Pornographic email investigation:
WIS asks for records, gets $30K bill instead
By Jody Barr
FAIRFIELD COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A WIS investigation into allegations that the Fairfield County administrator had disseminated pornography from his tax payer-funded computer has ended with a $29,395 Freedom of Information Act charge.
Disaster checklist will help prepare your newspaper
Earlier this week SCPA got word from the Oklahoma Press Association that their building, staff and member newspapers made it through the tornados okay.
ASNE calls for resurrection of
Free Flow of Information Act
Earlier this week, ASNE joined the chorus of voices condemning the Department of Justice for secretly obtaining the telephone records of the Associated Press and its individual journalists during April and May 2012. We are now happy to say that our voices will transition from defense to offense as we join a burgeoning effort for a federal shield law.
The Sun News’ Bailey named Nieman Fellow
The Sun News
MYRTLE BEACH — One of the most prestigious and oldest journalism fellowships has tapped The Sun News’ Issac Bailey as one of 24 journalists from across the world to make up its next class.
Bailey, an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Sun News for nearly 16 years, has been selected as a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University for the 2013-14 academic year.
Gov't obtains wide AP phone records in probe
The Associated Press
By Mark Sherman
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for the Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news.
Opinion: Chamber can put end to lawsuit over records
The Island Packet
The state Supreme Court's refusal to take up whether the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce must follow the state's open records law had to be unwelcome news for the chamber.
The chamber had asked the state's high court to shorten the legal process and spare it a prolonged, potentially harmful, legal battle in circuit court, where a lawsuit has been filed by island businessman Skip Hoagland.
Opinion: Richland Elections Board should launch new search for director
With its search for a new director falling apart, the Richland County Board of Elections and Voter Registration should scrap the process and start anew.
That would cause an unfortunate delay in hiring a new elections chief to clean up the mess left after the Nov. 6 election debacle and may increase the cost of the search, but it is critical that the panel does its due diligence in the hunt for a credible, capable person to oversee this office.
Thirteen transparency fails
In South Carolina, the list of government activities conducted in the dark is long and disheartening. From backroom ethics “reform” legislation to public business conducted via private email, public officials often operate under the assumption that people won’t care about — or even notice — what they’re up to. Just last week, state legislators neglected to pass an update to the state’s Freedom of Information law that would have required more timely disclosure of information.
Foundation offers summer coaching for newsrooms
The S.C. Press Association Foundation has hired an outstanding newsroom coach to work with our member newspapers this summer. The coach is Dr. Deborah Gump, visiting journalism professor at the USC School of Journalism.
At the J-School, Gump's primary responsibility is the school’s print/multimedia capstone program, in which students work full time producing news and feature stories, as well as multimedia packages. Much of their work was shared with SCPA members on the SC News Exchange.
SCPA now offers online registration for events
Online registration is now open for several upcoming SCPA training events!
Instead of downloading and filling out a PDF registration form that you fax or email to us, you'll now be able to click a link, fill in your newspapers' attendee information and payment and you'll be all set to attend the event.
Opinion: The buzzer sounds on open records legislation
"I feel like something will pass. I'm not sure what."
- State Rep. Mike Pitts discussing the Freedom of Information Act bill in the S.C. House on March 7.
If this were a game show, a loud, disconcerting buzzer would sound. Perhaps Pitts, a state representative whose territory includes Greenwood and Laurens counties, would unceremoniously disappear through a trap door.
Alas, this isn't a game show. And the state Legislature's persistent refusal to pass Freedom of Information Act legislation is no laughing matter.
Bill reforming S.C. open records law again fails to pass
The Post and Courier
By Stephen Largen
COLUMBIA — South Carolina residents hoping for reform of the state’s freedom of information law will have to wait until at least next year.
A bill by Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, includes a series of changes to the open-records policy. It would force public bodies, such as state agencies and local school boards, to respond more quickly to requests for public information, and restrict what those bodies can charge for that information.
Note from the editor: Your new subscription
Ever thought about how many “eras” you’ve lived through? Postwar, maybe Iron Curtain Psychedelic Bush-Clinton free Independent Mail website ...
Societal and professional “eras” are marked by significant shifts in the fashions, practices and even life perspectives of the group as a whole, stimulated by wide-reaching influences such as political change, a wholesale upheaval such as war, a drastic economic reversal or — and this is a phenomenon even the youngest of us have experienced — technological innovation. And it is a characteristic of “eras” that they come to an end at some point.
Steve Brandt testifies before house hearing on U.S. Postal Service
Steve Brandt, president and publisher of The Greenville News, provided a U.S. House subcommittee in April with a real world snapshot of the impact of USPS Standard Mail pricing decisions in recent years.
Paul Boyle, senior vice president for public policy at the Newspaper Association of America, said the industry "couldn't have asked for a better representative of the industry than Steve."
Boyle said the hearing was a huge success "as Steve was able to express our industry's concerns over the Valassis NSA."
Judge hears motions in James Brown FOI case
A hearing was held Friday in Newberry on an FOI suit brought by reporter Sue Summer seeking information about the settlement of the estate of singer James Brown.
Judge Eugene C. Griffith, Jr. ruled that the case would be heard in his court and not transferred to Richland County.
Committee refuses to release names of Richland election director candidates
By Dawn Hinshaw
The committee interviewing candidates to lead the discredited Richland County election office narrowed the field to three finalists Wednesday, but would not name them, in what a media expert says is a violation of state law.
Search committee members said they had been advised by county attorney Larry Smith not to release the names without the permission of the job candidates, which they did not have.
SCPA successful in preserving public notice advertising
The legislative fight to preserve public notice advertising for storage building property has been successful.
S.C. cartoonist shares work on SCPA News Exchange sharing site
Award-winning editorial cartoonist Walt Inabinet is now sharing selected cartoons on the News Exchange.
Inabinet is a cartoonist-correspondent for The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg, which has published more than 500 of his cartoons in the last four and a half years.
Post and Courier reporter wins Society of Professional Journalists’ national reporting award
Post and Courier special assignments reporter Tony Bartelme is the 2012 winner of the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for non-deadline reporting.
The Post & Courier’s Tony Bartleme
a 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist
The Post and Courier
By Doug Pardue
Post and Courier special projects reporter Tony Bartelme was named as a finalist Monday for Journalism’s top honor, The Pulitzer Prize.
Bartelme was among three finalists for the award in the Explanatory Journalism category that went to the staff of the New York Times for its penetrating look into business practices by Apple and other technology companies that illustrates the darker side of a changing global economy for workers and consumers.
Bartelme’s year-long, series, “Storm of Money,” was named as a finalist in a category that the Pulitzer Board says must demonstrate “reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation, using any available journalistic tool.”
MUSC board breaks FOI law by starting public meeting early
The Post and Courier
By Lauren Sausser
The Medical University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees conducted a public meeting before its scheduled start time Thursday afternoon, breaking the state’s Freedom of Information Act, a press attorney confirmed.
Constitution change requires papers to publish continuously for six months for membership
The SCPA constitution has been changed to require that newspapers must have been published continuously for six months prior to admission.
USPS to continue Saturday delivery
The National Newspaper Association has welcomed a decision by the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors to continue Saturday mail delivery while it awaits postal reform legislation from Congress.
Wilder named group revenue director for S.C. Civitas newspapers
Don Wilder has been named the new customer relations manager and group revenue director of the South Carolina Group of Civitas Media’s publications, which include The Newberry Observer, The Herald Independent in Winnsboro, The Union Daily Times, The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and the Powdersville Post. He also will serve as the General Manager of the Newberry facility.
Sumter publisher to lead state press association
GREENVILLE – Jack Osteen, publisher of The Item in Sumter, was elected president of the S.C. Press Association at the group's annual meeting Saturday at The Westin Poinsett Hotel.