Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Dec. 9, 2022

Registration will open Monday for 2023 Legislative Preview for the Media

Registration for the annual Legislative Preview for the Media will open Monday.
Make plans to join key leaders of the General Assembly on Monday, Jan. 9, from 9:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. at the Statehouse as we discuss various topics that will impact the Palmetto State in 2023. 
This event – sponsored by the S.C. Press Association, S.C. Broadcasters Association, SCETV and The Associated Press – is a one-stop shop for the media to interview key members of both the House and Senate. Confirmed panelists will be announced next week. 
We recommend this event for editors, reporters, editorial writers, publishers and managers.
All discussions are on the record. 
Lunch will be provided.
If you register by Jan. 1, the fee to attend is only $60.
If you register between Jan. 2-5, the fee will increase to $70. 
Registrations will not be accepted after Thursday, Jan. 5.
Please note space is limited and this event is only open to members of SCPA, AP and SCBA.

Last call to apply for a Foundation summer internship or scholarship

TODAY is the final day to apply for the SCPA Foundation's internship and scholarship programs.
Our Foundation’s internship program provides a meaningful, hands-on training experience for students interested in news reporting, copy editing, photojournalism, advertising or visual communications. Rising juniors and seniors, and recent college graduates are eligible. Each internship is eight weeks long and pays $4,000.
We also award a scholarship each year to a S.C. college student interested in pursuing a newspaper career. The premier scholarship, worth $1,000 per academic year, is named for the Foundation’s first president, the late Frank R. Mundy of the Greenwood Index-Journal.

2023 Press IDs and clings available

It's time to order your staff's 2023 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.
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.

2023 S.C. Media Directory is in the mail

The 2023 edition of the S.C. Media Directory is being mailed to SCPA members this week.
The guide, published annually by SCPA, includes detailed information on all 15 daily and 75 weekly and monthly newspapers in South Carolina including newspaper contact info, circulation and readership figures, and advertising information. It also includes info about SCPA's collegiate, associate and individual members, as well as South Carolina's TV and radio stations.
Each member organization receives a free copy. It is also mailed to ad agencies throughout the state and Southeast.
Additional copies can be ordered for $40.
The cover photo, “Catch the Tide,” was taken by Charles Swenson of the Coastal Observer. A hatchling discovered during a nest inventory makes its way to the ocean at Pawleys Island. Sea turtle numbers are increasing after three decades of volunteer monitoring. This photo was also on the cover of “Beaches,” the Coastal Observer’s annual guide to the season on Waccamaw Neck.
Thanks to everyone who entered the 2022 News Contest! We've started reviewing entries this week and will send a master entry report and invoice after we ensure everything is ready for judging. If you'd like to be better organized to make entering easier next year, here's a Google Sheet to keep track of things you may want to submit in 2023!

"Teacher shortage" 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.

Legal Briefs

Judged poised to dismiss former LR5 school board member's lawsuit over Facebook group

A South Carolina judge indicated Friday she’s prepared to dismiss a now-former Midlands school board member’s lawsuit against a constituent who ran a Facebook group critical of the board.
Judge Jean Toal did not issue a formal order after a hearing Friday, but said from the bench that a lawsuit brought by former Lexington-Richland 5 school board member Ken Loveless would not be able to overcome federal law and Supreme Court precedent moving forward.
Loveless sued district parent Leslie Stiles in March over comments made in her Facebook group Deep Dive Into D5. The lawsuit ultimately led to a page that was often critical of the Chapin-Irmo area school board being shut down.
Loveless sued Stiles both over critical comments she made on the Facebook page, and for allowing others to post comments critical of Loveless including calling him “Crooked Ken” and “a loser.”
But Toal agreed with defense attorney Chris Kenney that action against Stiles for others’ comments on the page is barred by the federal Communications Decency Act, which prohibits the operator of a website from being liable for public comments posted by others to the site.
By Bristow Marchant, The State | Read more
Related: Judge close to shutting down ex-Columbia school board member’s libel suit (By T. Michael Boddie, The Post and Courier Columbia)

FOI Briefs

Is corroded Horry County condo an omen for the SC coast?

The Post and Courier has requested public records from Horry County under the state’s Freedom of Information Act that would help tower residents and the public better understand what happened, including fire department radio traffic, inspection reports and emails sent and received by the county’s code enforcement director on the day of the evacuation. The county demanded hundreds of dollars for public records and refused to explain the cost.
In another attempt to begin measuring the scale of the issue, The Post and Courier mapped the location of elevator permits using state-provided data to identify tall buildings from Horry County down the South Carolina coast that fall within coastal surge zones, meaning those close enough to the ocean for a hurricane to cause tidal flooding. The data doesn’t include construction dates, heights or building materials, which could further identify those most at risk.
The paper’s analysis, a rough outline of buildings that may be most exposed to saltwater, identified nearly 2,000 structures with elevators in surge zones along the South Carolina coast.
By John Ramsey, The Post and Courier | Read more

DHEC launches investigation into Recovery Ranch activity following MyHorryNews report

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control opened an investigation into potential violations of the Clean Air Act at the Loris-area Recovery Ranch following reporting by about ranch conditions.
A reporter and photographer visited the Recovery Ranch on Aug. 24, 2021, and witnessed two large modular homes engulfed in flames. Christa Reynolds, who ran the ranch, said the modular homes were in such poor condition that ranch leaders burned them down rather than move them to Dillon.
"They weren’t even safe, honestly, at that point to move, from a financial perspective, and the condition they were left in,” Reynolds said that day. “It made sense.”
Photographer Janet Morgan’s photos of the fires were published online in the story "‘Agape love’ or ‘Nightmare’? The rise and fall of the Loris Recovery Ranch" on Nov. 15. On Friday, three days after the story published, DHEC office manager Shawn Williams emailed Morgan to ask about the ranch’s address, which is 950 Liberty Church Road, near Loris.
By Christian Boschult, MyHorryNews | Read more

Editorial: Navigating FOIA in Abbeville County

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Admitting the mistake is the right thing, and we trust an honest mistake was made and a lesson was learned that will benefit county council and the public going forward.
We, as well as a county resident, were critical of Abbeville County Council’s decision to head behind closed doors in October to effectively reconsider how much in accommodations tax dollars it would dole out to the Chamber of Commerce. That body had sought a $55,000 allocation, which council reduced to $25,000. A Chamber representative present at that meeting voiced disappointment about the decision, which then led to council’s vote to enter into executive session to discuss the matter. That vote was in clear violation of the state’s Freedom of Information Act, which clearly defines what public bodies can discuss behind closed doors.
Chairman Billy Norris addressed the matter in a story published on Tuesday’s front page, saying, “That was a mistake that I made. I didn’t know what exactly what the discussion was going to be about. It slipped past me and the other council members.”
It was not until council returned to open session and voted to increase the Chamber’s allocation by $5,000, Norris said, that he realized the closed-door meeting was unwarranted.
From the Index-Journal | Read more

Former high school teacher with Horry County Schools fired for ‘inappropriate’ behavior

A former educator with Horry County Schools was fired after he was reported “having inappropriate conversations with students,” according to a termination letter.
Shane Cacho, who was a substitute teacher at Myrtle Beach High School, had his last day with the district on Oct. 31, the letter obtained My Horry News states.
A person told an officer that Cacho was sending inappropriate messages to a group chat with students, according to a police report reviewed by the newspaper.
It states the incident location was the school’s address.
The alleged incident is categorized as “pornography/obscene material,” in the report.
Cacho has not been charged police spokesman Thomas Vest told My Horry News.
A Freedom of Information Act request form was submitted to the district Wednesday.
This comes after a middle school teacher was charged with assault after grabbing a student and pushing her.
By Maya Brown, The Sun News | Read more

People & Papers


Post and Courier hires publisher, advertising director in Greenville

The Post and Courier has hired a publisher and advertising director as it expands its Upstate operations and prepares to open a new office in downtown Greenville.
Kevin Smith will lead the company’s advertising and business initiatives in Greenville and Spartanburg. Smith has spent most of his career in media sales. His recent roles include vice president of the Newspaper National Network, a consortium of 25 major media companies such as Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and as a vice president of national sales with Active Interest Media.
“It’s a true honor to be selected to help lead The Post and Courier’s expansion into the Upstate,” Smith said. “I’m thrilled to join such a prestigious news brand during an exciting period of growth.”
By Ryan Gilchrest, The Post and Courier Greenville | Read more

The People-Sentinel receives Report for America grant to expand coverage

The People-Sentinel is expanding its coverage thanks to a grant from Report for America (RFA).
RFA is a non-profit organization that seeks to place skilled journalists in underserved and unserved communities throughout the country. The People-Sentinel is one of nearly 30 new host newsroom partners - and only two in South Carolina - selected by RFA for 2023.
“Far too many Americans desperately need reliable, fact-based information to make decisions about their daily lives, and a growing number of local newsrooms are turning to us for support,” said Kim Kleman, senior vice president of Report for America. “We were blown away by the breadth of applications we received, and only wish we had the ability to bring on even more newsrooms this year.”
The People-Sentinel applied for funding to add a Rural Communities beat reporter to its dedicated team. This reporter will focus on the issues that impact rural communities, specifically government, education, and healthcare.
“The People-Sentinel has primarily served Barnwell County since it was founded in 1852, but this amazing opportunity through Report for America will allow us to expand coverage into neighboring communities that lack consistent, quality coverage,” said Jonathan Vickery, a Barnwell native and publisher of The People-Sentinel.
The newspaper especially wants to grow coverage of Allendale County, which has not had a newspaper for close to a decade. Though The People-Sentinel has started publishing a regular Allendale County news page most weeks, this grant will allow that coverage to grow.
“Newspapers play a vital role in American democracy by keeping the community informed while also holding public officials accountable,” said Vickery.
From The People-Sentinel | Read more
The Post and Courier will also host a Report for America reporter covering the 2024 presidential primary from a rural perspective. The deadline to apply for both positions is Jan. 30.

Industry Briefs

Congress drops JCPA amid Facebook, industry blowback

Lawmakers on Tuesday ended what had been an effort to allow media organizations to band together to negotiate revenue sharing deals with tech giants, leaving the provisions out of a massive spending bill amid intense pushback from industry and advocacy groups.
The measure, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), was omitted from a bicameral agreement on Congress’s sprawling defense-spending legislation, according to the bill’s text released late Tuesday. The JCPA provisions had been considered for potential inclusion, according to two people familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private talks.
The move came a day after Facebook said it would “consider removing news from our platform” if lawmakers moved ahead with the measure, a threat that publisher groups denounced.
By Cristiano Lima, Washington Post | Read more

Paper chase. It’s been a tough go in recent years for those in charge of newsprint supply at our nation’s newspapers. Are things settling down?

Relief may be at hand for newspaper operations dogged by newsprint supply chain snarls and the rising costs of the paper over the past three years. Newspapers should expect significant changes in the market by early 2023 along with downward pressure on prices, according to Derek Mahlburg, director of North American paper and packaging analysis for Fastmarkets, an information provider for the forest products industry that newspaper operations pros turn to for data.
The cost of newsprint production went from around $470 a tonne in Q1 of 2019 to $552 a tonne in Q3 of 2022, according to Fastmarkets.
Fading by mid-November were the supply-chain disruptions and trucking challenges wrought by the pandemic and the effects of certain geopolitical events, such as trucker protests in Canada and the war in Ukraine.
By Mary Reardon for Editor & Publisher | Read more

As Twitter changes, think about where your audience is — and be there

There has been a lot of discussion and questions asked about the future of Twitter and what it means for journalists. Some journalists are leaving the platform, some are debating doing so and others are staying. At the same time, others are joining other emerging social platforms. 
With this Trust Tips, I don’t have an answer for what newsrooms and journalists should do when it comes to Twitter, but at Trusting News we have been thinking about this issue. And we have a concern and some suggestions to share. 
First, the concern: As we watch journalists make statements about no longer being on Twitter, we wonder who they’re following to other platforms, and who they think they’re leading. Most of the country is not breathlessly following updates about changes on Twitter. And we’re here to serve people, not to talk to other journalists. If you want to jump to another platform to see how industry conversations are evolving there, great. But make sure you’re not abandoning a community on Twitter that isn’t making your same decisions.
By Lynn Walsh, Trusting News | Read more

GE buys out entire NYT print paper in historic first

The New York Times on Tuesday unveiled a unique version of its weekday print paper featuring more than two dozen ads from just one advertiser — General Electric.
Why it matters: It’s the first time in the paper’s 171-year history that any advertiser has gotten to own all of The Times’ print real estate exclusively — in addition to most of its premier digital advertising real estate.
  • To celebrate the occasion, top executives from The Times and GE met at The Times’ flagship printing press in Queens to watch the papers print in real time Monday evening.
  • The partnership represents a shift at The Times in the last ten years from selling pages ad hoc to building big, interactive marketing campaigns for brands that are highly produced and can earn their own coverage.
Details: The seven-figure campaign centers on GE’s core message of focus, as it begins a plan to split into three publicly-traded companies: GE HealthCare, GE Aerospace and GE Vernova (energy).
By Sara Fischer, Axios | Read more

How should journalists talk about polarizing statements by politicians? We tested it.

When a politician makes a false claim, it puts journalists in a bind — and politicians know it. Journalism should be simultaneously accurate, impartial, enforce accountability, and support democracy and political participation — but when an official repeats a disproven claim about election integrity, it can feel difficult to uphold all of these values at once.
Constituents should know what their officials are saying, but it’s also true that repeating purposeful misinformation can do a disservice to audiences. It’s often not the right answer to report “both sides” of a story in a neutral tone as if they have equal merit. Yet a strong stance that minces no words about false claims that undermine confidence in voting may never reach the ears of the voters who need to hear it.
By Joshua Darr, Trusting News | Read more

Compelling Writing by Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune,
Writing Coach

Are sentence fragments good or bad?

In fifth grade, Mrs. Lide was a stickler for proper grammar. 
She told us to avoid sentence fragments.
They’re not good grammar, she said. 
Sentences need subjects, verbs and predicates.
She called a fragment only a group of words that starts with a capital letter and ends with a period, question mark or exclamation mark – but it is grammatically incomplete.
In seventh grade, Miss Havird said sentence fragments were permissible. Especially if you use them for effect.
Miss Havird was a published poet. Mrs. Lide wasn’t.
I took Miss Havird’s advice.
Many writers use sentence fragments to emphasize certain words, to achieve a staccato beat.
John McPhee used fragments in a New Yorker magazine article, The Keel of Lake Dickey, his account of a chilly winter canoe trip on the St. John River:
Breakfast at six. Strong tea. “Sheep dip” was what the lumberjacks called their tea. We need it. The air is just above the freeze point. We do not eat light. Trout. Fried potatoes. Sourdough pancakes.
McPhee is setting up a scene. He wants us to feel as if we are there on the banks of the river with him.
Winston Churchill recounted Hitler’s boast that Britain was a chicken whose neck he would quickly wring. 
Churchill eloquently ended with sentence fragments: 
“Some chicken, some neck!”
Churchill was a master of oratory. He showed how effective the deliberate use of an incomplete sentence can be.
Arthur Plotnik in A Writer’s Guide to Bold, Contemporary Style wrote. “Most fragments piggyback on the action of the sentences preceding them, adding some modifying detail or reinforcing imagery: The vacuum sucked the alien through the porthole. Tentacles first, egg sac last. Into the grip of space. Black. Airless. Lethal."
Here is an example from my essay collection, Letters From Twelve Mile Creek:
"It never stops. Never sleeps. It runs cold. Even in August.
Twelve Mile Creek runs deep. Northwest to southeast. Running to reach the river. Mostly benign, it is a gurgling little stream.
With heavy rains, it swells and destroys dams. Floods homes. Closes businesses. Makes a mess of life."

I want you to feel the creek’s dramatic personality.
When you use sentence fragments – and we both know you will – don’t just show off. Be deliberate about it.

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