Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  July 20, 2023
Jan Marvin and Ronda Schilling of The Daniel Island News won "Best of Show" in the Under 7,500 Division.
Cris Temples and Dela O’Callaghan of Charleston City Paper won "Best of Show" in the Over 7,500 Division.

Congrats PALMY Ad Award winners

Congratulations to winners of the 2023 PALMY Advertising Contest! The winners presentation containing winning ads and judges’ comments for first place winners is now live for viewing. This is a great resource for your ad sales and design staff to get ideas!

Best Overall:

The President's Awards for Best Overall Advertising go to The Daniel Island News and The Journal of Seneca. These top honors are presented to one weekly and one daily newspaper based on number and ranking of awards won, regardless of circulation.

Designer of the Year:

Congratulations to Dela O'Callaghan of Charleston City Paper on being named Advertising Designer of the Year! Judges said, "Great portfolio that demonstrates designer’s creativity, talent and versatility. Unique, colorful ads that grab your attention. There’s no doubt these ads delivered results for advertisers!" 

Best of Show:

All first place PALMY winners were judged by circulation division to award a "Best of Show" honor. The winner in the Under 7,500 Division is by Jan Marvin and Ronda Schilling of The Daniel Island News for River Landing Dentistry's Happy New Year ad.
Best of Show in the Over 7,500 Division goes to Cris Temples and Dela O’Callaghan of Charleston City Paper for the "As local as it gets" Storey Farms ad.


Plaques and certificates will be heading out in the mail later early next week unless you'd like us to come present your awards in person. Please let us know what you prefer! Additional certificates are available for your staff and/or advertisers. The cost is $2 per certificate. We also have wooden plaque bases available for $25 each. Contact SCPA to order.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's PALMY Contest and to members of Georgia Press Association for judging this special contest!
View PALMY Winners
Here are a few of Designer of the Year Dela O'Callaghan's ads. O'Callaghan is production director at Charleston City Paper.
By Eric P. Robinson, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Free press doesn’t mean freedom to break the law, but police shouldn’t arrest journalists

Last month two reporters for the left-leaning The Asheville Blade in North Carolina were convicted of misdemeanor trespassing for not leaving when the police began clearing out homeless people and protestors from Aston Park on Christmas Eve 2021. This was actually their second conviction on the charge, after they appealed their earlier conviction in a bench trial to a jury. The reporters were each fined $50, and were also—without their knowledge—banned from all city parks for one year.
In recent years there have been several instances in which reporters have been criminally charged and/or arrested while covering protests and other stories, with a major spike with the “Black Lives Matter” protests in 2020. There were also several instances of police taking violent or other specific action against journalists.
During the bench trial the judge in the Asheville case dismissed the reporters’ arguments that their arrests violated the First Amendment. But this is not an ironclad rule. For example, among the multiple criticisms of the Minneapolis police force in a recent U.S. Department of Justice report on the department’s civil rights abuses during the Black Lives Matter protests was one regarding its treatment of the press:
The First Amendment requires that any restrictions on when, where, and how reporters gather information ‘leave open ample alternative channels’ for gathering the news. Blanket enforcement of dispersal orders and curfews against press violates this principle because they foreclose the press from reporting about what happens after the dispersal or curfew is issued, including how police enforce those orders. Read more

Quote of the Week

"So, hats off to reporters — the professionals who go to meetings that you don’t want to attend or read reports on the form and function of government and society that are churned out by bureaucrats and corporate types. The job and deeply held responsibility of reporters is to assess, talk with people and tell you what happened so you can make better-informed decisions about how local, state and national officials are performing. If you don’t like what you read about the school board or county council or a president, you can then organize, go to the polls, kick them out and start over.
The ultimate key for a healthy democracy is for newsgathering to serve as a healthy check for what you’re being told by politicians, corporations and anybody trying to spin you away from truth and reality."

By the Charleston City Paper Editorial Board
Celebrate American independence by lauding local newsgathering

FOIA Briefs

Judge: Charleston County sheriff unjustified in withholding Jamie Komoroski’s jailhouse calls

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office violated South Carolina open records law when it withheld recorded phone conversations of a jailed woman accused of drunkenly crashing into a newlywed couple hours after their wedding, a retired S.C. Supreme Court justice ruled July 10.
The ruling means the Sheriff’s Office should provide media outlets the calls made by Jamie Lee Komoroski from the county jail as soon as an order is signed by retired Justice Jean Hoefer Toal, which could take two weeks. Depending on the language of that order, it could be the first case to definitively codify that the personal phone calls of those jailed, most of whom are awaiting trial and presumed innocent, are public records.
“Under the Freedom of Information Act, these recordings are, in my mind, clearly public recordings,” said Toal, who retired from the S.C. Supreme Court in 2015 but serves as a judge when needed in other South Carolina courts, such as the lawsuit filed over Komoroski’s jail calls.
By Ali Rockett, The Post and Courier | Read more

Editorial: SC judge had no business kicking public out of cop-killer hearing

Months before the Alex Murdaugh double-murder trial started in tiny Hampton County, the defense and prosecution jointly asked S.C. Circuit Judge Clifton Newman to gag all the parties and severely limit which pre-trial motions the public could see.
The judge appropriately declined, citing the S.C. Constitution’s imperative that our courts be open and noting that the state Supreme Court has ruled that judges can restrict public access to court proceedings only as an absolute last resort to protect the defendant’s fair trial rights.
Flash forward to last month, in the much larger Florence County and the much-less-notorious murder case against Frederick Hopkins.
You might not know who we’re talking about, and that’s a small part of our point. Mr. Hopkins is the disbarred lawyer who is charged with ambushing Florence police officers in 2018 when they arrived at his home at an agreed-upon time to serve a search warrant on his son. Two officers were killed, five injured, and the state is appropriately seeking the death penalty.
From The Post and Courier | Read more

Blythewood mayor criticizes town’s attorney in press release

In a press release dated June 30, Blythewood Mayor Bryan Franklin called out the Town’s municipal attorney, Pete Balthazor, for “incorrectly stating the Town’s position regarding the legal invoices for the MPA Strategies lawsuits as advised by our outside attorneys.”
During last month’s final reading on the town’s budget, Council members Donald Brock and Sloan Griffin asked for a breakdown of the outside legal fees which are budgeted at $200,000 for fiscal year 2023-24.
They also said they were entitled to know how much the MPA lawsuits have cost the town.
The Town’s municipal attorney Pete Balthazor agreed, saying that, “obviously the amount that has been incurred by the Town would probably be public information.”
Balthazor went on to explain that, “Usually an itemized statement from an attorney lists the tasks the attorney has performed. That description of tasks would be attorney client privileged information. Not for you. You’d be able to review that information.”
That did not set well with Franklin.
By Barbara Ball, The Voice of Blythewood | Read more

Surfside Beach leaders made salary changes behind closed doors, records show

Surfside Beach Town Council approved employee pay raises behind closed doors and the mayor, without a vote from the entire council, approved a more than 20% pay raise to the interim administrator, according to records obtained through the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.
When town council came out of an executive session on June 27, they instructed the town administrator “to take prudent action” on what had been discussed behind closed doors. Executive session is a time during a meeting that public officials may discuss matters privately.
Citing “personnel issues,” the council refused to say what actions had been decided.
After receiving 38 pages of documents from a South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, My Horry News found that the council had made decisions during that executive session.
The FOIA allows councils to discuss personnel issues in executive session. But votes must be made out in public during the open session.
By Tom O'Dare, My Horry News | Read more

Toxic Deals: For decades, SC farmers have fertilized fields with sludge. It could be having toxic impacts

For years, farmers across South Carolina have used sludge from factories and sewage plants to fertilize the fields where crops grow and cattle graze.
Applied to thousands of acres since the 1990s, the sludge is billed as a cheap way to enrich the soil.
But increasingly, chemicals suspected of causing cancer, high cholesterol and other health problems are being found in the mucky waste.
Scientists, environmentalists and some farmers worry that the pollutants in sludge, called PFAS or forever chemicals, are contaminating drinking water, poisoning crops and sickening people.
“We’re talking about cancer-causing chemicals that can get into surface water and, therefore, into drinking water systems or in fish people eat,’’ said environmental lawyer Ben Cunningham, who has pushed the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to tighten state oversight of sewer sludge.
Statewide, DHEC has approved at least 80,000 acres of agricultural land to be sprayed with sludge, a mushy byproduct from wastewater plants, textile factories and other industrial facilities, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by The State Media Co. and McClatchy, the Columbia newspaper’s parent company.
That’s more than 3,500 agricultural fields that have been approved for sludge disposal, the news organizations found.
By Sammy Fretwell and Susan Merriam, The State | Read more

North Augusta businessman files FOIA suit against city

A North Augusta businessman is suing the city of North Augusta over what he alleges is a still unfulfilled Freedom of Information Act request pertaining to the city’s handling of towing services.
Attorneys for Jared Littrell and his business, Atomic Customs and Towing, filed the complaint in Aiken County Court of Common Pleas July 10. Littrell alleges the city is more than eight months late in furnishing him with the documents it agreed to provide.
By Elizabeth Hustad, The Post and Courier North Augusta | Read more
SCPA Attorney
Taylor Smith

SCPA lawyer defends free press, public’s right to know

Taylor M. Smith IV’s professional career started in journalism, moved into the law and then morphed into a combination of the two.
A partner with Harrison, Radeker & Smith in Columbia, his practice includes serving as lead counsel for the S.C. Press Association, the professional organization for the state’s 82 daily and weekly newspapers.
His work for the association and other media-related clients runs the gamut from defending against libel lawsuits to lobbying the South Carolina General Assembly to convincing recalcitrant public officials — and, if they still resist, their attorneys — to meet the requirements of the state’s freedom-of-information and public meeting laws.
Chance led Smith to what was then Harrison & Radeker in November 2011.
By Ross Chandler, S.C. Lawyers Weekly | Read more

People & Papers

The Journal hosted a drop-in yesterday to celebrate Oliver's retirement.

Longtime Seneca Journal reporter Greg Oliver to retire July 27 

It’s almost curtain call on a nearly four-decade career in local journalism for Greg Oliver.
The Oconee County native dialed back to part-time nearly two years ago, but he will completely vacate his desk — along with its years’ worth of notes and memorabilia — before his final day on Thursday, July 27. He started in the reporting business in 1988 when he covered radio news for WSNW in Seneca and the now-defunct WLET in Toccoa, Ga., in 1989. Oliver’s first foray into newspapers was stringing for the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald.
Oliver was hired as a staff writer at The Journal in 1994 under the ownership of the Edwards family. He then accepted a role as the editor of the Easley Progress for two and a half years in 2000 before returning to Seneca.
“I’m just taking one day at a time, but it feels pretty good,” Oliver said of his dwindling news days. “It’s going to be nice not to be on a daily schedule.”
He has covered essentially every local beat imaginable over the years, with a recent focus on Central, Clemson, Pickens County Council and the School District of Oconee County.
Oliver said one story he’ll never forget reporting on was a prized rodeo bull that got loose at Shaver Recreation Complex and was subsequently shot.
“No bull,” Oliver said, “it wandered onto the track.”
From The Journal | Read more
By Zoe Nicholson,
Free Times

Zoe Nicholson named editor of Free Times newspaper

The second piece of journalism I ever got paid for was a profile for the Free Times.
It was 2019 and I was a senior at the University of South Carolina. I wrote a profile about a local streetwear designer, Pierre Nelson, and the Free Times bought it. That $50 went right back into the local economy (Five Points).
Four years later, I’m back. 
I am the new managing editor of the Free Times, a part of the Post and Courier Columbia. I will lead coverage of Columbia and the Midlands’ arts, culture and food coverage. 
My career has been spent in hard news — covering Clemson (yes, I know) for the Greenville News and covering growth, education and investigations for the Savannah Morning News in Georgia. During that time, I learned the value of a story. A story has the ability to change minds, to ignite revolution, to heal and to wound. Journalism tells the stories we live as we’re living them, and I hope that, as editor, I can help the Free Times adequately and accurately tell the stories of people and places expressing themselves through art, food, music, theater and culture. Read more
Moultrie News reporter Anna Sharpe and editor Kenna Coe (right) pose with award-winning issues of the newspaper. Photo by Cathleen Thomas, Moultrie News. 

Column: Farewell, Moultrie News

Editor's Note: Coe's next job will be as a reporter for The Post and Courier covering North Charleston.
As I’m wrapping up my final week as editor for the Moultrie News, I can’t help but reflect on the last two and a half years I’ve spent at the paper. While my time with the Moultrie News is just a blip in the nearly 60-year history of the East Cooper paper, it’s been a rewarding experience both professionally and personally.
Most of that has to do with the people I’ve encountered along the way — from school principals and teachers who are motivated to educate the next generation to nonprofit leaders who seek to make the community a better place. I’ve learned from town leaders about what’s impacting this area the most and heard stories from people in the community who have spent their entire lives here. I’ve interviewed artists, business owners, police officers and firefighters, historians and community leaders — each with a unique story, perspective and expertise.
I started working for the Moultrie News on Nov. 16, 2020 as a general assignment reporter. It was my first job out of college. I studied journalism at the University of South Carolina with the goal of becoming a newspaper reporter. Little did I know I would be starting my career in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. While there were challenges, such as not being able to meet people face-to-face for several months and a lack of local events, I better understood the importance of a community paper and the value it brings to a community.
By Kenna Coe, Moultrie News | Read more
The staff of the Chronicle-Independent — (from left) Editor Martin L. Cahn, General Manager Betsy Greenway, and Sports Editor Tom Didato. Photo by Dale Morefield, Chronicle-Independent.

Chronicle-Independent moves into new office

After 35 years on West DeKalb Street, the Chronicle-Independent [has moved into] a new home: 1001-D Market St. in Camden. ...
[The] move is the latest change for the newspaper since the original Camden Chronicle debuted 134 years ago in 1889, founded by Westville native William L. McDowell as publisher and B.B. Clarke as editor. The paper has operated out of various locations during its history, mostly on Broad Street, including for many years near the Kershaw County Courthouse between what used to be Blake & Ford and Midlands Printing.
Ninety years after its founding, in 1979, former Camden Chronicle employees Michael Mischner and Glenn Tucker launched the Camden Independent. The two papers merged in 1981 under Morris Multimedia, continuing to operate on Broad Street as Camden Media Co. The company built the West DeKalb Street property and moved there in 1988, conducting business there for the next 35 years.
Tucker left the company in the mid-2010s, and Mischner retired in February, resulting in the sale of Camden Media Co., including the Chronicle-Independent and its sister publications, the Lee County Observer and Blythewood/Fairfield County Country Chronicle to Paxton Media Group of Paducah, Ky.
With today’s move, the Chronicle-Independent utilizes a smaller, but more appropriate space for its current needs. 
From the Chronicle-Independent | Read more
Related: Old C-I building sold for nearly $600,000 (By Martin Cahn, Chronicle-Independent)
The Post and Courier Columbia and Free Times new office location at 1225 Lady St. Photo by Leah Hincks, Post and Courier Columbia.

In wake of sustained growth, Post and Courier Columbia and Free Times relocate to Lady St.

The Post and Courier Columbia and Free Times will relocate its editorial and business offices at the end of July as the paper’s Midlands-based team continues to expand.
The move to Lady Street will accommodate a team that has added more than 10 positions to its Columbia staff since moving into the Post and Courier Columbia’s current office space in the Waverly neighborhood four years ago.
“Our staff in Columbia is excited for our upcoming move to Lady Street,” said Chase Heatherly, publisher of Free Times and The Post and Courier Columbia. “We look forward to returning to the Main Street District in a newly renovated office space that can accommodate the growth of our staff in recent years.”
The first of The Post and Courier’s expansion bureaus across South Carolina, the paper has expanded its Columbia presence after taking over the Free Times in 2016, and has since expanded its staff to cover local and statewide news.
Originally located on Main Street, the paper moved to its current home at 2101 Gervais Street in 2019. Since then, the staff has grown from 17 to 30. In need of more space, The Post and Courier Columbia and Free Times will relocate to 1225 Lady Street, in the same building as the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.
By Leah Hincks, The Post and Courier Columbia | Read more
Elijah de Castro is the newest member of The People-Sentinel's news team. Photo by Jonathan Vickery.

People-Sentinel welcomes Elijah de Castro to team

The People-Sentinel’s news team and coverage is growing.
The newspaper welcomed Elijah de Castro as a new reporter on July 10. He joins publisher Jonathan Vickery and reporter Alexandra Whitbeck.
“We are excited to welcome Elijah to our dedicated team. He will primarily focus on covering Allendale County, which has not had a newspaper in more than a decade. We look forward to the great journalism he will provide the community,” said Vickery.
Though the newspaper has been publishing a regular Allendale County News page, de Castro was hired to grow coverage in Allendale County so residents there can stay better informed about the community.
“As The People-Sentinel's Allendale County reporter, I'm excited to get to know members of that community. It's clear that Allendale County has been left behind and has been struggling in a lot of different ways. I want my reporting to be part of the solution, and in order to do that I need to know the people of the county and hear their voices,” said de Castro.
His position is partially funded by Report for America, a non-profit organization that helps connect local newsrooms with emerging journalists to work in underserved or unserved areas.
“As I went through the interview process, I was most impressed by The People-Sentinel. The fact that the paper is so small was what attracted me to it. Often larger newspapers have editors that try to tell stories from a certain angle and end up doing more harm than good. It was clear to me by talking to Jonathan and Alex that their mission is noble,” said de Castro.
By Jonathan Vickery, The People-Sentinel | Read more

Seneca Journal hires two in circulation department

The two new additions to The Journal’s circulation department are certainly far from where they were, but they’re undoubtedly at home in the newspaper business.
Audience development and distribution director Tad Kilgore and customer service manager Skyla Newman traded homes in the Cowboy State for the Palmetto State this week as The Journal continues to invest in its operation through reaching more of its area audience.
Kilgore has worked in circulation roles for newspapers in Upstate New York, where he is originally from, as well as others in Atlanta, Charleston, Phoenix, Sacramento and Tallahassee. Kilgore most recently worked in Cheyenne, Wyo., as the regional director of audience and distribution for the Adams Publishing Group. He was charged with oversight of consumer acquisition and retention, logistics and distribution for seven different newspapers.
“I have devoted my career to keeping journalism local. This company invests in its newsrooms and puts journalism front and center,” Kilgore said. “We have as many people in our newsroom as the corporate-owned Anderson, Greenville and Spartanburg newspapers combined. We can hold our government accountable. We can be the eyes and ears for our community. I embrace that.” ...
Newman was a self-employed artist in Cheyenne, Wyo., for eight years before becoming the in-house graphic designer/customer service representative for Adams Publishing Group in Laramie, Wyo. Newman will be one of the first faces customers see when visiting The Journal’s editorial office. Read more

Upstate journalist to join Bob Jones University faculty

On Aug. 1, Nathaniel Cary will be joining the journalism writing faculty at Bob Jones University, his alma mater, where he will advise the college newspaper and teach news and writing courses. 
Cary has spent nearly two decades working as a journalist in the Upstate. For the past three years, he has worked as a reporter for The Post and Courier Greenville. He also previously served as an investigative reporter, education writer, and environment and energy writer for The Greenville News, and worked for seven years as a staff writer for the Tribune-Times.
In his announcement on social media, he wrote, "I am excited for the opportunity to mold future generations of reporters and writers and to take on a new challenge in the classroom. As the news business continues to change, stories will still need to be shared."

The Sumter Item awarded API product development program grant

The American Press Institute awarded grants to The Sumter Item and five other news organizations participating in the product development sprint for alumni of the Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program. Each participating organization received $5,000 to support products developed in the program. 
Since February, the cohort has been learning from top news product thinkers through a program designed in collaboration with News Product Alliance. The teams conducted audience research to surface problems their communities face, developed prototypes to test their concepts and conducted user research to improve those prototypes. The grants will support the launch and maintenance of their products. ...
The Sumter Item received funding to support its "Next Generation” content vertical that will highlight high-achieving high-schoolers outside of sports. 
From American Press Institute | Read more

Post and Courier tops division with 7 awards in national feature writing contest

The Post and Courier garnered the most honors of any newspaper in its division in a features journalism contest that recognizes the finest storytelling in the nation. 
The Society for Features Journalism honored the newspaper with seven awards, including two first-place finishes, for stories about a case of modern-day slavery, the creation of a ground-breaking opera, an inmate awaiting his execution date and more. That earned The Post and Courier top honors for the most awards among newspapers with a circulation under 90,000.
From The Post and Courier | Read more

5 S.C. journalists named Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism fellows

The Poynter Institute and Stand Together Fellowships are proud to welcome 61 early-career journalists, including five from South Carolina, to the prestigious Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship program. The yearlong fellowship kicks off in August.
This class of impressive news professionals includes reporters, editors, photographers, photojournalists and audience producers from news organizations across the country.
South Carolina fellows include Alexa Jurado, Loumay Alesali and Ted Clifford of The State; Eva Herscowitz of The Post and Courier; and Haley Jones of The Lancaster News.
The joint program is in its fifth year. Fellows accepted into the fellowship are placed in full-time, paying roles at news organizations or participate in their current roles. The fellowship pays 60% of their salary. As part of the fellowship, they’ll receive training to develop cross-disciplinary skills and accelerate their careers in journalism by connecting with seasoned mentors and award-winning journalists on a weekly basis and through three in-person events throughout the year. Their robust, real-world curriculum is led by Poynter’s Kristen Hare and Stand Together Fellowship’s Benét J. Wilson.
From Poynter Institute | Read more

Cover released for upcoming book by Michael DeWitt Jr.

Evening Post Books recently revealed the cover of one of its most anticipated books of the year, The Fall of the House of Murdaugh. The book, written by SCPA member Michael DeWitt Jr., details the legacy of the Murdaugh family and the impact they had in their hometown in South Carolina. 
DeWitt is an award-winning journalist and longtime editor of the 143-year-old Hampton County Guardian. DeWitt's boots-on-the-ground coverage of the Murdaugh crime saga has been published in print and online around Gannett's nationwide USAToday network, and he has appeared on ABC's 20/20, CBS's 48 Hours, Dateline NBC and Netflix documentaries to discuss the case. DeWitt is also the author of Hampton County (Images of America series, Arcadia Publishing/The History Press, May 2015), a photo history of the place his family has called home for close to three hundred years."
Michael DeWitt Jr. has also commented that his novel is in no way connected to the upcoming Fox Nation docuseries that shares the same name. The title of his book has been shared publicly and set for more than a year. 
The News and Press showed off its remodeled office on July 13 as it hosted the Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce for a Business After Hours event. General Manager Dawson Jordan (at left) welcomed approximately 45 attendees, who were treated to a variety of delicious food and beverages as well as tours of the office. 

Industry Briefs

Report for America accepting applications through Sept. 18

Report for America announced recently that applications are now open for news organizations interested in partnering to host emerging and experienced journalists in their newsrooms for up to three years, beginning next summer. 
Report for America is a national service program that places talented journalists—corps members—into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. Through the program, host newsrooms receive:
  • Diverse, talented slate of candidates to choose from
  • Subsidized salary support for up to three years
  • Local fundraising coaching and resources, including the opportunity for fiscal sponsorship to accept donations 
  • Extra training and mentoring for journalists
“We understand the challenges today’s newsrooms face, not only finding talented journalists but also providing the mentorship and support they might seek,” said Earl Johnson, vice president of recruitment and alumni engagement at Report for America. “By partnering with Report for America, local newsrooms are better positioned to cover important issues, diversify their newsrooms, and grow sustainable, local support within their communities.”
The application deadline is Sept. 18, 2023, and newsrooms will be publicly announced in December. More information about how the program works can be found here.
While all local news organizations are eligible to apply, Report for America looks to expand its reach into rural areas, as well as newsrooms owned or led by journalists of color. Prospective newsrooms must identify specific gaps in coverage in the community, drawing attention to under-covered communities or issues. Read more

S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce announces its 2023 Employer Photo Contest

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) is pleased to announce an exciting photo contest for businesses across the state. The SC@Work: 2023 Photo Contest is an initiative to celebrate hard work and dedication in South Carolina by showcasing pictures of “SC at work,” in which employers across the state capture photos of their employees working.
The contest invites everyone from amateur to professional photographers to submit images that catch the energy, hustle, and passion of people’s lives at their workplace.
The deadline for submitting entries is Aug. 21. Learn more

To sustain themselves, innovative rural newspapers develop alternative revenue sources, including a nonprofit element

Two of America's most innovative rural newspapers, a weekly and a daily, are following very different strategies to sustain their journalism in the digital age. They were the focus of a session July 7 at the National Summit on Journalism in Rural America, sponsored by the Institute for Rural Jouranalism and Community Issues (publisher of The Rural Blog).
Alternative revenue sources are the reason The Pilot, a twice-weekly in Southern Pines, N.C., has 11 newsroom employees, Publisher David Woronoff said. At The Keene Sentinel in southwest New Hampshire, reader donations are supporting journalism, especially a nonprofit subsidiary focused on health, said Jack Rooney, the daily's managing editor for audience development.
Woronoff led off the session by saying, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. If the only tool you have is a newspaper, then the solution to all of your community's information and marketing needs is going to be – surprise, surprise – more newspaper.  . . . Sometimes you need a glossy magazine to to solve that information need. And sometimes you need a daily email newsletter, or sometimes you need a annual phone book, or sometimes you need a independent bookstore. And that and that's what we do. . . . We're in the community-building business, and news just happens to be the service we render."
Woronoff said The Pilot is 30% larger than it was when he and his partners bought it 27 years ago, "but it only represents 25% of our total enterprise. So we have stretched that overhead across a lot of revenue, which gives us the ability to finance our journalism. So that's why, in a relatively rural community, we have an 11-person newsroom. . . . We're able to produce that sort of journalistic heft because we have expanded beyond just being a newspaper."
By Al Cross, Institute for Rural Journalism | Read more
Related Video: The Summit was a hybrid event, with in-person and online audiences. View the recording.

Tips for success: Selling email newsletters to advertisers

As news organizations continue to grow email subscriber lists, more opportunities emerge to drive revenue through advertising and sponsorship in newsletters. Three industry leaders on email monetization shared advice on those opportunities in a virtual webinar as part of Local Media Association’s recent Accelerate Local How-To Series.
Direct sponsorships for niche topics
Click2Houston, a television station owned by Graham Media Group in Houston, has had success with direct sponsorships for its niche newsletters, including the Houston Sports Daily email. The newsletter is sponsored by Xfinity and has an open rate of 30%.
Stephanie Slagle, vice president and chief innovation officer at Graham Media Group, said these types of sponsorships work well for advertisers because they know they are reaching a loyal audience that cares about the content.
“We’ve got large markets with rabid fans of not only our stations, but our teams,” she said.
By Penny Riordan, Local Media Association | Read more

Academic journals that give journalists free access

Some journalists might not realize that many academic journals let them bypass their paywalls. We show you which ones and how to set up free accounts.
By Denise-Marie Ordway, The Journalist's Resource | Read more


Longtime Charleston newspaper reporter, business editor Charles Williams dies

Charles deV. Williams, a longtime Lowcountry journalist who filled numerous editing and reporting roles over a 35-career at The Post and Courier and its predecessor newspapers, died July 11. He was 78 and lived in Mount Pleasant.
Williams, who went by Charlie, was born in 1944 in Charleston. He graduated from Bishop England High School and enrolled in the University of South Carolina’s journalism school, following his father, Charles Braxton “C.B.” Williams, who was the program’s first graduate in 1925.
The younger Williams served in the Navy and joined The News and Courier in 1970 as a sports reporter after working part-time in the circulation department.
He was state news editor before being promoted to metropolitan editor in 1973 and later became city editor. In December 1980, he was named to fill the newly created position of business editor.
From The Post and Courier | Read more

Upcoming Events

Thanks to funding from the SCPA Foundation, "Earn Your Press Pass," a self-paced online training course is now available to SCPA members at no charge. Sign up to start learning! SCPA will also host a demo/Q&A on Tuesday, July 25 from 2-2:30 p.m. Let us know if you'd like to attend.
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