Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Nov. 11, 2021
In this Oct. 26, 2012 file photo, AP reporter Jim Davenport receives The Order of the Palmetto from S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley. Davenport died at 54 in Dec. 2012. (AP Photo/ Mary Ann Chastain)

SCPA announces award for government reporting to honor the late Jim Davenport

First place winner will receive $1,000 cash prize

SCPA is excited to announce a new Open Division News Contest award that honors the late Jim Davenport, a tenacious reporter, who was known for his fair and aggressive coverage of state government and political matters.
The Davenport Award for Excellence in Government Reporting is named in memory of Davenport, who during his 13 years with The Associated Press cultivated sources because those he covered respected his ethics, his compassion, his tireless work ethic and his desire to hold those in power accountable for their actions.
Endowed by the AP's Meg Kinnard because of Davenport’s profound influence on her career, the first place winner in this contest will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize.
The gift, given as an endowment to the S.C. Press Association Foundation, will enable the award to be presented for years to come.
Kinnard said this was necessary to ensure that Davenport's legacy lives on, even when those who personally knew him are no longer around.
This award will be presented to an individual journalist who regularly covers state, federal and/or local government topics in South Carolina.
Criteria include enterprise, writing quality and effectiveness in explaining state, local and/or federal government matters, as well as holding public officials and elected leaders accountable. In addition to reviewing samples of work, judges will evaluate how each nominee demonstrates fair, ethical and aggressive reporting. 
Nominations may be made by the editor of the nominee’s newspaper or by an editor or reporter from another SCPA member newspaper if they deem a colleague worthy of this honor. A nomination letter must be submitted outlining how the nominee embodies Davenport’s style of nonpartisan, unbiased and ethical journalism.
The contest shall be judged by a committee of former S.C. journalists and a representative of The Associated Press.
If possible, the award will be presented at the Annual Meeting by a member of Davenport’s family. 
There is no limit on the number of journalists at each newspaper who can be nominated for this honor.
"We are so grateful for Meg's thoughtfulness and commitment to honoring Jim's service to our industry and state through this endowed award," said SCPA Co-Executive Director Jen Madden. "This is a meaningful tribute to a great South Carolina journalist and we are excited to add the Davenport Award to SCPA's top honors. We can't wait to see who is nominated and to present the inaugural Davenport Award at SCPA's Annual Meeting and Awards on March 12, 2022."
Full rules for the Davenport Award and other News Contest categories are available here.
The deadline to enter is Dec. 3. Please reach out if you have any questions about entering.

Media Directory is in the mail

The 2022 edition of the S.C. Media Directory is being mailed to SCPA members this week.
The guide, published annually by SCPA, includes detailed information on all 15 daily and 74 weekly newspapers in South Carolina including newspaper contact info, circulation and readership figures, and advertising information. It also includes info about SCPA's collegiate, associate and individual members, as well as South Carolina's TV and radio stations.
Each member organization receives a free copy. It is also mailed to ad agencies throughout the state and Southeast.
Additional copies can be ordered for $40.
The cover photo for this year's edition, “Hope,” was taken by Jason Lee of The Sun News. It won third place Pictorial in the Daily 10,000-25,000 Division of SCPA's 2020 News Contest. Rob Dowd, resort manager of South Bay Inn & Suites decided to turn on the lights in 115 empty runs to spell out the word “Hope” at his hotel in Myrtle Beach.

Are you a news organization leader who is new to SCPA?

SCPA is hosting a virtual New Editor/Publisher/Manager Orientation on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 2-2:30 p.m. via Zoom.
If you are a key leader at your news organization, we invite you to learn more about SCPA's member services, legal/FOI Hotline, SLED Checks, lobbying, training, contests, communications, resources and ad representation. 
This will be an informal space to get information and ask questions.
Please let Kassidy know if you'd like to attend.
We are also available to meet with you one-on-one in person or via Zoom... just reach out to set up a time!

SCPA is hiring student assistants for Winter Break project

SCPA is looking to hire a few college students for part-time work over Winter Break helping get the News Contest entries ready for judging.
Applicants need to be in Columbia for most of the break (starting in early December) to work 20-25 hours a week. Hours are flexible during the work week (9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.) and the pay is $12 an hour. All students are welcome to apply, but this would be an awesome opportunity for journalism students because they’ll get to see the best work of our state’s newspapers. Depending on the students’ exam schedules, the project would start in early December and will wrap up by the time the spring semester starts. There is also a possibility for the students to help us in the spring with some Annual Meeting prep if they’re interested. Candidates should have a high attention to detail and enjoy analyzing information. Some knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Acrobat and Excel is a plus.
Because this project cannot be done remotely, assistants will be required to work at SCPA headquarters in Columbia.   
Interested candidates should email Jen Madden no later than Nov. 15. Please include a resume and availability during Winter Break (days/hours, holiday travel, etc.).

"School Board Meeting" 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

Richland County ordered to pay $73,000 in attorney fees in case of fired administrator

A judge has ordered Richland County to pay more than $73,000 in attorney’s fees in the public records case surrounding the firing of the former county administrator.
Circuit Court Judge Jocelyn Newman already ruled in October 2020 that the County Council violated state open-meetings law when it voted during a 2018 private session to approve a nearly $1 million settlement for fired county administrator Gerald Seals.
Columbia attorney Joe McCulloch sued the county on behalf of a local businessman after that vote, saying the process had violated the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
By Jessica Holdman, The Post and Courier Columbia | Read more

People & Papers


Columbia’s ‘Panorama’ looking to publish in Charleston after ‘Chronicle’ closes

The Carolina Panorama, a weekly newspaper covering issues affecting African-American communities in the Midlands, is planning to begin distributing a Charleston-anchored edition after the city’s longtime Chronicle newsweekly ceased publication.
In an interview Wednesday in Charleston, owner Nate Abraham told the City Paper he is putting together circulation and distribution plans for the Lowcountry Panorama, with the new edition launching in early 2022.
“There are about 800,000 people in the Charleston area, and that’s a lot,” Abraham told the City Paper. “And in the African-American community, there’s about 240,000, but no one’s telling telling those stories … No one’s focusing on accomplishments in the day-to-day lives of the people in the community. So, that’s what we doing in Columbia, and Charleston is a large market that should have something similar.”
The Carolina Panorama was founded in 1986 by Abraham’s late father, Nathaniel Abraham Sr., who previously worked with Columbia civil rights leader Modjeska Simkins at her Palmetto Leader newspaper, eventually taking the reins in the mid-1960s. Nathaniel Abraham Sr. died in August at 87.
Today, the Panorama distributes about 10,000 copies each Thursday in the Columbia area as well as the towns of Orangeburg and St. Matthews.
“We believe in being hyper-local, so our papers will reflect the citizens of Charleston. Just like we’re doing in Columbia, our content is about local people,” Nate Abraham said. “We’re not going to get a whole lot of stuff off the wire servers … The content has to be local.”
By Sam Spence, Charleston City Paper | Read more

Bartelme wins Silver AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award

Post and Courier reporter Tony Bartelme's story "Ghost Bird" was named one of the top science stories of the past year, placing Silver in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Kavli Science Journalism Awards.
This is Bartelme's second AAAS Kavli award. "Ghost Bird" is a story about an elusive marsh-dwelling bird called the eastern black rail and one researcher’s efforts to study and protect it.
The international awards, administered by the AAAS, recognize distinguished science reporting for a general audience. A Gold Award ($5,000) and a Silver Award ($3,500) are presented in each of eight categories. 
By Earl Lane and Emily Hughes,  AAAS | Read more from AAAS.



Former Index-Journal editor Bill Collins dies at 88

William A. “Bill” Collins, who had a 32-year career at the Index-Journal, died Tuesday.
Collins, who retired from the Index-Journal at the end of 2011, was 88. He served the paper in various capacities, as editor, executive editor, general manager and editorial page editor, a position he maintained for a number of years until his retirement.
After retiring, Collins was given the honorary title of editor emeritus of the Index-Journal and continued writing guest columns for the newspaper, with his most recent contribution publishing Oct. 26.
In December 2006, Collins was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor bestowed by the state’s governor. Former state Rep. Mike Pitts secured the honor for Collins in recognition of his contributions and commitment to fair journalism in a post-Watergate era, as well as his continual protection of the First Amendment and support of the Second Amendment.
Collins was a Florence native and an Army veteran. He was one of the original Airborne Rangers, having completed his training before the age of 18.
A graduate of the University of South Carolina, his newspaper career spanned sports and crime reporting, editing and publishing — jobs that brought him not only to Greenwood, but also Columbia and Richmond, Virginia. And in Alexandria, Virginia, he was publisher of the Gazette, a newspaper owned by The State of Columbia.
From the Index-Journal | Read more 
Index-Journal Editor Richard Whiting is compiling remembrances of Bill Collins for a story he's writing. If you'd like to share your memories with Richard, please email or call him (864.943.2522).

Donny Wilder, former Clinton Chronicle publisher and SCPA Past President, dies

Donny Wilder, born March 9, 1932, was the son of the late Shadie S. Wilder and Robert P. Wilder. He peacefully passed away on November 2, 2021 with his family by his side.
Donny Wilder, once a promising football player, contracted polio at the age of 13, cutting his athletic aspirations short. His English teachers encouraged him to use his knowledge of football to begin writing for the school’s newspaper. He continued his work on newspapers in Morehead City, NC, Spartanburg, SC, Rock Hill, SC, Sarasota, FL, and Shelby, NC, before becoming the editor and publisher of The Clinton Chronicle, a position he held from 1967 until 1987.
[According to SCPA's history book, under his leadership, The Clinton Chronicle was the first weekly newspaper in South Carolina to go off-set in the late 1960s. 
He served as president of SCPA in 1974.
He sold the newspaper in 1987 to Smith Newspapers of Fort Payne, Alabama.]
He also was co-owner of the Radio Station WPCC from 1985 to 1993.
He served in SC House District 15 as Representative from 1992-2002 and was instrumental in the development of Musgrove State Historic Park which is located on Highway 56, a portion of which is named in his honor. He received the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor in 2002. For Donny, it was never a matter of putting political parties above service itself, it was about remembering to make people a higher priority than votes. The same applied for his career as a journalist. Donny believed that communities are more important than headlines. Read more

Former Greenville News editorial page editor, Tom Inman, dies

Thomas P. Inman, a longtime editorial page editor for The Greenville News who was known for holding government officials accountable, has died.
Inman, who served as the editorial page editor from 1980-2000, died early Sunday, according to an obituary posted by Mackey Funerals and Cremations.
A native of North Carolina, Inman had been the editorial page editor of The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina and editor of The Hickory (N.C.) Daily Record before joining The Greenville News as editorial page editor in 1980.
He'd been hired by Rhea Eskew and appointed to succeed long-time editor Jim McKinney, Bern Mebane, a former Greenville News publisher, said in an email.
He did a "superb job," said former Greenville News publisher Steve Brandt in an email.
He had a broad and deep understanding of politics — national, state and local, Brandt said.
"Public officials who came to the newspaper for editorial board meetings with Tom and his staff knew to be prepared.  He had a keen intellect and was a lucid writer," Brandt said. "This all made for editorials that got to the heart of issues, making clear the newspaper’s position without being dismissive of other points of view."
By Angelia L. Davis, Greenville News | Read more


Richard Whiting, Executive Editor,

Letters to the editor published in writers’ own words - literally

If you’ve been in this business long, you’re aware —painfully aware — of the many changes our profession has experienced. It was one thing when the pica stick and photo wheel hit the junk drawer. It was another when back-lighted layout tables gave way to pagination software and computers.
Those, in fact, were helpful changes, welcome changes. Computers meant we could streamline our operations and even migrate away from locking 1A color in at 5 p.m. Heck, we could rearrange the front page until about 20 minutes before the press start. Email? Now we could copy and paste information, making us leaner and more timely with getting news out.
But some changes were not and still are not welcome, much brought on by the advent of the internet. Remember when we hoped that was a passing fad? Yeah. It’s not.
Now that Facebook is the beacon of all knowledge any of us needs, newspapers have suffered yet another blow. Print advertising has declined right along with paid home delivery subscriptions. Amazing, isn’t it, that people think we have the audacity to charge for the news we gather and disseminate? Yet, they think nothing of paying high monthly fees for smartphones, the internet, cable and satellite television. And they have the audacity to say they don’t or won’t pay for news. Hah.
But in case you hadn’t noticed, once bustling newsrooms full of people with various functions became shadows of themselves. When the going gets tough, the tough cuts typically strike sharp blows to the newsrooms first. After all, there’s that sense that newsroom personnel are just a drain on the revenue stream. We don’t “sell” anything the way ad reps do, so our value is sometimes diminished. Well, as I like to tell ad execs, the first four letters of the product they sell into are NEWS. And if it weren’t for our news, they’d not have much of a product to sell.
But I digress.
The fact remains that newsrooms have largely been decimated.
“Don’t you all have proofreaders down there?” “Don’t you all have copy editors down there?”
“Yes ma’am, we sure do. Only, those two jobs and a few others are all rolled into one person’s job.”
“Well, do tell. Who’s that idiot?”
“You’re speaking with him now, ma’am. And if there’s nothing else, I need to change the water cooler bottle and empty some trash. Have a great day, and thanks for reading.”
Still, any of us who yet give a damn about clean copy and headlines that are correctly spelled continue to do our best with fewer and fewer resources and time on hand. Read more

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