Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  March 31, 2022
Iovino

NewStart information meeting will be held April 28 for students and SCPA member publishers

The NewStart program at West Virginia University identifies and trains the next generation of media entrepreneurs so they can purchase existing community newspapers or other media outlets and transform their business models to ensure long-term viability so news deserts do not expand across the country.
On Thursday, April 28, at 2 p.m., SCPA will host Jim Iovino of NewStart for a Zoom info meeting.
NewStart is currently recruiting its next cohort of students, and is offering an information session to learn more about what the program has to offer – for potential students and for current owners and publishers.
Why may current owners and publishers be interested?
  • Current owners may be near retirement age, but do not have a succession plan. Students in the NewStart program may be interested in purchasing their publications
  • Current owners may want to pass ownership on to someone within their business. Having that person go through NewStart could be very beneficial.
  • Current owners may have a rising star within their newsroom. They may want to invest in training for that person, who can bring new revenue and content ideas back to improve the bottom line.
And here are a few facts about NewStart:
  • NewStart offers a one-year, accelerated master’s degree program in Media Solutions and Innovation.
  • The program is expanding this year by also offering a certificate program, which would be a great option for existing employee training opportunities.
  • It is totally remote, so anyone can learn from anywhere.
If you’d like to learn more, please RSVP no later than April 21.

About Jim Iovino: Jim Iovino is the Ogden Newspapers Visiting Assistant Professor of Media Innovation at West Virginia University. He is leading the NewStart Newspaper Ownership Initiative — a program that is focusing on recruiting, training and supporting the next generation of community newspaper owners and publishers across the country.
Prior to joining WVU, Iovino was deputy managing editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting for its Tree of Life massacre coverage. Iovino managed all digital editorial initiatives at the Post-Gazette, including driving audience-first and digital subscription efforts via the Table Stakes program. During his time in Pittsburgh, the Post-Gazette also won Newspaper of the Year honors from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, was nominated for two Online Journalism Awards, won an EPPY Spotlight Award for “outstanding achievement for undertaking an ambitious project that enriched a community” and was nominated for five additional EPPY Awards.

"Money down a rathole" 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

Judge initially sides with clergy in FOIA suit against Sumter School District

A judge has ruled in favor of an area clergy group for preliminary relief, ordering that a recent vote by the Sumter school board be declared invalid based on state Freedom of Information Act violations.
The Honorable Kirk Griffin issued a ruling Friday granting immediate relief to Sumter County Concerned Clergy in a civil lawsuit that it brought forth against Sumter School District's Board of Trustees for a Feb. 28 motion and vote of the full board that had multiple implications.
At that night's meeting, Trustee Daryl McGhaney introduced an impromptu motion to remove the district's superintendent before her contract expired, put another person in her place and put an immediate moratorium on all administrator and district-level positions. The motion and vote were not listed on the meeting agenda that night or added to the agenda during the meeting, a FOIA violation The Sumter Item first reported on, citing legal counsel from the South Carolina Press Association.
By Bruce Mills, The Sumter Item | Read more

Column: Exercise your right to public information

South Carolina municipal governments have a solid adviser in their court and the municipalities would do well to listen. And read.
The Municipal Association of South Carolina produces a regular magazine, Uptown, that is available to all municipal governments. Anyone who serves in elected or appointed positions in cities and towns across the Palmetto State would be wise to get the magazine, regularly reference the organization’s website — masc.sc — and heed the wisdom MASC shares. Really, much of what MASC outlines for municipal governments is what should be followed by all elected boards in the state.
The March edition contained a special section on open government. One article, “A requisite for good government,” includes conversations with newspaper reporters who, all too often, are viewed as the enemy. In this case, not the enemy of the people, but rather of government.
“We’re not the enemy,” Greenville News reporter Caitlin Herrington is quoted as saying. “We’re not there to destroy the way the public views you or to ruin your political career.”
She adds: “The flip side of that same point is we’re not your partner. We work for the public. Our readership is who we are looking out for.”
Isn’t that an interesting point? Much of what reporters do is on behalf of the public, its readership, while all of what elected and appointed government does is the public’s business. We serve the same clientele, but that is often forgotten by public officialdom when it busies itself with trying to secret public information.
By Richard Whiting, Index-Journal | Read more

Cut Off

Laura Curry watches her grandchildren run the length of the playground at her north Columbia apartment. She remembers the feel of her legs running through wet grass and toward children’s squeals. But her right leg has been amputated.
Just two miles away, Cleveland Evans ticks off a shopping list to a family member. Evans used to drive to the store himself.
A six-minute drive down North Main Street, Yvonne Boyd whispers her prayers from her wheelchair. She used to kneel by her bed for the ritual.
The three are resilient survivors of a traumatic surgery. Not by coincidence, the trio are also practically neighbors – survivors too of a ZIP code where life is hazardous. ...
The State Media Co. filed open records requests to gain hospital discharge data from southeastern states from 2016 to 2020. The data consisted of 76 procedural codes for nontraumatic lower extremity amputations for diabetic patients, broken down by each patient’s ZIP code of residence. 
By Andrew Caplan, Gina Smith, Sohail Al-Jamea, Rachel Handley and David Newcomb, The State | Read more

Richland sheriff’s office releases police body camera video of fatal shooting by deputy

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department released police body camera footage March 23 of a deputy fatally shooting a man. Through their attorneys, the family of the slain man asked to release the body camera video of both deputies who were at the shooting, the department said. The videos give more context to the circumstances of the shooting, which have been disputed between the sheriff’s department, the family’s lawyers and Black community groups who have been communicating with the family.
By David Travis Bland, The State | Read more

Legal Briefs

Richland One chair accuses board members of misinformation amid credit card controversy

COLUMBIA — Accusing the school system’s critics, including her own colleagues, of spreading misinformation, Richland One School District’s board chairwoman championed a proposal to dictate how fellow board members could speak with media during a fiery debate March 22.
In the wake of several Post and Courier stories digging into spending issues at Richland One, board Chairwoman Cheryl Harris erroneously insisted that fellow board members weren’t allowed to criticize her or other district leaders because their statements could be defamatory. The 10-year board veteran and Eastover native insisted the district’s finances are sound.
During the board’s three-hour meeting March 22, Harris successfully pushed for the initial approval of a policy that requires Richland One board members to specify in future media interviews that they are speaking only for themselves, not on behalf of the board.
By Avery G. Wilks, The Post and Courier | Read more

SC Ethics Commission stops silencing whistleblowers after free-speech lawsuit

COLUMBIA — The State Ethics Commission will no longer silence whistleblowers who file complaints accusing South Carolina public officials of misconduct, agency leaders decided [last] week.
The move reverses a practice that goes back at least to the early 1990s. It has long been criticized for giving cover to politicians accused of misconduct and shielding the Ethics Commission itself from scrutiny of how it addresses those allegations.
The change comes seven months after a Columbia attorney filed a federal lawsuit alleging the public misconduct watchdog’s gag orders violate free-speech protections that are guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
By Avery G. Wilks, The Post and Courier | Read more

People & Papers

Q&A with Meg Kinnard, politics reporter for The Associated Press

Meg Kinnard is an Associated Press politics reporter based in Columbia, South Carolina. A native of Tennessee, she is a graduate of Georgetown University and UNC-Chapel Hill, where she earned a master’s degree in digital communication. In this interview, conducted by email, Kinnard talks about her work at the AP, discusses her diagnoses and treatment for a rare form of breast cancer, and offers career advice for student journalists.
Q. Describe your job at The Associated Press. What is your typical day like?
A. If only there were a “typical” day! As a wire service reporter, pretty much anything is possible on a day-to-day basis.
Normally, I cover political stories somehow touching on South Carolina, which could be national news made by the governor or a member of the congressional delegation. That means going to a lot of events with those officials, meeting with their staff and talking to “real people” about the ways in which the decisions made affect their lives. I spend just as much time researching the issues playing out in all of these campaigns, ensuring that I bring balance to any reporting and filter out the spin.
Every two years, my sole focus becomes presidential campaigns, which means I spend four or more days a week on the road, crisscrossing the state to cover the dozens of candidates who stump in this first-in-the-South primary state. I spend those days fielding pitches from campaign staff, setting up and conducting interviews with the candidates themselves, and then also being interviewed by other media outlets about my reporting. In any given week, I can put 500+ miles on my car, hop in a motorcade or on a charter flight, traveling with candidates as they spread their messages and interact with voters.
Then, there’s the “everything else” that comes along with being a wire service reporter. I’ve covered hurricanes, earthquakes, train derailments, federal death penalty trials and ice skating competitions. Yesterday, I helped out with AP’s Ukraine coverage. Today, I’m working on Supreme Court nomination hearings and a walkout of Disney employees. There is never a dull moment.
By Andy Bechtel, The Editor's Desk | Read more

Columns

By John Foust, Advertising Trainer

The importance of proofreading

Proofreading is one of the most important skills in the advertising world. While anybody with a sense of humor can appreciate a harmless blooper (one of my favorites is the sign that read, “Ears pierced while you wait”), no advertiser wants to run an ad with a mistake. Many an ad campaign has been damaged by typographical errors, inappropriate illustrations and inaccurate information.
I remember receiving an email promoting a Zoom meeting that seemed interesting. However, the copy put a stop to any thoughts I had of registering. The date of the event was listed as March 9 in the headline, and as March 2 in the body copy. To make matters even more confusing, the email was sent during the first week of April. What are the chances that anyone made the effort to contact the advertiser to find out the real date? Slim and none. (And like the old saying, Slim just left town.)
Proofreading would have prevented that problem. Read more

Upcoming Events

As a service to its member newspapers, SCPA lists employment opportunities on our site upon request. There is no charge for this service to SCPA member newspapers. Please email openings to Kassidy Wright.
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