Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  March 17, 2023

Greenwood Index-Journal editor to lead S.C. Press Association

Richard Whiting, executive editor of the Index-Journal in Greenwood, has been elected president of the S.C. Press Association after a vote of the Press Association’s membership.
Other officers elected were: Nathaniel Abraham Jr., publisher of Carolina Panorama in Columbia as weekly newspaper vice president; Hal Welch, general manager of The Journal in Seneca as daily newspaper vice president; and Barbara Ball, publisher of The Voice of Blythewood and Fairfield County as treasurer.
Elected to two-year terms on the SCPA Executive Committee were: Jane Alford, editor of The Lancaster News and Carolina Gateway; Stephen Robertson of Conway, publisher of The Horry Independent, Myrtle Beach Herald, Carolina Forest Chronicle and The Loris Scene; and Jonathan Vickery, publisher of The People-Sentinel in Barnwell.
Kyle Osteen, managing partner and co-owner of Osteen Publishing Co., which publishes The Sumter Item, and Community Media Group, LLC, which publishes the Lexington County Chronicle, was elected to a one-year term on the Executive Committee.
Executive Committee members elected to a two-year term last year include: Cliff Harrington, editor of The Herald in Rock Hill and Autumn Phillips, executive editor of The Post and Courier.
Whiting succeeds Charles Swenson, editor of the Coastal Observer in Pawleys Island.
“I look forward to serving members of one of the strongest and most supportive press associations a state’s newspapers could ask for,” Whiting said. “Moreover, I look forward to serving with a fantastic group of newspaper leaders from across the Palmetto State on the S.C. Press Association board.
“It’s no secret that our industry has been and remains in some incredibly challenging times. We need to remain vigilant in serving our communities to the best of our abilities and support our fellow members of the Fourth Estate. To do so we need each other and this organization.”
Whiting began his newspaper career in 1980 as a reporter with the Telegram in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. There he rose through the ranks to city editor and eventually managing editor. In 1990, he joined the Florence Morning News where he worked in various capacities, including editorial page editor and assistant managing editor. Whiting left the corporate newspaper world and joined the Index-Journal as its managing editor in August 1999. He was named executive news editor in May 2005 and was later appointed the paper’s executive editor in June 2009.
He and his wife, Wendy, have two daughters, two sons-in-law and three grandchildren.
The election came as part of a two-day meeting in Columbia attended by roughly 200 newspaper journalists from across the state.

SCPA awards top honors at Annual Meeting

View and download slides containing winners’ name, newspaper and graphic representation. Contains judges’ comments for First Place winners, as well as Best of the Best and secret winners.
During SCPA's Annual Meeting & Awards, held March 9-10 in Columbia, we honored our state's top journalists. Please visit our site to learn more about these special awards. 

President’s Awards for Excellence:

  • Under 3,000 Division – The Post and Courier North Augusta/The Star
  • 3,000-6,500 Division – Myrtle Beach Herald
  • Over 6,500 Division – The Island News
  • Under 7,500 Division – Index-Journal
  • 7,500-20,000 Division – The Island Packet
  • Over 20,000 Division –The Post and Courier

Journalist of the Year:

  • Daily Winner: Avery Wilks, The Post and Courier
  • Weekly Winner: Abbie Sossamon, The Gaffney Ledger

Photojournalist of the Year:

  • Daily Winner: Andrew J. Whitaker, The Post and Courier
  • Weekly Winner: Janet Morgan, Myrtle Beach Herald

Assertive Journalism Award:

  • Daily Winner: Tony Bartelme, The Post and Courier
  • Honorable Mention: David Weissman, The Sun News
  • Weekly Winner: Barbara Ball, The Voice of Blythewood
  • Honorable Mention: Christian Boschult, Myrtle Beach Herald

Montgomery/Shurr FOI Award:

  • Daily Winner: The Post and Courier
  • Weekly Winner: Travis Jenkins, The News & Reporter

Jim Davenport Award for Excellence in Government Reporting:

Joseph Bustos, The State

Photos from the Annual Meeting & Awards

Photos from last week's Annual Meeting & Awards are now live on SCPA’s Facebook page so you can view, download, tag and share them. Thanks to Gwinn Davis and Sydney Dunlap for doing a great job shooting this important event! 

Meet our Hall of Fame recipients

Below are the most recent inductees into the S.C. Journalism Hall of Fame. Recipients were  inducted at SCPA’s Annual Meeting & Awards Presentation on March 10. Please read more about these remarkable journalists.  
Scott B. Hunter
Louis Cody Sossamon

"OOO,OOO,OOPS!" 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.

Sunshine Week Wrap-Up

Sunshine Week cartoon by Mike Beckom available in color and black-and-white.

Sunshine Week highlights importance of open government

Thanks to all the SCPA members participating in Sunshine Week! Here are some of the stories, cartoons and Op-eds we've spotted this week.
How SC police departments use vague exemptions to block reports from the public
(By Caitlin Ashworth and Ali Rockett, The Post and Courier)
Editorial: Plea to public officials: Do right thing (The Times and Democrat)
From the Editor's Desk: This Sunshine Week, take advantage of your freedom of information
(By David Ferrara, The Tiger, Clemson Unversity)
Letting the sunshine in March 12-18 (By Brooke Bromberg, The Chanticleer, Coastal Carolina University)

FOI Briefs

Shield laws haven’t stopped problems with executions, but they have kept them hidden

South Carolina’s attempts to resume executions continue as state legislation to enact a shield law to hide the identities of pharmaceutical companies that provide drugs for lethal injection moves from the state Senate to the House.
During debate on the Senate floor in February, some lawmakers took issue with language in the bill that would make companies and individuals involved with the process so secret that information would not even be available to obtain during discovery or any other legal process. 
However, little is known about South Carolina’s execution protocols to begin with.
By Kathryn Casteel, Greenville News | Read more

UPDATED: Video released in shooting probe; incident occurred as SCSU sought help with crowd

The S.C. Law Enforcement Division is asking the public to help with its investigation into the on-campus shooting of a South Carolina State University student.
SLED released a video Friday showing two people allegedly involved in the incident. Meanwhile, the university is refusing to release a report detailing the incident. ...
Few details have been released about the incident.
The T&D requested a copy of the S.C. State police reports about the shooting, but the university refused.
The S.C. Freedom of Information Act says that an agency must release a police incident report if it is requested within 14 days of the incident. ...
Jay Bender, an attorney for the S.C. Press Association, said the university’s response is “absolute nonsense that it thinks it can withhold the entirety of the report.”
State law allows agencies to redact specific information from reports, but does not stipulate that entire reports may be withheld, Bender explained.
“You can put icing on a potato, but it’s still not a cake,” Bender said of the university’s explanation as to why it won’t release the reports it must lawfully provide.
By Martha Rose Brown, The Times and Democrat | Read more

Editorial: SC House says it wants transparency in schools. This bill actually provides it.

... S.134, on the other hand, has no such drawbacks. The worst you could say about S.134 is that it might cost school districts a little bit more money — and by a little bit of money, we’re talking literally the few hundred dollars it would cost to purchase a tripod and an audio adapter that fits the output of a public address system. (School districts could spend more for a more polished product, but they wouldn’t have to.)
The bill, which the Senate passed unanimously and without debate last month, would require all school boards to livestream their meetings, thus allowing parents and other constituents to watch them from home in real time. They also could go back later and check to see whether what they’ve heard happened actually happened. If a problem interrupts the livestream, the boards would have two business days to post “a clear audio and video recording of the meeting in its entirety” on their district website. Districts that can demonstrate they don’t have broadband access could apply for an extension of up to 12 months.
From The Post and Courier | Read more

People & Papers

'You can't out-print the press': Murdaugh crime saga a testament to power of SC journalism

In reference to a newsman, Mark Twain once reportedly said, “Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel."
In more blunt rural Southern terms, during the 1980s, when a Hampton County police chief expressed disdain over negative coverage of law enforcement in The Hampton County Guardian, then-14th Circuit Solicitor Randolph "Buster" Murdaugh Jr. reportedly quipped, "You can't out-piss a pole cat, and you can't out-print the press."
Buster's grandson, disbarred attorney and convicted family murderer Richard "Alex" Murdaugh, has now been the subject of barrel after barrel of newsprint ink, hours upon hours of radio and TV airtime, and an unmeasurable amount of Internet bandwidth.
After being charged with scores of financial and drug crimes, Murdaugh was convicted March 2 in the murders of his wife and younger son, then sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in a rural South Carolina Lowcountry story that has become an international true-crime craze.
The Murdaugh saga is a sweeping epic of generations of power and entitlement that led to outright crime and corruption, but on a deeper level it is also a testament to the power of the South Carolina press and the need to support local journalism.
By Michael M. DeWitt, Jr., Greenville News | Read more

Former N&O editor named to lead all News operations for parent company McClatchy

Robyn Tomlin, former president and executive editor of Raleigh’s The News & Observer, is the new chief news officer for McClatchy, the company announced Wednesday. Tomlin will oversee the division responsible for all news, opinion and multimedia content created across McClatchy’s network of 30 local news sites and affiliated brands, according to a news release from the company. McClatchy is The News & Observer’s parent company. Tomlin, who was previously vice president of local news for McClatchy, will be part of McClatchy’s five-person executive leadership team. “It’s an incredible honor to lead and serve alongside the hundreds of extraordinary journalists across McClatchy as we work together to become the premier digital portals for high-impact news and information in all of the communities we serve,” Tomlin said in a news release. ...
During her time as executive editor at The N&O, Tomlin simultaneously served as Southeast regional editor for McClatchy, overseeing newsrooms in Charlotte and at five South Carolina newsrooms, including The State in Columbia.
By Brooke Cain, The News and Observer | Read more

The Marlboro School Community Center Inc. held its Women’s History Program on March 11 with the theme “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” During the event, Jacqueline Lowery Hough (second from right) was recognized as the first African-American female editor of the Herald-Advocate.

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