Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  July 15, 2020
By Eric P. Robinson, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Trump hits the wall of courts' prior restraint precedents

President Trump’s campaign and family have both tried in recent weeks—and earlier in his presidency—to stop publication of books and other things that may be uncomfortable or embarrassing to him. And each time such efforts have failed, with the courts rejecting these attempts based on almost 90 years of legal precedent that allows such prior restraints only under the direst circumstances.
The most recent efforts sought to stop publication of niece Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough and of former national security adviser John Bolton’s The Room Where It Happened. Previously, Trump sought to stop publication of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury. And his campaign filed an arbitration claim alleging that Omarosa Manigault Newman’s book violated a non-disclosure agreement: a dubious legal claim. (Manigault Newman is also being prosecuted for allegedly failing to file federal financial disclosure forms.)
Courts roundly rejected the attempts to stop publication of the Mary Trump and John Bolton books, although claims against the authors themselves—that Mary Trump violated a non-disclosure agreement that was part of the settlement of her grandfather’s estate, and that John Bolton violated the agreement he signed to abide by government review of his book for classified information—continue. Read more

SCPA is here for you during election season

With election season underway, it is a good time to remind you about SCPA’s FOI/Legal Hotline. In addition to answering your open government questions, members can use the hotline for pre-publication review of stories and advertisements.
You can contact the hotline if you have issues related to FOIA, libel, privacy, fair use, court access, responding to a subpoena, dealing with police, the Shield Law, advertising or other legal issue affecting your newspaper.
The hotline is staffed by SCPA Attorneys Taylor Smith and Jay Bender.
To use the hotline, call SCPA at (803) 750-9561 or email us.

SCPA names Bruss to Executive Committee

In a virtual meeting on July 9, SCPA's Executive Committee voted to add Steve Bruss, executive editor of The Greenville News, Independent Mail and Herald-Journal, to the Board as a daily newspaper representative. He fills the seat left vacant by Kevin Drake, who left the Herald-Journal in May. His term will run through March 2022.
The SCPA Executive Committee also approved individual membership applications from Reba Campbell, writer and adjunct instructor at the UofSC School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and Mark Susko, photojournalist and design professional in the Upstate. 

Member Spotlight: Mike Maddock

The Columbia Star
What do you like best about your job?
First and foremost are the people I work with. I’m the third generation running The Columbia Star. My grandfather helped start the paper in 1963, and my mother and uncle ran things from the early ’80s until I came in 2004. My wife joined the paper a few years ago after a career in teaching. So we are the definition of a family-owned business, and we’ve always considered the people who work with us part of that family. Some have been with us for over 20 years and I couldn’t imagine The Star without them. It is an absolute pleasure to work with my family and those in my extended family. I also love the job itself. Sharing the good news of our community is an absolute honor and a perfect way to make a living. Sometimes when I’m covering a high school football game, I pinch myself because I can’t believe I’m actually making a living watching football.  
What is your proudest career moment?
There are many. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love receiving SCPA awards. It’s always overwhelming to be recognized by your peers. However, I am most humbled and proud when a parent, coach, boss, principal, or other thanks us for recognizing this or her child, athlete, employee, teacher, or anyone else in the paper. There’s so much negative news out there; I love when we can share our citizens’ accomplishments and their good news.

What's the most exciting thing going on at your paper? 
Currently, it’s seeing our community and this paper come back and continue to battle this pandemic. We’ve been through a lot over the years, but we’ve never faced such economic turmoil and uncertainty. We’re coming back though, and I’m so grateful to the people who support us and for the opportunities made possible to us by the federal response. 

What’s your favorite SCPA member service?

I’d say it’s the constant support whether that comes in the form of government lobbying, ad sales, or just answering our silly (and constant) questions. Bill, Jen, and the gang are ALWAYS there for us. They’re like our security blanket. It’s unbelievably reassuring to have such good people always watching your back.

What adjustments have you made during COVID-19?
We’ve powered right through this thing and kept our doors open. Our office was basically set up for social distancing before all this, so we’ve kept our in-house people as safe as possible. Our reporters interview mostly over the phone and email now, and our sales folks are working the phones more than ever. One of the positive results from all this is that one of our best sports photographers, Perry McLeod, has discovered he’s a pretty fair reporter as well. He started writing stories to supplement his income during all this, and he’s really contributed mightily to our content which has proved to be a blessing to the paper and to himself.  

When it’s safe to get out and about again, what are some area attractions/restaurants in your community we shouldn’t miss?
Unfortunately, we lost one of our icons, Yesterdays, because of all this and many more are folding. However, I would recommend these restaurants still going strong as part of the Columbia experience: DiPratos Deli, Village Idiot Pizza, Mack’s Restaurant, Pawley’s Front Porch, Andy’s Deli, Groucho’s, Sammi’s Deli, Rockaways, 5th Avenue Deli, Dano’s Pizza, Eggroll Chen, LaBrasca’s Pizza, Maurice Bessinger’s BBQ, Crave, Zesto, Villa Tronco, No Name Deli, Palmetto Pig, Bernie’s Restaurant, Miyo’s, and of course, Lizard’s Thicket. As far as attractions, try Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, SC State Museum, EdVenture, Sesquicentennial Park, The Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park, The SC State House, All things Gamecock, SC Military Museum, and plenty more.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
Well, hopefully more people know this soon but I recently published my first novel. It’s called Sunnybrook and it’s available on Amazon now. Sunnybrook is a quick, fun read based loosely (very loosely) on my childhood. My hope is that it lets readers escape to a simpler time when kids played outside from sunup to sundown without rules or referees.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m trying to teach myself how to play the guitar, but since I have zero musical talent, it’s proving to be quite challenging. I love to mountain bike. My goal is to mountain bike at least one trail in all 50 states. I’ve got 18 to date, so I’ve got a ways to go. Other than that, I’ve got three very busy kids (one going into law school, another in college, and one entering his senior year of high school), so they’ve kept and continue to keep me bus

FOI Briefs

Opinion: Horry County right to open emergency meetings to public

Horry County Council made a smart move Friday.
No, we’re not weighing in on the mask mandate again.
We’re referring to the council’s decision Friday to notify the media about an emergency meeting and to broadcast that meeting via the county’s website. The public was able hear officials debate and ultimately adopt a mask ordinance.
This is important because just four months ago council members did not make this type of meeting accessible. In fact, some county officials even said emergency meetings did not have to be open to the public and they refused to allow a reporter to listen to their conversations.
That view not only doesn’t follow state law, it’s also an opaque way of doing the public’s business. A lack of transparency breeds suspicion and erodes faith in elected leaders. 
From | Read more

People & Papers


Whisnant named News Director for Herald-Journal

Upstate South Carolina journalist Gabe Whisnant has been named news director at the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, executive editor Steve Bruss announced Friday.
Whisnant will oversee day-to-day operations of the newsroom, leading a team of 12 journalists covering Spartanburg and Spartanburg County. He has been serving as interim news director since April 20. ...
Whisnant has worked with the Herald-Journal since March 2017 as the publication’s assistant managing editor/digital editor. Whisnant’s first reporting job was in Goldsboro in 2002. He also has worked at news outlets in Shelby and Gastonia in North Carolina. He is a native of Shelby. He studied political science at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
From the Herald-Journal | Read more

Aiken Standard adds two new reporters

Blakeley Bartee and Landon Stamper have joined the Aiken Standard's news team as general assignment reporters.
Bartee, a native of Columbus, Georgia, attended Georgia Southern University. She graduated in May and earned degrees in multimedia journalism and in writing linguistics.
She worked for The George Anne, her college's student newspaper. She also worked on two magazine publications run by Georgia Southern.
Stamper grew up in Kernersville, a small town in Forsyth County, North Carolina. He graduated from the University of South Carolina Honors College in May with a degree in journalism. ...
During his time in college, Stamper worked as a reporter for the Carolina News and Reporter, an online news blog run by senior multimedia journalism and broadcast journalism students.
By Kristina Rackley, Aiken Standard | Read more about Bartee and Stamper

The Island Packet commemorates 50 years

The Island Packet’s first edition was delivered 50 years ago – on July 9, 1970 – to 362 paid subscribers. A front-page story on that tabloid-sized paper produced in a tiny office on Palmetto Bay Road cried out that Hilton Head Island’s population had reached 3,000.
Since then, the Packet has used ever-changing technology to mirror a remarkable community at a remarkable time. Island population is now more like 40,000, with 2.5 million visitors annually. And three times the number of those original subscribers have read the Packet online in the past 10 minutes, worldwide, most of them tuning in on their cell phones.
How did we get from there to here?
It would take 50 years worth of storytelling to explain it, but along the way the bridge to the mainland was knocked out by a passing barge on a foggy night, and airport expansion brought jet service to Chicago. A town was formed, and despite a massive bankruptcy, business boomed to the point that one island mayor famously said he was “turning over the welcome mat.” Sun City Hilton Head changed everything, Bluffton exploded, the Gullah culture gained respect, and we still found time to laugh and cry together.
Look back on an incredible journey -- and peer ahead into a hopeful future.

Chatham wins auction to buy McClatchy, will seek final approval from bankruptcy court

Chatham Asset Management, the New Jersey hedge fund that is McClatchy Co.’s largest creditor, has won an auction to buy the bankrupt local news company.
Under the proposed deal that will be submitted to the bankruptcy court for approval, Chatham would buy the entire company, McClatchy said Sunday.
By Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy | Read more

Post and Courier receives 5 feature writing awards in national contest

The Post and Courier earned five first-place awards in a national features journalism contest with stories about cancer, nutrition and threats to the Santee Delta. It was the best showing for a newspaper with a circulation under 100,000. The Society of Features Journalism honors the nation’s best storytelling and design work. The Post and Courier won these awards.

Industry Briefs

North Charleston councilman under investigation after threatening response to newspaper column

A sitting North Charleston City Council member said in an online video that he would use an “AR” against The Post and Courier a day after the news organization published a column on July 4 about his relationship to Lowcountry governments.
Jerome Heyward, 57, is a North Charleston City Council member representing District 5, which straddles much of the north bank of the Ashley River through the city. Heyward also sits on the Charleston County Aviation Authority.
A Sunday column in the newspaper and published online provoked his outburst during a Sunday night Facebook Live conversation.
By Fleming Smith, The Post and Courier | Read more

Newsroom Notes: Leading through uncertainty

How do you run a newsroom through these unusual times? We’re providing a first-hand view from an industry veteran who agreed to lead the Missouri School of Journalism's KOMU newsroom — the only university-owned commercial television station and major network affiliate in the United States that uses its newsroom as a working lab for students — during a faculty search process; just as the COVID-19 crisis began unfolding. The challenges are no different from other newsrooms — just layered on top of the challenges facing the next generation of journalists.
By Steven Ackerman, Reynolds Journalism Institute | Read more

To solve journalism's diversity problem, change must start at the top

Following the death of George Floyd (a Minnesotan Black man) on May 25 while in police custody, protests erupted across the nation against racism and police violence. These past weeks have been tumultuous, not only for the public, but also for the media industry as it revealed concerns about the lack of diversity represented in newsrooms around the country.
The 2019 News Leaders Association’s (NLA) Newsroom Diversity Survey (formerly ASNE’s Newsroom Diversity Survey) identified that people of color represent 21.9 percent of salaried workforce among 429 news organizations that responded. Women make up 41.8 percent of all newsroom workers (in both print/digital and online-only newsrooms) in this year’s survey, up from 41.6 percent last year. Moreover, people of color make up only 18.8 percent of newsroom managers at both print/digital and online-only publications.
Without this kind of representation, mistakes can slip through the cracks. For example, about a week after Floyd’s death, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a controversial headline, “Buildings Matter, Too,” (a play on the Black Lives Matter movement) with a story about how the civil unrest affected the city’s buildings. The headline led to the resignation of longtime executive editor Stan Wischnowski and a walkout by nearly 50 staffers.
By Evelyn Mateos, Editor & Publisher | Read more


Mary Jean Baxley, 75, of Columbia lost her lengthy battle with cancer on July 11, 2020.
Baxley, a graduate of Coastal Carolina University, dedicated her entire life to caring for those less fortunate, and spreading the word of her faith in God. For the last 54 years of her life she provided care for at least one of her two special needs sons.
She was a freelance writer, with memberships in the S.C. Press Association and the Overseas Press Association. She wrote for several newspapers, and had articles used in many local, regional, and national publications. 
Throughout her lifetime she served in leadership roles with numerous organizations and charities such as Special Olympics, Red Cross, and Easter Seals Society. She volunteered in charities such as McLeod Hospice, Burmese Refugee Relief, Baptist Disaster Team, and Samaritan's Purse. Her many charitable activities in 1977 were recognized by a resolution from the SC General Assembly. In 1979, Baxley was named South Carolina's Most Outstanding Young Woman due to her many accomplishments that year. Read more

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