Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Jan. 12, 2023

Register for next Friday's Senior Management Roundtable

There's still time to sign up for SCPA’s Senior Management Roundtable, which will be held Friday, Jan. 20, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., at SCPA Offices in Columbia.
This event is a great opportunity for daily, weekly and monthly managers (including publishers, general managers, ad directors and other key leaders) to come together to discuss the issues facing your organizations in a casual setting.
Topics are up to the group, but may include: new ad ideas that are working, non-traditional ways to build revenue, growing readership and audience engagement, ways to save money, managing staff and more. We’ll also have plenty of time for show and tell.
The cost to attend is $25, which includes lunch. RSVP today!

6 members needed for Collegiate Contest judging

We still need six members to help judge our Collegiate Contest online later this month. We have enough photography, digital and design judges, but still need judges to review news, features, Op-Ed and sports writing contests. Judges will receive instructions and entries in mid-January and will have two weeks to complete the judging. Let us know if you can help. 
We'll also start recruiting judges for the Georgia Press Association News and Advertising Contests next week! Judging will take place in February.

Sign up for IRE data journalism training on Feb. 10

Sharpen your data journalism skills on Friday, Feb. 10, as SCPA hosts IRE for a full-day boot camp. Sponsored by the SCPA Foundation Smoak Fund, this event will be a mix of training and hands-on work featuring the industry’s leading data-driven journalism organization, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). You’ll learn best practices for effectively using spreadsheets for analyzing data. This event is catered specifically toward S.C. journalists so regardless of your beat or your organization’s size, frequency or resources, you’ll walk away with practical skills. At only $65, this is a great value for top-notch training  that will expand your skills and teach you cutting edge tools and techniques.
This hands-on session is limited to 30 attendees, and more than half the seats are already taken so please sign up soon
Please note this is the rescheduled date for the event originally set for Sept. 30, 2022, that canceled due to Hurricane Ian. If you were registered for the Sept. event, your registration has been carried over to the new date. 
More than 50 journalists attended the 2023 Legislative Preview for the Media on Monday. Special thanks to our panelists from the General Assembly, staff of the Office of Revenue and Fiscal Affairs, Moderator Gavin Jackson of SCETV, and our co-sponsors, the S.C. Broadcasters Association, The Associated Press & SCETV. 

"Overreaching" 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

FOIA: Greenville officers exonerated of using excessive force at abortion rights protest

The Greenville Police Department officers accused of using excessive force while making arrests at a Greenville abortion rights protest in June have been exonerated by an internal investigation, according to records obtained by The Greenville News through a Freedom of Information Act request.
In an August memorandum, Sergeant M.B. Estes concluded that Officers Samuel LeFlore, Jeffrey Burdette, Rami Kouzeili, and Michael Hammett “exercised restraint utilizing the minimum amount of force to gain compliance during this incident,” adding that none of the individuals involved in the arrests reported injuries as a result of police’s actions.
By Clare Amari, Greenville News | Read more

All federal law enforcement agencies need clear, public guidelines to protect journalists

Last October, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland revised the Department of Justice news media guidelines to expressly prohibit members of the Department from using subpoenas or other investigative tools against journalists, with only narrow exceptions. The new guidelines, which were updated following extensive advocacy efforts led by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and other news media representatives, are a key step toward protecting journalists and their sources from federal prosecutors and DOJ law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.
But the guidelines do not cover other departments or non-DOJ agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, which employs nearly half of all federal law enforcement officers. The largest law enforcement agency, Customs and Border Protection, which alone has more officers than all Justice Department components, falls within DHS, as does Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Secret Service.
The new DOJ guidelines should be a model for DHS and other federal law enforcement agencies to adopt comprehensive policies that protect journalists from investigations. That’s because we’ve seen what can go wrong without policies to protect against misusing investigative authority. DHS agents have repeatedly used these tools against journalists, and could continue to do so unless there are strong protections for members of the news media.
By Shawn Musgrave, Reporters Committee | Read more

People & Papers

Rubble is piled in front of The News and Courier building, then located on Broad Street, after the earthquake of 1886. William E. Wilson/Library of Congress

The Post and Courier, the South’s oldest daily newspaper, celebrates 220th anniversary

America’s first museum on Jan. 10 officially opened a special exhibit in honor of the South’s oldest daily newspaper, and quite nearly the oldest in the country. For more than two centuries, both have been among the threads stitched through the historic quilt that is Charleston.
The Charleston Courier, the first of four predecessors of The Post and Courier, published its inaugural edition on Jan. 10, 1803. Save a handful of days when the operation moved to a safer location up the peninsula as Union troops shelled the city during the Civil War, the newspaper has published daily ever since — through catastrophic fires, a ground-buckling earthquake and devastating hurricanes, as well as other unfortunate, and often unforeseen, events that could have brought about an excusable absence.
No such excuse has ever been proffered.
“It’s kind of incredible,” said Carl Borick, director of the Charleston Museum, which as part of its 250th anniversary celebration will through March host a special exhibit on The Post and Courier’s history. “Charleston in 1773, when we were founded, and still the case in 1803 when you all were founded, it’s one of the major cities in North America … and by far the wealthiest.”
Though that financial status changed following the Civil War, the role of the newspaper continued as part of the community and its evolution.
“I know the newspaper has always been interested in preserving the history of this city,” Borick said. “That attitude is reflected in the people who have historically run and written for The Post and Courier.”
By Jason Cato, The Post and Courier | Read more

Charleston City Paper announces two promotions

Longtime Charleston City Paper advertising director Cris Temples has been named assistant publisher.  Temples joined the City Paper’s advertising department in 2003, making him the senior employee at the newspaper.  He is a 1997 graduate of Clemson University where he received a bachelor’s degree in business management. He and his family live in West Ashley.
Also, Samantha Connors is now the newspaper's managing editor. The City Paper's former digital editor, she also regularly writes profiles and feature stories as well as covering topics related to women's health care. She started working with the Charleston City Paper in 2015 as an editorial intern. After graduating from the College of Charleston in 2016, she continued with the paper as a contributing writer before joining the staff full-time in 2020. When she's not looking for her next story, she can be found reading at home with her two cats or trying out a new soup recipe. 

The Post and Courier’s Clemson beat reporter Jon Blau honored by NSMA

Jon Blau, The Post and Courier’s Clemson beat reporter, on Jan. 9 was named South Carolina’s co-sportswriter of the year for 2022 by the National Sports Media Association. Blau shares the honor with former Post and Courier reporter Grace Raynor of The Athletic.
Blau, a Penn State graduate from Mount Laurel, N.J., has been with The Post and Courier since 2021. He wrote many compelling Clemson stories in 2022, including long pieces on football players Trenton Simpson and Jordan McFadden and on the school’s transition to the changing name, image and likeness landscape in college sports. He also writes about sports and other Clemson things in his newsletter, The Tiger Take.
From The Post and Courier | Read more

ProPublica hires Jennifer Berry Hawes to join its unit in the South

ProPublica announced last week that reporter Jennifer Berry Hawes is joining the newsroom’s unit in the South.
Hawes comes to ProPublica from The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, where she has worked for 18 years, most recently as a watchdog and public service reporter. Hawes was part of the team that won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for public service for the series “Till Death Do Us Part,” which examined South Carolina’s failure to protect women from often-fatal domestic abuse. Hawes also was a 2019 Pulitzer finalist for feature writing, along with fellow reporter Deanna Pan, for their series “An Undying Mystery,” about the youngest person ever executed in South Carolina. Hawes has written on topics ranging from persistent failures in public education to prison violence to racial injustice, including a recent project investigating how an intellectually disabled Black man became the victim of horrific labor trafficking right under the noses of police and prosecutors.
Hawes reported extensively on the Emanuel AME Church mass shooting in 2015, in which nine people were killed during Bible study at one of the country’s oldest Black churches. Her 2019 book stemming from that reporting, “Grace Will Lead Us Home,” won the Christopher Award and Audie Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
Hawes is based in South Carolina. She will start on Jan. 23.
From ProPublica | Read more

Here are 7 journalists that made a difference in Upstate SC in 2022

In 2022, the Upstate and South Carolina cast ballots during a contentious primary and midterm election season.
In the wake of a Greenville 12-year-old dying at the hands of a classmate in March, and when a Spartanburg County deputy was killed in the line of duty, we continued to face tragedies due to gun violence.
We weathered several storms this year, including the recent arctic blast that made it a Christmas weekend for the record books.
Greenville and Spartanburg continued to see unprecedented business and residential growth. However, neither flourishing city is immune to issues related to affordable housing and gentrification.
Unity Park was completed and opened in Greenville. Downtown Spartanburg started moving closer to a reimagined Morgan Square in the same year that local music legends, Marshall Tucker Band, treated downtown to a night that will be long remembered.
By Gabe Whisnant, The Greenville News | Read more

Seyler leaves Georgetown for Arkansas

Randal Seyler has joined the staff of The Saline Courier in Benton, Arkansas, as managing editor.
Seyler was previously the managing editor of The Courier in Russellville and the Jonesboro Sun. Most recently, he was the editor of The Post and Courier Myrtle Beach/Georgetown Times. He has an extensive career in community journalism, working at both weekly and daily newspapers during his 27-year career.
From The Saline Courier | Read more

Industry Briefs

USPS announces 30 day grace period for eliminating sacks for Periodicals

NNA is pleased to announce that the USPS has agreed to an extension period for the elimination of sacks for Periodicals and Marketing Mail. The Postal Service announced late Jan. 6 that it concluded mailers needed more time to make the adjustment. Sacks will now be accepted through Feb. 21, 2023.
Mailers are reminded that exceptions will remain.
  • For Periodicals and Marketing Mail: sacks can be accepted when they are carrier route containers, 5-digit scheme containers or 5-digit carrier route containers
  • For mail entered at Delivery Units: no container is needed, bundles can be entered directly
To mitigate the impact on larger mailers, the 100 pound weight minimum for pallets destined for mixed ADC destinations will be eliminated so mailers can put bundles on pallets for these sparsely-distributed destinations.
The USPS extension announcement is available here: Industry Alert - Sack Elimination 30-Day Grace Period | PostalPro (
From National Newspaper Association | Read more

Post and Courier shares 4 lessons learned from newsletter strategy

In July of 2021, The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, began working in conjunction with the Google News Initiative (GNI) to explore the efficacy of paid newsletters as a viable growth strategy for the news organisation. Could the media company create alternative revenue streams and increase its digital audience effectively with this new type of subscription model? And what would that entail?
By Samuel Hunter, The Post and Courier for INMA | Read more

5 Tips for using academic research to do investigative journalism

If more journalists incorporated academic research into their investigative reporting process, they might have been able to alert the world about the Mpox outbreak sooner. For years, researchers studying the virus, formerly known as monkeypox, had been noting its spread in parts of the world in studies published in scholarly journals.
Academic research is a crucial tool for investigating societal problems and holding the powerful accountable. On Dec. 15, The Journalist’s Resource held a one-hour training to explain how consulting academic studies and collaborating with researchers can strengthen news coverage and aid journalists at each stage of the investigative reporting process.
...Those who attended the webinar left with practical tips and insights from Neil Bedi, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at  ProPublica, and Rachel Lovell, a criminologist at Cleveland State University who advocates for and has participated in reporter-researcher collaborations. ... Below, I’ve spotlighted five of my favorite tips from the event. Toward the bottom of the page, you’ll find links to several tip sheets on finding and interpreting academic research.
By Denise-Marie Ordway, The Journalist’s Resource | Read more

Deadline to enter ISWNE Golden Quill editorial writing contest is Feb. 1

The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE) is accepting entries for its annual Golden Quill editorial writing contest. Deadline is Feb. 1, 2023.
Entries should reflect the purpose of the ISWNE: Encouraging the writing of editorials or staff-written opinion pieces that identify local issues that are or should be of concern to the community, offer an opinion, and support a course of action.
All newspapers of less than daily frequency (published fewer than four days per week) are eligible to enter. 
Entries must have been published between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022.
Information on how to prepare and send entries can be found at For specific questions, please contact ISWNE Executive Director Chad Stebbins.


Cherokee Chronicle Publisher Tommy Martin dies

Tommy Ed Martin, 77, of 910 College Drive, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, January 8, 2023 at Spartanburg Medical Center.
Born in Gaffney, he was the husband of Ann Blanton Martin for 42 years and son of the late Harold Bill Martin and Edith Tipton Martin Cobb, and stepson of the late Richmond Cobb.  In addition to his wife, he is also survived by three children, Tiffany Eubanks and husband, Jeff of Spartanburg, Jonathan Martin and wife, Kinsey of Cowpens, and Joshua Martin and wife, Sarah of Boiling Springs, SC; five grandchildren, Isaac Eubanks, Noah Eubanks, Hope Eubanks, Ella Eubanks and Madison Martin; two sisters, Judi Reeves and husband, Terry of Greer and Kathy Warf and husband, Dave of Winston-Salem, NC.
He was a 1963 graduate of Gaffney High School, attended the University of South Carolina (1963-1964), a 1968 graduate of Limestone College, the Editor/Publisher of The Cherokee Chronicle, and a member of First Baptist Church of Gaffney.
Tommy started his newspaper career at The Gaffney Ledger in April, 1965 (reporter, Sports Editor, from 1965 to 1969).  He was thereafter employed by The Savannah Morning News, Savannah, GA, Beaufort (SC) Bureau Chief (1969-1971) and the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, (1971-1979) as Cherokee County Bureau Chief.  Tommy returned the second time to The Gaffney Ledger (1983-1991) where he developed, wrote and edited TMC newspaper magazine titled “Friends & Neighbors” and where he served as Editor of The Gaffney Ledger from 1988-1991.   He then left the Ledger in 1991 and founded The Cherokee Chronicle (June, 1991) where he served as Editor/Publisher.  He was also the former co-owner (with brother-in-law Dave Warf) of WFGN Radio Station in Gaffney. Read full obituary
(Photo by Matthew Fortner, P&C)

Gregory Yee, former Post and Courier reporter, dies at 33

Gregory Yee, a former Post and Courier reporter who brought verve and compassion to breaking news coverage, died Jan. 4 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 33.
Yee died unexpectedly due to complications from a respiratory issue, his family told The Los Angeles Times, where he worked as a reporter.
The Los Angeles native graduated in 2012 from UC Irvine, where he served as editor in chief for the student newspaper, The New University. Yee held a couple of news jobs on the West Coast before picking up and moving to Charleston in 2016 to cover breaking news and criminal justice at The Post and Courier.
By Ema Rose Schumer, The Post and Courier | Read more


By Charles D. Perry, Editor, My Horry News 

I'll miss you, boss. So will a lot of Horry County folks

You would have hated this week’s front page.
On Friday afternoon, you told me you liked multiple stories on Page 1. That’s what readers want to see, you said. That’s community journalism.
My visions of a major anchor story didn’t match yours. It wasn’t unusual for us to disagree. In fact, that’s almost a requirement of the publisher-editor relationship.
But before you walked out of our meeting, you paused. If I had a different approach, if I thought a story was important enough, you gave me the green light to go with one dominant piece.
You should have known better.
I’m writing this as I decide which photos to run with the tributes about you. I’m sorting through quotes from journalists across the state who sang your praises. And I’m hiding in your office because no one wants to see a middle-aged bearded guy ugly cry.
For the past few days, I’ve heard the same stories: you were soft-spoken but a staunch advocate for the First Amendment (it’s even on the Opinion page); you were serious about journalism but a goofball in office party skits; you held government accountable but always with a sense of fairness.
I know those stories are true because I experienced them firsthand. Read more
By Jerry Bellune,
Writing Coach

A tribute to a newspaper friend

Steve Robertson inspired trust in those he worked with.
His people stayed with him for years.
Kathy Ropp, his editor-in-chief at the Horry Independent, worked with Steve more than 45 years. That may be a record for longevity.
In all those years, she said at Steve’s funeral last week in Conway, “he always had my back.”
Steve was a friend, colleague and mentor to many of us in South Carolina community journalism. He was always willing to share strategies that had worked for his family and their six newspapers.
After he retired to run for the state legislature, he called losing the primary election to the incumbent a great learning experience. Politics looks easier from the outside looking in.
His most important lesson, Steve said, was not to ever run again.
Steve and his wife Cheryl were models for many of us operating family-owned newspapers. Local news is what readers want and can’t get anywhere else.
South Carolina is blessed with many such newspapers owned and published by local people the community knows and trusts.
Even after Steve turned over the publisher’s desk to his son Stephen, Jr., he and his vision were involved.
The day he died, Saturday, Dec. 31, Steve wasn’t watching football bowl games on TV. He was at the office with his people dreaming and planning what they wanted to do in 2023.
That his people were there with him on the last Saturday afternoon of the year says much about their belief in Steve.

Upcoming Events

  • Jan. 16 | SCPA closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Jan. 20 | 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. | Senior Management Roundtable | SCPA, Columbia
  • Feb. 10 | 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. | IRE Data Journalism Workshop | SCPA, Columbia
  • Feb. 16 | 2-3:15 p.m. | FOI & Libel Training | Zoom
  • March 9-10 | SCPA Annual Meeting & Awards | Cooperative Conference Center, Columbia
  • March 31 | SCPA Collegiate Meeting & Awards | Clemson University
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