Voice Publisher elected VP of SC Press Association


COLUMBIA – The Voice’s publisher, Barbara Ball, was elected vice president of weekly newspapers for the South Carolina Press Association last week after a vote of the Association’s membership during its annual meeting at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Ball, who owns The Voice of Blythewood and The Voice of Fairfield County, served as treasurer of the Association this past year.

Also during the meeting, Ball was one of three journalists invited to participate in a SC Investigates panel discussion themed, ‘Punching Above Your Weight,’ about how to do effective accountability work in smaller newsrooms. SC Investigates is a new media non-profit providing free tools to journalists who are producing accountability and investigative work under financially challenging circumstances.

Other Officers

Nathaniel Abraham Jr., publisher of Carolina Panorama in Columbia, was elected president of the Association. He is the Association’s first black president.

Abraham is the second generation in his family to publish Carolina Panorama, a weekly newspaper serving the African-American community of Central South Carolina. Over the years, the newspaper has focused on bringing positive news to its readers. In the past few years, Abraham and his staff have expanded into other parts of the state, now publishing Lowcountry Panorama and Upstate Panorama.

“It is an honor to be named President of the S.C. Press Association by my peers in the newspaper industry. Ironically, I got my start in the industry as a small child by selling newspapers in my neighborhood. I had no idea that early experience would eventually lead to this honor. I look forward to working with my industry peers to ensure that a free and independent press can fulfill its duty as the defender of democracy,” Abraham said.

Abraham is a native of Columbia. He graduated in 1987 from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in business. After graduation, he began his career in the news media industry by publishing his father’s newspaper.

Other officers elected at the meeting were: Hal Welch, general manager of The Journal in Seneca, as daily newspaper vice president; and as treasurer, Kyle Osteen, managing partner and co-owner of Osteen Publishing Co. which publishes The Sumter Item.

Elected to two-year terms on the SCPA Executive Committee were: John Boyette, executive editor of The Aiken Standard; Lee Harter, executive editor of The Times and Democrat and Morning News; and Gina Smith, special projects editor of The State, The Island Packet, The Beaufort Gazette and The Sun News.

Re-elected to continuing terms on the SCPA Executive Committee were: Jane Alford, editor of The Lancaster News; Stephen Robertson, publisher of The Horry Independent, Myrtle Beach Herald, Carolina Forest Chronicle and The Loris Scene; and Jonathan Vickery, publisher of The People-Sentinel in Barnwell.

The election came as part of a two-day meeting in Columbia attended by 200 journalists from across the state. The press association was founded in 1852 and serves 100 S.C. newspapers.

Attorney Carl Muller, left, a member of one of Blythewood’s early families, joined the S.C. Press Association’s two media law experts, Jay Bender and Taylor Smith, at the Association’s meeting last week for their annual no-holds-barred panel discussion on the legal, First Amendment and open government issues facing today’s newspapers. Muller, who grew up in the Muller house on Blythewood’s Muller Road, is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. His law office is in Greenville, S.C., where his practice includes first amendment, media, and communications issues. | Photos: GWINN DAVIS MEDIA

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