CBS profiles Local Expansions & Investigative Journalism

Sunday Morning Overview

CBS News “Sunday Morning” profiled The Post and Courier-led “Uncovered” project on July 2, highlighting the newspaper and its partner efforts to expose corruption and questionable government conduct throughout South Carolina.

The Post and Courier launched the project in 2021 with a handful of print media partners. It has since grown to include a network of 19 community newspapers from every corner of the Palmetto State.  The project produced more than 70 stories to date, spawning reform initiatives and at least 10 state investigations and audits in the process.

Ted Koppel dove into The Post and Courier’s growth strategies in the ever changing publishing industry, observing, “Manigault is bucking the trend: hiring more staff, expanding digitally across the state, and investing heavily in, of all things, a state-of-the-art printing press.”

The Post and Courier is acutely aware that small newspapers across the country are closing their doors, thus contributing to the staggering fact that 70 million Americans live in “news deserts”.  Koppel pointed out that the impact of news deserts is dire – “absent a source of reliable local news and scrutiny of local officials, can lead to the spread of disinformation and corruption.”

The Post and Courier’s commitment to ending news deserts with local expansions and upholding democracy with investigative journalism is the fuel behind the paper’s growth.

Read more about The Post and Courier’s commitment to local market expansions.

Local Newspaper Market Expansions = New Business Opportunities Across the State

As The Post and Courier’s audience continues to grow, so does the audience our business partners have access to reaching with advertising efforts.  Furthermore, the grassroot investigative journalism that is being conducted in local communities would not be possible without the continued support from our readers, business partners, and donors to the Investigative Fund.

Top Editor Changes at The Post and Courier

Top Leadership Changes

Changes are coming to top editor positions at The Post and Courier as South Carolina’s largest newspaper continues to grow and expand its offerings.

Executive Editor Autumn Phillips has been promoted to the newly created position of editor-in-chief, effective Aug. 1. In this role, Phillips will oversee two significant growth opportunities for the newspaper: philanthropic fundraising and the launch of a new venture in which she will lead readers on international trips.

“Autumn is a veteran world traveler and journalist,” Publisher P.J. Browning said. “She will teach participants how to write about the journey as a way of deepening the experience.”

Veteran journalist Jeff Taylor has been hired as The Post and Courier’s new executive editor after a national search. Taylor, who also will start Aug. 1, is an award-winning newsman who most recently served as vice president and executive editor for news and investigations at USA Today.

“Jeff comes to us with a tremendous background as a journalist and has held many executive leadership positions,” Browning said.

For Phillips, the move allows her to keenly focus on two of her driving passions: writing and travel. During her 5½ years at The Post and Courier, she has written several pieces about her sojourns to far-flung places such as Lebanon, Sudan and Kyrgyzstan. Beginning next year, she will bring readers along on her journeys.

Subscribers will also have a limited number of travel opportunities with other Post and Courier journalists as they report on international connections to Charleston. Photographers will teach them how to capture the journey, and reporters will show them how to see a place through the lens of climate change, history or food, Browning said.

Back at home, Taylor will oversee the daily operations of The Post and Courier as it continues to expand across South Carolina. In addition to its home base in Charleston, the newspaper has newsrooms in Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Florence and Rock Hill. As he charts a path forward, Taylor will lean on a wealth of experience gleaned from a long and distinguished career in journalism, Browning said.

Read more about Phillips and Taylor, along with other news, on

New Ventures and Continued Focus on Digital Expansion

The impact of Autumn Phillips new venture on the community will be profound, as subscribers will have the opportunity to partake in travel experiences with other Post and Courier journalists, gaining insights into international connections to Charleston.  Jeff Taylor is poised to spearhead The Post and Courier’s digital expansion, bringing forth positive changes for business partners, advertisers, and the Charleston community.

Recognizing the paper’s impact, community connection, and high regard among South Carolinians, Taylor is thrilled to join a platform that embodies his passion for “big-J journalism” and its potential to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. Taylor’s vision revolves around bolstering The Post and Courier’s digital footprint, attracting new generations of readers who will shape the newspaper’s future.

By capitalizing on the paper’s reputation for producing penetrating and context-rich stories that provide a comprehensive understanding of the interconnected pieces, Taylor intends to offer content that cannot be found elsewhere.

This digital expansion will not only enhance engagement with existing partners but also attract new business and advertising collaborations. Ultimately, the Charleston community stands to benefit from Phillip’s and Taylor’s dedication to elevating journalism and fostering a deeper understanding of local and international issues.

Spotlight: National Headliner and Journalism Awards

A bicyclist passes by The American Theater with the sign reading "Go Away Ian" on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 in Charleston | Andrew J. Whitaker, Photojournalist of the Year
A bicyclist passes by The American Theater with the sign reading “Go Away Ian” on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 in Charleston | Andrew J. Whitaker, Photojournalist of the Year

Post and Courier staff has received 94 awards from the SC Press association and two National Headliners awards this year.  The Post and Courier prides itself on being a highly credible news source for readers across South Carolina and these awards are a testimony to the extensive qualifications of the publication.  These reporters, photojournalists and editors have amassed extensive audiences that our business partners have been able to reach through various advertising and sponsorship opportunities.  Follow along to learn more about these notable awards and the people behind the stories.

Editor Awards

Avery Wilks, chief investigative reporter for The Post and Courier in Columbia, was named South Carolina’s Journalist of the Year.

Avery Wilks, investigative reporter for The Post and Courier
Avery Wilks, Investigative Reporter for The Post and Courier

Wilks, who joined the newspaper in 2020, had his hands on many of the state’s biggest stories last year. He was the lead reporter on the many-faceted Murdaugh murders saga while also heading coverage of the dozen South Carolinians charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Wilks also produced numerous investigative stories that exposed rampant misspending at one of the state’s largest school districts, revealed that a small town clerk had given herself a $30,000 raise from a pot of federal money she controls and uncovered a state senator’s mysterious history of sitting on state grant checks owed to charities in his district — to the tune of $600,000. He did this while also producing political profiles, helping lead a new podcast, and coaching high school and college students on the tenets of journalism.

National Headliner Awards

The Post and Courier has received a pair of prestigious journalism honors from the National Headliner Awards.

Jennifer Berry Hawes, Former Special Projects Writer for The Post and Courier
Jennifer Berry Hawes, Former Special Projects Writer for The Post and Courier

Former reporter Jennifer Berry Hawes received a first-place award in the feature writing category for journalists working outside a top 20 media market.  Hawes was honored for a portfolio that included stories about an intellectually disabled man subjected to horrific labor trafficking, an examination of a man long reputed to be the leader of a massive but doomed slave rebellion in Charleston, and a police chief’s battle back from a rare and devastating cancer that cost him a leg and hip.

Hawes and colleague Thad Moore also won a second-place nod for investigative reporting by newspapers not in a top 20 market.

They won for “Danger on the Docks,” which investigated the safety record at Detyens Shipyards Inc., a North Charleston ship-repair business where four men died on the job in three years — more than shipyards many times larger.

The investigation found that the leaders of a Navy command had long harbored safety concerns. Yet it continued to award the shipyard work worth hundreds of millions of dollars, dwarfing fines issued by safety regulators.

The National Headliner Awards were founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City. The annual contest is one of the oldest and largest in the country that recognizes journalistic merit in the communications industry.

Newsletter Relaunch – Rising Waters: Climate Stories of the South

The Post and Courier is relaunching their climate and environment newsletter with a new name, Rising Waters: Climate Stories of the South.  This newsletter will focus on the environment and climate issues not only facing the South Carolina Lowcountry, but the entire Southeast region of the United States.

Time for Change

Over the past few years, the environment and climate change newsletter, Tipping Point, has been sending to over 2,000 subscribers, but The Post and Courier has decided it is time for a change that will better reflect their journalism and the everchanging state of the environment.

Environment and Climate Reporter Clare Fieseler joined The Post and Courier last December and expressed an interest in starting this newsletter to better connect with her readers, and make sure that they were receiving the environmental science content that they expect from The Post and Courier.

“Some of the same issues I lived through in North Carolina for many years – storms, rising seas, land development and thorny environmental politics – followed me here to the Lowcountry,” Fieseler continues, “I knew that I wanted to give readers a weekly deep dive into our climate coverage to show how it connects to news happening across the South.”

The 2020 series, Rising Waters, documents how the quickening pace of climate change and sea level rise poses an existential threat to South Carolina.  The series was named as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the local reporting category in 2021.

The Post and Courier’s Executive Editor, Autumn Phillips, said, “We wanted this newsletter to continue the paper’s tradition of excellence when covering climate change and the environment.  Bringing back the name ‘Rising Waters’ was a no brainer.”

This newsletter will focus on how climate change interacts with the environment, such as with wildlife, human health, food, housing, migration and more.  Fieseler hopes to share books, trends, scientific insights and more with her readers, and to settle how they can address the environmental changes that are surrounding them today.

Rapidly Growing Audience = Effective Marketing Opportunities

This newsletter is projected to target a highly engaged and specific audience, creating the perfect atmosphere for businesses to capture the attention of these subscribers.  The Post and Courier’s Director of Sales, Wayne Snow, said “The broad insights Clare will bring to our highly engaged audience supports our unending commitment to connecting advertisers that have a desire to capture them.  When it comes to topics like these, we’re excited about the opportunity to marry our customers to ‘Rising Waters’ thoughtful and responsive subscribers.”

Details regarding these sponsorship opportunities will be announced in the coming weeks.  For now, subscribe to the weekly newsletter and donate to support climate and environmental journalism.

Rising Waters: Climate Stories of the South will be sent directly to subscribers emails every Friday at 8 a.m.

The Post and Courier Launches Video Streaming App PC+


The Post and Courier has launched PC+, a new streaming app where the newspaper’s videos are curated to provide an engaging visual experience for viewers using Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku Services.

Digital Expansion

In its continued digital expansion to provide news to readers across South Carolina and beyond, The Post and Courier is seeking to meet audiences where they are.  Increasingly, that is through social media, including YouTube, and streaming platforms.

Video is an engaging way to reach digital consumers and deliver the latest news and updates, said P.J. Browning, publisher of The Post and Courier.

“We are always evolving and trying to stay up to date with the latest technology,” she said.  “This is an exciting opportunity for us to showcase the important work our photojournalists and videographers provide beyond our regular format.”

The Post and Courier, which is the South’s oldest daily newspaper and the largest based in the Palmetto State, has told stories of Charleston and South Carolina for centuries.  That includes an award-winning track record as a visual storyteller.

The company has expanded statewide with editors and reporters based in Beaufort, Bluffton, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Rock Hill and Spartanburg.

OTT Market Takeover

Consumers continue to cut the cord and turn to over-the-top, or OTT, apps to watch videos and other digital content.

Nearly nine out of 10 U.S. households – some 86 percent – have at least one streaming video service, according to a new report from Leichtman Research Group, a New Hampshire-based firm that provides data and analysis on broadband, media and entertainment industries.  That is up from 52 percent in 2015.

Furthermore, half of U.S. households today have at least four streaming services, with Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu being the most popular.  Others include Disney+, HBO Max and YouTubeTV, reports J.D. Power.

“We have been telling the stories of Charleston and South Carolina for more than 220 years, and we are now providing those stories and coverage on more modern platforms,” said Chris Zoeller, chief opportunity and marketing officer at The Post and Courier.  “This is the natural next step as we expand our digital footprint and have already been producing high-quality video storytelling.”

Advertising Opportunities

This new video streaming app venture is good news for businesses who are looking to take advantage of The Post and Courier’s extensive advertising and sponsorship opportunities.  The PC+ app will host a variety of digital advertisements for our audiences to engage with.  For more information, subscribe to the B4B Newsletter and check for regular advertising updates.

Consumers will continue to find video and other digital content on, YouTube, the newspaper’s podcast channels and now streaming.  PC+ is available on app stores available through Amazon Fire TV, AppleTV and Roku.

The Post and Courier is launching new apps for video content on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV platforms.
The Post and Courier is launching new apps for video content on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV platforms.