Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Aug. 10, 2023

SCPA Attorney Jay Bender sends letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. asking for cameras in the court at Trump trial

Editor's Note: Jay's full letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is available on the S.C. News Exchange. Members are welcome to share it with readers as we urge the court to ensure unfiltered access to the trial and related proceedings.  
Dear Mr. Chief Justice:

On June 15, 2023, following the indictment of Donald J. Trump in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, I wrote to urge a lifting of restrictions on audio and video coverage of that trial.  I write again following the indictment of Donald J. Trump in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for criminal activity in aid of overturning the 2020 election to allow him to illegally remain in office notwithstanding an electoral defeat.

There was a time in our society where a significant portion of the population had the time and ability to attend trials in person.  Since no former president has been indicted and tried for criminal activity there is no direct historical parallel, but the treason trial of former vice president Aaron Burr provides historical context.  The trial judge was one of your predecessors, Chief Justice John Marshall.  The number of persons interested in attending the trial exceeded the capacity of the courthouse requiring the trial to be moved to the Hall of the Virginia House of Delegates to facilitate attendance by more members of the public.

Open and public trials have been a feature of our judicial system from its roots in British common law.  Another of your predecessors, Chief Justice Warren Burger, writing in the case of Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia explained that citizens have difficulty accepting that which they are prohibited from observing, writing:

People in an open society do not demand infallibility from their institutions, but it is difficult for them to accept what they are prohibited from observing. Read more

Last call to register for Daily Editors Roundtable on Aug. 18

Daily editors: Monday is the final day to register for next week's roundtable. Join your peers at SCPA Offices in Columbia on Aug. 18, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The cost to attend is $25, which includes lunch.
Congratulations to The Journal of Seneca, winner of the President's Award for Best Overall Advertising at a daily newspaper. SCPA visited Seneca on Wednesday to present their PALMY Awards. (Photo by Lauren Pierce, The Journal)
SCPA presented 22 PALMY Awards to the staff of The Sumter Item and Lexington County Chronicle on Tuesday. From left are Devin McDonald, Karen Cave, Richie Weber, Janel Strieter and Cary Howard with Jen Madden. (Photo by Bryn Eddy, The Sumter Item)

FOIA Briefs

Sheriff’s Office ordered to turn over jail calls of defendant in Folly Beach bride’s death

[Published Aug. 2] The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office has until Aug. 4 to turn over recorded jail calls of the jailed woman who is accused of driving drunk and killing a Folly Beach bride on her wedding night, according to a court order.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Jean Hoefer Toal said the Sheriff’s Office violated South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act when it refused open records requests for Jamie Lee Komoroski’s recorded conversations from the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center. Toal also found that the recorded phone calls of jailed individuals are public records and their release does not violate a person’s right to privacy. The ruling may set legal precedent in South Carolina. 
By Ema Rose Schumer, The Post and Courier | Read More

Columbia-area legislators insult and yell at each other over filling judge’s post

An “emergency” gathering of Richland County legislators quickly devolved into a verbal sparring match of accusations and insults, with local state Sen. Dick Harpootlian declaring the meeting itself an illegal example of the need for judicial reform.
The back-and-forth shouting, mostly between Harpootlian and House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, prompted other Columbia-area legislators to apologize to the public for the delegation’s antics, accidentally putting themselves in the crosshairs.
“Don’t apologize for me or other members of the delegation who can read the law,” Rutherford responded.  
The feuding was not partisan. All legislators at the Aug. 2 meeting and its scrum are Democrats.
The meeting was ostensibly called to notify the public of the fast-approaching deadline for applying to replace Richland County Master-in-Equity Joseph Strickland, who sued the delegation last month in an effort to keep the job he’s held since 1989.
The meeting was held with less than 24 hours’ notice, which Harpootlian said violated the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
Rutherford countered it didn’t because it fell within the law’s “emergency” exception.
By Seanna Adcox, The Post and Courier | Read More

People & Papers


Frederick named chair of Winthrop Mass Comm Department

Dr. Nathaniel Frederick has been named Chair of the Mass Communication Department at Winthrop University.
Dr. Frederick has been with Winthrop for 11 years and brings a wealth of experiences to this role, most recently serving on the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC) Board of Directors and chairing the group’s Commission on the Status of Minorities.
At Winthrop he’s served as the director for the African American Studies Minor, supported the AECJMC self-study for accreditation, and so much more.
Dr. Frederick earned his Ph.D. in Mass Communication from Pennsylvania State University. He is a graduate of Claflin University and holds a Masters in Media Studies from Pennsylvania State University. 
As a scholar, his research focuses on the intersection between media, cultural production, and social protest, during the civil rights movement.
Dr. Frederick has been an active member of SCPA, helping lead the association's collegiate activities for several years. 

Sumter Item hires Flash as photo editor

The Sumter Item has hired Adam Flash as its new photo editor and multimedia journalist.
Flash comes to Sumter from Seattle, Washington, where he grew up and spent the last year working for a local magazine and as a freelance photographer.
He spent his college years close to the Big Apple on Long Island studying journalism at Hofstra University. He worked as a multimedia editor for the student newspaper, The Hofstra Chronicle, and as a photographer for the university itself. He was also involved with the school’s radio and television stations and interned for the Long Island Herald.
When he's not working, you’ll usually find him being active, often hiking or rock climbing. 

MyHorryNews welcomes new reporters

MyHorryNews has welcomed two new reporters to cover a range of stories from news on the North Strand to features across the county
Last week, Tommy Cardinal and Casey Jones joined Waccamaw Publishers, the parent company of MyHorryNews, several weekly papers and a monthly paper among a number of special publications published throughout the year.
Cardinal joins the newspaper’s team after working for The Community Paper in Orlando, Florida, covering city government and feature stories. For MyHorryNews, he will cover northern Horry County, particularly the coastal area, for the company’s monthly North Strand News.
As a newcomer to South Carolina, Cardinal said he is looking forward to sharing the stories of the people of Horry County and becoming a part of the Grand Strand community.
“I’m passionate about local journalism and storytelling and am looking forward to keeping readers up to date on all that is happening in the North Strand,” Cardinal said. “Having an educational background and personal interest in environmentalism, I’m most looking forward to writing about the issues affecting the beautiful climate of coastal South Carolina.”
Jones joins the company after a decades-long career in journalism. He most recently was the editor of the Kingman Minor in Arizona.
“I worked as a reporter in Horry County about 20 years ago, and I look forward to telling stories and living here again,” he said.
Jones, who joins MyHorryNews as a general assignment reporter, will cover topics from features to crime to enterprise stories.
From MyHorryNews | Read More

Georgetown County's Broach wins national Public Information awards

Georgetown County Public Information Officer Jackie Broach won six awards in this year’s National Association of County Information Officers Awards of Excellence competition. The winners were announced July 26. 
Georgetown County, represented by Broach, is an associate member of SCPA.
The competition recognizes information projects that exhibit expertise in communications. It is open to all counties in the U.S., and there are no divisions separating counties by population, so Georgetown competed against much larger and better funded counties including Mecklenburg County, N.C.; Broward County, Fla.; and Maricopa County, Ariz.
Broach won the following:
• Best in Category, General Information Campaign for the county’s campaign informing the public about redistricting efforts.
• Superior Work (2nd place), Photo or Photo Series for capturing the county’s Quilt’s of Valor ceremony.
• Excellent Work (3rd place), Photo or Photo Series for capturing the inaugural Anthuan Maybank Day celebration.
• Three Meritorious Work (4th place) awards for: Multi-platform Social Media Campaign for her Black History Month series; Newsletter; and Photo or Photo Series for capturing the Bassmaster Collegiate tournament last fall.
Officials with the National Association of County Information Officers said this year’s program was very competitive.
From Georgetown County | Read More

Industry Briefs

API launches Civic Discourse and Community Voices Fund to enable local news experiments

The American Press Institute is now accepting applications from local and community-based news organizations throughout the United States to kickstart initiatives to strengthen civic discourse in their community.
Both nonprofit and for-profit news organizations may apply here by August 21 by 8 p.m. ET for grants of up to $10,000 to be used over four months starting in September. The grant period will include virtual opportunities to share insights with other fund participants, learn from other civic discourse practitioners and develop new skills.
API anticipates the cohort will include up to 20 news organizations. "We will prioritize projects that pay special attention to a diversity of voices and people. Projects can be new or build upon existing work. Experiments enabled by the grants should help news organizations learn and build toward sustainable civic discourse initiatives, ones that are in place for the 2024 election year and beyond." 
From American Press Institute | Read More

Carrier challenges redux. Finding solutions to help carriers and print media work together.

The United States Postal Service versus local carriers — publishers around the U.S. have asked this question for decades. It is not a new question, and the answer is ever-evolving. Editor & Publisher is following up on “Handling carrier challenges” from our May issue to dive deeper into the question facing publications as they navigate carrier challenges.
This question is multi-faceted, and publishers have more options than just choosing  “carriers or mail.” Diversifying revenue streams allows publications more flexibility. There are many ways publishers can get creative with broadening their revenue streams.
“Newspaper publishers are finding ways to add revenue to their distribution forces by delivering products other than newspapers. These include product samples, small parcels and magazines,” said Randall Brant, executive director of Doorfront Direct.
By Kirsten Staples, Editor & Publisher | Read More

Pivot! A 5-step plan for evaluating newsroom technology experiments

In the autumn of 2022, I embarked on a journey to explore news innovation opportunities in the metaverse during my fellowship at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
The metaverse was being touted as the next revolutionary frontier, backed by Mark Zuckerberg's bold rebranding of Facebook to Meta, and significant investments into the development of a virtual world. Predictions about its potential were staggering, with estimates suggesting a market value of trillions of dollars.
However, as the summer of 2023 arrived, the fervour around the metaverse had diminished, and many were quick to proclaim its untimely demise. In its place, people were now gushing about generative AI and Chat GPT instead.
This is a great example of the conundrum newsrooms face when embracing technology: dive in too soon and risk resources on fleeting trends; wait too long and play catch-up with competitors.
To address this challenge, I’ve proposed a five-step plan that I hope will help newsrooms identify which tech opportunities are worth their time and resources.
By Yuen-C Tham, Reuters Institute | Read More

Five grant-writing tips for news organizations

For many news organizations looking to get started with a philanthropic strategy, applying for grants can feel overwhelming. Terese Kartholl, director of journalism funding initiatives at Local Media Association, shares this advice for writing grant applications.
Do your research
Before you begin your application, spend time thoroughly researching the organization. Foundation websites typically provide information about their mission, work, funding priorities and application requirements. Review both the types of projects and the organizations that a foundation has funded in the past. Ensure your project truly fits within the parameters of the call for proposal. 
Reach out before starting your application
Program officers may be open to a conversation before you submit your application. In these conversations, you may receive important feedback to increase your chances of submitting a successful application. Use your time wisely, ask thoughtful questions, and don’t forget to share why you are uniquely qualified to receive the funding. Have a comprehensive understanding of the organization before initiating contact. It can be highly frustrating to funders when it is obvious you did not do your homework. 
By Terese Kartholl, Local Media Association | Read More


By Jonathan Vickery,
The People-Sentinel

People sure are friendly in Northern Ireland

As a native South Carolinian, I’m used to “Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places.”
During a recent vacation to Scotland and Ireland, this lifelong Southerner felt right at home. These two countries are far from home, but they offer beautiful scenery and friendly people.
I’ll highlight the beautiful places in a separate column, but I want to focus this column on an interesting experience I had regarding three smiling faces.
On one particular night, our tour group returned to our luxurious hotel in downtown Belfast, Northern Ireland after a full day of exploring the city. While my wife went to bed, I sought a quiet spot to finish some work on my laptop.
Yes, I know I was on vacation and shouldn’t be working. But that’s the life of a small-town newspaper publisher and small business owner. You’re never truly off.
So as not to disturb my wife, I went downstairs to ask the front desk attendant where I could find a table and chair to set up. She suggested the lounge where we ate breakfast since it was empty at that time of night.
She was right. Other than an occasional worker walking by, this place was empty. So, I found a comfy chair by the window, with a breathtaking view of the lively city, and set my laptop up on the table. Off to work I went.
I was in the zone, focused on the task at hand, when I heard laughter and loud voices. It had been fairly quiet up until that point. I looked up and saw three women coming out of somewhere – the bar, maybe. I heard them talk about how nice the hotel was.
I figured they had enjoyed a few drinks and were just checking things out. I turned my attention back to my computer.
Next thing I know, the women were walking my direction, which was far from any door or exit. I’m by the window, after all. Read more



The Link remembers former writer

Julia C. Aldridge of Pageland was a special lady who The Link family had the privilege of knowing through her writing in the newspaper's early years. She died Thursday, July 20.
Born in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, Julia was a former Cub Scout leader; a kindergarten assistant at Benton Heights Elementary School in Monroe, N.C.; a legal assistant to attorney and assistant solicitor W. Lee Youngblood of Pageland; and retired from Jefferson-Pilot Communications (WBTV/WBT) and Jefferson-Pilot Sports of Charlotte, N.C.
Julia was a daughter of the Rev. Brady Lee Connell and Verla Price Connell. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Pageland and SECR. Read more

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