Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Aug. 3, 2023

SCNN quarterly payouts return nearly $41,000 to SCPA member papers

S.C. Newspaper Network (SCNN), the sales arm of SCPA, mailed quarterly advertising network payments totaling nearly $41,000 to SCPA member newspapers last week.
These totals include the Small Space Display (2x2/2x4/2x6) Advertising Network payout of $15,227 and the QuarterPage+ Ad Network payout of $25,734. Classified revenue is paid out annually in January.
“A big thanks to all of the member papers that participate in our ad networks for helping make this a very successful quarter,” said Randall Savely, Co-Executive Director of SCPA and SCNN. “The networks are vital to the operations of SCPA and also a great source of added revenue for member papers.”
Every daily newspaper and virtually every weekly newspaper participates in SCNN's ad networks. If your newspaper does not participate in one of the SCNN networks, contact Randall to learn how these networks can provide added revenue to your newspaper.

SCPA can run SLED checks on your local candidates; 
Add election public notices to

A reminder that SCPA is able to run SLED criminal background checks on candidates for local races.
To obtain a SLED check, you must provide the candidate's full name and date of birth.
Please call our office during business hours at (803) 750-9561 to request a SLED check.
SCPA is able to run SLED checks for all news stories, including crime/public safety reporting.
And while elections are on your mind, please remember that public notices for regular and special elections should be added to our statewide public notice site. Since these run as display ads, not all are being manually added or auto-fed into the system. SCPA is happy to add these important notices to for you! Please send us the PDF or let us know the run date and we'll pull the notices from your e-edition.

Last call to register for Weekly Editors Roundtable on Aug. 11

Weekly editors, don't wait until it's too late! Monday is the final day to sign up for next week's Weekly/Monthly Editors Roundtable. Join your peers at SCPA Offices in Columbia on Aug. 11, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Topics are up to the group, but may include: FOI issues, motivating and training staff, special projects and sections, multimedia reporting, social media opportunities and issues, stories that get traction and more. We’ll also have plenty of time for open discussion.
The cost to attend is $25, which includes lunch. 
Daily editors, now is the time to sign up for your roundtable, set for Friday, Aug. 18.
Congratulations to Jana Schroeder of The People-Sentinel on winning seven PALMY Advertising Awards! Schroeder is the sales rep and ad designer for the Barnwell newspaper. (Pictured center with Publisher Jonathan Vickery, left, and Jen Madden, right).  
SCPA staff visited The Newberry Observer last week. From left: Rachel Banks, Orin Griffin, Jen Madden, Andrew Wigger and Rubi Flores. 

Legal Briefs

Term in review: how a free press fared at the Supreme Court

These days, as professors RonNell Andersen Jones and Sonja West have documented, the U.S. Supreme Court rarely turns its attention directly to press freedom and rarely thinks out loud about the impact its rulings will have on journalists. But questions important to the rights of reporters still routinely lurk beneath the surface of the court’s decisions, as its most recent term, which featured a remarkable roster of free speech controversies, starkly underlines. This year saw important victories and dangerous close calls for press freedom — along with cryptic developments whose significance will have to be hashed out in lower courts in cases to come.
In one measure of the court’s active docket, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed or joined friend-of-the-court briefs in no fewer than five merits cases argued before the justices this term. Across those filings, we addressed issues as diverse as a sovereign immunity question with consequences for journalists seeking government records in Puerto Rico; a pair of high-profile controversies about online speech, Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh; the scope of the First Amendment’s exception for true threats; and the rights of reporters documenting illegal crossings at the southern border. (We’ve covered this work as it unfolded in the Reporters Committee’s weekly newsletter, The Nuance, but zooming out makes the full picture clearer.)
By Grayson Clary, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press | Read more

FOIA Briefs

Ex-principal disputes emails with coach who unlocked door

The week before Adam George was placed on leave as principal of Waccamaw High during the school district’s investigation of a “senior prank” he received an exemplary evaluation.
The week after, he denied having specific knowledge that a prank was planned for the night of May 21 and cast doubt on a message attached to an anonymous complaint that purported to show he did.
“The message in question does not have my signature that is used in any email that I have ever sent through my personal or GCSD email account,” George wrote in a statement to the head of human resources for the Georgetown County School District that was obtained under an open records request.
He went on to say that “I feel that my character, professionalism, and reputation have been tainted by untruths and lack of evidence in my being placed on leave for ‘lack of judgment.’”
By Charles Swenson, Coastal Observer | Read more

People & Papers

Shelbie Goulding is seen with coworkers covering the Shaw Air and Space Expo 2022.

Thank you, Sumter, for my time here: Item news and newsletter editor will start new chapter overseas

A lot can happen in four years, especially for a 22-year-old journalist fresh out of college.
The end of summer 2019 changed my life. I packed everything I owned, including my cat, Max, who I thought derailed my Zoom job interview, in a small U-Haul trailer that barely fit my full-size mattress and rolled down Interstate 77 for almost 600 miles, from Kent, Ohio, to Sumter, South Carolina.
It's scary moving across the country for a new start, and I did it not knowing a soul or what was in store for my future. Little did I know Sumter was going to change my entire future, professionally and personally.
I won't lie. My plan was to blend in and give The Sumter Item two years before moving on to the next opportunity, as many entry-level reporters do in the industry. I was never good at blending in.
As I sit in my office for the last time, reflecting on the past, it's crazy to think about the me I was: a naive, single woman living her own life on her own terms. I don't recognize her anymore.
Still free-spirited, hopefully less naïve (we'll get to the single part), I've grown to be an award-winning South Carolina journalist, news editor and The Item's first newsletter editor who found the love of her life in the right place at the right time. I've heard time and time again that change is inevitable and you don't choose who you love. That all became true for me here.
This place, The Sumter Item and every person I've met along the way have made an imprint on my life these last four years - four very unexpected years that had me reporting on a global pandemic less than a year into my job - and I can't say it enough -- Thank you, Sumter.
By Shelbie Goulding, The Sumter Item | Read more

Industry Briefs

Senate committee tells Health and Human Services to do more with newspapers on rural public health

The Senate Appropriations Committee is directing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that local media including non-daily newspapers are part of their federal advertising campaigns. The Committee is focused on improving rural public health.
In an appropriations report for Fiscal Year 2024, which begins October 1, 2023, the Committee directs the HHS Secretary to prioritize local news media in its advertising programs. Led by Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Mississippi, two advocates for improving rural health, the report said:
“The Committee recognizes the critical role local media plays in delivering public health messages to small or rural communities. Therefore, the Committee directs the Secretary to ensure that local media in small or rural markets are part of the Federal public health advertising campaigns. To further this goal, the Committee directs the Secretary, in coordination with the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and their media buyer contractors, to prioritize local news media in rural areas for HHS Federal advertising campaigns to reach citizens in these communities with key health messages. Local media should include newspapers, including non-daily newspapers, television, and radio.”
The Committee requires a report on HHS’s efforts within 90 days of enactment on the advertising work and a breakdown of the money allocated to local media in rural areas for public affairs campaigns from the prior fiscal year, 2023.
From the National Newspaper Association | Read more

The New Irmo News will not accept AI letters to the editor

Thanks to the advent of AI (artificial intelligence) we are no longer accepting letters to the editor that have been written using that medium. AI presents many advantages for many different things but at the newspaper we feel letters to the editor are best voiced in the actual thoughts and words of the authors and not generated by a computer.
We gladly accept all letters written from the heart or opinions based on local events and hope that you will keep in the spirit to write them yourselves instead of relying on artificial means.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we look forward to your letters.
By Kirk Luther, Publisher, The New Irmo News

Related: How Will Artificial Intelligence Change the News Business? Here are three theories of the case. (By John Herrman, New York Magazine Intelligencer)

What one journalism school learned after taking over a rural weekly newspaper

For most of our journalism majors, reporting for The Oglethorpe Echo is akin to studying abroad.
With only 15,000 residents served by a single stoplight and grocery store, Oglethorpe County is quite different from its neighbor Athens, home of the University of Georgia, or the Atlanta suburbs from which many of our students hail.
We started this news-academic partnership — stepping in to prevent a news desert — because we knew it would be mutually beneficial. Students would gain exposure to (and perhaps learn to love) community journalism, and the residents of a rural county would continue to have local news.
In the first 18 months, we added six digital products, won awards, tripled advertising, and doubled subscriptions to the 149-year-old weekly newspaper. An unmitigated success, right?
By Amanda Bright, Nieman Journalism Lab | Read more

America's Newspapers forms foundation to promote initiatives for local newspapers

The officers and directors of the new America's Newspapers Foundation held their first meeting last week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with bylaws being formally approved and its mission laid out: to support and promote initiatives for local newspapers. The initiatives will provide needed training, assets and best practices to newspaper owners, managers and staffs, helping to ensure that newspapers remain a vital part of their local communities.
P.J. Browning, president and publisher of The Post and Courier and chair of the SNPA Foundation Board of Trustees with serve as a Director of America's Newspapers Foundation.
By Cindy Durham, America's Newspapers | Read more


By Hannah Strong Oskin,  Executive Editor,
My Horry News

A quick 'thank you' to our readers

I sit in my new office – an office that two great journalists who I deeply respect sat in before me – and hear folks call and walk in daily to sign up for subscriptions.
It’s something that I did not have the pleasure of hearing in my past jobs in newsrooms. But here, I do.
They call in wondering how much it costs, saying they're new to the area and want a subscription, and so forth.
And it’s just so special to hear.
Because of you, yes you reading this right now, we get to keep doing this work we love dearly.
We get to ask hard questions, sad questions, exciting questions. We get to follow alongside people, who are also doing what they love, to learn more about their crafts. We get to send Freedom of Information Act requests. We get to talk to people to learn about all types of interesting things happening in Horry County.
And then we get to package it all together into a present – so to speak – for you to read. Read more

Compelling Writing by Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune, Writing Coach

Touch your readers with sensory words

You may remember onomatopoeic words from the 10th grade.
These words express sounds such as to squeal or whoosh.
There’s a different, more subtle category of words, says writing coach Henneke Duistermaat. 
Visual words for sight allow you to paint vibrant (or gloomy) pictures.
What are you seeing? What’s the size? What’s the light like? What are the colors?
Examples of visual words: Gigantic, teeny, bulky, glittery, sparkling, shimmering, shiny, glowing, hazy, shadowy, gloomy, drab, murky, dull.
Tactile or touching words let your readers sense the silky-smoothness of your words.
How does something feel when you touch it? What’s the texture? The temperature? 
Examples of tactile words: Fluffy, gritty, rough, smooth, slimy, sticky, creepy, crisp, hairy, woolly. Read more


Warren Wheat, former governance and national editor at The State, dies

Warren D. Wheat, 83, a former reporter and editor at newspapers in Kentucky, Ohio, Washington, D.C., and South Carolina for more than 55 years, died early Sunday, July 23, 2023, in Lexington, Kentucky.
He was in recovery from heart disease complications when he died peacefully at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Center – not long after visiting with family members Saturday evening.
Warren's career in journalism spanned 55 years. He served as a reporter and day editor at the Kentucky Kernel before moving to the Winchester Sun and later the Lexington Leader. At The Cincinnati Enquirer, he was a reporter in the main newsroom and served as the Columbus bureau chief. He also worked in the Enquirer's and Gannett News Service's Washington bureaus. He was part of the initial team that launched USA Today in 1982, serving as deputy Washington editor and later reader editor for the editorial page. Later, he became the governance and national editor at The State in Columbia, South Carolina. Finally, he was editor of The News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown before retiring in 2009. Read more

Upcoming Events

Thanks to funding from the SCPA Foundation, "Earn Your Press Pass" a self-paced online community journalism training course is now available to SCPA members at no charge. Sign up to start learning!
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