As we recognize Sunshine Week and the positive impact of open government and Freedom of Information laws, it’s important to recognize the nexus between the significant work newspapers across the state provide to their communities and the ability of reporters and citizens to access that information.
The reporting, photography, design, writing and editing that we do at The Daniel Island News is possible, in part, because of laws that require the government to operate openly – not hidden in back rooms – and that grant access to information. We’ve used these laws in our reporting. This is evidenced by the 20 journalism awards the paper received from the South Carolina Press Association this month for work we produced between November 2019 and December 2020.
Over the years, our reporters have attended hundreds of City of Charleston, Berkeley County, ports authority, school board and other community meetings and reported on important items that affect our community. We’ve attended events, tracked down leads, interviewed community members, asked tough questions, sent out Freedom of Information requests, produced election guides, photographed school and community happenings and consistently tried to find answers to problems voiced by citizens.
Since we are a free paper, our ability to produce the news is dependent on advertising revenue. And, like many businesses in our community, our revenue has been down due to the pandemic. As a result, the number of pages in the paper has been less than in normal times. We’ve compensated by moving more content to online only, cutting expenses where we can, borrowing through the Paycheck Protection Program, and creating more efficient methods to compile, edit, design, print and deliver the news.
We appreciate it when our readers suggest story ideas, tell us about issues affecting their lives, send a thank you, express how a story moves them, submit photos, and yes, especially when you let us know if we’ve made a mistake. Please keep the feedback coming.
And, please continue to support our advertisers and let them know you saw their businesses and their ads in The Daniel Island News.
Congratulations to the hardworking staff at The Daniel Island News. Check out the breakdown of individual awards to see how your local journalists were honored for the work they do.
2020 SOUTH CAROLINA PRESS ASSOCIATION AWARDS
The Daniel Island News received recognition in the following categories for the South Carolina Press Association News Contest. The paper falls under the division for Mid-Sized Weeklies, although some awards are among all weekly newspapers in the state.
Staff, including Elizabeth Horton, Elizabeth Bush and Boots Gifford
Third place for Election and Political Coverage, All Weekly Division: Your Guide to Local Elections
• Health Beat Reporting, Second Place, All Weekly Division: The doctor is in; Those in substance abuse recovery adapt; Creative healing
• Faith Beat Reporting, Second Place, All Weekly Division: Take what you need, give what you can; Two Rivers Church hosts anti-racist week; From the Middle East to the Cainhoy peninsula
• Feature Section or Magazine, Second Place, All Weekly Division: A Walk in the Park
• Growth and Development Beat Reporting, Second Place for: Concrete Company seeks to establish positive relationship with neighbors; Saint Clare of Assisi Catholic Church breaks ground on new building; Cainhoy Development a work in progress
• Food Writing, Second Place: Getting the inside scoop
• Arts and Entertainment Writing, Second Place: Inside look at ‘Outer Banks’
• Single Sports Page Design, First Place, All Weekly Division: Chartering Charleston’s Deep Seas
• Single Sports Page Design, Third Place, All Weekly Division: Integrating a sports column, high school basketball story and standalone photo.
• Inside Page Design, Third Place, All Weekly Division: Get inspired by simple, natural elements for holiday decor
• Arts and Entertainment Writing, First Place: Don’t be a square?
• Sports Feature Story, Second Place: What a difference a day makes
• Feature Headline Writing, Second Place, All Weekly Division: Shucking good time; When life hands you Lemmon; Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
• Sports Headline Writing, Second Place, All Weekly Division: State meet goes swimmingly for Battling Bishops; Pickleball popularity picks up; Staying (Mc)Cool under pressure
• Sports Enterprise Reporting, Third Place: Pickleball popularity picks up
Column Writing, Third Place: Chapter Two Column: Boomers and the pandemic; RGB and Me; When COVID came calling.
Spot News Photo, First Place: Black Lives Matter Rally (pictured above)
• Growth and Development Beat Reporting, Third Place, All Weekly Division: 62 home sites approved for another Daniel Island Park island; DI scores with new community recreational soccer complex; Daniel Island’s waterfront gets a makeover
• Sports Column Writing, Third Place: Profiles in Fitness: Hike your way to overall better health; 5 lessons from the Godfather of Fitness; Find a way
• Personality Photograph or Portrait, First Place: Kids in Field of Honor