Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Dec. 9, 2021

2022 Press IDs and clings available 

It's time to order your staff's 2022 press IDs. High-quality plastic photo ID cards are available for SCPA newspaper members at $6 each. These durable plastic cards feature your staff member's photo and newspaper information.
Repositionable 2022-2023 PRESS windshield clings are also available for $3 each.
SCPA has a flat rate Priority Mail shipping fee of $8 for all orders that need a clip or lanyard. If you do not need a clip for your press ID (can re-use an old clip or lanyard or you put in your wallet), let us know and we can ship your order at a much lower rate, typically around $1.
Please note SCPA is only able to track orders shipped in flat rate boxes. We are aware that some non-clip press ID orders sent by First Class mail have been taking several days to arrive, and that a few orders have gotten lost in transit. If you need your order quickly, we recommend paying the higher Priority Mail shipping cost. 
Orders must come from member newspaper editors. Newspaper staffers, part-time employees and freelancers must contact their editor to order a press ID and/or decal.
Order Today

News Coverage Tip: Diversity in Sourcing

A great idea was shared at SCPA's Diversity Committee Meeting on Dec. 8 by Cliff Harrington, Executive Editor of The Herald in Rock Hill. To better represent the makeup of his community and encourage diversity in his newspaper's coverage, Harrington created a spreadsheet that is regularly updated to track and share contact info for minority sources. He says this strategy sends a message inside and out of the newsroom that sources and voices from undercovered communities are valued and provide a diverse perspective to the newspaper's coverage. He said actions like this are ways to prove you can change the DNA of a newsroom. If you have a tip or idea that you'd like to share with fellow members, please reach out!

"New variant" 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

Richland jail was understaffed day of riot. Ex-guard says staff is at dangerous level

The Richland County jail didn’t have enough guards on duty to subdue unruly inmates in the moments before two guards were attacked in September, leaving one bloodied and “lifeless” in the cell block and the other emotionally scarred, according to reports. The new details of the Sept. 3 riot at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center are revealed in reports obtained by The State under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act. The shortage of guards on the morning of the attack speaks to general understaffing at the jail, which is creating a dangerous situation for guards, detainees and lawyers, according to sources.
By David Travis Bland, The State | Read more

Column: FOIA is problematic for out-of-staters

I recently exchanged a few emails with a journalist having trouble getting public records under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.
The requested records sound rather innocuous. He wants the contractual arrangements between a state agency and a private business, in part to learn how much money the public body is forking out to the company.
The gist of his problem: Because this man lives in another state, the agency says it does not have to release public records to him.
I am not naming either because I don’t want to inadvertently scoop someone who reached out for help and I don’t want my decision to write about this to affect his ability to get public information, even though this agency is situated well beyond the confines of our coverage area and it seems unlikely that anyone at the agency would pick up today’s edition.
When I saw the reason for refusal, I did what I do any time I have a question about the law: I read it again.
Who can request a public record?
By Matthew Hensley, Index-Journal | Read more

People & Papers

Academy Award winner announces film on Charleston editor’s experience in ‘Dirty War.’

Argentine Armando Bó, who is most known for co-writing the Academy Award- and Golden Globe Award-winning “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” has announced his next feature film. And it’s directly connected with Charleston, at least by way of Buenos Aires.
The coming project dramatizes the story of longtime Charleston resident Robert Cox, who along with wife Maud and their family spent years in the perilous crosshairs of Argentina’s so-called “Dirty War.”
As former Buenos Aires Herald editor, Cox courageously and doggedly covered the daily atrocities occurring during Argentina’s 1976-83 military dictatorship at a time when all other papers did not for fear of the most lethal reprisals. ...
The line to Charleston is direct. When Cox was editor of the paper, it was owned by the parent of what is now The Post and Courier, purchased by Peter Manigault in 1968. In response to threats of assassination in 1979, Robert and Maud Cox and their five children were exiled from Argentina, to ultimately land in Charleston, where Cox took a job as assistant editor of The News and Courier.
By Maura Hogan, The Post and Courier | Read more

Island Packet receives grant to bolster coverage of climate change, environment across SC

The Island Packet, in collaboration with McClatchy properties across South Carolina, will add a full-time climate change and environment reporter starting in early 2022, thanks to a grant from The Energy Foundation. The Energy Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation supporting education and analysis to promote nonpartisan policy solutions that advance renewable energy and energy efficiency.
“We’re grateful to The Energy Foundation for recognizing that credible and independent news and information on critical issues can help solve intractable problems,” said Brian Tolley, president and editor of McClatchy South Carolina properties The State, The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette, and The Sun News.
The Island Packet is currently recruiting for the position, with the intention of having the reporter begin in January 2022. The position is one of over 100 open newsroom roles across McClatchy.
From The Island Packet | Read more

Donations to Community Christmas Card for Aiken County students help year round

Readers of the Aiken Standard are contributing a Christmas gift that will keep giving even after the holiday season ends.
The Aiken Standard once again is sponsoring its Community Christmas Card to help students in the Aiken County Public School District, and its readers are continuing to show their desire to help students all year long.
All donations – 100% of the proceeds – will be divided among the schools to help students who can’t afford or need help with warm clothing, new shoes, school supplies or services.
For a $1 donation, the Aiken Standard will publish the contributor’s name in the Christmas Day issue of the newspaper in its fifth Community Christmas Card. Readers contributed $6,498 in 2020.
By Holly Kemp, Aiken Standard | Read more
Staff of the Herald-Journal (above) held a food drive at Spartanburg's "A Dickens of a Christmas" on Tuesday night. Members of the community donated $60 and a full hand cart of food items for the Spartanburg branch of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. The newspaper's staff handed out nearly 100 coffee mugs in exchange for donations.

Industry Briefs

When public officials spread health misinformation, be quick to point it out: A tip sheet

Health misinformation is not a new phenomenon, but modern-day factors such as social media, in addition to politicization of health and science and the fast pace of scientific development during the pandemic have all made it easier for misinformation and disinformation to spread.
People who spread misinformation are not just fringe groups. Some politicians, public officials and a handful of physicians are now spreading misinformation. The growing trend highlights the increasingly important role of journalists in debunking misinformation, whether it’s presented at a press conference or as comments in an interview.
“In cases where public officials are spreading misinformation, the journalist’s responsibility is straightforward — either don’t report it; or report it while pointing out that it’s misinformation clearly, explicitly, and early, and telling people what the truth actually is,” Ed Yong, a Pulitzer Prize winning science journalist at The Atlantic, wrote in an email to The Journalist’s Resource. “I cannot stress enough that simply writing down what officials say is not journalism; you have to analyze, critique, and contextualize those comments, or you’re nothing more than an RSS feed with hands.”
By Naseem S. Miller, The Journalist’s Resource at Harvard Kennedy School | Read more 

Five ways to boost holiday subscription sales with timely, themed landing pages and offers

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Stocking Stuffer sales: it's the most wonderful time of the year to promote your subscription or membership offerings. Here are five easy ways to get your online offers in the spirit.
1. Create a seasonal landing page just for the holidays
Visitors will gobble up your seasonal subscription sales events! Start the sale early and link to a special landing page with your very best offer. Landing pages are an essential part of any digital marketing program to make the most of strategic touch points throughout a user's journey. Showcase your special discounts during the holiday season, or any time of year. Make the landing page active for a morning, a day, a week, or all season long.
By Bridget Sibthorp-Moecker, TownNews for America's Newspapers | Read more

How to verify videos

Videos can present a difficult challenge for verification when you aren’t receiving them from a trusted source.
I’m constantly finding and experimenting with new tools for journalists that come across my desk. My current testing table includes API tools, VPNs and a QR code generator. But one task that seemingly every newsroom needs to tackle is to be able to verify contributed videos.
Videos present a steeper challenge than photos for a variety of reasons. They consist of a long series of images, not just one static image, so finding the origin isn’t as simple as a reverse image search or looking at the metadata in Photoshop. And they consist of multiple components and layers including audio, faces, voices, backgrounds, frames and timecodes. Any of those components could be fake or manipulated.
The first tool I would recommend for tackling these challenges is called InVID. It was created by a consortium of media and tech organizations in Europe, and comes highly recommended by Bellingcat, a world-famous open-source investigation unit. Even Amnesty International, a global human rights nonprofit, uses it to investigate videos of human rights abuses.
By Samantha Sunne, Reynolds Journalism Institute | Read more

Media continue transitioning to successful subscription-first strategies in COVID era

During the INMA Media Subscriptions Town Hall on Tuesday, INMA Researcher-in-Residence Greg Piechota shared original global research from the past three years, discussing digital subscriptions with executives from Google France and FT Strategies. ...
The journey to reader revenue involves three steps, Piechota said:
1. Publishers try a new model. They launch a subscription option as a minimum viable product. Often the paywall is started as a marketing/tech product.
2. They focus on getting a product-market fit. Media companies see the need to adjust content, product, and marketing. This requires adjusting resoruces and the operating model.
3. They focus on scaling. This includes their new tech and data stack, new talent and work methods, and the reinvention of the company.
By Chandler Wieberg and Dawn McMullan, INMA | Read more

“The internet has made television and newspapers better”: Audience engagement insights from Thomson Reuters Foundation

Are clicks the end game when it comes to audience engagement? “It’s not a click. It’s a person who has decided to invest valuable time,” Yasir Khan, Editor-in-chief at Thomson Reuters Foundation told WNIP at the Lisbon Web Summit this year. “That is an audience that is time-poor, an audience that is spoiled for choice.”
Khan was speaking at The Media Roundtable session, “Audience Engagement: Are clicks the endgame?” He shared audience engagement lessons learned across two decades of working with publishers ranging from Al Jazeera to CBC to Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Traditionally, media has been an A to B proposition, said Khan, where publishers decided what the audiences needed to know. The internet changed that. Media outlets can now get real-time feedback from people reading or watching them and fine-tune their products.
By Faisal Kalim, What's New in Publishing | Read more


By Lottie L. Joiner for Editor & Publisher

Diversity is more than just recruitment; culture and retention are key

Editor's Note: SCPA's Diversity Committee is interested in launching a mentorship program in early 2022 for journalists and ad reps of color. We are still working out the details, but our goal would be to connect staffers who are new to South Carolina or our industry with fellow SCPA members who can help guide and support them. If you are interested in helping us create the structure for this program or would like to participate as a mentee or mentor, please contact us
Before the pandemic, the Georgetown University Master of Professional Studies in Journalism program held a springtime job fair. It was an opportunity for mainstream media outlets — The Associated Press, Gannett, The Washington Post, NPR, Politico and others — to recruit diverse journalists. In addition, Washington, D.C. chapters of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Washington Association of Black Journalists, and the Journalism & Women Symposium participated, and 300 people attended.
I’m sure they all had good intentions, but creating diverse newsrooms requires more than recruitment.
What’s the culture of the organization? What are the plans for retention? Are diverse journalists leading newsroom discussions? How will their unique backgrounds, experiences and perspectives contribute to coverage? Are their opinions valued? Read more
By John Foust, Advertising Trainer

Do you have an eight-inch frying pan?

There’s a story about an old man who was fishing from a pier. He was catching more fish than anyone else, so a crowd gathered to learn his secret. His behavior was unlike anything they had ever seen. Each time he caught a fish, he pulled a tape measure out of his pocket and took a measurement. He put the small fish into his cooler and tossed the big ones back into the ocean.
When one of the onlookers asked about his strange technique, he explained that he kept only the fish that were under eight inches long. “Why are you doing that?” he was asked. He said, “Because my frying pan is eight inches wide.” 
Imagine that. The old fellow was throwing away the fish that didn’t fit his eight-inch frying pan. It didn’t occur to him that he could get a bigger frying pan or cut large fish into smaller pieces.
We may laugh at this silly example, but there’s a bit of that old fisherman in all of us. It’s human nature to resist change. It’s no surprise that we have a tendency to discard ideas that don’t fit the way we’ve always done things. We all have eight-inch frying pans in our minds, and sometimes it takes discipline to break down those barriers. Read more

Upcoming Events

  • Dec. 23-24 | Happy Holidays! SCPA/SCNN Offices Closed
  • Dec. 31 | Happy New Year! SCPA/SCNN Offices Closed
  • March 11-13, 2022 | SCPA Annual Meeting & Awards | The Marina Inn, Myrtle Beach
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