Storage unit bills would end newspaper public notice
Bills in both houses of the General Assembly would do away with newspaper legal notices for the sale of storage unit possessions being sold for non-payment of rent.
The House bill, H. 3563, is on contested calendar and more than 30 representatives want to be heard on the bill. It is expected to come up for a vote next week, but could come up earlier.
The companion Senate bill, S. 513, is coming up before a Senate subcommittee Thursday morning. Subcommittee members are: Sen. Paul Thurmond (R-Charleston and Dorchester), Chairman and Sen. Thomas McElveen (D- Sumter,Lee, Richland and Kershaw Cos.) and Sen. Ross Turner (R-Greenville).
“We will have people there to testify against it, “ said SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers.
The bill is the same as one’s being introduced all across the country.
The bill would strike the current requirement that the sale of property be advertised in a newspaper. Instead, storage unit operators could publish a notice in a “periodical” or in a “commercially reasonable” advertising medium. Neither terms are defined in the bill.
“This bill would be a major problem for children, ex-spouses, relatives and lien holders. They would have no way of knowing the contents of a unit are being sold,” Rogers said.
Click here to see the bill and the SCPA talking points.
The Post and Courier’s Tony Bartleme a 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist
By Doug Pardue, The Post and Courier
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.”
The other finalist was Dan Egan of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for his exhaustive examination of the struggle to keep Asian carp and other invasive species from reaching the Great Lakes and ultimately all of the nation’s inland waters.
Bartelme’s series detailed the mysterious world of property insurance and how and why homeowners are forced to pay such high insurance rates in South Carolina and many other states. The win further cemented the newspaper’s position as the state’s most honored news organization.
This is the second time Bartelme has been named as a finalist for journalism’s top honor. He was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in the feature story category for his series about a neurosurgeon’s work to teach brain surgery in Tanzania.
Bartelme’s “Storm of Money” series is a deft mix of narratives and data that exposed how insurance companies use fear, technology and political muscle to shortchange consumers. He revealed how insurance companies use “black box” computer programs to control the flow of billions of dollars in rates and claims with little or no scrutiny from government regulators.
The series explored the Byzantine world of re-insurance companies and how off-shore conglomerates are largely responsible for high home insurance premiums. It described the secret ways insurance companies manipulate software to boost profits at the expense of people who have been injured.
Bartelme’s work exploded a myth that insurers have long used to justify rate hikes – that South Carolina is a catastrophe magnet. The Post and Courier has done its share of storm stories that heightened readers’ fears about hurricanes, yet Bartelme’s work in Storm of Money was unusual in how it challenged alarmism instead of stoking it.
|Claflin hosts SCPA Collegiate Meeting
Nearly 100 S.C. collegiate journalists and their advisors attended SCPA's annual Collegiate Meeting and Awards presentation last Friday at Claflin University in Orangeburg. Thirteen colleges were present at the event, which included educational sessions and roundtable discussions.
Speakers included Lee Harter, editor of The Times and Democrat; Emery Glover, online editor of The Times and Democrat; and Doug Pardue of The Post and Courier.
More than 100 Collegiate Awards were also presented at the event.
University of South Carolina journalism student Colin Campbell was named Collegiate Journalist of the Year. Campbell, who will graduate in May, was nominated by The Daily Gamecock's advisor, Scott Lindenberg. Click here to read notes from Campbell's keynote address to attendees.
The Daily Gamecock was also recognized as first place General Excellence winner in the Daily/Weekly newspaper division. The Patriot at Francis Marion was honored as first place General Excellence winner in the Monthly/Bi-monthly division.
Click here to see all collegiate winners.
MUSC board breaks FOI law by starting public meeting early
By Lauren Sausser, The Post and Courier
The Medical University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees conducted a public meeting before its scheduled start time last week, breaking the state’s Freedom of Information Act, a press attorney confirmed.
The MUSC Board of Trustees meeting was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Thursday. At that time, The Post and Courier was informed that the board had convened an executive session, which is closed to the public, and that the regular meeting had already ended because the board started it early.
“The law requires notice and opportunity for the citizens to be there,” said Jay Bender, an attorney for the S.C. Press Association. “The Medical University is a political body of the state so clearly it’s subject to the Freedom of Information Act.”
MUSC’s Board of Trustees is made up of 14 members — 12 are elected by the state Legislature and two are chosen by the governor. The board oversees the operation of the university.
State law requires that public bodies give notice of public meetings, including “dates, times and places of such meetings.” The law also specifies that public bodies must notify media of scheduled or rescheduled meetings.
According to the agenda, the Board of Trustees discussed several topics including proposed tuition increases for students. Board members also heard reports from MUSC President Dr. Ray Greenberg and Dr. Pat Cawley, executive director of the medical center.
Board of Trustees secretary Celeste Jordan said the executive session was held to discuss contractual services.
After the meeting, Board Chairman Tom Stephenson said the board voted on a 3 percent tuition increase for students in the medical, dental and pharmacy schools. He said it was not the group’s intention to hide any information from the public.
Several committee meetings started at 8 a.m., he said, and when those meetings ran ahead of schedule, the board decided to start the regular meeting early.
It lasted about 15 minutes, he said.
Click here to read Melanie Balog's column: MUSC board owes the public transparency.
The Chronicle-Independent in Camden has hired native Fraser Speaks as Localife Editor, effective immediately. She will also cover the Kershaw County government beat. The previous Localife Editor, Tenell Felder, is now the editor of the C-I's sister newspaper, the West Wateree Chronicle in Lugoff-Elgin. Felder is taking over for Michael Ulmer, who took a position with the Aiken Standard.
New hire or other newspaper news you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you!
Boston explosions a reminder of how breaking news reporting is changing
By Jason Fry, Poynter
Terrible events such as yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon have always meant “all hands on deck” for news organizations, with staffers pulled off their regular beats to contribute.
But the endpoint of the newsgathering and reporting is no longer a front-page package of stories explaining — the best one can — what happened, why it happened and what might be next. Now, there is no endpoint — events are reported in real time, with stories in constant motion, and the front page is a snapshot of an organization’s reporting at the moment when the presses needed to roll.
Boston was a reminder of that, and a look at what’s changing in real-time journalism. Through Twitter and various live blogs, I found myself looking over my shoulder at the Boston Globe, the New York Times, Reuters and other news organizations, and was able to make some observations and draw some conclusions.
My first observation doesn’t speak to what’s changed in journalism, but to what’s remained the same. The Boston Globe’s impressive reporting was driven by having boots on the ground — quite literally, since the newspaper had reporters and photographers at the finish line very near the site of the two bombs.
Newspapers face softened requirement in 2014 for Intelligent Mail barcodes
Newspapers claiming automation mailing rates for their Periodicals newspapers or Standard Mail flats not eligible for Enhanced Carrier Route rates face new hurdles on Jan. 26, 2014, as the U.S. Postal Service’s mandates for Full-Service Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMbs) kick in. But National Newspaper Association President Merle Baranczyk said NNA’s efforts had built in new options for many newspapers to avoid the full impact.
USPS this week announced that the new Full-Service IMbs would be required for all mail seeking automation discounts. The first step toward its program to achieve greater service accountability began in January 2013, when mailers began using the Basic IMbs. The next step requires individual numbering on mailpieces, sack and tray tags and pallet placards so that USPS can see where the mail is throughout mail processing and delivery. Those individual numbers must also be provided to USPS through electronic documentation, with some exceptions.
Baranczyk said NNA had petitioned the Postal Service to make numerous changes to help newspapers adapt to USPS’s digital conversions.
Newspapers must ready for new revenue sources
Study finds newspaper readers are engaged, but local papers need to do more on mobile
By Michael Depp,
Newspapers looking to diversify their revenue streams must first brace their internal culture for a change, experts at the Newspaper Association of America's mediaXchange advised earlier this week.
"It takes a culture that's ready to change and that wants to change," said Grant Moise, VP of digital for The Dallas Morning News, which opened or acquired five separate companies in 2012 alone as part of its own diversification strategy.
"The nature of the transformation is fundamentally different around the business model for Web versus the business model for print," seconded Clark Gilbert, CEO of Deseret Digital Media.
Moise and Gilbert were part of a panel exploring new revenue streams for the industry in which native advertising, video and social emerged as three of the more promising outlets for 2013.
Gilbert hinted that Deseret would be making its own play in the native ad space soon based on a model from the magazine world. "I think what Forbes is doing with AdVoices is brilliant," he said, noting that such ads have "to be much more than advertorial content."
He said the Forbes model offers a far more interesting and nuanced approach than standard advertorials. "What they're trying to do is bring you value-added content sponsored by a client," Gilbert said. "The company might have a brand affinity or expertise. That's a very sophisticated value chain."
What a marching band can teach you about leadership, teamwork
By Mike Figliuolo, thoughtLEADERS, LLC
I was lucky enough a few months ago to attend the Ohio State vs. Nebraska football game at Ohio State. It was a raucous affair in which OSU pounded Nebraska into submission. But that wasn't the best part.
The best part was the halftime show by The Best Damn Band In The Land. They showed me something that I knew I needed to share the minute I saw it. Now, I'm no huge band follower – I was definitely there for the football game. That said, I know something special when I see it and given I tend to look at the world through a leadership lens, I immediately saw this blog post emerge.
During that halftime show, the OSU band demonstrated what true teamwork looks like and displayed the amazing impact that can be achieved when everyone on the team executes their role flawlessly. To that end, I invite you to check out the video of the halftime show.
By Laura Hazard Owen, PaidContent
Newspapers are still better at engaging audiences than any other form of media, according to a new Newspaper Association of America (NAA) survey conducted by Nielsen, and print newspaper advertising remains effective. With newspaper ad revenue plunging, though, the picture isn't as rosy as this survey makes it appear — and newspapers can do more, especially when it comes to social networking and mobile.
Language Evolves: A timeline of how terms come and go from the AP Stylebook
By Zach Dyer, Journalism in the Americas
The Associated Press’ decision to drop the term “illegal immigrant” last week made headlines and sparked debate on both sides of the political spectrum. Another style decision that turned heads? Dropping the hyphen from “e-mail.” “That caused quite a stir,” AP Deputy Standards Editor and AP Stylebook co-editor David Minthorn remembered wryly.
As language changes everyday, dictionaries and style guides like the AP Stylebook, the foremost reference for U.S. broadcast and print reporters, race to keep up. The term “illegal immigrant” is a good example of how a word formally enters the lexicon or, in this case, leaves it.
“There has to be an evolution in the language or a clear need for adding or amending terms,” Minthorn told the American Copy Editors Society in a 2010 interview. Minthorn co-edits the AP Stylebook along with Sally Jacobsen and Darrell Christian. The Knight Center spoke with Minthorn to better understand how the Stylebook takes the pulse of the news media and decides which words make the cut. As part of this feature, check out a timeline of select changes to the style bible organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.
JC Penney to bring back coupon advertising in newspapers
JC Penney will reverse Ron Johnson's strategy of reducing discounts and put coupon advertising in newspapers again, said William Ackman, the activist investor who recruited the ousted chief executive.
Mr. Johnson, who was replaced by Myron Ullman on Monday, implemented a pricing strategy that eliminated almost all of the company's discounts and promotions in favor of everyday low prices. Shoppers shunned the department store chain, and sales sank 25% last year.
|An endorsement for newspaper endorsements
The 2012 elections are in the rearview mirror, and newly elected lawmakers have settled into their routines. For most editors and reporters, the next cycle of elections is likely out of mind.
Don’t move on so quickly. It’s routine for political commentators to rate the president after the first 100 days in office. Why not check in with local elected officials on a regular basis and, in concert, with the respective governing bodies? The strongest election coverage is not simply turned off and on. Continuing coverage, if thoughtfully planned and carried out, can enrich your coverage of local public affairs.
Checking in regularly also goes a long way toward holding elected officials accountable. Your reports will provide a solid foundation when it comes time to endorse candidates in the next election.
Colorful vs. colorized
Two of my favorite small-newspaper clients, The Imperial Republican in Imperial, NE, and the Ozona Stockman in Ozona, TX, are consistent design award winners.
And...they are printed in black and white. No color.
I consider them proof that sound newspaper design can be consistently achieved without the use of color.
In 1986, Ted Turner bought the entire MGM library and had his technicians begin colorizing many of the great films in the vault. Even “The Maltese Falcon,” a film always meant to be seen in black and white, suffered the fate of the color retouching. It was a travesty.
Color is important, yes. We see in color. We think in color. We even dream in color.
But when we use color in our newspapers, we have a responsibility to our readers and advertisers to use it with care. Some points to keep in mind: