Friday, April 5, 2019
Saturday, April 6, 2019

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The Marriott
1200 Hampton Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

Make your reservation online today! 

You can also call The Marriott at 803.771.7000 to reserve your room.


Driving Directions 


Jen Madden 
S.C. Press Association 































































































Connect, learn and celebrate with more than 350 members of the South Carolina Press Association at the 2019 SCPA Annual Meeting and Awards, presented by AT&T. Make plans to join us April 5-6, 2019, at The Marriott in downtown Columbia for awards presentations, educational sessions and networking.  Educational sessions are free and open to the public, but we ask that you RSVP. Tickets are required for all awards and meal functions (noted below).

Collegiate members and advisers: please register here

Schedule of Events

Friday, April 5
3 p.m. – midnight News Contest Winners’ Exhibits Open
  Capital Prefunction, The Marriott
3 – 5 p.m. Executive Committee Meeting
  Capital Ballroom I, The Marriott
5:30 – 6:15 p.m.  Mix and Mingle with SCPA Executive Committee and Staff
  Marriott Rocks at Midlands' Lounge

Grab a drink from the bar (dutch treat) and join your SCPA friends and staff for networking before we head out for the evening's festivities!  

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Group Dinner
Villa Tronco, 1213 Blanding Street 

Located in an historic 19th century Firehouse, Villa Tronco serves traditional Italian cuisine Mama Tronco introduced to Columbia 76 years ago. Family owned and operated for four generations, Villa offers authentic and aromatic recipes, old-world atmosphere, and warm Italian hospitality. Guests will enjoy an entrée, salad, bread, Carmella's famous cheesecake and beverage of choice (Beer, wine, tea, or soda). Registration is required for this event as there is limited seating. 
Cost to attend: $35

Following dinner, attendees can venture out  into Columbia's Main Street District, home to dozens of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues within walking distance of The Marriott.

Saturday, April 6

9 a.m.  Registration, Sponsor Tables and News Contest Winners’ Exhibits Open

Capital Prefunction, The Marriott

9:15 – 9:30 a.m.

SCPA Business Meeting & Election of Officers
Carolina Ballroom F-H, The Marriott 

9:30 – 10:15 a.m. Impactful Ways to Utilize Social Media
Carolina Ballroom F-H, The Marriott 
  Are we moving beyond pushing headlines on Facebook and Twitter to more authentically engage with our readers on social media? Join us for a panel discussion on how journalists can use social media to gather and share news. Panelists will discuss best practices, tools and strategy. We’ll talk about everything from using social media to find and break news to tips on getting your story read. There will also be discussion on dealing with trolls and making real-time coverage of hearings and meetings more interesting. Panelists include Avery Wilks of The State and First Place winner of SCPA's Individual Use of Social Media Award, Chris Trainor of Free Times and Second Place winner of SCPA's Individual Use of Social Media Award, and Kaitlyn Park, manager of the Social Media Insights Lab at the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications. This panel discussion will be moderated by Gavin Jackson of SCETV and host of the South Carolina Lede podcast.

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

“Seven Days of Heroin” – Creating Journalism That Makes a Difference
Carolina Ballroom F-H, The Marriott 
Amy Wilson served as editor of “Seven Days of Heroin: This is What An Epidemic Looks Like,” the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner for Local Reporting. Because the project required the reporting skills of 60 reporters and photojournalists at The Cincinnati Enquirer, much of the editing work was done prior to anything being reported or written. As editor, Wilson worked to get all reporters on the same page – that is, explain in numerous meetings how she wanted the boots-on-the-ground, observational, cinematic work done and by when. She helped plan and manage the logistical morass of the 140-plus assignments, oversee the calling of 45 agencies on each of the seven days and wrestle with daily ethical and legal issues that arose. She also edited the words: a 20-page special section and a dynamic online longform presentation that included a 31-minute documentary.

South Carolina is not immune to the consequences of opioid misuse. Overdosing is at an epidemic level in our state. Wilson will talk about how journalists gave this issue a human face, and how journalism can make a difference. She’ll also offer advice on storytelling and coaching writers to tell really interesting stories in meaningful ways.

This address is the closing event of the “News Literacy and Future of Journalism” series, a nine-month collaborative effort among S.C. Humanities Council, Winthrop University and the Press Association. This series is part of the national initiative on “Democracy and the Informed Citizen,” which seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry.

Wilson is the storytelling coach of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Prior to that, she was a general assignment feature writer for 35 years for the Orange County (CA) Register, the Detroit Free Press and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, among others.

Noon – 2:15 p.m.   Weekly Newspaper & Associate Member Awards Luncheon
  Capital II-IV, The Marriott
Cost to attend: $49

Noon – 2:15 p.m.   Daily Editor Roundtable & Luncheon
  Capital I, The Marriott

Daily executive, managing and other senior editors are invited to attend a roundtable luncheon at SCPA's Annual Meeting. Topics are up to the group, but will include: FOI issues, motivating and training staff, special projects, multimedia reporting, social media opportunities and issues, stories that get traction and more.
This event is open to daily editors only. 
Cost to attend: $25

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.   Collegiate Newspaper Roundtable
  Carolina Ballroom F-H, The Marriott

Collegiate members will break out into roundtable discussions on writing, editing/management, and design/photography. 

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.   Counselors Off The Cuff
  Carolina Ballroom F-H, The Marriott  

Join SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers, SCPA Attorneys Taylor Smith and Jay Bender, USC Media Law Assistant Professor and Of Counsel for Fenno Law Firm Eric Robinson, Attorney Carl Muller, and Attorney Meliah Jefferson of Wyche Law Firm for a no-holds-barred discussion on the legal, First Amendment and open government issues you're facing.  

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.   Collegiate Awards Presentation
  Carolina Ballroom F-H, The Marriott  

Starting with keynote addresses from our 2018 Collegiate Journalists of the Year, the Collegiate Awards presentation will feature 100 awards presented to the state’s top college newspapers and journalists. Collegiate journalists, advisers and parents are invited to attend.   
Cost to attend: $10

6 – 7:30 p.m.    President’s Reception honoring Jane Pigg — Hosted by The Link and WCRE 
  Capital Prefunction, The Marriott
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.   Daily Newspaper Awards Dinner
  Capital Ballroom II-IV, The Marriott
Cost to attend: $69

Following the Daily Awards Dinner, the Marriott Rocks at Midlands' Lounge and patio area will stay open for celebratory cocktails. Or venture out onto Main Street, where there are several bars and restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.

Special thanks to our Annual Meeting Sponsors!

If you love South Carolina's newspaper industry, please consider sponsoring the 2019 Annual Meeting and Awards! The Annual Meeting is the best way to connect with the Palmetto State’s newspaper industry. Find out more and sign on as a sponsor. The last day to sign on as a sponsor is March 8.


AARP South Carolina
Dominion Energy
Experience Columbia SC

Associated Press
Carl Muller, Attorney at Law, P.A.
Harrison Radeker & Smith, P.A.
Municipal Association of South Carolina
S.C. Emergency Management Division
University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications  

Fenno Law Firm
Winthrop University

Wyche Law Firm

Clemson University
Mather Economics

News Literacy and The Future of Journalism

S.C. Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services

Charleston Print Authority

If you have any questions, contact Jen Madden or Bill Rogers or call SCPA at (803) 750-9561.

We recommend using Chrome or Firefox to fill out registration. If you don't see a confirmation page/receive a confirmation email from us after registering, email SCPA. Your registration might not be complete.