Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  July 21, 2022
The eBulletin will be on vacation next week and will return to your inboxes on Aug. 4.

Sign up for ad sales training with Ryan Dohrn on Sept. 16 in Columbia

You don’t want to miss SCPA’s upcoming ad sales training featuring popular sales strategist Ryan Dohrn! Join us on Friday, Sept. 16, as SCPA hosts Ryan for a full day of practical, innovative and inspirational ad sales advice. Based on initial feedback, we expect this event to sell out so if you’re interested in attending don't wait to sign up!

Here’s a breakdown of the topics we’ll cover:
  • Flipping Objections On The Spot!
    Objection handling is a skill that all sales people need to master. Ryan will highlight the ten most common objections media sales people face on a daily basis and show you how to flip those objections. 
  • Selling Advertising Amidst Economic Uncertainty
    Dohrn shares highlights from his book Selling Forward. Proven methods to sell to emotionally drained, financially fatigued, Zoomed out advertisers in an ever-changing world of political and economic uncertainty.
  • 10 Steps To Hosting Super Short And Super Successful Meetings With Advertisers
    Dohrn will share his 10-step meeting process that is easy to follow and has proven to result in 40% more closed deals. Learn to be precise, focused, prepared, and polished.
  • Time Management Secrets To Get More Done In Less Time
    From creating call zones, to time saving email templates, to making better use of your CRM tools – learn expert and well-tested tips to reclaim eight hours every week and win more business faster. 
Thanks to sponsorship from the SCPA Foundation Smoak Fund, the cost to attend is only $65, which includes a boxed lunch. This session is limited to 30 attendees.

Marion County News Journal bids farewell

After a quarter century of service to the Marion, Mullins and Marion County communities, the Marion County News Journal will publish its final edition on Aug. 3. It’s last day of business will be Friday, July 29.
The newspaper, one of four weekly publications owned by Swartz Media, began as the Marion County Penny Saver in 1997. In 2007, Swartz Media purchased the newspaper and renamed it The Marion County News Journal. The first edition of the News Journal was published on May 16 of that same year.
The Marion County News Journal has a current mailed circulation of just over 10,700.
“This was not an easy decision, but one that unfortunately had to be made,” said Swartz Media Owner and Publisher Don Swartz. “We have done our best to produce and publish a quality product each week. To all of our readers and advertisers, we are thankful for your patronage over the last 25 years.”
Swartz said the decision to cease publication was based on the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability to hire and maintain employees. 
Swartz Media operates and publishes The News Journal of Florence, the Hartsville News Journal, and the Chesterfield County News & Shopper.

SCPA to host member Happy Hour in Conway on Aug. 4

Grand Strand and Pee Dee members are invited to join SCPA after work on Thursday, Aug. 4, for Happy Hour.
Drop by Bonfire in Conway between 4:30 and 6 p.m. to network with your peers from newspapers in the region.
The drinks are on us, thanks to sponsorship by the S.C. Newspaper Network! Food will be available for purchase.
RSVP if you'd like to attend!
While SCPA members from across the state are invited to attend, plans are in the works to host similar social events in the Midlands, Upstate and Lowcountry. 

Presbyterian College students to survey S.C. news orgs on challenges, opportunities

Working closely with the S.C. Press Association, a research team at Presbyterian College will survey news organizations across South Carolina in the coming weeks to pinpoint their challenges and identify ways to strengthen their long-term viability.
It’s all part of the Oasis Project, an effort to better identify long-term barriers newspapers in South Carolina face, especially in rural areas. A team of three Presbyterian College students  will survey news leaders across the state about the challenges they face. The team will then compile and analyze the data over the coming months. 
The project’s overarching goal is to identify ways to strengthen the state’s newspapers. Directing the survey is Kendra Hamilton, associate professor of English and Communication Studies. Funding for the student scholarships will be provided by Presbyterian College, the Russell Family and The Post and Courier Foundation.

"In hiding" 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

Judge will consider gag order in Murdaugh trial

COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. — Richard "Alex" Murdaugh, the disbarred South Carolina attorney now accused of murdering his own wife and son while committing scores of financial crimes, pleaded not guilty and was denied bond during a hearing July 20 in front of Judge Clifton Newman in the Colleton County Courthouse. …
The defense and prosecution had also agreed to several motions prior to the hearing, including a motion for a gag order on both parties, particularly with disclosing evidence and details the media. 
"We both agree that (a gag order) would be appropriate given the media attention," Waters said. "The state wants very much for this case to be tried fairly and justly."
"We are trying to get a fair trial for our client and not try it in the media," Murdaugh attorney Richard Harpootlian said.
Judge Newman agreed to consider the gag order pending a written order prepared by both parties.
Both parties also agreed to file a motion that any filings or motions discussing "evidentiary material," as well as subsequent discovery responses be sealed by confidential order until the trial. This would include evidence in the many financial crimes Murdaugh is charged with, as they may pertain to the murder charges.
Newman agreed to consider these motions as they are filed on a case by case basis, but warned both parties that while there may be confidential motions, there will be no "private hearings" in his courtroom.
"Let's make it clear: it's a public matter and a public trial," Newman said. 
By Michael M. DeWitt, Jr., Hampton County Guardian | Read more

Greenwood man arrested in connection to weekend crash that killed one

A Greenwood man has been arrested in connection to the weekend crash that claimed the life of 22-year-old Austin Grey Hamlett.
Andrew Keith Sykora Jr., 408 B Jennings Avenue, Greenwood, was charged with felony DUI on July 10.
Hamlett was injured in the crash on July 10 after his motorcycle and a car, driven by Sykora, collided at the intersection of West Cambridge Avenue and Kitson Street. Hamlett was admitted to Prisma Health-Greenville that day and died of his injuries Tuesday.
The Index-Journal requested the initial incident report, which is considered public record under the state’s Freedom of Information Act, but was told because there is an ongoing investigation, the report is not being released.
From the Index-Journal | Read more

Legal Briefs

RCFP backs bill to limit ‘gag’ orders under Stored Communications Act

The Reporters Committee strongly supports provisions in proposed federal legislation that would make it easier for third-party electronic communications providers to notify journalists that the government has used warrants, court orders or subpoenas to force the disclosure of their communications records.
In a letter sent to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 19, 2022, Reporters Committee attorneys wrote that the NDO Fairness Act would implement more stringent standards for granting “gag” orders under the Stored Communications Act. Such gag orders prevent third-party providers from notifying customers or subscribers that their records have been sought or seized by government authorities.
Advance notification is important because it allows affected journalists and news organizations an opportunity to negotiate the scope, or challenge in court, improper demands for their records. 
From Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press | Read more

People & Papers

Howey receives an SCPA award from now retired SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers at one of the group's Annual Meetings. Over his 45-year career, there's no telling how many writing awards Howey has won -- he will be carting home bins full of them.

Howey retires from Lancaster News after 45 years

Robert Howey is retiring from The Lancaster News after 45 years.
The affable sports editor, who always has a heartwarming story to share, told us of his decision July 6, following two weeks of much-needed vacation.
“This time off, it just felt different than in the past,” Howey said. “I need to be spending more time with my family. I’ve missed too many birthdays and too many special occasions through the years. I always knew this day would come, and, well, it’s time.”
The reason why Howey missed personal events is crystal clear to us. He loves his hometown and its people.
Howey came to work here as a general assignment reporter on May 23, 1977, following his graduation from The Citadel. ...
In May 1978, he was named TLN sports editor and has served in that role ever since.
A master of local sports, especially at the high school level, Howey always stepped up wherever he was needed to cover news in his beloved Lancaster.
In his 45 years here, chances are high that he covered three generations of your family – from your athletics heyday to that of your grandchildren.
That’s a lot of dirt-track races, ball games, swim meets and karate tournaments, with millions of his words describing the action.
From The Lancaster News | Read more
Please let us know about your new hires, retirements and promotions
so we can share your news in the eBulletin!

Industry Briefs

Report for America opens newsroom applications, expands the opportunity to hire more journalists

Report for America has opened applications 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. 
The application deadline is Oct. 3, 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 is increasing its focus on supporting Black-owned and Latino-owned newsrooms and expanding its reach into rural areas where news holes can be huge. Prospective newsrooms must identify specific community coverage gaps, drawing attention to under-covered communities or issues. 

Newsrooms, your edit test is where being inclusive starts

Newsrooms expect a lot from job applicants without giving much thought to what else could be going on in their lives.
A freelancer applying for your job is not working on a paying gig. An edit test you expect to be done over a weekend means that person working full time is not getting space for rest.
And the reward for all this work is: You might be a finalist — or you might never hear back.
If you’re a newsroom working toward creating an inclusive culture — one that values its employees and their time — this is the wrong way to make a first impression.
By Kathy Lu, Poynter | Read more

University study reveals a path to revenue growth for weekly and rural newspapers

Small weekly and rural newspapers were already struggling before the pandemic. Many had to close family-operated, decades-old publications, creating news deserts. Once the pandemic hit, more of these newspapers closed — just when residents needed important information about how local government and community organizations were responding to the pandemic.
Addressing this crisis and finding a solution have come from what some might consider an unlikely source — academia. As Teri Finneman, associate professor of journalism at The University of Kansas, aptly stated, “It is higher education’s job to help the newspaper industry."
During 2020, she was the driving force behind an oral history project and study in five Plains states and Arkansas and Louisiana that examined the impact of COVID-19 on local newspapers.
By Bob Sillick for Editor & Publisher | Read more

Opinion: Job ads should be only a small part of recruiting

If you’re a hiring manager, you should read this. If you’re invested in the ongoing success of your organization and would like to influence who becomes your next co-worker, read this. And if you’re a job seeker, let us know what strategies make you consider applying — and accepting an offer.
It’s tough to hire. It’s especially tough right now.
Even if you have a job posting ready, you should account for what human resources calls “time to fill.” Job ads are posted for an average of a month. Add a month after that to identify the best-fit candidate and make an offer. Your candidate likely needs at least two weeks between accepting and Day 1. That adds up to a minimum of 2.5 months for every opening, assuming you identify a quality crop of candidates by doing nothing besides posting a job and waiting for applicants.
By Doris Truong, Poynter | Read more

Revenue roundup: Ads sell, sponsored content engages

Although it may not always be evident, a fundamental trend of the early 21st century is that people are more in charge than ever, as consumers of products and services and seekers of news and information. They know when they are being sold a bill of goods and have developed a more mature consumer mindset to decide if they want to buy it without being manipulated.
Similarly, they still value news in its traditional form but will avoid too much exposure to pundits and commentators whose purpose is to peddle opinions and misinformation.
Although sponsored content and its sister format, branded content, are by definition marketing tactics, when they deliver important information, people engage with it gladly. Newspapers have traditionally provided the essential part of that information: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. Now they have the opportunity to provide the part today’s consumers and readers also want — lifestyle content about home life, fashion, food, pets, travel and thousands of other topics.
By Bob Sillick for Editor & Publisher | Read more

Free webinar on the American Rescue Plan on July 26

Sign up for Poynter's Follow The Money: American Rescue Plan AMA free webinar on July 26. This AMA-style webinar will give journalists an opportunity to ask questions and discuss how the American Rescue Plan and other federal stimulus funds will be used in local communities.
Learning outcomes:
  • Gain practical advice on how to track federal spending in local communities
  • Learn best practices for spending federal funds on public health, public safety, infrastructure and the environment
  • Hear relevant questions from other journalists who are analyzing federal spending
Local journalists with varied data skills are welcome and will benefit. Tune in at 1 p.m. Eastern time on July 26 to learn from data journalists and Poynter experts and submit your questions in advance or get your questions answered during the 90-minute webinar.



Marc Brown, associate publisher of Laurens County Advertiser, dies

Marc DeLane Brown, 69, of Waterloo, peacefully transitioned on July 13, 2022, to a universe beyond this earth.
Born in Laurens on September 5, 1952, he was the son of the late William James “W.J.” & Claire Brown.
He will be lovingly remembered by his daughter, Tara Brown Edwards, son-in-love, Thomas “T.C.” Edwards; grandchildren, Carson Brown, Kaia Brown, Katie Edwards, Haylee Edwards, Alisha Brown, Nathan Brown, and Ella Williams; brothers, James D. Brown (Judith) and Steff Brown (Debbie); sister-in-law, Tami Brown; and several nieces and nephews, Kathleen Bloom (Reuben), Emily Brown, Isaac Brown (Shay), Anna Brown, Terry Brown, Gus Brown, Jennifer Brown, Ashley Brown, Alex Brown, Micah Parrish, Scott McGruer, and Tiffany Hutchings.
He was predeceased in death by his parents and his brother Chris Brown.
Marc was a graduate of Laurens High School and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a co-owner and associate publisher of the Laurens County Advertiser along with his brother, James. He was a true perfectionist when it came to the newspaper business. He worked hard and played even harder.
During the summer you would be sure to find him on Lake Greenwood driving his pontoon, “The Lemon Drop Yacht,” and if you did not see him, you would definitely be able to hear his stereo coming across the lake. Marc was a huge music enthusiast and often used music as his communication.
Marc liked to live his life a little on the wild side at times and made sure to always live life to the fullest, but he had a heart made of gold. He always felt led to help those in need and would often put others before himself. He also had a huge love for animals.
Over the years, Marc was truly clear about his final wishes. He always said, “Do not mourn my death, but make sure you celebrate my life.” In honor of those wishes, a drop-in visitation will be held on Saturday, July 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Lakeside Country Club in Laurens.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Laurens County Animal Control, PO Box 238, Laurens, SC 29360 or to Laurens County Memorial Home, PO Box 638, Laurens, SC 29360.
Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it. – Haruki Murakami  Read more 
Sitarz Jr.

Former Index-Journal journalist dies

Joseph William Sitarz Jr., resident of Greenwood, passed away Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at his home.
Born April 20, 1963, in Elizabeth, NJ, he was the son of the late Jospeh Williams Sitarz, Sr. and Katherine Florence Kolibas Sitarz. He served the Greenwood community for 20 plus years as a journalist for the Index Journal, as an avid writer for both the Sports and Accent column. He was passionate about art and enjoyed sketching and drawing. Read more
Related: Whiting's Writings: On the loss of another IJ teammate (By Richard Whiting)


By Aly Colón, Knight Professor of Media Ethics, Washington and Lee University

A Question of Ethics: When is a single source story ethical?

Supreme Court draft ruling. A 10-year-old rape victim’s abortion. Journalists have relied on single sources to tell challenging stories in recent months. In most situations, the more reporting and sourcing a journalist can offer readers, viewers, and listeners, the more ethical the journalist’s reporting becomes. More sources provide more opportunities for verification.
One source makes it harder – but not impossible – to verify facts and understand the complete context. Here are some questions to ask before publishing a single source story:
  • How does the source know what they know? What direct evidence can they provide or point toward? How would someone challenge this evidence?
  • What other sources might be available, including documentation, that could support or challenge the primary source? Who are other potential sources and what information could they substantiate or challenge?
  • What other verification tools might we use?
  • What competing values are you weighing in your reporting and publishing of this as a single-source story?
  • How do you account for divergent views of this situation?
    What other questions might you ask before publishing a single-source story? Email me your suggestions.
By David L. Hudson, Jr.,
Asst. Professor of Law, 
Belmont University

Five historic dissenting opinions that shaped our First Ammendment rights

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo once said, “The meaning of today is not the meaning of tomorrow.” Dissenting opinions play a vital role in our constitutional democracy, offering different viewpoints from the majority. The right to dissent is also key to the First Amendment, as it protects unpopular opinions and perspectives.
Some dissenting opinions have changed the course of history. Consider that the U.S. Supreme Court once sanctioned legalized segregation by race in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). In a solitary dissent in Plessy, Justice John Marshall Harlan I wrote that “in respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.”
It was Harlan’s vision in his lone dissent that won out in the celebrated Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision 58 years later.
These five dissenting opinions in First Amendment cases had significant influence on the law and society. 
  1. Political dissent should be protected speech — Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Abrams v. United States (1919)
Several Russian immigrants were charged with violating the Sedition Act of 1918 — a federal law designed to suppress political dissent — by distributing pamphlets that urged workers to strike and revolt if the United States militarily intervened in Russia’s revolution. Read more

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