Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  Nov. 3, 2022

What's new for the 2022 News Contest?

There’s roughly a month left to enter the 2022 News Contest! Now is the time to download and read the rules and start getting your links and PDFs organized and added to the digital entry platform.
New for 2022 – we’ve added a newsletter category and updated the Photojournalist of the Year rules to include a photo story of up to 14 images.
We’ve also modified the criteria for Community Service and to encourage participation in this category, there will be no fee to enter... just show us how your newspaper serves your community!
The entry platform will accept entries until Friday, Dec. 2.
Entries must be published between Nov. 16, 2021 and Nov. 15, 2022. You can submit anything published in your newspaper’s print edition or digitally.
Enter to show off your best work and recognize your staffer’s efforts and talent!

SCPA needs 7 more ad judges

Thanks to more than a dozen member ad directors, publishers, sales reps and designers who have volunteered to judge the Mississippi Press Association's Advertising Contest in early November.
We still need seven members to help judge this contest. It's quick and easy to judge, and can be done online at your convenience. Plus, you can take home new ad ideas!
MPA members judged our PALMY Advertising Contest over the summer and now it is our turn to return the favor.
Remember, we can't have our own contests without volunteer judges so please sign up to help.

Help spread the word... SCPA is hiring students for Winter Break project

SCPA is looking to hire three 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 to work 20 hours a week. Hours are flexible during the work week 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. Candidates should have a high attention to detail. Some knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Acrobat is a plus. Interested candidates should email Jen no later than Nov. 15.

"Cracker Jacks" 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

Editorial: Imagine if SC boards only met in secret when the law required them to

The Charleston County School Board has been one of the most notoriously secret governing bodies in South Carolina, where there’s no shortage of state and local boards that love nothing more than to do the public’s business in private.
So when my colleagues and I put together a questionnaire for candidates in this year’s school board races, we naturally included a question about open government. But we didn’t simply ask if candidates would obey the Freedom of Information Act; even the worst violators insist they do that.
Instead, we tried a little experiment that would be worth conducting statewide. We asked if they would go beyond minimally adequate compliance with the law: “S.C. law allows school boards to meet in executive session for a lengthy list of reasons, but it rarely requires closed-door discussions. Will you commit to meeting in secret only when the law requires it, even if your attorney prefers you to meet in private?” 
By Cindi Ross Scoppe, The Post and Courier | Read more

The State appeals dismissal of open meetings lawsuit against LR5 school board

The State Media Co. has appealed the dismissal of its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Lexington-Richland 5 school district, which was dismissed after a hearing was not scheduled within a required time frame.
The suit was dismissed earlier this month by Circuit Court Judge Alison Lee.
Under state law, in a Freedom of Information complaint, “a hearing must be held within ten days of the service on all parties and a scheduling order to conclude the action must be held within six months,” Lee wrote in a short court order. “In this current matter, no hearing was held within the allotted time frame. Therefore, the Motion to Dismiss is dispositive and the court need not determine the merits of the Summary Judgment claims.”
State law says that after a request for declaratory judgment or injunctive relief is requested in an FOIA case, “the chief administrative judge of the circuit court must schedule an initial hearing within ten days of the service on all parties.”
By Morgan Hughes, The State | Read more

Mold U: Across the state and nation, mold is making college students miserable

South Carolina college students faced at least 2,400 possible cases of mold in their dorms during the past two years, a crush of complaints and repairs that highlight a growing local and national problem: college living spaces that make students sick.
In complaint after complaint, students said moldy dorms triggered asthma attacks and allergies, a new Post and Courier-led Uncovered investigation found. ...
The Post and Courier obtained more than 3,700 pages of mold-related complaints and expenses over the past two years from South Carolina’s public residential colleges and universities.
The newspaper teamed up with its Uncovered partners, a collaboration of local newspapers across South Carolina that explores questionable government conduct. Since college newspapers often document mold outbreaks first, the Uncovered team also worked with Daily Gamecock journalists at the University of South Carolina and a journalist with The Tiger at Clemson University. Reporters analyzed work orders to identify problem dorms and interviewed students, administrators and health experts.
The result is the most comprehensive look to date at mold in college dorms across South Carolina — and how incidents here mirror problems nationwide.
By Tony Bartelme, The Post and Courier, with reporting and photography by the Uncovered team | Read more
Related: SC State student’s death continues to spawn questions (By Tony Bartelme and Zharia Jeffries, The Post and Courier)

Horry SC police mistreated, retaliated against disabled former officer, lawsuit claims

A former Horry County Police sergeant is claiming he faced discrimination from the department due to a disability and was retaliated against for pointing out misconduct by others.
Jack Johnson, who had worked for HCPD since 2004, filed the discrimination lawsuit last week against the department, alleging the mistreatment led to him leaving his post last year.
The former officer, who served in the Army during the Gulf War, has Post-traumatic stress disorder, a traumatic brain injury and a glass eye, according to the complaint. He lost his left eye in 1995 after getting kicked in the head during a rodeo, the suit states. ...
HCPD did not respond to a request for information about the current state of the internal affairs unit. The Sun News filed a Freedom of Information Act request [last week] seeking staff lists, policies and complaints submitted to the Office of Professional Standards.
By David Weissman, The Sun News | Read more

People & Papers


The Press and Standard welcomes new staff writer

The Press and Standard’s newest full-time staff writer, who will be covering local community events and news, is Heather “Andy Ann” Whitten. Heather uses the pen name “Andy Ann” for all of her art pieces, photography, and written works. “Andy” is used in memory of her son, Andrew, who passed away at four months old 13 years ago, and “Ann” is part of her given name. She dedicates all of her creative work to honoring the memory of her son.
Andy Ann is an artist, entrepreneur, retired teacher, and resident of Walterboro since 2006. She graduated in 2004 from Kent State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and Education. She taught fine art for 12 years in Colleton County Schools before taking an early retirement to pursue an entrepreneurship. Andy Ann is a co-owner of a local business called Allustrious Artistry, LLC and also one of the executive co-founders of a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called the Artists’ Hub of the A.C.E. Basin (AHAB), both of which are located downtown on E. Washington St.
“It is the people within the community that make the community,” she said. “It is vitally important that there is a connection in communication between the residents, businesses, and leaders within the community. There are many opportunities and experiences that need to be shared so we can all benefit. Walterboro has an incredible story to tell and I am looking forward to the opportunity to have a part in sharing it.”
We loved seeing all of your Halloween costumes! Tag SCPA on social media so we can share what your paper is up to.

Industry Briefs

Journalism legislation faces a make-or-break session

The clock is ticking on the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.
With the midterm elections coming up on Nov. 8, the lame-duck session could be the last realistic chance for Congress to pass this bipartisan effort to make Google and Facebook pay for local news content on their platforms.
U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., a lead sponsor of the measure, believes the legislation is likely to win approval in a matter of weeks, he said in an interview. “The lame-duck session is the perfect time to pass this bill,” he said. “I suspect we will do a Judiciary Committee markup soon and I think there is strong bipartisan support. There is no reason we can’t pass it in this session.”
Read Greg Burns’ Q&A with Rep. David Cicilline
His optimism comes at a challenging time for government efforts to support local news. The JCPA, as it’s known, would create an antitrust exemption enabling news organizations to bargain collectively for payment from companies distributing their content online.
By Greg Burns, Medill Local News Initiative | Read more
Note from SCPA: The JCPA may base newspaper eligibility on ISSN number. The Library of Congress issues print ISSNs and online ISSNs. The National Newspaper Association recommends that newspapers have both. Here’s more information on how to apply for an ISSN.

6 appetizing Thanksgiving promotions

Thanksgiving is a perfect time for your local media company to connect with your audience through promotions. Not only are they looking for virtual ways to celebrate this year, but it’s a prime moment to work with local businesses to grow their database before the biggest shopping season of the year. Check out these six promotions ideas for engaging your audience and advertisers this Thanksgiving:
Sweepstakes are a great way to collect email opt-ins and generate leads for your local media company and/or your advertiser. With Thanksgiving so focused on food and family, any sweepstakes that can connect these ideas is going to be a surefire win with your audience. Prizes such as grocery gift cards, a turkey dinner, or even a set of carving knives are a perfect fit for a Thanksgiving sweepstakes.
By Julie Foley, Upland | Read more

You now have to pay to use Pantone colors in Adobe products

Last week, Adobe removed support for free Pantone colors across its Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator Creative Cloud applications. PSD files that contained Pantone spot colors now display unwanted black in their place, forcing creatives who need access to the industry-standard color books to pay for a plugin subscription (via Kotaku). ...
Creatives who understandably want to continue using the industry-standard color system are expected to pay a $15 monthly / $90 annual subscription for a Pantone license via the Adobe Pantone Connect plugin. ...
There are several workarounds available to try and restore the lost Pantone color swatches. These include disabling Adobe application updates if you still have access to Pantone color books, or simply copying the metadata values for your required Pantone range.
By Jess Weatherbed, The Verge | Read more

Compelling Writing with Jerry Bellune

By Jerry Bellune,
Writing Coach

Is it good enough?

You are the first editor of your writing. Yes, you are the first editor.
You are the writer, too. You wrote with both sides of your brain.
The right artistic side helped you add touches of your personal perception.
The left analytical side made sure you gave all details your readers will need to understand what you wrote.
Now the left side must do all of the heavy lifting.
Drop your right-brained writer hat into a desk drawer and close it. 
Your analytical left brain is in charge.
The first question your analytical brain should ask:
Is this writing clear? Is it good enough?
Will your readers understand what you saw and heard?
Will it be clear to them?
Long-time editor Roger Angell at The New Yorker magazine always asked himself: Does it say what I wanted it to say? Does it sound right?
Does it carry the tone that I want my readers to pick up right here?
Is it, just possibly, too short? Or too long?
 “Some distinguished editors have forsworn most such meddling,” Angell said, “on the theory that the writer almost always knows best.
"My own instincts lean the other way, for the obligation to preserve the sanctity of a neophyte’s script is counterbalanced by my hope that he will, by habit, come to ask himself those short, tough questions as he writes along, never omitting the big question at the end:
“Is it good enough? Is it any good at all?”
The best writers, Angell said, ask themselves this every day.
That’s why they look the way they do, hunched over their word processors or at the bar next door, like morticians with the remains of the dearly beloved.
“Is it any good at all?” 

Next: Closing your stories

To make your own work more compelling, order writing coach Jerry Bellune’s The Art of Compelling Writing, available for $9.99 at

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