Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Dec. 16, 2021

Happy Holidays from SCPA & SCNN!

This holiday season, we are grateful for your continued support and all you and your newspaper have done to serve your your communities over the past year! SCPA and SCNN will be closed Dec. 23-24 and there will be no eBulletin for the next two weeks because of the holidays. We wish you all the best in 2022!
Seasons greetings from your SCPA/SCNN staff! From left: Taylor Smith, Kassidy Wright, Cathy Dreher, Bill Rogers, Marlene Espino, Jay Bender, Jen Madden, Diane Leclaire and Randall Savely. (Not pictured: Lacey Breit, SCNN's outstanding advertising coordinator)
By Eric P. Robinson, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Antitrust clouds – and lawsuits  – gather against big tech

What started as a West Virginia publisher’s quixotic quest has become a major lawsuit, brought on behalf of more than 200 individual newspapers, to challenge the uncompensated use of newspapers’ stories online by Google in its search results and by Google and Facebook in their news feeds; a lawsuit that could change the online—and financial—landscape for newspapers and other news organizations nationwide. At the same time, Google, Facebook and other tech giants are facing broader challenges to their dominant role in the modern online world.
The weapon of choice? Anti-trust law.
HD Media LLC, parent company of the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette-Mail, The (Huntington, W.Va.) Herald-Dispatch and a half-dozen weekly newspapers, filed a federal anti-trust lawsuit in February against Google and Facebook claiming that they manipulate the online advertising marketplace. The complaint, which lays out many of the recent economic woes of the newspaper industry, also alleges that the companies conspired to further this dominance by manipulating auctions for online advertising.
“These companies are more powerful than Standard Oil in its heyday, so no one wants to be the first to take them on,” HD Media president Doug Reynolds told The Wall Street Journal upon filing the lawsuit. “We felt the political and legal climate have moved in our favor and are ready to go ahead.”
“(Google) completely monetized and commercialized their search engine, and what they’ve also done is create an advertising marketplace in which they represent and profit from the buyers and the sellers, while also owning the exchange,” Paul T. Farrell, Jr., one of HD’s attorneys in the case, told Editor & PublisherRead more
We're so thankful for these students from the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications! Sebastian Lee, Hannah Wade and Julie Crosby are helping us get the 2021 News Contest entries ready for judging over Winter Break. (Pictured with SCPA's Membership and Communications Coordinator Kassidy Wright, who is also getting her Masters at the J-School.)

"Nuclear" 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

Editorial: The secret approach backfired. USC should resume presidential search openly.

It’s tempting to say the University of South Carolina’s governing board got what it deserved when it essentially picked a new president without any public scrutiny — only to have that new president withdraw from consideration days later.
The Board of Trustees’ search committee could have played it straight, releasing the names of its five finalists before deciding who would get the job. Then, if one of them dropped out, it still would have had four perfectly good finalists.
Instead, the committee designated Purdue University engineering Dean Mung Chiang as its “preferred candidate.” That clearly undermined the spirit of the S.C. Freedom of Information Act requirement that governments release the names of at least three finalists for such positions, even if most people affiliated with the university would be quite happy today if they had indeed landed such an impressive candidate for president.
From The Post and Courier | Read more

People & Papers


Morning News names Day managing editor

The Morning News has a new managing editor – Chris Day, who started his duties Monday.
Day comes to Florence from Oklahoma, where he was most recently sports editor of the Sequoyah County Times in Sallisaw, Oklahoma.
Day is a 1980 graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in journalism. He said he has been working in the newspaper business ever since – from police reporting to editor of weekly to mid-size daily newspaper and as a sports editor.
“I am so excited to have Chris become a part of the Florence Morning News and this great community,” said Matt Tranquill, president. “He brings a wealth of knowledge of managing small to mid-size newsrooms. He knows how to put out a great print product while building our future in digital.”
Day said he became interested in journalism while in high school and had a friend who encouraged him to join the school newspaper staff.
“I pleaded my case to the journalism adviser to get on the staff,” Day said.
He said he saw it as a possible career path. It was and has been ever since, Day said.
Day is committed to telling the community’s story – the good and the bad.
“I wanted to make people aware of what good is happening in the community and where improvements can be made,” he said.
Day said as the managing editor of the Morning News he looks forward to getting involved with the Florence community, working with the Morning News staff to make sure the employees are happy and achieving their full potential as journalists while reaching out to the community.
From Morning News | Read more

A year of Uncovered: 10 things The P&C and its partners learned

Over the past year, The Post and Courier and 17 other news organizations across South Carolina teamed up to sift through more than 53,600 emails, invoices, credit card statements and other public documents. They filed more than 50 Freedom of Information Act requests. They interviewed more than 560 public officials, fraud experts, academics and whistleblowers.
It was an unprecedented collaboration to shine light on corruption, waste and questionable conduct. 
Here's that they learned in the process.

The Herald named finalist in E&P EPPY Awards

The Herald of Rock Hill was named a finalist in Editor & Publisher’s 2021 EPPY Awards in the Best Podcast (fewer than 1 million unique visitors) category for “Return Man.”

Our View – The Lancaster News will be moving, but not going away 

In one sense, The Lancaster News is moving. Because we have been asked about it by so many people recently, we want to explain something to our readers.
You many remember that earlier this year, we (along with all the papers formerly owned by Landmark Community Newspapers) were sold to Paxton Media Group. They bought the newspapers themselves, but not the buildings they are housed in.
Without boring you with too many details, newspapers (and many businesses in general) no longer wish to own or hold real estate. There are, in fact, some newspapers that now operate with no physical office at all, with reporters working remotely and layout and design handled in a regional hub.
For now, we are still in our location at 701 N. White St. on a limited-term lease and our longtime home office is for sale. Word has gotten around – the ad in the paper has helped spread the news – and that has led some people to ask if we are closing our doors. 
First of all, it means a lot to us that people have reached out, expressed concern and asked if there was anything they could do to help. Given the economic climate right now, it is perfectly understandable for people to assume the worst, but we want to assure you that is not happening in our case. We are NOT ending our operations or dedication to Lancaster County.
What will happen sometime in the next seven or eight months is that we will move our operations to another Lancaster County locale, ideally somewhere near our current location for the convenience of our loyal readers.  Read more

Industry Briefs

The 2022 Toner Prizes for Excellence in National or Local Political Reporting is now accepting entries

Entries for the Toner Prizes for Excellence in National or Local Political Reporting for 2021 coverage are now being accepted. Deadline for entering is Jan. 17, 2022.
The Toner Prizes, hosted by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, go to the best U.S. political reporting on any platform – print, broadcast or online. A Toner Prize for local political reporting carries a $5,000 honorarium. Read more and apply here

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