Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Aug. 5, 2021

SCNN payouts return more than $77,000 to SCPA member papers

S.C. Newspaper Network (SCNN), the sales arm of SCPA, mailed quarterly advertising network payments totaling more than $77,000 to SCPA member newspapers earlier this week.
These totals include the Small Space Display (2x2/2x4/2x6) Advertising Network payout of $15,202 and the QuarterPage+ Ad Network payout of $61,803. Classified revenue is paid out annually in January.
“Thanks to all of the member papers that participate in our ad networks,” said Randall Savely, Co-Executive Director of SCPA and SCNN. “The networks are vital to the operations of SCPA and also a great source of added revenue for member papers.”
Every daily newspaper and virtually every weekly newspaper participates in SCNN's ad networks.
If your newspaper does not participate in one of the SCNN networks, contact Randall to learn how these networks can provide added revenue to your newspaper.

Order press IDs for your sports stringers

It's time to order press IDs for your sports reporters, photographers and stringers.
All orders must come from SCPA member newspaper editors. Freelancers must contact their editor to order a card.
SCPA has a flat rate shipping fee of $8 per order for all orders with a clip or lanyard. If you do not need a clip (can re-use an old clip, put in your wallet or have a lanyard), let us know and we can ship your order in a first class envelope for less than $1. 
Order a 2021 Press ID Card

Congrats PALMY Advertising Award winners

Congratulations to winners of the 2021 PALMY Advertising Awards! More than 100 awards were presented July 23 over Facebook Live. A recording is available on our website
The video contains winning ads and judges’ comments for first place winners. This is a great resource for your ad sales and design staff.
The President's Awards for Best Overall Advertising were presented to Charleston City Paper and The Post and Courier. This top honor goes to one daily and one weekly newspaper based on number and ranking of awards won, regardless of circulation.
Congratulations to Jan Marvin of The Daniel Island News on being named Advertising Designer of the Year. 
All first place PALMY winners were judged by circulation division to award a "Best of Show" honor.The winner in the Under 12,000 Division went to Lori Sistare and Tim Dawkins of The Lancaster News. Best of Show in the Over 12,000 Division went to Lauren Kesmodel and Dela O'Callaghan of Charleston City Paper.
All plaques and certificates were shipped out to newspapers via USPS Priority Mail on July 23. If you have not received your awards yet, please let us know
Best of Show in the Under 12,000 Division went to Lori Sistare and Tim Dawkins of The Lancaster News.
Best of Show in the Over 12,000 Division was awarded to Lauren Kesmodel and Dela O'Callaghan of Charleston City Paper.

"Abstract Districts" 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

The State files lawsuit against Lexington-Richland 5 over superintendent resignation

An editor of The State has filed suit against a Midlands school district for what the suit argues are violations of the state’s open meetings laws in its handling of the resignation of a former superintendent.
The suit was filed July 23, by senior editor Paul Osmundson on behalf of The State newspaper against the Lexington-Richland 5 school district in a Richland County court. The case was filed by attorneys Joel Collins and J.C. Nicholson of Collins and Lacy.
The suit alleges the Lexington-Richland 5 school board approved a settlement agreement with former Superintendent Christina Melton, including a payment of $226,368 on top of Melton’s salary and benefits, behind closed doors and without public discussion or a vote as required by state law.
Melton unexpectedly announced her resignation at a June 14 board meeting following a closed-door executive session. The State later obtained a copy of an agreement with the board to accept Melton’s resignation in exchange for the additional payout of taxpayer dollars. The agreement was never presented for approval at a public meeting.
At the time, the school district disputed that the handling of the agreement was improper.
By Bristow Marchant, The State | Read more

SLED didn’t break rules with heavy redactions to Murdaugh murder documents, judge says

The police agency investigating the homicides of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh did not violate the Freedom of Information Act by heavily redacting police reports, a judge said in a court filing on July 23.
Circuit Judge Bentley Price wrote that the S.C. Law Enforcement Division blacked out much of Murdaugh crime scene reports released to the public “in good faith,” to protect the integrity of the investigation.
S.C. FOIA law allows for a number of exemptions to keep information private when police investigate a crime, to keep from releasing information that would impact the investigation or eventual prosecution of someone arrested. After reviewing the reports, Price said SLED met those exemptions.
The original lawsuit, filed by the Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston against both SLED and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, remains open.
“It is a disappointing result,” according to Jay Bender, a South Carolina Press Association attorney who specializes in S.C. open records law.
“What’s doubly disappointing,” he said, “is that it took a lawsuit to get any information at all from SLED and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office. ... Both of them should’ve stepped up.”
By Jake Shore, The Island Packet | Read more
Related Column: A note to SC judicial system and Murdaughs: You’ve lost the public’s trust ( By David Lauderdale, Special to The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette)

Woman sues Greenville County Sheriff's Office, claims deputies refused her insulin

A woman charged with assault and battery claims that deputies with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office refused to give her the insulin she needed after she was arrested for a crime she said she did not commit, according to court records.
Okemia Clowney made the claims and seeks actual, nominal and punitive damages and other relief through a lawsuit filed against the Sheriff's Office and the county on June 21.
Clowney declined to comment on her suit. Her attorneys, Joshua Hawkins and Helena Jedziniak, also declined to comment.
In an emailed statement to The Greenville News, a Sheriff's Office spokesperson said, "To protect the integrity of the proceedings and consistent with our stance, we will refrain from comment on any and all pending litigation."
The Greenville County Sheriff's Office has refused to release information that details the events leading up to Clowney's lawsuit.
The Greenville News filed a Freedom of Information Act for the incident report regarding this case with the Sheriff's Office, but in an emailed statement, the Sheriff's Office said it could provide only the first page, containing a small portion of the report, for a fee.
The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act requires the disclosure of responsive information such as the incident report, according to South Carolina Press Association attorney Taylor Smith.
"If they only hand over the first page, the presumption is that there is no other record," Smith said.
By Tamia Boyd, Greenville News | Read more

City of Chester fails to respond to News & Reporter FOIA request

According to an SCPA attorney, the City of Chester is now in violation of the S.C. Freedom of Information Act in relation to a request from the News & Reporter.
On July 7, the newspaper sent a request for information related to a vote Chester City Council took the previous night at a special called meeting. The Council approved a measure to advertise the human resources director position as open, but did not vote to fire or accept the resignation of Barbara Haggray, who had held the job since last November. In a council form of government, it is the council that takes action on the employment status of department heads. Technically, the council can empower the city administrator to hire or fire a department head, but if that was the case with Haggray it was not done in open session. When questions from the News & Reporter to the city about the HR position went unanswered, the newspaper filed a FOIA request seeking copies of every email sent to and received from Haggray’s city-provided email account for a period of two months.
Additionally, the newspaper requested the results of an employee survey that was conducted earlier in the year and sought clarification on the employment status of one of the police officers suspended as part of a State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigation. The city did acknowledge having received the request the next morning.
Per state law, a response to official requests for information must be made within 10 business days. That does not mean information requested must be provided in that timeframe, but the entity must give some determination on whether or not it believes the requested information qualifies as “public” or is exempt from the FOIA. By that standard, the city should have provided a response by July 21, but did not. On Friday, July 23, the News & Reporter sent an email to the city inquiring about the status of the request and when a response could be expected. That went unanswered and no response of any kind had been received as of press time on Tuesday.
From The News & Reporter | Read more

Editorial: What’s the big secret? Public deserves to know more about firing of Coastal Carolina coach

Coastal Carolina University is a public university and as such it owes the public an explanation.
On July 20, the school, located in Conway, Horry County, fired women’s lacrosse head coach Kristen Selvage.
In a press release, the move was called a “leadership change” and added that Selvage had been “relieved” of her duties.
Her dismissal was effective immediately.
“We thank Coach Selvage for her service to CCU athletics, and we look forward to the next chapter in Chanticleer women’s lacrosse,” Matt Hogue, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics and University Recreation, said in the release.
And that was it.
No reasons were given, no details explained.
From The State Editorial Board | Read more

Editorial: Keep sunlight on de la Howe

We want to believe Tim Keown, president of the Governor’s School for Agriculture at John de la Howe.
We hope he truly has taken to heart the report issued by the state inspector general’s office. More importantly, we hope he takes to heart and implements all corrective steps the IG’s office outlined in order for the school to remain within the boundaries of state procurement and ethics laws.
After all de la Howe has been through in recent years — rampant wasteful spending and lack of accountability at the leadership level that nearly resulted in the school being closed for good — one would have thought lesson learned, time to do right, do better and make the school a success.
But an investigation carried out by Charleston’s Post and Courier and this newspaper into de la Howe’s procurement practices and spending habits leading up to its rebirth as a governor’s school reflects a different story, a story that would indicate that despite a new name and new mission to be a standout nationally acclaimed ag school, many of the same practices that put it under state government scrutiny live on.
Borrowing a line from “Poltergeist,” we had hoped “This house is clean” would be an absolute truth when de la Howe reopened with Gov. Henry McMaster’s signature in an on-campus visit to officially declare de la Howe a governor’s school.
From the Index-Journal | Read more

People & Papers

Morningstar
Davidson

Seneca Journal announces two promotions, new staff members

The Journal announced two promotions and three recently hired employees this week.
Riley Morningstar has moved from reporter to news editor, and Larry Davidson has been promoted from advertising representative to The Journal’s new advertising director.
Morningstar joined The Journal staff in August 2018 and has covered a variety of beats in Oconee and Pickens counties. A 2018 graduate of Clemson University, he married his wife, Abby, in May. They live in Seneca.
In addition to his role as news editor, Morningstar will also continue covering a variety of beats for The Journal, including Oconee County government.
“Riley has been with us since 2018. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him and he has earned this opportunity,” said Hal Welch, general manager for Edwards Publications, which owns The Journal. “We could not be more proud of his growth and maturation during this process, and we are looking for big things from him and the entire staff.” ...
A native of Detroit, Davidson has worked in newspaper and magazine advertising sales for 24 years, including 17 years in his home state. He also worked in Wichita, Kan., and Springfield, Ill., before coming to Seneca in 2015.
He was also trained as a chef in classic French cuisine and was the banquet chef at The Palace of Auburn Hills — former home of the Detroit Pistons — for two years.
“Larry has been with The Journal for over five years now in our advertising department,” Welch said. “I’d asked him to take the director’s role a few years ago, but he declined. This time when it came open, he stepped up, and we’re glad he did. His leadership and experience are exactly what we needed in that role.”
From The Journal | Read more
Reeve

North Charleston native makes history as first Black editor at Houston Chronicle

Maria Douglas Reeve knew she wanted to be a reporter since she was a student at Gordon H. Garrett High School in the early ’80s.
Reeve, who was just Maria Douglas at the time, called The Post and Courier’s offices and asked if there were any opportunities for a budding journalist.
The receptionist who answered the phone promptly replied “no.” The newspaper didn’t offer positions to people in high school.
It didn’t stop Reeve. On July 20, the Houston Chronicle named the North Charleston native its new editor, replacing Steve Riley, who announced his retirement in March.
Reeve, who is Black, is the first person of color named editor in the paper’s 120-year history. She is also among a small but growing number of people of color to lead newsrooms across the country.
Reeve is coming into the role after serving as the Chronicle’s managing editor for nearly two years. Before that, she worked in various news management roles at the Star-Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, both in the Twin Cities, and at The Bradenton Herald in Bradenton, Fla.
By Libby Stanford, The Post and Courier | Read more
Veerasingham

AP appoints Daisy Veerasingham as agency’s president and CEO

The Associated Press appointed Daisy Veerasingham, its executive vice president and chief operating officer, as the news cooperative’s president and CEO on Tuesday, setting her up to replace the retiring Gary Pruitt at the beginning of next year.
She will become the first woman, first person of color and first person from outside of the United States to lead the AP in its 175-year history.
Veerasingham, 51, is a first-generation Briton of Sri Lankan descent. Her appointment speaks to the changing portrait of the AP, where 40% of the company’s revenue, double what it was 15 years ago, is now generated outside of the United States.
She’ll be tasked with continuing to diversify income sources. The AP, caught in the same financial vise as most of the media industry, saw its revenue drop to $467 million in 2020, down more than 25% in a decade.
Veerasingham said she’s determined to maintain the AP as a source of fact-based, nonpartisan journalism, and to fight for freedom of the press and access to information. The AP produces roughly 2,000 news stories, 3,000 photos and 200 videos every day, reaching more than half the world’s population.
By David Bauder, Associated Press | Read more
AP political reporter Meg Kinnard lifts weights at her Lexington County gym to strengthen her body as she fights invasive breast cancer. Photo by Victoria Hansen, SC Public Radio

AP reporter turns to fitness to fight rare, aggressive cancer

AP Political Reporter Meg Kinnard pulls out all the punches to fight a rare, aggressive form of breast cancer.
Kinnard makes quick work of a maze of heavy weights and intimidating, high tech machines. Her lean muscles flex against the metal. Sweat beads on her freshly shaven head.
The 40-year-old appears more like a superhero than a woman fighting for her life, especially as she talks about saving others.
“If something is going on with your body and your doctor’s answers aren’t satisfying you, push harder,” says Kinnard.
Kinnard wants people to learn from her hindsight.
By Victoria Hansen, South Carolina Public Radio | Read more

Post and Courier receives $25K Facebook Accelerator grant

The Post and Courier has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Facebook Journalism Project, which is investing $700,000 in grants to 32 alumni of its global Accelerator program to support continuing digital transformation initiatives.
This financial support, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 per publisher, will help news organizations expand their businesses, build on nascent newsletter strategies, keep their paying supporters, launch new products and a host of other initiatives that will be shared after the program’s conclusion in October.
Just over half of the Accelerator’s 118 eligible alumni publishers filed applications. From those applications, here are a few key themes that may be of interest to other publishers and funders of newsroom innovation.
Publishers are hungry for growth.
About 40 percent of the Alumni Accelerator Grant investment is going to organizations that will be expanding into new markets, growing successful products, and generally enhancing their impact by reaching new audiences through paid marketing. Read more

Industry Briefs

National Newspaper Association, News Media Alliance and others ask court to intervene to stop Aug. 29 postage rate increase

A coalition of organizations representing commercial and nonprofit users of the mail on July 23 petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to issue a stay preventing the U.S. Postal Service from increasing postal rates on August 29. NNA appears as an intervenor with the News Media Alliance.
The motion for a stay is the second attempt to halt the rates, brought in a lawsuit challenging the Postal Regulatory Commission’s authority to allow rate increases beyond the inflation-based cap in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Before USPS announced the August increase, the mailers’ groups had asked for a judicial stay, but were turned down because the size of the rate increase was not yet known. Increases of nearly 9% are ahead for Periodicals newspapers.
Now, the mailers say, the impending rates are known and the damage from them will be irreparable unless the court holds off the increase until the end of the lawsuit.
By Tonda Rush, NNA | Read more

Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021 would boost local news through tax credits to subscribers, advertisers and newsrooms

Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly is among three senators who introduced the Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021 last week, a bill that would help local newspapers reach viability through tax credits.
The bill, co-sponsored by Kelly, D-Ariz., and Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., comes five weeks after a similar bill was introduced in the House.
"I think it's really important to these towns and smaller cities," Kelly told the Green Valley News on July 22, the day the bill was introduced. "These local journalists have really been struggling lately, and the pandemic made it worse. We've got a lot of newspapers and local broadcasters who have failed because of the way the industry has changed, and I think it's important we figure out a way to help them out."
Kelly said he was drawn to the legislation because it is consumer- and market-focused.
"The community's going to have to be on board with this, too... It's more of like, we're all in this together approach," he said.
The Local Journalism Sustainability Act was introduced in the House in July 2020 by U.S. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash. It drew 78 co-sponsors but didn't make it out of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The bill was reintroduced by Kirkpatrick and Newhouse on June 16 as H.R. 3940 and currently has 28 co-sponsors - 21 Democrats and seven Republicans. There are no members of Congress from South Carolina currently signed on as co-sponsors for either bill.
By Wick Communications for America's Newspapers | Read more

Obituaries

James French, founder of The Charleston Chronicle, died July 31 at age 94. Here, he is photographed in his office in 2005. File/Staff

Jim French, founder of The Charleston Chronicle, dies at 94

James "Jim" French, who played a central role in the Lowcountry’s African American community as founder and editor of The Charleston Chronicle, died on July 31. He was 94.
For decades, French’s Chronicle was both a gathering point for Black leaders and a means to distribute information about issues impacting African Americans in the Charleston area. It celebrated local accomplishments and tackled big concerns such as gentrification, racial injustice and economic problems.
French started the weekly paper in the summer of 1971, two years after he retired from the Navy. In 2016, French handed the reins to his grandchildren Tolbert and Damion Smalls.
State Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, recalled how French provided the safe space in which to discuss myriad issues.
“The Chronicle actually paved the way for my political career,” Gilliard said. “Anyone who aspired to be anything in the community, in terms of serving the public, we would meet in Jim’s office and talk about community-related issues — jobs, crime, public housing. Those were the things on Jim’s mind.”
They would talk for hours, identifying and investigating those issues and discussing strategies for addressing them, Gilliard said.
“We had our hands on the pulse of the community,” he said. “We had an agenda when we left the room.”
By Adam Parker, The Post and Courier | Read more
Related: ‘Chronicle’ founding publisher Jim French died Saturday (By Andy Brack, Charleston City Paper)

Retired Bennettsville journalist Peggy Kinney dies at 81

Former Bennettsville newspaper journalist and copy editor, Mrs. Margaret René Pegues (Peggy) Kinney, 81, of Bennettsville died peacefully at her family antebellum home, Magnolia, in the loving arms of her husband of over 57 years, and daughter, Saturday night, July 31, 2021.
For the past 21 months she valiantly struggled with various stages of lung cancer and its associated treatments and complications, all the while demonstrating her true spirit, strength, and grit to family and friends. ...
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Women’s College of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, NC, in 1962. While in college she served as a summer intern, reporter, and feature writer with The Charlotte Observer. After graduation and moving to Atlanta, GA, with college friends, she was an Associate Editor of “Southern Power and Energy Magazine” of W.R.C. Smith Publishing Co.
While in Atlanta she was introduced to her future husband, William Light (Bill) Kinney Jr. of Bennettsville on his 29th birthday, October 26, 1962, by a longstanding mutual family friend, Florie McLeod Ervin of Florence. After an 18-month courtship, they married at Central United Methodist Church in Monroe, NC, where her mother then lived.
Upon marriage she moved to Bill’s hometown of Bennettsville, and there she and he have since lived raising their two children, Elisabeth Mayer Kinney McNiel and William Light Kinney III, and doting on three grandchildren. She worked with her husband at Marlboro Publishing Co., Inc. dba Marlboro Herald-Advocate prior to their retirement in 2014. Since 1979 she relished hosting and pampering family and friends at the family summer cottage, -30-, in Pawleys Island. Read more

Newspaper industry postal expert Max Heath dies at age 75

Max Heath, former executive editor for Landmark Community Newspapers and chairman of the National Newspaper Association Postal Committee for 30 years, died July 28. He was 75.
Heath had been hospitalized in Louisville, KY, since suffering a hemorrhagic stroke a week earlier, according to the Kentucky Press Association.
Heath was a champion for all newspapers when it came to anything related to postal regulations and had a reputation for knowing the Domestic Mail Manual better than even most postal officials. He was frequently in Washington, testifying before Congress and working with USPS officials. ...
Heath was widely known around the newspaper industry for his work on behalf of periodical postage issues. He conducted seminars for decades and continued to act as a consultant during his retirement years.
Heath stepped into NNA’s top postal policy position in 1989 when he joined the Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, a post he maintained in emeritus status through 2021.
From The News-Enterprise, Elizabethtown, KY | Read more

Related: NNA mourns the passing of postal guru Max Heath

Columns

By Jim Pumarlo, Newspaper Consultant

Special projects energize staff, community

I fondly characterize newsrooms as organized chaos. That definition has aptly described operations for the past 18 months with the impact of COVID-19. The story has demanded constant attention, and there are likely fewer reporters to handle the task due to the economic toll of the pandemic.
As we begin to return to some level of normalcy, it’s a great time to recharge – to brainstorm special projects that have unfortunately gone by the wayside. The initiatives are a great way to energize your staffs and simultaneously deliver great content.
Special projects, you say? We are barely treading water handling daily chores.
The reaction is understandable. Mention big projects and the mind-set often focuses on in-depth series that can take weeks to plan, research and write, and then will be published over multiple days. Newsrooms, no matter their size, should strive to do those enterprises, even if produced only once a year.
But special projects also can mean generating more substantive reports in everyday news. These reports can be just as “big” in terms of providing expanded coverage. And they can be done without overwhelming newsrooms strapped for time and resources.
Broadening your definition of big projects also presents opportunities for fresh approaches to stories done year in and year out. Read more

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