Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Aug. 27, 2020

SCPA offers political advertising guide

Political advertising, whether for or against a candidate or ballot measure, is subject to legal requirements not found in non-political advertising. There are different requirements for local, state and federal races. The requirements are concerned with:
  • Disclosure of the sponsor of the advertising
  • The rate charged for the advertising space.
Our guide also covers other issues including libel, invasion of privacy and payment. 
And remember, if you are a member and have a question about an ad, story or letter to the editor, contact SCPA's Legal Hotline at (803) 750-9561 or email us.
View Guide

Order press IDs for your sports stringers

If all goes as planned, private school football starts Friday and public school games will be held starting Sept. 25.
For $6, you can order a sturdy, hard plastic photo press ID card and clip for your sport stringers and photographers. 
All orders must come from SCPA member newspaper editors. Freelancers must contact their editor to order a card.
SCPA has a flat rate shipping fee of $8 per order for all orders with a clip or lanyard. If you do not need a clip (can re-use an old clip, put in your wallet or have a lanyard), let us know and we can ship your order at a much lower rate, typically less than a dollar.
Order Press ID

Member Spotlight: Nate Abraham

Nate is pictured with his wife, Pat, and three children.
Publisher, Carolina Panorama, Columbia
What do you like best about your job?
Bringing news and information that people can use. I also like it when people thank us for shining a spotlight on their relatives or business.
What is your proudest career moment?
We produced a special issue and held an awards banquet honoring historic and legacy businesses in our community. Several people came up to us afterward and thanked us for the event, because their relatives had never been honored before.
What's the most exciting thing going on at your paper?
We are producing more video content. We are also experimenting with live video.
What’s your favorite SCPA member service?
Weekly Publishers’ Roundtable
What adjustments have you made during COVID-19?
I conduct more interviews by telephone and through Zoom meetings. I also spend more time on conference calls with other publishers, sharing information about what they are doing to survive and learning new things to try. We haven’t changed our office hours. We just ask people who stop by to wear masks.
When it’s safe to get out and about again, what are some area attractions/restaurants in your community we shouldn’t miss?
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I am a second-generation publisher. My path to the newspaper industry was determined a couple of years before I was born. My father got his first job in the industry in the early 1960s. He had a wife and a daughter, and a part-time job selling newspapers in Orangeburg. He figured out that he could comfortably take care of his family if he could make $100 a day, so he drove to Columbia to meet the publisher of the newspaper. The publisher told him that he could make more money selling advertising, gave him a rate card and told him to go out and try it. He didn’t know what he was doing, but he sold several ads. When he came back at the end of the day, he put the checks on the publisher’s desk and asked if it was good. The publisher called his wife in and said, “Look what this kid did.” The publisher’s wife exclaimed, “It’s a miracle.” The publisher reached into his pocket and pulled out two $50 bills. “What’s this?” my father asked. “That’s your commission for the sales you made today,” the publisher replied. That's how much money my father wanted to make at that time. He moved his family to Columbia and joined the newspaper’s sales staff. A short time later, they made me. 
So I am in the newspaper industry because of $100 a day.
What do you like to do outside of work? 
I love exploring the great outdoors. Since I proposed to my wife at the base of a waterfall in the mountains, we love doing mountain hikes and photographing waterfalls. I also love exploring the coast and the beach.
One thing that I really love about Columbia is the fact that it is two hours away from the beach and two hours away from the mountains.
I have a goal of visiting all of the state parks in South Carolina.
Photography is my favorite hobby.

Know someone that you’d like SCPA to spotlight? Email us your recommendations.

Legal Q&A

By SCPA Attorney Taylor Smith
Q. Is the use of Google Maps in editorial content, not advertising, in print or online considered fair use under American copyright law?

  A. Maybe. Whether something qualifies as fair use (and thus does not need permission for use) is determined closely by the facts of each use. To qualify as a fair use, courts will consider a particular use’s (1) purpose and character; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. Essentially, if proper attribution is given to Google, you follow Google’s terms of service (including the permission for Google Maps use), and you only include as much information (a) as would be available on the map when viewing it through (not a third party) and (b) is necessary for your purpose, your particular use is more likely to receive protection from potential liability.

Taylor M. Smith IV is a media lawyer who represents the S.C. Press Association and its newspapers. As one of our FOI/Legal Hotline attorneys, he is available to answer your open government, legal and libel questions. Call (803) 750-9561.

FOI Briefs

SCPA urges lawmakers to grant public access to body cameras

A state House subcommittee discussed matters of police reform Tuesday, and the South Carolina Press Association urged lawmakers to make police body camera footage public.
Under current body camera legislation in South Carolina, footage captured by law enforcement is exempt from public disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act.
SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers sent letters to editors of newspapers across South Carolina Monday to lobby on their behalf. A letter was also sent to the subcommittee along with proposed amendments to the body camera bill.
Read more about this important issue from Daniel J. Gross, Greenville News

SC coroners face unclear laws on whether they have to identify coronavirus victims

Unclear laws have left an essential question unanswered amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: Do South Carolina’s coroners need to let the public know who has died of the illness?
On Monday, the S.C. Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion that ultimately did not resolve the issue, concluding that “only a court can resolve this question with finality, especially given the unprecedented nature of the current emergency.”
Three key coroner’s offices from around the state told The Post and Courier they understood the desire for information, but that they had concerns about protecting privacy. The paper asked about their responses to requests for information including victims’ names, ages, race and cities or towns of residence.  
By Gregory Yee, The Post and Courier | Read more

Lawsuit claims Greenville County Council virtual meetings violate state FOIA

Greenville County woman has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to order County Council adopt more transparent public meeting practices during the pandemic. 
County Council meetings have been streamed online since March when COVID-19 began spreading in the Upstate. Members of the public can watch the meetings online as they're held and comment only on items on the agenda.
Faith Adedokun said that has limited public input and access to meetings. A lawsuit her attorney filed Wednesday alleges the meetings violate the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. 
Adedokun decided to file the lawsuit after the county formed a $91 million spending plan for COVID-19 relief with no public input, she said.
By Haley Walters, Greenville News | Read more

People & Papers

Sumter Item to premiere new video, podcast series on race, topics of community concern

Premiering Thursday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m., The Sumter Item will present the first episode of Community Conversations. This video and podcast series will cover topics of interest that are timely and important. The primary topic as the series begins will look at race, bringing in a group of panelists each episode who discuss their own experiences and talk about their hopes for growth. 
During this first episode, An Introduction to Being Black in Sumter and America, viewers and listeners will meet six people who live in Sumter. Filmed with social distancing in mind at the Sumter Opera House, the panelists, Melanie Colclough, Angela Frederick, Rashad Hilton, Travis Johnson, Breanne Moore and Ricky Simmons, share their thoughts on what it means to be Black in America and talk with each other about how they feel about this moment in our country and what they want to see moving forward.
The episode will air on The Sumter Item's Facebook via Facebook Watch. Read more

Post and Courier prison investigation wins Pulliam First Amendment Award

The Post and Courier has received the prestigious Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award from the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation for its coverage of a 2018 killing spree that left seven inmates dead and dozens more severely wounded inside a maximum-security South Carolina prison.
The annual Pulliam Award recognizes those who have fought to protect and preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. The Post and Courier received the award for ” ‘IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO DIE’: How flaws in the SC prison system led to seven deaths in a single night.” Read more

Industry Briefs

Gannett newsrooms, whiter than the communities they serve, pledge broad change by 2025

Last week, Gannett, the parent company of USA Today and more than 260 daily local news outlets in the United States, pledged its commitment to diversity, inclusion and parity in all of its newsrooms.
On Wednesday, the company had published its workforce demographics, along with its intention to “make its workforce as diverse as the country by 2025 and to expand the number of journalists focused on covering issues related to race and identity, social justice and equality.”
By Hanaa’ Tameez, Nieman Lab | Read more

What role should the media play when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available?

The nation’s leading infectious disease doctor recently told lawmakers he was “cautiously optimistic” the U.S. would have an effective COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. But will people agree to get vaccinated when it’s finally ready? And what role should journalists play?
“We are not running public health campaigns,” said Jon Cohen, a staff writer for Science Magazine. “That’s not our job.”
But he said reporters still play a valuable role in informing people about a COVID-19 vaccine, once there is one.
“We provide people — if we’re doing our job properly — with accurate information that’s fair and balanced and helps them make decisions without us lobbying them one way or another,” he said. “It’s also our job to highlight inaccuracies and highlight misinformation. That’s our role.”
With decades of experience covering immunizations, Cohen expects many people to be hesitant about getting vaccinated for the coronavirus. Polls have found that as few as half of Americans say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine.
By Giles Bruce, Center for Health Journalism, USC Annenberg | Read more


By John Foust, Advertising Trainer

How to handle superlatives

Newscaster Edward R. Murrow once said, “To be persuasive, we must be believable. To be believable, we must be credible. To be credible, we must be truthful.” Although he was referring to the reporting of news, the same can be said of advertising.    
Claude Hopkins, in his book, Scientific Advertising, wrote, “Superlatives...suggest looseness of expression, a tendency to exaggerate, a carelessness of truth. They lead readers to discount all the statements that you make.” 
That’s a serious condemnation. When an advertiser uses superlatives, consumers are likely to dismiss everything the advertiser says – including statements that may be completely true. 
Fortunately, there is a solution. If an advertiser insists on using a superlative, there are four simple ways to make it more acceptable. Just remember the acronym TOTE. Read more

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