Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  May 19, 2022
By Eric P. Robinson, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications

S.C. police agencies should follow FOIA law

“possibly gang-related” shooting in a Greenville middle school. Records from the 2009 disappearance of a high school student in Myrtle Beach. And the notorious murder of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh at their family estate in Colleton County.
In the Greenville and Murdaugh cases, police agencies released only brief, one-page reports to the press and public that said little beyond vaguely describing the incident that occurred, as well as when and where it happened. In the Myrtle Beach case, police have refused to release even that. Releasing any more information, the police agencies said, would compromise their investigations and eventual prosecutions.
The release of a vague or minimalist incident report is unlikely to satisfy the requirements of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, which provides that “reports which disclose the nature, substance, and location of any crime or alleged crime reported as having been committed” are public information and must be made available for 14 days after an alleged crime occurs. While the Act permits law enforcement agencies to delete from the report certain information that is legally exempt from disclosure, many South Carolina police agencies take this too far – releasing only perfunctory reports that record just a few basic facts of a police incident, and refusing to release any more information contained in “supplemental” reports. Read more

Friday is final day to enter PALMY Ad Contest 

Don't run out of time! Tomorrow is the final day to enter submissions into the 2022 PALMY Ad Contest, which recognizes the state's brightest ad professionals and advertisers, and the impact they have made in their communities. Thanks to the SCPA Foundation’s Smoak Fund, your first five PALMY entries are free! 
Contact SCPA if you need your newspaper's login information or if you have any questions about entering the contest.

Meet our SCPA Foundation interns
In the coming weeks, we'll introduce you to our 2022 interns.


Tyler Fedor

The Post and Courier Columbia/Free Times

Tyler Fedor, a rising senior at the University of South Carolina studying journalism, will serve as a reporting intern this summer at The Post and Courier Columbia/Free Times.
Fedor, from Mt. Pleasant, serves as a managing editor for The Daily Gamecock, the student-run newspaper at UofSC. He joined the paper his first semester in college as a news writer and served as a co-news editor for two years prior to becoming a managing editor.
Before arriving in South Carolina, Fedor and his family moved all over the East Coast with his father as he took on new commands in the Coast Guard. He’s lived as far north as Maine and even at the southernmost point of the continental United States, Key West.
Journalism started as a way for Fedor to be with his friends during his time on the Tribal
Tribune, Wando High School’s newspaper. The more he wrote, the more he enjoyed the work, even when he was called on last minute by his advisor to get a quote or two the night a print edition was supposed to be sent out.
“Knowing that there is always something new to learn about in this world is why I love
journalism so much,” Fedor said. “It allows me to constantly be learning about something new and share it with others. I can’t wait to learn more about the community around me through my internship this summer.”

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 your tax-deductible contribution today.

FOI Briefs

Georgetown County deputies search woods amid report of remains being found

Georgetown County sheriff’s deputies brought in heavy equipment May 12 to help search a wooded area off Old Town Avenue, but authorities have remained tight-lipped about the reason behind the activity. ...
The search spawned much speculation about possible ties to the open investigation into the 2009 disappearance of Brittanee Drexel, a Rochester, N.Y.-area 17-year-old who went missing during a spring break trip to Myrtle Beach. But investigators have refused to discuss any new developments in the case. ...
The Sheriff’s Office has refused to release an incident report from Moody’s arrest — a violation of South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act — and has withheld an arrest warrant affidavit detailing the charge and the probable cause supporting it. Sheriff’s spokesman Jason Lesley said simply that Moody’s paperwork was “not available” on May 12.
By Mike Woodel and Glenn Smith, The Post and Courier | Read more

Richland Two Superintendent keeps board travel funds secret

Richland Two school district officials spent more than half an hour of the April 26 school board meeting discussing whether board members would have access to the details of board spending on travel and training.
This came following the revelation that some board members had overspent to the point of exceeding the board’s total budgeted amount, despite other board members having spent less than their individual allotment. ...
The discussion followed a request by board member Lindsay Agostini that the information be shared. ...
“We are a public entity, and we have no personal funds,” Agostini said. “Anybody can ask for this information at any time, so it should be fully disclosed to the board how much each board member has spent.”
By Barbara Ball, The Voice of Blythewood | Read more

SLED asked to investigate after 2 inmates found dead inside Greenville detention center

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating after two inmates were found dead inside their cell at the Greenville County Detention Center May 12.
Allan Lindsey Zack, 36, and Randy Eugene Broome, 45, were both found dead in their housing unit by jail staff around 3:55 p.m. Thursday, according to the Greenville County  Coroner's Office.
Autopsies were completed May 13 but the cause and manner of death for both men remains under investigation.
Greenville County Council member Ennis Fant said he is demanding a detailed report on the two deaths. Fant is seeking answers to how they died, what they died from and how they were supervised. ...
SLED confirmed the agency was asked to investigate but declined to disclose further details about the circumstances of the deaths.
The detention center has roughly 270 officers working in the facility, county spokesperson Bob Mihalic said in an email Monday.
The Greenville News has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to seek investigative documents related to the deaths.
By Tamia Boyd, Greenville News | Read more

Former North Augusta football coach resigned after violating profanity, harassment policies

Allegations of misconduct against former North Augusta High School head football coach Robert “Jim Bob” Bryant – including name-calling, physical contact perceived as “retaliatory,” and the use of profanity toward players on his team – ultimately led to his resignation in December, documents show.
Bryant was the subject of an internal investigation that culminated in his abrupt departure from North Augusta High School when he resigned Dec. 16, 2021, as part of a settlement reached with the Aiken County Public School District over alleged misconduct involving students on the team.
The school district opened an investigation on Sept. 30, 2021, into Bryant’s conduct over allegations that the former coach had failed to adhere to safety policies; had engaged in horseplay; had used profanity or abusive language; had shown abusive or hostile conduct toward students, parents or other stakeholders; and had engaged in workplace harassment, according to documents obtained by Post and Courier North Augusta via a Freedom of Information Act request.
By Elizabeth Hustad, The Post and Courier North Augusta | Read more

Legal Briefs

Blythewood Council authorizes mayor to sue The Voice and others

Blythewood Town Council voted 4-1 Thursday, May 5, to authorize Mayor Bryan Franklin, Town Administrator Carroll Williamson, and the Town’s outside attorneys David Black and Shannon Burnett to take legal action against The Voice and its publisher.
While the Town has already sued MPA Strategies owner Ashley Hunter and threatened to sue Donald Brock, this is the first time the Town government, with the backing of all but one council member, has raised the specter of a lawsuit against The Voice and its publisher.
Increasingly over the last year, Franklin and Black have relentlessly accused The Voice and its publisher of conspiring with MPA Strategies and Donald Brock against the Town and Franklin.
No documentation or other evidence has been offered by Franklin or Black as proof of conspiracy by The Voice or its publisher.
By Barbara Ball, The Voice of Blythewood | Read more

People & Papers


Shain named Managing Editor Expansion for Post and Courier

Andy Shain, The Post and Courier’s Columbia/Myrtle Beach Managing Editor, has been promoted to Managing Editor Expansion, where he will guide statewide strategy for the news organization.
Shain previously served as editor of Free Times and has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Charlotte, Columbia and Myrtle Beach.

Thomas named executive editor of SC Biz News

Louisville, Ky., native Jason Thomas has been named executive editor of SC Biz News. In his new role, Thomas will lead the editorial efforts of SCBIZ Magazine, GSA Business Report, Charleston Regional Business Journal and Columbia Regional Business Report. He also oversees the editorial efforts of South Carolina Lawyers Weekly, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly and Charlotte-based Mecklenburg Times, a real estate publication.
Thomas started learning his way around the organization last week from the Greenville office of GSA Business Report, which will be his home base.
By Ross Norton, GSA Business Report | Read more

Clough named SEO and operations editor at Washington Post

Matt Clough is joining The Washington Post as an SEO and operations editor. In this role, he will create strategies to expand audiences through search, partner with reporting teams around the newsroom to amplify our best work, and help expand the newsroom’s understanding of SEO, recirculation and digital best practices.
Clough most recently served as The Post and Courier's Digital Editor, Expansion Projects.
From The Washington Post | Read more

P&C reporting featured on 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver'

The May 15 episode of "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" discussing electric utility companies and how they are regulated featured reporting about V.C. Summer from The Post and Courier. 

Watch the episode

Read the story

3 years later: How the fallout from SC’s $9 billion nuclear fiasco continues (By Avery G. Wilks and Andrew Brown, The Post and Courier)

Industry Briefs

NNA proposes new Outside County subclass to USPS

The National Newspaper Association has requested a major change in the way newspapers are handled by the U.S. Postal Service. It is seeking a new category for Outside County mail, a mailing class that was first set up in 1879.
“This request from NNA is momentous and game-changing,” NNA Chair Brett Wesner, president of Wesner Publications, Cordell, Oklahoma, said. “After decades of painfully inconsistent delivery outside our counties of publication, we have concluded that only a major redesign of the system is going to address the problem. Specifically, we are seeking a newspaper mail subclass within the category that USPS generally calls Periodicals. No change in our core distribution Within County is being sought.”
From National Newspaper Association | Read more

Local Media Association launches Advanced Fundraising Lab

Local Media Association is pleased to announce the launch of its Advanced Fundraising Lab, which will support a cohort of local news organizations as they turn early funding wins into a long-term, sustainable strategy for supporting essential journalism through philanthropy.
The advanced lab will build on the lessons and success of 36 newsrooms that have been through two cohorts of the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding, raising collectively more than $7.5 million since September 2020 to fund local journalism projects. LMA published a free 42-page industry report, Pathways to Philanthropy, to capture and share these learnings.
As more communities appreciate the critical role played by local media, and as funders discover the ways the core strengths of local journalism align with civic health and the goals of philanthropy, a new model has emerged for supporting journalism. Between 2009 and 2021, community foundations alone invested $124 million in journalism, news and information, according to a report by Media Impact Funders. Add longtime, national-scale funders like Knight Foundation, plus the growth in community-level donations, and philanthropy has emerged as an essential part of an overall strategy for sustaining essential local reporting.
From Local Media Association | Read more

Here are 7 advertisers looking to get in front of summer spenders with creative promotion & interactive content ideas

The summer months are a big time for consumer spending. From vacations and summer fun to home repairs and yard improvements, there are some specific advertisers who are looking for a chance to take advantage of summertime spending.
For many media companies, summer is one of their slowest periods for revenue growth. Don’t let that happen to you! If you target the right advertisers with the right promotions, you can make this summer one of your biggest revenue generating seasons.
With these 7 perfect advertisers and 9 promotions ideas to pitch for each, surely these ideas will be all you need to heat up your summertime revenue this year.
By Liz Huff, Upland | 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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