Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Jan. 27, 2022

SCPA to announce News Contest winners Feb. 2

Winners from the 2021 News Contest will be posted online for proofing no later than Feb. 2 at 5 p.m.
The list will include winners from the News, Associate/Individual and Collegiate contests.
As of yesterday afternoon, judges were still working hard reviewing entries. So far, roughly 65% of the judgements are complete. We hope to have the rest back by early next week. If any judgements are still outstanding after the initial announcement on Feb. 2, additional winners will be added to the Google Sheet in real-time as they come back from judging.
You'll have until Feb. 9 to proof your newspaper’s winners.
Winners are not for official release in your newspaper or on your newspaper's website or social media accounts until March 12. Secret winners, President's Cup winners and Best of the Best will be announced on March 12.
Thanks to members of the Mississippi Press Association for judging our contest! SCPA will be returning the favor this spring when we judge their state's contest. If you'd like to volunteer to  judge, please let us know

Don't get flagged over Super Bowl ads

The Super Bowl is a couple weeks away which means SCPA member newspapers should be cautious about using NFL trademarked words and logos in advertising promotions.
The NFL has more than 100 federally registered trademarks, including "Super Bowl" and "Super Sunday." The Super Bowl logo, NFL shield and team names and designs are also trademarked. These words and designs cannot be used in newspaper ads or for any other commercial purposes without the NFL's permission.
While you are OK using vague terms like "the big game," any ads that suggest a connection to the Super Bowl should be called back.
It is acceptable to use these words and graphics in news stories about the Super Bowl.
If you have any specific questions about the legality of an ad or promotion and you'd like an SCPA attorney to review it before publication, contact SCPA.

"Mental Health Crisis" 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

Charleston-area agencies fall short on law that makes Blotter possible

 A City Paper reporter usually walks into the Charleston Police Department (CPD) once a week to jot down details from recent incident reports for the next issue’s Blotter, a weekly feature that highlights some of the odd things encountered by police.
But in October 2021, our reporter was turned away — the result of some kind of apparent mix-up. But it was clear that it was more than a mix-up over the next three months, which included lots of phone calls and emails with lawyers about state public records laws until this week when we were again granted access to the reports.
All the while, the City Paper news team kept wondering: 
How many local law enforcement agencies are actually following the state Freedom of Information Act?
All 50 states and the federal government have public records laws, and South Carolina’s is not much different than most. Adopted in 1978, the law governs everything from when and how public notice must be given for meetings to what information collected by police must be made public.
Among the provisions in the S.C. law is Section 30-4-30(D), which lays out four different types of records “must be made available for public inspection and copying during the hours of operations of the public body, unless the record is exempt … without the requestor being required to make a written request to inspect or copy the records when the requestor appears in person.” 
The law is crystal clear: Records must be furnished, without strings attached, to any member of the public who asks.
By Sam Spence, Charleston City Paper  | Read more
Related Editorial: Public expects police to follow FOIA (Charleston City Paper)

FOIA documents, videos reveal what led to deadly Spartanburg road-rage shooting last year

"Oh my God, baby, I've been shot."
Those were the last words spoken by Travis Antonio Draper of Pacolet, as recounted by his wife following the road rage shooting that killed him early in the morning of Aug. 5, 2021, according to documents obtained by the Herald-Journal through a Freedom of Information Act request. ...
An autopsy showed Travis Antonio Draper, a 41-year-old Black father of three, was struck by a single bullet that entered his right armpit and landed in the left side of his chest, according to documents.
The male motorist who shot Draper fired one shot out of his car window then sped away and went to work, according to the documents. The man has never been publicly identified by the Sheriff's Office.
According to the state public records law, redactions are allowed if disclosing the identity "would constitute an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy" and "would endanger the life of physical safety of any individual."
By Bob Montgomery, Herald-Journal | Read more

Uncovered: A South Carolina sheriff. A rape claim. And silence from SLED.

A former lieutenant with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office told state authorities two years ago that longtime Sheriff Anthony Dennis raped her in his home in 1997 and groped her again in 2004 in a department office. She gave the State Law Enforcement Division names and other leads to corroborate her claims.
But SLED did little to verify or debunk her explosive allegations, a Post and Courier Uncovered investigation found. Agents didn’t open a formal case, and there’s no evidence that detectives contacted people who might back up her statements.
In a letter to SLED Chief Mark Keel two weeks ago, the S.C. attorney general’s crime victims’ ombudsman described the ex-lieutenant’s allegations as “very serious” and ones that “warrant a full investigation.” Her letter followed months of document requests and questions about the case from The Post and Courier.
Keel told the newspaper on Jan. 19 that SLED will do a proper investigation. He explained that an agent who initially looked into the allegations died in late 2020.
By Tony Bartelme, The Post and Courier | Read more

People & Papers

The Daniel Island News launches monthly author series

The Daniel Island News launched its monthly author series of 2022 on Jan. 26. 
The first in the series features two children book authors: Vijaya Bodach and Pamela Brownstein. ...
[The newspaper's] plan is to host local Daniel Island, Lowcountry and other South Carolina authors the last Wednesday of each month throughout the year. Most of the events are free to the public and are an opportunity for writers and readers to connect. Authors will speak, share insights and challenges, and take questions. After the event, their books will be offered for sale and they will be available to sign books and talk with readers.
By Sue Detar, The Daniel Island News | Read more

Hampton County Guardian editor interviewed for ABC 20/20 special on Murdaugh crime saga

On Jan. 14, ABC's "20/20" aired a two-hour, true-crime special on the ongoing Murdaugh crime saga in South Carolina that included reporting from The Hampton County Guardian, a part of the USA TODAY Network, along with commentary and narrative storytelling from Guardian Editor Michael M. DeWitt, Jr.
DeWitt has covered the Murdaugh family for his entire career and reported on this saga since 2015. Guardian editors have covered the Murdaugh family - both accolades and accusations - since 1879. DeWitt has a personal knowledge of all of the key players in this case.
During the program, DeWitt live blogged commentary, behind-the-scenes information, interesting facts and insights of our original reporting from "ground zero" of the crime saga and home of the Murdaugh family - Hampton County, S.C.
By Michael M. DeWitt, Jr., The Hampton County Guardian/The USA TODAY Network | Read more 
Related: Power, prestige and privilege: Inside the rise and fall of the Murdaugh dynasty in South Carolina (By Abraham Kenmore, Michael M. DeWitt, Jr. and Daniel J. Gross, Greenville News)
Alan Hawes, who became a nurse 11 years ago, takes pictures of what many will never see.

A nurse's talent to tell patients' stories

Meet MUSC nurse Alan Hawes, a former newspaper photographer who became a critical care nurse because he wanted to be more of a participant in making people’s lives better.
He picked up his camera to tell the stories of the sickest COVID patients and show the stress faced by the people caring for them.
Hawes previously worked for 19 years as a staff photographer for The Post and Courier. He also worked for four years as a Greenville News photographer. 
View video profile | David Begnaud, CBS Mornings

Related: ‘I want the world to see.’ How a SC nurse showed the nation the COVID crisis up close (By Caitlin Byrd, The State)

Industry Briefs

Lee Enterprises asks investors to help fight off hedge fund

Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises is asking its shareholders to help it fight off a hostile takeover offer from “vulture hedge fund” Alden Global Capital.
The publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Buffalo News and dozens of other newspapers, including the Morning News and Times & Democrat, sent a letter to shareholders Monday asking them to support its board nominees in the dispute with Alden. Lee, which is based in Davenport, Iowa, already rejected Alden’s $24 per share offer because it said the $141 million bid grossly undervalues Lee, but the two sides are locked in a court battle over whether Alden will be able to nominate its own directors.
“A ‘Vulture Hedge Fund’ is seeking to acquire Lee at a steep discount. Don’t let it take value that belongs to you,” Lee said in its letter to shareholders.
Lee also told shareholders that they should have faith in the company’s current strategy to shift its publications over to online delivery because it has seen its digital-only subscriptions grow 65% over the past year to 402,000 at all of its newspapers.
By Josh Funk, Associated Press | Read more

Obituaries

Former SC newspaper owner Bob Tribble dies

Editor's Note: Bob Tribble of Trib Publications, Inc., formerly owned South Carolina's Upstate Newspapers, Inc., which published the Keowee Courier, Westminster News, Landrum News Leader, Bamberg Advertizer-Herald, Santee Striper, North Trade Journal and Holly Hill Observer.
Robert E. Tribble, 86 of Manchester, GA passed away Dec. 30, 2021 at West Georgia Hospice, LaGrange. ...
Mr. Tribble was born Sept. 15, 1935 in Lavonia, GA, the son of Robert Orr Tribble and Effie Mitchell Tribble. He was a graduate of Manchester High School and attended Middle Georgia College before joining the Army. After first working for the Manchester Mercury, Mr. Tribble purchased other local newspapers and eventually the Mercury. At the height of Trib Publications, Mr. Tribble owned 35 newspapers throughout the Southeast. He served on the Georgia Press Association Board of Directors for many years before serving as President in 1982-83. He received the 2017 Georgia Press Association’s Golden Club Award, presented for 50 years or more service to the newspaper industry. Read more

Columns

By John Foust, Advertising Trainer

One way to make presentations more memorable

Samuel, the ad manager at a community paper, told me about a simple technique his sales team uses at the end of meetings with prospects and clients.
“I once read that people remember only about 25 percent of what they hear,” he said. “That’s a harsh reality, because we focus our client conversations on things we think are memorable. It’s painful to walk away from a meeting knowing that the person on the other side of the desk might forget three quarters of the discussion. Of course, we use ad examples, charts and coverage maps to add visual elements to presentations, but they still forget a large percentage of what we talk about.
“We’ve learned that one way to deal with this problem is to summarize at the end of a meeting,” he said. “It’s an easy way to repeat the important points in a conversation. And a lot of times, we find out the other person has completely missed a key fact. A summary helps us clarify things and make presentations a little easier to remember.” Read more

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