|S.C. high court rules FOIA doesn't violate First Amendment
The Supreme Court of South Carolina ruled Wednesday that non-governmental entities that are “public bodies” under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act cannot claim that the disclosure requirements of the FOIA violate First Amendment rights protecting freedom of association or speech.
In August 2009 a Charleston radio personality, Rocky D [Rocky Disabato], made an FOIA request to the S.C. Association of School Administrators (SCASA) seeking access to records relating to the group’s efforts to force then Gov. Mark Sanford to accept federal school funds.
SCASA responded in the same fashion as many recipients of public money respond to FOIA requests by denying that it was a “public body” subject to the requirements of open records and open meetings established by the FOIA. A “public body” is defined in the law as a political subdivision of the state or an entity supported in whole or part by public funds or expending public funds.
Rocky D filed suit. The Circuit Court dismissed the suit before trial on grounds that SCASA was not a public body, and, even if it were, the state law requirement that it have public meetings and disclose its records abridged its rights to associate and speak on political issues.
Writing for a three justice majority Justice Kaye Hearn framed the issue as requiring a reconciliation of “two competing principles of our democratic tradition.” Hearn wrote, “We must decide whether the FOIA as applied to the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA), a non-profit corporation engaged in political advocacy, unconstitutionally infringes upon SCASA’s First Amendment speech and association rights.”
SCPA announces winners of PALMY Advertising Contest
Results from the 2012 PALMY Advertising Contest are now live on SCPA's website. The PALMY Advertising Contest annually honors the best newspaper advertising in South Carolina. This contest recognizes and promotes individual efforts by advertising staffs of South Carolina newspapers, encourages creativity in advertising sales, layout and copy writing, and fosters excellence in newspaper advertising, which in turn produces maximum results for newspaper advertisers.
The winners list is for proofing purposes only. Winners are not for release until Monday, Aug. 19. The deadline to submit corrections is Friday, July 26.
We need PDFs of your winning entries! The deadline to submit your winning ads as PDF files for use in the online slideshow of winning ads is Monday, Aug. 5. Winners will be given an online folder where they can submit PDFs of the winning ads. SCPA staffer Jarad Greene will email ad directors a direct link to the online folder no later than Friday, July 19. If you have not received your link by Friday afternoon, email Jarad.
Remember, due to low attendance at the PALMY awards luncheon over the past several years, SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers will present awards at each newspaper individually as requested. Once the awards are announced, we'll work with each newspaper directly to plan a special awards presentation at your paper. That way, more of your staff's winners can be honored and there will be little or no cost to you. We'll continue to post the slideshow of winning ads on the Web as a resource for your sales reps and designers.
Darlington News and Press preserves newspaper legal ads
By Samantha Lyles,
News and Press
SCPA Vice President Morrey Thomas, publisher of the News & Press in Darlington had a great victory earlier this month fighting against taking certain local legal ads out of the paper.
At their regular meeting on July 1, Darlington County Council held final reading for Ordinance 13-08, a measure that would end the requirement for Darlington County to advertise contracts for improvements, materials, equipment or services costing more than $15,000 in local newspapers.
Surrett told council at their June 3 meeting that the county could save money by advertising these RFPs (Request for Proposal) on the Darlington County website and the South Carolina state purchasing website.
Speaking about this ordinance, Morrey Thomas, publisher of the News and Press, asked council to consider the negative effects of this exclusion with respect to public trust, fair business practice, and perception of government transparency.
“In my opinion, the most important aspect of this is it lets the citizens of Darlington County know what’s happening in their government,” said Thomas.
Lancaster News photographer injured in car collision
By Chris Sardelli, The Lancaster News
An employee of The Lancaster News was injured in a car accident July 15.
Staff photographer Aaron Morrison is in intensive care at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte following the accident, which happened at 12:54 a.m. in Ballantyne, N.C.
According to a Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department media release, Morrison was injured after his 2011 Toyota RAV4 was rear-ended by a 2007 BMW driven by Nicholas Michael Borden, 31.
Investigators say Borden was driving south on Johnston Road at a high rate of speed when the accident happened.
Borden first struck the back left corner of a 2005 Nissan Maxima driving in front of him, which was being driven by Hannie Jordan Welcher Jr., 31, the release said.
The violent impact veered Borden’s BMW into the left lane and into the rear of Morrison’s SUV, the release said.
Borden’s car caught fire and responding officers had to help remove him from the driver’s seat, the release said.
Medics responded to the scene and took Morrison by ambulance to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment of life-threatening injuries. Borden was also taken to CMC, but was listed as having non-life threatening injuries.
Weekly Editors' Roundtable set Aug. 2 in Columbia
SCPA's Weekly Editors' Roundtable is less than a month away: Friday, Aug. 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at SCPA Offices in Columbia. This is a great time to meet with your peers to discuss what is working and not working in your market. Topics are up to the group, but will include: story ideas and topics that have worked for you, use of correspondents, dealing with reader reaction to paywalls, increasing coverage with multimedia tools, sports credentialing, social media, mo-jo tools and the ongoing saga of doing more with less. We held a similar roundtable for daily editors in June and it was very well-received.
Though we haven't met as a group in a couple of years, this meeting has always ranked as a valuable session.
The cost to attend is $25, which includes a catered lunch. Register online by clicking here.
Editorial: Greenwood School board sings a disturbing tune
From time to time, it might seem we overly espouse our belief in transparency in government and open records.
In fact, it might seem a limitless, unabated chorus, with the newspaper singing the same song again and again, as if we were trapped in the closing credits of Lamb Chop's Play-Along.
"This is the Freedom of Information Act that never ends. Yes, it goes on and on, my friends."
After countless stories, columns and editorials stressing the importance of elected officials adhering to the law, it could be understood readers are exhausted by the constant reminders to public entities and their representatives - state leaders, council members and school board members - of how to best serve the public in an open manner.
And perhaps there are some good, honest people who think there could simply be no way elected officials would violate the law, not after repeated press clippings reveal illegal behavior.
We've got bad news for you. You've got a better chance of finding a leprechaun riding a unicorn in downtown Atlantis than you do of elected officials behaving transparently.
Today's front-page story by Index-Journal education reporter Michelle Laxer testifies to the sad reality. No matter how frequently we lambaste public officials for indiscretions, the same behavior persists. This time, the McCormick school board is disregarding the law.
|America’s favorite freedom... Freedom of Speech ranks first
By Ken Paulson, First Amendment Center
What is America’s favorite freedom? It’s freedom of speech by a wide margin, according to the annual State of the First Amendment survey.
About 47% of those polled in the First Amendment Center survey said freedom of speech is the most important right, almost five times the number citing second-choice freedom of religion, named by 10%.
Next came freedom of choice (7%), the right to bear arms (5%), the right to vote (5%) the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (3%) and freedom of the press (1%).
The result may not be all that surprising; after all, freedom of speech is the best known of our First Amendment rights.
But it’s also a reassuring affirmation of how important speaking your mind is in a democracy.
This was the 17th annual survey on First Amendment rights, but the first time we’ve asked broadly about all rights.
Some would clearly differ on America’s paramount freedom.
Attorney General Holder’s report to President adopts stronger protection for news media
By Nicole Lozare, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Attorney General Eric Holder today submitted a 7-page report to President Obama listing recommendations for revisions to guidelines on subpoenas to the news media. The report follows recent news of the subpoena of media phone records and a search warrant for a reporter’s email account in the Justice Department’s pursuit of leakers of classified material.
The report strengthens protections for journalists and calls for more direct oversight by the Attorney General himself when investigations of leakers involve journalists’ constitutionally protected work materials.
Post-Snowden, time for journalists to get smart
By Alan Pearce, Committee to Protect Journalists
Let’s be clear: Everything journalists do in the digital world is open to scrutiny by suspicious minds because that’s the way intelligence agencies work. If state eavesdroppers didn’t make use of this amazing opportunity they wouldn’t be very good at their job.
Edward Snowden’s revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency’s global monitoring should not come as a big surprise. U.S. agencies have the technology, the will, and some very loosely written laws that allow them to snoop with impunity. It was just a matter of time before someone stood up and blew the whistle.
What Snowden has told us should serve as a wake-up call for everybody in the news business because a journalist who cannot offer confidentiality is compromised, and fewer sources will trust us in the future. But the Internet has come a long way in recent years. The development of security tools, almost all of which are built by activist volunteers, can make the digital world a far safer place for journalists to operate.
|Cloninger joins The State
Established Gamecocks writer David Cloninger has joined The State and GoGamecocks.com.
Cloninger will cover all things Gamecocks, with a particular focus on basketball and football. He also will contribute to our coverage of baseball, recruiting and other areas such as facilities improvements.
Cloninger, a Rock Hill native and USC graduate, covered South Carolina athletics the past five years for GamecockCentral, a Rivals.com site.
Cloninger worked at The State from August 2000 to January 2002 before stints at the Florence Morning News, The (Rock Hill) Herald and GamecockCentral.
He has bachelor's and master's degrees from USC in mass communications and print journalism.
The Star staff sees changes
The Star in North Augusta recently welcomed new reporter Heather Wright into the fold. Wright, recent graduate of USC Aiken, served as the editor in chief of the campus newspaper, The Pacer Times.
Scott Rodgers, who has served as a reporter since January, will take over as news editor. He previously worked at the Aiken Standard in the sports department, as well as the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa.
Tonya Hargrove is also in her third week at The Star, working with classified ads and circulation.
Bill Bengtson, who had served as a reporter at The Star for more than a decade, was offered and accepted a job as a photographer for the Fort Gordon Signal, a publication that now is an Aiken Communications product.
Leaders in mobile news publishing share 8 keys to success
By Dena Levitz, American Press Institute
If the last decade in news was defined by the migration of audience to the web, the next will be defined by the shift to smartphones and tablets.
About 56 percent of Americans now own smartphones, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, and 34 percent own a tablet. Within as few as three years, market analysts now estimate, most digital traffic will occur on mobile devices, up from roughly a third now.
Whether news publishers will find a way to capitalize on this financially, or lose out to digital giants such as Google, is the new overriding economic question facing the business of journalism.
How to monetize mobile and what technological approaches to use—apps versus responsive design, for instance—were the central issues of the latest workshop by the American Press Institute. The workshop, “The Future of Mobile” included presentations from mobile innovators at ESPN, the Boston Globe, Digital First Media and Puerto Rico-based GFR Media, and was produced in conjunction with the Poynter Institute.
We identified eight key concepts outlined by these leaders, who included Damon Kiesow, senior product manager at the Boston Globe; Jeff Moriarty, vice president of digital products for the Globe and Boston.com; Allen Klosowski, formerly the senior director of mobile and social media for Digital First Media; Rob King, senior vice president of editorial for ESPN Digital and Print Media; Aisha Burgos, senior manager for mobile strategy at GFR Media; and Fernando Samaniego, GFR’s chief digital officer.
What news organizations are learning as they refine their digital pay models
By Rick Edmonds, Poynter
Now that the logic and financial benefit of digital pay plans has been broadly (but not universally) accepted at newspaper companies, a second generation of issues and solutions is emerging.
Listening to the final session at the American Society of News Editors Convention last month on paywalls, I had a sense that the conversation has moved well past the basics of whether or not to charge. And the new discussion comes with its own vocabulary: end runs, free samples, foul balls and protein versus potato chips.
The first three terms are variations on a theme: the potential subscriber needs to have a good sense of what he or she is getting and be approached with an artful soft-sell invitation to pay up.
Former journalist , conservationist Jane Lareau dies
Conservationist Jane Lareau, 61, a former newspaper reporter and co-founder of one of the state’s most influential environmental groups, died earlier this week at her Lowcountry home after a 13-year battle with cancer.
A former writer with the Columbia Record, Lareau was the first full-time employee hired by Dana Beach when he launched the S.C. Coastal Conservation League in 1989.
Jane Lareau graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1971, then worked as a journalist for the old Columbia Record, The State newspaper and what later became The Post and Courier.
|Why you should pay attention to 3-D printing
The curiosity factor of 3‐D printing has soared lately with videos of a working gun made using one of the
printers. The curiosity will fade – for a while, at least – but smart media managers will keep tracking the
technology's progress because it could be one of your next big business disruptors.
It's not as likely to be a direct disruptor as many other digital technologies of the past 15 years have been. But it will disrupt the business of some of your major advertisers.
The idea of "printing" three‐dimensional objects is no longer a dream or even an expensive prototype. It is likely to be an accepted consumer technology within a decade.
Doctors already use 3‐D printing to make replacement body parts. Formula One racing teams use it to make car parts. The federal government is putting $30 million into creating a manufacturing hub in Youngstown, Ohio.
|Rule changes expand tub use: carrier-route, non-auto
The U.S. Postal Service issued two rule changes sought by the National Newspaper Association that expand
the ability of newspapers to use flats trays (white tubs) for all presorted copies not dropped at the office of delivery. Both were in the Postal Bulletin of May 30, pages 5‐7.
Both are effective July 28, 2013, and change language in Domestic Mail Manual sections 707 and 705. Flats
trays are specifically allowed as an optional use by DMM 707.20.4 since 2006.
The first of the two changes, this one sought by NNA for several years, allows carrier‐route bundles in flats trays. NNA had asked for it in 2006 when the tub rules were being expanded to all presort levels, and we provided information to support our case from certain postal processing plant personnel. Plants told NNA that carrier‐route bundles of newspapers were usually sent from the plant directly to the 5‐digit post office for handling.
July 26: PALMY Ad Contest corrections due
Aug. 2: Weekly Editors Roundtable, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Aug. 5: PALMY Ad Contest winning PDFs due
Aug.15: Essentials of Adobe Illustrator Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Aug. 16: Webinar: How To Reinvent Your News Media Brand
Aug. 22: Digital and Database Marketing, Georgia Press Association, Atlanta, GA
Aug. 28: Webinar: The Latest Apps For News Reporting
Sept. 12: Ad Design Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Sept.13: Daily Publishers Roundtable, SCPA Offices, Columbia
Sept. 19: Advanced InDesign and PDF Workshop, SCPA Offices, Columbia