Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Jan. 19, 2023

Judges needed for Georgia's News, Ad Contests

Members of Georgia Press Association are currently judging our News Contest. We plan to announce the winners in early February. Now it is our turn to return the favor!
SCPA needs 60 members to help judge GPA’s News Contest and 15 members to judge their Ad Contest in February. All current and retired SCPA members, J-School instructors and associate/individual members are eligible to help judge.
If you’d like to volunteer, please fill out this Google form. Remember, many hands make light work! 
These judging exchanges make our own contests possible and give you the opportunity to see the best work from another state so please lend us a hand!
By Eric P. Robinson, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Suing the media for revenge and profit

In his new bestselling book and slew of media interviews promoting it, Prince Harry rails against the British media and their alleged collaborators within the British Monarchy, blaming them for everything from the death of his mother, Princess Diana, to the rift with his family that persists after he and his wife Meghan Markle “stepped back” as senior members of the British royal family and moved to the United States in 2020.
He has also joined a lawsuit in the United Kingdom against Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Mail Online alleging that the newspapers used various underhanded and unethical techniques to invade the privacy of Harry and the other celebrities who brought the suit, including Sir Elton John. Harry has another suit pending against the Mail on Sunday—in which he won a preliminary ruling in July—and has filed a third against Mirror Group Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, over alleged privacy violations dating back to 2006.
This is in some ways a continuation of the Royal Family’s tempestuous relationship with the press. But Harry has a broader goal than righting some of the alleged wrongs he says he and his family have suffered because of intrusive media coverage, saying that reforming media practices is now one of his life goals. 
He also said he was fine if the lawsuits resulted in the newspapers going out of business. “One of the reasons I am moving the mission of changing the media landscape in the UK from being personal to my life’s work, a large part of that is down to the ongoing legal battles—specifically with phone-hacking—I put in my claims over three years ago and I am still waiting,” he told interviewer Tom Bradby. “So one might assume that a lot of this, from their perspective, is retaliation and trying to intimidate me to settle rather than take it to court and potentially they have to shut down. That is a large part of it.”
Prince Harry is not the only plaintiff who has sued the media recently with the goal of forcing the offending media entity out of business, or at least spending a crippling amount of money in legal fees. Read more

Court issues order regarding media coverage of Murdaugh trial

Please see the attached order regarding media coverage of the State of South Carolina v. Richard Alexander Murdaugh.

SCPA members invited to virtual FOI & Libel training on Feb. 16

Join SCPA Attorney Taylor Smith on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 2-3:30 p.m. for a refresher on the S.C. Freedom of Information Act and libel.
If you are new to the Palmetto State or just need a refresher, sign up for this helpful session. This session is only open to SCPA members and is free to attend. If you have specific questions or topics that you'd like Taylor to address, you are welcome to email us in advance. 

"Gerrymandered" 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.

People & Papers


People-Sentinel hires graphic designer

The People-Sentinel of Barnwell has hired Debi Richardson as graphic designer.
She replaces Jessie Howell, who recently left the paper to pursue a master's degree.
"We are excited to have Debi join our talented team. She brings more than 30 years of experience in graphic design after working at newspapers and magazines. In her first few weeks, she has already done great work. We look forward to her putting her own creative touch on the newspaper, including redesigning or updating certain components to make the paper more reader friendly," said Publisher Jonathan Vickery.

Industry Briefs

Why impact is the secret sauce of journalism’s value

The old joke goes, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” I feel the same way these days about many conversations regarding “sustainable business models for news.” We talk a lot about audience funnels, engagement strategies, distribution, subscription and other monetization strategies – as we should.
But it seems to me that, in doing so, we skim over the most salient detail: News isn’t just another “product” like cheese or staplers. It actually matters quite a bit that our product — journalism — turns out to be quite distinctly essential, especially in a democratic society. Trustworthy information matters, and it matters more in a disrupted ecosystem where misinformation is common and easily spread. Trusted messengers, delivering reliable information, enable informed action, and those informed actions and policies create healthier and more prosperous communities.
To pare it to its essence: journalism drives impact.
So the next time you’re knee-deep in worthy business discussions about optimizing your funnel, diversifying your revenue streams and other conversations that are indeed necessary to sustain the business model for news, consider pausing to reflect first on what makes journalism essential and valuable in our customers’ and communities’ lives.
By Frank Mungeam, Local Media Association's Lab for Journalism Funding | Read more

Digital to dominate 2023 ad spending

It’s a new year and time for media, agencies and local advertisers to digest the many competing forecasts for 2023 ad spending. There will be sales quotas; agencies will create pitches; and local advertisers will search for the most effective media mix. However they may approach these tasks, the universal forecast is: Digital advertising will continue to gain on legacy media and become an even more dominant force.
Two primary economic realities drive any ad spending forecast — the global and American macroeconomics and consumers' microeconomics. A mild or no recession at all is likely to be a more favorable environment for local businesses to maintain or increase their ad spending.
Those same macroeconomic trends will affect consumer confidence. They generously spent for the holiday season but significantly increased their debt. If they're still willing to spend during 2023, then ad dollars will have to follow their lead.
Another shared prediction among many of the forecasts is that ad spending will lag during the year's first half but will then increase during the second half, especially as the housing and automotive markets are expected to rebalance. 2023 is also one of the cyclical years without billions in political ads or major global sporting events, such as the Olympics and the World Cup, all of which must be considered.
By Bob Sillick for Editor & Publisher | Read more

Compelling Writing by Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune,
Writing Coach

Have fun with your readers

Do you have fun in writing for your readers? You should.
It’s near the top of my list of the fun things to do with your clothes on.
I’ll bet you may not know that conservative newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, has reporters covering sports and they seem to enjoy it.
Veronica Dagher recently wrote of a sports fan facing a dilemma:
His favorite cafe raised his go-to hamburger to $9.99, so he switched to chicken.
Then both went to the nose-bleed level of $12.99.
The cafe owner blamed inflation.
Her patron switched to avocado toast at $5.99 with his own protein bar and banana.
Kudos to him,
Veronica wrote, for a sensible choice.
However, on most college or NFL game days, replacing inflationary-priced grilled or smoked meats with avocado toast would be “tantamount to inciting a riot.”
Even economists employ humor.
Michael Swanson of Wells Fargo writes Super Bowl parties are up 14% or more.
If you love chicken wings, prepare for sticker shock - up 26%.
“Pick pork,” Swanson writes. “Prices are up 7%, a bargain this year.”
You don’t need to cover economics or sports to write like this.
It will work in feature stories and some news stories.
It will work in sermons, speeches and letters but regrettably not in pharmaceutical prescriptions.
Have fun and your readers will, too.

Next: How to attract readers

The holidays may be over but you can consider a gift for a teenager who seems inclined to follow in your footsteps - writing coach Jerry Bellune’s The Art of Compelling Writing, available for $9.99 at

Upcoming Events

  • Feb. 10 | 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. | IRE Data Journalism Workshop | SCPA, Columbia
  • Feb. 16 | 2-3:15 p.m. | FOI & Libel Training | Zoom
  • March 9-10 | SCPA Annual Meeting & Awards | Cooperative Conference Center, Columbia
  • March 12-18 | Sunshine Week
  • March 31 | SCPA Collegiate Meeting & Awards | Clemson University
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