Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  May 25, 2023

PALMY Ad Contest deadline next Friday

Don't run out of time! The deadline to enter the 2023 PALMY Ad Contest is next Friday, June 2.
The PALMYs recognize the Palmetto State's best, brightest and most enterprising advertising professionals and advertisers, and the impact they have made in their communities.
Contact us if you need your newspaper's login information or if you have any questions about entering the contest. Good luck!

Please return distribution affidavits, place ads in 2023-24 Directory

The 2023-24 S.C. Media Directory is going to press later this summer.
If you have not returned your 2023 distribution and printers affidavits (free), AAM or CVC audit (paid) or 2022 USPS Statement of Ownership (paid), please submit your forms to SCPA as soon as possible.
Also be on the lookout... Next week, SCPA staff will be sending a digital form to collect information about your newspaper's digital reach. 
Now is also the time to reserve ad space in the Directory, an important reference tool that includes detailed information on the state's newspapers. Rates are affordable and can help promote your message to ad agencies, legislators, business leaders, fellow SCPA members and press associations across the Southeast.

Sell into SCNN statewide ad networks

Do you have a client that needs to expand their advertising campaign regionally or statewide?
Contact us to learn more about how your newspaper reps can sell into the SCNN Ad Networks and bring in additional revenue to your newspaper.
The SCPA Foundation Board met Friday to discuss better utilizing the Foundation to help S.C. newspapers. From left: President Harry Logan, Ellen Priest, Butch Hughes, Vickey Boyd, Meg Kinnard, Jen Madden and Randall Savely. The Foundation's Smoak Fund will continue to help SCPA offer free and low-cost virtual and in-person training over the next year. We're also excited to announce a new free member service to help community newspaper reporters and our collegiate members. More details coming next week!

Quote of the Week

"A newspaper can affect its subscribers’ lives in many ways. It can keep you informed, from items small (a new restaurant opening) to large (legislative attempts at passing abortion laws). It can make you think, move you, entertain you or help you be a difference in your community. And when we are at our best, we make our neighborhoods, our cities, our state better places to live. Our journalism affects decision-making, rights wrongs and exposes people who abuse power. It also can change laws."

FOIA & Legal Briefs

Editorial: SC can’t tolerate secretive early release of criminals

Although the very early release of a handful of convicted criminals does threaten public confidence in our judicial system, as S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster’s office noted last week, it’s not logical to argue that it also underscores the need for lawmakers to “close the revolving door on violent offenders and crack down on career criminals and illegal guns.”
The Legislature absolutely needs to pass both measures, and we’re particularly disturbed that lawmakers who claim to support police and making our communities safer are blocking efforts to increase the penalties for convicted criminals caught with guns.
But those bills won’t do anything to stop judges from releasing already-convicted prisoners who provide “substantial assistance” to the state in prosecuting other criminals or in protecting correctional officers from attack, as a 2010 law allows.
We’re not even sure there’s anything wrong with the “substantial assistance” law, which mimics the sort of preferential treatment criminals can get for their assistance, through plea bargains and other sentencing reductions, before they are convicted or sentenced.
Well, there’s nothing wrong with it except for the insufficient guardrails to ensure sentence reductions are handled in a fully transparent, public process, and don’t violate other laws — neither of which was the case in late December when retiring Circuit Judge Casey Manning slashed a murderer’s sentence nearly in half.
From The Post and Courier | Read more

People & Papers


Waccamaw Publishers names new executive editor

My Horry News’ managing editor Hannah Strong Oskin is moving up the newsroom ranks.
Later this month, Oskin will start a new chapter in her journalism career as the executive editor of Waccamaw Publishers' My Horry News.
Born in Conway, the 28-year-old was raised in Pawleys Island and calls Horry County home.
With nearly seven years of experience in journalism, the Winthrop University graduate and award-winning reporter says she is serious about bringing high quality news to her community.
“Continuing to serve the people of the Independent Republic, now as executive editor, is an honor and responsibility that I do not take lightly,” she said. “This area is home, and I look forward to continuing to tell great stories about the communities throughout our beautiful county."
Oskin will continue to cover the city of Conway and western Horry County.
She is entering her new role with experience as a South Carolina education reporter, breaking news reporter, and growth and development reporter. She has been with Waccamaw Publishers since 2021.
Outside of the newsroom, she is nine-month-old Adelane’s mom, wife to Seth Oskin who is an assistant solicitor with the 15th Circuit Solicitor's Office, and she is a graduate student at Coastal Carolina University. There, she studies communication and leadership.
When she’s not out in the community reporting, or in the office editing stories or designing the company's print products, Oskin can generally be found cooking, spending time with her family or strolling on the beach.
She says she’s learned a lot from current executive editor, Charles Perry.
“I can't thank Charles Perry enough for the years of work he has put into our great papers and for his mentorship during our time working together,” she said. “I certainly have big shoes to fill. We wish him well in his next adventure."
Perry has accepted a position as local editor for The Post & Courier’s Myrtle Beach and Georgetown newsroom.
By Bryn Eddy, My Horry News | Read more

Villegas named associate publisher of The Daniel Island News

I am excited to announce that Patrick Villegas, an experienced journalist and sales and marketing expert, joined The Daniel Island News as Associate Publisher earlier this month.
You may recognize Patrick, a Daniel Island resident since 2010, from his days as the morning news anchor for Channel 5 News.  
Patrick will work closely with both our editorial and sales and marketing teams to bring high quality journalism to our readers and exceptional marketing and visibility to our local business communities. He will head up special events and projects as well as consult with businesspeople to help get information about their products and services to the community via effective multi-media platforms and events produced by The Daniel Island News.
Patrick earned his journalism degree from the University of South Carolina. He was the editor-in-chief of The Gamecock and helped mentor and manage a team of budding journalists.  
He transitioned to broadcast news, working for 10 years in Charleston as a news producer, street reporter, special projects manager and morning co-anchor of Live 5 News This Morning. During his tenure, the morning show was the number one rated morning program. As special projects manager producing weekly investigative and in-depth stories, his team was nominated for a Southeastern Emmy for Outstanding News Special.
After a successful career in journalism, Patrick transitioned to sales and marketing and enjoyed a 15-year career in the pharmaceutical and mortgage industries where he stressed providing outstanding value to customers.
Patrick is excited and energized to work in his community and to merge his two passions of journalism and marketing. 
“This is a dream job for me,” Patrick said. “I look forward to working with the community and The Daniel Island News team to provide valuable news, marketing, and events to the Daniel Island and Cainhoy region.”
Patrick resides on Daniel Island with his two sons, one a student at Daniel Island School and the other at the School of the Arts.
By Suzanne Detar, The Daniel Island News | Read more

Walterboro hires managing editor

The (Walterboro) Press & Standard has hired Cottageville native Dana Erickson as its new managing editor. 
Erickson is originally from East Tennessee and landed in South Carolina by way of her husband of almost 25 years, Billy. They have three children Dylan (19), Emily (17) and Zach (10). 
She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.

Inspired by Murdaugh crime saga, Editor Michael DeWitt Jr. pens dark histories of Hampton County, Murdaugh dynasty

In the wake of the Murdaugh crime saga which has gripped the nation, a Gannett editor and journalist has penned a dark history of his hometown Hampton County and is following it with an epic history of the Murdaugh legal and political dynasty.
Michael M. DeWitt Jr., award-winning editor of the 144-year-old The Hampton County Guardian and a journalist for USA Today Network – South Carolina, has authored Wicked Hampton County, which releases May 29 and is now completing Fall of the House of Murdaugh, to be released later this summer. ...
During this time, DeWitt, who grew up in Hampton County and knows both the local landscape and the Murdaugh family well, worked to transform his role from that of a small-town, weekly editor to a nationally followed journalist reporting on a major story, and his work in covering the Murdaugh cases from beginning to the present attracted millions of page views and numerous new readers for his company.
DeWitt’s boots-on-the-ground coverage of the Murdaugh crime saga has been published in print and online around Gannett’s nationwide USA Today network. He has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, CBS’s 48 Hours, Dateline NBC and Netflix documentaries to discuss the case, among others, and has talked about the cases to audiences as far away as New Zealand and Australia.
“From the beginning, I just wanted to tell this difficult and controversial story the right way, with honesty and fairness, and represent my company and my community well, and I think I have succeeded in those goals thanks to the support of other great Gannett journalists and editors,” DeWitt said. “Tackling such a major story, for me, would not have been possible without the support and guidance of my team.”
Now, as the current events continue to ebb toward a possible conclusion in the Murdaugh cases within the next year or so, DeWitt has turned his pen toward recording this saga as a part of our literary history.
From Greenville News staff reports | Read more

Photojournalist Ken Ruinard to exhibit at Anderson Arts Center

For 35 years, Ken Ruinard has been capturing moments in Anderson County and throughout the Upstate. A collection of his work will be exhibited at the Anderson Arts Center June 2-29, 2023, in the Atrium Gallery. An opening reception will be held Friday, June 2, 6-8 p.m.
Ruinard is a photojournalist for the Anderson Independent-Mail and produces video and still photography for Gannett and the USA Today Network. He has been recognized with more than 250 awards for his work, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination. He was awarded the state photographer of the year in 2004, 2016, 2018, and 2019.
Born in Holland, Ruinard moved to California as a child with his family. As a young artist, he enjoyed drawing and painting, but became involved with photography in high school, taking photos at school sporting events.
The collection of his work on display at the Anderson Arts Center are images Ruinard selected himself. “The photos I selected are some of my favorites,” said Ruinard. “Many are moments, a slice of life that we see…to still life - photos capturing a peak moment, humor, tenderness or artistic quality of light.”

Industry Briefs

Handling carrier challenges

In the digital age, an increasing number of publications choose to eliminate their print issues and move entirely online. However, those publications with a loyal print subscriber base are left to choose between a myriad of local carriers or the United States Postal Service (USPS).
USPS announced in 2021 that they would increase rates twice yearly starting in 2023. These rate increases often encourage publications to look elsewhere for their mail services. A February press release by USPS announced that between 2021 and 2022, USPS saw a decline in both revenue and volume of periodicals.
However, another press release from USPS in December 2022 stated that they had seen increases in both reliability and timeliness in 2022. Periodicals had an on-time delivery of almost 84% — an 8% increase from 2021. This is a part of their Delivering for America campaign, a 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence.
“The post office is generally as or more reliable than news carriers. Postal carriers will deliver later in the day but will be more consistent with fewer misses. Not to say all carriers are inconsistent or routinely miss customers, but in a day and age where news carrier turnover is increasing, these misses and inconsistencies are generally increasing,” said John Newby, founder of 360 Media Alliance and Truly-Local, publisher, consultant and columnist.
By Kirsten Staples for Editor & Publisher | Read more

Tools and tips to make your news site accessible

Digital accessibility as a goal can be intimidating. There are so many aspects of your news site – not to mention social media, newsletters and data visualizations – to consider. Barriers to access also go far beyond people who have hearing or vision loss, including people who are neurodivergent or have different levels of language fluency.
Recognizing the need to focus on these barriers, some bigger news organizations are including accessibility in more job descriptions.
But for small news organizations without a team member dedicated to these efforts – or maybe even without a web developer – it can be difficult to know where to start. It can also be tempting to use services advertised as quick-and-easy fixes like overlay widgets, which several advocates and experts have cautioned against.
Recently, The Washington Post published an accessibility checklist and guidelines for anyone to use. We partnered with KOMU and the Columbia Missourian to test these guidelines, as well as tools like the ARC platform and Web Developer browser extensions paired with an accessibility checklist.
Here’s what we learned.
By Emily Lytle, Reynolds Journalism Institute | Read more

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