis, a Republican representing Berkeley County, said she introduced the legislation in response to news reports about Viva Recycling, which abandoned more than 1 million scrap tires near a neighborhood off Cypress Gardens Road.
By David Wren, The Post and Courier | Read more
Members of The Newberry Observer team present during Business After Hours. Pictured, left to right: Andrew Wigger, Andy Husk, Rubi Flores.

Newberry Observer sponsors Business After Hours

For the first time in recent memory, The Newberry Observer helped sponsor the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce: Business After Hours.
When we heard that the scheduled sponsor couldn’t participate in Business after Hours, it was an opportunity for The Observer to step up and help out,” said Publisher Andy Husk.
This networking event, which was free to all, was the first to be held since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. At Business After Hours, held during the May Main Street Shop and Dine night, visitors were able to enjoy homemade food made by Rubi Flores (customer service representative at The Newberry Observer) while socializing and seeing what The Observer has to offer.
By Jessica Beam for The Newberry Observer | Read more

Industry Briefs

How local news organizations are taking steps to recover from a year of trauma

More than a year after the global pandemic became official, local journalism still grapples with the fallout — not only from the coronavirus but also by an intense nationwide racial reckoning, regional disasters including fires and storms, and ever-present gun violence and mass shootings.
The flood of news events over the past year also exacerbated the endemic financial struggles of local media. At least 65 news organizations have closed permanently. Local news organizations in every state, D.C. and Puerto Rico have been affected by job losses or pay cuts and furloughs, according to the Poynter Institute’s tracking. Some employees left voluntarily, citing unrelenting stress.
But local journalism endures — at startups, nonprofits, and corporate-owned newsrooms. In early April, an American Press Institute report outlined seven important challenges for local and regional news organizations to consider as they try to rebound from these ongoing struggles. We asked for your ideas and solutions for addressing lost resources, audience retention, misinformation, rebuilding beats and improving investigative journalism, newsroom diversity, and journalists’ mental health And over the past several weeks, we’ve heard the stories of dozens of journalists who launched ideas and projects aimed at emerging from the crushing blows of the past year. From web redesigns to starting (or killing) Facebook groups to tough talk about diversity, local news organizations are tackling those seven issues with unique strategies driven by a unique moment in their history.
This report will share early successes, cautious hopes and thoughtful advice from local journalists who are working through the questions we posed earlier this year.
Their priorities might be different, but everyone we spoke to had the same goal: climbing out of the chaos of the past year and pushing ahead into whatever the future of local news might bring. The actions taken by each of these newsrooms are tailored to their mission, culture and their most pressing needs, but they have in common a few key prescripts.
By Jane Elizabeth, American Press Institute | Read more

USA TODAY’s new 'Never Been Told' project seeks to spotlight the untold stories of people of color

USA TODAY launched a new yearlong network project last week, “Never Been Told: The Lost History of People of Color,” to elevate, through deeply reported investigative and explanatory journalism, the people, places and ideas that are often excluded from history books.
The ambitious project aligns with Gannett’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in its news coverage and initiatives. It highlights unseen, unheard, unheralded and forgotten stories with newly found records, documents, research and eyewitness accounts. With support from Gannett’s more than 250 local news sites in 46 states and Guam, USA TODAY will publish an in-depth story each month with accompanying video, historical photographs and graphics.
From USA Today Network pressroom | Read more

AP tells staff it made mistakes in firing of Emily Wilder

Senior managers at the Associated Press admitted fault on Wednesday in the firing last week of a 22-year-old junior staffer, Emily Wilder, who was being targeted by right-wing commentators over her political activism in college.
Wilder was fired last Wednesday for violating the news organization’s social media policy. Company managers felt that her tweets showed a bias toward the Palestinian people in their conflict with the Israeli government and Israeli settlers — though Wilder says her editors never told her which of her tweets were problematic.
Since then, the AP — a huge international news organization whose internal dramas rarely go public — has been dealing with dissent from employees who feel it abandoned Wilder in the face of an online mob. On Monday, more than 100 AP staffers signed an open letter expressing frustration with how the company handled the termination and demanding “more clarity” about why Wilder was fired.The Associated Press has not apologized or acknowledged mistakes in its public statements, beyond saying in response to the open letter that the company “looks forward to continuing the conversation with staff about AP’s social media policy.”
By Jeremy Barr, Washington Post | Read more

Related: The Associated Press fired a reporter over social media use — and what it means for other news outlets (By Tom Jones, Poynter)

Related: Emily Wilder’s firing is a story of bad faith, not bad tweets. Newsrooms must do better. (By Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post)

Related: AP Begins Review of Social Media Policy After Journalist’s Firing (By Katie Robertson, New York Times)

Committee to Protect Journalists launches 'Police and the Press: What comes next?' audio feature

The past year saw an unprecedented number of attacks on journalists covering protests in the U.S. The majority of documented cases involve alleged police abuse. What happened? How did we get here? What can be done so it doesn’t happen again?
The Committee to Protect Journalists published a new audio feature this week around the anniversary of the start of the George Floyd protests and the factors that led authorities to violate many reporters’ rights during protests this past year. CPJ spoke with US reporters injured while reporting, as well as press freedom advocates on ideas about how to reshape law enforcement’s relationship with the media. The piece also focuses on the experiences of journalists of color reporting on the protests and the unique threats they face.
Coinciding with the anniversary, the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker also published a thorough analysis earlier this week on press freedom violations this past year, and highlights stats on the many press freedom violations that occurred at protests. 

Columns

By Ryan Dohrn of 360 Ad Sales Training for Editor & Publisher

Ten ideas to update your media sales game

All research points to a buying bump that is set to occur soon. We are seeing citizens getting back to some level of normalcy. Many buying habits will soon come back into play. Yet, our advertisers are still throwing us the same COVID-based objections. Do they not want to get back to business? Why is it so hard for them to grasp that advertising starts the process to get customers back in the door? To me, business owners are suffering a sort of PTSD that comes from the massive shock to their business that the COVID pandemic dealt them over the last 12 months.
As a media sales rep myself, I have the chance to speak to advertisers daily. I also have the unique opportunity to coach media sales reps around the globe. They all report a distinct change over the last year in their advertisers. Each Friday I ask a group of my coaching clients to answer this multiple-choice question: What type of advertiser attitudes did you come across last week? Read more
By Jerry Bellune, Lexington County Chronicle & The Dispatch News

What are your precious memories?

A Chronicle reader calls occasionally to let us know he’s still with us.
“I’ve survived Alzheimer’s for 22 years,” he said in a call the other day.
The best thing about Alzheimer’s, he said, is that you can’t recall what you had for breakfast – or if you even had breakfast – but you could recall precious memories from 50 or 60 years ago.
He shared a few of his memories.
His 1st newspaper byline was a thrill. He had written an account of his adventures at 4-H camp that the Manning Times published on its front page with his bylines
His 1st paying job, he said, was at age 10 selling Clovertine ointment door to door for 25 cents a can. He got to keep 50% of the money in commissions.
When you sold enough ointment, Clovertine rewarded you with a photo of a puppy.
You were happy to receive the photo and Mom didn’t have to nag you to feed, walk and clean up after a real puppy.
Such shared memories trigger our own precious memories. You are probably thinking of a few from your childhood.
I’ll admit I don’t remember my 1st byline but I fondly remember the interview that won me my 1st paying newspaper job.
Fresh out of the US Army and at my father’s suggestion, I went to see Carl Wymer, the Greenville News managing editor.  
Mr. Wymer was an elderly gent, near retirement age. He was the only newspaper editor I ever worked for who wore a green eyeshade and clear plastic cuffs to protect his shirt cuffs from printer’s ink.
He asked me what experience I had and what kind of job was I looking for.
I admitted only high school and college newspapers and wanted to be a reporter.  Read more

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